Product Overview

Sako Quad Hunter .22LR rifle

Product:

Sako Quad Hunter .22LR rifle review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£550.00

Most rifle shooters in this country are familiar with the concept of a switch-barrel system, but these systems are usually of centrefire origin rather than rimfire.

Sako has broken the mould and introduced its Quad Hunter version of the well-respected Finnfire .22LR rifle.

With the inclusion of the new .17 HMR and .17 Mach 2 rimfire rounds, small-calibre fans and vermin controllers have a choice of calibres for the quarry species they face.

The agony of choice can be a fickle mistress, however, and many pest controllers own both a .22LR and a .17 rimfire of either guise.

This, of course, means two rifles with the expense that this entails. However, if you buy a Sako Quad Hunter, you can, by a swift barrel-change facility, simply exchange the barrel and magazine assembly and leave all the other components the same.

This will not only save you money, but you will have a common chassis and familiarity, which will encourage good shooting techniques.

The Quad Hunter, as the name suggests, can be ordered with four different barrel calibres, .22LR, .22 WMR, .17 HMR and .17 Mach 2, either as a complete set or as a single-calibre option. Originally only offered in a synthetically stocked version, Sako has shod the new Quad Hunter with some fine walnut – and it is all the better for it.

Quick-change Quad Hunter
I can see most people settling on two barrels – first the .22LR, the workhorse of vermin control, which enables subsonic ammunition to be used. It only takes a few quick turns on the barrel-release clamp and a .17 HMR barrel can be inserted for fox or crow-control work.

There is no need to worry about firearms licensing problems – most forces are happy to issue a licence for a Sako Quad Hunter with two barrels.

The .22 WMR, though a capable round, has been eclipsed by the .17 HMR cartridge and the new .17 Mach 2 still has to make its mark on the British market as a shorter range rabbit round. Whichever way your cartridge choice lies, the Quad Hunter offers versatility for most shooters.

Fine Finnfire action
The action is, essentially, the old Finnfire design that has been adapted for the barrel release mechanism. This is a compact little action that has had the ejection port enlarged to accommodate the longer .17 HMR and .22 WMR rounds.

There are the integral scope mount dovetails on top, while the trigger-guard is still a polymer moulded unit. The bolt is beautifully swift in operation due to the low bolt lift angle and short bolt throw. This makes for a fast and accurate manipulation that keeps the right hand and bolt handle out of the way of any mounted scope.

The bolt handle has a moulded plastic shroud, which not only gives a positive grip but is faceted for optimum comfort. The bolt-release mechanism is still located on the right side of the action and a sprung lever is depressed to allow the bolt to be removed from the action for cleaning. There is also a cocked action indicator at the rear of the cocking shroud that shows red when the Quad Hunter is cocked.

Extraction is accomplished with a single extractor claw on the bolt’s face and because all four calibre choices share the same rim dimensions, extraction is good, as is the ejection. This is accomplished by a small sprung piece of steel located on the left rear of the inner action, which does look a little flimsy.

Top trigger
The trigger remains the same single-stage unit with a thin, curved trigger-blade and positive feel. Set at the factory the Sako trigger breaks when cocked at a precise 4lb, but it feels lighter as there is no creep and let off is very precise. You can adjust the mechanism but, as a sporting trigger weight for all weather conditions, I would leave well alone. The safety is the simple rocker type found on most of the Sako range, with a two-position operation, forward is fire and rearward is safe. It is simple, uncomplicated and relatively quiet in operation.

The magazine sits in the synthetic floorplate and is released by the protruding lever, which ejects the magazine nicely into the palm of your hand. It still remains the plastic affair as on the Finnfire, which feels a little cheap and is restricted to only five rounds, regardless of calibre, and fits the longer HMR and WMR as well as the smaller .22LR and .17 Mach 2 rounds by use of a back-positioned polymer filler plug.

Colour-coding
All the barrels have the same profile, weight and length (22in) so they do not hinder a swift barrel change. The barrels also come threaded with a ½in UNF thread for a sound moderator. For easy recognition of calibres each barrel is colour-coded by means of an O-ring sited just forward of the barrel/receiver join. Blue indicates .17 Mach 2, yellow is .22 WMR, orange is .17 HMR and green is .22LR.

In order to change the barrels for a different calibre Sako has profiled the chamber end of the barrel to allow a slide fit into the receiver. There is a machined flat on the bottom of each barrel which allows a raising locking section to marry up with this area and thus secure the barrel and receiver as one unit.

This is achieved with a long Allen key provided with large plastic handle that only needs a few turns to release the barrel or tighten it. However, there is a distinct order of operation to achieve the correct fitment. First, you must remove the magazine, which allows the barrel to be slanted up enabling its removal. Second, the bolt must be locked forward, so that the barrel has a guide way for the extractor claw to locate before final tightening. You will need to fit higher-than-normal mounts with a small objective scope, otherwise the barrel that must be tipped at an angle for removal or insertion cannot exit from the fore-end.

