Sako A7 Tecomate
by Eric Aichele (Outdoor Life)
Price / Value: A-
This rifle is part of an ongoing evolution at Sako. Back in 2008, Sako introduced the A7, a fine rifle that could be described as a plasticized Sako that split the difference in cost between the higher-end Sakos and the Tikkas. The A7 Tecomate splits this difference yet again—it is an upgraded, more costly ($1,400) version of the A7 that still costs less than the flagship Sako 85s.
This balancing act has paid off well and earned the Tecomate an Editor’s Choice award in the rifle category. The Tecomate’s biggest improvement over the A7 is the strong, solid Bell & Carlson stock that holds the action in place.
The stock felt good, even when we were shooting with bare hands in arctic temperatures, and we noted that the geometry between the angle of the grip and the trigger—a critical but often overlooked design element—was right on.
The trigger itself broke cleanly at 3 1⁄2 pounds, a touch too heavy for some of our judges, but certainly appropriate for a hunting rifle. These are some of the major reasons that our sample in .270 WSM was accurate, especially with Winchester 130-grain loads. (Its best 5-shot group measured .798 inches.)
We raved about the slick three-lug action and easy-to-manipulate controls for the magazine and safety. The included Picatinny bases provide some welcome leeway when it comes to mounting a scope. For an all-purpose hunting rifle, the Tecomate is a clear winner.