Sako 85 laminate vs wood

Coolhand243

Well-Known Member
Hi guys I am looking at buying a new .243 and had pretty much decided on a sako 85 with the grey laminate stock. Someone then mentioned the are noticeably heavier than a standard wooden stock. Any of you guys got one/used one or can put my mind at rest! I really don't want to get 6 months down the road and regret it as that would be an expensive mistake!! Thanks a lot!
 

Coolhand243

Well-Known Member
By going for the laminate stock am I hindering myself further weight wise? I am only going for the regular barrel so that will keep the weight down slightly!
 

paultap

Well-Known Member
If possible go into a dealer who has both rifle's and put them on a decent set of scales if the shop has any. I wouldn't trust some of the manufacturers claimed weights either as they have a tendency to be a bit economical with the truth sometimes and underplay the true weight, often siting differing wood density as a reason for their inaccurate figures.

Many gun testers just blindly quote the figures from the manufacturer also. As an example I recently bought a mint conditioned synthetic Beretta Urika AL 391 shotgun with a 28 inch barrel, Mike Yardley previously did a test on the exact same gun with the same barrel length and quoted 7lb as it's weight. It's actual true weight at 7lb 14 oz is obviously much closer to 8lb and being synthetic all the guns would have identical weights to start with... 14oz is a lot of weight difference!
 
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Coolhand243

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that, I will do that. I have picked the rifle up minus scope and moderator and it doesn't feel massively heavy, so hard to judge before you are fully set up though! They have got the new carbon lite 85 in there too, but that would stretch the budget too far! Do you think this rifle would be a mistake for a stalking rifle? Thanks again.
 

Glyn 1

Well-Known Member
I'm a big fan of the laminate stocks on Sako rifles. Moderators usually bring the biggest weight penalty on a rifle, not just in actual ounces but more because of where they sit.
 

big ears

Well-Known Member
Don't worry, the sako laminate is 7lb which is less than a blazer and no one seems to worry about that! They are great rifles. Previously I had a laminate stainless varmint 308 which was much heavier and coped ok with this. As said pick one up if it feels ok you will be fine.

BE
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
More important than weight per se is the weight distribution and balance of a rifle. Weight in middle is good, weight at the ends just makes it awkward and a pain in the .... Stalking rifles are carried far more than they are shot, but a bit of weight does make a rifle so much easier to shoot. I like wood stocks, but these days a lot of factory stocks are mass produced and they are not machined to take into account the grain, rather as many are produced per plank as possible. I have looked at several new rifles where the wooden stock will break sooner rather than later. Laminate gets around this - you have the weight and feel of wood, but the stability and strength of a proper well laid out and seasoned stock.

If you want to see proper strong stocks take a look at many old prewar stocks - not especially pretty, but strong.
 

jackfish

Well-Known Member
I've had both at the same time and there is a slight difference in weight but certainly nothing you couldn't cope with. They are both good stocks but for me the Synthetic gets it as a lot easier to look after the laminate although nicer to look at just felt as though it was going to get scratched any minute. Good accurate out of the box rifle though so I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you go with.
 

Coolhand243

Well-Known Member
Do you think the laminate would scratch very easily? I thought they were supposed to be mega hard wearing? I appreciate I am probably nitpicking a bit as no doubt it will be far more capable than what it will ever be used for!!
 

jackfish

Well-Known Member
Do you think the laminate would scratch very easily? I thought they were supposed to be mega hard wearing? I appreciate I am probably nitpicking a bit as no doubt it will be far more capable than what it will ever be used for!!
I've seen some horrendous scratches on laminate stocks, not saying it would if you are careful with your rifles but it's more than possible! The synthetic is not for everyone but for me it takes the worry out of being too careful with my rifle going through the wood pushing/pulling through the heather and over rocks etc etc etc.
 