I found with a bit of trial and error you could achieve a swift and secure barrel change in minutes, but attention needs to be paid to putting the barrel in square and at the same position with equal locking tension (there is a positive stop) on the securing mechanism to achieve the same point of impact and accuracy.

Wonder of walnut
The original Quad rifle had the popular synthetic stock design, making the rifle light, but it had a hollow rear butt-section that unbalanced the Quad in the shoulder. Added to this, the fact that many shooters favour the beauty of wood meant it was no surprise that the Quad Hunter soon was launched with this model sporting a beautiful walnut stock. A classic sporter profile gives the Quad Hunter a distinctive look that has a modern twist with some jazzy cut chequered panels. These are in the form of finger-like extensions, which do look striking and, being cut rather than pressed, offer a good grip that is complemented on the pistol grip similarly.

The quality of walnut on the test rifle was really nice. It had good colouring, with dark-and-light figuring and a semi-rubbed oil finish. The slim black recoil pad is also better in my eyes than the plastic one on the synthetic stock. The heavier walnut stock also serves to transform it into a well-balanced and more substantial gun.

Sako summarised
The Quad Hunter fitted with the walnut stock certainly feels more solid and shot impressive groups at all ranges. The barrel must be located square each time and no debris should make its way into the receiver locking area. In the field the Sako Quad Hunter fitted with a sound moderator makes a superb short-range fox gun and a good rabbit and crow rifle with the flat trajectory of the .17 HMR rifle tested.

The Quad Hunter and one barrel and magazine costs £550, with subsequent barrels costing £155 and magazines £20, making this a cost-effective one-gun rifle system for the cost-conscious vermin shooter.

SAKO QUAD HUNTER
Manufacturer: Sako

Action: Bolt action

Barrel Length: 22in

Weight: 7.75lb

Trigger: Adjustable

Safety: Two position manual

Magazine: Five shot

Stock: Walnut sporter

Sights: Scope rails only

Price: £550

Spare Barrel: £155

Magazine: £20

Importer: GMK 01489 587500

PROS
Great versatility
Better, more solid feel with walnut stock

CONS
Scope-mounting height issues
Flimsy ejector wire

Read more gun reviews!

  • denis tompkins

    advise if bolt is available for P94S if so how much and delivery regards denis

  • denis tompkins

    would you pleaseadvise if if bolt for sakoP94S is avialable if so how much & delivery regards

  • Marc

    I am having problems with my Quad Sako ejector hook in .22lr.

    I am thinking about gently sharpening the hook to a knife edge finish it the hope it may hook the shells better. Has anyone tried this?

    Marc

  • Marc Kristian

    I have had my Sako Hunter pro with 17hmr and .22 barrels since January 09. Beautiful gun, but the only rounds I can use in .22 is Remington subsonic hollow points, anything with pre-lubricant just get stuck and does not eject.

    I have thought about sharpening up the hook or somehow strengthening up the spring pushing the hook, I can still send the bolt it off to sako.

    Any tips or guidance would be great.

    Thanks,

    Marc

  • steve

    Hi Matt, the sako 22lr barrel does have a tight chamber. It is machined like this to help achieve tight groups. Don’t shove anyhing down that barrel from the muzzle end, it can or will do damage. Sounds to me though like powder residue build-up could be the cause of the tight extraction. Clean the barrel after use,especially the chamber, this should stop any hard residue layer building up in the chamber. It only needs a hard thin layer in the chamber on this rifle in 22lr to cause this prob. My 22lr Finfire would never extract a live round because of this (old school-i never bothered cleaning the barrel)but after some cleaner and a light scrub of the chamber, the problem went away. Hope this helps.

  • Dave Pearce

    I have had a synthetic sako quad in 17HMR for the last 8 months – absolutely incredible rifle. I can consistently take rabbits as far as 210 yds with head shots (1″ lift at this distance, zeroed at 150yds).
    More noise than my Ruger 10/22 (both are silenced) but the capability and enjoyment of the rifle means it is used far more than the .22.
    Further to the comments above, I have never had any issues with ejecting the spent rounds (although mine is a different calibre) – my rifle is stripped, cleaned (bore snake) and lubricated after every session and has never had to be rezeroed since first set (Burris 2.5-10 x 50 illuminated)

  • matt

    i have a sako quad .22 and from new (August 2008)it would not eject more than 3 out of 10 spent rounds, and no live rounds at all.. i have now shot about 1500 rounds so far, the only round i have found were i get 95% spent shells ejected are ELEY, and 7 out of 10 live rounds ejected, ALL other rounds jam and have to be picked out,, the shop i purchased from said this is normal and i should carry a thin rod to poke them out. could some one advise me on if this is normal and should i return the gun and get it sent off and fixed.. many thanks for any help….