75 Finnlight or 85 Finnlight in .300WSM or .300 Win Mag?

Discussion in 'Discussions about Sako 75, 85 and A7' started by gatsby26, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. gatsby26

    gatsby26 New Member

    Hi all,
    I just wanted to pick the brains (and experience) of the very knowledgable folk here about which rifle I have the option of buying. I have the option of buying either a 'second hand' Sako 75 Finnlight in .300 Win Mag (in excellent condition) or a 'new' Sako 85 Finnlight in .300 Win Mag or .300WSM.
    I've owned both calibres before in other rifles. My questions are;

    1/ Does the 75 handle recoil better than the 85 in .300 Win Mag?
    2/ Can you buy a screw on 'prefit' Limbsaver recoil pad for the 85 Finnlight like you can for the 75 Finnlight?
    3/ Which calibre would you choose in the 85 Finnlight? The .300 Win Mag or the .300WSM? Do you feel one action length (L or SM) handles, balances or feels better than the other?
    4/ Do you find accuracy in either of the two calibres to be on par with each other or have you found one to be more accurate than the other?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. Recoil shouldn't be different between the two models. The lighter the gun the more felt recoil, so the Finnlight will kick you a little harder than a slightly heavier gun. The 300's don't kick all that bad, but can be a little tough when hunkered down shooting from the bench. Out in the field shooting off hand or kneeling your body absorbs the recoil better & you won't notice it as much. Especially when you are all pumped up after a trophy. Use a Past recoil pad that attaches to your shoulder or a sled when sighting in from the bench to save yourself the suffering if you are recoil sensitive like me. Leave the original pad on for hunting. Get the thicker Past pad, they work very nicely. How a gun balances is more a personal preference than it is one model being "better" than the other. Either rifle in either caliber will give you all the accuracy you should need. The difference in accuracy will vary more between any individual gun more than which caliber it is.
  3. bigbear

    bigbear Member

    one side of the coin

    I have 75 Finnlight in 300WinMag. It is so accurate as to be boring. Can't help you with any comparison though.My 75 has the ugly bolt lock, never been a problem, but it's ugly to my eye. The 85 doesn't have that issue. I would never sell my 75Finnlight. Already had a Remington in 300Winmag ( lots of brass bullets, dies on hand)so never thought about the short Mag. The latter are said to be very accurate. I can't shoot better than the 1" groups i get with my 300Win finnlight.
  4. David_S

    David_S Member

    I have both 75 and 85 Finnlights in 270 WSM. I bought the 75 secondhand last year at a favourable but fair price complete with Zeiss scope and found a few problems.

    1) It did not feed smoothly and sometimes jammed when picking up a cartridge. This is I understand an inherent problem with the WSM case with its sharp shoulders and fat design.
    2) The bolt tended to stick slightly on opening - not what I expected from a Sako.
    3) The Finnlights are light mountain rifles so you can expect them to be "frisky" with a magnum cartridge.

    I had a gunsmith work on the action and it now feeds a lot better and more smoothly, but you have to be forceful when working the bolt or it can still jam.
    The rifle came with a Limbsaver which works well and fits neatly. The recoil was manageable at the range but unpleasant when hunting and both my son and I were "kissed" by the scope. We also found it difficult to call our shots due to muzzle jump. I was considering selling the rifle and getting an 85 in 6.5x55 but decided to try a muzzle brake. This has transformed the rifle which is now a pleasure to shoot. Recoil is reduced to less than my Model 70 7x57 and muzzle jump is minimised so that last week I could see through the scope a chamois flinch as my bullet hit.

    I decided the flat-shooting calibre was ideal for chamois hunting so upgraded to a new 85 (with set trigger) with the intention of selling the 75 and transferring rings and scope across. I put an identical Greystone Guns muzzle brake on the 85 and fitted a Kick-Eze recoil pad. This was not quite as good a fit as the 75's Limbsaver, but is claimed to more effective.

    I have only put 4 shots through the 85 but

    1) It feeds more smoothly than the 75 due to a redesigned action.
    2) The 85 is slightly lighter than the 75 but recoil with brake and pad feels the same.
    3) The new "controlled" feed on the 85 feels smoother than the 75 and enables you to withdraw a half-chambered round without having to close the bolt first.
    4) The redesigned magazine latch is neat and easy to operate, though I never had problems with the magazine falling out of the 75.
    5) The set trigger works a treat

    With other than WSM cartridges I would say there is little difference between the 75 and 85 but with a WSM I would prefer the 85. As for accuracy the 75 shoots 4-shot groups 0.5 to 1MOA with 130gr bullets which will be hard for the 85 to better.

    My problem now is that I have just got the 75 shooting well - in the last few weeks it has dropped 3 deer, a couple of pigs and a chamois. I know how to work the action to minimise feeding problems (it also seems to be loosening up the more I use it) and if I transfer the scope etc across I will not have a sighted-in hunting rifle for the summer apart from the trusty 7x57 until I work up a load for the 85. So it looks as if I might just have to hang on to the 75. What a hard decision!!!

    In your case Gats I would go with the 85 because of its improved action and redesigned feed. Can't advise on the calibre though. And I would seriously consider a muzzle brake.

  5. David_S

    David_S Member

    Another difference 85 v 75

    Just discovered another difference between the 85 and 75 SM actions as used for WSMs. The throat of the 85 is shorter than the 75 by some 5mm.

    This means that with the 85 a cartridge loaded to just fit the magazine will be touching, near to touching, or even jammed into the lands, depending on the actual projectile used.

    For example I load 130gr Hornady SSTs for both the 75 and 85 in 270 WSM. The magazine length for both 75 and 85 is 74.7mm. The LOA of my 75 load is 74.3 and the distance off lands is 4.1mm (0.160"). If I were to use this round in the 85 it would be jammed 1.2mm (50 thou) into the lands!

    The 75 seems to like the 4mm jump but, although I have not yet loaded for the 85, I think the 85 is to be preferred as the projectiles are seated deeper and you have the option of seating close to the lands and still fitting the magazine.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  6. gatsby26

    gatsby26 New Member

    Many thanks fellas for your input. Dave much appreciated for the comparisons you gave. I've owned a 75 Finnlight before in .300 Win Mag and sold it in a brain fart. With a prefit limbsaver recoil off the bench was fine. I've had a feel of the 85 Finnlight at my local gunshop and I like the new soft touch stock and yes (from memory of the 75) it does feel a tad lighter in the hands. Also the 85 Finnlight I noticed in .300 WSM has the same length barrel as the .300 Win Mag (compared to the 75 series) so it should get the full benefit out of the short and fat round.
    Personally I like the 'look' of the 75 Finnlight over the 85 stock grip panels (but they seem very functional) and here in Oz a 75 Finnlight in excellent condition commands a premium price. Oh well decisions?????
  7. d500lnn

    d500lnn Member

    I have 75 finnlight with McMillan stock. It's chambered for 300wsm. Shoots lights out and I would never get rid of it. I've had a 300wm and it felt like more of a push than a radical recoil of the wsm. The other gun was a slightly heavier Remington 700. To me it was much more manageable. It was manga ported. I decided to tuff it out and go without breakout n finnlight. This wsm is moa or less all day every day.

    my 75 finnlight 243 is 1/2 moa with boring regularity....

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