When the Civil Guard Firearm and Engineering Company (Suojeluskuntain Ase-ja Konepaja Osakeyhtiö ) that repaired guns for the Finnish Civil Guard became financially independent on April 1, 1921, it launched a 100-year-history of precision firearms and cartridges that continue to be a popular choice across the globe. By 1927 the firm moved from Helsinki to Riihimäki—where it still operates—and that year it officially shortened its name to now internationally familiar acronym Sako. This year it is celebrating its diamond anniversary.
In 1928, the company introduced its M28, a new rifle that proved superior to models fielded at the time by Finnish defense forces. That was also the year it began manufacturing cartridges, production that continues to this day.
Sako remained a relatively unfamiliar name in the United States until sometime in the 1950s, when an American firearm importer began offering the company’s L46 model. It gained traction quickly, despite the fact traditional, American-made rifles held a tight grip on the market. The firm’s stateside exports grew every year after the introduction, as did the firm’s reputation with enthusiasts.
In 1996 Sako, saw a huge success in its Sako 75 range of products. The popularity launched its next step as a manufacturer, but quickly presented a serious logistical problem. Demand outpaced the company’s production capacity. In 1999, Beretta Holding Group expressed an interest in Sako and acquired all the company’s shares. The dedication to quality and heritage remain intact, and the new owners are commemorating the diamond anniversary.
“At Beretta USA, we are proud to partner with the highly skilled and experienced men and women of Sako as they continue to innovate and deliver top-quality, high-performing, precise, and reliable rifles to our demanding American customers,” Francesco Valente, General Manager and COO of Beretta USA, said.
For the past 21 years, Sako has flourished and grown as a part of the Beretta Holding Group and has seen the development of new, innovative technologies and growth in yearly product volumes. In 2020, Sako manufactured and sold the one-millionth unit of the Tikka T3, a rare feat for any bolt action rifle. Last year it also introduced a revamped Sako S20 hybrid rifle and S20 Precision.