Sako 85

BRACES of Bristol - Dark Fox Package, Mauser M12, LIEMKE Thermal Scope, Wildcat Mod


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I have been considering my options since I applied for my FAC a couple of weeks ago and have narrowed my choice down to either Tikka T3, Rem. 700 or the above mentioned Sako 85 Hunter. (in.243)

My current thought is to go for the Sako but I just wondered if it was really worh the extra cash.

Also where is the best place to bag a bargain rifle?

Your thoughts would be appreciated.



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Hi Stephen,
There are absolutely hundreds of post concerning this 'Unholy Trinity’ Sako, Tikka or Remmy. It's all down to your budget really. Personally I shoot T3's, one in synthetic lite 243 and the other Varmint heavy barrel in 308. If I was new to stalking and wanted just one rifle I would go for a 6.5x55 or 270.

Save your money and buy the best scope and mounts you can afford. There are also hundreds of posts on that subject too! ;)

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Fully Agreed Beowulf re spending money on the optics - don't forget really good Binoculars as well as these will be used far more than the rifel or the scope.

And agreed the 6.5x55 is more versitile than the .243.

Stringer - don't discount good second hand. Helped a friend buy a really nice Sako 75 in .243 with a Zeiss 6 x42 scope and he got good change out of £1,000 for the whole package.

He also looked closely at the T3 - it is a very good rifle, but the Sako is just a bit better and less plasticky.

If it was my choice and I wanted stainless / synthetic - go for the Tikka T3. If I wanted a blued finish and wood in a more traditional style rifle - go for the Sako.

Remy 700 are also a good base for a rifle - and are / were the favoured starting point for custom rifle builders, but have a strong reputation for being accurate right out of the box.

Remy's tend to have a fixed magazine with drop floor plate - which I prefer, whereas the Tikka and Sako have detacheable magazine - which I don't like - I always leave these in the gun cabinet / or in the car / or any where but on the rifle.

Triggers - Sako and T3 very good - Remy's bit heavy / draggy as the come from the box and need some work, or an after market (Timney - £80) installed.

If funds are tight T3 plus a good Schmidt & Bender Hungarian or Meopta 6x42 scope will serve you a very long time.

But also remember a rifle will last you a lifetime and changing is where you loose money. When I bought my Heym SR20 12 years ago it cost me £1,300 complete with a Zeiss 4 x32 Scope. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, but it is a very nice rifle that I just love shooting. I have replaced the scope with a 6x42 Meopta and stupidly sold that 4x32 Zeiss as it would be brilliant for the woods.


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Hi Heym,

I totally agree with you on your post. I started with a Carl Gustaf 2000 in 6.5x55, it was second hand and slightly unloved. I had to get it rebedded but from that time until I sold it, it was a great rifle. The reason I sold it was because many of my friends said that it wasn't up to the job. Well they were wrong and I really miss that little Swede. If you can get a good second hand rifle you have a friend for life.

Blodwen Price

Active Member
If you are on a budget I wouldnt forget a CZ either my CZ550 in .243, with a Meopta 6x42 = mounts and 40rds of Federal, came to less than 800 quid, all brand new. The only problem of any description that I've had is that since fitting Butler creek lens caps the bolt handle just snags on the mounting ring of the lenscap, not the rifles fault and it's now been solved by shaving off some plastic from the lenscap.

I know everyones own rifle is the best ever and about half the threads on this forum are about the Tikka/Sako/Remy thing but I do wonder why the humble but bloody good CZ almost never gets a mention


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Yes CZ/Brno are very good for the money. They also have a long history. The invading Germans commandeered vast stocks of Bren light machine guns from the CZ factory as they invaded Eastern Europe; they were being shipped to Britain at the time. The Germans put the Bren to good use on the Eastern Front against the Russians. Both sides commented on the Bren's accuracy and build quality on the frozen battlefields of the Russian motherland.

Nothing to do with deer stalking but it shows CZ/Brno’s pedigree.

The Russians really 'Didn't like it up'em'


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I like the Brno rifles very good value for money. I think the Sako 85 feels much nicer in the hand than the 75. I have shot a 75 many times and the stock felt to big in the grip. As Beowulf says the 6.5x55 is a better round than the .243. 6.5x55 still very popular here for moose hunting. I used a .243 for many years on roe and fallow and it never let me down.
Tikka T3, i know a lot of people use them and like them very much but they are a rifle i find it hard to get excited about. Both Sako & Tikka shoot very well and have very good triggers .
Me i've just bought a new Mauser M03 extreme with a 3-12x50 S&B with flash dot reticule.


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If you do decide to get the 85 you won't be disappointed.

I have the stainless syn version and I was developing a load for it the other weekend. I put 3 groups in (3 shot) each being sub half. It has a Jet Z on and it is a fantastic walk and stalk rifle.

