Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by topgear, Jan 22, 2016.
Please post a photo!
Recent addition to my Sako family. A Sako Enfield in .243, Serial No 1665.
Multigroove 12 land bore, mis-stamped printing.
It came with a Tasco 4x scope and very high mounts.
I bought it from a large property inland of Gladstone Qld; the seller didn't know the history, other than he bought it off an old bloke there. I know very little about Enfields, but I've been told the original rifle was from the Canadian Long Branch factory with some Savage parts to finish it off - a good 'Bitsa'!
It has a few differences to the SE's already posted, most obvious is the stock. whilst it doesn't looks exactly the same as the 60's advertisements, it feels very 'Sako' to hold, esp the fore end.
Looks better without the scope.
Very late serial number
Blind magazine - probably an aftermarket kit.
Battle sight at rear flips up and the rear base has been milled to give good vision through to the front sight. I haven't shot it with the open sights yet, hoping to later this week. A few shots in windy conditions off a shaky picnic table (using a scope) gave about 2" groups. I expect that will shrink to 1" with better conditions and ammunition etc.
It doesn't have a rear ladder or tangent sight, and there are no marks on the barrel to show a rear sight was ever fitted. The patina on the old barrel blueing makes me think it's still wearing the original factory blued finish.
And a different barrel ring
And I wonder how the front sight compares to other SE's, as my gunsmith says this is a Remington front sight.
I was gifted part of a large collection of magazines from an old bloke who has retired from shooting. My share was about 20 large boxes, I have a lot of Australian magazines from mid 1960’s onwards and a few from the late 1950’s. I’m missing the early 1960’s – so shall try and track them down via one of the other recipients.
July 1965 is my first magazine in the mid 60’s and it has the ad for the Sako Enfield’s, but I have a feeling is that it was the early days of the ad, as it has a ‘typo’ in it (the standard model SE price is wrong). These ads were typeset and cast in lead. Once a plate was made, it was used as much as possible, so 'once they got it right' it would been used for a while. The next ad and the many following ads are the same. July 1965 was also the first of the monthly editions of Sporting Shooter and I thank the current editor for his permission to reproduce from these magazines.
I’ve included some other ads of interest to see how the SE’s were placed in the market place and how they compared to new rifles. And ad’s with Sako’s in them of course, sorry but you’ll have to zoom in to read them. A new Sako was an expensive purchase in 1960’s BUT cheaper than today (using the RBA inflation calculator)
Australia was awash in cheap ex mil rifles in the late 1960’s thanks to 2 WW’s and the Korean War. Plus the Australian Army was changing over to new rifles for the Vietnam War, so most of the old rifles were sold onto the civilian market and many were converted to other calibres. I think some States had requirements that they had to be converted from military calibres to civilian calibres (I’m not sure when that was dropped). When you look at the price of new imported rifles, the converted rifles would have been attractive for everyday use.
Australia went to decimal currency in Feb 1966, the conversion rate was 1 Pound = 2 dollars, 20 shillings = 1 pound (therefore 1 shilling = 10cents), 12 pence = 1 shilling, (but for ease of conversion, treat them as cents ie 9 pence = 9 cents)
July 1965 is the only magazine with an ad which mentions L46’s and L57’s, so this period must be at the very end of sales of those rifles.
October 1965 and the ad was corrected; standard model now 19 pounds. The ad was not in every magazine in this period, but about 75% of them, and often in the cheaper back pages, so they were watching their pounds/dollars.
Final ad in April 1968, plus the currency has changed along the way. No more ads from International Firearms Co for the remainder of the 1960’s. They either folded or advertised elsewhere. But they took roughly 3 years to sell the estimated 678 SE rifles; not a particularly good sales effort.
Using the Australian Reserve Bank’s inflation calculator, the L579 .243 sporter 1967 below would cost $1860 today (just allowing for inflation.). A new Sako 85 series, blued Hunter sporter in .243 retails for $2800- $2900 today.
Here’s one that has popped up for sale today:
Very cool posts there piper. That sounds like a treasure trove of reading that should keep you busy for a while!
Thanks Marcus, have found a nice ad for L46's from the mid 1950's - will post in a new thread in a few days.
Continuing on from my post above, I went to the range today and shot some groups, using up part boxes of left-over factory .243 ammunition. The groups weren’t much better than last time, even though weather conditions were great and I was using the concrete benches plus good rests etc. The scope never seemed to be happy.
