Sako 85 Or CZ

ZB

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I have been searching around for info and trying to find some info on the Sako 85 and the CZ.
The CZ has been regarded as one of the trusted rifles for Africa. And I have been itching for a 375 CZ.
Then I started exploring the Sako 85. I have found some info. But know i stuck between the two.
If im not mistaken the Sako 85 features a Control Feed Action?
I have been looking at the Brown Bear 375. But i have found very little info on it. Has someone had some expierence hunting with it? Is it worth spending the extra few dollars?
The CZ I have hunted with before. And know it quite a bit having used the CZ 458 lott also.
Any advice on the Sako 85 375 h&h Brown Bear? Its it worth it?
 

JPbowhunter

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I've owned a sako a7, 75 and 85 and a cz 550. I prefer the 85 personally but i do like the feel of my 550.

My brother owns a black bear in 9.3x62 its a great gun and I wouldn't hesitate buying one. I do love the grizzly though but around $4k in aus.
 

wesheltonj

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I own three 85 Classics and one 85 Bavarian. You are comparing Apples and Oranges. While I don't have the Brown Bear Model the action and barrel are the same. SAKO is a quality gun right out of the box, you have nothing to do to them other than a scope and sling.
 

mark-hunter

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If im not mistaken the Sako 85 features a Control Feed Action?

CZ 550 is modern mauser style extractor, and true controlled feed action. One of the cheapest true mausers on the market today.

Sako 85 is on higher price level. The action is further advancment in push feed action, by small extractor, to operate partly as CRF. So they are advertising their action as CRF - to target the hunting market crazy for mauser style rifles. But, basically it is cosmetics, not true CRF.

The rifle is of very good quality and very operational. It has metal removable double stack mag. (metal mag is nowdays a rarity), it is MOA accurate for multyple shots with thin barrel contour, etc.

Set trigger. And trigger is excellent, light and crisp.

Three position safety.

Scope mounting system is by their own optilock system, which is something I do not prefer, but it is usable. For a bit longer scopes, you can get in touch with rear sight, so you might need to use higher rings to place optics over the rear sights. It will depend of the optics you choose.

The stock is excellent, with very fine checkering, rose wood on fore tip or pistol grip, on some models, some nice details .

All in all, Sako 85 is very likeable rifle, but note well: it is not true CRF. If you want real mauser style - long extractor - CRF - look somwhere else, and CZ 550 is one of the options.
 

Dr Ray

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I have 4 Sakos (3 centerfire in 85). I believe that with big calibers there’s a problem when extracting fired cases with them hitting the low mounted scope.
I really like my Sakos though. Excellent quality.
 

Dirtdart

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I have a Sako Brown Bear and several CZ550's. In the short time I have had the Sako I tend to favor it over the CZ in .375 but I like the weight of the CZ in my .416/.404's. The Brown Bear has the most visible set of iron sights I have ever seen. The Sako is definitely more refined and ready to go out of the box which I can not say has always been my experience with the CZ550. I tried several types of mounts on the Sako and settled on the Leupold quick detachable. If I remember correctly I paid $1500US for my Brown Bear slightly used and it came with a peep sight and some Talley bases. I doubt that you could find one in Namibia for close to that price. I cringe when my friends in Nam tell me what they have to pay for guns/ammo.
 

Dwight Beagle

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CZ 550 is modern mauser style extractor, and true controlled feed action. One of the cheapest true mausers on the market today.

Sako 85 is on higher price level. The action is further advancment in push feed action, by small extractor, to operate partly as CRF. So they are advertising their action as CRF - to target the hunting market crazy for mauser style rifles. But, basically it is cosmetics, not true CRF.

The rifle is of very good quality and very operational. It has metal removable double stack mag. (metal mag is nowdays a rarity), it is MOA accurate for multyple shots with thin barrel contour, etc.

Set trigger. And trigger is excellent, light and crisp.

Three position safety.

Scope mounting system is by their own optilock system, which is something I do not prefer, but it is usable. For a bit longer scopes, you can get in touch with rear sight, so you might need to use higher rings to place optics over the rear sights. It will depend of the optics you choose.

The stock is excellent, with very fine checkering, rose wood on fore tip or pistol grip, on some models, some nice details .

All in all, Sako 85 is very likeable rifle, but note well: it is not true CRF. If you want real mauser style - long extractor - CRF - look somwhere else, and CZ 550 is one of the options.

This post says everything that needs to be said IMO.
 

Ridgewalker

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JMO, but if I already owned a CZ in 458 Lott and liked it, then I would purchase the same rifle in different calibers just for the sake of muscle memory under stressful conditions. There’s my nickel’s worth, or is that only 2 cents worth?;)
 

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I couldn't get rid of my CZ 550 fast enough. Sloppiest, grittiest bolt I have ever felt. It was an effort to get a round chambered, esp. a follow up round. I don't subscribe to the school of thought that says you should spend double the purchase price and have fixed what the factory should have gotten right when it was built. Sako is on another level, you can't really compare the two. Sako hands down.

