What Do You Hunt w/ Your Sakos?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by stonecreek, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    We have SCC members and Sako owners from all over the world and every State in the U.S. It would be most interesting to know what kind of game you hunt and how you hunt it with your Sako(s). Or, what kind of target shooting you might do.


    I'll start. I could probably fill an encyclopedia with all of the hunting I do or have done with my Sakos, but I'll just give a thumbnail sketch:

    In my home state of Texas I hunt whitetail deer, of course. Among many, my favorite rifle for whitetails is an L61R .270. In the course of hunting whitetails we'll also frequently take feral hogs, coyotes, and fall turkeys.

    Coming up soon is Spring turkey season. I like to load a 55 grain FMJ in a Sako .222, .223, or .222 Magnum for these big ground-dwelling birds.

    Warm weather is a great time to pursue prairie dogs (a large ground squirrel that lives in vast colonies). My favorites for that are a couple of custom L461's in .221 Fireball and .20 Vartarg (although everything from .22 Hornet through .244 Rem can be used, depending on conditions and how far away you like to give the little targets a try.)

    Each fall I make a trip to Colorado with two friends and my son, hunting primarily for elk. I like my L61R .300 H&H for this, but have used an L691 by Magnum Research in .300 WBY, and an L61R .338. My son has claimed more elk than anyone in the group with his L61R .30-06 Deluxe. A while back I was lucky enough to have a mule deer tag, so I took my Beretta .308 which is built on a Sako A-II action.

    For pure recreation, friends and I like to set up targets like bowling pins, plastic soda bottles, or steel knock-over targets at varying ranges out in the pasture for informal target shooting and friendly competition.

    I could go on and expand on other rifles and details of how we hunt and shoot, but I'd like to hear from others about their Sako hunting experiences. How about it, you guys from Australia, Europe, S. America, and Asia -- as well as all over the U.S. and North America? Let's hear about your hunting and shooting with your Sakos (and even "lesser" rifles;)).
     

  2. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Although I have many more, It boils down to 3. I'll start with my AI .17 rem. for Coyotes, rockchucks and Prarie dogs. My AII .243 has gotten the nod for Whitetail and antelope. My AV classic 7mm wearing a McMillan Hunter has gotten the nod for Antelope and my sheep hunt. It's also been on couple of elk hunts. I do plan on using my AI 6 ppc and AII .308 Kokotukki this coming fall. If I draw a moose tag, I'll take my AV .338.
     

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  3. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Iowa restricts deer hunting to certain straight walled rifle cartridges, so none of my Sakos are "legal". Counting landowner & regular tags I can shoot 4 antlered & even more does, depending on county quotas, but just use my 45-70 High Wall or Hawken Muzzleloader in the rifle/shotgun & two muzzleloader seasons. So, with my Sakos I hunt coyotes, fox, bobcat, & other various varmints/small game with a couple of custom L46's in 221 Fireball & 20 Vartarg or my Coltsman in 223 Rem. My "lesser" rifle for this is my CZ 527 in 19 Calhoon Hornet. The 19 is so fur friendly that it has become my favorite, plus it's set up with a suppressor. When I go out of state to hunt bigger game it's almost always my custom Coltsman on a L57 action in 6.5 Creedmoor. If I need bigger medicine it's either my custom 1903 Springfield in 30-06 or my High-Wall in 45-70. For prairie dogs I use the varmint rifles mentioned plus a L46 Varmint in 222 Rem, an AI Varmint in 223 Rem, and a custom Savage 112J single shot in 20 Practical. Most of the shooting I do with my Sako rifles is informal target shooting & for handload development at my range located on my property along the Missouri River. I can shoot to a little over 600 yards there & counting centerfire & rimfire rifle & handgun, plus the black powder muzzle loading rifle, handgun & shotgun loads, I pull the trigger around 5000 times a year. Been a really bad winter here & I have a lot of catching up to do when the snow melts & I can access my range again. Drifts were 4'-5' this year!
     
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  4. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    1968 L61R .30-'06 for Oryx and Elk here in NM.
     

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  5. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful, are those sheep good to eat?
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That's an outstanding oryx, and a female I would guess by the long length of its horns. I've never eaten bighorn sheep, but can testify that oryx is excellent. Also am planning to have a feast next Saturday from last fall's elk.
     
