Sako Varmint 75?


something vague
June 8, 2009, 09:15 PM
I have been eyeballing a rifle at my local gun shop for the past month or so and has been growing on me tremendously. It is a Sako Varmint model 75 chambered in .223 Rem. I like the round as I'm all set up to load accurate .223 rem as it is. It is the laminated version with stainless reciever and barrel. I also really like the action of these Sako's as they look durable as hell, three locking lugs and smooth as glass. They have a sticker price on it right now for $1050. I odviously can't shoot the gun but am looking for opinions on it from here. Anyone have any experience with this gun? Does the price for a brand new Sako seem reasonable? Are they worth the money they get for these guns? Anything would be greatly appreciated.

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something vague
June 9, 2009, 06:56 PM

June 9, 2009, 07:22 PM
Hard to say, really. But if you really want the rifle, they are supposed to be quite accurate.

I'm on the way downhill side of 40 now and have concluded that if I want something like that which I can afford, it is better to indulge myself today, as I have many fewer tomorrows in which to do so.

June 9, 2009, 07:23 PM
I have a Sako 75 (Hunter model) in223 and it is the most accurate centerfire rifle I own. It is also extremely fast on moving targets with its short action and short bolt lift. The trigger is great!

June 9, 2009, 07:27 PM
I own Sako rifles but have no personal experience with the 75 varmint. However, generally speaking Sakos are of excellent quality, in my opinion boasting fit and finish among the very best of factory (non-custom) rifles.

Barrels are free-floated, and actions are properly sized to the cartridge rather than 'one-size-fits-all'. Accuracy is typically excellent, and the smoothness of the actions is unbeatable. As Jim Carmichael said in The Modern Rifle (1975), "nobody ever had anything bad to say about a Sako". Really, there is nothing to criticize except the price, which is undeniably more than you will pay for a bog-standard rifle like a Remington or Ruger. But then, "buy quality, only cry once" as the saying goes.

Laminated / stainless combo is not my personal favourite but that's largely a subjective aspect. It will make for easy care and durability, that's for sure.

I believe the 75 Varmint has a set trigger? I have one on my 85 Bavarian, and like it very much.

Sakos have dovetailed receivers. You can use Sako's own Optilock system, which is good but not cheap. Alternatively there are a fairly wide number of aftermarket mounting systems available, including Talley, Burris, Millett, Leupold, Conetrol, etc.

This Shooting Times review ( may be of interest.

Does the price for a brand new Sako seem reasonable?Yes it does. Check on the Internet and you will see that the $1,050 asking price is fair. Of course, the rifle has been sitting there for at least a month, so try to haggle and you may be able to do better.

Are they worth the money they get for these guns?You will have to decide that for yourself. As I said above, the fit and finish are outstanding. You can also count on very good resale value, if you later decide to sell. On the other hand, if you're simply looking for an accurate .223 bolt rifle, there are certainly cheaper options (e.g., Tikka and Savage).

June 9, 2009, 07:28 PM
Buy it, you'll make more money tomorrow.

Will Fennell
June 9, 2009, 07:43 PM
I have the same rifle in .260. It is simply far it is grouping better than my TRG22. That is a great price. BUY IT.

June 9, 2009, 09:54 PM
I looked up the reference in The Modern Rifle (pages 149, 150): The Sako rifles are a sterling example of how a good design and good workmanship can still go a long, long way. A hundred years from now when today’s designs are obsolete and in the hands of collectors, I predict that the epitaph bestowed on the trim little Finnish-made rifles will be “No one ever said anything bad about a Sako”.

Back in the early 1950s when the first Sakos reached the shores of the New World, someone described the little actions as a miniature Mauser, and the name, unfortunately, stuck. I’m sure the Sako people weren’t too happy with the sobriquet because the design is highly original and anything but a Mauser. There were indeed miniatures, though, and this has added immeasurably to their charm. The little Vixen is perfectly scales to the .222 class of cartridges, and the Forrester, the next size up, is just right for .22/50s, .308s, etc. Thus the rifles are beautifully balanced for the cartridge and the hunter doesn’t feel he’s carrying around excess baggage.

One of the special charms of these rifles, in addition to their obviously sound design and unfailingly good workmanship, is there almost paradoxical ability to combine light weight with a most satisfying degree of accuracy. This is especially mystifying in light of the emphasis we tend to put on heavy barrels and stiff, heavy actions for rifles intended for top accuracy.

The Sako secret, for one thing, can be traced to a remarkably stiff receiver. Despite their apparent trimness, the Vixen and Forrester receivers have a lot of steel in them, especially in the rail like structure on the bottom side. And, of course, the fact that they are minum length adds to their stiffness. Another reason is the super-smooth finish of the Sako bores. For a while in the 1960s, in fact, Sako was doing a fairly brick business selling barrel blanks o bench-rest shooters.

The more I think about the rifle you're considering, the more I think that I should buy it myself ... and to be honest, I don't need another .223!

something vague
June 10, 2009, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the replies. I thought thas was a more than fair asking price. I believe that thing has been sitting there for close to 6 months maybe longer. And I did notice the weird scope mounting system on the reciever. I have seen Ruger's but never a dovetail that actually has a tapering width to it. But like I said, the action alone is a dream to operate and fit and finish is top quality. It will be mine.

June 10, 2009, 05:55 PM
Actually the tapering dovetail makes a lot of sense: it helps prevents scopes from moving forward under recoil.

Enjoy your purchase. I suspect that you will be quite pleased with the rifle and that you will always be proud to have it in your collection. If not, take comfort in the fact that you should be able to sell it, secondhand, for very little than the $1,050 you're paying. Sako is definitely a 'name brand' and commands a premium resale, although not among the ignorant $400 rifle crowd ["I ain't never heard of no Seiko"].

June 10, 2009, 07:21 PM
Seiko LOL.

That's a watch ain't it?

June 10, 2009, 08:24 PM
Yep, it sure is. ;)

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