New L61R Actions in the box?

Discussion in 'Valuation Corner' started by icebear, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of new in the box L61R actions that I am curious about their value. Not really thinking about selling them, but I'd like to have an idea of value for insurance/estate purposes. I got them back in the 90's when one of the big New England sporting goods houses got out of the custom gun business. Both have standard (.30-06, etc.) bolt faces. They are in boxes with the serial numbers written on the boxes.


    I'm thinking of maybe having one or both of them barreled, but I'm not sure what caliber. I have all the .30-06 rifles I want and I have a .270 Sako Deluxe action in a custom stock that's just awaiting final shaping, finishing, and checkering, so the obvious choices aren't ones that interest me. I'm thinking maybe one in 7x57 and the other in 6.5x55, as these are great calibers that are rarely seen in a Sako. Or maybe 7x64 Brenneke, although I do have a nice German custom in that caliber. Or maybe 6.5-06, although I'm reluctant to commit to a wildcat that has zero commercial ammo available. I have the dies, but for some reason that caliber has never caught on, despite its obvious advantages (i.e. .264 Win Mag performance in a standard size cartridge).

    My best guess is that the actions are probably worth around $500 apiece, but that's a guess. Any thoughts?
     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That's the figure I always start with when talking about Sako actions-only. You might take a little off of that for an action which has to be separated from its barrel, and a little more off if it needs cosmetic work. You might add a little for NIB like yours. An L61R with a magnum bolt face might or might not be worth more, depending on who wants it for what purpose. I'm assuming that these are two-lug actions, since a NIB three-lug would be a huge find.
     
  3. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I would first consider how old you are. That might sound irrelevant, but I noticed that after I turned 60, I realized what I had been saving and accumulating was of lesser value than when I put it away.

    Building rifles from long actions is really an enterprise of making something you will use little or maybe not at all. Large caliber rifles are for hunting big game and unless you go on several safaris a year, they stand quietly in a safe. If you did shoot it more than just hunting, they are still not as good to shoot for extended periods of time as they are hard on the body.

    I have more than enough big game rifles and at one time considered building another custom rifle on a large action, but realized that to put that kind of money into a rifle that would get hunted only a few times, wasn’t a good use of resources or money.

    My point is that I would have you consider selling the actions to someone that does want to build a nice rifle, then take that money and invest in another Sako you would really want to own and shoot. This is how my thinking has changed as I have gotten older, that it is best to put the objects of value into the hands of the person that would use them and look to the things I will use and not get confused with hanging on to something that really isn’t adding to your pleasure of collecting/shooting...
     
    arthur36 likes this.
  4. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Just for what its worth from an old 'almost retired' hunter and Sako collector, I could not agree more with that advice. I can add only one thing. As a Sako lover, I would sure like to see some one use those actions to build up a rifle with ALL ORIGINAL Sako parts. Even if it would not be authentic original production, it would be a fine shooter to enjoy. I would not ever condone referring to this type of activity for profit as ethical like some folks do. Sakojim.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Stone: You are correct, these are two-lug actions. S/n 519xxx has a Garcia import stamp below the wood line: 522xxx has no import mark at all. Both are satin blued and complete, ready to add a stock and barrel.

    Kirk: That's a good thought. I don't know if I'll ever get around to doing anything with those actions, especially since I have two Sako Deluxe actions bedded into Fajen blanks that are still awaiting shaping, finishing, and checkering. And a custom 10/22 that the stock is nearing completion. And a couple of other nice non-Sako Fajen blanks that I have not yet found the right barreled action to build a gun. And who knows how many other unfinished or planned projects. On the other hand, they don't take up much space and I don't need the money all that badly. But thanks for giving me something more to think about - with regard to those actions and a few more items in my collection.

    Sakojim: I don't get it. I'm not knocking it; I just don't understand the point of building a factory Sako clone from original parts. The point of buying a naked action is to use it as a base for a custom. Now, I might consider barreling one of them in an odd metric caliber and putting it in a factory stock (refinished with tung oil), but not just putting together a gun that I can buy off the rack.
     
  6. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I liked the idea of starting with a superb action to build something I couldn't normally find in a gun shop. The top 2 guns are 22o Swift and 6mm Remington made form Sako L57 actions from old Coltsman rifles that were not much to look at. The bottom 2 were from Marlin 322 rifles that were uglier than the Coltsman rifles. I chambered them in 223 and 222 Remington.

    The reason I prefer the smaller actions is for light recoiling cartridges that you can shoot all day, all year...

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    Sakogun, Norway.375 and icebear like this.
  7. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Sorry icebear. I did not mean to disagree with your intent. You did not state your intended use for the build which would make some difference. I just feel that if I were in the same situation, I would prefer to build a rifle with Sako quality parts and enjoy performance equal to or maybe even better than most custom builds but with a lot less time and investment involved. Now I will admit there are many custom rifles and wild cat cartridges available that may out perform Sako factory rifles but very expensive in comparison and very difficult to recover the initial cost when resold. If I wanted a 7 x 64 Brenneke I would try a Sako M995 in that caliber as a much cheaper investment than using one of these actions.You might luck out and do a swap and save a lot of time and effort. I might search for an old L61R (early serial) in .264 Win with a 26 inch barrel as a substitute for the 6.5-.06 even if I prefer smaller cases. I think the recoil would be about the same and you should certainly enjoy the results when you find that sweet load. Again, much cheaper investment than a custom and it would always retain its value on the market and sell a lot quicker. Now all that being said, if you are into competition shooting and can afford the investment, by all means go for it. Build the best custom to suit your needs. What ever your choice, thanks for enjoying Sako quality and happy shooting. Sakojim.
     
  8. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Hello Kirk. Lovely rifles. They definitely show pride of ownership. You and icebear certainly have a lot in common. I can see why custom builds are the way to go if your choice is good appearance and shooting performance that pleases you. Its good to know that Sako actions are filing a niche. Maybe like the old Mauser actions used to be in demand? Hope gun dealers don't start parting out old Sakos to sell actions. Hmmmmmm- maybe that will increase the value of some of the Sakos us old timers have adopted. Just kidding. Have a great day. Sakojim.
     

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