Sako .22 history?

Discussion in 'Sako Rimfires and Small Action Rifles' started by robinpeck, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Can someone please explain the history of the Sako .22 rifles...the development of the various different models, etc. Or direct me to a source for this information.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I don't know too much about the rimfires as the U.S. importers were not keen on them and relatively few were imported here. About all I can tell you is the timeline for the various models according to the Sako shipping records. Those the Club has end sometime in 1978, so it is only 1949 to 1978 that we have record of.

    The P46 was presumably designed (and perhaps produced) for the first time in 1946. It was supplanted by the P54, the first of which were made in May of 1954. The P54 was produced in both sporter and "raskas" (heavy barrel or "target") until 1972, an some were shipped from a shrinking inventory as late as Jun of 1974. The new design, the P72 was first shipped in November of 1972. The target (HB) version of the P72 was first shipped in January of 1973. The "Junior" version (shorter barrel and uncheckered stock as I recall) was first shipped in January of 1974. The .22 WMR version came out in May of 1975, and there was also a "Junior" version of the .22 Magnum in the same month. A special version of the P72, presumably for Biathlon-type shooting was produced in 1975. The P72 in .22 Hornet was first found in December of 1976.

    Presumably, the M78 designation change occurred sometime in 1978, although our records don't go that far.

    Strangely, although many of us have seen Hornets marked "P75", there seems to be no record of them in the shipping records.

    The vast majority of Sako rimfires in the pre-1978 time frame were shipped to European outlets, with a few going to Australia. AB Calic in Sweden was a major outlet for rimfires.

    Sorry I can't help with the later ones like the P94, P04, or Quad, although I do own a P94S and think very highly of it.
     
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  3. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to Stonecreek for a helpful basic exposition.

    Just as a sidebar, the "P" in P46, P54, P72, etc. stands for pienoiskivääri, which is means small-caliber rifle in Finnish and is the usual term for a .22 or other rimfire rifle. I imagine a rimfire pistol would be a pienoispistooli, but I can't say I've ever seen that term in print.
     
  4. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your assistance. I am interested in this subject because of the only Sako .22 that I own (see photo). It is one 0f the very few Sako .22s that I have seen and the only one that I have ever handled. It is marked "M78." I am wondering how it differs mechanically from earlier Sako .22s. I thought it was made around 1970, but if M78 is a date for its introduction then it must be much later.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Your Sako Mannlicher .22LR is certainly unique (not to mention beautiful and hugely desirable.) Could you show us a close-up of the model designation? It is possible that, like the P75, the M38 was built in limited quantities and never cataloged.

    Sako never operated a "Custom Shop" per se, but they were known to build a number of one-off items, sometimes for employees or "insiders", or maybe as prototypes which were never marketed.
     
  6. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I was unable to find any reference to a Sako M38 rimfire in Arma Fennica, a reference book in Finnish, or other books about European sporting rifles.
     
  7. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Sorry....M38 was just a typo...now corrected to M78.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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