Remington would be my second choice from the 3 manufacturers you list. I have had 4 over theyears and all have shot well - some brilliantly.

In my family we have had 3 T3's aswell. In my opinion they are well designed but just don't have a quality feel about them and also are adourned with lots of plastic. They all shot very well by the way.

The Sako has a detach mag which I like and if you don't want to lose the mag or leave it behind you can top load them anyway. The 85 also has a security feature within the mag well which prevents the mag accidentally being released (you probably know this anyway but just thought I would point it out).

I love my 75's and also my 85. I have heard some people who have both that they do not like the 85 in comparison but I actually think the 85 is a better design. The rifle is much lighter and when you look at both rifles side by side you can see where they have made the weight saving - mainly down to the reciever.

If you can afford it I wouldn't hesitate to get the Sako and remeber that quite often buying the chaeper rifle turns out to be a false economy in the long term.


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sako rifles

right here we go i have 4 yes 4 sakos 3 thirty year old one 2o years old all are bashed and crashed . Two have been re barreled after firing 4ooo rounds approx one has a border stainless barrel on the other a sako barrel all shoot into less than an inch with homeloads or winchester rounds . I would not swap them for the world or any other rifle i also have a pro hunter styer this shoot into less than an inch but put a bypod on it its crap the group opens up dramatically i wish a had purchased an old sako and rebarred it . I did try a 75 but did not like it just me i think . I have purchased 2 tika for friends and they seem value for money and shoot very well a t3 plus smit bender for less than 1000 £ cant be bad a sako for over a grand im not sure . Three of mine cost less than £600 with scopes when new the other one the same with a scope out of the states for pennies . I would certainly recommend sakos but dont like the new ones personally CZ are very good as are remy 700 i dont think there is a bad rifle out there just try to get the best value in your budget including scope


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You could look at a Howa, typical Jap job, they copied the best bit from the Remmy 700 and old Sako’s and came up with a well built typical efficient Japanese product.

Best rgds



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Hi Stringer,
not to pour cold water mate, but have you tried to buy a Tika? A mate of mine has been waiting since February, and I'm now being told he has no chance of seeing it till late June. Bearing in mind we have been given much the same story every month since March he has decided to give up on them and buy a second hand Sako. Is 6.5x55 in synthetic and stainless such a difficult rifle to make Mr. Tika? Mr. Mannlicher and RWS don't think so!
Rant over.


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I see your point Buckup but I got my T3 because the Remmy was going to take four months to arrive at the shop. It's one of those things. :confused:


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I'll back Thar on that one,
I've got an old Sako and since this year a Howa stainless. Very simple rifle, built very well. What more do you want in the field.
If you buy any rifle with a synthetik stock, be it sako/ tikka/rem/howa
their stocks are all not great. So you might think of an aftermarket composite stock already. I'd rather throw the stock of a cheaper rifle away than from say a sako.
I'd get the howa again.


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i'm lucky enough to have a Tikka T3 in .243 and a Sako 85 finlight in .308. both are good rifles the my .243 is phenominally accurate ( sub 1/2 inch groups at 100m) and the Sako is accurate, built slightly better although the magazine release takes some getting use to and can be fiddely.

Mag's for the 85 aren't cheap but the 5 round magazine sits flush with the futnature were are the T3 magazine sticks out of the bottom of the furnature as it's a single column mag.

the only thing I would change on the T3 is the stock but I belive Jackson's now do one for the T3. Otherwise there's only realy the name and price tag betwen them.

Not sure about the Remmy but there's an article in this months Sporting sports about them.


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Thanks for all the replies.

I have in the last hour put a deposit on the a Sako 85 Hunter ex demo.

Was told by the dealer about the problems with getting hold of Tikkas at the moment so kind of ruled that out.

Didn't like the feel of the Remington. Thought it felt cheap.

A bit over budget so will just have to save a bit longer for some decent scopes, but thought it was a good buy at £920.00



Richard Parsons

Well-Known Member
Sako 75

I have a Sako 75 Finnlight in .308 which is light, smooth, reliable, and with 125 to 150gr bullets shoots less than one inch. The T8 adds weight, of course, as does scope etc, but I love it. Have a .223 in T3 stainless, which is also nice, but, as folk say , a bit plastic but it shoots very accurately and is reliable and affordable. Hope this helps you.


Sako Hunter

Well-Known Member
Just purchased a Sako 85 Hunter in .243, looks superb. Exceeded all my expectations although it too 5 months from order to arrive. I loaded it with a Sworovski 2 - 12 x 50 Scope and the combo looks great. The proof will be in how it shoots. It came pre threaded so will check how it shoots with the silencer. I looked at a number of manufacturers and felt that the Sako was the best value for money and looked like a decent rifle.
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