Tampereen Asepaja Mod. TAP-66 in 30-06

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

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    It seems as if the only wood-shrouded bolt handles I've seen are on Scandinavian guns. I suppose the idea is that they are easier to work with heavy gloves/mittens? I know that there was an "Arctic Model" 98 military Mauser with an enlarged trigger guard designed to clear a gloved finger.

     

  2. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Tikka made some model 55/65 rifles with enlarged bolt handles for hunting with gloves. These were large round knobs made of black plastic. My Steyr sniper rifle also has an enlarged bolt handle, a plastic knob in a rounded cone shape. It's nowhere near as large as the Tikka. I used to have a Tikka M65 in .30-06 with the enlarged bolt handle. When I moved from Virginia to Arizona a friend begged me to sell it to him and I foolishly agreed. A day does not go by that I don't wish I had it back.

    I've only ever seen one or two rifles with wooden bolt knobs, and while I don't recall exactly what they were, I think they probably were from Sweden or maybe another Nordic country.
     
  3. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Germany too. I have owned several old German made Mauser-98 based sporters with wood bolt knobs. Usually but not always larger than the steel ones. Just look through some old Frankonia Jagd catalogs. And you still see them on some Blaser models. I think the original idea was that they are warmer than steel and yes, the big ones are easier to grasp in cold conditions while wearing thick gloves or mitts. The big plastic knobs are similar but not as warm. Those plastic knobs can get huge.
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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    That would be a very early version. My Swiss 1911 carbine has red plastic handles. Those are notorious for cracking and are sometimes replaced with wood. My two 1931 carbines have metal pull knobs. I'll have to check my 96/11 long rifle; I don't recall what the pull knobs on that one were made of. The Swiss rifles and carbines are super accurate, right up there with the Finnish m/39 and m/28-30 and the Swedish Mausers.
     
  5. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I have owned way too many Swedish Mausers to ever remember them all and also several Finnish M39s, M28s, etc. but I have never owned a Swiss military rifle.They seemed very well made but I just couldn't get over the fact that they are so incredibly ugly. I may be wrong about the earliest Swiss rifles having wood bolt handles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  6. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Pretty is as pretty does. And I don't find the Swiss rifles to be notably ugly, although clearly they lack the slim, elegant profile of a Swedish Mauser. I have four of the Swiss rifles (G96/11, K11, and two K31's, one with a walnut stock and the other with beech). They all shoot extremely well, and they are easy to shoot accurately because of their excellent balance and sights. The sights are the equal of the Finnish m/39, and much easier to see than the skinny blade in a tiny notch of most military Mausers.

    K31_1942_1.JPG

    K31 1942 Group 001.jpg
     
  7. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I am sure that most any Swiss rifle shoots well. At least I've never heard of one that didn't. The same is true of Scandinavian rifles. I once had a Finnish M-N M28 that was so accurate it was uncanny. The first time I shot it (open sights at 50 yards) I thought I was missing because I could see only one hole in the target. But "pretty is as pretty does."? I doubt it. Unfortunately, discussions about "form follows function" vs. "function follows form" are long and tedious. These days I avoid all original military rifles. I do like them when they have been chopped up a bit and can be rescued to make sporters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  8. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I'd advise staying away from Gunboards, the forum for collectors of military Mosin-Nagants and other original military rifles. Gunboards is the descendent of Tuco's, which began as a board for collectors of Finnish military rifles. I've been a member since they started in the 90's (I was also a member of the previous Sako collectors' forum in the 90's). They have guys over there who think that cleaning an original stock is sacrilege. Personally, I'll occasionally fix up a Bubba job into a shooter, but I prefer something that was built for its purpose in the first place. I'm equally fond of original sporting rifles and original military. A few of my favorites:
    Sniper 1.JPG
    Right Side.JPG
    Carbine + Zeiss.JPG C96-2.JPG
     
  9. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I started buying Swedes around 1983. At that time the Oberndorf and Carl Gustaf 96s cost $45 (Canadian) and minty Husqvarna 38s were $50 (Can). And no mail order lottery...you could hand pick them at Lever Arms in Vancouver. B.C. Alan Lever would also give you a further discount if you bought more than three or four. He had rows of them in his showroom and tons of backup in the warehouse. Everybody was chopping Swedes down to make sporters and not just because they were cheap, but because we liked them. The 96s had great European walnut, all were beautifully machined, and most had excellent bores, with a legendary reputation for accuracy. I knew serious Mauser collectors in Vancouver whose only all-purpose B.C. hunting rifle was a sporterized Swede in 6.5x55. I have no idea how many Swedes I have owned, bought, sold, traded, but its dozens and dozens. But one day they were gone from Lever's showroom...I think Kimber in Oregon bought them all up.

