SAKO 85 VARMINT
Sako Quad Varmint Rifle is an excellent choice for hunting and bench-rest target shooting with its flat-bottomed extra wide fore-end and heavier barrel. Barrels can easily be changed using the Sako Quad barrel tool. The Sako 85 Varmint is a long-range hunting rifle built to deliver pinpoint accuracy for hunting and target shooting. The heavy, free-floating barrel diminishes vibration and recoil, and makes it easy to zero in and stay on target. Selected walnut used in Varmint rifle stock enchances both comfort and accuracy, and features an extra wide, flat-bottomed beavertail fore-end and more pronounced pistol grip for better bench shooting position.
This month’s review rifle comes from Sako – the rimfire switch-barrelled Quad. This particular model is the heavy-barrelled varmint variant, pre-threaded to take a moderator, which in this case is the Stalon rimfire mod. The scope and rifle are mated together with the ultra-reliable Optilock mount system; it may take a little more time to set the base to the ring but, once this is done, the optilock mounts do a superb job, reliably holding zero, while also protecting any scope from being marked because of the nylon liner. This liner also rotates within the ring, minimising the stress placed on any scope.
After 15 minutes of unboxing and assembly I was ready for zeroing the Sako Quad Varmint Rifle, bore sighted for a rough centre at 100 yards; 10 rounds and we were hitting our mark. I had selected Hornady and Winchester, both 17gn VMax-type bullet heads, doing around 2550fps, with my intended quarry being any vermin up to an opportune fox if it presented the right shot at a suitable distance. The first groups quickly showed the Sako seemed to prefer the Hornady over the Winchester, with the Hornady printing groups around the inch mark at 100 yards, where the Winchesters were printing around an inch and a half.
You start to get a feel for trigger and the overall fit of the Sako Quad Varmint Rifle in the first few shots, and after 20 or so rounds I headed off to grab some more gear and take myself off to the quiet of my hunting box – the one I use to get some solitude and gather my thoughts as nature goes about its business while I attempt to write.
The Sako Quad is available in four calibres: .22LR, .17 Mach2, .22 Magnum and .17 HMR. The neat trick the Quad does is offer the shooter a switch barrel facility. One hex-headed bolt slackens off and the barrel lifts up away from the stock to allow it to be drawn out forwards – really quick and very simple.
The benefits of this include quick calibre changes, but also the ability to obtain a new barrel for your trusty rifle in short order, which is far cheaper than buying a whole new rifle. The only difference, aside from barrel profile, would be a magazine change between .22LR / .17 Mach2 and .17 HMR / .22 Mag.The cal.22lr SAKO quad varmint rifles will bring you great satisfaction in terms of precision, thanks to their cold-forged floating barrel, their adjustable trigger and their interchangeable barrels in 22 Mag – 17 HMR.
Weapon: SAKO QUAD
Operation: Manually operated bolt action
Bolt: 2 locking lugs, bolt lift angle 50°, spring ejection
Caliber: 22 Long Rifle
Rate of twist: 16.5-in-1
Overall weight w/o accessoreis: 3.5 kg (7 3/4 lbs)
Overall length: 1025 mm (40 3/8″)
Barrel length: 560 mm (22″)
Length of pull: 345mm (13 1/2″)
Barrel: Free floating heavy contour (cold hammer forged)
Magazine: Single row metal magazine, color coded for each caliber
Magazine capacity: 5 rounds (
Optical sight attachment: 11mm integral dovetail
Metal parts surface finishing: Blued metal parts
Stock: Matte oil walnut stock with beaver tale fore-end, length adjustable with spacers
Trigger mechanism: Single stage Trigger pull adjustable 1 to 2kg (2 to 4 lbs)
Safety: Two way safety
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