"One of the cheapest true mausers on the market today." It's cheap for a reason......
 

IvW

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Both are good rifles.

A lot like a Land Rover vs Land Cruiser type of scenario.

The CZ is a working rifle not a show piece. Yes the action is not as smooth as others. This can however very easily be smoothed up by a gunsmith and will certainly not cost the same as the rifle. You could also do it yourself. In 375 H&H you will not have any issues with feeding.

In 375 H&H and bigger, caliber rifles I do not understand the need for a 3 position safety.

Safe locks the bolt in place and fire after that, is all you need.

The Brno and CZ rifles may not be the smoothest rifles around but you will be using one of the most reliable rifles that has proven itself over many years in Africa's harsh conditions and is used by many Africans as working rifles.

Personally, I use Brno ZKK actioned rifles, if I had to choose between the Sako and CZ for Africa, I would take the CZ.

Rifle weight vs cartridge can also be an issue with Sako. They can be a bit light for the full power loads. Some can handle that some cannot. A 375 H&H with full power loads can bite.

Having shot a 458 Lott, I don't think that would be an issue for you though.

Rifle fit and stock dimensions will also be important. Which one fits you better? The CZ has a lot of stock to work with if needed.

I prefer Land Cruisers by the way.

Good luck in your choice.
 

BeeMaa

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Stock fitment in a medium-large bore rifle is more important than in the smaller calibers.
The way a rifle "feels" is just as important as it shoots.
Hopefully you know some people with the rifles you are considering and will let you shoulder them to try them out.
Good luck with your decision.

Personally, I prefer the CZ and I did have some work done to it.
 

dchamp

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For rifles under $3,000.00 my first choice would be a newer Winchester M70 Safari Express. I have one and like it very much.

My 2nd choice the CZ, if buying new I would first get myself fitted and then order one through their custom shop to your specifications. The action will be a lot better.

Third choice would be the Sako. I have a Sako 85 Grizzly in 8x57 and it is a delight and the detachable magazine is very solid, in fact I liked it so much that I looked at the Brown Bear in .416 Rigby. It functioned just like my Grizzly. The only concern I had was that it felt to me like it was the same weight as the Grizzly which I thought to be way to light for my liking in that big of a rifle. The action works well though but as others have said it is somewhat of a modified CRF action.
IMG_0530.JPG
 
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Steve.

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Sako 85 are beautiful rifles. I’ve owned several in 375 H&H. Feeding was flawless. Only drawback is they are NOT a CRF. The cases will eject and hit the turret of a scope because the extractor blade position.
 

JPbowhunter

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I never realised people had a preference with crf and push feed until reading online. I shot all my deer with a push feed remington for 10 years and never had an issue. Never seen an issue with sako extraction after using many of them and shooting many rounds.

As I've said I've sold my 85 and 75 rifles. I now own a sako A7 and cz 550.

85 is definitely a better rifle in my eyes but i still believe the A7 is the best value for money gun around and the 550 seems nice too. Haven't done enough with it yet to speak with authority.
 

308W

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CZ 550 is modern mauser style extractor, and true controlled feed action. One of the cheapest true mausers on the market today.

Sako 85 is on higher price level. The action is further advancment in push feed action, by small extractor, to operate partly as CRF. So they are advertising their action as CRF - to target the hunting market crazy for mauser style rifles. But, basically it is cosmetics, not true CRF.

(...)

All in all, Sako 85 is very likeable rifle, but note well: it is not true CRF. If you want real mauser style - long extractor - CRF - look somwhere else, and CZ 550 is one of the options.
If somebody like me doesn't know what it is exactly CRF, here there is an interesting article: http://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/controlled-round-feed-rifles-vs-push-feed-rifles/99079
 

JPbowhunter

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If somebody like me doesn't know what it is exactly CRF, here there is an interesting article: http://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/controlled-round-feed-rifles-vs-push-feed-rifles/99079
Very interesting, I've always assumed without putting too much thought into it that the bar running along the bolt of the crf mauser type bolts gave it the rough cycling people complain about. I personally never liked the horizontal play on my brothers kimber years ago, but I've learnt to appreciate them as certainly being very strong and reliable.

I guess the article did address my experiences, my push feed i hunted with for years was a 270 that I hunted deer with, no dangerous game.
 

markferrigno

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Interesting article. I suppose any gun can fail at anytime but I can see why someone would want a CRF for dangerous though, though my preference would be double for DG
 

One Day...

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A few thoughts on CZ and CRF...

Roughness / Smoothness of the CZ / ZKK

If you are observant of contact points on the CZ/ZKK (these are iterations of the same action coming from the same plant, before and after the fall of communism), and if you are willing to spend two hours with the appropriate fine grit sand paper and valve grinding compound, you will be positively amazed at how slick a standard CZ 550 will become for a grand expenditure of about a few pennies (excluding your time).

