New-to-me L61R in 300 Win Mag

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by shinbone, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The picture in post #12 clearly shows the bolt has been put in the action with the bolt guide on the wrong side. Wondered how long it would take for the OP to come back with an "ejection problem". This has been about the 4th or 5th time in the last several months that this has come up. One where a gunsmith actually milled a slot in the bolt guide for the ejector instead of just rotating it to the correct side. Have bolt actions become so outdated that people have forgotten how to use them???

     

  2. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    I spent the day dog training, today. The first thing I did when I got home just now was to uncase the rifle and examine the bolt guide. I had indeed inserted the bolt with the guide on the wrong side, which was obvious to many from my posted photos. Doh! Mama always said she never raised no Einstein.

    Interesting that one person saw my mistake, foresaw the ejection problem, but never mentioned it or warned of the problem it would lead to, and then chooses to hold me out as the poster child of modern society's ignorance. Me - I am happy it was such a simple fix, and, that I learned something new!

    Anyways, thanks for everyone's help.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  3. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    Shinbone dude
    All of us, in one way, or another, get a turn in life to be the poster child. Good thing is that there was no harm done to you or your rifle. I’ve gotten the guide rod spun around before myself only noticing as it would not let the bolt go back in the receiver ( it wasn’t completely 180 deg.)

    There are many good guys here, who are willing to help with anything. Don’t feel anyone saw any thing obvious and didn’t say. It just took a couple guys with keen eyes and a knack for these “what’s wrong with this picture” moments.
    I was looking at the same photos and actually didn’t notice the guide position in the previous one. When kevin noticed what it was, I went back and looked, I smiled to myself “duh”. Like Kevin added .. “it’s happened many times” ... because it has.

    You have a great rifle in a great caliber , and now you know more about that rifle that you did before. Except knowledge any time you get a chance and pay good attention to those wise old owls, even if they do Hoot a bit about it!

    Happy Shoot’n!
    The old hippie
     
  4. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    Its all good on my end, and, yes, folks have been super helpful, which is much appreciated.

    Also, I was able to source some Barnes 180gn TTSX factory loads to try out. I'd like to try the Barnes 150gr TTXS loads, but haven't been able to find any in stock. I am looking forward to getting back to the range to finish trying the factory ammo I have managed to scrounge up.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  5. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Don't feel bad about your mistake. Anyone could make that mistake once in a lifetime. And as for a lot of us not noticing the 1 picture that keen eyed paulson noticed that shows the guide missing, you had six or seven pictures that showed the guide in the correct position. Enjoy that rifle it looks like one to be proud of.
     
  6. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I missed that, and I should have caught it since it happened to me once. It was on a very well-used L579. The little dingus that keeps the bolt guide in the correct position was long gone and the guide rotated freely. I laid the bolt on the bench, the guide flopped to the other side, and when I put the bolt back in, I had exactly the same problem. Took me a while to figure it out. But, that was a long time ago, and the memory wasn't fresh, so I missed the picture showing a Sako with no bolt guide in the ejection port. Stuff happens.
     
  7. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    One of the things that I noticed while at the range, is that the trigger pull on this rifle is pretty heavy. It has a crisp let off, but the pull weight is around 6 or 7 pounds. I know these triggers can’t be adjusted to be super light, but I still would like it to be a closer to 3 pounds.

    While cleaning the gun, I decided to lighten the trigger pull as much as I safely could. In the course of making this adjustment, I discovered that the screw that controls trigger pull weight is damaged, and is missing a section of threading. Interesting that a gun that looks so nice would have this type of damage. Regardless, I was able to get the pull weight down to about 3 pounds. With the trigger so adjusted, it passed all of the safety checks such as vigorously dropping the butt on the ground, slamming the bolt home, and cycling the safety off and on. It’s still not a great trigger pull weight, but it’s much better than before. And, with the break being so crisp, I can certainly live with it.


