Discussion in 'Sako Rimfires and Small Action Rifles' started by robinpeck, May 26, 2020.
Sako M78 .22LR fullstock compared to 1968 Anschutz 1418 .22LR Stutzen
No flies on either of those! I think highly of the Sako P72/M78, but I'll have to admit that I especially like the more slender stock of the Anschutz as well as its set triggers. Which one holds a tighter group?
i love both guns they are really nice the p72 is rare i have never seen one in the person its nice
Yes, the Anschutz is certainly svelte.
The Sako is full size and handles like a centerfire. So, its an ideal "understudy" rifle for me. (I have a small collection of European fullstock centerfire rifles: Mannl.-Schönauer, Heym, HVA, Brno, Sako, etc.) The Sako outshoots the Anschutz by a narrow margin when using the same discount brand bulk ammo. I use my 1958 Brno Model 5 as the control rifle. All three are accurate sporters.
On my scale, the Sako weighs exactly 7 lb. and the Anschutz weighs 5 lb. 14 oz. Weighed with both wearing essentially the same Leupold scope in steel Talley rings. The Sako has the scope mounted higher because of the Monte Carlo, so there is a bit more steel in the rings. There is only just over a pound difference in weight, but the Sako feels much heavier. The Anschutz is a real featherweight.
I agree with Stonecreek, to me the slim looking Anschutz is quite appealing.
Is it just me, or does the cheek piece/buttstock look like it was influenced by the early L-46?
I guess this L46 of mine must be a "late one"...no resemblance noted.
I'm envious in that I don't own any stutzen rimfires like Robinpeck's beauties, but I do have some "higher quality" rimfires that are awesome shooters.
Below, from top to bottom, are my Kimber of Oregon Model 82 Classic Grade .22 LR, my Sako P72 .22LR with rare gloss stock, and my Sako P94S .22LR.
And here are close-ups of the wood in the buttstocks of each.
The Sako P72 has the plainest wood, but being a child of the era of glossy finishes it appeals to me the most. The wood in the Kimber is very nice as is the wood in the Sako P94S, but the finish of the P94S is rather opaque and hides rather than enhances the appearance of the wood. This opaqueness of finish is common in standard grade Sako rifles from the era of the 1990's.
I guess you noticed that all are wearing Leupold 3-9X Compact (or Ultralight), and two of them have the AO feature. This is a great scope for a .22. The higher magnification lets you see the small targets .22's are mostly used for and the ones with AO provide the flexibility for pinpoint accuracy at close ranges.
As to shooting, well all three rifles are wonderfully accurate. When comparing the three rifles under similar conditions it's hard to say which is the most accurate. Let's just say that they are all fully as accurate as their owner can shoot them. All three will produce all-holes-touching 5-shot groups at 50 yards so long as the wind isn't playing tricks. All have excellent triggers -- the Kimber is so light that it is a bit scary, so I never allow an un-warned person to shoot it.
I also have the .22 WMR and .22 Hornet versions of both the Sako P72 and Kimber Model 82 and like all of them a lot. Some have complained about accuracy problems with Sako P-series Hornets, but mine, while not the most accurate Hornet I own, yields decent groups.
The Sako P94S appears to have the most robust action of all three, so I'm disappointed that Sako never chose to offer it in any of the small centerfires like Hornet, Bee, or possibly even the nifty 5.7 FN handgun cartridge. It would have seemed like a natural as as small centerfire action.
A couple of years ago we had a bumper crop of quail in Texas, and taking quail (as well as turkeys) with a rifle is legal here. I sat with my grandson in a deer blind with the P94S and we got a skillet-full of the tasty little buggers at ranges as far as 110 yards using some sub-sonic pistol match ammunition. I don't think I've ever seen an eleven year-old kid have much more fun. I think it was the next year that I was in the same blind with the P94S and got two turkey gobblers with quick successive shots.
