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Old 05-12-2019, 12:16 PM
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Sucker



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Hi Folks!

I admit it. I’m a sucker for a pretty face. And of all the silly reasons we find to buy another gun, appearances are arguably the silliest.

But still … I bought it.



Know what it is? I’ll wait …

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

OK folks, we’re working on the honor system here: If you know what this is, raise your hand.

Wow, more than one, I’m impressed. Really, I am.

It’s a Valmet Model 55, a.k.a., “the Finnish Lion.” And let me be the first to admit, I had no idea what it was until I read the auction listing, which read something like this …



And isn’t she beautiful? Oh, yes.

She’s a classic example of “midcentury modern design,” but while you typically see that description applied to homes and home furnishings, Valmet, then a Finnish state industrial/arms combine, applied those Scandinavian sensibilities to its top-end, small-bore competition rifle in the late 1920s. Production of the Lion began in 1930 and it saw some considerable success in international competition in the both the pre- and post-World War II era. (Reportedly, a quarter of all shooters at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics used the Lion. For more history, visit https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum...d.php?t=122554.)

There were a host of minor changes and model designations over the years until production ended in 1979. At some point in between, a number (apparently, a small number) of Lions were imported into the U.S. by Firearms International Corporation.



Now my Lion came with an impressive set of targets:




But really, are those targets any more impressive than you might shoot with an off-the-shelf Anschütz? No.

Indeed, at the same auction, there was a beautifully preserved Remington 40-X in 22 Long Rifle, and I bet it shoots just as nice as the Lion, maybe better.

And they even went for the same price … both went for $900.

But I wanted the Lion. Very bad.

Because of the looks, which are very, very good.

Anyhow, I do have a few questions for those of you with any Lion taming experience. For starters, what is the function of the knob that goes through the left side of the stock into the receiver?



Thanks!
Dave

Last edited by dbuffington; 05-12-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:36 PM
Norwegianrimfire

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Congratulations

A beautiful weapon. They come up for sale now and then here in Norway.

They are as good as Walther and Anschuts.


Enjoy your new gun.


Looking forward to see some testing with it.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:38 PM
Norwegianrimfire

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Originally Posted by dbuffington View Post
Anyhow, I do have a few questions for those of you with any Lion taming experience. For starters, what is the function of the knob that goes through the left side of the stock into the receiver?



Thanks!
Dave
The knob is for removal of the rear sight
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:06 PM
dbuffington is online now

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The knob is for removal of the rear sight
Thanks for the kind words and info! I’ll push my luck and ask ... do you have any info on the trigger adjustments?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:21 PM
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Sorry Dave. I have no idea.

You paid 900 dollar for it? In Norway they sell for 150-200 dollars. The same for the old single shot Walthers and "Annies".
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:29 PM
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You paid 900 dollar for it? In Norway they sell for 150-200 dollars. The same for the old single shot Walthers and "Annies".
Yes, I know. The 40X was the better buy.
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:25 PM
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There is one for sale on Armslist for $600. It's been there a while and, like you, I can't stop looking at it. Doesn't have the fancy butt plate or the peep sights, but there it is.......
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:35 PM
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There is one for sale on Armslist for $600. It's been there a while and, like you, I can't stop looking at it. Doesn't have the fancy butt plate or the peep sights, but there it is.......
And for all its faults, how often to you see one on this side of the pond?

Enjoy!
Dave
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:48 PM
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Personally, I think you did very good IMHO and I fully understand why you were taken by this scandinavian beauty.

Sometimes it's better, and certainly more interesting to take the road less traveled IMHO:-)

These Finnish Lion Match rifles are certainly not common over here in the States and they're a fine match rifle with an excellent build quality. Unfortunately, they're also a true beast as far as weight goes, but real men (and women) can learn to deal with it:-)

Here's a photo of my example of a predecessor to your rifle. It's an much older, and well used version, a model M45:




Last edited by kaynine; 05-13-2019 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by kaynine View Post
Personally, I think you did very good IMHO and I fully understand why you were taken by this scandinavian beauty.

Sometimes it's better, and certainly more interesting to take the road less traveled IMHO:-)

These Finnish Lion Match rifles are certainly not common over here in the States and they're a fine match rifle with an excellent build quality. Unfortunately, they're also a true beast as far as weight goes, but real men (and women) can learn to deal with it:-)

Here's a photo of my example of a predecessor to your rifle. It's an much older, and well used version, a model M45:



Nice rifle the hand stop reminds me of a whale's tail.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:32 PM
dbuffington is online now

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Originally Posted by kaynine View Post
These Finnish Lion Match rifles are certainly not common over here in the States and they're a fine match rifle with an excellent build quality. Unfortunately, they're also a true beast as far as weight goes, but real men (and women) can learn to deal with it:-)

Here's a photo of my example of a predecessor to your rifle. It's an much older, and well used version, a model M45:
Wow! That's a beauty, and in it's styling, you can see a transition between classical European gun styling and a less ornate mid-century modern look.

Now, do you have any clue about how to adjust the trigger? There's a hex-head bolt easily accessible through the trigger guard, but it turns very freely, not what I would expect from a pull weight adjustment.

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:33 PM
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Nice rifle the hand stop reminds me of a whale's tail.
True, and how do you hold a whale tail?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:54 PM
mushka
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I had one of those back in the 80's, went small bore distinguished with it. Shot extremely well but was one heavy rifle. I sold it back in Md when I retired. It was a monster rifle.,
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Norwegianrimfire View Post
Sorry Dave. I have no idea.

You paid 900 dollar for it? In Norway they sell for 150-200 dollars.
I'll take a dozen. Box 'em up and ship 'em over to me. Send payment instructions.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuffington View Post
Hi Folks!

I admit it. I’m a sucker for a pretty face. And of all the silly reasons we find to buy another gun, appearances are arguably the silliest.

But still … I bought it.

Thanks!
Dave
Congrats on scratching an itch that should bring you many hours of enjoyment.
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