Martin Auldist took this sambar spiker with a Sako rifle chambered in .270 Win.

Sako Finnlight For Deer

Q: I’ve just purchased a Sako Finnlight in .270 Winchester topped with a Nightforce 2.5-10×42 scope. What is your opinion of this outfit? Can you recommend some handloads for the three deer species I hunt – hog, fallow and sambar? I was hoping to use just one load for the lot, but realistically would probably need a heavier bullet for sambar. I also own a .300 Win. Mag. for my sit-and-wait kind of sambar hunting, but as this rifle is too heavy to carry around the mountains, I bought the Finnlight. Not having owned a .270 before, and the Sako being a light gun, would the recoil be excessive? I so, would it be worth having a muzzle brake fitted?

Dean Ingram.

A: The Sako Finnlight is a good quality hunting rifle and the 2.5-10×42 Nightforce NXS compact scoope is a good match and well in keeping with its portability. Choosing the .270 Winchester for a deer rifle is never a mistake; it is just as good as it ever was – flat-shooting, hard-hitting and mild to shoot even in a light outfit like yours. You can use just one load for everything from hog deer to sambar. I recommend the Barnes 130gn TSX BT and 53gn of AR2209 for about 3050fps.That’s a good load and not maximum. The 130gn Barnes has plenty of penetration for the largest stag. The recoil shouldn’t be excessive (about 17 ft/lb) for anyone who does much shooting. I recommend against having a muzzle brake fitted to your gun as it would be damaging to your hearing unless you wear earmuffs, and who wants to wear muffs when hunting? A better alternative would be to fit a softer, kick-absorbing recoil pad like the Limb Saver.





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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.