View Full Version : Kimber Model 84m classic or Sako 85 hunter, in .260 rem.

July 20, 2008, 07:26 PM
I can't decide which one to get guys. I've read reviews about kimbers being bad and wonderfull. And then all the reviews on the sako are positive besides the rumor i heard about their rifles not being a true controlled feed. I'm willing to gambel with kimber but im not sure if i want to, the thing is every sako i find is like 400$ more than the kimber. By the end of the summer i will have 1,100$ and i've found the kimber for 900$. Im still having a hard time. Need some help deciding. Thanks.

July 20, 2008, 08:52 PM
I could be talked into both. I've owned an 8400 and it was very accurate. The trigger on the Kimbers is the best available in a factory gun IMO. The Sako has it's virtues as well. They're both good choices and if you're like me you'll buy one and wish you had the other later.

The bedding system on the Sako 85's is very nice. Sako may have a slight edge in accuracy but my Kimber shot around 3/4" to 1" consistently.

July 20, 2008, 09:08 PM
Ya all i need is at least a inch, im using my .260 for anywhere from muskrats and coyotes to elk. But i love the look of the kimber and the action it's absolutley stunning. Same for sako but i can't justify the extra 400$. I'm 17 so i will have a good collection of rifles as time goes on. I've just read soooo many bad reviews on the kimbers and they are horrible but the good reviews are like amazing, like .5 inch 3 shot groups. Rifles i plan to get are sako, kimber, and a cooper custom classic which will cost out the @ss..

July 20, 2008, 09:11 PM
I also told myself that if my kimber was throwing them everywhere i would just send it back as many times as it took to fix it but then i read about the horrible customer service..

July 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
I wouldn't worry about the Kimber being a dissapointment. In some ways it's better than the Sako IMO. The hand checkering, oil rubbed finish, match trigger, weight and petite handling are all done better than the Sako IMO.

That doesn't mean the Sako doesnt' do some things better though. Sako makes a barrel about as good as anyone. If you handload and seat the bullets close to the rifling the Kimber may have a longer magazine well since it's not a detachable magazine.

July 21, 2008, 01:13 AM
So since i wont have the money, i should take a gambel with the kimber? I really want a kimber, just all these bad reviews kinda scare me. Also should i order it online or shop around my location, i don't know how much i trust online stores for guns. Hell if i could i would like to get it directly from the factory.

phil mcwilliam
July 21, 2008, 06:46 AM
I own 2 Sako rifles in 22-250 & 308. I recently spent $700 on the 22-250 getting it rebarreled, rather than buy a new rifle after 23 years service. I have nothing but praise for the Sako's. I know people with 17's, .222, 243, 25-06,270,30-06 & 375H&H Sakos & they all admire their rifles. I recently had a workmate buy a new Sako 85 Hunter in 243 & the craftmanship on this rifle is perfect. More importantly they are accurate & reliable rifles, with some of the people I know being professional shooters relying on their rifle for their pay.

July 21, 2008, 08:02 AM
So since i wont have the money, i should take a gambel with the kimber?

Any gun you buy you'll be taking a gamble. The best brands still produce lemons.

The Kimber will feel more petite, light, with a super smooth claw controlled action.

The Sako will feel heavier, bigger in the wrist, has a super smooth, push/kinda controlled feed(model 85)action, good trigger, and probably shoot slightly better.

You won't go wrong with either, but don't feel like the Kimber is a compromise or risk.

July 21, 2008, 11:28 AM
I guess ill stick with getting the kimber then, unless i were to find a better deal on a sako 85 hunter. But another question about the kimber, cause of it's weight would it make a 260 kick a lot more than it should. I use my dad's .308 and i could have swore it was like 7 pounds and then he told me it was 14. I thought it had a decent kick to it. So since the .243,.260 and .308 all use the same casing would the kimber should kick a good bit more with all that reduced weight right?

July 21, 2008, 11:34 AM
Thats also another thing that concerned me about the sakos, i read that they didn't have a true controlled feed action.

