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All The FACTS You Want In One Place!

June 6, 2024
min read

Should The Sako S20 Hunter Be Your New Favorite?

Always on the search for the "Perfect" rifle, when we got the chance to test the Sako S20 Hunter, we knew it was going to be fun. From adjustability and recoil to accuracy and available calibers, we examine each piece of this bolt action rifle and give you all the information.

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You know the exact rifle that I'm talking about. The one that your hand almost naturally goes toward every time you open the safe, even if you were actually planning to go shoot skeet!

Not that you couldn't shoot skeet with the Sako S20 Hunter, but I'm not sure we'd recommend it.

But, what we WOULD recommend is taking your turn at shooting one if you're ever given the chance. And, that's exactly what we did this last deer season.

Sako S20 is the first true hybrid rifle bridging the gap between hunting and precision shooting

When we found out Adrian would have the chance to test Sako's first true hybrid rifle, we hoped it would get to us before rifle season began. As many of you know, the rigors of pre-season can take a significant amount of time, which left us only a small window to get acquainted with this rifle. 

That time window was cut even shorter by the fact that we had an elk hunting trip to Montana planned just a couple of short weeks before the Missouri deer season opening day. You may be wondering why I felt the need to throw that in there.

The reason I'm giving you all of those calendar details is to help paint a picture of how easy it was to get the Sako set up, sighted in, and ready for some midwest rutting action.

Easy Setup for the Sako S20 Hunter

Vortex Pro Rings securing our optics

With an integrated picatinny rail, all you will need are your favorite scope rings and optic of choice. Keep in mind, with having a picatinny rail built into the action versus having an attached accessory, you may need a slightly higher set of scope rings. We opted for medium height rings instead of our normal low set.

Sako advertises no break in period or process for the "Cold Hammer Forged" barrel, and our rifle was no exception. After bore sighting as part of the scope mounting process, we were ready for the range. Once we confirmed the impacts would be on paper at 100 yards, the first real test was an initial three shot group with Sako's Powerhead Blade ammunition.

Through testing, we found that Sako makes some precision factory loads as well

You'll have to keep reading to see that group, but I promise there is a picture below. Before I get too long winded and start telling hunting stories that involve this gun, let's stick to the FACTS!

Specifications for the Sako S20 Hunter Fusion: (Caliber dependent)

Adjustable cheek comb with 6 levels of adjustment
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs
  • Adjustable Length of Pull (LOP)
  • Adjustable height cheek comb
  • Overall Length: 40.9 and 45"
  • Barrel Length: 20.1" and 24.4"
  • Barrel Twist: 1:8 (.243, 6.5 CM, 6.5 PRC); 1:9.5 (7mm Rem Mag); 1:10 (.243, .270, 300 Win Mag, ); 1:11 (30-06, .308)
  • Muzzle: Threaded 5/8x24
  • Magazine: Detachable, flush fit magazine. Capacity is dependent upon caliber
  • Barrel Finish: Cerakote® - Tungsten
  • Available in 243 Win, 270 Win, 30-06 Spring, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag.
  • Synthetic stock w/options of Hunter Fusion, Roughtech Green, Roughtech Desert, Hunter Camo
  • High-quality synthetic material that gives the best grip in any weather conditions
  • Adjustable length of pull
  • Adjustable cheek comb
  • Thumbhole stock with near vertical grip
  • Sling mounts front and back
  • Quick Detachable (QD) sling placements on both sides of stock
  • Modular stock can be switched from Hunter stock to Precision stock
Bolt and Action:
Sako S20 oversized bolt handle and smooth action
  • Oversized bolt handle
  • 60 Degree bolt throw
  • Extremely smooth bolt cycle with and without ammo in the magazine
Trigger was 1 lb 4.3 ounces straight out of the box
  • Single stage adjustable trigger
  • Out of the box it measured about 1lb 5 oz
  • Super smooth
  • Not only is the trigger weight adjustable, but trigger position front to rear is adjustable 
  • Two position safety, has another safety button that will allow bolt to be worked while in safe position
Fluted barrel, threaded with radial muzzle brake
  • Fluted Barrel with a Cerakote® Tungsten finish
  • Comes w/Picatinny rail built into action for optics attachment
  • Cold Hammer Forged
  • Does not have a break in period, designed for out of the box performance
  • Threaded Barrel w/radial muzzle brake
  • Differing barrel lengths are caliber dependent

