Sako Anniversary

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by Cary Welch, May 17, 2019.

  1. Cary Welch

    Cary Welch Member

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    Hi, what does a Sako Anniversary model, no box, unfired by owner value? Does serial number 1 add to value? Thank you in advance for any info.

     

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  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    "Unfired" (there's no such thing because all have been fired before leaving the factory) Anniversary models vary rather widely in price. I've seen them as low as $1,500 and as high as the upper two-thousands. There were 1,000 of them made, so they are not all that scarce, but they are quite attractive rifles. Having the box probably adds more to this model than to others, but there isn't much penalty for lack of box if the rifle is in truly pristine condition.

    Like other Sakos, they weren't numbered serially, so No. 1 wasn't necessarily the first made. However, it is pretty unique to own a rifle with such a serial number, so I would think that someone would be willing to pay something extra for it.

    More important than the number, however, is the appeal of the wood. Most had wood that varied from "nice" to "outstanding", but that is in the eye of the beholder and the price the wood commands varies with who is looking at it.
     
  3. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Member

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    Wood is like a woman, you might like her, but me, not so much.
     
  4. pow

    pow Active Member

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    Cary
    I just saw the photos of the subject gun.
    And you can rest assured serial number 1 will make this gun more valuable to the real collector.

    The statement made that rifles are not manufactured in numerical order maybe correct. However as a former factory employee here in the states. Serial numbers always start with # 1.
    When a part is stamped with a serial number that part has passed certain inspection requirements.
    If you do not have possession of the subject I suggest you take action to do so.
    The idea that no extra value is added to a gun with the lowest serial number is totally false.

    I would have bet a thousand dollars that serial #1 would be in the possession of the CEO of Sako, before you posted the photos.
    I know you have come across a collectors dream.
     
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  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Here is some interesting information from the Sako shipping records on the Golden Anniversary rifles. We don't have inspection records on this series so it is impossible to know which number was produced on which date. But they do show up in the shipping records so we know when each number was shipped.

    The first one was shipped to Impecco (importing arm of Garcia) on March 31, 1971 and was serial number C-153. It was the only gun in that shipment. Interestingly, three were shipped to Firearms International (who was still importing even after Garcia began importation) on June 4, 1971 and they were SN's C55, C212, and C213. There was one other small shipment to Firearms International.

    It was not until June 30, 1972 (a year later and many guns into the run) that serial number C-1 was shipped to Impecco in a shipment of 126 Anniversary models, the largest single shipment of this model in its two-year span.

    Interestingly, on October 27, 1972 serial number C-1001 was recorded as being retained in the factory -- that's apparently the one that was held back as an example of the run.

    Having a rifle with serial number 1 is certainly a novelty, but serious Sako enthusiasts know that the serial number on and older Sako has little or nothing to do with the order in which it was produced.

    It seems to me that the real "prize" among the Golden Anniversary models would be one of the handful marked "Imported by Firearms International, Wash. DC." I don't recall anyone ever reporting seeing one of these.
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Your experience with American made firearms & serial numbers doesn't translate to Sako. They paid little attention to what order they produced rifles. Seems they made & numbered actions, then grabbed them at random to place into production. Sako couldn't care less about serial numbers based on the history we have & evidenced by the shipping records stonecreek revealed showing serial #1 was shipped nearly 16 months after the first batch. Beings it was shipped to Impecco & not kept by a "CEO" indicates how little importance it had internally. The importance Americans place on low serial numbers never made any logical sense to me, anyway & one shouldn't assume other countries or makers view them in the same light. All the knowledgeable Sako collectors I know place more importance on other details than they do "serial numbers". BTW, the serial numbers of Sako High Power rifles from the 1950's built on the FN Mauser action started with #100,000, not #1 & were stamped on the barrel not the action. The lowest serial number of the L579 is #10,091, not #1. The lowest serial number of the L461 is #57001, not #1. There are many other models, special numbering sequences, & common numbering changes with Sako that don't start with #1. So, contrary to your belief, serial numbers don't always start with #1.
     
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  7. Cary Welch

    Cary Welch Member

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    If serial numbers have no value, why didnt they just pull one at random and not keep the last one made with serial number C1001? And they actually made 1001 not the 1000 they claim?Just asking for a freind.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I didn't say that C1001 was the last one made. I don't have any idea which was the last one made since C1001 was booked into the shipping inventory on October 27, 1972 while there were a number of others booked into the shipping inventory in four different lots as late as December 14, 1972.

