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Sako is renowned for its exceptionally high quality and relatively inexpensive weapons.
For several decades, Finnish hunting weapons have enjoyed the reputation of an exceptionally high-quality and relatively inexpensive "working tool".
Over 80 years of existence, the company has gone from a simple repair shop to a large world-renowned arms and ammunition company.
Milestones in history. Finnish rifle SAKO
Winter war with the USSR 1939-1940 made the Finns think about the safety of the factory in wartime conditions. Most of the production facilities were located underground, or rather, under the rocks. Time has shown that this work was not in vain. During the Second World War, the factory was subjected to air raids 53 times, which, in principle, is not a lot, however, even one bombing could put an end to the further existence of Sako, if it was on the surface. It should be noted that during the entire war (until 1944), work was stopped for only 36 hours, due to a power outage.
And only in 1972 the Nokia concern bought out the shares belonging to the Red Cross. At the end of December 1999, the Beretta holding bought 100% of Sako's shares.
Unsinkable under … a rock boat
Weapon parts are milled from solid metal blanks. The stocks are also produced on site: copied and then manually sanded. Exterior decoration and notching are done by women. Sako also manufactures cold-forged barrels in-house. In addition, the company produces a wide range of rifle, pistol and revolver cartridges and optical mounts for its carbines.
The enterprise has established strict medical control, which allows, among other things, to avoid the effect on the products of the sad consequences of some "national" characteristics. Each finished product undergoes control shooting in a closed 100-meter shooting range. The performance of biathlon rifles is tested at -20 ° C.
In general, we can say that the company has done everything necessary to produce quality weapons that are deservedly popular in the world.
Towards Sako Excellence
The alphanumeric designations of the first rifle models formed the basis for the classification of the standard sizes of the bolt groups, depending on the caliber. Groups I and II (L461) included cartridges of caliber up to 7, 62x39, inclusive. Group III (L579) - from.22-250 Rem to.308 Win. In IV (L61R) - from.25-06 Rem to 9.3 × 62. V (L61R) - from.270 Wby Mag to.375 H&H Mag. A separate V Magnum bolt group with the same designation - chambered for 416 Rem Mag.
In the last decade, interest in sniping and sniper weapons has noticeably increased in the world. The once narrow-profile and almost closed topic has become the subject of close study. World manufacturers of weapons began to actively produce and widely advertise new sniper rifles, not only for the needs of the army and police, but also for fans of accurate shooting. Sako is no exception. In 1990, the production of TRG-21 sniper rifles chambered for.308 Win was launched, and in 2000 - TRG-42 chambered for.300 Win Mag and a new promising sniper rifle -.338 Lapua Magnum.
In 1996, the famous 75th episode was released. In it, the developers combined both their existing developments and the positive qualities of other hunting carbines. In addition, the 75th did not become a "thing in itself" - its creation was preceded not only by the work of designers, but also by the wishes of the hunters. Sako carried out a market analysis, a wide survey of opinions, took into account the shortcomings of previous models identified during operation and wishes for tuning. The result is a weapon from which you can shoot with high performance directly from the "box". The 75th model line has replaced all the previous ones. In fact, the company released one universal sample, but did not follow the path of the Blaser (R-93) with its interchangeable barrels. In my opinion, this is correct - you cannot make a carbine that is equally good, for example, for both.223 and 9, 3x62. Unified standard sizes of bolt groups allow the consumer to get 75 Hunter, 75 Hunter Stainless, 75 Deluxe, 75 Varmint for all cartridges manufactured by Sako. 75 Battue, used for driven hunts and short "pistol" shots offhand, is produced only in IV and V bolt groups under 7x64,.30-06 Sprg, 9, 3x62 and.300 Win Mag. Option 75 Varmint Laminated Stainless - in bolt groups I and III - chambered for.222 Rem to.308 Win cartridges. 75 Syntetic Stainless - for all cartridges from 22 PPC. The exceptions are 7x64,.280 Rem,.240 Wby Mag, 7 mm Wby Mag,.340 Wby Mag.
In recent years, the tendency towards lightening the weight of hunting weapons has become more and more evident: the shoulder will completely transfer the recoil of two or three shots on a hunt, but with long transitions the weight of the weapon is felt quite noticeably. Here again the versatility and "hidden possibilities" of the 75th appeared. In response to this global trend, the 75 Finnlight was launched in 2001. The short and lightweight (100 mm shorter and 500 g lighter than comparable samples) the carabiner still has excellent balance. Finnlight models are produced in three variants of bolt groups - III (.243 Win, 7 mm-08 Rem,.308 Win), IV (.25-06 Rem, 6, 5 × 55 SE,.270 Win,.280 Rem,. 30-06 Sprg), V (7 mm Rem Mag,.300 Win Mag).
Finnscout was replaced by Sako Finnfire rifles chambered for.22 LR in Hunter, Varmint, Range modifications with P94S bolt group. In 2000, the Silhouette Light model was introduced, designed for silhouette shooting from a small-bore rifle (shooting at the metal silhouettes of animals and birds).
Markets for Sako products
However, the Finns did not abandon the idea of conquering the American market. Sako has found a golden seed in the United States' fight for the safety of weapons. This is the Key Concept. The control system for access to weapons, created in conjunction with the concern that manufactures ASSA ABLOY, is a lock integrated with the bolt. The system was first presented at the IWA International Weapons Exhibition in Nuremberg in March 2000. The principle of operation is based on blocking the striker with a key, as a result of which the weapon cannot be reloaded. An attempt to break the lock leads to breakage of the bolt group and excludes the production of a shot. Weapons without a key can be stolen and, having broken the lock and drummer, after being repaired, they can be used for their intended purpose. But Key Concept will fulfill its main function anyway. An outsider: an intruder, a child, and so on, who has taken possession of a weapon, cannot (perhaps, take the key from the owner) to use it - only as a club. Tests conducted in order to find out the effect of the system on the performance of the weapon have shown its absolute reliability. Weapons equipped with the Key Concept retain all their characteristics in all weather conditions, including significant low temperatures. Sako is currently installing a "key concept" system on all bolt group III through V weapons.
Sako celebrated its 80th anniversary this year with the Sako 75 Safari jubilee series. The handcrafted weapon comes in the classic.375 H&H Mag for hunting the African Big Five. The carbine has a V Magnum bolt group. 75 Safari will be released in limited edition before the end of the year.
P. S. The austere and graceful design of Sako is somewhat reminiscent of the nature of Finland and Karelia - I have been there once and I want to return. Possessing an excellent balance and good accuracy, the carbine itself asks for in hand and honestly responds to attention to itself.