Eventually I took the scope & rings off to try it with the battle sights and WOW! Super impressed. Bloody scope and/or rings must be crap….
My first group just to see if I could hit paper put 3 shots into 0.75 MOA @ 100m. My 2nd group put 4 shots into 1.125 MOA @ 100m. I could hardly see the target to aim at (60 yr old eyes) so I elated; with a better target I’d expect slightly better results. This was using cheap Federal 80gn SP ammo, and no front sight hood – which would help centre the front sight, so I was just guessing alignment as I went along.
It’s landing 9.25” high and 1.5” to the right of aim. I can fix the windage by drifting the front sight but there’s no elevation adjustment (ultimately, I can reload and adjust the powder for lower speed and lower the elevation; have done it for an 1890’s ex mil, and it’s a lot of stuffing around)
Next target was the 300m gong, which is 400 to 500mm in diameter; my mate did the spotting to walk me onto the gong, 3 shots to work out where to aim (still landing a bit high and to the right), then 6 in a row went ‘ring a ding’. 3 of them would have been a good group with a scope!
[EDIT to add: will try some 90 & 100gn bullets, I would like to have it shooting accurately at 300m; the heavier bullets will drop the trajectory a bit so hopefully it "will be easy" to find the right ammo.]
Then a 2 hr drive home with a damn big smile all the way!!
Good info piper. Both mine have standard sako front sites so I’d say your Remington maybe an add on like the flat bottom magazine.
One question - is your bolt face/head recessed or flat on face? Since I did my first post on this I’ve seen a couple of these that appear to have the original bolt head not the sako recessed one.
I really love it when one of our members takes the time to post pics of old ads. They really provide a great deal of information and are of historical significance to all of our collectors.
Many Thanks for going the extra mile to dig them out a post the pics.
Me too! But remember to take the information in them with a grain of salt. Often, manufacturers (or their distributors) would run ads prospectively for models which, for one reason or another, were never produced. And sometimes ad copy written by a distributor would get something wrong about a feature. So yes, they are helpful, but not definitive, in sorting out the history of some models -- and they are always entertaining.
Marlin collectors are still looking for their Holy Grail, a Model 62 lever action in .22 Jet. It was advertised but never produced. And Sako collectors are still looking for one of those Deluxe Finnwolfs like shown on the cover of Gun Digest, only a handful of which were ever made and none ever commercially distributed.
Terrific shooting with the irons Piper.
Rather than stuffing around trying to regulate loads to get the irons to shoot to POA I suggest looking at that front sight. If you are shooting high at 100m then the muzzle needs to go lower, and a taller front sight is required. It looks like you can drift that one out so you should be able to replace it with one that has a higher post, or get that one built up with some tig weld then file it back and reblue.
To work out the approx height you could build up that one with some bluetak, thick card and tape or similar and get close to the height you need to order or make. If you order or build up that post go a bit higher than you think you need as you can always file it down a touch, harder to go the other way.
Firstly Topgear, I'd like to say "a big thank you" for starting this thread and contributing the research you've done. Who would ever have thought Sako would refurbish some ex WWII Enfields with some 'junk' barrels they couldn't use or sell. Talk about recycling! And I would never have imagined I'd own one either.
I have a recessed bolt face; I wonder how they'd get the standard bolt face to hold the cartridge and eject it?
Thanks Marcus, having thought about it overnight my plan is to forget using a scope, and optimise it for 300m with the 300yd battle sight. I'll try some heavier bullets; I have some Sako 90gn and Federal 100gn ammunition, I expect gravity will assist. I can change the front sight but I now kind of like this one, and the age/patina it is, plus it's a little circle inside a big circle, so the eye naturally centres it. I guess I'll end up reloading for it anyway, I have a cupboard full of everything I need so it's a bit silly not to use them; I'll fine tune elevation with the powder loads then if required
This gun will only get used for novelty shoots with other Sako tragics (like the Yass get together), so I think it'd be a bit of fun setting up 100/200/300m gongs and seeing who can hit them etc. A special prize for anyone who can hit the 500m gong in 3 rounds!
Thanks for the photo. Yeah I’m not sure if someone had changed the bolt head but I’ve seen two now with flat bolt heads. I actually got to handle one and it feed and ejected live rounds. But I wasn’t able to let one off and see what it did.
Still haven’t seen a .308 version yet.
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