Sako 85 Synthetic Stainless Rifle Review
SAKO 85 Rifle Review.
Sako 85 - Having initially been a fan of the Sako 75 it is perhaps not surprising that I like the Sako 85 so much. Whilst I appreciate a beautiful looking rifle with wood stock and blueing for pure functionality and ease of ownership the synthetic and stainless steel take a lot of beating.
(Above: the Sako 85 Rifle in action stalking Fallow in Hampshire)
One of the new features from the older 75 model is what they call the Total Control Latch which secures the magazine. It effectively means the magazine can only be detached when it is simultaneously pushed upwards while the latch is pulled back. The idea is that whilst this can be performed relatively simply with one hand it cannot happen unintentionally or accidentally.
(Right: The Sako 85 magazine takes a handy 5 rounds)
The controlled feed which is unique to the Sako 85, has three lugs in the bolt which enhances the engagement to the receiver. This is combined with a two-row staggered magazine which can take 5 rounds. This I think is useful and provided you are close enough to some spares, gives you the confidence to head out into the field with sufficient rounds already in the magazine.
Indeed whilst out stalking Fallow Deer with clients I have on at least two occasions required 4 rounds from the 5 shot magazine. In this situation with other rifles I would have been fishing around in my pocket for more cartridges.
(Left: Sako 85 in .308 Calibre with Schmidt & Bender Scope and North Star Moderator)
The safety features on the Sako is also excellent the Sako's two way safety working on a rocker switch, locks both the trigger and the bolt handle, as well as blocking the firing pin. The unique bolt release button in front of the safety catch also allows loading or removal of a cartridge from the chamber with the safety engaged. This in my view is a super nice feature.
The Sako 85 action is available in calibre specific sizes, matching cartridge length to overall size of action. Not only does this look much nicer but it also means the length of bolt travel directly relates to the specific cartridge length, unlike other rifles such as the Tikka T3 where one size fits all.
As far as the trigger goes Sako's are always good and the 85 is available as a single-stage as standard, or with a set trigger as an optional extra. The single stage is factory set at 3lb pull weight, though you can adjust the weight from 2-4lb using an Allen key deployed in the magazine well.
(Left: Sako triggers are always great and are set to break cleanly at 3lbs)
All things considered this is a great rifle, it is a good rugged construction, with plenty of space between the stock and the free floating barrel to inspire confidence that it is truly floating free.
With an RRP of around £1400-00 it's not the cheapest rifle on the market, however in terms of cost it offers some great middle ground being a step up from it's sister the Tikka T3, whilst not as wallet busting as say a Blaser or Sauer.
To Take a look at the Sako 85 in action watch 'Winter Roe Deer Stalking in Hampshire' Feb 2014 on our Short Films page: short-films
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