Rifle Review: SAKO's 85 Varmint Laminated Stainless

When it comes to bolt action rifles, you don't much better than Sako. Phenomenal actions, impeccable precision and extraordinary reliability, that is what they are known for.


Now the 85 Varmint takes it to another level outfitted with a fluted bull barrel and my personal favorite feature, it's set trigger!

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Now the 85 Varmint Laminated Stainless rifle comes with all the same qualities and features as the Varmint model with a few key differences. As the name suggests it has stainless metal parts in lieu of blued along with a fluted bull barrel and a sturdy laminate stock meant to take rough terrain head on.


All Sako barrels are manufactured with excellent craftsmanship and the combined knowledge of some of the best gunsmiths in Europe. Barrel blanks are drilled, honed, cold hammer forged, finished and individually inspected to ensure maximum quality every time. Twist rates are chosen for each caliber to optimize accuracy and bullet performance. When it comes to the Varmint's fluted barrel the advantages are numerous with increased heat dissipation, decreased overall weight and enhanced beauty.

Now when it comes to reliability, Sako has it down pact with their controlled cartridge feed (RCS) which eliminates double feed and cartridge jams. Sako 85 actions come in six different sizes (CSA) ensuring reliable functionality for each caliber. The turn-bolt handle places the hand in a natural position while firing allowing for rapid follow up shots. Hand in hand with reliability is safety and again Sako does not cut corners with their unique two-way safety which locks both the trigger and the bolt handle.

Now for my personal favorite feature of the 85 Varmint, it's trigger. Let's start with the single stage trigger which breaks like glass at ~3.5 lbs. Easily one of the best bolt action triggers I've ever felt. On top of that we have the set trigger which is quite literally a hairline trigger breaking at ~.5 lbs. Imagine that, the best of both worlds all in one!


Topping it all of we have the laminated walnut stock. The ergonomics of it are phenomenal allowing the user to shoot in the optimal shooting position with excellent balance and a sturdy build for whatever terrain you're on.

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