Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Sako, and other Rifles of German manufacture:

I know the older Sako's were great rifles but the newer ones went down hill. As far as the Mauser's, I dont care for the big action's or long bolt throws. I am not that familiar with the newer ones so I cant say. Just my opinion for what its worth.

Pat <>
USA - Monday, December 28, 1998 at 19:23:36 (EST) 

To Pat: You may want to elaborate on Sako´s quality going downhill ?? I know not all like the TRG-S rifle, but it isn´t the only Sako rifle.
I like the Sako 75 -action, it is smooth, square from the factory and barrels are better than most. Actually for normal target shooting they are very good from get-go, for bench rest they may not be the best ones available, but for an off-the-shelf rifle you can not get any better for the price. Not at least in Finland, where a Rem 700 VS costs as much or more than a Sako 75 Varmint. OK Sako Varmint comes with a wood stock, but the quality of manufacturing seems to be quite much above Rem 700 series.

Does Sako 75 have some serious flaws you rifle builders are aware of and I´m not, or what is this Sako bashing I have encountered lately in the net ? In news-forums new rumours surface quite steadily tellign that the new ones are so-so compared to older ones. Is this based on fact or is this just something people "know" because they "heard" it from "somebody" in a gun show ?

Happy New Year to you all !!
Hexa <>
Helsinki, Finland - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 04:40:44 (EST) 

Re: Sako-Action/Rifles and other European stuff

I'm more (competitive) shooter than technician.

Like Hexa I can't find a difference in "older" and "newer" type Sako-actions. The only thing I know that the top shooters in all military and police competitions I took part tend to use the Sako TRG 21 (those newer types), Blaser R93, Mauser SR 86 and Sauer 3000 among some custom made others (ie. Keppler, Gruenig&Elmiger). The days of the Remingtons and Winchesters seems to be gone.

1) Non anatomic stock (lack of a real pistol grade stock, adjustables butt-plates etc.) ---> look at Olympic games in Biathlon, what kind of stock do they use to shoot under stress in prone, kneeing and in standing position like a military shooter sometimes has to? (We are not talking from benchrest rifles mounted on a bench in 1 hour...)
2) Bedding problems??? Never heard of it since Sako TRG-21, Blaser
R 93 or Artic Warfare. Barrel mounted on solid aluminium...

Sorry for my "straight" opinion...

Frank Henn <>
Kaiserslautern, Germany - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 07:31:44 (EST) 

Sako's; The ones I've tried (out of the box now) have not been accurate enough to say they would be in the league with the Remingtons. There was a .22-250v outhere that had about 3 owners including myself and best we got was 1.5"@100 3 shots. Bad barrel would be my guess cause I did everything else. Had plenty winchesters about the same though made back in middle 80's early 90's. Others tried were 30-06 .338win mag 300 mag. All fed good and seemed ok but accuracy was not outstanding. Never tried the TRG but It should be OK
with the set up there. Love Mauser Actions sept for the accuracy. Now I'm talkin out of the box no custom work. But Walmart don't sell Custom rifles much and I fooled with enough Gunsmiths to want to buy something out of the box that will shoot with a minimum of effort. I don't like the Remington action in the way that it feeds dammit that's all there is to it. I had Steyr PPG that was way ahead of it's time but broke firing pins all the time and I let it go. 700V wooden stocked Remington would shoot with it anyday. in .308. It's a game to be sure to pick out the best one! I never had a Remington fail except for occasional jam usually while loading and in a land where temp is 25 in the morning and often 95 by noon it seems to be more consistant than anything else I've tried. Savages have broken Extractor and weak springs pretty regular under heavy use and just recently started shooting decent. Ruger's are finicky as to bedding and accuracy suffers but the barrels are consistent (all bad) and their stocks are poor lumber and questionable plastic. Point of impact changes too much for some unknown reason. Lock time seems long on Win,SAV,and that Win safety is not my favorite nor is the Savage it's a accident waiting to happen. I've had both kinds right out of the box that would fire if you moved them to half and pulled the trigger then set them to on. Scary they were! As a consequence I don't use the safety much on any rifle nowadays with exception of AR 15s or HK's. Remingtons are usually safe. I better quit there. Duck!~
B.Rogers <>
USA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 11:58:10 (EST) 

