The Tikka T3x and the Sako 85 guns are bolt action rifles produced by the same company: Sako, in Finland. Both have stood the test of time and proved reliable options. In this article, We did a Sako vs Tikka comparison on construction, shooting results, duration of use, and eight other features.
Let’s dive in and check out the main similarities and differences.
Sako vs Tikka: Quick Answer
Choosing between both seems to be a daunting task. However, after considering the different parameters, we found out that both rifles excelled in all parameters. However, in terms of price, The Tikka was budget-friendly, while the Sako 85 was the perfect choice for construction and ergonomics.
What is the difference between Sako and Tikka rifles?
5 rounds trigger
7 mm Remington magnum
3 lug bolt action
2 lug bolt action
First manufactured in 2006
First manufactured in 2015
Walnut synthetic stock
Glass filled polymer stock
Single-column detachable magazines
Sako was established in 1921 to manufacture and service firearms for the Finland civil guard. The company began the manufacture of barrels a decade later, in 1932.
In 1983 it acquired the Tikkakoski factory and started the manufacture of the Tikka rifles. The Tikka T3x version was launched in 2015, and over 106000 guns were produced in the same year. Sako has since broken different records and has continued to be the leading producer of quality weapons.
Both are produced by the same company: Sako in Finland. The company began in 1919 with the main aim of refurbishing old Prussian rifles. During second world war 2, the company started full-scale production of rifles.
The Finish people have a significant pastime of hunting. This has driven the production of rifles. The recent models are more geared towards hunting. Furthermore, their spirit of sisu, which aims to express their national character, inspired the production of the guns.
Sako 85- has a wide range of cartridge options. The 22-250 Rem / 14”, 6.5 Creedmoor / 8” and 7mm-08 Rem are common cartridges for the Sako 85. A/b represents the caliber/rate of twist.
Tikka t3x – Cartridge options include: 204 Ruger | 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 22-250 Win,260 Rem, 7mm-08 Rem, 308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor 25-06 Rem, 7×64, 30-06 Spring field 9.3×62, 7mm Rem Mag 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag, 300 Win Short Mag.
The Same Barrel
Sako 85 barrels, blued or stainless, have a non-reflecting, satin-like surface. It has a barrel length of 520 mm. The Barrel blanks are drilled, cold-finished, and individually inspected.
The Tikka t3x has a cold hammer-forged barrel with a smoother barrel surface. Compared to the other barrel manufacturing methods, such as button and cut rifling, this guarantees consistently high quality and precision.
Barrel length – 620 mm.
Sako 85 models feature controlled cartridge feed (RCS) that eliminates double feed or cartridge jams. The turn-bolt handle places the hand in a natural position during bolt operation, allowing rapid, repeated firing.
The T3X platform operates on the same long action length, whereas Sako produces long and short action lengths. The Tikka in 308 has a bolt stop that shortens the stroke.
Tikka provides an extremely rigid action with a two-locking lug T3 bolt. The bolt features a spring-loaded plunger ejector and a removable bolt handle, with a 70° opening angle leaving plenty of room for handling the bolt.
The Sako 85 has a twin-column magazine that can load into the rifle through the ejection port; the Sako 85 features a complete Control Latch that prevents accidental magazine release.
The same question to Tikka t3 x – The Tikka t3x has single-column detachable magazines manufactured from fiberglass-reinforced solid synthetic material.
The magazine holds up to 10 rounds, depending on the model and caliber. A flush release is installed at the front of the magazine to prevent accidental discharges.
The Tikka T3X weighs 3.2kgs.
The Sako 85 is slightly lighter, with a weight of 2.6 kg.
The Sako 85 and Tikka t3x feature a standard Optilock™ base with an indexing edge that makes it easier to tighten the ring without accidental rotation.
Optilock™ bases and adjustment rings are offered in multiple different lengths and sizes. This allows various scope sizes and brands to be fitted onto Sako-manufactured rifles.
The Sako 85 models having a blued finish on the barrel, are available with either standard or optional adjustable iron sights.
The Sako 85 has rapid target acquisition iron sights, a complete rear sight line and bead, and a fluted barrel with a swivel band. It also includes a dovetail rail for attaching optical sights.
Tikka: It includes Open iron sights or peeps sights and day or night optics.
Open sights generally are used where the rear view is significantly from the shooter’s eye. While for the peep iron sights, the human eye automatically centers the front company when looking through the rear aperture, thus ensuring accuracy.
Both are sighted at 200 yards.
The Sako rifles comes along with several accessories, which include:
- Recoil pads and spacers which adjust the length of pull,
- Gun bags and transport cases – Hard transport cases have soft padding inside to keep thscope undamaged during transportation.
- Slings and sling swivels – a 3HGR sling is included, which allows tightening against the stock and carrying the rifle on the back or front, muzzle down or up.
- Cleaning kit, magazines, and muzzle breakers.
The Tikka t3x model also comes with various accessories, which includes
- Front grip with a soft touch coating.
- Bolt knob for faster bolt movement when reloading.