    These days I scratch my Swedish Mauser itch with Stiga and Falun sporters from Sweden. They are plentiful, affordable (around $300. Canadian) and of excellent quality with great walnut and rich rust blueing. All that I have fired are accurate. The Husqvarna collectors tend to look down their noses at them, but that doesn't bother me one bit. I have a half dozen of them, most with excellent Norma/Hellqvist receiver peep sights. You can buy them in 30-06, 6.5x55, 8x57, 9.3x57 and 9.3x62...plus a few other more obscure calibers.

    Its a fun diversion from my more serious (i.e. expensive!) habit of collecting of older European Stutzen rifles (including Sako!)

    The photos below are not of my best Stiga but its a favorite, a 30-06.


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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  10. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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  11. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    That Stiga is a very nice conversion indeed. I especially like the Norma peep sight and the barrel band sling swivel. I had never heard of Stiga and Falun before (no relation to Falun Gong, I assume). I also didn't know that Norma made sights. It appears that Canada has closer connections to European guns, while the US gets export models specifically targeted at the US market. I've seen some Sako, Tikka, and other European models in Canada that just have me drooling. I wouldn't trade gun laws, though!

    That sporter reminds me of a 7x57 Chilean small-ring Mauser custom that was in an estate in Vermont that I helped to liquidate. It was an absolutely stunning piece of work, done by a local gunsmith with a big reputation around southern Vermont, but unknown outside the area. The widow was planning to give it to a hunter friend of her late husband, but I don't know if she got around to it or if it's still in her safe in Vermont.

    In fairness, there were far too many surplus bolt guns for the collector market, and it was inevitable that a lot of them would be made into hunting rifles. That Stiga is an example of doing something worthwhile with a surplus Mauser. Unfortunately, most of the postwar sporters I've seen look like they were done by Bubba - and he was drunk at the time. What is really unfortunate is that the relatively scarce Swedish model 94 carbines were the most attractive to custom builders because of their handy size and already-installed low bolt handles. Those guns are now worth a lot in original condition and virtually nothing as sporters, unless they were done by a real artist. A friend of mine bought one for 200 bucks last year. Fortunately, about 20 years ago I managed to get my hands on an all-matching model 94/14 in very good condition, complete with the original sling. I lucked out - a guy I knew slightly who traded in black powder guns and didn't have an FFL, took it in trade and I happened to wander by his table a few minutes after he put it out. He wanted to get his money out of it and I was more than happy to oblige. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than anything I've seen at a gun show in the past ten years or so.
     
  12. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Its funny, I can remember years ago making fun of the "old guys" at the gun shows for the way they would reminisce about low priced military surplus rifles, etc...and now I'm one of them.

    I was thinking again about a favorite store, Lever Arms in Vancouver (when Alan Lever still owned it.) In the 80's he had real nice Mosin-Nagants for $25. (Canadian.) Mr. Lever didn't make much of a distinction between different models. I bought one Finnish M-28 with a perfect bore that was so accurate it was uncanny. The first time I shot it was at 50 yards and I thought I was missing the target because I could only see one hole. It's the only milsurp that I actually regret selling. More typical was one mid-winter gun auction in eastern Alberta, held at a Buffalo (Bison) auction facility. Which is like a cattle auction but with huge steel cages. They were auctioning off Mosin Nagants in bundles. Given the current inflated M-N market, I should have bought them all. I did know guys who owned piles of them, and although I understood the fascination, especially with the Finnish versions (I was on Gunboards back when it was a Mosin-Nagant forum) I jumped off the milsurp boat some time ago.

    Yes, there are a lot of unique European rifles in Canada, and yes, the Canadian gun laws are a pain...with more of both on the way. The only good thing about Canadian gun laws is the way that guns are still sold/sent directly person to person...no need to route them through FFL dealers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  13. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Stiga: [​IMG]

    I also note that the new Heym Sr21 rifle for sale in Canada has a wood bolt knob.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  14. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that the MOSSBERG Model RM-7 Sport Classic (1978-1981) rotary mag rifle was a rebadged Lakelander/Varberger/Kongsberg. Apparently they are rare. I have never actually seen one and didn't even know they existed until I came across a picture of one while thumbing through an old Gun Digest. I found this ad for one online. It sure looks like a Varberger...with a different safety?....around the same time Smith and Wesson did the same thing rebadging Husqvarna rifles and Ithaca did the same with Tikka M65/M55 rifles. I wonder if Mossberg bought the actions and stocked or barreled the rifles. Maybe they just put their name on already complete rifles from Scandinavia. I would like to know to what degree Mossberg was more or less involved in the (likely late Norwegian Kongsberg?) design. It looked like an expensive rifle relative to most Mossbergs and maybe this is why it failed to sell in the States.

    I note that Numrich has parts for the Mossberg RM-7 and good pictures of the (somewhat crude looking...late Norwegian production?) bolt with a Win. Mod 70 type 3-position safety, etc.
    (https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-manufacturer/mossberg/rifles-mossberg/rm7?page=4)
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    Photo below is one model of Varberger (Sweden) 30-06.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020 at 4:06 PM

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