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McKenzie

Well-Known Member
I have a Sako 75 with a walnut stock & although I'm very happy with it indeed it certainly isn't a light rifle & I certainly wouldn't consider anything that might increase it's weight. I don't use a mod anymore & only have a S&B 6x42 on it but it's still just shy of 11lbs when set to go. Stock has been extended by 1.5".
 

smokey

Well-Known Member
so little difference in the two in reality, and more important is the use you intend to use it for if it is a nice walk around the woods in England with not a lot of bad weather use wood and blue is nice if it is a lot of Scottish or north of England work Then i would go for he S/S laminate
 

antsa

Well-Known Member
I have an 85 Hunter, blued, walnut in .308W (S action) and a grey laminate in .223R (XS action). The XS is 10mm shorter than the S. They both have the same model scope. I don't feel any discernible difference between them. Both shoot 1/4 MOA or better if I'm on the ball. I'll try and weigh them tomorrow

Cheers
 

DEER STALKER

Well-Known Member
I have an 85 stainless in wood - 7mm08 and 85 stainless in synthetic - 243 with identical scopes, mounts and mods. I prefer the stiffness of the wood to the synthetic but both shoot faultless one hole ragged groups. I have had no issues with the wood swelling and have had the rifle soaked many times. I haven't had them on the scales but the synthetic does feel much lighter.

I did have issues with both my old Tikka 595's wood swelling and had to sand both stocks down a couple of times and reseal.

DS
 

Finch

Well-Known Member
I did have issues with both my old Tikka 595's wood swelling and had to sand both stocks down a couple of times and reseal.

DS
That's one advantage of laminate. It is more weatherproof than wood, especially if its laminate/stainless.
I think some laminates mark worse than others. Depends on colour and pattern. Fairly even colour throughout and scratches don't show up too bad, same as one wood. Big stripes, contrasting colours and a scratch sticks out like a sore thumb.
One of the things I like most about quality wood is that it ages well. A good piece of wood still looks good when oiled up dents and scratches and all. Gives it character. When laminate or synthetic has taken a few knocks it just looks scruffy and knackered. Small detail though - its a tool at the end of the day.
 

paultap

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that, I will do that. I have picked the rifle up minus scope and moderator and it doesn't feel massively heavy, so hard to judge before you are fully set up though! They have got the new carbon lite 85 in there too, but that would stretch the budget too far! Do you think this rifle would be a mistake for a stalking rifle? Thanks again.
I have a 243 stainless synthetic sako 85 which weighs in at about 6lb 4oz, the laminate version looks to be about 12 oz (3/4 LB heavier) at 7lb, Which isn't too bad but I wouldn't want to go much heavier than that, as other posters have said, the weight of the scope and mod has a huge effect also, I personally would go for an alloy mod if possible to keep the weight to a minimum (something around the 8oz mark) and keep the scope to a modestly weighted one.

I do know of a couple of people who have sold on laminated stainless sako 85's in 243 because of the weight, but these had the varmint barrel and combined with the weight of scope and a mod proved to be too heavy to comfortably stalk with. The gun alone weighed in at 9lb which is a lot heavier (2lb) than the laminated 85 you are looking at.

Talking of weight, there is very little difference, if any at all - in the weight of a synthetic 85 and the finnlite version, the finnlite however doesnt come threaded as standard so that is an extra cost. The carbon lite is a good weight saving but as you already know, comes at a considerable extra cost.

My advice would be that if you are Concerned about the weight, don't discount the synthetic version. Perhaps take a look at that also, but if you keep the scope and mod to sensible weights, the laminated version of the 85 you like should be fine.
 
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antsa

Well-Known Member
A good piece of wood still looks good when oiled up dents and scratches and all. Gives it character. When laminate or synthetic has taken a few knocks it just looks scruffy and knackered. Small detail though - its a tool at the end of the day.
True. Though, a few times every year, when I give the stock an oil rub, I usually try to steam up any dings. Works if the grain isn't broken. I was looking for a .223 synthetic sporter as an all-weather Quad bike rifle to have with me when I'm zipping around the paddocks but Sako don't do one so I got the laminated stainless. I'm very happy with it. It handles perfectly.

Got to weigh them:

Sako 85 Hunter Blued Walnut .308 Win, empty mag, scoped, Optilock rings and bases, no sling: 3.92 kg (8lb 10oz)
Sako 85 Stainless Laminate .223 Rem, empty mag, scoped, Optilock rings and bases, no sling: 3.95 kg (8lb 11oz)

Same scope and mounts on both. Loaded, the walnut will be slightly heavier but as noted above it's all in the balance and these two are superb.



Cheers
 
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Coolhand243

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the advice, I went for the 85 with the laminate stock, such a lovely rifle I'm sure I won't be disappointed!
 

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