SAKO 61R AV Magnum Action for 300 Norma Magnum cartridge

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by JustAn OldCoot, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. JustAn OldCoot

    JustAn OldCoot Member

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    Hi Folks,
    Do you know if it is possible to open up the 61R-AV Magnum bolt face to accpt the 300 Norma Mag cartridge? (so from .532 to .588)
    Has anyone done such a build?
    What is your experience with the action and this Cartridge?
    Many thanks and God Bless.

     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The OD of a L61R bolt I just measured is .688", so there is enough diameter to open the bolt face to allow the .588" diameter rim of the 300 Norma Mag to fit. Whether any extractor modification is needed, I don't know as I have never seen that bolt face change made before. There are several other cartridges that require no bolt face change that will equal or exceed the Norma rounds performance with more readily available brass, so I can see no reason to do it other than a personal desire for that cartridge. Good luck on your project.
     
  3. Glenn Verrall

    Glenn Verrall Active Member

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    I had a 308 Norma for many years, great caliber and a better case than the 300 Win Mag. Harder to find brass here in Australia and a great round for scrub bulls and buffalo. A bit much for pigs but a lot of fun. Great choice.
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I thought the same when I first looked at the question. Then I said to myself, "Wait a minute. What's a .300 Norma Magnum? I'm familiar with the .308 Norma Magnum, in fact I used to have a Schultz & Larsen in that caliber, but is that a typo or are there two different cartridges?" Turns out that the .300 Norma Mag is a necked-down .338 Lapua, which is based on the .416 Rigby case. It was designed as a military sniper rifle cartridge and has been adopted by SOCOM. And it's a good bit hotter than the .308 Norma, the .300 WinMag, or other cartridges in that class that will fit the 0.532" bolt face. It launches a 220-grain bullet at 3000 fps, which is about as fast as the .308 Norma or .300 WinMag fires a 180. That is actually faster than a .300 Weatherby (which also fits a 0.532 bolt face) with 220-grain factory loads. Muzzle energy is on the order of 4000 ft-lb, compared to 3500 for the .308 Norma or .300 WinMag. Gunsmiths have reamed out old Finnbears in .300 H&H for the Weatherby cartridge. A .300 Weatherby chambering would be a step up from the .300 WinMag, but not quite achieve .300 Norma performance. I don't know if Sako ever built an A-series rifle in .416 Rigby. The current Safari is available in .416 Rigby, but that is an 85 action. I'm not sure if the AIV Safari was ever chambered in .416 Rigby or if that chambering was added when they switched to the newer action. A regular Sako AV action would probably hold 3 rounds of .416 or .300 Norma. Recoil would likely be ferocious in a gun as light as an AV. It's worth noting that when Sako first built a rifle for the .338 Lapua, they designed a whole new action (the TRG) around the cartridge. It's an interesting idea, anyway.
     
  5. JustAn OldCoot

    JustAn OldCoot Member

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    Thanks folks - I agree that a 300 Norma is probably asking more than what a 61R can provide...I think I'll go with a new action designed with an oversized .750 bolt body and thicker/stronger lugs. Was hoping to get by with my 61R...but not worth the safety factors.

    Now, for a replacement of the 7mm/300 Weatherby cartridge barrel that is currently on the 61R...I'm thinking of goign to a 264 Win Mag to fit the bill. Thoughts on a 6.5mm wildcat that might be fun on this action?

    Cheers, JAOC
     
  6. JustAn OldCoot

    JustAn OldCoot Member

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    Many thanks for your information! Which .308 caliber Cartridges do you recommend above the 300 Norma?
     
  7. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I can't because I don't have an inclination for any 300 Magnums. My personal opinion, which others will probably blast me for, is that most all small caliber magnums are cartridges looking for a job & exists only because of marketing hype & the misconception that "velocity" is the magic cure-all for killing game. Their negatives far outweigh their positives. If one really "needs" more power for a particular hunting situation, it's better to step up in diameter & weight of bullet to meet that requirement, rather than rely on increased velocity alone. Just my opinion, you should do what you want & makes you happy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019 at 1:50 PM
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  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I pretty much agree with Paulson on smaller caliber magnums -- particularly the 7mm Magnums which seem neither fish nor fowl. I've hunted and killed elk with a .300 Magnum, in fact, both H&H and Weatherby-style. But a .30-06 would have done the same thing, while if I had really needed more authority a .338 would have been a better choice. But his quote above is the very best advice of all.
     
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  9. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    OldCoot,

    Was wondering after reading the thread what your intentions are for the rifle. I tend to agree with Stonecreek and paulson, but have become curious if the intent is big game at longer ranges, long range targets or something in between. A little more information might help with more insight, although this is ultimately your decision.

    For instance, I hunt big game in the West, sometimes in different states in the same year, typically in big country. So this often dictates the medicine. If I were making the same considerations you’re contemplating, then my factors would weigh heavily on the decision.

    What are yours?

    Sean
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019 at 8:45 PM

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