The Accuracy and Reliability of the Sako Finnlight

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by Jay Chambers

The Sako Finnlight is a surprisingly light, high-performance rifle for hunters who make long treks into the wilderness for their game. It’s perfectly trimmed and ideal for young people or those of smaller stature, too.

Sako is well-known and respected for their classic Model 85. The Finnlight is a pared-down version featuring a synthetic stock, fluted barrel, and stainless steel construction. It’s lightweight and extremely durable.

Operation

Integrated rails atop the receiver allow for scope mounting and the polished bolt body means you get smooth operation when lining up a shot. The bolt handle is 2.5 inches with a teardrop-shaped knob that’s easy to grip and features a finish and action to match the barrel.

When the action is cocked, you know it by a red dot indicator on the base of the bolt shroud. It’s an elegant and easy-to-use rifle that doesn’t compromise performance.

Reliability

The proprietary Controlled Round design gives the cartridge rim direct engagement as it’s taken from the top of the magazine. It’s fed at a precise angle allowing for more control, which improves reliability over other rifle designs.

You can’t underestimate the role that comfort plays in reliability, either. Because of its lightweight but durable design, handling is superb. When it comes to an accurate shot, you can count on its ease of use.

Design

Despite its synthetic construction, this rifle has sporty lines and an accented cheekpiece. It doesn’t look cheap like some synthetic stocks do. The black finish makes it look sleek while keeping it practical.

It’s molded from two plastic pieces, so the butt feels hollow, but the sidewalls are thick, so you won’t experience twisting of the free-floating barrel.

The pistol grip features rubber grip panels with small rings that deviate from the usual checkered pattern, making it look like a modern, premium rifle rather than something we’ve seen time and again. They still enable a good grip even with wet or muddy hands.

The large recoil pad cushions the blow of the .270 cartridge.

Barrel

The primary attraction of the Finnlight is its practicality. The 22-inch barrel is perfect for a variety of uses. It’s not too big, and it’s not too small. Goldilocks would be in love.

It’s easy to control, for extreme accuracy. It’s threaded, too, so you can fit a moderator without it getting too cumbersome.

This sporty, gently tapering design is .637 inches at the muzzle and fluted for most of its length. It has a distinctive look not shared with its competitors. This helps to save weight for greater versatility and control over your accuracy.

Scope mounts feature the Opti-Lok system finished to match the rest of the rifle.

When recoil occurs, bases work to grip the action tighter to secure the system from hitting hard.

Trigger

Most Sako rifles feature a standard single-stage trigger with a 3-pound weight. It’s adjustable from 2 to 4 pounds with an allen key at the back of the magazine well.

The trigger blade is slim with grooves to improve grip. The magazine well and the trigger guard are made from two pieces of aluminum and fitted together to match the rest of the rifle.

With a horizontally sliding safety lever, you can easily move it forward to firing or backward to safe. The safety setting locks both the bolt and the trigger.

Enacting a small plunger in front of the safety lever allows for removing the cartridge while keeping the trigger locked.

The magazine release mechanism is called the “Total Control Latch.” It’s designed to prevent an accidental release, which is incredibly useful on a hunting rifle.

Performance

The .270 cartridge is capable of a lot of velocity, and is highly accurate at 100 yards or less. It’s perfect for deer and other big game hunting. However, it’s versatile enough for lightweight shooting, too.

This high-performance rifle warms up after as little as 10 rounds, so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice and you won’t have any problems with shifting due to heat.

Thread your Finnlight for a moderator and accommodated .22-250 cartridges and transition easily from big game to an exceptional fox rifle.

Overall

The practicality of its design and performance makes it unmatched in terms of accuracy and reliability. It’s not often you find a manufacturer able to marry an attractive design with durability and a lightweight frame while still achieving these goals.

The Sako Finnlight is a perfect combination of everything you need in a hunting rifle. Men, women, young people, beginners, and experienced shooters will all find something appealing about it.

It has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy with a rugged, no-nonsense style. It’s versatility is also an excellent feature. It handles well with soft recoil. It’s the perfect light rifle with a heavy caliber.

The Pros and Cons of the Palmetto State Armory

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by Jay Chambers


Palmetto State Armory (PSA) makes really affordable guns. And, they’re one of the few American manufacturers that makes AK-47 rifles. But, are Palmetto State Armory rifles any good?

