Postwar Hybrid Sako

Discussion in 'Show us all your beautiful Sakos!' started by icebear, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    In the early postwar era, when Sako was turned over to the Finnish Red Cross and was switching over to civilian production, one of its first civilian products was the "Sako Hirvikivääri" (Sako Moose Rifle). These rifles were made from m/39 barreled actions fitted to a slender, elegant sporter stock. Premium wood was used for the stocks and this was, overall, a relatively high-end product, despite its surplus origins. The barrels were turned down and fitted with sporting sights. A safari-style sling swivel was attached to the barrel. Some rifles were equipped with scope mounts, which were set up with Sako dovetails and a groove in the center to enable use of the iron sights. Scoped rifles had dogleg bolts like the military sniper and target rifles. I believe that, in addition to the original 7.62x53R chambering, some were also made in the derivative Finnish sporting calibers such as 9.3x53R. Production was from 1945 through 1950. I don't know how many were made, nor whether the model was officially exported to the U.S. I doubt many ever made it to this side of the Atlantic.

    I picked up one of these on Gunbroker this week and here are the details and photos. The stock is a real eye-grabber in flame-pattern Arctic birch. The basic gun is a 1943 Sako m/39; all the military markings are present including the SA stamp. There is what looks like a crown-N proof mark on top of the bolt handle. I have no idea what that's about. You can sort of see it in one of the photos.

    The rifle is a scoped version; the mount is permanently attached to the receiver (I assume it's brazed; I'd think welding would put too much heat on the receiver.) Unfortunately, the scope mount sits just a bit too high to see the rear sight, even with the sighting groove. They should have milled it a couple of millimeters deeper, or just made the mount a bit lower. You start to see the rear sight when it's elevated to 200 meters. You can use the groove as a sighting notch, but I don't know where it would hit. Might need a taller front sight blade. I most likely won't bother.

    The scope that came with the gun is a recent- production Russian Kronos 4x34 with a 1" tube. It has a non-centered post reticle like a PU. According to some quick Internet research, it's a good scope optically. Looks OK through the eyepiece. I understand the same scope is sold under other brand names. Whoever mounted the scope put a shim in the rear ring. The shim was quite thick and the reticle was adjusted all the way to the top. I removed the shim, sighted it in with a laser and now the reticle is all the way at the bottom. If I need to re-shim it, I should be good with one about half the thickness of the original. The rings are interesting. I've never seen QD levers on Sako rings before, and I'd love to get my hands on a few more sets. The rings are a later design - from the late 70's, I think. Some clown replaced the ring screws with 6-40 Torx screws instead of the correct M3.5. This is a very common mistake among Sako owners here in the U.S., and at least one outfit advertises sets of 6-40 screws "for Ruger or Sako." Sorry, one or the other. Fortunately this seldom damages the threads, as the rings are made of harder steel than the screws. I'll cut some M3.5 screws to length and replace the incorrect ones when I get time.

    I'll probably replace the scope. It's not period appropriate to the gun and I don't love the reticle.I'm thinking of a number of possibilities to replace the scope. The obvious one would be to find a set of 26mm Sako rings and a period German scope. Or, I could pick up a rail-mount scope off an auction site. I have a set of rail-to-Sako adapters that I've never tried out. They look like Sako ring bases but I think they were made in Germany rather than by Sako. Or, I have a steel Weaver K4 that would look good on the rifle, although it wouldn't be period-correct.

    The sling that came with the gun is a nice bonus - a green oval-buckle sling with a Suojeluskunta crest. I'll probably put that on one of my Sk.Y m/39's.

    I'm pretty stoked about this piece. I collect both Finnish military weapons and Sako sporting rifles, so it's a perfect bridge. I think these are pretty scarce, at least here in the U.S. It's an elegant looking hunting rifle with the slim stock design, fancy wood, and safari-style sling attachment. I have another stock that I picked up a while back, which is figured walnut. It's packed away somewhere, but I'll post a photo when I find it.

    I haven't had time to shoot the rifle yet. The seller claimed to have shot a 3/4" group with S&B ammo. I have no reason to doubt him; m/39's are generally accurate and this one looks to be in primo condition.

    If any of our friends in Finland can provide further information, please do so. I'd like to know how many of these rifles were made and in what calibers, and were they ever officially exported to the United States? And are those QD scope ring levers a Sako factory item, or from some aftermarket manufacturer in Finland?


    OK, here are the photos.
    H2.JPG H3.JPG H4.JPG H5.JPG H6.JPG H8.JPG H7.JPG
     
    cl_leg and Unclekax like this.

  2. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this icebear.
    I’ve always been intrigued by these and have seen a few on line over the years with different Sako type stock configurations.

    Very cool.
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Very interesting! The circular spot on the RH side of the buttstock looks like the remains of a cartouche stamp. Would this indicate that the stock is the original military stock but re-shaped, checkered, and refinished into an attractive sporter?
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the question. This is a newly manufactured civilian stock, not reworked military. An m/39 stock is made from two pieces spliced in the middle; this stock is cut from a single piece of wood. The picture may not show it clearly, but the cartouche on the right is not "the remains of a cartouche;" it's the whole thing, nice and crisp. Probably a little bit was lost in final sanding, but it's all there. Look at the left side, between the cheekpiece and the buttplate, and there's another complete Sako cartouche. My other Hirvikivääri stock, which is unfinished, has a single Sako cartouche on the right side. It's made of walnut, which the Finns did not use for military rifle stocks (except for a few rare target rifles). I'll post a photo later.
     
  5. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

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    looks fantastic, great find!
     
  6. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Super. Many thanks for posting and the great pics.

    rick
     
  7. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    A couple more -

    6D6C3011-8EE5-46E1-9DFD-3DE12BA0F848.jpeg

    This ones interesting and chambered in
    .45-70

    6725486D-6352-4F51-B4FA-2D07E44856F3.jpeg
     

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