Advice Needed! Sako AI vs M700 Remington...

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by polishshooter, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I posted this in both the "Ask the experts" and here.

    I don't know where I will get the best response.

    Guys, in the next few weeks I should be coming into a little money that will allow me to purchase a "Walking around" rifle to use on Prairie dogs next year to complement my Swift from the bench.

    We shoot about half our dogs from the Bench where my Swift is still King to their .22-250s and .223s, but at 12.5 pounds it sucked carrying even with my 27" bipod I planned to use from sitting for the "walking around.":mad: Plus I am getting a little too old so that getting up from sitting much LESS prone hurts like heck!:eek::mad::p:p

    My Marlin .22 LR which is the most accurate .22 I have ever shot (.850" at 50) sucked at much over 50 yds from offhand or the walking standing bipod we were using compared to my buddy's 17 hMR and the other's .22 K-hornet wich were scoring past 125 to almost 200. I only got the "sloppy seconds" and the stupid yippers up close..:p

    Two years ago I used my tactical AR which worked OK out to 150 or so with decent ammo EXCEPT for the scrambling around in the cactus and potential rattlers on my knees for the BRASS...

    SO I want a .222....A REALLY accurate round, better than the Hornet, and will play the wind in SD better than any .17.... Plus my wife used to hunt deer in PA with her beloved Grandpa (who I inherited the venerable '97 from !) with his .222 Rem. Savage, so she is giving me a LOT less flack about buying this rifle than any other....;)


    I have pretty well narrowed it down to two I have found....a used light barreled SAKO AI with a 12x M8 Leupold in pretty much almost unfired condition for $1000 asking price, .........and a pretty sweet Remington 700 medium barreled BDL with a 6x M8 Leupold with a few dings but decent shape for $899 asking price...


    Give me your thoughts on each...


    I am leaning towards the SAKO, have never heard anything but good things about them, but I don't think I know know enough about SAKOs. Help me out.

    I know enough about the Remington 700s to know what to expect. I could live with it.....


    I want the most accurate rifle I can buy, 1/2" or less from a bench at 100, that I can load for for "carrying" and shooting from crossed sticks or a walking bipod dogs out to about 200...if I can shoot to 300+ from the bench it will be a plus....


    Any advice you can give me which will help me spend my precious money best will be appreciated!!!!!!
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i'm a big Sako fan had a few and still do like the tikka's too

    but dont knock the rem

    its versatile you can swap a lot o barrels and not need to much fiddling to swap cal's if you want

    theres that much high end good quality after market the rem becomes just a base platform to build on

    from my own ad here in Oz

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  3. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Thanks a LOT Jack! Nothing like helping me make a DECISION.

    You remind me of a buddy I had in high school who's answer to every controversy was.... "I feel strongly BOTH ways...":p

    Which one would YOU choose at that price?

    I'm guessing with the Obama economy not many guys are going to walk in off the street in either shop with cold cash to buy either, so both will probably work a little with the price when I flash the cash...

    The shop the 700 is at already made me an offer of $850 and he would throw in a 20 round box of Hornady .222...plus he had just taken a 12x M8 Leupold in trade and offered to switch the 6x out for the 12x if I wanted, but the Sako is offered as part of an "Estate," with no sales tax, but I don't know if he will deal more....

    I figure if he takes $900 without tax it will be the same as the 700 with tax...so they are pretty much equal...


    I should post a poll...
  4. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Member

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    OK, you can't go wrong with either; that clear things up?
    The Sako may be a bit more refined than the Remington and the Remington a bit more adaptable to "modification". Are there any factors about gun fit that make one any more comfortable? And have you used a borescope or taken a long look at the chamber and bore for both guns?
    The condition of the barrel would be the biggest factor in a used gun for accuracy and long range that you could check, see if the owners will let you put a patch thru them and take a peek.
    I have a 722 in .222 and find it quite a pleasant shooting rifle, hope it works for you.
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    See thats it , like CHW says thats where you need to choose now you now the extent of options

    now i wanted a dedicated light deer rifle , i settled for the Tikka T3 sniper

    great to 500, it'll not be used for anything else , maybe the odd long range fox if its got a decent pelt ..

    i've a mongrel savage , a barrel swap and it can shoot .308 win , 30-06 22-250 and a few others .. i mainly swap between 22-250 and 30/06 and has taken roo's goats deer big buff crocs ( a 20 footer that chewed up a bunch of villagers boats making a nest site of their lagoon ) camels

    so you need to decide the purpose and use of your $$$

    WARNING!!!!

    setting a rifle up to be a multi role job can end up a $3000 4 year work in progress like my mogrel Savage and i've a rem 700 in 300 win mag that may get a work out when i get to the states where my mind can run amok
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Remington 700 medium barreled BDL with a 6x M8 Leupold

    $899

    compare on buds or somewhere else thats not that cheap there ..
  7. lonewolf204

    lonewolf204 Active Member

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    Remington 700!! If it don't shoot the way you want it to it is an easy fix. 899 is a little high for my area, but with the leupold scope it sounds a lot better.
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I checked out the Sako again, the guy who died was supposedly mainly a shotgunner and muzzleloading guy, who died with a nice collection of rifles he rarely shot, and it looks like it.