To the entire European Community,
I AM SORRY!!! I didn't mean that the Sako was not a good top quality rifle. I loved them and the workmanship was top quality and probably still is. I loved the old Fenwolf or Fenbear action's and they shot!!! When Sako changed to the newer style actions" I" feel that they lost the top quality accuracy they used to have. I never owned one of the older ones that was'nt an 1" or under out of the box. The new ones are not that way, and I have heard gunsmiths say that the new actions have a poor recoil lug set up I don't know this for a fact only 2nd hand. Bill Rs. experience's practically mirror my own and this is why I said what I said!! I didn't men to insuldt anyone's guns.Geees.
Guys it was just "MY" opinion and what do I know!!

Pat <>
USA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 14:49:52 (EST) 

Pat, the new Sako recoil lug is a seperate piece. The bottom of the reciever is flat and there is a raised stub about 3/8" diameter and 1/4" tall that the front action screw hole is drilled into. The recoil lug is a piece of aluminium angle with a hole in it. The lug is fitted to the action by that stub so it doesn't directly contact the action screw. When you see one and see how much machine work it took to make that little stub on the bottom of the reciever you will wonder why they didn't just machine a dang recoil lug into the action instead. It's alot easier to program a square recoil lug that to drive the mill around a circle to form the little stub the seperate lug fits up to.
Rich <>
WA USA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 15:17:22 (EST) 

I owned two Sakos in the past and sold them because the accuracy was not impessive. Now I'm on my third Sako, a varmint model that so far barely breaks the 1" mark. If I can't find a load that makes it shoot good by the end of next summer I'll trade or sell this one too. None of my three Sakos equalled the accuracy of any of the Rem 700s I've owned over the years.
For that matter they don't come close to the only Savage model 110FP that I have ever owned.
The Sakos had smooth actions and nice blueing but in accuracy they were nothing special in my experience.
Kodiak <>
USA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 18:23:19 (EST) 

To Hexa: All regular Sako actions, the old ones as well as the Model 75, were designed as hunting rifles, and they have all the accuracy that can be expected from a lightweight design. If you are more into serious target or long range shooting, The Sako TRG-21 (.308W) and
TRG-41 (.338 Lapua Mag.) are hard to beat. By the way Heikki, I have visited both the Sako and Lapua factories on several occasions.

Hans <>
B.C., CANADA - Tuesday, December 29, 1998 at 21:19:10 (EST) 

OK you guys!! Enough of the Sako Bashing!! First of all the Older pre-Garcia Sako with the Bofors barrels were excellent shooters. After that, the barrel quality went somewhat downhill, but the actions were still one of the best Mauser style actions around. Glass smoooooth with very little work needed to true up the bolt face. Whe I go to a gun show I do look for Sako actions for a reasonable price. Usually about 350-400 is reasonable. After that remove the barrel and install one of the super shooter barrels of today, like Shilen, Hart, Douglas, Obermeyer, what ever have you. And convert that into a your favorite sniper rifle. McMillan will make a stock for you using the exact Sako action you have. Then watch it shoot. If you do your part it will keep up with anything out there. I have used numerous Sako actions and am constantly looking for some. Also the Mauser 98 which are the FN actions. Love those too. Good Price at a gun show is about 300 to 325 for a good commercial FN action, notice I commercial!