July 21, 2008, 12:18 PM
Kimber's come with a 1" Pachmayer Decelerator recoil pad. Arguably one of the best recoil pads ever made. The Sako's have a very stiff pad. I had a Kimber in 300 WSM and it was a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- cat to shoot. I was very surprised how little recoil it had. Unfortunately claw controlled actions can sometimes have trouble cycling the short fat WSM's. This was the case with mine so I sold it. I love the gun itself though. One in 260 would be a great pick.

Perceived recoil has as much to do with stock design as weight.

July 21, 2008, 12:28 PM
I would choose the Sako. Sako makes one of the best rifles in the world, and many come with their MOA guarantee (that's 5 shots, not 3). The first 1/2 MOA group I ever saw fired with a factory 7mm Rem Mag was from a Sako. The smoothest actions, the nicest triggers, the best looking wood I have ever seen on a factory rifle were on a Sako. Sako has my vote hands down.

I have never owned a Kimber, but from the ones I have handled and shot, they have a ways to go to work out all the bugs in their rifles. Pretty, though.

July 21, 2008, 12:44 PM
I can't argue that point of view either. They're both fine rifles. It comes down to what one wants. If you're into the classic claw controlled, hand checkered and finished guns, or if you like European styling and excellent accuracy. I have no reason to dislike either and don't think Kimber has a long way to go with their rifles. If anything they've upped the stakes for other production guns.

July 21, 2008, 01:37 PM
Of the two rifles you mentioned , get the Sako hands down.
You have already read reviews and comments about both rifles and your concerns are valid.
Sako builds a fine rifle and I personally have never heard of one built in the last 20 years that will not shoot---all mine do and have been very dependable.
You may want to look at Tikka also---Sako builds them too.
I purchased my 1st Sako in 1977 and have purchased others since along with a few Tikkas---all have been first rate rifles.
If you prefer controlled round feeding, you have a number of choices out there--Honestly, Kimber would be at the bottom of MY list.


July 21, 2008, 01:51 PM
Having owned both---I'll take a Sako any day of the week---simply a better rifle all ways around.

Worried about controlled feeding?? -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-?? Planning on going after Cape Buffalo with your .260?? NON ISSUE

July 21, 2008, 03:25 PM
The thing is i can't find a sako at 1000$ or 1,200$. I simply wont be able to get 1,400-1,500$ by the end of the summer. Another concern even though kimber's customer service is bad, if something goes wrong with my sako i would have to send it to finnland wouldn't i? If someone can recommend a online store or think i can find one for 1,100-1200. Tell me cause if i can find the sako for that price i will definantly go for it. I have a friend with a federals arms license, and my dad said he could get a rifle from the manufactur or mabe for a lower price. Don't know if that is true but if it is and i can get a good price on the sako ill get it. If not my only other choice is kimber. I know how accurate tikka's are but i absolutely hate the look of them and the gun itself looks like a toy to me no offense to any owners.

July 21, 2008, 03:29 PM
no not planning on hunting dangerous game, but i just think it would be nice to have controlled feed action, sako is controlled feed too. I do plan on getting a 7mm magnum next summer when i go elk hunting with my dad, or i might stick with my .260. I might talk my dad into going moose hunting or bear. Bear would be awesome.

July 21, 2008, 04:43 PM

July 21, 2008, 04:50 PM
sry man i ment new and in a sako 85 hunter .260

July 21, 2008, 05:09 PM
I'm surprised there's so much disdain for Kimbers here. I see plenty of post about how good Stevens and Savage rifles are. What is this about Kimber's customer service? I called there with a question once and ended up talking to the customer service guy for 10 minutes about shooting. And I wasn't on hold either. Does anyone want to share their bad experience?

July 21, 2008, 05:59 PM
Another concern even though kimber's customer service is bad, if something goes wrong with my sako i would have to send it to finnland wouldn't i?No, any warranty work is handled here in the USA, and customizing or modifications can be done by any gunsmith.

