What Factory 243 Ammo are you shooting in your L579?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by rchouser, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    What Factory 243 Ammo are you shooting in your L579 and how well does it shoot? I am trying to evaluate the status of my L579 heavy barrel FI and figure I can compare it to what you veterans are doing and see if my rifle will measure up.

    If you have a favorite 243 commercial ammo, please let me know what it is and how well it shoots in your gun. If everybody is getting 3 1/2" groups at 100 they I would be foolish to chase 1 1/2" groups. If 1 inch is what some or most guns shoot, I would be foolish to settle for 7" groups.


    I know each gun will shoot differently, but if Brand x at y grains shoots well in most of these pre 72 sako 243's then I feel safe using it to bench mark my rifle.

    Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

    rch
     

  2. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    RC, three and a half inch groups at 100 yards will likely not appease anyone in this room. That kind of group is not what Sakos are all about, and I would bet most people in this room expect MOA groups. Barring physical damage to the rifle, you will be hard pressed to find any factory ammo that will shoot poorly, but as you've stated, every rifle is a law unto itself. Ammo that will drive tacks in one rifle may not in an identical rifle.
     
  3. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    16b410, thank you for your response.

    I am hoping to get a factory ammo brand and grain weight. My plan is to go buy that ammo and then see how my rifle shoots with it.

    Could someone who shoots their rifle frequently please provide me with an ammo brand, the grain weight and the general performance you see with that ammo in your 243?

    Thanks in advance.
    rch
     
  4. deerhunter

    deerhunter Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 Sako 243's, an L579 and AII. Both shoot the Federal 95gr Fusion ammo very accurately. Performs well on deer and hogs too.
     
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  5. leesako

    leesako Member

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    RC i have a few 243s in L579s. Factory ammo I usually use is federal power shock or fusion, 95-100 grain...It usually shoots, if I do my part, atleast MOA, or better. Of course if you just put a scope on it may take a couple groups to get the mounts to settle and lock in. After I mount scope and rings i shoot at least 6-10 times before i get to concerned with groups. If your HB is not shooting MOA or better, make sure your rings and mounts are still nice and tight. Once again make sure your action screws are reasonably tight as well.

    What type of mounts and rings are you using?...If you are using sako rings it should settle in pretty quickly. Redfield and leupold rings seem to settle in a little slower. I hope you get it to settle in and shoot just as good as any other sako. I Hope this helps you out!

    Lee
     
  6. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    Lee, I am using the original Sako rings and a good quality 3-15 x 42 scope. I have fired about 40 rounds of my reloads so far and I hope I picked a bad starting combination.

    The rifle was purchased at a local gun show a couple of weeks so I have no history on it.

    I will pick up a box of the Federal Power Shok and a box of Fusion. I will use these to establish a base capability on this rifle. Then it is back to my reloading.

    Thanks for your responses.

    v/r
    rch
     
  7. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Using a box of ammo that works well in another rifle won't establish a "base capability" (not sure what that means) for your rifle any more than a random choice of ammo off the shelf. If there is nothing wrong with your rifle, like bedding, crown damage, severe throat erosion, extreme fouling, etc., you should be able to find a load that shoots under MOA using standard reloading practices with a variety of powders & bullets suited to that caliber without too much effort. All my factory barreled Sakos shoot sub MOA groups with almost any well prepared handload I throw in them. I guess that is their "base capability". Save yourself some time & money & just load some rounds & go shoot it. No amount of forum answers or opinions will tell you anything close to what SHOOTING your rifle will. Let us know how it does!!
     
  8. emmerth

    emmerth Well-Known Member

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    MOA or better should be expected with your rifle even with factory ammo. When I get new rifle, I clean it, mount a quality scope on it properly, bore sight it and then take it to the range. When I go to the range, I will bring several different factory loads with me. I usually start with the least expensive ammo that I have for that caliber. I use this to get the rifle shooting consistently on the paper. I usually let the rifle cool down after about 3 rounds or so and also give it a quick cleaning of the bore. In many cases, I have found that the cheapest ammo I have shoots MOA. However, there are many times that I have to play with different loads to find the right factory combination for the gun. I have 1 L579 in 308 that took me 5 different loads before I found the right one. When I did, I bought 10 boxes all with the same lot number. This way, I will not have to buy ammo for this gun for a long time. Actually, probably never since I hardly shoot them once I have them sighted in. ;)

    I know buying a few different boxes of ammo can get expensive, but if you want to get the best out of your gun, it is what you might have to do. But to sum it up, do not settle for anything less than MOA!
     