    The Remingotn also looks like it has had very little use, a few more little dings than the Sako, both bores look nice...

    The GOOD news about buying varmint guns in Indiana is all they probably have seen is occasional shots at coyotes and ground hogs, since we can't use any (real)( as in non-pistol caliber) centerfire rifles for deer unless on your own property.

    I am glad I chose my Ruger 77 Indiana Swift that MAY have gone to P-dog land a few times and fired a few hundred rounds at them besides the occasional target and coy-dog over the nice looking Montana Savage Model 12 Swift for a little less $ that COULD have had 10000 rounds fired at p-dogs already...;

    I'm leaning towards the Sako, although I stopped in a shop today in my travels that didn't have any nice vsarmint rifles except some nice HMRs, but had a SWEET 1950s bare bones but CLEAN Model 12 Winchester takedown modified 12 ga for only $399 that fit me when I threw it up that makes me think it and a $300 Savage 17 HMR package will give me both worlds...:cool::p:p:p
  9. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    A 700 in .22-.250...can't go wrong.
  10. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    3/2, why get just another "minor caliber" in .22-250 when I already have a Swift?:confused::cool:

    Let's be HONEST, the -250 was only developed for shooters that for whatever reason were afraid of the Swift...(ducking quickly...:eek::D:D)

    But seriously, ever since I was like 10 years old I noticed every time they introduced ANOTHER .22 high velocity round, whether the -250 in the early 1960s, the .224 Magnum, the Winchester .225, and on and on, for some reason they could NOT keep from comparing it to the Swift...which was ALWAYS just a LITTLE bit faster and a LITTLE bit more accurate...."but, you know, just BURNS up those barrels...";)

    My buddies both have custom -250s, with the same scope I have on my Swift, and they do FINE...but really the only advantage they have over me is their "Dial a dog" Target Turrets which I WILL have next year...

    But to be honest, I see no difference in action, range, accuracy or impact between them and the custom .223s they ALSO own..

    But you DO see a difference in the Swift in the effects on a dog at any comparable range.

    A LOT of .22 centerfires can hit 3500-3600 and be accurate as heck...maybe even my .222 when I get it...

    But there IS a difference at 4000 (or more?)
  11. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to say, I'm a bit partial to the Remington 700's, but, may be due to the fact I have never owned a Sako!?
    Polishshooter, a question for you and a bit off your original thread. What do you think of the .204 Ruger caliber on varmint? The reason I ask is that I bought one here a while back. (Savage 11, .204) I've shot it out to 600yds and very flat shoting caliber and even compared to the .223 round. I've been shooting Hornady V-Max 40gr. in the .204, but have yet to see what it will do to a small varnmint.
    I have the 'heavy" Savage 12 in .223 and it is a good, flat shooting rifle, but after putting the .204 through the paces as various yardages, got me wondering and havent had a chance to try it out on a live varmint.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Zane, I have a buddy who owns a M700 in .204 he intended to use as his Woodchuck gun, and while he is happy with it with factory ammo, hasn't worked up loads for it yet.

    The past two years I have been on him to get off the snide and work it up to bring it to South Dakota so we can shoot it;):p

    That said, I just don't get excited over "new" cartridges. There is very little under the sun that is truly new, many of the "new stuff" can give you nothing you couldn't probably do with an older round with more work or new powder or bullets.

    Now the various .17s were really "new" even though wildcatters were working with them since the 60s, accurate as heck, but they suck in the wind. They were having good luck with .19s, but nobody has brought one out yet, so the .204 splits the difference pretty well.

    I saw a new Remington Model 7 in .17 Fireball that was pretty nice in the same shop that has the Sako for only like $599 that caught my eye, and the .17 Hornet is no slouch either. But I still think of the wind on the prairie. 20 mph is pretty normal, I've shot in 50 mph cross wind that moved a .224 50 grain more than 2 feet at 250:eek:

    The .204 is really the only factory round that is as fast as the Swift so there is something. (Although there is still an argument if that is REALLY true, they hit like 4200 but with 30-35 grain bullets. The ORIGINAL factory load for the Swift in 1935 was 4100 with a 40 gr bullet...but no matter what, the .204 gets at least CLOSE to the Swift with a LOT less powder, so is more efficient.)