Does anyone want to share their bad experience?Kimber had several issues related to feeding and the quality of their barrels that were well publicized. When these were presented to customer service, the response was generally "deal with it". When issues with Kimber's barrels were brought to their attention, their response was "nothing wrong with the barrel". One of these I know of from the person who owns the rifle, others were related by people I met at shooting ranges. Kimber makes a very nice looking rifle, but it isn't all about looks. Is it? And accuracy with their rifles is only so-so from what I've seen. Savage and Stevens rifles are as ugly as a fence post, but they shoot, and they cost a lot less than a Kimber.

July 21, 2008, 06:35 PM
Thanks Scorch

I wasn't aware of the widespread barrel problem. The only widespread barrel problem I was aware of was ironically Sako/Tikka stainless barrels blowing up. Apparently they got a bad batch of barrels and they had a kaboom issue. The dissapointment lies in the fact that Sako/Tikka DID NOT send out recall information to registered owners. They instead made the customer call them to see if their gun was affected. The only reason I can think of for this would be to keep hush this issue of utmost safety.

This is not to say there wasn't a barrel problem with Kimbers, but at least they were not unsafe.

July 21, 2008, 08:00 PM
The barrel problem that Sako had was not widespread and has been addressed long ago---it's over---old news.
They make their own barrels ---it was a bad batch of steel they used in making the barrels.
Once Sako found that the problem was not limited to someone who may have used improper reloads and was in fact a problem with the steel used in making the barrels, they handled it accordingly.
My bet is that they no longer use steel from that supplier or if they do, it is certified and QC'd to death before it's delivered.
There is a large gun shop not far from me, he sells more Sakos than most anyone on the east coast and most always has a good selection---he tells me that he has fewer complaints on Sakos than any other rifle he sells.


July 21, 2008, 08:27 PM

I agree with everything you said. The point I am making is that if either brand has had barrel issues, the Sako problem was worse. It was dangerous.

And for the record, the OP stated he didn't have enough money for the Sako so he was looking at the Kimber. If both rifles were free and I got to pick one, I'd pick the Sako same as most of you. I pointed out a few things I think are better on the Kimber but that didn't mean I thought it was a better rifle.

July 21, 2008, 08:53 PM
I have mutiple Kimber and Sakos. In my opinion, I would get the Remington in Model Seven Stainless and put the savings in better glass. If you are buying it to hunt with, neither you nor the deer will be able to tell the difference in all three. All three will shoot as well as you can hold it.

July 21, 2008, 09:21 PM
I've got enough remington, i want something different, especially the action. I have 7 or 8 remingtons. And about the kimber's accuracy being so-so, some have been so-so but most of the good reviews i read they were getting anywhere from .5 to an inch groups, which is great to me. Plus if i get a kimber that leaves me 200$ to go into savings for my leupold VX-III 3.5-10 x50mm. Meantime i will be using a crappy BSA lol. But im going to talk to the guy i know if he can get me a sako for 900-1200 ill take it if not, then i have no choice but to take the kimber. I don't mind taking a gambel, and i don't mind if the kimber doesn't shoot right ill send it back to the factory or a gun smith as many times as it takes, but if kimber treats me like crap i will be done with them.

July 21, 2008, 09:43 PM
Five years ago I would have said the Sako, but the decline I have seen in the last few years in the finnish guns would lead me to say stay away. I don't know if beretta sucked all the talent or money out of the companies when they bought them, but they are nothing like what they once were.

July 22, 2008, 12:46 AM
Damn i've never heard a bad complaint about sako. I mean i heard the 85s aren't near as nice as the 75s. I heard the 75s are like a work of art.

July 22, 2008, 07:33 AM
Guntotin is the only guy I've ever heard say anything remotely like that...and he has said it more than once in other posts. He never gives a reason though.

July 23, 2008, 12:00 PM
NO i am not the only one, wild alaska has posted too.