Check specifically:

1) how the central edge of the magazine follower plate binds inside the grove for the ejector blade in the under side of the bolt (solved by rounding the central edge of the follower);

2) how the burrs of the ejector blade grind inside the ejector grove of the bolt (solved by deburring/polishing the ejector blade);

3) how the burrs of the lower rear bridge machining grind against the bolt (solved by deburring/polishing the machining of the lower rear bridge);

4) how the forward edge of the extractor collar binds inside the upper rear bridge (solved by rounding the edges of the extractor collar and polishing the inside of the rear bridge);

5) how the machining burrs on the inside and lower faces of the feeding lips grind against the feeding cartridges (solved by polishing carefully - but NOT REMOVING MATERIAL from - the feeding lips).

6) coat liberally the bolt with valve grinding compound and cycle the bolt one thousand times while watching TV.

Again, you will be amazed at the results...

Let us keep in mind that Rigby themselves used ZKK/CZ actions for years for their own rifles when Mauser stopped the production of true magnum-length actions. This is not faint praise for the action.

CZ safety

Regrettably, the ZKK/CZ does not offer a true safety, i.e. a safety that blocks the firing pin (either with 2 positions as on the Weatherby Mark V, or 3 positions as on the Winchester 70 and derivatives - sideways, or as on the original Mauser - "flag safety"). This is its only true shortcoming of the CZ, and where a Win 70 Classic has a true advantage over it. Instead, they offer a sear blocking safety WHICH CANNOT PREVENT THE PIN FROM FIRING THE GUN SHOULD THE SEAR SLIP for whatever reason (e.g. the gun falling, or a defective trigger "tuning").

Aftermarket firing-pin blocking safeties are widely available for the CZ (Lapour, Gentry, American Hunting Rifles, etc.) and the machining to install one is mostly limited to drilling one small hole in the bolt handle with a carbide bit and fine-tuning the engagement of the camming surfaces, which is a little tricky.

Installing a firing-pin blocking safety is probably the one "mandatory" upgrade someone needs to make on a CZ in addition to an action job.

CRF

Yes that monster extractor is reassuring, but this is NOT the primary advantage of a CRF.

The primary advantage is that a CRF prevents double feed, or in other words, it avoids unwittingly loading the chamber. A push feed bolt will chamber a cartridge and NOT EXTRACT THIS CARTRIDGE IF THE BOLT IS NOT CLOSED, i.e. if the extractor is not snapped over the rim when closing the bolt. The consequence is that one can actually load the chamber without turning/closing the bolt; pull the bolt back; see no cartridge (if there is no other round in the magazine); and close the bolt on a loaded chamber while believing the rifle is empty.

The importance of this was illustrated 3 years ago in the Eastern Cape when one person inadvertently loaded a gun by pushing into the chamber the one cartridge that was in the magazine; forgot about it in the flow of the discussion; and handed the rifle, bolt open, to someone else who, seeing no cartridge in the magazine, closed the bolt on the loaded chamber and put the rifle on the back seat of the truck. The next person who grabbed the gun from the back seat depressed the trigger while doing so, and the gun fired. One woman died. I personally know the people involved, this is a true story.

A CRF bolt would have been carrying that cartridge back out of the chamber even if the bolt had not been closed during gun manipulation. THAT is the primary benefit of a CRF on a hunting gun.

Of course there were a long list of gun safety violations along the way, but CRF would likely have prevented them from resulting in a death. I personally ALWAYS cycle the bolt and dry fire my rifle in a safe direction 3 times before putting it back in the case. In my military days, during the 3 year officer training at the Special Military Academy the violating the '3-safety-manipulations-and-dry-firing-in-a-safe-direction' rule was worth walking back from the firing range to the barracks, and this was a long 3 hour walk. We learned quickly and for life ;-)
 
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One Day...

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... I do not understand the need for a 3 position safety.
I did not either for quite a while, then it dawned on me that there actually is a pretty good rationale for it. In this case too, it has nothing to do with firing the gun, but with safe manipulation.

In the second position (intermediary position with firing pin blocked but bolt movement allowed) one can unload a cartridge from the chamber WHILE KEEPING THE FIRING PIN LOCKED, or empty a magazine by cycling the cartridges in and out of the chamber (for those who do not want to open the bottom of the magazine or who have locked their magazine bottom to avoid inadvertent ammo dumping under recoil) WHILE KEEPING THE FIRING PIN LOCKED, which is clearly safer than doing so with a bolt ready to fire should the trigger be inadvertently touched during unloading manipulations.

Clever guy this Paul Mauser :)

I have actually modified some 2 position firing-pin-blocking safeties (which is easy to do) to allow opening the bolt while the firing pin is still blocked, jut to be able to unload the gun while keeping the safety on.
 

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