Hunting in Finland: Community, tradition and fine firearms


The author keeps watch cradling a Sako 90 Adventure


If you are a fan of Sako rifles, you’ll have noticed the Finnish company quietly stopped manufacturing the 85 series in early 2022, focusing its marketing efforts instead on the Sako 20 and the then new Sako 100. But there was a definite gap between those two models that the 85 once filled, and Sako was pretty tight-lipped about whether there would be a replacement. The answer arrived this past May when the company officially launched the new Sako 90 line of rifles.

The first thing you’ll notice is these rifles are very similar in appearance to the 85 series, but with several refinements. For starters, the receiver has been stiffened to increase accuracy, and the ejection port has been enlarged to help prevent ejection problems that seemed to affect a small number of the 85s. The trigger has also been upgraded with a positive click-style pull weight adjustment; it can also now be moved forward or backward to accommodate different finger lengths. As well, the addition of a Picatinny rail on some models adds more scope mounting options.


In terms of specific Sako 90 models, the Peak (below) replaces the Carbonlight 85 and uses the same carbon-fibre stock. It weighs in at a scant 2.6 kilograms for the short action, making it one of the lightest production rifles now on the market. The Peak is sure to be a hit with Canadian mountain hunters in search of a lightweight rifle.

The Quest, meanwhile, replaces the Carbon Wolf, and it’s available with a stainless steel or carbon-fibre barrel (the model with the carbon-fibre barrel is called the Quest Ultra). Rather than use carbon barrels from other manufacturers—as most North American firearms makers do—Sako has now designed and is making its own. Watch for it on other models in the future.


Next is the Adventure (below), which replaces the Finnlight II. It features the same adjustable composite stock, but with an upgraded coating that is more durable and impervious to chemicals (all composite stocks in the Sako 90 line will also have this coating). There is no replacement for the original Finnlight.

Rounding out the line are the Bavarian, Hunter and Varmint, all with wooden stocks. As with the previous 85 line-up, five action lengths are available, with a similar variety of chamberings. A left-handed version of the Sako 90 and a wider variety of chamberings will also be reportedly available in the future.

When I first heard Sako was launching this new line of rifles, I was worried it would abandon the 85 completely, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got my first look at the Sako 90. And you can tell that Sako clearly had North American hunters in its sights with the Peak and Adventure—both rifles will be right at home in the Canadian woods and mountains. For those who prefer a wood stock, meanwhile, there’s the Hunter model.

Having now shot the 90, I would simply say that Sako took a great rifle—the 85—and made it even better.