I used to work in a shop, we sold a ton of Sako's on reputation, the hunter 75 i have in 6 ppc may be the most accurate rifle I have ever shot. After the sale, we started to have problems show up in Tikka's and Sako, particularly as the models changed. Little things, inletting quality, checkering quality, feel of the bits that moved. etc, but the biggest was the
customer service, we had a customer who was a NRA hi power shooter, former employee of federal ammo, come in and buy a Tikka.

Three weeks later he returns with the gun in pieces. The barrel had split. We call the rep who gives us a number for customer service. We called, they start asking all sorts of silly questions, about where he was shooting, and not questions like was he hurt, or what ammo, or anything like that. He shoots Fed GM because he gets it for like 6 dollars a box at the company store.

Finally we get a shipping number and return number and send it back. after 6 weeks, we start calling, he starts calling, and he's getting pissed. We front him a new rifle or refund on our own, not wanting to lose a great customer. 6 months later, we are still calling, 9 months same thing.

Finally just under a year later, we get a call saying they were going to replace the barrel, at his (our ) cost, as he had an obstructed bore. We say ahhh NO, he did not have an obstructed bore, the rifle barrel blew. He was a fanatical record keeper, and he did not have any "missing" shots from a squib load. "oh hmmmmm, let me talk to a supervisor" was the response. Two days later we call, we never heard back from the supervisor. WE get a supervisor on the phone, boss gets really irritated with the supervisor, then tells them to send the rep, as we were pulling the remaining 35 or so of their guns off the wall and returning them. Suddenly the offer changes, gee, we can probably write this one off under customer relations. When we get the rifle back, its UGLY. Who ever did the job was a goon. We returned it to the rep, who replaced it with a new from stock rifle.

Last year, when I was just filling in, we had a guy order two matching Hunters, he was going to alaska, and wanted him and his son to have the perfect guns. The guns ordered were the laminated hunters. When they showed up, they were pathetic. first both had handling marks. Both had uneven matting or blasting patterns on the barrel and actions. Inletting was done by a blind spastic using a fork. I know laminated stocks are at times prone to little chips where the layers are meeting, but this was beyond that, and had someone spend three minutes and filled the divots with epoxy, no one would have noticed, but it was ugly. One rifle still had machining chips in the mag well. The front sling post on the other was off center, and looked to be a turn too deep, crushing down the grain. finally, the butt pad on the same gun was not sanded smooth to the line of the stock. It was close, but for a gun that cost well over a grand, and sold for nearly 1300 bucks, it was not right. We called the local distributor, who said they only had one other in stock, and we could exchange it if we wanted. it was just as bad. Distributor was also willing to say that they were having all sorts of trouble with them as well.

Before the buyout, we sold about 75 to 100 sako a year. he does not carry them anymore.

July 23, 2008, 12:36 PM
I have this friend of mine who works for a competitor of mine. Very nice guy, knowledgable in our field. Our families vacation together, he and I hunt together...in other words he really is a friend.

There is one area he and I will never agree on. Politics. We are both conservatives, both republicans, but I think GWB is the most liberal, free spending, egotistical moron ever to hold the office...whereas my friend thinks GWB saved this country. Where is the relevance here? No matter how much is proved to the contrary he will never change his stance because he believes it and he will always find a way to defend his position regardless of the stack of proof otherwise. Me too.

Totin, I respect your position but disagree with it. There are many posts in here and every other gun forum on the Tikka's and Sako's. If I walk into 100 gun shops, 99 of the are going to rave about the Tikka's. There is always one...but it is usually a case just like you described. We had this customer, great guy who couldn't have possibly had a squib load or reloaded without my knowledge and he once had this gun.....

Yeah, ok....but I can read first hand in here from people who own these guns how great they are. Because of that I bought one....and I agree wholeheartedly that they are fantastic rifles. In the course of my gun ownership I have dealt with a couple of companies on warranty.

