Sako L61R Deluxe .264 Mag "Serial No. 1 3696"

Discussion in 'Valuation Corner' started by jack brumley, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    View attachment 10062 View attachment 10063 View attachment 10059 View attachment 10060 View attachment 10061 View attachment 10059 Noob here. This is my first post. Never knew a forum existed for collectors of my rifle. It's chambered in .264 Mag (title was a typo, sorry). Does "No. 1 3696" mean serial "No. 1 of 3696" made? I was told for some odd reason they only got to serial# 500 and then stopped production, but, could be wrong about that. The L61R, which I have, has a space between the No.1 and 3696 and all the other rifles I am seeing just have a regular serial number, so, I am assuming this was the first one of the production run. There was also some story about Dodge City and James Arness having this same rifle, at one time. Sounds far-fetched, I know. It has 'Made in Finland' ... no wording saying SAKO, but, it's a definitely a SAKO Deluxe. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures now. It's a beautiful rifle.

    Pictures were east to post. So, please view them and let me know what you think. Thank you.

     

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016

  2. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    Is anyone able to see the pictures? One viewer indicated they did not come through. I have downsized them and reloaded, above.
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    You have a Colt Deluxe which was manufactured by Sako. This is a scarce and very desirable rifle that you should be proud to have.

    The serial number is simply 13696. Stamping machinery was set by hand and it is not unusual to find slight irregularities in number spacing. You can get more information on your rifle, and even a letter of authentication, if you want to order it from the Sako Collectors Club store (click "Factory Records Service" at the top of this page).

    The story about 1 of 500, etc. is a total fabrication; I have a hard time imagining how stories like this are generated, but hearing from our current set of presidential candidates it seems that even more outlandish notions are accepted as part of the public debate.

    I have no idea if Marshal Dillon ever had a rifle like this (or if James Arness ever visited Dodge City), but lots of celebrities either bought or were presented with classy guns, so it is certainly possible. The Sako 50th Anniversary book shows that both President Johnson and three Apollo astronauts were presented with Sakos.
     
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  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    As Stonecreek says, you have a Colt "Coltsman" Deluxe. Colt sold rifles with Sako actions in the late 50's & early 60's under the Coltsman moniker. Some were Sako actions that Colt barreled & stocked. Others could also have Sako barrels. Yours could be a Sako stock as well. So, it may be made "lock, stock, & barrel" by Sako for Colt with the Colt barrel stampings. Others here have more detailed knowledge of the Colt/Sako rifles & will hopefully chime in. Your bottom metal has the Colt "Horse" in the engraving & is unique to the Colt rifles. Your grip cap has a white circle inlayed instead of the Bear's head a Sako Finnbear deluxe would have. There is also no white line spacer between the forearm tip & the stock like the Sako Deluxe. I could count all the Coltsman Deluxes I've seen on one hand & have fingers left over, so you are a fortunate fellow. Thanks for sharing the pics!
     
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  5. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    Wow! You guys really know your SAKO's! Thank you SOOO very much for clarifying. No wonder the guy was so willing to come down so much from his asking price, back when I bought it. I paid probably about what it is worth ... maybe a little less, for its pristine condition. When I bought it, I knew nothing about the L61R models, so, I just paid what I was comfortable with.

    I really do like the feel of it, though. As I posted in the Valuation section, I'm going to take it to the range to negotiate some long-range targets. If it is super accurate, I'll keep it to enjoy and pass down to my kids with a note reading, "Beautiful firearm. Go fire it and grab the 'real McCoy' before the prices go up further. This one is not THAT that rifle, but, a real fine shooting firearm worth keeping to enjoy."

    Again, thank you for taking the time to comment to help me realize what this guy is (or is not). It sure is nice, for what it is.

    One thing which puzzles me is this: With all the ones I am seeing online, the serial number does not have the caveat "No." before the serial "1 xxxx". So, is it possible this really could be a 'Coltsman' Deluxe produced in a particular year (with the first serial number beginning at 3696) ... or, maybe the 1st serial numbered one (beginning with serial number 3696) of its kind ... with the gold Colt inlay on the bottom plate and trigger guard?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  6. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    Thank you, Paul. It truly is really nice rifle and I am proud to own it. Wish it had the original documentation with it. Oh well, it's in near perfect condition and I enjoy taking it down and cleaning it, very lightly.
     
  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    No. The Colt rifles did not have unique serial numbers. They were numbered the same way as regular Sakos (and Wards, Sears, H&R, etc. that used Sako actions or were built entirely by Sako*). Yours is SN 13696, regardless of how the spacing of the numbers may look to you. As Paulson says, some Colts were built on Sako actions by contractors and some were built entirely by Sako. You can order the factory records on yours here on SCC.

    By the way, the Fjestad Blue Book is a very poor resource for valuing Sakos, or proprietary rifles built on Sako actions. It is rife with inaccuracies and neglects many models.

