Sako is now shipping its newest Model 85 rifle, the carbon-fiber-stocked 85 Carbonlight. Chambered for several popular hunting cartridges, it is the lightest Model 85 ever made.
The Carbonlight was unveiled earlier this year and is now making its way to dealers nation-wide. It’s a higher-end rifle that fits right in with the rest of the 85 series. The stock is real carbon fiber, not a dipped polymer stock, unlike many things in the firearm world that mimic the form but not the function of true carbon fiber components.
The result is a rifle that lives up to Sako’s high standards. Like more conventional Model 85 rifles, the Carbonlight has the same five-shot cold bore sub-MOA accuracy guarantee with suitable ammo. The Carbonlight is for hunters who are expecting to take game at longer ranges comfortably knowing that they are capable of ethical culls at those distances.
At just 5.5 pounds without a scope, the Carbonlight is ideal for hunters who expect to spend long stretches in the field and shooters everywhere looking to pack light. By using carbon fiber to cut weight Sako didn’t have to remove material from the receiver or barrel or anything else that might affect performance and still keep things under 6 pounds.
Like all 85-series rifles the Carbonlight’s receiver length is determined by cartridge length. Sako uses six different receiver lengths with their 85s to ensure that a cartridge has the perfect amount of room to chamber predictably and reliably under the most stressful conditions.
The Carbonlight has an appealing two-tone style with a satin-finished receiver and tapered, fluted, free-floating barrel. All Sako barrels are machined, cold-hammer-forged and individually inspected after undergoing the finishing process. As is standard for the 85 series, the Carbonlight uses the same “two-way” safety system that lets shooters lock the trigger and the bolt, and load or unload the magazine with the safety on.
The rifle has a 5-round magazine capacity in all chamberings and feeds from detachable magazines or straight through the ejection port. Made entirely in Finland, the only other changes to the design include the use of aluminum alloy for the trigger guard instead of steel and the removal of the rifle’s iron sights — which is dead weight in this configuration.
Carbonlight rifles will be offered in five calibers at launch, .22-250, .260 and 7mm-08 Remington and .243 and .260 Winchester. The price is expected to be around $3,000, in line with other Sako 85 rifles. Carbon fiber is extremely strong, light and durable but it’s not inexpensive.