Al Ostapowicz <>
Sako Country Spoken here in the Grand Republic Of , Ohio USA - Wednesday, December 30, 1998 at 00:24:42 (EST) 

Thanks for all comments on Sako´s quality. I´m the first to admit that Sako´s are not the 100% best ever answer to all prayers. But they do come close :-) At least in the form of Tikka Target models and Sako´s heavy barrels. BTW Both are produced in the same factory these days, and barrels are also produced in the same machine, so if Tikka barrels are good, then Sako barrels must be good too.

I have on several occasions in reservist sniping exercises (usually lasting from friday night to late sunday afternoon) seen TRG-21´s in use and they have shown for what they are: Extremly accurate, nice-weather police and target rifles. When used as a normal military type sniper rifle (crawling all day long in the bush and dirt) they do start to give problems. Usually the trigger action is to blame, it just wont fire. Or the firing pin doesn´t hit the primer with enough force to send teh bullet flying and so on. Anyways out of the three or four TRG-21´s rifles present every weekend at least one has given problems. It may be that the users have adjusted the triggers improperly or something, but at least these rifles are not idiot proof (what is ?).

The TRG-series has passed all kinds of abuse-tests both in Finland and abroad. Problem is, that it is very difficult to test the rifles in a scientific way and still create all possible kinds of environments. In any case it has failed so often that we decided to look for something else in our effort to acquire a decent 338 Lapua Magnum target/tactical rifle.

We have even suggested to the military, that if they buy TRG-41´s (338 Lapua Magnum) they should ask Sako to redesign a new, simplified "military-trigger-system" for the rifle. Personally I do not like the stock, as it has unnecessary many adjustments (which will break down sooner or later) and is somewhat clumsy when you crawl with it. On the other hand it´s aluminium bedding block structure and the rifles hammer forged action are to be appreciated. For competition and normal police work these rifles are among the best rifles that exist. For the wilderness some things could be better executed.

So there is batch of 338 LM rifles that will be made by one the best rifle smiths in Finland, Jyri Jalonen. Weapons built by him (mainly rifles, but also siluette pistols) have won competitions in European and World championship levels. Still he understands what is important in a "real world" rifle, (i.e. qualiy must be good, accuracy must be excellent and reliability must be very good too). How our project will really end up, is open, but I doubt that our rifles will be anything more than excellent ones. I´ll keep you posted.

As Torf and Torsten have proved, in Europe Rem 700 series or even Savage 110 FP´s are not the bargains, what they are in the States, especially when compared to locally produced rifles. Taxes, freights and extra-dealers between factory and end-user tend to inflate prices very much. Also European optics tend to be quite competitive here. Especially as Leupold M1´s are M3´s are offered at totally absurd prices. Still I may acguire a 3.5-10x40 M3 LR as it seems a very good compromise on everything and I like the "max one turn of the elevation dial"-BDC/MOA concept. One extra difficultiy here is the fireamrs licensing. That causes people to be extremly sensitive about what they buy, as swapping and trading rifles all the time will just cause you a headache with the forms and licensing fees. People may wan to pay a little extra for a name-brand just to be sure of quality.

Sorry this became too logn, just wanted to prove that I like facts, not some stupid "our products are better than your products" discussion.

Hexa <heikki.juhola@telia>
Helsinki, Finland - Wednesday, December 30, 1998 at 11:52:46 (EST) 

Tikka, Sako and T 76 rifles

I had acquired the skills from Australian Millitary Advisors a while ago at Dat Do - Ba Ria (near Vung Tau). Now, my applications are just for fun and collectible. I use out of the box ammo.

TIKKA M Sporter 595: I am very impressed and have no complain. The rifle performs as its claim, an excellent target rifle. BTW-Thanks to all the advises from this thread on moly ammo. The M595/308 W. price was about 650 USD (from Jerry Sports Center). It has a 62cm (24.40 inches) barrel and wood stock.

SAKO TRG21 and 41: Both of them come in transport cases with all the accessories except silencers. The SAKO quick release scope base is interchangable on all 3 rifles. There are low and high scope bases for different objective sizes. Again I am happy with both at 0.5 mile or 840 meters (measured by uncalibrated Japanese SUV's odometer and Garmin GPS 45).