    But when my buddy bought his .204 I still remember his call after his first day at the range..."CRAP I forgot I need another cleaning rod and brushes!" :p

    I dunno, I think I will stick with something that shoots .224 bullets....still the most variety to pick from, one decent rod and cleaning kit works for all, etc, etc.

    And a heckuva range in power from the Hornet to the Swift, with tons of cartridges ALREADY worked up in between, most of them accurate as heck too....
  13. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    I do agree that sticking with the, ie., 224 has been tried and tested and why change a good thing? They've been tried and tested and proven over the years. As far as I can remember, a good friend of mine, with all the shooting he's done over his life, has always stuck with what has been good all along and he's never strayed far.

    A friend of mine, as he knows I do alot of varmint hunting, all he's been "trying" to beat into this small brain of mine is, "you need you a .204 caliber rifle!".
    It fell on deaf ears for about the past two years and I knew no one that I soot with or hunt with that has, or could give me some "meaning" for the .204 caliber.

    I had no intentions of buying one, non the less, one new. I walked into my local GS here a while back and there set up on the counter was this Savage. (always have to see what the "Savage's" are up to) ;) I have a hard time passing on a good Savage rifle. :eek: (too many now the way it is, lol)

    But anyhow, saw this Savage rifle...went back to the counter for a second look, and there it was... .204 Ruger. The thoughts was still in the back of my mind.... "you need you a .204 caliber rifle". Well, with a bit of thoguht and some tradeing, walked out with it. (came out about even with what I had with me)
    As I'm not set up to reload yet, the .204 ammo isnt just laying around on every shelf of every GS. Which I knew it wasnt before the deal was made on the rifle, but still was thinking... "you'd think, more folks would have this caliber rifle if it was..uhhh, a popular round". I kinda figured as such but it was a caliber I had yet to own and try.

    One thing is for certain, and you're 100% correct on...long range and wind is not your friend...and with most "light" calibers.
    I think your friend was onto something as with him forgetting his cleaning rod and attachments and same thing I found out!
    Mine has the synthetic stock, but was suprised as per the recoil...sure suprised me or maybe the Savage 12 BVSS in .223 spoiled me rotten! :D
  14. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    ..still have the Savage 12!
  15. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    I just got rid of a .222 SAKO Benchrest rifle. I never really liked it and I forgot you had the Swift.
  16. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    3/2 I was just "funning" with you, the .22-250 is a helluva accurate varnint round and if I had to recomend one I would probably recommend it over the Swift, if only because it is easier to reload and cases are easier to find...

    I have shot both of my buddies .22-250s , a custom Savage and a custom 700 Remington and they have some SERIOUSLY sweet rifles...in fact one of them is a custom Savage reworked by JD Jones with the barrel cut to 23" and target crowned, with the trigger the CRISPEST trigger I have ever shot on any rifle, next winter pull a 1/4" thick icycle off your gutters and BREAK it between your hands and that is what it feels like...It is simply SWEET.

    But I guess I don't get it...both buddies load DOWN a little, granted they have VERY accurate loads, but they are not getting much more velocity than they get with their equally SWEET Model 70 and Model 700 custom varmint .223s with the same bullets!

    I think I could load the Swift DOWN a little and save powder, and maybe save barrel life if you believe the naysayers....but WHY?????

    At 4000 the Swift in any rifle chambered for it is at LEAST as accurate as any other varmint gun ever made, (yeah, I believe MORE) and the velocity DOES give impressive results at impact...(The "old TImer" I quote below once had as his tag line "The .220 Swift does VERY bad things to Prairie Dogs....;):D)

    In fact so much my buddy with the 700 is seriously considering rechambering it to .22-250 Ackley Improved....just to hit 4000 and shut me up about the Swift!;)

    That is what attracted me to the Swift when I was a kid in the 1960s.....I heard ALL the claims about "barrel burning," etc....but ever since then you CANNOT buy a loading manual that does NOT compare just about ANY "new" hot .22 varmint round (the-250, .224 Weatherby, .225 Winchester, etc, etc) to the SWIFT!

    Not bad for a round brought out by a FACTORY in 1935....;)

    An old timer here once told me the Swift is the "Top of the Food Chain" when it comes to Varmint cartridges.

    Shoot one and you will know he is right.
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