Sako bashing?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by Makoman, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    So, I’m a member on a few other forums as I’m sure are most of you. There will oftentimes be a thread title that reads something along the lines of “show us your classy rifle” etc. Then, as you’d expect, everyone starts posting pictures of their beautiful wooden stocked rifles. On a couple occasions, I’ve seen where someone posted a picture of their Sako (or Tikka), and makes a point of stating that it’s a “pre-Beretta” Sako, as if to convey that the rifles made by Sako/Tikka since the takeover by Beretta are somehow flawed or lacking in quality. Is there anything to this? I’m a huge Beretta fan, particularly of the 92 and 81 series pistols, having owned probably close two dozen of a combination of those pistols through the years. I also own a 686 Onyx and a Benelli Super Black Eagle the quality having been excellent on nearly all those firearms.

    I recently purchased my grail hunting rifle, an AV, and have been looking to acquire an 85 as well. The few that I handled were very high quality compared to other rifles I’ve handled. What gives?

     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020

  2. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if I would call expressing a preference bashing. Some people like the older wood-stocked made in Finland Sakos more than the newer Beretta Sakos. I myself have no interest in buying a Sako 85 but do regard them as fine rifles. I would bet the majority of those in the club feel the newer rifles are just fine. Those outside the Sako fraternity may have different ideas.
     
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  3. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Beretta took over Sako on Jan. 1, 2000 when it was still making the Model 75 & 6 years before the introduction of the Model 85. As production & assembly of the rifles did not magically change when Beretta assumed ownership I'm at a loss to explain what "pre-Beretta" means. As Sako did not make rifles in sequential order it would also be nearly impossible (without a factory hang tag) to determine if a Model 75 was made prior to or after Beretta's purchase. It's just BS from people with little knowledge about Sako that people with even less knowledge perpetuate. The current Model 85 has had some ejection & QC issues that have been discussed here, but overall I think they are good rifles. It's just that the 75 & 85 haven't been around all that long & have not established a "collector" interest like the L & A series guns from the 50's through the 80's. Whether they will become "collectible" in the future has yet to be determined. I feel an older L series rifle at 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a new 85 is a much more attractive deal.
     
  4. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately but often, when a large conglomerate buys out a smaller company changes are made which often have an ill affect on the brand. Many see no reason to completely redesign a perfectly fine product. Yes, times change and firearms companies must stay with them, otherwise they may get left behind, and the gun writers need things to publish.

    Im my opinion Beretta should/could have worked with Sako and continued to build rifles for the market using the “L” style actions, and as such, used the best wood stocks to go along with them. I guarantee there’s a market of traditional folks with high taste, who’d buy the product, even at a premium - I know I would.

    Other makers have ventured into more modern offerings while still keeping traditionalists happy. You can look everywhere and see companies who cater to ALL levels. Cannot figure why Beretta failed to better measure the market.

    There’s nothing wrong with the current 75’s and 85’s, However, some QC issues have been discovered and it seems at times these issues fall on deaf ears. I own a few 85’s myself, and have been lucky. Imagine feeling lucky, I’ve had no problems with a few $1500-2000 rifles.

    Unfortunately Beretta has not ever had an “A team” when it comes to support. Trying to get straight answers or technical support issues resolved is a joke - and it’s well known throughout the industry and throughout the general population of consumers. I’ve always known, if you buy a modern 85, plan to be on your own regarding support. If you are lucky to receive support it typically means your rifle will end up in a black hole for a while, then you’ll receive it back months later with a letter stating it meets spec.

    For the dollars spent many will not take this type of chance, especially when the competition offers lifetime support, a high degree of technical knowledge, the ability to purchase accessories and fast turn around times if repairs are needed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  5. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Different strokes for different folks. Every shooter or collector has a personal preference when it comes to firearms. I think that over the years Sako has produced a very wide selection of models to suit most any buyers needs.
    Over the years there have been many derivatives and knockoffs built or assembled from Sako actions and assemblies by other manufacturers which may or may not have met the expectations of Sako lovers. Different owners of the Sako factory have also changed the quality of Sako models to fit different market areas and conditions. For those reasons and also personal preference Sako owners and collectors do look for models that suit their purpose. Another way to look at it is that over the many decades that Sako has provided a very wide selection of models to suit most of the market needs, there should be a Sako to fit anyone's needs. Most serious collectors place higher value on the older higher quality models but on the other hand, younger buyers seem to trend toward military type firearms with more durable characteristics. In my humble opinion regardless of model, the basic actions and barrels of all Sakos are of exceptional quality for a mass production rifle. I prefer older Sakos for quality at a better price than the newer models because they seem to hold their value better. To each his own by preference, when buying any rifle the buyer must be diligent. Sakojim.
     
  6. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

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    Fiat bought Chrysler, no one I know blames Fiat for Chrylser qualities. Funny world, funny people.
     
  7. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Paulson and Sean Hodges, you mentioned QC issues in connection with the 85s. Aside from the ejection issue, what QC issues have arisen?
     