The First True Hybrid Rifle

Sako makes the S20 with a Hunter Style stock like the one we used, or you can get a precision style rear stock and forend as well. They designed this gun to be easily switched between the two. So if you want to use it for hunting and then switch it up for precision shooting, it can easily be accomplished. And you can even mix and match the rear and forend

Sako S20 Hunter is advertised as the first true Hybrid rifle for hunters and precision shooters

Basically, Sako's goal is for you to use this rifle in whatever situation you find yourself. Because of the Hybrid factor, it has a modifiable set up with plenty of accessories you can add, especially to the precision version. Those include but are not limited to a monopod, barricade stop, thumb rest, as well as a scope mount and arca rails. They even have a Transport Case designed specifically for the Sako S20 Hunter.


No doubt the cold hammer forged barrel on this Sako S20 needed no break in period. It was shooting lights out at the range from the very first groups we shot.

Adrian's first three shot group from the Sako S20 Hunter in .308

But we didn't stop there and have filmed a few different load testing videos for you that are soon to come. Here's a link to the best copper load testing video that really impressed us, especially when compared to our previous copper load tests from other rifles.

Load testing Sako TRG Match 175 grain bullets from Sako S20 Hunter

Stay tuned to the channel, as more load testing videos are coming soon or may have already been uploaded depending upon when you're reading this.


Over the past several years as we continue to shoot more frequently, we've really come to appreciate a threaded barrel. The 5/8x24 thread pattern on the Sako S20 Hunter gives you plenty of options for muzzle breaks to suppressors.

Recoil with the muzzle brake was minimal and easily managed

We've had the opportunity to shoot this rifle with and without a muzzle brake as well as with a Dead Air Nomad 30 suppressor on the end.

Each of those variations has still proven reliable from an accuracy standpoint.

Recoil from the Sako S20 Hunter with both the radial muzzle brake or the suppressor attached was easily manageable for Adrian throughout all the testing. And I know it probably comes as no surprise to you that she doesn't even remember the recoil associated with her shot while filling tags.


Isn't the rule of thumb for optics is that you need to spend at least the same amount on the scope that you have on the gun itself? For our Sako S20 Hunter, we didn't quite do that but we did get close. And the only reason we didn't is likely because the Burris Veracity PH 4-20x50 is underpriced for the value it gives you.

Burris Veracity PH 4-20x50

We wanted to try out the Burris Veracity PH, and this seemed like a great time. The opportunity to top a hunting rifle designed for precision with a scope that can easily make adjustments for targets at varying distances and calculate your DOPE for longer shots by just turning a dial sure does peak our interest.

The Burris Veracity PH weighs in at 29.1 ounces, has a 30mm diameter tube, with an advertised 3.5-4.25" eye relief. It's also advertised to have:

