Kimber 84 montana v Sako 85 v Sako A7

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Well-Known Member
Hi Guys

I am looking to get a stainless synthetic rifle in .243,the rifle will be used for occasional range use and I am buying it with the intention of using it for stalking.My choice had been narrowed to a Sako A7 or Sako 85, though recently I have come across the odd mention of the Kimber 84 montana, this rifle looks to be of quality and tips the scales at only about 5.5lb which makes it about a pound lighter than the others,this seems quite appealing for a stalking rifle - though I wondered if recoil might be an issue.

I would appreciate your thoughts on any of the the above.

Many thanks.

Mr. Gain

Well-Known Member
Research is always useful, but if you want opinions...

If it has to be .243, fine, but something a little bigger would be quite a lot better.
If it is .243, recoil is not an issue. If you're unused to C/F rifles you may think it is at first, but in no time at all you'll hardly notice.
Rifle choice: I think the A7 looks and feels horrible; the 85 is better looking on the outside but for some reason tends to feel a bit lumpen scoped up, so as you've probably guessed by now, I'd go for the Kimber. I've never owned one so this is just a sightseer's opinion, but I like the look, feel and build of them, and being light, they keep their handling better when scoped and moderated.


Well-Known Member
I was looking at the Kimber and the Sako 85, and after trawling the internet and fondeling a Kimber I went for the Sako 85, 243 in the "classic". I LOVE it. To be fair I also have an 85 in 223 varmint and a quad so I admit I like the sako's.

Honestly I dont think you would regret it.


Well-Known Member
A lightweight .243 might not be the best rifle for range use. However once threaded and fitted with a can then recoil should not be an issue. Mirage and heat building up in the can would be the thing to control how often and many shots were fired on the range.

Strange as it may seem many find that shooting a lightweight rifle well is harder than they thing it will be. This is not new and even Townsend Whelen noted that shooters often struggle to shoot as well with light weight rifles. Light weight rifles are not a new fad at all. It's a fad that seems to come and go again and again and again.

I suggest you handle the rifles your interested and then give it some serious thought as to which to go for.


Well-Known Member
I've owned a Kimber 84 and also a Sako 85 (hunter).

Don't buy a kimber if you intend to add a moderator, bipod, etc. The balance is just plain horrible in such a light gun. Its intended as a light rifle for carrying in country where weight minimization is important. A light rifle shoots different and needs a different approach, to a degree and be aware that it will depreciate like a used Skoda. There's just not enough of them out there in order to develop a following.

I handled an A7 at the Galloway fair last weekend. It seems an ok rifle and compares well with the likes of a Tikka T3 but not an 85 or better still a 75. I laughed in the dealers face when he stated that the stock was better than that of a 75 synthetic.

The 85 is a good rifle but the 75 is better. I'd either search for a good Sako 75 or get a tired one re-barrelled.


Active Member
I love my kimber Montana in .308, and it can shoot .25 MOA when I can!
A heavy mod would ruin it, not an issue with the lightweight Hardy models though. It is a very light profile mind, and heat build up / mirage would be a problem if you want to do days at the range. Quality of the ones I've seen has been very good, don't believe everything you read on the web.
Sakos are also great rifles, pick them up and see how each feels- that is more important than anything. The Montana stock has a very low comb.

​good luck!


Well-Known Member
go feel them both up, see what you like.

buy a rifle that speaks to your heart, instills confidence and fits you...ok, it's gotta shoot well too of course.

buy the rifle type that you will use 80% of the type, ie. if you predominantly go stalking, buy a stalking outfit, it will obviously still work fine on the occasional range visit.

carrying a range queen around the woods not only looks daft, but is heavy and unpleasant.
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