Tampereen Asepaja Mod. TAP-66 in 30-06

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by robinpeck, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  2. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    A high quality piece. Tampereen Asepaja means something like "Tampere gun works," Tampere being a good-sized city in central Finland. Founded in 1896, TAP produced hunting and target rifles in the postwar era. I think they are out of business now, but not sure. The only one of their products that ever showed up in any numbers on this side of the Atlantic was the " TAP Lakelander 375" (model number, not caliber). The importer later used the Lakelander name for a different rifle made in Sweden.

    If that rifle is complete, functional, and in decent condition, it's well worth the advertised price. From the description it sounds like it has some fairly minor cosmetic issues, but nothing fatal. If it was on this side of that border at that price in USD I'd be all over it. I'd talk to the dealer and get some better pictures, especially of the "series of notches" on the stock, but I'd be inclined to go for it unless it turns out to be not as advertised.
     
  3. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your advice. It confirmed my own thoughts on it. I have dealt with this importer before and their guns are usually better than described. I'm not too concerned about the "series of notches." I don't really mind tally marks. Some more than others. Check out a previous owner's silver inlay tally on my Brno 8x57.

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I'll be looking forward to your post. I'd love to have a TAP rifle but I've never seen one for sale in the US. Seen a few Lakelanders but they all turned out to be the later, Swedish rifles.

    Judging from the one photo, I'd agree with your tentative decision to refinish the gun. Looks like it's got some finish wear and a few dings; a nice oil finish will make it look like new.
     
  5. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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  6. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    That's about 650 US. It has some issues, but at that price I'd be tempted. Looks like the stock is inletted for some kind of medallion. Unfortunately, it's just too much hassle to get it into the US. As the ad notes, the Lakelander had a 9-lug bolt like a Carl Gustaf or a Sauer. That actually makes me wonder if the Carl Gustaf action wasn't copied from the TAP. I like the multi-lug actions with 60 degree bolt lift - they are very smooth and strong. I have a Steyr SSG-69 with a multi-lug, rear-locking bolt that is extremely accurate and fun to shoot. I'll definitely be looking forward to your post after you receive the TAP rifle.

    I'm also about to receive a new Finnish acquisition - a Valmet 76 in .308/7.62 NATO that I got in a Gunbroker auction. That's a pretty scarce item that I've been wanting for a while. The one I'm getting has a wood stock; I passed on several with plastic stocks as the Valmet plastic stocks have a reputation for cracking. The rifle was also made with the unique T-shaped Valmet folding stock, but these are even rarer than the wood ones and can be quite expensive when they come on the market. I'll post pictures next week, although frankly there seems to be very little interest in military Sakos, Tikkas, and Valmets among our members.
     
  7. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I think their price of $695. (Can) translates to $535. (US).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  8. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    You're right - for some reason Google took me to an old webpage with a radically out of date exchange rate of 0.92. Correct rate is 1 USD=0.77 C$
     
  9. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Here's some info I scanned from one of my books, on TAP history and on your model 66. TAP001.jpg TAP002.jpg TAP003.jpg TAP004.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
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  10. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Excellent information. Thank you very much.

    It looks like the importer is closed for holidays this week until Jan. 13, so the rifle won't be mailed to me for a week...so no report on it for at least two weeks.

    I had a Lakelander a couple of decades ago. I bought it quite cheaply NIB from a gun auction in Alberta. Nicely made but I didn't like the blind magazine nor the rotary mag and I sold it before I shot it. I can't remember if it was a Finnish or Swedish version, but as I recall it did have a nice piece of walnut on it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  11. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    TAP 66 arrived this morning and you were right..."a high quality piece."
    A report shortly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  12. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I took the rifle apart for cleaning and gave the stock a coat of Watco Danish Oil that seemed to soak right in. (Its the only finishing oil I know of that will penetrate an existing finish.) The 24 tally marks on the bottom of the stock don't bother me. (Good to know that I have a lucky rifle.) The entire forend is hollowed out. The pistol grip is slim, the checkering fairly coarse and very functional. No cracks. The stock fits me. I also like the reinforcing crossbolt behind the recoil lug.

    The deep polished blue is approx. 90%, verging on 95% except right at the muzzle and on the edges of the trigger guard. There is a bit of rust "speckling" on the floorplate.
    Barrel is a free-floated medium weight with a length of 23.5 in. The bore was advertised as "very good" and it is...maybe even a bit better: clean, bright and with sharp rifling. Barrel markings are: "Tampereen Asepaia", "Mod TAP-66", a serial number and the Bofors steel trademark (an arrow through a B) on the left side of the barrel ( Husqvarna rifles were also serial numbered on the barrel rather than on the receiver.) "Made in Finland" is on the right side of the barrel in front of the receiver.

    Both front and rear sights look like (and probably are) 60's Sako parts: a short checkered ramp at front with narrow insert slot. The slot is the same width as those on Swedish military Mausers. Which is good, because these are easily available in several different heights. The present insert is a square "partridge"-style sight (see photo) and I like it, so there is so no reason to change. The rear sight is the same small military style tangent sight characteristic of various Sako models of the same period (1966-67). It is graduated from 100 yards to 500 meters in 20 and then 25 meter increments. I assume they are meters rather than yards. I like that sight as well.

