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Thread: Finnbear L61 R 30-06

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    Default Finnbear L61 R 30-06

    Hi!
    I could use some help in orienting among serial numbers and models.

    I'm about to buy a SAKO Finnbear L61 R 30-06 from my uncle, and it has the serial number 31267, which doesn't add up with the model printed on it.

    According to http://www.sako.fi/pdf/datatables/Sa...sNumbering.pdf it should be a P54.

    Also, what would be an appropriate price range?
    The rifle is in good condition, hasn't been fired for almost 15 years.

    Thanks in advance

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    I know a little about SAKO rifles, having owned a few and studied several more......The L61 R was their first 30-06 length action and began about 1962. (The L61 refers to the year 1961 for the design.) Before that time they made very nice rifles on FN made Mauser actions for that length cartridge. The 31,267 serial number puts the manufacture of the L61 R rifle at about 1965 time frame. I cannot pin down exactly as I just have a general run of numbers for the L61R from 1962 until 1973, which was serial number 90,xxx.

    The name Finnbear refers to the 30-06 length rifles. The mid length action (L57, L579R) for 243, 308, etc is called a Forrester and the short action (L46, L461, L49) for the 222 Rem, 223 Rem., etc. was called the Vixon.

    This rifle was made in the "pre-Garcia" date range. Garcia was the importer for a while and for some odd reason, no legitimate reason, the "pre-Garcia" dates are more desirable guns in the SAKO market place. They are not any better than those made ten or fifteen years later and in fact have a couple of issues from a functional standpoint, but some collectors prefer (pay more money for) the pre Garcia guns. If you can find an importers stamp it will say; Firearms International, Wash. DC.

    In nice looking condition, and of course sound mechanically it is worth top dollar of about $800. You will see some for sale for more than that but selling and buying are two different things. Some do sell for considerably more, however.

    They are still very good working rifles and very accurate in the hands of a good rifleman. They are a little heavy by today's standards but very well made guns of blued steel and walnut. The were considered by many to be among the very best of their type at one time.

    I don't understand your statement about the S/N doesn't add up with the model??? Care to explain?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default Importer Markings?

    Are both of the importer's names on the bottom of the barrel just ahead of the forearm? I remember the Garcia markings were there but I don't remember about FIs.
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    Murphy, thank you so much for this rundown on the models.

    What confused me was that the range of serials didn't match up with the model name, when looking in SAKO's data table. I guessed I read it wrong.

    Interesting about the "Pre Garcia" period. This rifle is however purchased in Sweden and from what I know, it only has had two owners, the store that bought it from the factory, and my uncle. But I will make sure to inspect it more thoroughly when I get back up back to northern Sweden.

    Thanks so much for the price information as well. I hunted moose with it last fall and it sure is a straight shooter.

    All the best
    Oskar

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    I know this is dated for chiming in, but this is for Murphy who knows his Sakos.

    I think the appeal of the pre Garcia is not having the Garcia name stamped on a nice gun. Sort of detracts.

    Also as they are fewer produced than the latter (two?) importers, that has appeal

    For myself, its nostalgia. My dad bought my mom a very early Finnbear in 270 caliber. It had to be an early 1962 mfg date.

    We did not have a lot of money so for my dad to buy her that kind of a gun was both a statement of how he felt about her as well as the repudiation Sako had.

    We still have that gun in the family. I found a 30-06 in the 20,000 serial range and bought it. I wonít hunt with it, but we are target shooting 1903s so it fits in.

    Itís a beautifully done gun. This one is dinged up a bit and worn some but the action is like new so expect its like most, carried a fair amount and not shot much.

    There truly is something about the looks of the gun that grab you (or me for sure)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RC20 View Post
    I know this is dated for chiming in, but this is for Murphy who knows his Sakos.

    I think the appeal of the pre Garcia is not having the Garcia name stamped on a nice gun. Sort of detracts.

    Also as they are fewer produced than the latter (two?) importers, that has appeal

    For myself, its nostalgia. My dad bought my mom a very early Finnbear in 270 caliber. It had to be an early 1962 mfg date.

    We did not have a lot of money so for my dad to buy her that kind of a gun was both a statement of how he felt about her as well as the repudiation Sako had.