  7. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Thanks Paul, very good table fare. This was my first ram (=1 club) from 2019. I love antelope meat, but I can gladly leave mutton for the coyotes, so I was a little worried about the flavor. This is a very benign flavored meat. It doesn't have a musky flavor or smell like mule deer or bull elk has. He had a very thick fat rind, but very little marbling. So I was very pleased. Others had told me I would like it, they were right.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That outfit sounds like a real hoot. No kick, no noise, and a bullet flying at, what, about 3200 fps? The only thing that could possibly make it better would be for the action to be a Sako L-series.
     
  9. RifleNutPPC

    RifleNutPPC Well-Known Member

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    I have an AI HB Varmint, a HB S491 and a HB 75 III repeater all in 22 PPC that I use for prairie dogs, and a AI Hunter in 6 PPC for our small Virginia whitetails.
     
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  10. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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  11. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    Good to know, I've only eaten Barbary Sheep, which I wasn't impressed with, but I think they're as much goat as sheep. I'm afraid sheep hunting is a bit too strenuous for me. That was a 7mm Mag. you used?
     
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  12. Paul7

    Paul7 Well-Known Member

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    It was a 30" bull oryx, they tend to have more symmetrical horns than females. Yes, Oryx is about the best game meat I've had, although my wife prefers elk. Enjoy yours next Saturday. I've never eaten bull elk but the cows are pretty good.
     
  13. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stone creek, As anyone can see you are well versed and experienced with the many Sako rifles you have. Your knowledge of reloading and ballistics is vast as well. My experience with my Sako only goes to Red Stag in Argentina with some wild hogs there as well, Whitetailed deer in Texas 255 lb 10 point in Mcmillan Co, several bucks in Amarillo area your home area, and numerous deer in GA, SC, Va. and cyotes at our farm. I am expecting the arival of a L579 deluxe Forester this week and plan to use it at our farm for varments & deer. That being said I have gleened the pages of this forum reading all could about the .243 Forester rifle , and have seen a great deal of problems mentioned with bolts, firing pins, springs reloading issues etc. Have I purchased a troublesome model Sako?? I load .243 now and my current rifle likes Searra Game king /100Gr. @ 2960 FPS. I also had good results from Nosler Bal. Tip @ 3,000 FPS. my shots average 160-225yds max. I zero 3" high @ 100 yds and aim for the high sholder (SCAPULAR bone ) The deer go 3 ft. all down! The anatomy of most super bovine, as my son calls them finds the spinal cord is destroyed at the bone shattereing and the deer's electrical system is rendered lights out !! I am worried that the Sako .243 will be a maintenance problem . The Sako deluxe is a beautiful rifle and I always have heard blonds have more fun!!! Please advise.
     
  14. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I have first hand experience with a L579 Deluxe 243 my Dad bought new in 1965. He bought it for his personal use, but with 4 boys with a 13 year spread in our age, his 243 quickly became the oldest boy's rifle for 3-4 years before being passed down to the next oldest and so on until we all left home. Dad taught us a lot about hunting including safety, but not so much about cleaning and babying the rifle. Therefore, all I can say is it was used hard in all kinds of weather. Not even one problem with that beautiful 243, and the youngest of us 4, still has the rifle and hunts with it. One thing that might have helped it stay in good mechanical shape, is that we never tried to improve it by doing a trigger job or glass bedding it. Although its dinged and scratched up, mechanically its just like it left the factory.
     
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  15. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I actually thought about getting a L46 Hornet & rebarreling it. Telling myself I could always put the Sako barrel back on if I wanted to sell it. Then I came to my senses from an economic standpoint, knowing I would never sell & would have thousands tied up in a barrel sitting around gathering dust. Even without the suppressor the little 19 is very quiet. February is the breeding season for coyotes here & I ran into a pair about two weeks ago. Wearing whites & the snow being powdery & silent, I was able to halve the range to about 200 yards. That 19 was so quiet that when I shot the first one the other had no idea what happened & I was able to put one in his ribcage, as well. The 32 grain Calhoon Double Hollowpoints turned their lungs to jello with no exit hole. The hides are on the stretcher drying right now with a nearly imperceptible entry hole. The other nice attribute is it is impossible to get the barrel too hot in a prairie dog town as it only takes about 12 grains of powder. It's "practical" range is about 250 yards, but I've popped PDs at 300 with it. If I had a L46 in 222 Rem that had seen better days, I'd consider bushing the bolt face & converting it to a single shot 19 Calhoon with a 20" #5 contoured barrel, threaded of course. That would be way too much fun in a PD town.
     
