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Sako M85 Bavarian Carbine

Sako Collectors Club Discussion Forum

agm114m

Member
Hello everyone. So the other day, I went and bought a Model 85 Bavarian Carbine in 6.5x55 Swede...it is beautiful rifle that comes up to the shoulder very nicely. I'm curious if anyone here with one of these has any recommendations for a bullet that the rifle seems to like. I have a L61R in 7mm REM MAG that does really well with Combined Technology 140gr BT and Hornady 162gr SSTs but I haven't really heard much about the newer Sakos. I'm looking at trying either Barnes TTSX or Nosler BT with Lapua brass. Any thoughts?

V/R,

Jon JRR_6485.jpg JRR_6486.jpg
 
Very Nice Jon.

While I'm not a super fan of the later sako's I quite like the barvarians. One thing I love about them is the push forward set triggers - very nice - well under a pound set and still about a 2 pound pull unset. Sorry but i can't help with the projectile selection as I don't own a 6.5mm of any calibre!

That one has nice lines and the fullstocks rock!
 
Topgear,

Yeah, I'm still not sure about the newer Sakos as well...mainly I just have no experience with them. But I'm with you in liking the Bavarian models. I plan on getting this one out to the range over the next couple of weeks and see how it compares to the older Sakos I've shot with regard to accuracy and the highly subjective "nice to shoot" factor.

Cheers.

V/R,

Jon
 
Given another 35 years or so- that rifle will become much sought after for style and for chambering. I don't think you are on the wrong track with bullets. Both should be excellent quality choices.-Misako
 
Agree with that Misako. The only thing I would have liked to see different on the barvarian fullwood would be a barrel/stock band for the front sling stud similar to the old ones. the stud in the wood without the band just doesn't look right.

Jon just out of interest what is the recommended retail price of one of these in the US. We recently brought a 1/2 stocked barvarian for a gift in the family and it cost $2600 US here in Australia :tdown:
I didn't have much of a say and the others contributing to the gift wanted a new rifle so we went with this but I thought it was a lot of coin compared to what I could have got for that sako wise on the second hand market. If they weren't so expensive over here I would probably have snapped up one of those Barvarian fullstocks in triple deuce by now.

Let us know how she shots.

Cheers John
 
From what I've seen, the retail price for one of these in the United States ranges from $2000 - $2200 US...a bit steep in my estimation, though not as bad as in your locale. I bought mine for $1500 from a gentlemen who only put 10 rounds through it before deciding he needed funds to pay for grad school. Luckily for me, he was extremely careful with his rifles; there's not a mark anywhere on it.

I will certainly comment on how it shoots once I get it out to the range.

V/R,

Jon
 
The Australian dollar has been spiralling upwards the last 2 years,im suprised you paid $2,600,I have seen them advertised in Australia for around 2,300-2,400 for a mod 85 bavarian
 
The Australian dollar has been spiralling upwards the last 2 years,im suprised you paid $2,600,I have seen them advertised in Australia for around 2,300-2,400 for a mod 85 bavarian
thats Australian dollars BTW,you should have a gander at usedguns and ozguns website! you really shouldnt pay full recomended retail,I never pay that,just my 2 bobs worth
 
I like that rifle very much.
After the Holidays I'm going to do some searching...I understand they are hard to find.

Great photo's!
Thanks.
 
I have several 6.5 X 55 rifles and find they do well with 125 to 130 grain bullets. I have been using the Horaday 129 g bullets lately and they perform quite well. IMR 4350 powder or 4895 and winchester or CCI primers. A great caliber, the Swedes had a good idea for this caliber.
 
Great rifle and chambering! I have several 6.5x55's as well and have tried a variety of bullets over the years. It's hard to not find a good 6.5 bullet! Morty's recommendation of the 129gr HIL is a good one. Accurate, well performing, economical bullet. Other recommended bullets that I've used: 120gr TTST/TSX, 120gr and the new 140gr Ballistic tip, 125gr and 140gr partition, 130gr and 140gr Accubond and the 140gr SGK. All and most other 6.5 bullets should serve you well. Enjoy that exceptional 6.5x55 rifle!
 
Deerhunter,

I almost went with the 120gr TSX but then I saw the 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tips on sale at Midwayusa and decided to try those. I had a bunch of H4831SC on hand and so put together some loads using Lapua brass and Winchester primers. No opportunity to get to the range yet though.

COL J - out of curiosity, are you using the 129 gr Interbonds or the Interlocks?

V/R,

Jon
 
Jon,

Thank you for the information on the Bavarian, keep it coming. We need to know more about the newer models of our favourite Rifles.