There’s been some dissent around the internet about whether or not Palmetto State Armory makes reliable rifles. Who’s right? The fans or the haters?

The truth is somewhere in between. There are pros and cons to buying firearms from Palmetto State Armory. Here’s what you can expect.

Pro: great deals

If you head over to their site, you’ll notice that they have lots of daily sales and limited time discounts. So, there’s plenty of opportunities to get gear at great prices from PSA.

They’re also very selective about what they put on sale. Most models and products that are on sale are in stock in their warehouse. So sale items ship quickly. That may not be the case with every order (but we’ll get to that shortly).

Also, the Palmetto State Armory components and rifles are really well priced. You can get complete PSA rifles for around $500, which is a legitimate deal.

But, if the prices make you skeptical…

Pro: excellent quality

Palmetto State Armory does make some of their own components. However, many of their parts are sourced from other manufacturers.

The third-party components are usually unmarked. But they buy rifle parts from manufacturers like FN Herstal, Midwest Industries, and other companies.

Palmetto State Armory uses bulk pricing to reduce their manufacturing costs and offer better prices to their customers. If you’re concerned that the price looks a bit too low for quality components, worry not. They’re not cutting corners.

In fact, a Palmetto State Armory AR-15 was one of the first AR-15s to pass the AK Operators Union 5000 round torture test. And, it was one of the most basic PSA AR-15s.

That’s not to say that you’ll never have a problem with a Palmetto State Armory rifle. But, any issues are probably anomalies, not the standard.

But, if you do have a problem…

Pro: solid customer service

So far, reports from the field say that Palmetto State Armory’s customer service has been top notch.

Whenever there’s a problem, the company has never hesitated to replace parts and send them in a hurry. Most of the time, customers aren’t even asked to send the defective part back.

The company certainly stands behind their products. And, will make things right if you have a problem.

There are some legitimate complaints about the customer service, though.

Con: slow customer service

Although the customer service is excellent once you get in touch with them, Palmetto State Armory isn’t a huge company. And, it can take some time to get on the phone with a customer service representative.

Some PSA buyers have recommended using the vendor contact page on AR15.com.

The slow customer service is likely a byproduct of the time that they take with each customer. It helps to remember that if you find yourself aggravated by the slow response time.

Con: slow shipping

For most of the daily deals, things go out pretty quickly. And, customers have gotten their gear within a few days.

However, most buyers have noted that, if you order on a Monday, you won’t get your stuff by the weekend. It usually takes five days or more for Palmetto State Armory orders to arrive.

The shipping time isn’t unreasonable. But, if you need your stuff fast, you may have to get it somewhere else, or pay for the quick shipping.

Con: fairly basic rifles

This is only a con for those who want a really sweet rifle right out of the box. But, the complete PSA rifles are fairly simple models. They’re effective, to be sure.

However, they don’t come with a ton of bells and whistles. Most PSA rifles are essentially mil-spec rifles with a few upgrades. Most of the base models are equipped with A2 pistol grips and mil-spec M4 stocks.

So, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade a few bolt on parts, if you get one of the PSA budget rifles.

But, if you want something that’s a little more high end right out of the box, Palmetto State Armory does offer a few models with stainless steel barrels and Magpul MOE furniture. They’re not super custom rifles like you might get from a company like LWRC or Daniel Defense. But, the more expensive PSA rifles are still capable guns.

There’s a range of options. But, the overall trend is that Palmetto State Armory generally makes affordable, reliable rifles, not super custom rifles. 

Conclusion

You may have noticed that none of the cons are related to product quality. That’s because PSA guns are well-made. Quality isn’t an issue.

Many Palmetto State Armory rifles are fairly basic models. So, PSA rifles may not be for everyone. But, you could easily use a Palmetto State Armory rifle as a foundation for building a super tactical rifle. And, it would be a cost efficient method.

In the end, the complaints about Palmetto State Armory are probably overblown. And, the PSA superfans may be exaggerating how awesome Palmetto State Armory rifles are. But, if you buy a rifle from Palmetto State Armory, you’ll get a quality firearm. You may not get it quickly. But, you’ll be happy with it once it arrives.

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