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Sako, Any Good?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by surjimmy, May 3, 2011.

  1. surjimmy

    surjimmy Well-Known Member

    I know Sako has a good reputation, but my knowledge is limited. I just traded for a Sako Forester in a 243 caliber. Please tell me what you can about this rifle. BTW, I plan on hunting deer with it.
  2. colonelhogan44

    colonelhogan44 Well-Known Member

    I have a Tikka T3 Lite, which is made by Sako, and it's an absolutely brilliant rifle. light, and tack driving accurate.
  3. forindooruseonly

    forindooruseonly Well-Known Member

    There are about three generations of the foresters, if I recall correctly. All of them have a reputation for being excellent guns, but the older L579/461 actions are considered the best. They discontinued those actions in the early 90s. The later stuff wasn't as finely finished, I think, but I don't know much about them. They still have a good reputation.

    I have an older one, it's a great rifle, and I certainly wouldn't be concerned about the newer ones either. In .243 you have a very versatile rifle that will certainly handle deer.
  4. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Well-Known Member

    my girlfriends father has an l579 in .243 thats been abused, and neglected, but still shoots well. My girlfriend used it killed 2 deer the last time we were home. They are realy nice guns even if most of the finish is gone to rust and the bore is pitted all to hell LOL
  5. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Well-Known Member

    I picked a used one up at the local gun shop for a song. Looked like it had been drug behind the truck to and from the woods. I mainly bought it for the action as I figured with the condition the rest was a wash. I had figured on building something with it to pass along to my oldest grandson.

    After a FULL weekend of soaking and scrubbing with everything from Sweets to Kroil, I finally got a clean patch out of the barrel. The next weekend, I mounted a throw down Tasco scope on it and picked up a box of the cheapest factory Winchester ammo I could find, and headed to the range. After bore sighting it on a 50yd target I fired the following 5 shot group at 100yds.

    This past October, after replacing the original stock, with a newer one, and adding a bit better scope, I worked up a load using Hodgdon Hybrid 100 and some 100gr Nosler Solid Base bullets. The resulting groups were 5 shots each on the bottom left two pasters,

    I knew going into it that there might be issues with the stock, it fit pretty tight along the barrel channel. The resulting groups showed this to be true. It has since been relieved and doesn't have any contact. Since this it will duplicate the first target at 100 any time I hit the range. After about 30 shots however the groups open up to around 1-1.5" and climb as the shot count increases. I'm sure there is some roughness in the barrel, as I can feel it when it is cleaned, and also the old Nosler's have some pretty soft jacket material which also contributes to the quicker fouling. It don't matter though, the grandson handles it well and likes the way it preforms. For what they go for nowadays, and what I paid for mine, I can easily live with cleaning it a bit more often.

    My hunting pardoner and close friend has several of them being used between him, and his family members. They all shoot the Hornady Custom 100gr SPBT's just like this one shoots. They have been dropping deer and hogs with them since back in the early 70's and see no reason to change.

    While there might be some reported inaccuracies, there is a date of manufacturer listed by serial numbers posted up on the Sako Collectors Club site, (this isn't affiliated with Sako), It will give you a general idea of when your rifle was produced.
    Sako Sako Older Models

    Good luck with yours, I hope it preforms as well as most I have seen.
  6. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    Pictures would be nice. But, as far as I'm concerned - you done real well if you didn't have to trade the house?
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator


    Too bad you did not have backers and a witness, cause that 100 yard 5 shot .2435 group would be a world record. :)
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Oh yea, the old Sako's shoot great. I can only assume the newer ones do.
  9. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Well-Known Member

    SOOOO now ya tell me about the backers and witnesses........So whats a backer anyway??

    I know it did/does it, and have shot similar groups with it since. But I also know after 25-30 shots it needs to be scrubbed down REALLY well, or it will do good to keep them inside 3". I also have witnessed my friends do the same thing, time and time again. Maybe we need to look into this record business, not that we're really interested.

