New Sako Ammunition
Reviewed by Nick Harvey
Sako has been making hunting ammunition since 1996 and even built a new factory to produce it. We haven't seen much of that ammo in Australia, but Beretta has started importing it last year. In 2013 Sako upgraded its brass formulation to increase the number of reloads it will withstand. By eliminating tin, bismuth and lead from the brass, Sako achieved a finer grain structure enabling them to establish a more predictable fatigue cycle. the finer structural granulation resulting in more uniform brass and, hence, less variation in case weight and volume - both critical factors in obtaining uniform velocities. Another advantage of brass with smaller grain structure is that head expansion is minimalised making primer pockets less likely to be enlarged and leak gas with high pressure loadings.
Due to improved composition and manufacture of the brass, Sako cases last longer and handloaders have reported obtaining more than ten reloads from a batch. As well as producing premium quality brass, Sako also refined its loading techniques and choice of bullets - both important steps in producing premium ammo. For if powder charges vary or the bullets vary too much in weight or jacket thickness, the ammo is unlikely to give top performance. The .25-06 ammo I tried in a Tikka T3X rifle was loaded with the 117gn Sierra Gamehead bullet not only proved finely accurate, but sheer dynamiteon feral goats.
With the Steiner 2-8x42 Ranger scope set on the highest power, four 3-shot groups measured .78. .86, and .88 inch. this is extremely good accuracy from an outfit weighing just 3kgs, and speaks volumes for the quality of the ammo and the Tikka rifle.
If the other chamberings Sako loads ammo for are as good, it should be eagerly sought after and sales should grow in leaps and bounds.