  16. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Do you think there's an advantage of a .19 Hornet as compared to a .20 Hornet? You can get a 32 grain bullet for either, but the .20's are available from a larger number of sources.
     
  17. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The 20 is .204". The 19 is .198". So, .006" is irrelevant from a performance standpoint. I use Calhoon's cup & core Double Hollow Point that he makes from scratch, but his plastic tipped 19 he makes by swaging down a 20 cal Nosler Ballistic Tip. One of his selling points is the rifling on his 19 cal barrels, that Benchmark makes for him, is deeper than the 17 cal barrels & thus foul less quickly & maintain accuracy longer. How that translates to a 20 cal barrel I'm unsure. They are both wildcats, but James supports his with loaded ammo, formed brass, Forster Dies, & multiple bullets choices. I do know that he is not a young man & how long he will be doing this is in question, so that is a consideration as well. Last time I bought loaded ammo from him it was less than a dollar a round. I have 500 of his brass, but you can make it from regular Hornet brass. I bought 2000 bullets & 500 rounds when I dropped off my rifle to him in Montana & am still working on them. He builds a rifle from yours or offers a CZ 527 already custom built in one of his three 19 cal wildcat rounds. His single shot follower for the CZ is a must in a PD town. From a money standpoint, I think the Calhoon is a better deal than building a 20 Hornet on your own from scratch, but there is the "availability" question. IIRC, I think my 19 Hornet is numbered as 593, so counting the 19 Badgers & 19-223's the number of rifles out there is probably in the thousands. As all are owned by high volume varmint shooters that represents a fairly substantial market so I anticipate, or at least hope, someone or some company will continue making his bullets into the future. If not, I'll just swage my own from 20 cal bullets. I haven't talked to James in quite a while, so am not privy to his future plans or if he is still active in the business, but always found him congenial & informative. You might want to give him a call & discuss your concerns before deciding. He was making these 19's before most people even heard of a 20. Either way, you can't go wrong! The "sub-calibers" as I call them are as fun "a shootin" as it gets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  18. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Hey Paul, yes, I used 168 gr. Berger VLD on him. I wasn't in peak physical condition on this hunt, although I did lose a 25# getting in better shape, I also knew my limitations.
     
  19. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for the reply.I was expecting the Forester today but i will have to wait another day or so, bummer!!! I have 2 sons two grandsons and 3 great grandsons and by your comments I feel better about then purchase. I love Texas and if we weren't so old we would move to Texas ( with my own Gennerator) I hope ypu and your family faired well during last weeks freak storm. I would like the Lufkin area if I could move but we have our roots firmly in GA and my wife of 62 years could'nt leave all our kin. I was blessed to live during the best of times in the U.S.A. A working man with a trade or some skills could earn a good living provide well for his family and enjoy leasure time hunting fishing and the outdoors. I worked as a contractor in Concrete Restoration and did well in the factories in our area. later became a maintenance supervisor in the paper industry until I retired. During my working life I met many from Texas and have enjoyed their frendship thru the years. Keep well and thanks for easing my mind about the Forester.
     
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  20. Charles Witt

    Charles Witt Well-Known Member

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    I live in Virginia and mostly hunt whitetail with my Sakos. I have six kids and they will all tell you that dad's venison pot roast is their favorite food. :) That's enough to keep me in the woods quite a lot. I've taken deer with many calibers from 243 Win to 375 H&H, but recently I shot one with the 338 Win Mag for the first time. I can testify that it is definitely overkill for whitetail. Lol. Here's a pic.
    Barnes VOR-TX 225 GR. TIPPED TSX BT (in case anyone is wondering) 2800 fps at the muzzle.
     

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