I love the old models as we all do, but hearing feedback about the newer guns will only keep the marque moving ahead as it should, present ownership aside.

BTW, the venison for my wedding day was shot with a 6.5x55. A truly classic round.

Happy New Year,

Rowdy
 
Beautiful rifle.
Mine pales by comparison but it loves Hornady 129gr. I agree with the previous members..a barrel band would be the finishing touch.
.
sako005.jpg
 
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Burnsy,

You're the second person to mention the Hornady 129gr bullets so I may need to give them a try...were you loading SSTs, Spire Points, or the Interbonds? What kind of powder?

Is that a Swarovski scope? I ended up putting a Nikon Monarch on mine. I just wish the Optilock mounts and rings that came with my rifle mounted the scope a little lower. Oh well.

-Jon
JRR_6669.JPG
 
Hello Jon

using SST's with 45.2gr RL-19. Wish the glass was Swaro. but its a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40. I used Talley bases and QR rings on both the rifles so I can pop the scopes for fixed sight use.
Man I'll say it again-your Bavarian is spectacular!!
 
Hello everyone. So the other day, I went and bought a Model 85 Bavarian Carbine in 6.5x55 Swede...it is beautiful rifle that comes up to the shoulder very nicely. I'm curious if anyone here with one of these has any recommendations for a bullet that the rifle seems to like. I have a L61R in 7mm REM MAG that does really well with Combined Technology 140gr BT and Hornady 162gr SSTs but I haven't really heard much about the newer Sakos. I'm looking at trying either Barnes TTSX or Nosler BT with Lapua brass. Any thoughts?

V/R,

JonView attachment 3249View attachment 3250

So it's been a couple of months...do you have any additional observations?
I'm getting close (this month) to getting my own, but in 308win, and I'm fishing for any tips.
Did rings come with your rifle?

Thanks
 
mtscout,

Rings did come with my rifle but I'm not 100% sure if they normally come with them as I bought mine used (only 10 x rounds through it).

I did finally get to the range today to do a bit of shooting. I used 140gr Winchester Super X factory-loaded ammunition to sight it in before trying out some handloads. My father, who has quite a few older Sakos, offered that the Winchester brand would shoot lousy as none of his rifles shoot well with it (Federal and handloads work best). However, these Winchesters worked reasonably well and would pattern a 5 shot group right at an inch. On a side note, don't know if Winchester has been having quality control issues as of late or perhaps I just had a bad lot, but one round wouldn't chamber and another round was found to have a severely split case neck after firing. Very strange.

The handloads were done with Lapua brass, H4831SC, and 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tips...the heaviest charge I worked up to today (49 grains) produced the best group right .75". I am pleased with the accuracy and I think with a bit more tinkering, can get that to improve...I certainly think it shoots just as well as my father's L61R mannlichers.

A couple of subjective comments:
1) the trigger broke cleanly and felt just right for weight. The set trigger, on the other hand, is very...sensitive. I only tried it twice and I believe a butterfly flapping it's wings somewhere in South America caused it to go off each time. Perhaps with more practice, I might like it for use at the range but for now, I can't imagine a practical field application for it.
2) Recoil - For me, I've noticed with L61R-syle stocks, the rifle tends to rotate up when fired (I had a Weatherby Vanguard that was the same way). I thought this "hogback" stock would do the same but I found that it came straight back in to my shoulder with minimal barrel jump.
3) Magazine - Even with the detachable box magazine, I found it extremely easy to load rounds from the top like any other bolt action rifle with a hinged floorplate. In fact, I think someone would be hard-pressed to tell the difference in loading.
4) Optilock rings - I'm still not sure I like the height the rings put my scope on the rifle. Shooting off of the bench today, I found I had to raise my head up a bit higher than where my eye naturally aligned from the cheek weld. That being said, shouldering the rifle while standing or off-hand does not seem to be as much of an issue. I'll have to continue shooting to see what I think and whether or not I need to invest in lower rings.
5) Pistol grip - this may be a weird thing to comment on but I REALLY like the palm swell on the pistol grip...don't know if it will help me shoot better or not but it just felt "right". Maybe it's akin to the difference in the thin-rimmed steering wheel of a pick-up truck versus the fat steering wheel found on a sports car/sedan.

Overall, I'm very happy with this rifle...the Cooper rifles in my gun safe may start to get jealous. :)

-Jon
 
The Bavarian style stocks have more drop in the comb than the standard sporter stocks & are more suited for open sight shooting. Not sure you can get your scope low enough for proper cheek weld without the bolt handle or the barrel interfering. Kinda depends on your face & body build. I can't use them, but I know others who do. However, cheek weld will never be as comfortable as the higher combed sporter stocks in most cases.
 
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