    [​IMG]

    A
    nd, when removing the action from the stock to adjust the trigger, I discovered the action screws were not tight. I’d say they were “barely snug”. Hopefully the gun will shoot better now that the action screws are tight.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  8. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Tightening the action screws should definitely improve accuracy. That's something I always check when I get a "new" old rifle. As for the trigger pull, I'd be quite happy with 3 pounds, especially on a big-game rifle. Any lighter and I start to worry about an early discharge as I'm lining up the shot, especially if the animal is moving. The design limit of the Sako trigger is about 2.5 pounds, so you're pretty close anyway. Several of my Sako triggers are around that 2.5 pound limit, and I'm not going to readjust them, but for me, three pounds is just fine. Of course, this is a matter of personal taste so long as the gun is safe.

    Good luck at the range. You have reason to be optimistic.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  9. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    "You have reason to be optimistic."

    My thought, too. I'll reshoot the Nosler 180gr Accubonds I already shot, so it will be interesting to compare the "before and after."

    It'll be few weeks before I can hit the range, again, though. Wife is out of town and I am baby sitting a new puppy. Normally, I take the pup with me everywhere I go as part of his socialization. But a shooting range is one of the few places he can't go due to the noise.
     
  10. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    Just got back from the range.

    The general shooting setup.
    [​IMG]


    The factory loads shot.
    [​IMG]


    The results from lightest to heaviest.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tightening the action screws shaved about 1/2" off a 2" group with the 180gr AccuBonds..

    While these are only factory loads and the rifle will shoot better with a tailored handload, I got to say I am underwhelmed by this rifle's performance. Hopefully working up a handload will result in a dramatic improvement in accuracy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  11. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I've never had much luck with accuracy in a .300 Winchester in any rifle, but that may just be the luck of the draw. On the other hand, I have an old L61R in .300 H&H and I'm yet to find a load which will expand groups beyond 3/4" at 100 yards; and a Sako-actioned Magnum Research Mountain Eagle .300 Wby which behaves rather nicely.

    I even once fired three shots through the .300 H&H with a load on which I had meant to increase the powder charge by 0.5 grains, but had inadvertently increased it by 5.0 grains! The extraordinarily high velocity reading on the chronograph was my first clue that something was wrong because the brass extracted without undue force and the three shots landed right where they should on the target with all of them less than 3/4 of an inch apart. Out of an abundance of caution I discarded the brass from those three rounds and pulled the bullets on the other two rounds I had loaded for testing.

    Like the .300 Winchester, I've owned several Sakos in 7mm Rem Magnum but none have yielded the accuracy I felt they should. However, my Sako .280 Rem shoots "lights out". Again, it may be that the .300 Wins and 7mm Rems I've owned have all happened to be in the bottom quartile of Sako accuracy, but I've developed something of a prejudice against those two calibers because of it.

    Say, just remembered another one: I've owned Sako Model 995's (TRG-s) in 7mm STW, .300 Win, .338 Win, .375 H&H, and .416 Rem. The only one -- including the .416 (ugh!) -- that wouldn't shoot sub-MOA groups was the .300 Win. I guess I'm just snake-bit with that caliber.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  12. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    Stonecreek: Interesting observations. I've never thought of the .300WM as an inherently inaccurate cartridge, but this is my first personal experience with one. Maybe something about the L61R design and the .300WM means "they don't play nice together?"
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  13. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I'm sure that others have had different experiences with the .300 Win. My luck with the cartridge just hasn't been that good. Then, there are other cartridges like the .222 Remington. Every Sako I've had in that caliber (and there have been many), with models built in 1951 through the 1990s, has been a sterling shooter -- even those made on Sako actions by Marlin, Sears, and Beretta (before Beretta purchased Sako).
     
  14. CVCOBRA1

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

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    My second Sako was, is a 300 WM. Although I did download it to a "hot" 30-06 load by manual references back in the day it still shot exceptionally well. We all have them that just shoot so great that is the one you pick up when you go out the door. It dropped whitetail at the pull of the trigger. Other guns of other calibers didn't have the "feel" of my 300. With the idea that you now need 200-230 grain in a 300 for long range I have no experience. Work up some good handloads and your groups will shrink. Don't give up, the best is yet to come.
     

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