Mauser vs Sako


Active Member
Quick straw pole on 2 rifles and I'm considering in 30-06

Mauser M12 Impact vs Sako 85 S/S

Which one would people go for and why?

I had the same quandary a while ago (.308) and narrowed it down to the same two. I went Sako 85 (walnut and blue though) and am very happy.
Both top quality makes, best bet is do some legwork and look at and try as many as possible, as you could really like the look of one but the fit may not be right, and for me fit is more important than overall looks, i happen to have a Sako 85 in 22-250 but would definately not dismiss the Mauser , both quality guns with excelent reputations
nice position to be in
best of luck
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I looked at the same two and the Sauer.

I went for the M12 Impact due to its low maintenance, weight, simple safety and magazine ejection.

Ticked all the boxes for me.

Amazingly accurate with Federals
I have 3 SAKO 85's in different calibres and have been very pleased with all of them. Haven't had any issues with any of them
I personally like Sako so would probably go for that, purely because I like the actions on them and the handling.

I would also highly recommend giving Steve Beaty at Ivythorn Sporting a call - He stocks both Sako and Mauser and has a range where you could try them out side by side with no sales pressure or nonsense.

Plus Steve has probably forgotten more about rifles than a lot of us will ever know - I always really enjoy going up there as its a real education!
Thanks for all the responses so far. The only thing that "worries" me about the Mauser is the pressed barrel which would make it harder to re barrel if I ever wanted to in the future?

Thanks for all the responses so far. The only thing that "worries" me about the Mauser is the pressed barrel which would make it harder to re barrel if I ever wanted to in the future?


I wouldn't let that put you off. How many stalkers ever actually shoot a barrel out? Even if you did, there's nothing stopping a good 'smith from boring out the old barrel stub and threading the action to take a replacement tube.
I would say they are both 'fine', and will do what you want them to. However, I was fairly unmoved by the ones I've handled of both. The fit and finish seems indistinguishable from rifles half the price. I would be hard pressed to justify spending that much when a Tikka or Howa seems just as good. In particular I was very underwhelmed by the Mauser - it really did feel quite cheap and rough. I had assumed it was in the same price bracket as Howas, and was horrified when I was corrected.

For that kind of money, I'd get a Heym or a Schultz and Larsen. Or rebarrel a Sako 75.
Thanks for all the responses so far. The only thing that "worries" me about the Mauser is the pressed barrel which would make it harder to re barrel if I ever wanted to in the future?

Do you have 50 years to strip the barrel out? Mauser are that good, most makers have been using there parts for 100 odd years.
So pick what is comfy to you and thats all. Its your money you are spending. All modern rifles are excellent and will do the job for you no problem.
I was recently after a 30-06 and was really interested in the Mauser, went down to Steve Beatty at Ivythorn to handle one (along with a Blaser and Sauer), very nice rifle I thought, but something not quite right..... Long story cut short is after handling a Schultz&Larsen Victory at Steve's I went for that. Obviously not exactly what you're asking I know, but the point for me was that handling several in the flesh made all the difference in my decision. With high quality makes like Sako, Mauser, S&L etc you're not going to get a duff one, and each will have their fans and detractors, Im delighted with the S&L, the barrels are excellent and interchangeable so if you want a change or one wears out its the easiest thing in the world to replace, but it was the way the rifle came to the shoulder and how it felt in the hand that really swung my decision. Every one is different of course so Id heartily recommend handling (and firing if poss) before you make your final decision.
made in the same factory as the highly rated blaser I'm told. happy with my Mauser in 308 as its a stalking rifle don't think I'll shoot it out ! but they are a 1000/yrd rifle too if you happen to want to gong one !
I've had a client with an 85 once really don't think there's much in it to be honest
If replacing barrels is a concern also have a look at some of the switch barrel makes - Blaser, Merkel and (my favourite) Schultz and Larsen.
Just try a Schultz and Larsen - I am sure Steve Beatty at Ivythorne would let you handle all 3 possibles - The S & L may be more costly but the workmanship is superb and the barrels are interchangeable and the rifling is cut (not hammer forged or buttoned). I have an S& L Victory and my only critisism was the shape of the stock (I prefer a more vertical pistol grip) so I restocked it. Good luck whatever you choose.

i'm reasonably certain that the m12 impact only comes in .243 or .308 so if its a .30-06 your after its going to have to be a sako 85
Sako 85 all the way, only because i have such confidence in them, I have .243, .308 and 30-06 in synthetic, laminate and finnlight. All are so different you could spend a year trying all the variations.
All the makes mentioned would serve you well but its personal choice and what puts a smile on your face:D
I have a sako 85 Finnlight in .30-06 great rifle and round! No experience of a Mauser but would definitely recommend Sako.