Sako question

Discussion in 'Valuation Corner' started by Chad Groves, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Hi all. I just inherited a Sako L461 and in doing research led me to this site. The rifle is chambered in 222 Rem. I have not seen onother one with the engravings mine has or a stock like mine. It does have the original barrel on it but the import marking are from Century Arms. I cannot find any time period where CAI imported for Sako and i'm hoping someone here can shed some light on it for me. I'll upload some pictures when I get home and give a better description.


    Thanks,
    Chad
     
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  2. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Here's a few pictures.
     

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  3. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    It appears you have custom gun built on a Sako barreled action. The stock, the engraving, & the gold inlay are first rate. The rear sight looks custom as well. Could have been built overseas, then imported by CAI.
     
  4. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Thanks for the info. My research isn't turning up much. I've seen Sako stocks with the same checkering on the butt stock but nothing like that I have on the forend. As for the engraving I haven't come across this design yet, but looking at the detail around the action screws it appears to be like what Sako did on some of their customs. The gold inlay is throwing me as well, about all I've been able to find with it are the anniversary models and maybe a few customs. I appreciate the info
     
  5. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    I'll reach out to Century Arms and see I'd they have any insite.
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    It is certainly a Sako action and barrel, but highly customized, and done with apparent high quality. How about a photo of the import markings?
     
  7. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    I think we need to see more pictures! Beauty.
     
  8. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Here's a couple more. If anybody could shed any light on this I'm all ears. There's a box of 50 rounds with 13 pieces of fired brass. I was told that's all that ever went through it. Well, until I too it ot the other day. I put 20 more through it. A very smooth action
     

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  9. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That is effing fantastic!

    Here is what I think: It was either purchased in Europe by an individual in the U. S., or the work was commissioned to be done in Europe by that individual. The individual then used Century Arms as the importer since an individual cannot directly receive an imported firearm. Importers are required by law to put their import mark on any firearm they import, even if it belongs to someone else.

    Perhaps since you inherited it you may be able to trace its origin through some family member. However, it is possible that whoever you inherited from might have simply purchased it after the person who originally imported it sold it.

    Century Arms would have kept a record of its imports (and retail transfers), but not knowing when or on whose behalf it was imported they may not be able (or willing) to dig up such a record.
     
  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    By the way, the Millett rings on it (the caps of which are splendidly engraved) are excellent rings, but are too high, in my opinion, for a proper cheek rest, as well as proper appearance. I'd suggest that you buy a set of "low" Millett Cross Loc rings to replace them with, but obviously use the engraved caps with the new rings. You'll also need to use the special Sako claws from the current rings on the new rings. Not a big deal, but it would make a beautiful rifle even more attractive and useful.

    Millett rings were actually sold for a while packaged in blue packages as Sako factory rings. They were the same ones as sold under the Millett brand in orange packages, but they did have the Sako logo on the package and no mention of Millett.
     
  11. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The Millet rings with the Sako adaptor plates came out in the 1980's, IIRC. So the engraving was done after the Millets became available. Finding history or provenance on a custom built rifle can be impossible most of the time, but I can assure you that yours did not come from the Sako factory the way it is now. It is even possible that the engraving & inlay work was done after it was imported. Stonecreek's scenario is as good of an explanation as any. Sometimes gunsmiths, as well as stockmakers, will put their makers mark inside the barrel channel or on the metal under the stock. Have you taken the stock off & looked?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  12. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Thank you for the imput. Those are pretty much the conclusions I came up with right now. What I know about the rifle is that someone needed money and asked my Step-father for a loan years ago. The guy gave Paul (Step-Dad) the rifle to hold and was supposed to get it back when he re-paid the loan. It never happened. It's been sitting in his safe ever since.

    I didn't go into this looking for a value as I never plan on selling it. I shoot my rifles and plan on shooting this one as well. How much I shoot it will probably depend on how rare it is. I hope to reach out to Century Arms today and see if they can or are willing to give me any input on it. I will post any findings.

    If anybody wants to see any specific pictures just ask and i'll accommodate. The bolt seams to be different as well. The knob on this one is polished SS or chrome and I can't find any markings on it as far as serial numbers go.
     
  13. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Good tips on the rings, I too think they are to high. I did have the action out of the stock and their is no ,markings on the barrel.
     
  14. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Sigh, you're killing me smalls. Needs more buttstock!(cowbell)
     
  15. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    50 bucks says he eats it.

    This is all I have with me. I can get better when I get home.
     

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  16. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Some engravers will leave some kind of identifying mark by incorporating it into the engraving itself. Name or initials usually. They can be hard to notice without a very close inspection, so you might try looking with more scrutiny. Magnifying glass helps. The bolt parts are not SS or chromed, but rather the original CM steel that was polished to remove the blue & left "in the white". The SN or the last few digits of the SN are usually hand scribed on the underside of the bolt handle. Yours might have been polished off when the bolt work was done.
     
  17. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    The folks at Century Arms have been more than helpful. My initial e-mail received an auto reply saying they would get back with me in 24-48 hours. About 2 hours later I got an e-mail asking me for pictures of all the markings (serial, import barrel) on the rifle. I sent him the pictures and got a reply first thing this A.M. saying he was going to have to send the info to the records department. Got an e-mail shortly after that. Century Arms received the rifle on Dec. 29th 1994. They are not able to tell me if it was shipped from an individual or a business, or if it was shipped to an individual or a business. So know I have more questions than answers lol. By using the serial number info found at https://www.sako.fi/sites/default/files/SakoOldmodelsNumbering.pdf it appears that this rifle (serial number 148xxx) was manufactured between May 9th 1974 and Sept. 30th 1977. The chances of finding out the story for the 20 years or so before this rifle was shipped to the US are pretty slim so i'll probably never get the answers I would like to have. I was hoping to find out if the custom work was done in Europe, the US or at Sako.

    Thanks for all the help. This adventure has surely peaked my interest in Sako and I can tell you that I am now on the hunt for more of them. The action is nothing short of spectacular and the workmanship is top notch.

    Chad
     
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  18. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Amazing rifle!
     
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  19. Unclekax

    Unclekax Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought...
    You may be able to spend some time perusing the
    https://www.acgg.org
    web site and see if there are any custom gunmakers in your "neighborhood" that recognize this obviously outstanding work.
    You might get lucky, as there are not that many craftsmen capable of that kind of handiwork.
    That is a real stunner you have there.
    Keep us all posted please.
     
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  20. Chad Groves

    Chad Groves Member

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    Thanks for the link. I'll definitely pursue it!
     

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