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Old December 23, 2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Browning .243 Safari Grade Made In Finland; Info Needed.

I just picked up a Browning .243 bolt action and would like to know some history; date of manufacture etc... The rifle has no model number on it; only says Browning and made in Finland. The serial number is 1568Z4. The rifle is in like new condition well at least 98% overall. I picked it up for $600 and it has a Leupold Vari X III 3.5 -10 X50 scope on it! I don't believe it is a salt wood gun as I have removed the butt plate screws and they had zero rust. I paid $600 for it largely because of the scope that was on it with the intention of giving it to my 11 year old son for Christmas as his first deer rifle. After a little research I have found these rifles without a scope or with a cheap scope selling for between $1,000 to $1,500 on Gun Broker and Guns America; this rifle is mint so it would go for somewhere closer to the $1,500 mark I would guess. I am very torn as far as should I give this rifle to my son for Christmas or just hold on to it since it seems to be very collectable. At the price I paid especially with the scope on it I thought it would be great for my son, but now I just don't know. I would really like to have some history though and the manufacture date. Thanks in advance for any help anybody can give me.
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Old December 23, 2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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Some of the Browning bolt actions of that period were made by Sako in Finland. Others were made by FN in Belgium on Mauser actions.
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Old December 23, 2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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Yea, you got a Sako barreled action Safari model and they are great guns and just a little heavy because of the stock design. They also get corrosion on the medal from salt in the wood on some of them. I owned two one was a Sako action 30-06 and the other a FN action 7mm Rem mag. I sold the 30-06 and gave the 7mm Mag to a cousin of mine. The 7mm Mag had one of the prettiest claro walnut stocks on that I have ever seen.

They are great guns so enjoy it.
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Old December 23, 2009, 01:20 PM   #4
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In 1964, Browning started using the Sako intermediate action for 243 and 308 rather than the FN M98 action. Yours is a 1964 production rifle.

Salt wood can be an issue with 1968-1970 Browning High Power Rifles (particularly Safari grade) using the FN action. They are relatively easy to spot due to the distinctive grain of Claro walnut compared to European walnut.
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Old December 23, 2009, 04:53 PM   #5
James R. Burke
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If he is the type of kid you think will get into hunting, and take good care off it I would give it to him. That is just me, and like I said if he is into hunting, and does keep it up it would be a great gift. If not maybe in a few years it would pan out. Sure would be nice to start with.
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browning , browning bolt action , browning fn , browning safari grade

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