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Thread: Sako/Browning .243

  1. #1

    Default Sako/Browning .243

    I have a Sako/Browning .243 win. that i inherited from my dad. He got it when he was a teenager back in the 60s. It has an excellent wood stock which i believe was made by Browning, and a medium weight barrel and action made by Sako of Finland. It is by far the finest factory rifle I have ever handled and the most accurate as well. It looks more like a high end custom gun. I was wondering if anyone else had any knowledge on this series of rifles, what their present value is, and where I could find any more of them. I have never seen another one like it.

  2. #2
    Member markopolo50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Yoge, I just checked and there is a Browning Sako in .243 for sale. A little information with the description. Looks like a fine rifle. Good shooting as I like the .243 for deer and varmints.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    Nice rifle you have there. One of the finest sporting guns ever made.

    These rifles were made in Belgium at the FN plant. They are made on a Sako L579 action with french walnut stocks and very smooth barrels of FN manufacture. All Browning guns were made in this plant at one time or another.

    These guns were made with very thin barrels called pencil barrels or the more standard sporter weight. They were made in 22-250, 243 and 308. There were 22-250s made with heavy varmint weight barrels also and I suppose both the 243 and 308 could have been so equiped.

    The Browning longer actions (30-06) was made on the very nicely appointed FN M98 action. These rifles had a sliding tang safety lever that was three position (inspite of many claims to only being two position) and a very good trigger. They also had a very streamlined and flush fitting bolt release. Greatly improving the Mauser release. For a couple of years the short action calibers (22-250,243,308) were made on the M98 style action and those are very rare. The magazine box was shortened.

    The 270, and 30-06 were at first the only standard calibers. The magnums were added as their popularity increased and I have held in my hands 300 H&H, 375H&H, 308 Norma mag, 7mm Rem mag, 300 Win mag, 338 Win mag, and 458 Win mag. Then about 1966, Browning changed from the Mauser claw extractor to a lengthen Sako style extractor (not CRF) in the magnum calibers only. Do to the belt and claws lack of smootheness, I presume. I have also see this rifle made in the 7x64 Breneke in this country and the 6.5x68 in Germany.

    These well made rifles fell prey to the salt wood demon and were discontinued in 1974 thus ending an era of the best made bolt action sporting rifles ever assembled in post WWII time.

    Generally these rifles in good condition go for over a grand. I have bought a few that showed wear for less than that over the past few years, but usually it would be a rough gun that brought less than $800-$900. The '06 was very common and was used a lot and this used to be my preferred rifle to rebarrel to my '06 wildcats. The stock design and dimensions are very good on these rifles and they handle recoil very well, the long actions also seem to be made more closely to my needed LOP of 14". So to me the action and stock are worth a lot of money, I don't care about the condition of the barrel or finish for a conversion gun.

    The gun web sites list these guns for sale about all the time and often they are for more than $1000 even for the common calibers such as 243 and 30-06. I saw an as new 1964 model 300 H&H sell for $2800 cash a few months back. A claw extractor magnum will bring a premium. Some of the sellers don't know anything about them and will list things like claw extractor (long extractor) for even the 30-06, which always was made with the Mauser claw. (duh!) I have owned well over a hundred of them and still have a few. If I could select only one brand of rifle to represent my era, it would be a Browning, FN Mauser rifle.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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