    We still have that gun in the family. I found a 30-06 in the 20,000 serial range and bought it. I wonít hunt with it, but we are target shooting 1903s so it fits in.

    Itís a beautifully done gun. This one is dinged up a bit and worn some but the action is like new so expect its like most, carried a fair amount and not shot much.

    There truly is something about the looks of the gun that grab you (or me for sure)
    I bought my first SAKO in 1970, a used L61 R in 30-06. It is a 5 digit number and still in my possession. I have only a few SAKO rifles left now, two in '06. A later eighties AV actioned gun added about 25 years ago. I love them and have hunted all over the earth with them and never had any failure or hick-up and nothing but exemplary performance. They are among the very best bolt action rifles ever made.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Smile reply

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I bought my first SAKO in 1970, a used L61 R in 30-06. It is a 5 digit number and still in my possession. I have only a few SAKO rifles left now, two in '06. A later eighties AV actioned gun added about 25 years ago. I love them and have hunted all over the earth with them and never had any failure or hick-up and nothing but exemplary performance. They are among the very best bolt action rifles ever made.
    Murph,

    I had followed you other posts and your writing a book.

    I don't know if you realize how great it is to have a seriously knowledgeable person to discuss this stuff with.
    Thank you.

    Any chance of getting what you have published it or having a place we could download it?
    My take is that anything information wise is better than nothing even if there are some errors (we can all hash those out over time) and would hate to loose your knowledge. I know its somewhat philosophical, I know I am going to pass on some day and that does not bother me terribly, but I hate to see all I learned not get passed on. In my case there is no way to write a focused book.

    I am a mechanic/technician/engineer (non degreed) and I know the precision part, but even if not absolutely accurate it wold be a huge benefit.

    Also maybe start a Sako section on the forum? Seems to be a fair amount of interest here. I suspect it would attract a lot of interest across the country with your background.

    While I am partial and interested in the pre garcia, I would love to read about the post garcia as well and get that knowledge into the world.

    Some things I would have missed without research was making sure the bolt had the serial number on it (it did). It is part of the value (and negotiation) and for sure if not a head space check (we have checked something like 10 1903 bolts and all came out ok, but in the case of a 1903 Sporter, its had the wrong bolt for the era and a concern due to the age and possible chamber wear)

    And on the current L61R 06, it has been gone through top to bottom. Found the forward sling nut inside had a bit of rust, some wear and dings on the bottom of the barrell. Bolt was so clean inside it looks like never fired. Bore clenaed up to just plain lovely. Thing is so clean if I did not think unlikely from the dings I would swear it never was fired (factory tests them ?) No import marks at all under there as was suggested there might be.

    Bolt care would be another one as it took a bit to figure out how to get it back together (apart was easy but that sliding color or ? was tricky).

    At $650 total I think I did ok. Not a showpiece but at least in line and I don't know a NIB would be any better mechanically. Between the bolt lockup and the trigger I don't know which is sweeter.

    Still looking for trigger adjustment procedure. Not sure I want to mess with it but I do like a bit of slack as I start to squeeze.

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    Default Sako Collectors Club

    This may not be new information to seasoned Sako lovers and collectors, however, the data base/forum associated with the Sako Collectors Club has been an invaluable site to me from time to time as I too have had questions about the Sako's in my collection. Check it out if you're interested as there are plenty of guys on this forum who can complement Murphy's knowledge of these rifles. http://www.sakocollectors.com/forum/...hp?113-Welcome!!!!!!!!

    Eric

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    I had found it, but good to state it in case its been missed.

    I joined up. I think its a feather so to speak to have someone like Murph in Alaska.

    Hate to loose information and more sources the better.

    I was in touch with the Star pistol guy and he had never seen one that had the ID numbers under the grip. We exchanged a lot of emails and I finally got him a picture he could publish. Not question he knows his Stars and he simply had not seen one like that.

    I have to check the family 270 but I do not think it has any FI designation on it. the 30-06 does not for sure.

    Does anyone have the price for the Sako (Finnbear particularly) back in 1962? Trying to get some idea what my Dad paid for the Finnbear 270 and get that into the family history on that gun.

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    And I feel awfully stupid as I went back, and saw that Murphy is in the Ozarks.

    My apologies to Murphy, nothing to say but I am a fool.

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