At the Shooting Range with Sako

After a quick tour of the Sako facility, we headed to the shooting range. We shot a number or Sako and Tikka rifles, but first, we sighted in for our upcoming brown bear and moose hunt.

I would be hunting with a Sako model 85 Hunter. This beautiful wood-stocked hunting rifle is a dream to shoot. Chambered in 9.3 with a controlled action bolt, cycling rounds is a breeze and allowed me to pass a timed test with ease.

mia-anstine-with-sako-85-hunter-rifleYou see, to hunt bear in Finland, you must first pass a hunting test as well as shooting test. The timed live-fire event tests you at putting five rounds in the kill zone of a brown bear at 100 meters. Of course, the ever courteous Fins generously offered, “Ladies first”, so I felt more than a bit of pressure, and I know I shot a bit faster than necessary. Regardless, I cycled rounds with that super smooth bolt and passed the exam with ease.


Get outside. Explore, learn, hunt, fish, shoot, connect with nature. ~Mia


Next, we headed to a different bay at the shooting range where we experienced the hunting test from days of old. In this test, we shot from standing position at a moose target. First, we shot three rounds in the kill zone, from 100 meters, and then three rounds at the moose target as in raced by, from right-to-left and left-to-right, at 20 kilometers per hour.

While this test is no longer required, it was a pleasure to try our hands at it. Again, “Ladies first.” This may be a good courtesy because I surprised myself, with the Sako Hunter, by placing all rounds on target.


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Once we had the mandatory shooting and the sentiment of completing a former test under our belts, we headed back to the main bay. We sent shots downrange with a variety of Tikka and Sako rifles. If you’ve don’t have one or haven’t shot one, you definitely need to seize any opportunity you ‘re afforded to get behind that trigger because these rifles are built with pride and precision. They’re a dream to shoot.

For my southpaw friends, you’ll also like to know that many of the Sako and Tikka guns are made in the backward version you require. (You do know I’m saying this in jest, since half of my family is left-handed.


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