    However, the order in which rifles were booked for shipping doesn't necessarily follow the order in which they were made, much less numbered. We've found that an occasional individual rifle might have been inspected as a finished unit as much as two or three years prior to finally being shipped, with rifles of the same model and caliber inspected later being shipped sooner, sometimes the same day they were inspected.

    As to "why" Sako might have done whatever they did a half-century ago, I wasn't there and can't say. I am among those who are constantly puzzled at a company which worked in precision being so imprecise about its numbering and records.
     
  9. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Sako records have always indicated that 1001 50th Anniversary rifles were made & I have never seen any evidence that a "claim" was made by Sako that 1000 were made. Believe what you want about serial numbers & their "value", but it just doesn't matter all that much with Sakos. I've never had a knowledgeable, experienced Sako collector even ask me what the serial number was during a transaction, nor have I ever asked the same. There are other much more important factors that determine value. The value that the "novelty" of serial number 1 adds would vary buyer to buyer & would be hard to determine. For me it adds nothing.
     
  10. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    Cary, No.C1 would be a great rifle to own despite any of the negative comments regarding whether or not it was first or last in the production run. I’m sure also that it would fetch a premium price over others.
     
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  11. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I'm "somewhat of the opinion that Sako produced either 1000 or 1001 GA's" I've seen lots of magazine articles and forum posts that 1001 were made, But I've never seen any actual Sako correspondence stating 1001 were made. However, somewhere in my Sako paper correction I have more than one piece of Sako correspondence stating 1000 were produced (a little math is required though). Attached is a Sako letter stating 999 Golden Aniversary rifles will be sent to distributors and Sako will keep 1 rifle, but it doesn't mention the serial number of the one rifle they will keep. I do ask about serial numbers with the Golden Anniversary because during the end of production Sako changed from a 3 lug to a 2 lug bolt. I am in the hunt for a GA, but wood will decide what I purchase, not the serial number or number of lugs the bolt has ( I've never heard of or owned a Sako L61R with a 2 lug bolt, that had a bolt failure).
     

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  12. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Douglastwo: Thanks for posting that letter. W.R. Timmerman retired in Austin, Texas. He ran an ad in the local paper offering a .30-06 Mannlicher for sale. I answered the ad and when I went to his home to see the rifle was flabbergasted to find that he had been the president of Garcia Arms. I bought the Mannlicher and also a beautiful P72 .22 LR with gloss finish and a rare Berglasbossen all stainless steel pump shotgun from him. He was very gracious to visit with me and I would have visited with him much longer had it not appeared that his wife was coping with an illness and I didn't wish to impose on them any longer than necessary. He did provide me with a little corporate history and said that when Garcia decided to get out of the firearms business he had been instrumental in steering Sako to Stoeger rather than a competing importer in Florida which specialized assembling cheap foreign handgun parts into finished street pistols.

    Interestingly, Garcia did not get all of the (presumably) 999 Anniversary models that were distributed. About a half-dozen went to Firearms International, and more than 50 went to European outlets. But Garcia certainly did get the vast majority of them.
     
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  13. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing the history Stone. An F.I. imported GA would be an interesting plus, but I wouldn't pass up a really good timber Garcia to get an FI import mark.
     
  14. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    While on the subject of serial numbers I did a little research & found that other than the Golden Anniversary, some special numbered limited production runs like the AI PPC chambered single shots, the 500 AV GO Wholesale rifles in 280 Rem, a run of 509 special numbered L61R's & 310 L579's in 1973, & a run of 17o Finnmasters, the only Sako Models that had a "serial number 1"( that there is data on) were the L46, the L57, the L61R, & the Finnwolf. I don't know about the Model 75, 85 or the newer rimfires. So, apparently, the L461, L579, AI, AII, AIII, AIV, AV, M551/L581, L691, P54, P72, & M78 had no serial number 1. I couldn't find any data on the M591 or the S491. Just food for thought!
     
  15. pow

    pow Active Member

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    I you want to get maximum dollars for your friends gun. Just post it on guns international without a price. And then wait for about a month before deciding if you want to sell it.

    You will get lots of inquires from interested buyers.
    Guns international only charges $12.00 to list a gun.
    All questions are sent to your account with phone numbers, included.

    The key is to patient and wait for the big collectors to show up.
    Gunbroker charges around 4% and they require a minimum price.
    Rock Island charges 30% to the seller. Plus 20% buyers tax.
     
  16. Cary Welch

    Cary Welch Member

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    I think he is going to hang onto it for awhile, but that is good information i will let him know, thank you, Cary
     
  17. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Not that it really matters, but according to Arma Fennica, by Timo Hyytinen, 1001 of the anniversary models were produced and numbered in their own series.
     

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