  8. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Mis-machined action dovetails! Front & rear NOT the same height! Extractor not cut & fit properly. Beretta does little to fix or help from what I hear. Things are always "within spec" as far as they are concerned.
     
  9. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    What paulson has stated - along with magazine and feeding issues. With that said, I’ve owned/ own a few and have been on the right side of the issues.
     
  10. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

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    I think the 85's are very well designed and wouldnt trade mine for any older model. As a mechanical designer I admire the changes and revisions throughout their production years as all are very well made. Some versions are just a sign of the times and dont appeal to the collector which so happens to be the name of this site. The others will still make fine shooters.
     
  11. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree with that. I too think the 85 design is an improvement over the L- and A-series design. (The QC issues mentioned are another story, though.) The only thing I don't like about it is the recoil lug arrangement--wish they had stayed with the integral lug of the earlier designs.
     
  12. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    That's really unfortunate. We seem to have it a little better in Canada. Stoeger Canada is the distributor of Sako rifles here, and the interactions I've had with them have been good. I haven't had to deal with problems, but communications re parts and information about Sako products (albeit not regarding pre-Beretta models) have been prompt and informative.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  13. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    "Collectors" are never interested in "newer" guns, and for obvious reasons. A "newer" gun only becomes collectible after a period of time and for reasons dependent on uniqueness, quality, chambering, or some other attribute.

    However, "newer" can vary with the perspective of the individual. Having owned Sakos since the mid-1960's, my perception of "older" begins and ends with the L-series; for that matter, it ends with L-series rifles produced before the weight of the barrels and stocks increased around 1968-69. Later Sakos may be useful hunting rifles, but they stir very little passion in me. On the other hand, a Sako owner in his 30's or 40's might think of a Model 75 as "older".

    Currently produced Sakos have been re-designed to make manufacturing more efficient, which understandably keeps costs down (from what they otherwise might be) and helps maintain company profits so they can stay in business. Some of these changes represent improved engineering, which may (or may not) impact the aesthetics of the rifle.

    The long and the short is that what an individual finds interesting or appealing varies, as does their perception of what is desirable in a rifle. While I find little of interest in an A7 or a Model 85 I certainly wouldn't say that they are of "lesser quality" that 1960's Sakos; just that they are of a different generation and design. But it is too bad that Beretta USA seems to have so little interest in customer service and no interest in supporting "pre-Beretta" Sakos.
     
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  14. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    Ive contacted Beretta U.S.A. customer service more than a few times over the years and my experience has been similar to yours. That said, I’ve yet to use them for any warranty issues. Hopefully I never will, them or any other firearm manufacturer.
     
  15. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    I suspect just as much myself.

    Agreed. It hasn’t deterred me from my plan to acquire that 85 Grey Wolf that keeps calling my name. While the ejection issue can be annoying, I think as long as I stick with Optilock mounts/rings and use a scope that doesn’t have an obnoxious windage turret, I will be fine.
     
  16. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    Totally. Beretta has brought back some of their discontinued firearms in recent years due to strong demand, and offers finer wood and finishes on its higher end shotguns. Since they have the wherewithal to do so it would be a no brainer. I’m sure Sako has a lot of the tooling for those older rifles somewhere in storage, and even if they don’t, as long as they have the specs, the miracle of 3-D printing can easily help reproduce those tools. It’s such a no brainer.
     
  17. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Everyone has their druthers. I think the Pre-Beretta crowd is kind of nationalistic, eg the Dodgers were better when they were in Brooklyn...for me, it is the A-series, anything built after is diminished. The last of the scaled actions, last of the recoil lugged receivers. I also think the hunter style stocks are the best ever designed for a hunting rifle. Pure hand-filling comfort. The pinnacle of Walnut and steel. No magazines to lose, no rotting recoil pads, no crazed lacquer finish, no splitting of SS fluted barrels, no chemically unstable synthetic stocks, no ejection issues, but hey, too each their own.
     
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  18. P04R

    P04R Well-Known Member

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    Companies must move with the times. If Sako stuck with the labor intensive designs and level of build quality of the early models the rifles would cost 3-4 times as much as the model 85 does currently. I don't think there would be that much market at that price point. Currently Sako is the largest small arms manufacturer in Europe, so they must be doing something right. Though the biggest doesn't automatically mean the best in every way.

    Stick with S-size action and you will be fine. The ejection issue only exists in M and L actions.
     
  19. Makoman

    Makoman Active Member

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    That’s good to know. S-size is exactly what I’m looking at.

    I never would have thought. If I had to guess, I would have thought Beretta or FN.
     
  20. RangerAV

    RangerAV Active Member

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    Huh? The 85s come in several different action sizes.

    ??

    I agree about the feel of the Hunter stock on my AV. Great! I've only taken it out hunting in the original stock twice, though; too pretty (in my mind) to damage.... so now it sits in a McMillan SAKO Classic. Wish I didn't feel that way about it, but there ya go...

    -Chris
     

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