Mr. Hexa_ I had a chance to compare T76 side by side with TRG 41. I personaly likes the 41 better for: stock, grip, weight and lenght. It is too long for me. I am only 165cm and the T 76 is 132cm. They both performed very well at 840 meters. I did not "test" them at 1500 yards or meters as in theirs ad. BTW- the T76 has built in muzle brake, not removable like TRG 41. They are about the same price in US.

NhaTrang62 <>
USA - Wednesday, December 30, 1998 at 13:51:25 (EST) 

Torsten gave the price on a Blaser 93 Tactical. Blaser makes a huntingrifle called "Offroad". The B93 Offroad has a synthetic stock similar to the H&S-VS/PSS with alu bedddingblock. Blaser make the Offroad as a regular huntingrifle with thin sporterbarrels and as a "Safari" for biggamerounds like .416remmag. The point is that the matchbarrels from the R93Tactical drops into the Safari synthetic stock without any fitting. The best part is that a Blaser R93 Offroad is the cheapest rifle they make. A Rem700VS cost $900 and the B R93 Offroad Hunter $1100. With a Safari stock and a heavy barrel the price will go up.

Oslo, Norway - Wednesday, December 30, 1998 at 13:54:48 (EST) 

I have played with the new Blaser and I know some of you don't want to hear this but here I go. Who came up with this! A weapon you have to have the bolt open to insert the magazine. No thanks. Will it shoot better than a M700 or any other American made rifle for the same price? I doubt it. Take a M700 or M70 and put the additional money into them and watch the Blaser eat dust. This thing is more Bench Racing with rifles. I w8ill take a stock PSS any day.

Calif USA - Wednesday, December 30, 1998 at 15:54:20 (EST) 

The Blaser:

Hehe, this is a love or hate rifle. I can't agree myself. Maybe a targetgun, but it's certenly not a military sniper. A gun for sunny sundays :-). The concept of a component gun is good. I also like the elimination of the action. Jeff Cooper(.45ACP) loves it!!

Torsten, maybe we can copy the Blaser Tactical layout with parts from a Mauser M66 and G3 magazines ;-)

To Hans, re. Tikkas:

The new Tikkas are cleaning up in production BR. They are exellent. The Tikka Target with milled alu and steel-tubed stock is one radical rifle! Closest thing to a mobile BR-railgun I've ever seen. Why the Finnish Army is bothering with the Sakos when they can have the Tikkas with McMillan-stocks at a fraction of the price is beond me.

Oslo, Norway - Wednesday, December 30, 1998 at 17:22:57 (EST) 

To Torf: I think that the Finish Army is interested nowadays mainly in Sako TRG-41 in 338 Lapua Magnum and other rifles in the same calibre. Tikka Rifles do not chamber this round at all (the long action is not long enough). In 308 Tikkas are very good and price vise cheaper than comparable Sako´s. Actually here you can buy a Tikka Super Sporter (heavy barrel, wooden target type stock) for about 1000 USD. My problem is that Tikka does not produce short action (.308 lenght) action in a left handed version. The 30-06 lenght can be had left-handed. I´m left-handed if you didn´t guess it already :-)

To NhaTrang: Cool to hear that Sakos have found their way to strange places (Vietnam, I guess ?). Anyways I read in an american gun magazine that the Finnish Amry actually had ordered for testing one Dakota T-76 Longbow. Last week I read in a local gun magazine that one miltary test rifle in 338 LM from Pirkan Ase (probaly the best known small gunsmith/gun producer in Finland, producer of Lynx-straight-pull-rifles) that was sold at an auction for 800 USD !! They charge for a new one around 2000 USD. Too bad I missed it.

Anyways I think too, that TRG-41´s one major plus point, is its comparatively low weight. It weights empyt without scope something like 5,5 kg, less than 6 kg in any case.

