Sako has been around for a long time but only sold its offerings on the European market until about 1950 when it began offering mini-Mauser type actions and rifles chambered for varmint hunters or target shooters in the US. For a long time the only Sako rifles chambered in big game calibers a person was apt to bump into were guns brought back by servicemen who had done duty in West Germany or other European countries. Only in the last few decades has Sako begun to be a real player in the American market. The USA prefers, and has no lack of, homegrown rifles, but Sako has been doing well and can claim many satisfied customers.
The Sako A7 action is a push feed with three lugs, an enclosed bolt face and a fairly large extractor. Sako extractors deserve special mention because they are often chosen to be used as replacements for other push feed action extractors when building custom rifles. It can be argued that no push feed extractor is better than a controlled feed extractor, but the Sako style is definitely the best of the bunch in push feed designs. The three-lug bolt with guides cut into it makes for an extremely smooth action that many shooters rave about.
Sako rifles and the A7 in particular have developed an excellent reputation for accuracy over the years. The A7 is sold with a MOA guarantee, but even if it was not MOA accuracy would be expected. Sako seems to have put its varmint rifle experience to good use in this department. The A7 is probably never going to be as popular as many American-made rifles in this country, but it does have a following that seems pretty happy with their purchase.
The A7 lost one point in the feeding/Extraction category due to the fact that occasionally the ears on its detachable magazine seem to get a bit loose and do not properly hold the rounds in place. The owner if so inclined can fix this issue or the clip can be replaced. Speaking of replacing parts, two points were deducted for Long Term Cost of Ownership. Sako is a Finnish company and does business in America through intermediaries, which is probably good for its bottom line, but makes it tough on owners looking for spare parts. It’s not impossible to get Sako parts, but it’s harder than it is with other companies. Two more points were deducted in the Versatility category because between the A7’s rather unique magazine and the action’s unique design it does not make for very good conversion fodder and, if rebarreled, should be left in its original chambering. This probably isn’t that much of a concern to Sako owners due to the fact that they usually feel they got just what they wanted to begin with, but the prospective tinkerer should bear it in mind.