  • MECHANICAL/DIGITAL CLICK-LESS PĒK ELEVATION KNOB: The most precise elevation turret ever in a Burris optic. A click-less elevation turret combined with a digital position sensor removes the need for detents milled into the turret delivering unmatched precision. By removing detents, users can dial to the equivalent of 1/10 MOA. Digital position is displayed on built-in heads-up display offering a perfect balance of efficiency and security.
  • ZERO TURN STOP ADJUSTMENT KNOBS: Allows you quickly and easily revert back to the original sight-in setting without leaving the scope or getting lost on the turret.
  • RAPID CROSS MOA RETICLE: Rapid Cross MOA, an illuminated crosshair reticle. This features the same PTC (Progressively Thick Crosshairs) and numbered wind holdoffs as the standard Wind MOA FFP reticle but comes with numbered holdovers for manual bullet drop compensation and an illuminated crosshair.
  • HEADS-UP DISPLAY (HUD): A built-in heads-up display shows elevation turret position in Yards, Meters, or MOA, rifle cant, distance accurate wind holdover, and battery level.
  • BLUETOOTH® FOR BURRISCONNECT: Bluetooth connectivity allows pairing to the BurrisConnect App on any smartphone or tablet for building custom ballistic profiles and operating advanced scope features.
  • EXTRA-LOW DISPERSION (ED) GLASS: Veracity PH line comes equipped with an improved extra-low dispersion (ED) glass. The revised ED glass further reduces chromatic aberrations and enhances light transmission for clear and crisp edge-to-edge viewing as well as exceptional low-light performance. Whether you are working the dim light of heavy timber or full sunshine on the wide prairie, the Veracity PH riflescopes will ensure a sharp, clean image for game locating and precise shot placement.

Pros & Cons

  • Adjustable Length of Pull (LOP)
  • Adjustable cheek comb
  • Near vertical grip enabling easier reach of trigger
  • Several different stock options that are easily interchangeable
  • No barrel break in process, just start shooting
  • Threaded barrel comes with radial muzzle brake
  • Single stage adjustable trigger
  • Several caliber options available
  • Picatinny rail built into the action
  • 24.4" barrel got even longer with suppressor attached and was difficult carrying in the woods deer hunting
  • Heavier than Adrian would want to carry especially after adding a scope and suppressor


Q: What calibers are available for the Sako S20 Hunter?

A: It's available in 243 Win, 270 Win, 30-06 Spring, 6.5 PRC, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag.

Q: Is the trigger adjustable?

A: Yes. The trigger has several adjustments including trigger weight and trigger placement. Not only can you adjust the weight to your liking, you can also move it front to rear within the trigger guard.

Q: What can I change on the stock?

A: Everything including the stock! The S20 Hunter comes with an adjustable cheek piece as well as the ability to change your length of pull. The modularity of the design allows easily interchanged options of the rear stock as well as the forend.

Q: How long does it take to get the barrel broken in?

A: Watch this video for the first shots we sent down range. It should show you all the break in process that was needed. In other words, the break in process involves taking it to the range and sighting it in! No actual break in process needed for the match-grade cold hammer forged barrels.

Should I Buy This Thing?

You know the drill - it depends on what you’re looking for!

Adrian tagged her biggest buck to date with the Sako S20 Hunter

If you want a lightweight, short mountain rifle to carry around hunting for long periods, or you’re going to be hiking and hunting in some thick brush or trees, I would say this isn’t the gun I would choose.

But, if you do most of your hunting in more of a stationary manner, and you also want a rifle that can easily be switched to use for long range precision shooting, then look no further. The Sako S20 Hunter could be exactly what you've been wanting.

We can't guarantee that getting a Sako S20 Hunter will ensure the opportunity to tag a buck like Adrian's, but it can be a possibility!

MSRP for this camo gun is around $1700 (here at $1,199.99), but the black is around $1400. And we’ve seen a few on sale for as little as $1,000.

All the adjustability and it's true "hybrid" sense makes it an awesome rifle. As far as shooting goes, from close ranges (like 100 yards) and out to at least 450 yards, we haven't found anything that it can't do. And, it does it with precision and style!

Adrian really enjoyed hunting with the Sako S20 Hunter

If you’re looking for a rifle that will do all that and probably even more, then the Sako S20 Hunter may be perfect for you. 

As we've said previously, if it was a shorter gun overall (mainly once we added the suppressor), it would be the best fitting rifle Adrian has ever had as well as the most accurate shooting.

But, being that Adrian has a fairly small frame and she'd rather carry a slightly shorter and lighter weight rifle while hunting, we're going to give Should I Buy This Thing a 4.5/5.

Written by

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.