Time to choose a direction

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by dgeesaman, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    I picked up an AII last week at a local gun flea market. It’s a .243 Win Heavy Barrel with hinged floorplate, two stage target trigger, all original with light handling wear all over. The bore condition was unknown and unfortunately after a thorough cleaning and two range trips to begin load development, I think the bore is on its last legs if it has legs at all.

    I would love to find another factory barrel to replace this one and take it to local groundhog shoots for factory class competition. I tried Accu-flite and no luck. So this plan seems unlikely.


    Next idea is to rebarrel as stealthily as possible. Match the original contour and bluing, thread the muzzle and include a flush-turned thread protector. I have a 6BRA reamer and dummy rounds feed smoothly from the mag well.

    Any thoughts or ideas appreciated. I don’t want to dismantle or further devalue this gun but I want a shooter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Your rifle is not a collectible & it is impossible to devalue a rifle with a ruin barrel any further. Barrels are a consumable part on any rifle & depending on how they were used or abused need to be replaced at times. Many of the barrel makers will match the contour of your barrel & install a new match grade barrel on your rifle to your exact specs with regard to chamber, number of lands & grooves, twist rate, length, type of steel, finish, etc, etc. Why put an old take-off factory barrel of "questionable" condition (remember, someone took it off the rifle for a reason) on your rifle when you can have a new one of superior quality??? You will be time & money ahead to have one of the custom barrel makers install a barrel to your specs, rather than buying a barrel & having a smith do the work. You will not "match" the bluing. Just blue the action & barrel together, or get a stainless barrel. Finding a maker that will match contours would be your first requirement. I know Pac-Nor does & Shilen doesn't, but I don't know about the others. Good luck!
     
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  3. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    A good factory barrel could allow me to compete in some factory classes. If it’s rebarreled then I won’t be eligible. That’s why I’m exploring that option.

    Also we can argue about barrel quality all day. Some are shooters, some aren’t. My experience so far with Sako barrels is very good. For a low round count barrel I’d definitely consider it.

    I already measured the contour on mine and it appears to match a factory Sako contour on Lilja’s website.

    I have a 6PPC single shot that was rebarreled with stainless and it doesn’t look like a Sako any more. I don’t want that for this rifle. So I’ll have to use a Cro-moly barrel. It will probably be a few months for that blank to arrive since it will be a custom order.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    If you lined the barrel would that also disqualify it for "factory class" competition? Last one I had lined was about $250 & took just a few weeks. Barrel liners give you a new bore in a factory barrel, so it would "look" the same.
     
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  5. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    Great question, I will ask about the legality.

    I thought relining isn’t an option for high pressure rifle rounds?

    David
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I don't know what the limitations on relining a barrel are. I do know it is done on the medium pressure rounds found in the lever action rifles, especially in the older antique rifles to restore them to shooting usefulness. Let us know what you find out!!
     
  7. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    You could also have the barrel rebored to .260 Remington. There will be plenty of room for this, especially on a heavy barrel. You might even be able to do the popular 6.5 Creedmoor, but I don't know how the case dimensions would line up with the .243 and the barrel might have to be set back. I don't know about relining for a high-pressure round; a quick Google check did not turn up anyone advertising this service. Relining was offered for rimfires and older, low-pressure cartridges like .32-20 and .45-70. I have two relined rifles, a .38-55 and a .22LR, and both are quite accurate. However, neither develops anything like .243 chamber pressure.
     
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  8. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    My google research indicates relining is not acceptable for most rifle cartridges. Pressures are just too high.

    I did more dummy round feed testing and my 6BRA looks to feed consistently no matter whether they are bumped to the front or rear of the mag well. My 6BRA is set up for 100+ grain bullets, so that probably helps a lot.

    I’m definitely leaning toward ordering a factory-matching contour, then have it blued to match the action, thread the end, and include a flush finished thread protector. Not trying to be sneaky but retain the factory look. Anyone know a place that does good hot bluing? Bonus if they do quality chambering work.

    David
     
  9. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    If you want an exact match for your factory contour you should send your barreled action to the barrel maker & have them install it. Like I said earlier, you will not get an "exact" match trying to blue the barrel to "match" the action. Your way will require the barrel to be fitted, then removed & blued, then put back on. Those extra steps all cost money & the bluing likely won't match anyway. You will be much better off from a time & money standpoint to have the maker do the work. Many will either do the bluing or get it blued for you while they have it. Buying a blank & doing it your way will be more expensive & take twice as long. Plus the maker will stand behind their work. If somebody in your chain screws up your barrel you are back to square one, less the money spent. Just speaking from the experience of rebarreling about 60+ rifles. But, it's your rifle so do it as you please.
     
  10. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    I'm not equipped to do any of this myself. My preferred chambering smith does competition rifles only and will cut a CroMoly barrel but won't handle finishing / bluing. The last post reflects this option, not because I want things to be complicated.

    I did find a local shop that will hot blue. I was informed they'd need to strip and re-blue the other metal in order for things to match. They will chamber also but I need to provide headspace gauges in addition to my reamer. The shop has a good reputation, but I'm not sure how careful they are at chambering. I expect several weeks or more lead time for a properly custom contoured blank.
     
  11. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    You can get ahold of Dennis Olson in Plains, Montana and he can duplicate the Sako barrel with a Lilja barrel that is made right there in Plains as well.

    Lilja has a great reputation for accurate barrels and you can get the work done with only one gunsmith and it will work great. You can let them know what bullet you want to shoot and they will put the corresponding twist in it for you.

    I have had Dennis build 4 custom rifles for me with Lilja barrels. (406)826-3790

    B630C168-901F-4400-A8A2-C1777B0698A1.jpeg
     
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  12. cwmech

    cwmech Active Member

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    All,

    pending their timeline, Pac Nor had a large fire in Oct '19 that consumed their premises and pretty much shut down their operation, last time I looked the projection was at least 6 months.

    cw
     
  13. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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  14. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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  15. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of Lilja rimfire barrels. They are good but not hummers. My centerfire barrels are Krieger and Bartlein. I have a couple of stainless American Barrel Co 6mms on the way this spring.

    In terms of cromoly barrels that can be blued, I have to go down the list and make some calls. I don’t compromise on barrel blanks.
     

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