I think that Sako´s factory suppressors are made by a company called BR-Tuote Oy, Jyväskylä, Finland. Sako do not offer suppressors for the 338 version, though. From BR-Tuote you can get a suppressors even for a 50 BMG, so getting a 338 model is not a problem. I´m sorry that the import of suppressors to the States is so difficult, otherwise I could buy it for you here and send it via UPS or post over to the USA. In any case if needed I could help if you know how to get the suppressor through customs. Here suppressors are considered mainly as "noice-pollution-reducers" even though at least one murder and several dozens of poaching incidents over the years have involved a supressed firearm. So far the good points have outweighed the negative points in this matter, even though we have had to modify our firearma to comply wiht EU regulations.

A friend of my friend tested just a few weeks ago a TRG-41 in 338 LM with a BR-Tuote suppressor. It became evident that the muzzle brake, to which the suppressor is mounted, moved around a little bit and the bullets touched sometimes the internals of the suppressor. No problems otherwise but accuracy went out of the window. The shooter suggested that the brake should be threaded to the barrel and then a "pressure-band" screwed tight over it. I think Accuracy Internationals Super Magnum uses this kind of solution.

Hexa <>
Helsinki, Finland - Thursday, December 31, 1998 at 07:42:39 (EST) 

The muzzle brake for TRG 21 and 41 worried me a bit when I first install it. It clamps on the barrel just by collar screw. I was skeptical about the precision alignment. But with closer look, there is a groove about 1" from the muzzle for the muzzle brake to lock in place. I just tighten the screw down suggly and give it another 1/4 turn and everything is just fine. BTW- the muzzle has concave crown and the muzzle brake has external thread for my dream sound supressure to screw on. There is another version of muzzle brake w/o thread but I did not get them.

Happy New Year !
USA - Thursday, December 31, 1998 at 20:11:06 (EST) 


any input from you girls on this one ??? A friend wants a new rifle, he´s getting rid of a Rem 700 VS and his defence budget allows for a SAKO TRG. Seems to be a straid forward rig with nothing to add.

Torsten <>
Germany - Sunday, February 21, 1999 at 17:07:18 (ZULU) 

Torsten: If your friend is interested in a TRG he would be hard pressed to find a better rifle
in a factory package.

I was going to buy a TRG-S in .338 Lapua and gradually customize it over a period of time.I did not particularly care for the looks of the TRG itself.

I figured that I could customize a TRG-S cheaper than buying a TRG and get exactly what I wanted in the first place.

I had in mind a McMillan A2 or HS Pro Series stock,aftermarket bull heavy barrel by Dan Lilja,and an adjustable aftermarket trigger.The TRG-S itself was on sale for $675 Canadian funds.I figured the whole package would cost me around $2000 by the time it was complete.

I was ready to place my order for the TRG-S when I found a Weatherby Accumark (comes with HS stock and stainless steel fluted barrel) in .340 Weatherby.It was used very little and bought it for only $850 Canadian.I couldn't pass up the deal and settled for it instead.

You didn't mention if he was going for a magnum or not.The Sako L691 is about as strong and finely made as they come.Sako certainly doesn't need my endorsement,that's for sure.

I would certainly recommend the Sako if that's what your friend wants.If he gets it,fill me in on how it works.I'd love to hear about it.

Jeff Babineau <>
Truro, N.S., Canada - Sunday, February 21, 1999 at 19:29:15 (ZULU) 

So a TRG 21 it will be, in .308. I thought this would give him a better start that getting a Rem 700 and throwing away half of it and buying aftermarket stuff for it. We´ll try to get some of those Badger Ordnance canted mounts for it and to replace my "el cheapo" Mauser 86SR Mount.

Torsten <>
poor as a Churchmouse, in, Germany - Monday, February 22, 1999 at 09:49:57 (ZULU) 

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