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July 23rd, 2022

Saturday at the Movies: SAKO and Tikka Factory Tours

Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

Sako, and its subsidiary Tikka, make some of the finest hunting rifles you can buy. These offer smooth actions, and very good out-of-the-box accuracy for factory rifles. In addition, Sako and Tikka now offer high-tech carbon fiber stocks, along with Sako’s handsome wood stocks. With the three videos showcased today, you get a virtual tour of the Sako/Tikka production facilities in Finland.


Visit SAKO Rifles Website | Visit Tikka Rifles Website

Tour of Finland SAKO/Tikka Factory — 22-Minute Video

In this informative video, the Canada in the Rough team tours the Sako/Tikka factory in Riihimäki, Finland. All aspects of the production process are covered — crafting actions, barrel-making, stock fitting and more. It was interesting to see the hammer-forging process for barrels, and the exacting measurements that are performed on the actions and bolt assemblies. If you have an interest in rifle production and the type of modern, computer-controlled machinery now being used, definitely watch this video.

Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland
Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

Visit to SAKO/Tikka Carbon Fiber Stock Factory

This Sako-produced video shows how the company’s modern carbon-fiber stocks are produced. The stock production process is highly automated, to ensure that the finished stocks have very precise dimensions. These carbon Sakos are some of the nicest carbon-fiber stocks we’ve ever seen.

Sako carbon fiber stock factory
Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

SAKO Factory Tour in Riihimäki, Finland

In this segment, huntress and outdoor video host Mia Anstine tours the Sako manufacturing facility in Riihimäki, Finland. This video covers both firearms production and ammunition manufacturing. In a follow-up video posted below, Mia tests Sako rifles and Sako ammunition at a Finland range. Mia also reported on her Sako factory tour in the Beretta Blog. She notes: “Sako built its original manufacturing facility during World War I. To this day they still utilize the original buildings but have also grown over the years to include larger production areas and updated equipment.”

Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland
Sako Tikka Factory tour video carbon fiber hunting stock rifle Finland

Canada in the Rough Video Tip from Boyd Allen — we welcome reader submissions
Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
July 23rd, 2022

Accuracy, Velocity, & Temp Stability — How to Achieve All Three

USAMU Reloading tips Handloading Hump Day

This USAMU article explores three different “Philosophies” of precision reloading. Some handloaders seek to produce ammo that yields the very tightest groups (without factoring in the wind). Other shooters load their ammo to deliver the highest safe velocity. That’s because a projectile launched at higher velocity will drift less in the wind. The theory is that even if fast ammo doesn’t produce the tightest groups in zero wind conditions, it will yield higher scores in a the real world (where the wind blows). Lastly, some handloaders favor ammo that is ultra-consistent across a wide temperature range. This last philosophy dictates selection of a powder that is temp-insensitive, even if it may not produce the very best raw accuracy (or speed).

USAMU Reloading tips Handloading Hump Day

What’s Your Handloading Philosophy?

Objectives of Reloading — Accuracy, Velocity, Temp Stability
What do you, the reader, primarily value in your handloads?

Viewpoint ONE: Accuracy Trumps Everything
Some shooters prize consistent, excellent medium/long range accuracy enough that they’re willing to give up some extra velocity (and reduced wind deflection) to obtain that. Their underlying philosophy could be stated: “Superior accuracy is present for every shot, but the wind isn’t”. One’s ability to hold well, aim well and read the wind are all factors in making this type decision. The photo below shows stellar raw accuracy. This is an 0.67″, 10-shot group at 300-yards fired from a text fixture. The group measures just 0.67″. (This shows the USAMU’s 600-yard load with 75gr bullets).

Viewpoint TWO: Load to Highest Safe Velocity for Less Wind Drift
Some shooters value obtaining the highest safe velocity, even if one’s pure, consistent mechanical accuracy at medium/long range isn’t quite as brilliant. The theory here seems to be that a really good hold extracts as much mechanical accuracy from the rifle/ammo as possible, and faster bullets equal occasional “bonus” points snatched from the jaws of wind.

[For example] one of the USAMU’s many Service Rifle National Champions revealed his philosophy. It can be stated thus: a super-accurate, but [relatively] “slow” load “required him to have a Ph.D. in wind reading for every shot, while a faster, but less accurate load netted him more points.”

Note — this was not mere speculation; his score book data backed up his claims, due to less wind effects. Remember, however, this fellow has a consistent, National Championship-level hold, and other Champions on the same team would have opted differently.

USAMU velocity chronograph testing

Viewpoint THREE: Temperature Stability Is Key
Still another approach is to place heavy emphasis on fine accuracy with absolute stability in changing temperatures. When this writer was actively earning his Distinguished Rifleman badge, that was his goal. The reason? Sighting shots are not allowed in EIC (“Leg”) matches. The first shot out of the barrel was for score. It had to be 100% consistent, with very reliable, predictable elevation and wind deflection regardless of the ambient temperature — even if it wasn’t the lowest wind deflection possible.

Naturally, selecting a powder that is insensitive to temperature changes is a key element here. Elevation zeros and wind effects HAD to be consistent every time. Hunters and military snipers might be among those who fall into this camp, as well as those in pursuit of their Distinguished Rifleman badges.

Contrast that with a traditional High Power shooter who gets two sighter shots before each event (offhand, sitting rapid, prone rapid, prone slow fire.) If there is a zero change on any given day, he/she can correct during sighters. This writer well remembers talking with another very high-level Service Rifle competitor who was happy to have high temperatures boost the velocities of his ammunition above their usual level… As far as this SR competitor was concerned, 60-80 fps more velocity -– even if only due to high ambient temperatures -– meant less wind deflection, and he was mighty happy to have it.

summer temperature chart USAMU loading tips

Particularly in the summer, with hot daily conditions, you need to be concerned about temperature stability. Loads worked up in winter may not work in the summer time.

This article has been confined to NRA High Power Rifle competition, which has relatively generous 10-ring dimensions in relation to the accuracy of well-built competition rifles. Hopefully, it will provide food for thought. For some, this might be an opportunity to ensure that one’s load development approach helps them attain their desired results.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading No Comments »
July 23rd, 2022

Primer Pocket Blow-Outs Can Happen — Wear Eye Protection!

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

A few years back, Our friend Grant Guess had a “close encounter” with a bad primer. An apparently defective primer caused part of the casehead on one of his rounds to blow out. This, in turn, allowed high pressure gas to vent through the damaged primer pocket. Take a good look, boys and girls. This is yet another very good reason to wear safety glasses … EVERY time you shoot. The cartridge was a 6.5-06, handloaded in necked-down Winchester-headstamp .270 Win brass. Grant reports:

“I had a blow-through between the primer and the primer pocket today. The action was really smoking and I got a face full of gas. This was a reasonably light charge. Thank God for safety glasses.

I should also mention that it appears there is a 3/64 hole that is halfway between the primer and the primer pocket. Like it burned a small jet hole through both of them.”

Could this happen to you? It just might. On seeing this damaged case, one of Grant’s Facebook friends, Chris D., observed: “Search the internet, you will see a lot of these pin hole ‘in the corner’ failures. Obviously Winchester has some issues with the LR primers.”

Careful Examination Reveals Apparent Primer Defect
After this incident, Grant examined the damaged case: “I [measured] the flash hole and it is not over-sized or under-sized. The primer clearly has an area where it had a defect. At [50,000 CUP], it doesn’t take much of a defect to cause issues. There was a slight bit of pucker-factor on the next shot….”

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »