Dad’s custom Sako 22-250

My dad’s 22-250 he built in 1966 Sako short action mated to a Pre 64 Winchester stainless target barrel originally chambered in 220 Swift.  A guy ordered it, changed his mind and my dad bought it off of him for 15 bucks! Cut it down to 22″ and rechambered in 22-250.  The stock was made by him from a blank and as he put it “I just kept widdling away until it felt right”  Action is glass bedded and he cut a channel in the forearm and glass bedded an aluminum rod to keep it from warping.  Finish is handrubbed Tung Oil that has has numerous refinishes by him over the years.

All these years later and it still shoots .5″ 200 yard groups.

His handloads have been 63g Sierra sofpoints over a max load.

A few years ago, after he had sold off all of his reloading gear he asked me to help him work up some loads for it.  I couldn’t locate the 63 Sierras and got some 65s, worked up some loads of Varget and they were all over the place.  We were quite perplexed and upon examing the target realised they were keyholing..   I ordered some 63s and did some research, turns out the barrel had a 1-14 twist, he always thought it had a 1-12, he told me had he known it was a 1-12 he would have never tried the 63s as he didn’t think they would stabalize it.  Sometimes you just get lucky, and I easily worked up a load that was cutting one ragged hole.

The year this gun was brought to camp it took 18 deer as everyone wanted to shoot it.  It has since taken an untold # of deer, hogs, coyotes, turkey headshots, you name it.

In our family, this gun is legend.  In his hands, almost 40 years later,  nothing is safe.
People get caught up on caliber selection, some will say a 22-250 is “marginal for deer”.

His take was you take your time, put the bullet where it needs to go and deer just aren’t that hard to kill.  He taught us to pass on the shot if it wasn’t right, to “squeeze” the trigger and to “watch it drop in the scope”

Good lessons learned at an early age have paid off and we are passing on the traditions.

Here’s to you dad!  Looking forward to many more years in the field with you.

My dad and his dad, around 1935

Dad in 1969 with a typical South Texas buck

Dad in 2007 on a hog hunt in North East Texas

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9 responses to “Dad’s custom Sako 22-250”

  1. Mike Coker Avatar

    This is amazing. At our Dad’s funeral, Ronnie (a long-time family friend) referred to this gun as the “Leapin’ Leaner!” Neither my brother nor I had ever known the gun to have a nickname despite hunting with Dad for decades.

    This gun was a legend in certain South Texas circles. We hunted alongside Dad our entire lives and it was only at his funeral that we first heard the gun referred to as “Leapin’ Leaner.” No one knows exactly what it meant other than maybe that anything it “leaped at” was about to be “leaning” or falling down. It was loaded hot, shot flat, and, at least in Dad’s hands, never missed. Dad favored the neck shot and there was never any tracking…..the deer or hog was simply laying down where it last stood.

    Leapin’ Leaner – I love it.

  2. ed wuensch Avatar

    My condolences on your dad’s passing. It was a privilege being his dentist for all these years. We all loved seeing his name on the schedule- he was a bright spot in our day! Your father was one of 5 men who I sought advice from about building a new office; my father-in-law(whom I love dearly) was one of the others. I knew I could trust him and he always shot straight with me. He will be sorely missed. Many times he mentioned how proud he was of you guys.

  3. Cary Kieffer Avatar
    Cary Kieffer

    Great post! I love the family part of it. It’s things like this that the anti’s don’t understand and want to strip us off. This stuff is priceless as I don’t have to tell you guys. I have so many fond memories of my Old Gramps and I out blastin away at stuff, your old man seems like a badass too like mine was! I wanna be an old badass someday myself :)….best times of my life I think those times were. Yet another good reason for folks who enjoy this kind of special thing to not only join the NRA but pay attention and get out to vote. Great post again! Thanks!

    1. ccoker Avatar

      Thanks Cary..
      I couldn’t agree more.. my dad used to hunt alligators the hard way, not like the sissies do on that Discovery channel with baits and hooks..
      ride motorcycles, drag race cars, off shore fishing, you name it..
      our inspiration for sure

  4. Mike Coker Avatar

    The most fun was going to the range and just watching the guys on either side of him as he squeezed off a few rounds. Here is the picture: 79 year old man pulls out his almost-50 year old rifle out of a 30 year old faded soft case. Proceeds to crack open an old-school plastic cartridge case with masking tape load data written in pencil. Carefully settles the gun into some sandbags, cycles through 3-5 rounds and cuts one ragged hole!!! Quietly slips the gun back into the case. The guy next to him casually swings his spotting scope over to check out the results – not expecting much – and exclaims, “Holy crap!!! What the hell are you shooting?” To which Dad calmly explains, “Well, just a home-built gun firing some rounds I worked up in 1966. By the way, what’s wrong with your gun? It is all over the place.”

    1. Charles Coker Avatar
      Charles Coker


      God help ANY thing that was in the crosshairs of that rifle.
      He has owned a LOT of rifles over the years.. but this is his baby.

  5. Mike Coker Avatar

    Hell yea! My Dad is a believer in “light and fast” whether it be bullets, boats, or cars. It is funny all the stuff we take into the field – GPS, cell phone, three knives, protein bars, camel back – and he simply carried a folding buck knife and his rifle.

  6. Scott Beretz Avatar
    Scott Beretz

    Great write up! The 22-250 is a rifle I will never be without. One of the best ever! Glad to see your write up. Very cool.

  7. Mike Schuster Avatar

    I don’t remember that gorgeous buck but I could have been in this 1969 photo with your dad, too, and rode in his hunting buggy many times with that shooting stick up against my leg. That gun was the top dog. My Sako 222 mag and my dad’s Sako 243 were jealous, and also true believers. He carried that rifle like it was made of glass, usually, on top of his shoulder and at the ready. Great to see these and to validate the passion inherited and passed on.

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