    The receiver at both front and rear has Sako-style checkered and tapered dovetails very neatly soldered onto the receiver. Its so well done that it looks like one piece of steel continuous with the receiver. The dovetails fit standard original Sako rings. I have several sets (low, medium, high, 1 in. and 26mm) and also have some older model European scopes: Swarovski, Khales and Schmidt & Bender, so I should be able to put together something I like and still manage to clear the bolt handle. It might have to be a little high, but I really don't want to modify the bolt handle just to clear a scope. The bolt handle is straight and the bolt knob has the "pear" shape that you see on Oberndorf Mauser sporters, but seems somewhat thicker than the Mauser bolt handle. (I no longer have an Oberndorf sporter to compare it to.) There is a clean straight line where it is joined to the old bolt handle root but I don't know how TAP did it. It's not a welding line.

    Trigger guard has been thinned down a bit, but it is still almost full military with locking screws on the guard screws. I had some new hex head Mauser 98 guard screws on hand and so I replaced the military style ones.

    Magazine box is extended at the front for 30-06. Another very competent silver soldering job. You wouldn't notice the extension unless you were looking for it. Trigger slot is extended back and then rounded at the rear to take the new grooved trigger that sits right at the very back of the guard, leaving plenty of room for a thickly gloved finger. Trigger breaks clean at a consistent 85 grams/3 lb. without any creep. This suits me fine, so I won't be adjusting it for now. I have never seen a trigger like on the TAP 66, but it works well. It has a side safety, as well as the regular Mauser wing safety, which I like. The side safety blocks the trigger and also comes up through a slot in the receiver bottom to block the bolt and hold the bolt handle down.

    I believe the "donor" Mauser-98 receiver in this case to be a Brno VZ24. There are Brno (CZ) stamps (see Ludwig Olson, Mauser Bolt Rifles, p. 167) on the small action parts: the firing pin, cocking piece, safety, magazine follower, etc. It is also very well fitted and finished with a notable lack of tool marks even below the stock line that, in my experience, is characteristic of early production Brno VZ24. The only military issue M-98 receiver that I have seen with a better level of overall finish was a pre-war Sauer and Sohn. (VZ24s were used by German mountain troops in Finnish Lapland 1941-44 and by Russian 2nd class troops on the Karelian front in the early continuation war, so the Brno VZ24 variant of the Mauser-98 was likely available as surplus in Finland after the war.)

    The extractor is blued...which I don't like but can live with (and easy enough to polish bright if I can't). So I am pleased with this rifle. Recoil pad is still very flexible. Rifle weighs around 7.5 lb.



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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  13. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for an EXCELLENT write-up and photos on the TAP. I am envious - I'd like to have one, but they are even scarcer in the US that they are in Canada. I don't think any TAP model other than the Lakelander was ever commercially imported to the US, and few of those.

    According to the Finnish-language information I posted earlier, the sights are in fact Sako.
     
  14. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Tried a few scope and ring combinations and settled on a Swarovski Habicht 1.5-4.5x20 in high Sako rings. German 4-A reticle. Thanks to the high comb on the stock it lines up reasonably well. I also found a front sight hood in my parts bin that was a perfect fit. It must have come off a Sako.
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
  15. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Today at the range the TAP66 shot consistent 1 inch, three shot, hundred yard groups using discount brand 180 gr. ammo. Scope set at 4.5X. It was cold and I didn't linger, but I will return with a variety of factory ammo. I won't be working up any handloads for it. After 40 years of reloading, last summer I called it a day and sold all my equipment. No time for it anymore. There are plenty of cheap discount brands of ammo now available if I want to save money and plenty of premium brands if I don't...
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  16. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you've got a winner that shoots as good as it looks. And as a bonus, it's something not everybody else has. Congratulations on a super acquisition.
     
  17. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    re: Lakelander/Varberger/Konigsberg

    Picked up a very affordable "Made in Sweden" rotary mag Varberger 30-06. Its their later basic model with no iron sights, 3 bolt locking lugs (instead of six or nine) and a walnut stock with no grip cap or recoil pad and only basic functional checkering. I have seen this version called the Model 717, or the "Jaguar" (sometimes stamped on the receiver, but not on mine.) It is very well machined with an ultra-smooth low rise bolt, a nice big (and warm) walnut bolt knob and a very crisp (and adjustable) trigger.

    I like this clean "Less is More" reductive Scandinavian design.

    I particularly like the fact that on this rifle (unlike earlier models?) the scope mount holes in the front receiver ring and in the rear receiver bridge are identically spaced and level to one another. The Weaver Mauser front base #46 fits both but I put an older "lucky" 4X Swarovski (German 4-A reticle) on it with Talley rings (two #11A bases). This scope has seen a lot of game. I may actually take the Varberger hunting, and not just as a backup.



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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  18. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Sounds interesting. How about a photo?
     
  19. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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  20. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Very nice. I had never seen or heard of a Varberger rifle before. For some reason, when I first viewed the original post on the Varberger, the two photos didn't appear.
     

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