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Sako A74 Semi-Auto! A180 ADDED!

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by stonecreek, Jun 10, 2022.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Folks: In researching the records on another issue I ran across a page in the shipping records labeled "A74". There is a link to it below.


    According to the shipping records I previously found, there was one A73 produced in 1971 and several more ( 1 each in .243, .308, & .270; and 2 in .30-06) in 1972. These five rifles were shown shipped to Garcia (or Impecco, its importing subsidiary) in May of 1972 and returned from Garcia to the Sako factory in September of that same year. This would suggest that Garcia had examined them, possibly field tested them, then returned them with comments, concerns, or suggestions for improvement or modification.

    Then in October of 1973 a single rifle labeled "A74" in .30-06 was produced and placed in factory inventory, however, it was not shown as shipped out of the factory. Further, as of present, I have not been able to locate any record of it ever being shipped from the factory.

    I have very recently seen a photo of an A73 (the one which our SCC member Spaher located in Finland and arranged to purchase and import) which shows that it is clearly marked "A73". Of course, no photo is available of the mysterious "A74" to show how it is marked, nor how it may vary from the A73.

    But it does, circumstantially, look as if Sako intended to go into commercial production with its semi-auto hunting rifle. Perhaps, and this is only speculation on my part, the low value U.S. Dollar at the time, which had been devalued in 1972, would have made the rifle so expensive to U.S. buyers that Garcia and Sako determined it would not sell enough volume to pay for its costs.

    Note: We also know, due to a handful of the A73's turning up in various places in Europe, that there were more A73's produced than are shown in the factory shipping records. The one Spaher is importing is one of these since its serial number is not among those shown in the shipping records. Just how many may have ultimately been produced can't be known, but it is certainly a very low number and all would have essentially been prototypes. Hopefully, Spaher can give us an extensive review of his rifle once he has it in hand.
     

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  2. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this info Stone. So the A74 is a semi-auto? And there's only 1 recorded made? Or, are you saying they reissued an A74 lever action as a possible replacement for the A73? Either way, that makes the A74 as rare as you can get.
     
  3. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Stone......I read the post before the title, but I still had no idea of a A74 either way.
     
  4. L61R

    L61R SCC President SCC Board Member

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    At one of my visits to Sako, their the top dog sales guy casually opened the trunk of his car, to reveal a semi-auto Sako.
    Can’t remember which version but I have held one! The road to the shooting range was destroyed by harsh winter weather so no shooting unfortunately, only Trap which is fun enough.

    I’ll see if I can find the pics I took?

    Jim
     
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  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Jumpin' Jehosaphat! Did anyone know that there was a Sako semi-auto prototype in 1971 labeled the Sako A-180? I sure didn't. But there it is, big as life, on page 4215 of 7663 of the factory shipping records. I was flabbergasted when I accidentally stumbled across it while filling a records request for a member.

    It was in 7mm Rem Mag and shown as shipped to Firearms International on the 4th of June, 1971. Unlike the A-73's a year later, it was never returned to the factory. That means that this rifle is likely hiding in a safe or closet somewhere in the United States.

    The ledger page from the shipping records is reproduced in the link:
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    You keep finding these rare, rare, rare....Sakos, and I'm going to RESUME thinking there might be a Bofors stamped 25-06.......looks like we, at the least, should stop saying it doesn't exist.
     
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  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    I think we're more likely (but not much) to find a 220 Swift with a Bofors stamp. Let me tell you why:

    There could have been some unchambered barrel blanks stamped "Bofors" sitting around the factory for some time. Sako would have used the same blanks for most or all of its .224" calibers. So, if there were a Bofors blank on the bottom of the pile when they finally started building Swifts, it is theoretically possible that it could have been picked up, chambered, and fitted to a Swift rifle.

    On the other hand, Sako hadn't offered a caliber in .257" since the .25-20 back in the 1950's. Besides, the twist for the .25-20 would have been wrong for a .25-06. That's why I don't hold out any hope for coming across a Bofors .25-06.

    This is a far-fetched theory because the Bofors stamp was probably applied at the same time as the caliber stamp after chambering -- but we can dream, can't we?

    But I'll be the first to admit that you should never say "never" about Sakos.
     
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  8. L61R

    L61R SCC President SCC Board Member

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    Here are the pics I mentioned!

    270 cal.

    Very cool!!

    I was so dumbfounded I never took a pic of the other side of the action.

    Jim
    AB407143-BFA5-4E5A-9B9B-70A4CD27A4C4.jpeg 66018B50-9613-42CA-9678-FC3A8C4A072A.jpeg FE923C1A-E7FA-4F0D-A7F8-3BE4E989D76E.jpeg
     
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  9. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Lost the sight hood ? Always amazed by information from this group! Follow that car!
     

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