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  9. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    Paulsonconstruction, I used Varget with the Hornady VMAX 75 and loaded them to 3050 fps over my chronograph. They were all over the place at 100. I used a scope that turned out to be bad. I replaced the old scope with a Conquest HD5 3-15 x 42mm. The scope is mounted in the original Sako rings.

    Before I waste anymore components, I want to confirm that the rifle can shoot to at least a NORMAL standard to rule out throat erosion, crown damage, burned barrel etc.

    If I take a variety of factory loads that have shot well in peer rifles (1969 579 FI stamped heavy barrel 243) and shoot them, I would expect my rifle to shoot this ammo to a point close to the peers results if the rifle is undamaged. This is what I mean by a benchmark for the gun. I want to benchmark it to the capabilities of an undamaged peer gun shooting peer ammo.

    Emworth, I just came home with 1 box of Federal Powershok 80 gr, 1 box of Federal 95 gr Fusion, and 1 box of Winchester Varmint-X 58 gr.

    My next step is to go back to the range. I will shoot these on an indoor 100 yard range off a dedicated shooting table with a front rest and a rear bag. There are no windage or weather alibis in this environment. I will reset my action screws, confirm my scope mounting screws and then we will see where it is at.

    Thanks to all for your responses.
    rch
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
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  10. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    4" to 6" shotgun spread at 100 with all three different ammos. I would say I have a problem.

    I had already cleaned the bore several times with Wipe-Out initially, then I went back with kg-12 Copper Remover, kg-1 Powder Solvent, then Bore Shine. I went in for the third cleaning with Sweets followed by more Bore Shine then patched it with Rem-Oil and finally patched it dry.

    I am getting no blue on the Sweets now so I think I am clean.

    Now I have a dilemma. Do I just re-barrel and give up any pretense that I have an intact Sako? That is probably the smart money and when I order the new barrel, the long jump free bore in a 10 twist will be a memory. Do I shop for an original barrel? How about just going in and having the crown recut?

    I guess the next step is to get the barrel scoped by a competent gun smith. I bought a gun with a problem, now I need to cure it.

    This is a complete Sako from around 1969 with an FI stamp in 243. Is there any real collectors value in it or can I make a shooter out of it. I own no guns that I don't shoot to date and this one is a classic.

    Opinions would be welcome at this point.

    Thanks rch
     
  11. misako50

    misako50 Sako-addicted

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    I had to have a Sako recrowned once and it did wonders for it. I would go to a competent smith and ask about the existing crown first. I don't have a way to be helpful other than that suggestion. An original barrel may or may not be hard to find but a rebarrel will cost quite a bit more than a re crown. Sorry if I am preaching to the choir. As for collectors value I will not go there after what you told me about the rifle. You may also have a DEFECTIVE scope. Happens all the time and they can be quality scopes also. Shoot the 80s with a different scope and see what happens. -Misako
     
  12. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I wouldn't waste anymore time or money on a 46 year old barrel that "who knows what it's been thru". Unless there is an obvious crown or bedding problem your barrel is "shot", no pun intended. You are obviously a knowledgeable shooter who reloads & demands fine accuracy from your rifles, so why not get a quality barrel in the caliber & chamber specs of your choice & put in on one of the best actions ever built, bed it in the fine factory stock & have a rifle that shoots as you want. Your rifle is not a "collector" anyway & barrels are disposable items to start with. Keep in mind you will never recover the cost of your purchase plus the rebarrel, but that's just part of the game. Most of the fun is in "the build" anyway!!!! Good luck! BTW, most of my Sakos are rebarreled & I prefer them to the factory originals. As misako said, if your scope or mounts are
    defective ignore everything I just said.
     
  13. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    RC - From reading your previous posts, I can tell you like that rifle as much as I like those rifles. They are sweet machines, and shoot beautifully when nothing ails them. All good responses here and the choice to re-barrel or save the original (if possible) is up to you. I bought a Brand-X varmint rifle in .220 Swift that was throated and had physical damage to the crown. My smith cut a new chamber and re-crowned the muzzle and now it shoots beautifully. It is a quarter inch shorter overall, and though you can't see that with your eye, you can clearly see it has the original tube which is what I wanted. Good luck to you sorting it out.
     