- Recoil pad spacer, Cleaning kit, Muzzle break, and Gun bag.
- Magazines and a gun sling with a light harness.
- Cheekpiece that makes adjustments to the stock.
Both the Tikka t3x and the Sako 85 are designed with ergonomics in mind for the shooter.
Some of the ergonomics features included in the Tikka T3x include
- A modular stock that allows for multiple shoot positions.
- Improved rail attachment to keep the target in sight.
- A recoil pad will enable you to fully concentrate on the shot’s accuracy and reduce the recoil impact on the shooter.
- Stock noise reduction.
As for the Sako 85, the ergonomics are built for an optimal shooting posture and smooth bolt operations.
The features include:
- L action size calibers for left-handed shooters.
- 2-way safety that locks the trigger and bolt handle.
- 2-row steel magazine that is quickly loaded through the ejection port.
- A prestigious antique-style pistol grip.
Due to the narrow and precise tolerances needed to ensure perfect performance, the manufacture of both rifles is limited. Tikka is a great choice because it can always be modified to match a variety of unique shooting circumstances. Tikka offers numerous adaptation options and rifle attachments.
The shooting results
The t3x rifle and the Sako 85 feature an accuracy of 1 MOA. Both are able to shoot upto 1000 yards.
Ease of Use
The Sako 85 is one of the best rifles to work with. In the forward position, it is ready to fire, and when in the rear, it locks the bolt and the trigger. Furthermore, the rifle is lightweight. At 2.6 kg, you can easily carry it around.
The Tikka t3x model has incorporated features that make it easy to use the rifle. These include
- A recoil pad that reduces the impact of recoil
- A redesigned ejection port for easy feeding of the cartridge.
- An improved asymmetric pattern that provides a solid grip regardless of the condition.
Winner Tikka t3x!
Both the Sako and tikka t3x are designed and manufactured to be used within ten years of manufacturing. The old gunpowder may create higher pressure inside the cartridge, leading to a cracked case or loose primer.
However, both are guaranteed against possible defects in material or craft.
The Tikka gun is built to impress. They make use of a cold hammer forged barrel and precision-machined receiver, which is something that other gun manufacturers can’t claim to do just as well or with as much quality.
Users have reported that their Tikka firearms are reliable and shoot accurately, which is great for any hunter.
Sako has progressed from manual manufacturing to computer-assisted R&D and CNC manufacturing. They still handcraft several essential steps because they value traditional gunsmithing. Each barrel is visually inspected, thus making it a reliable weapon. Our weapons are CIP and SAAMI compliant.
Both the Sako and Tikka Tx3 do not need “running in” from the factory due to a superior barrel manufacturing technique; running in or lapping is required to smooth out burrs and imperfections left in the same barrel after manufacture.
All Sako 85 and Tikka models are of a free-floating design. This means that there should be nothing touching the barrel past the front of the chamber. This guarantees consistent and repeatable performance.
The Tikka T3 x was launched in 2015, and 106,738 firearms were produced in the same year. The T3X hit a historical millionth mark in production volume in 2020, making it the most-produced model in a single factory.
Similarly, the Sako 85 model has not been trailing. In the same year, they hit a production volume of over 112000.
Prices of Sako vs Tikka Rifles
The Sako 85 rifle is more costly compared to the Tikka T3x counterpart. Be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars more for the Sako 85. However, you will get value for your money.
Are Tikka and Sako made in the same factory?
Yes. Since 2003, Sako has been involved in producing both firearms in Riihimaki, Finland.
Are Tikka and Sako’s actions the same?
No, The actions are different. Sako 85 has a three-lug bolt. This means the bolt/bolt handle must be rotated 60° to lock/unlock the bolt. The three-lug design is quicker to cycle. Sako firearms are offered in 6 action lengths and are more refined.
While Tikka t3 uses a two-locking bolt action.
Will a Sako stock fit a Tikka?
The Sako 85 and the Tikka t3 x have different recoil lugs and different mags. So the synthetic stock may not easily fit in the Tikka t3.
Does Sako own Tikka?
Yes. Sako had owned Tikka since September 1983 when Nokia Oy, the new owner of Sako, acquired the Tikkakoski Oy manufacturing plant.
Are Tikka and Sako barrels the same?
Yes, The Tikka t3x and the Sako 85 have the same barrels. However, The Sako has a more excellent fit and finish compared to the Tikka.
Is Sako a good brand?
Yes, the Sako is a nice rifle in various calibers with a variety of blue, stainless steel, barrel, wood, or synthetic stocks, they have an incredibly smooth action of the bolt and a removable scope.
This, combined with other features, makes the Sako 85 stand out as a perfect firearm, above any other factory rifle.
Both the Tikka and Sako firearms have their strengths and weaknesses. Both of these weapons continue to demonstrate their effectiveness. And both of these weapons remain in demand. The Sako has technical superiority in 3 key areas: range, accuracy, and weight.
The Tikka T3 has a remarkable advantage of easy-to-maintain and straightforward construction. So, I guess it is a no-win situation. It depends on the user what he will choose.
So, what features do you like the most?