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Sako Finnlight ????

 
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Sako Finnlight ????

I recently returned from a trip to Kyrgyzstan where I hunted ibex. For the last twenty or so years, I have mainly hunted big game with a bow, but get plenty of centerfire time in for prairie dogs, rock chucks and coyotes/foxes. Several years ago, when the short-magnum wars were still just a "police action", I purchased a Remington 673 in the 300 Rem SA Ultra Mag. I was after a compact, hard-hitting rifle that would carry easily in a scabbard. Accuracy was important, but not everything. I had previously sold a Sako 300 Rem Ultra Mag because it's long barrel and viscious bark made it unpleasant to both shoot and carry. Anyway, after sighting in the 673, I fired one shot at a bull elk at 65 yards. He dropped like a stone, I went back to bowhunting, and the 673 sat in the gun safe for the next several years.

When the chance to hunt in Kyrgyzstan came up this fall, I had to register a rifle with my paperwork, and assumed the 673 would be up to the task. I didn't even realize the rifle and cartridge had become a victim of the 300 WSM. As the hunt drew nearer, and I became more aware of the potential shot distances (500+ yards), I got a little spooked and headed to the range. My fears were founded as several different loads failed to deliver the needed accuracy. I had no choice but to take the gun anyway. Sure enough, on day 2, I missed a beautiful ibex at 488 yards, and had a long horse ride back to camp cursing my lack of prep time before the hunt. Two days later, I took a nice billy at 225 yards, and enjoyed a fabulous hunting experience.

I headed home determined to purchase a new rifle. At airports on the way home, I got to talk to several sheep hunters, and was surprised to find that most had abandoned the short mags and returned to long actions, with a majority favoring the time tested 300 Win Mag. Two had Christensen Arms in 300 Rem Ultra Mags, and both were looking to get rid of them because of accuracy problems. These two guys were at different airports and unacquainted. Both planned on a 300 Win Mag.

Sorry. Long story for a short question. I have a great gun store at home, with a healthy inventory. I determined to pick a rifle based solely on what I liked the best, price be damned. Hands down, the Sako Finnlight in 300 Win Mag. Thoughts??? Lightweight vs. Accuracy? Lightweight vs Recoil? One friend insists that a decent rifle for long range sheep hunting should weigh a minimum of 10 lbs. (rifle, scope, rings and sling). Am I giving up too much performance by considering this little rifle? Scope will be a Swarovski Z3 4X12 w/ ballistic reticle (because I bought it before my trip in the attempt to squeeze everything out of the 673).
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:03 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,954
Re: Sako Finnlight ????

Where to start....

I've been down this road... with the Finnlight...

First, the 300 WM isn't anymore accurate than the 300 WSM or 300 RUM. Accuracy is the result of a well made rifle with quality components. Christensen Rifles are known for accuracy inconsistancies. Do a search in this forum. I have a factory Sendero that is shooting .5 MOA give or take out to 500 yds so far. Still need to ring it out at longer ranges and do some load tweeking. The best three shot group I got out of it was .4" @ 200 yds (.2 MOA). I've gotten 1.8" @ 427 yds and 3" @ 500 yds. I had a vairiable crosswind when shooting the 500 yd group (yesterday).

When my 7RM burned out I went looking for a rifle to replace it as my go to hunting rifle and ended up getting a Finnlight 300 WSM - just befroe I became interested in LRH. That rifle has been a nightmare ever since, and I think partially my fault. It's been to the factory twice for accuracy problems, 2-4 MOA. Both times the factory said that they cleaned it and fired it to within 1 MOA, 5 shot group, implying that the rifle was dirty and copper fouled - total BS. This last time I askd to speak to the tech who handled my rifle. he told me he found an oily like substance (cleaning residue) in the bedding. Light bulb came on.... I had cleaned that rifle a lot, including a break-in. I had taken the action out a couple of times to clean it but not after every cleaning. So I believe that was part of the problem. The rest of the problem (IMO) is that the Finnlight has a cheap plastic stock. Not good, especially in a magnum cartridge. If you buy the Finnlight, I would only do so with the intent of replacing the stock. McMillan is about the only after market option for the Finnlight.

300 WM vs 300 WSM. The WM in a 26" barrel will out run the WSM in a 24" barrel by about 50-100 fps on average. However, with RL17, I will outrun most 26" WM's by about 100 fps with my 24" WSM. With the WSM, you get a shorter action and barrel -you loose a lot of performance in the WM with a 24" barrel - the Finnlight WM barrel is 24 3/8".

If I was going to buy a 300 WSM today, I would get a VanGuard Sub MOA SS. Good accurate rifle with a good solid action by Howa and a good solid pillar bedded stock by B&C for about $840 vs the Finnlight for about $1450 needing a replacment stock. The Finnlight action is reeeeal sweet...is it worth another $600 -plus cost of stock???

Cheers,

Mark

Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 11-20-2009 at 01:10 AM.
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