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  14. bloorooster

    bloorooster Sako-addicted

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    Rc...before you give up and re-barrel your rifle, make a very close inspection of the scope and more importantly the Sako factory rings. Notice the rear ring has a keeper stud that fits into the semi round notch milled in the back of the actions rear dovetail. Look at that stud and check to see if it has been filed off or messed with. Some will try to remove this stud in order to gain forward placement of the ring for whatever scope choice they need, and sometimes, if the stud is not removed entirely, it will leave a " ramp" or "wedge" that will not let the rings settle completely...I have had a hell of a time with a 25-06 that would not print until I changed that rear ring. You could look at it and tell that it was pushing the remaining stud material up and over the notch during recoil, even to the point of spreading the claws and distorting the ring base, causing a hairline gap between the ring base and receiver. Once I changed it to a ring that was unmolested the gun started acting like a SAKO should! Just a thought with a hope that it will help...good luck.~Bloo

    BTW...since I changed the rear ring..best group to date is .674" with most other groups around the minute mark or less.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  15. emmerth

    emmerth Well-Known Member

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    Rich,

    That is unfortunate to hear. It does sound like you have an issue with the barrel since you already cleaned it properly and checked the scope. I agree with Misako in taking it to a good smith and see what they think. That is what I would do. It may be as simple as the crown causing this. However, they should be able to also tell you if the barrel is shot out. If it is, then I would personally have it rechambered to something fun like a 7mm-08.

    Or sell it as is. The stock (if in good condition) should fetch $200 and the action $500 if sold separately. I bet you could even get $50 for the barrel in its current condition. Then take the $700 add another $300 and buy a like new L579 .243 with no issues.

    Take some pictures of the gun and post them up. Who knows, you may get some offers from some of our members???
     
  16. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    Thanks to all who replied. The factory ammo yesterday was the third foray to print a viable grouping with this rifle. The first attempt, I used a box store scope from my "assorted" box. I decided that the scope was the issue.

    I replaced the scope with a Conquest HD5 3-15 x 42mm. The scope is mounted in the original Sako rings. The rear ring recoil lug is pristine as are the bases. The only thing wrong with the rings are the dinged screw heads on the scope rings themselves. I believe that I have eliminated any ring, mount, or scope issue from the equation.

    A complete action bedding was done on this stock by some previous owner. The barrel is free-floated back to 1" in front of the action with some nice relief work done in the barrel channel. The wood to metal fit is almost perfect over the whole action and barrel. Between the bottom metal and the stock there are metal flats installed. Again these flats are perfectly inletted and the bottom metal to wood fit is gives no clue that additional metal has been fitted. I have not taken the time to probe the action mount for pillars but they could be there. I torqued the front action screw to 25 in lbs and the rear to 5 in lbs as a starting point.

    I do not believe I have any bedding issues.

    I will start calling gunsmiths this morning. I do see a very questionable crown but am leaning toward a new barrel.

    Thanks to all. rch
     
  17. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    Emerth, I was writing my long response when yours came in. I appreciate the obvious good fiscal sense in your suggestion that I could part it out and buy another. It is a viable plan. I may

    Pros: I have a very nice stock with a great bedding job fitted to this action. The trigger has been turned down to a very clean and honest 2 lbs. The action feeds like butter.

    Cons: Bad Barrel.

    I believe I am going to stay with the girl I brought to the dance. I will be calling smiths this morning.

    Thanks to all.
    rch
     
  18. misako50

    misako50 Sako-addicted

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    We kind of left off "the elephant in the room". Large amounts of coffee don't help when you are out at the range.:rolleyes:-Misako
     
  19. northernlights

    northernlights Well-Known Member

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    I'm late to this thread. I have a .243 Sako HB that will almost one hole 3 shots at 50 yards and a Tikka T3 Lite (made by Sako) that puts 3 shots under a dime at 50 yards, both rifles shooting Winchester 100 gr. Power Points. To my surprise and big disappointment the Tikka doesn't like Fusion 95 gr ammo...at all!!! The Tikka is new to me and all shots were this Feb/March in single digit to mid teen temps. I'll try the Fusion 95 gr. ammo again this summer. Maybe it likes bikini weather! Hope so because I still have five boxes of Fusion .243 ammo!
     
  20. rchouser

    rchouser Member

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    My rifle is at the gunsmith now. We discussed a set back and re-crown but settled on a rebarrel. I guess it won't be a complete Sako. Final selection of the barrel will be this week after he checks on availability and types. Rough specs are 26" Heavy Varmint contour Stainless Steel Match barrel cut with a match chamber (not full tight neck). Twist will be weighted for 90 - 105 gr bullet. I wish I had the nerve just to call for an 8 twist.

    Since this rifle will now become just a shooter, I feel kind of bad. Not bad enough to choose the setback instead of a new barrel, but funny about it.

    I will report the final outcome just to close the loop when done. Thanks to all for you help

    rch
     

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