    *Browning and Magnum Research had Sako Actions made to their specs with rounded tops which were serial numbered in their own special sequence. GO Wholesale commissioned a run of 500 .280 Remingtons which was also specially numbered, as were the 175 pairs of Finnwolfs made for the old Sako Collectors Association. Sako also had a few special runs like their Golden Anniversary model and some of the PPC-chambered rifles that had special numbering. Perhaps some of our Australian members can tell us if the D.W. Custer special order models had special numbering. There are quite a few examples of specially numbered Sakos, but Colt is not one of them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  8. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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  9. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    Thanks stonecreek. It's not how the spacing looks. What's really strange to me is the stamping reads exactly "No.1 3696" ... not "1 3696" I have looked at 50+ L61R's of different variations at various gun sales websites. None of them lead off with "No.x xxxx".

    Really do appreciate you taking the time to help me with this. I suppose someone at the barrel factory was just throwing it in there with the serial number. This is what it looks like.

    Serial Number.JPG
     
  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    All of the examples that I can find of Sako receivers from this era have the serial number preceded by "No." Your rifle is marked in the standard and customary manner.

    For a nice set of Sako photos to look at, click on the Sakosource banner at the top of this page. This seller has photos of dozens of pre-Garcia Sakos and all I can find have the "No." in front of the serial number.
     
  11. iwanna

    iwanna Well-Known Member

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    That's got to be about my favorite floor plate design. Very sharp rifle. Very eye-catching and yet styling that has stood the test of time.
     
  12. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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  13. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    stonecreek. I'm with ya'. Been scouring the web and saw several which were inclusive of the "No." caveat. Guess I was looking at what I thought was a non-Coltsman or something. From the pictures, the .264 Win Mag chambering and gold inlaid colt floor plate ... would you say a fair value, where the condition is 92-95%, would be in the ballpark of around $1,700 (without the Leupold scope), being a Coltsman Deluxe? Maybe $2,000 WITH the scope?

    Would the space being one digit too far to the right No.1 3696 make any difference in the value one way or the other? Seems like this was fairly common with the L61R?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The apparent spacing of the serial number will have no impact on the gun's resale value.

    Condition is in the eye of the beholder, so price is very dependent on how a buyer's eye beholds it. But your figures aren't out of the ballpark for a buyer who is enamored with the model and caliber.
     
  15. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Sako stamped the serial number on the action when the action was made, not when the rifle went through the production line. Sako did not produce rifles in sequential order with regard to serial numbers, so dating or any other inference to the serial number & it having any "meaning" is not relevant. Your serial number has no "special" meaning & it is 13696 & your interpretation of your serial number is completely off base. Sako grabbed your action out of a bin full of actions on the production line with no particular attention paid to it's serial number & assembled your rifle in it's present configuration. If you would like to know more about it's production date & when it was shipped just click on "Factory Records Service" in the upper left of this page & make a request. All Sakos I am aware of had the "No." in front of the serial number.
     
  16. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    Thanks paulsonconstruction. From Colt's listing of serial numbers, it seems it would have been manufactured early 1963. However, you are indicating SAKO assembled the rifle. I believe you, stonecreek and deergoose have about summed it up for me. Just confused as to whether Colt or SAKO actually put it together. If it's a Coltsman wouldn't Colt have built it with the SAKO action?

    Appreciate you all taking the time to comment and teach me a LOT about these Colt and/or SAKO rifles. Believe I might just seek out a really nice SAKO original Finnbear, as I learn more about them. They are extremely intriguing!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
  17. topgear

    topgear Sako-addicted

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    Jack its not the first time people have mistaken the serial number on this range of rifles. I actually brought the one below and it was registered with the last four digits 35XX not the full serial number! For some reason just in this range (this one is only a few hundred off your rifle) the numbers had a big gap after the 1. So the serial numbers look like 1 35XX not 135XX as you would expect. This one I have is a original .375 H&H and has the modified cocking piece hence the M stamping as well. I reckon they must have had the appreciate pantographer working that week! Nice looking rifle by the way too.
    upload_2016-9-8_20-32-18.png
     
  18. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Colt used Sako actions to build rifles, used Sako barreled actions to build rifles & also contracted Sako to produced complete rifles for them. The barrel stampings on yours indicates that it is a Sako barrel & except for the few minor differences I pointed out in my earlier post, the stock is a twin to a Sako Deluxe stock. So, it is my belief that your rifle was made at the Sako factory for Colt. Research by the Factory Records Service could confirm if you request it. There were many rifle companies, besides Colt, that used Sako actions, barrels, & complete rifles to sell under their own brand name. They are sometimes called "proprietary" Sakos & even have a collector following to some degree. Your Coltsman Deluxe & the H&R Ultra rifle were some of the nicer examples. There are threads here from the past that discuss these "proprietary" Sakos you may have interest in reading.
     
  19. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    As I just posted in the Mew Member Introductions section. Thanks so much to everyone. I ordered the Level #3 Factory Service Record and will be posting results, here, once I receive confirmation. Hoping it will come fairy quick. Thanks again to you all!!!! Order Confirmation_Coltsman.JPG
     
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  20. jack brumley

    jack brumley Active Member

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    Just waiting to receive the information ... not sure how long it will take, but, I will post when it arrives in my inbox. Thanks again to everyone who assisted me a taught me so much about my rifle.
     

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