Mossberg, refused to look at the rifle, refused to fix it and refused to give me my money back...on a rifle that was 3 weeks old when I ignored their refusals and dropped the rifle on the gun stores counter. They never did fix it, never did return it and never did refund my money...and I'm better off than I would be if I still owned that piece of junk.

Winchester. I bought a brand new Model 70, it would shoot a 2 foot group at 100 yards. Sent it back....took 4 months for them to look at it at which point they said oh yeah, the barrel has a real problem but we don't make this barrel anymore, we are going to give you a credit towards another of our products. For another 2 months I waited while they got the paperwork through their accounting department. I chose a replacement and that arrived.....take a guess....3 months later. 9 months to replace a rifle that had been fired once and returned, was obviously a manufacturing problem (223 wssm's had a bad batch of barrel chroming)

Winchester. A friend of mine bought a Model 70 that had been sitting on the shelf for some time obviously. We took it to the range and he had a strange hang fire where he pulled the trigger, nothing happened when he leaned back to look at the rifle it went off. He said ammo, I said hand me that rifle. When I cycled the bolt on an empty chamber and then tapped my finger on the back of the bolt the hammer fell. Back to the dealer who swore up and down there was nothing wrong with that rifle. I said, ok...cycle the bolt which genius gun dealer did. Now, set the butt down on the ground with a mild thud...he did and the hammer dropped. You just lost your arm, how did that feel? The rifle is being worked on...still....guess how long ago that was?

Point being, I am sure that you are right about the lag time in getting that rifle replaced...but I'm afraid that is pretty common these days. I also don't think it is silly to ask a high power competition shooter questions about how he was using the rifle. Loading rounds on the lands increases pressure by quite a bit and reloaders know it isn't hard to exceed safe pressures if you are not paying attention. Still, they may well have been in the wrong on that deal...but that is hardly uncommon in the firearms industry.

July 23, 2008, 01:08 PM
When it all comes down to it, it just proves that both companies even though they are top dollar companies can make mistakes. Right now kimber more than sako. So either way i would be taking a gamble, but more with kimber than sako cause of QC. But if my gun will shoot .75 or a inch mabe 1.25. Ill be happy as it's for hunting, or as one guy said on the other forum, if i can hit a softball consistantly at 300 yards it's fine. Unless my dad gives me a bonus i will go with kimber, also kimber is american, and i don't speak whatever language they speak in finnland, i think it's swedish..

July 23, 2008, 07:11 PM
It ain't swedish in finland, its finnish, and it ain't english in the bronx or yonkers or whereever Kimber is in NYC> :D

Feel free to disagree, All i am saying is previous to the buyout, they were a great company with great customer service. now? not so good. Ask at gun shops, not big box stores, they will handle the returns, the phone calls etc. Or PM wild alaska about it.

or here, post #8


or here

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=260123&highlight=beretta&page=2 post 26

July 24, 2008, 01:23 AM
I will most likely go with kimber, something about the gun idk what it is, but i just feel like i gotta have one, plus the price and money. It will be ok because when im done getting the guns i want i will have a kimber, sako, and a cooper :). The cooper after i get out of college with my DR lol, that cooper custom classic is what 3000$. Thanks for the feedback guys has really helped, ill still look out for a good deal on a sako.

July 24, 2008, 09:02 AM
As in all things we men do, if there is one that has:

"there is something about it, I gotta have one"

then that is the one. Buy it or you will always wish you had. Life is long, there will be plenty of time for buying others. Be sure to give us a range report!

July 28, 2008, 09:06 PM
held a kimber today guys OMG most beautiful rifle i've ever laid eyes on. Got to hold a kimber classic, classic select grade, superamerica, and a montana. They were all 270 short mags, of course im going for a 260. But the kimber superamerica was amazing. My dad said he would spot me and i could get the superamerica in .260 but i would have to work it off. And i want some money to get a scope so, im going with the classic, they are ordering it tomorrow.

July 28, 2008, 09:28 PM
Yes they are a thing of beauty. They have to be handled. That's the impressive part. They point and feel like a feather. The thin hand checkered wrist feels perfect to me.