By the way, the Sako P-72 was one of the personal guns of the retired president of Garcia Arms Corporation from whom I purchased it. He said he never thought it was a good idea to import them because "Who would pay upwards of $500 for just a .22?"
The thing about the older Sako .22s is that, aside from my supposedly unique (or at the least very rare) M78 fullstock, I have never actually seen one...and I have a four decade long history of participating in many, many gunshows in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine, plus driving back and forth across Canada many times and stopping in at all sorts of gun shops along the way. Never seen one. (The very few I have seen in on-line auctions in Canada were not in great shape but they still went for big money.) I am assuming there must be more south of the border.
I've never seen or heard of a full-stock Sako .22 in the USA. I very much doubt any were officially imported. Canada seems to get more European-style Sakos, including full-stock models, than the US.
I don't have any rimfire Sakos. I used to have a 78 in .22 Magnum, but I sold it a very long time ago. Needed the money. Wish I still had it, but that's life. I do have a full-stock rimfire carbine, a CZ 455 in .22 Magnum. It's a nice looking piece and quite accurate. I haven't quite gotten it to shoot 1-inch groups at 100 yards, but it's close. Cloverleafs at 50 are no problem. It prefers light bullets, 30-34 grains. My one attempt to shoot it with Federal 40-grain ammo was a disaster; groups were two or three times the size of Hornady or Winchester ammo with lighter bullets. The 455 is a switch-barrel setup; you can get barrels in .22LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. I think the switch-barrel feature is mainly for the European market, as owning several rifles can be a hassle in some countries. The 455 has been superseded by a newer CZ rimfire with a few minor changes. I don't think they are importing the Mannlicher-stocked versions at the moment.
My CZ has pretty nice wood and I find it an attractive rifle except for the incongruous stamped-metal trigger guard. A gun in this class should have a milled trigger guard. The finish, as Stonecreek says of his P94s, is a bit cloudy and the appearance would benefit from a nice hand-rubbed oil finish. The cloudiness seems to be typical of modern satin-poly finishes. Here's a photo. The scope is a 6x Zeiss Diatal-C.
Icebear, I've got a CZ as well. Mine is a 452 FS. DIP products sell machined bottom metal more suitable for such rifles. They have a teardrop triggerguard version that is very sako- ish, albeit it looks small to me.
Thanks, I didn't know about DIP products. I see they are back ordered on the teardrop TG for both the 455 in .22 mag and the 452 in .22LR. Expensive at $135, but I might be tempted anyway. My fullstock CZ is a 455; I also have a deluxe grade 452 that would look nice with an upgraded trigger guard.
By the way, I like the wood on your 452. Nice combination of the dark and light wood, with some light fiddleback.
Nor have I. Maybe there are others out there somewhere, but yours is special enough to call it "unique" until someone shows us a twin.
Icebear: I let a predecessor of your CZ slip by me a while back, a Brno #5. I could have had it for much less than it was worth, but it went to a good friend instead. However, I "know where it is" and I'll eventually come across something that the friend wants more than the Brno, so it may eventually end up in my capture net.
I meant that I have never seen any older Sako .22 rifles: P-72, M78, et al, not just a fullstock one.
Looks like I'm out of luck ordering any DIPinc. products..."Sorry, but we do not ship internationally." Its almost impossible to order any sort of gun part from the USA these days. The gunsmiths in Canada can't even get screws.
Ah well...there are still a lot of vintage Brno .22 rifles for sale in Canada these days...I've owned quite a few, but the only one I have kept is a minty early 1950's Model 5. (The early Model 5s have polished rather than matte finish receivers.)
I was also wondering what you fellows might think of the new Steyr Zephyr II .22s that have just arrived in the gun stores here...based only on the photos and technical specs, I think I like them, especially the one with open sights. My grandmother was from Steyr and both her father and brother were gunsmiths...so I am prejudiced in favor of Steyr products. However, the new Steyr .22 is relatively expensive (and yet supposedly has a plastic magazine and maybe an alloy or stamped steel trigger guard?...maybe CZ parts?) My 1968 Anschutz 1418 .22LR Stutzen cost me less than 1/2 the price of the new Steyr .22.
