February 09, 2024
Sako ammunition is now available in quantity from Beretta U.S.A. and their distribution network. Over the last several months I have been working with a couple of the new Powerhead Blade loads, which utilize a monolithic, lead-free copper bullet designed to both expand and penetrate on big game.
Along with their rifles, Sako has been producing ammunition for most of its history. Around 2010, new machinery was installed at Riihimaki and between then and 2014 production increased significantly, improving both quality and consistency. The latest offerings include a line of TRG ammo using precision match-grade projectiles along with the new, afore-mentioned Powerhead Blade bullets for hunters.
Sako lists the following attributes of their Powerhead Blade design:
- Maximum weight retention
- Optimal Terminal Performance
- Unified, Seamless Structure
- Pre-Cut Expansion Grooves
- Ductile Copper Expands but Resists Fragmentation
While I have not yet had a chance to use these bullets on game, I can attest that on a moose hunt in Finland after their introduction in 2022, I witnessed bull and cow moose, along with whitetail deer, that were taken cleanly with single shots at ranges from 50 to 200 yards. To my dismay, I never had an animal run past my pegs.
I had two calibers on hand here in the U.S. for evaluation: a .300 Winchester Magnum load propelling a 170-grain pill at 3,084 fps and a 6.5 Creedmoor using a 120-grain bullet at 2,871.
My initial experience with the Powerhead Blade ammo proved to be impressive. As I had a Sako S20 in .300 Winchester Magnum in my safe, it was the natural choice to pair with the 170-grain Powerhead Blade bullet that left the muzzle at 3,084 fps. Sometimes even the blind pig can find the acorn, and such was the case that day. The first three shots fired through my rifle grouped into an astonishing .472 inches measured center to center, at a distance of 100 yards. Subsequent groups proved the consistency of the ammo in this rifle, with none growing to more than .67 inch. In my Sako S20 rifle, these Powerhead Blade loads can certainly be considered sub-MOA.
A month or so later I had the opportunity to work with another of the Powerhead Blade offerings, this time in the just-introduced Ruger American Gen II, chambered for the 6.5 Creed.
Over the years since their introduction, Ruger’s American Rifles quickly developed a reputation for accuracy, and these new Gen II’s are no exception. My groups measured under an inch center-to-center, with the best three shots falling into a .756-inch cluster.
I hope you have the chance to give Sako ammunition a try for yourself, either on your next hunt or perhaps the next PRC match. I think you’ll be impressed.