July 28, 2008, 10:59 PM
Me too man i was amazed at how soft the pad was too. I have a 20 gauge shotgun and when i was little we got one of my dad's friends who is a gunsmith to order me a special pad it is soft as crap and the kimber pad was softer i was stunned. The bolt was super smooth also, if i had the money i would order a super america that thing is a work of art. Hell i even thought the classic was beautiful. I'm not a fan of the classic select grade.

July 28, 2008, 11:16 PM
Hey i just realized i held a 8400 today none of them were 84m's. Do you think the walnut on the 84m classic will be lighter color than the walnut on the 8400 classic? http://www.kimberamerica.com/rifles/84m/84m_classic/

When you scroll down to stock both say walnut. Mabe i should just go with the superamerica in a .260 since my dad said he would spot me?

July 29, 2008, 08:19 PM
The color of the Walnut will be the same on a 84M or 8400. THe stocks are finished exactly the same. If it were me I think the best bang for the buck is the Classic Select Grade. These are only $50 to $100 more than a standard classic, but you get your choice of ;Grade A Walnut, or French Walnut with an ebony forend cap. I had a 8400 with French Walnut and it was a beauty. The SuperAmerica doesn't seem very practical and I actually like the looks of the bead blasted bluing. By the way, the bead blasted Kimber bluing on the Classics, matches Leupold's matte finish exactly.

84M in Classic "Select Grade" gets my vote. It's a toss up between the French Walnut or Select American Walnut IMO.

July 30, 2008, 12:16 AM
**** i didn't know i could select walnut instead of french walnut, for the classic select grade. Whats the different between the classic select grade and the classic.

July 30, 2008, 06:56 AM
The Select grade has fancier wood. Even the American Walnut stock has nicer wood. THe steel is all the same.

July 30, 2008, 07:02 PM
O well thats fine. K another question. I'm getting it from a store, i haven't held it. They're odering if from kimber. They said it would take 4-6 weeks. So im guessing their making it. If it's coming straight from kimber and being made then there should be no problems right?

July 30, 2008, 07:12 PM
Sounds normal. Kimber does not sell guns to distributors. Dealers get the guns straight from Kimber. If you want to check prices I'd call Jim Jordan. He's in Texas and one of the biggest Kimber dealers in the country. His prices are phenomenal. He's a nice guy too. He sometimes has stuff in stock since he's a big Kimber dealer.

July 31, 2008, 12:30 AM
well the price doesn't bother me, im getting it for 1,000$ which is a 114$ off. So it's not a issue. I think the scope im going with is a 4-16SF nikon monarch. Nikon to my eyes is just as good or near as good as Leupold. And that big a power Leupold would cost out the @ss. I had planned on a 3.5-10 50mm Leupold and it was 550$. This nikon is a 50mm and is a bigger power and is around 479-529.

July 31, 2008, 07:50 AM
You might find a 50 looks out of place on such a petite rifle. I went with a 3.5 x 10 x 40 Leupold VX III. It was plenty of scope for the gun. The problem with a large objective end scope on a small, light rifle is it makes the rifle feel tippy when shouldered IMO. It also adds bulk to a gun that was designed from the ground up to be.....not bulky. It's a free world but a 50mm does't really fit the gun.

July 31, 2008, 08:34 AM
I put a 50mm on my first rifle. I've since seen the light. 50 mm lens requires high mounts, which for me causes a poor cheek weld unless you have an adjustable comb. It also slightly throws off standard trajectory tables which assume a standard mount, not a big deal since you should reality check the tables with your own set up. I also agree it throws off the balance of a light gun. Just my .02.

July 31, 2008, 08:34 AM
Ya i see what you mean. What about a 5-20SF 44mm Nikon monarch? My dad has a 50mm leupold vx-III 4.5-14x on his remington model 700 KC custom mountain edition and i love it, but i could also see how the kimber being 5lbs 5 ounces could be thrown off with a big diameter scope.