The reviews I've read of the Steyr Zephyr II have tended toward disappointment. I haven't seen one in person myself so have no direct knowledge, and I'm sorry that I can't remember the exact criticisms of the reviewers, but I recall that the critiques sounded credible. If the critiques are accurate then that's too bad since shooters deserve good options in high-grade rimfire rifles.
By the way, I've never seen a Sako Finnfire II. Does anyone have any comments on it?
A customer of the local gun shop near me ordered one through the store last fall. I had a chance to go over it when he asked me to "inspect & clean" prior to him accepting it. Fit of wood to metal was good, but not great. Finish on the wood was dull & it felt like it had no finish. Not sure what they use, but it needs refinished or maybe I should say "finished". Metal was not highly polished, but the matte finish hid any defects pretty well. Sights are bulky & crude & not compatible with mounting a scope. I don't care for the sling swivels either. Magazine seemed kinda cheap to me. Checkering had a lot of over runs & the border was sloppy. Bolt wasn't any smoother than a cheap rimfire from Wally world. Overall, at the price point it is at, it was a disappointment to me & I wouldn't have spent twice what a CZ costs for it like the buyer did. Did not get to shoot it nor did I express my opinion of it. After spending nearly a grand the buyer seemed happy to finally have his "Steyr", but I have a suspicion that after spending that much he just couldn't bring himself to admit his disappointment to others.
That is indeed a surprise and a disappointment. Steyr products have, historically, been of the highest quality. I have just one, an SSG-69 sniper rifle, and it is the most accurate medium-to-large-caliber rifle I have ever owned or fired. Fit and finish are as good as it gets on a military rifle. Reading Paulson's description of the Zephyr makes me wonder if it isn't made by somebody else and sold under the Steyr name, like the Colt and Walther .22's that are actually made at the Umarex airgun factory. (Umarex bought the Walther company a few years ago.) I have a Colt/Walther .22 1911 "Gold Cup" and a .22 PPK/S. The "Colt" is in no way comparable to a real Gold Cup. Fit and finish are indifferent at best, it came with one of the worst triggers I've ever seen on a .22 pistol, and parts don't interchange with a real 1911. Accuracy is OK but far from match grade. The PPK/S doesn't come close to my postwar French-made Manurhin PP in fit and finish, let alone an original Walther. Both will be on their way out next time I take a gun show table.
Handled one at a local gun store. It's priced at near a grand & has been sitting on their shelve for almost a year. This one is much better than the Steyr, but the stock has that funny fake feel to it & they just don't come across as a $900+ rifle. If you have an older Sako 72 or 78 rimfire, my guess is you won't be rushing to buy one at the price point it is sitting at.
Thanks for the reviews, Paulson. It's always good to hear from someone knowledgeable who has actually handled the subject gun in the flesh.
Your comments on the Steyr echo much of what a review in "Rifle" magazine had to say, although, like any publication which depends on the advertising of the products they review, their comments were couched in as diplomatic terms as possible. I own a couple of Steyr Mannlicher-Schoenaurs and their workmanship is as among the best in the world -- but the latest one is a Model 1956. A lot can change in two-thirds of a century. Like Icebear, I suspect that the Zypher II may be made by a contractor. I recently came across a relatively inexpensive Oberndorf Mauser .22 NIB which was from a contractor but marked with the famous Mauser banner to enhance its market appeal.
It's just my humble opinion, but it seems to me that the CZ is just about the best buy in quality rimfires followed by the Browning T-Bolt as far as new production goes. I have a pre-WWII Winchester 69A "Junior Target Rifle" that puts both the Finnfire II & the Zephyr to shame. I wouldn't trade it for both those rifles & it won't bring half what their price tag is.
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