View Full Version : Sako Riihimaki/Marlin 322

April 4, 2009, 09:55 PM
Hello All. I recently picked up a Marlin 322 with the Sako L-46 action. Some refer to it as the Sako Riihimaki, but I believe the ones with Marlin barrel are in fact considered Marlins.

Anyway, I love the action and like the gun, but I have read that the "micro-groove" barrels on the Marlin versions (some of the Sako L-46's were not Marlin barrels) shoot out pretty quick. Of course, I happened upon this gun, had not heard of the "micro-groove" issue, and am pretty sure I overpaid for the gun. I am usually very sure of my purchases ahead of time and avoid impulse buys, but it got the better fo me this time!

So, I am trying to make up my mind and would be curious of any input. Should I 1) just keep it and shoot, regardless of any potential deterioration of the accuracy, 2) shoot until/if the accuracy suffers and have it re-barreled, which would be dumping more money into a gun I like but overpaid for, or 3) just try to move it as quickly as possible at possibly a small loss? Again, I like the action and have heard great things about the L-46 action, just not the Marlin barrels. i would be interested in any thoughts. Thanks.


April 4, 2009, 10:28 PM
Shoot it and see how it is. My hunting partner bought one new in the late 50's and hunted with it ever sense. Although he used the original peep site until his eyes got bad and he had to put a scope on. It still shoots good.

The Sako L46 action was made in Riihimaki and got the name there. It generally refers to a magazine fed .222.

Your action is the same but the rifle was marketed as a Marlin and has the microgroove barrel and Marlin stock.
I don't know if you noticed but that Marlin barrel is quite a bit heaver than the normal sport barrel. They were known to be very accurate.

Do you have the original Sako peep site? They alone are selling for about a hundred dollars. The 222 magazines sell for over a hundred.

I have been looking for spare magazines for quite some time. I have the Sako Riihimaki.

Buzzard Bait
April 4, 2009, 11:10 PM
You could do my tired old eyes a big favor and post a picture

Buzzard Bait

April 5, 2009, 12:44 AM
WIN71, I've got one of those original Marlin/Sako peep sights. Sure would like to move it. May have to put it on GunBroker.

April 5, 2009, 01:04 AM
You own a great rifle. I have arguably taken more varmints with my Marlin Varmint King, which is a lightweight barreled variation only made in 1958, than with all my other varmint guns combined. I shoot the Lyman accuracy load: 19.5 gr 4198 with a 50gr Sierra Blitz. It holds 5/8-7/8" 5-shot groups all day long, and I've made many amazing shots with it over the past 40 years, and when I bought it in the mid-sixties, it had been shot with enough hot loads to have etch marks on the boltface that describe the primer pocket.

I liked my Varmint King so well that I bought a 322 like yours a year or two later, but I couldn't get much accuracy, so I sold it to my buddy. He discovered that it had a 1-12" twist rate. He shot 60 and 63 grain bullets in it, and it shot like a house afire.

If you still are considering selling it, I would like an idea of how much you need for it. Your MicroGroove barrel will outlive you if you load it moderately.

Re: Are they Marlins or Sakos? They are Marlins built on the Sako L-461 action. H&R did the same thing in the 60s and 70s, and so did Winslow Rifles.

April 5, 2009, 10:04 AM
If you had a magazine I'd solve your problem. Just to give you an example I found a peep sight in some out of the way shop about 6 years ago and paid $95.00 for it. It is now on a L461 .243 that I purchased used 20 years ago.

That rifling explanation makes sense to me now. The guy I referred to was 13 years old when he bought his and used it for everything, mostly deer. He bought the heaviest bullet he could and over the years I've loaded hundreds for him using 55 gr. Sierra's and 19.0 gr. of 4198.

April 6, 2009, 06:30 PM
Thanks for the posts and info. The more I handle it, the more I like it. I had planned on shooting this past Sunday after I got her but it was way too cold and windy. Anyway, I'll snap some pics and post them shortly.

September 10, 2009, 11:45 PM
I goofed: The Varmint King and 322 used the L-46/L-469 clip-fed action. The later action with magazine and hinged floorplate is the L-461. I actually bought a single-shot L-461 action in 1970 that has a plate pinned into the follower cutout.

April 6, 2012, 05:15 PM
I have a Sako L46 (aka Riihimaki) chambered in 22 Hornet. I also have a JC Higgins Model 52 in 222 Rem, as well as a "custom" 222 Rem built on an L46 action. It seems that Sako sold a lot of their L46 actions to gunsmiths, as well as to Marlin and Sears Roebuck & Co (Sears sold them under their name as well as the JC Higgins name).

Does anyone know if Lyman, Redfield, Williams, or any other after market peep sight mfg ever made an adjustable sight that mounted to the rear sight/scope ring boss?