Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sako Receiver: Tapered Integral Scope Mounts

After thirty or more likely fourty years the entirely unnecessary scope mounts on the Sako were almost melded with the receiver. In the photo I've dispatched the parasitic front mount with penetrating oil, time, gravity and, finally, the small Wheeler mallet and brass driver. In the photo (you can left mouse-click the photo to enlarge it) clearly the backward tapering of the front, integral Weaver/Picattiny type-dovetail mount can be seen. This basic tapered format has not changed with Sako in at least fifty years, as this rifle is at least fifty years old and today's Sako has the same integral mounting on the receiver. It's neat and Finnish-efficient. The rear mount with its windage screw mount was more stubborn. More time and gravity sealed its fate, thankfully. Unless I'm missing something here, to my observation the windage screw attachment of a scope ring, as above, is not strong and stable enough for enduring the shock of a rifle shot over time and handling without moving. The scope ring practically fell off with no pressure from its windage screw anchors.
     Importantly regarding scope mounts, so far, a scope's internal windage adjustment has been more than adequate for proper reticle alignment, provided the scope is mounted properly in the first place, with lapping and decent line-of-sight leveling at the get-go. I welcome and would love input if you've any contrary observational, functional opinion here!
     Taking care thorughout the dis-mount process not to stress things, age finally yielded and gave up the ghost:

You can see the slotted, tapered integral mounts here, one with the receiver. The backward taper is designed to absorb the effect of recoil when a cartridge is fired, ensuring no forward movement of the rings and scope due to shock. Ingenious Finns! Question: why isn't this tapered design used by other makers? Seems logical, practical.
Here's the front:
And the rear, now freed of oppression:

Importantly, the bolt was removed during this entire banging process and, one is not to use an impact device "harder" than the metal of the object one is working on to prevent damage to it. the brass driver I used did not damage the old mounts, which I discarded anyway. But I do believe that if I'd hammered away long enough and hard enough I nontheless would have dented and dinged the steel minorly. I did slightly bend my brass impact driver. Lesson learned! The photos are post-Hoppe's solvent and Birchwood-Casey Blue touch-up (I like using Q-tips to spot-apply it) which was needed to cover tiny abrasion marks from the original mounts.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sako Forester: Finnish Nail-Driving Beauty, Restored!

     The 4X scope's reticle's intersecting lines, the crosshairs, cover an area about the size of a softball at 200 yards and I, as a 17 year old senior in high school would consistently get baseball-sized groups within this softball-sized area firing 100 grain factory Remington loads at this range.  To say she was limited by her myopic optics is an understatement. I killed my last whitetail deer with her some thirty years ago, cleaned her, and put her in my father's gun cabinet where she has sat undistubed ever since.
     Until now. Time to make her live to her full potential.
     This is a picture of her in mid break-down, and after a basic wipe-down with an oiled, cotton cloth. She was worse-off than she looks and I have now dealt with her issues and will address them as I conquered them. Yes, I wrote, "conquered" as I feel I am a conquistador of my own ineptitude, my former inability to comprehend ancient yet logical Finnish machinations now. And I realize how well-built this rifle is, and was. Yes. I am a conqueror. Of self.
Here, look at her. Look at her! For shame!:
I did not take many pictures of her in her disheveled state, but instead went right to work. She deserved her dignity. I did not, nor do I now, agree with post-mortem type graphics of her condition, as she is a lady. A warrior lady.