    The grandson is happy with it and he shoots it pretty darn well himself, and that was all I was looking for to begin with.
  10. 6.5swede

    6.5swede Well-Known Member

    One of the best factory production rifles out there. They're boring to most rifle loonies. Buy one, mount a scope, bore sight, sight in (will shoot well with a variety of factory ammo), and go hunt.....No trigger work, bedding, lapping, load development required.
  11. ClayinAR

    ClayinAR Well-Known Member

    My forester 243 which I bought new in about 1967 or so would only shoot 1.5" t0 3". I gave up and tried to sell it. In SE Arkansas no one wanted it.
    I finally sent it to Tom Gilman in Hot Springs. He glass bedded it and floated the barrel.
    It came back shooting 3/8" groups.
    It now shoots 1.25" to 1.75". I'm trying to decide what to do. Tried working up new loads, no joy.
    It sat in the safe many years while I hunted with my Finnbear 7mm mag. Which still shoots 5/8" to 7/8" groups.
    I don't know if the stock/bedding dried out or what. I don't want to rebarrel it since it is all original. Still don't know what to do.
  12. Lone Star

    Lone Star Well-Known Member


    Keep it and use it! Can you really hold steadily enough in field positions to tell if a rifle shoots one inch or 1.75-inch groups? How many rounds can you fire before a deer or coyote is dead or gone?

    The gentleman whose barrel gets less accurate after about 30 shots may well be correct about bullet jacket fouling in his particular abused bore.

    But many will notice decreased accuracy in hunting rifles as the barrel heats from shooting at a bench. Just allow more time between shots for the barrel to cool. That is often the only problem.

    I owned a Sako .270 and loved it, except that the receiver turned a plum color. That's the only Sako where I've seen that. The rifles are probably the most precision ones readily available over the counter.

    Lone Star
  13. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Well-Known Member

    The bolt action on my dad's sako forester .243 is the best I've handled on any rifle. Accurate too. Sako makes top quality bolt actions at middle of the road prices. It will last you generations. However, if I remember correctly there is a qualitative difference bw one that is Pre-Garcia or post, but I can't recall the specifics of that now, u may want to chase that rabbit and report back. U got a keeper there tho.
  14. 7.62mm.ak47

    7.62mm.ak47 Well-Known Member

    Most Sako's are great from what I hear, but the Remington 700 .308 is in service in the military and police forces. If it's good enough for them, it'll be better than good enough for all of us. Just my opinion.
  15. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    I wish i still have the .243 but i have switched to 7mm 08 since i sold the former.
  16. 15guns

    15guns Well-Known Member

    No they are a total piece of ****. Worse guns ever made. Ha,ha.
  17. ClayinAR

    ClayinAR Well-Known Member

    Lone Star,
    All the older Sako actions will eventually turn purple. All 3 of mine have, circa 1966-69. I thot at first it had been reblued, but after research I found that was normal. This was on a Finnbear 300 win Mag that I bought last year. Looked at my others; they were all that way.
    I had visions of shooting in a little monthly varmint match at the range where I am a member. It would have to shoot under a half inch to avoid embarrassing myself. But you are right; I cannot bring myself to rebarrel it or anything. Been with me too long. It was my first 'good' rifle.
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  18. supercalvin56

    supercalvin56 Well-Known Member

    SAKO made very, very good factory rifles. Browning and several other manufacturers used SAKO medium and small actions in their own branded rifles. But, SAKO still had those great hammer forged barrels. Most are dead nutz accurate...right out of the box. It is too bad Beretta bought them out.
  19. ClayinAR

    ClayinAR Well-Known Member

    7.62mm.ak47 wrote:

    "Most Sako's are great from what I hear, but the Remington 700 .308 is in service in the military and police forces. If it's good enough for them, it'll be better than good enough for all of us. Just my opinion."

    I bought a 700 PSS 308 last year. The only way I could under an inch was to seat the bullets out too long to go in the magazine. Had a trigger job, recrowned, glass bedded.
    I finally gave up and dumped it.
  20. JDMorris

    JDMorris Well-Known Member

    Don't sweat it, that joker is off his chair, I have a 700 SPS Tactical and love it but he is just quoting nonsense, has no experience with either weapons, and I honestly doubt owns a 700 or a Sako.

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