Sako Gamehead Varmint RX – 308win Factory cartridge – Bullet test

At april we had a “Sako Shooting Day” at the Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab! We tested the Sako Gamehead Varmint RX 308win factory cartridge at the same day, when we tested the new Sako Powerhead Blade 308win cartridge. Sako Powerhead Blade test you can find here -> LINK

Before we go to the test results, we still want to give our big thanks to Sako Oy, who handed these brand new Sako cartridges for us to test! Really great gesture for the enthusiasts, because there are a lot of people who are intersted about these new Sako cartridges!

But, to the results!

Sako Gamehead Varmint RX 308win cartridge with 130gr varmint bullet!

TESTING

Tests were shot with the Tikka T3x Tactical rifle with the 600mm barrel. We measured the velocity ca. 5m from the muzzle and got a 942m/s (3090fps) impact velocity. Manufacturer promises the velocity of 940m/s (3084fps) at the muzzle, so it was spot on!

THE BULLET

The optimal working style of the varmint bullet is to explode to pieces! This Sako Gamehead Varmint RX, is the hollow point, boat tail bullet for the varmints! Developed by Sako Oy. With the weight of 130gr it is little heavier than the other manufacturer’s varmint bullets in 308win. Maybe it will have same kind of trajectory than the normal hunting bullets, because of the weight? The possibility to use also the varmint bullet without the need of re-adjusting the rifle scope? I do not have answer to that yet, but I am eager to see it.

First target was 70cm of wetted newspapers and after that a 5-liter water jug. Our idea was to secure also the end part of the bullet, if the bullet would not explode completely. I can tell, the first shot was a blast! The water jug fell off the table, though it was on the other end of it! There was a huge crater emerged on the newspaper pile! The hole on the external surface of the paper, was almost 10cm (3,9″) wide! After our laugh little settled down, we noticed that there is a huge wound cavity inside the newspapers! It was 24cm (9,4″) deep and it was getting even wider inside. We measured the width of the cavity to be a 16-17cm (6,5″) wide inside of the crater!

Below you can see the wound channel of the Gamehead Varmint RX.

Second target was 5-liter water jugs. Those exploded one after another. Yes, we could not stop after the first one. It was a great joy! =D What we noticed, was that if the backside of the water jug did not rip apart, there still were no exit holes of the bullet at the back wall of the jug. The bullets were completely exploded before the back wall. I would say that Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullets works as good varmint bullets should work… they explode!

Below you can see the picture from the homepage of Sako Oy, it shows the structure of the Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullet.

Image copyrights: Sako Oy

RELOADING

At the moment, this bullet is only available in factory cartridges.

SUMMA SUMMARUM

The Sako Gamehead Varmint RX bullet exploded almost completely, as you can see on the photos above. It is a true varmint bullet. When you are shooting a fox with the Gamehead Varmint RX the skin of that fox will be a quite tight at the short period of time! It would not take a single step after the impact. I am sure of it!

PS. This Sako Gamehead Varmint RX will also be available in 30-06spr caliber, which is really great, because the selection of 30-06 varmint cartridges in Finland, is completely zero at the moment. The velocity of the 30-06 is adverticed to be 975m/s (3199fps).

Sincerely yours – The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab

Sako Powerhead Blade 162gr – 308win Factory cartridge – Bullet test

The launch of our homepage! The Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab. This page will be full of rifle bullet tests in the future! We want to welcome you to our page with the article of a really interesting product. Sako Oy’s brand new lead-free hunting bullet! The Sako Powerhead Blade!

At saturday we had a “Sako Shooting Day” at the Hard-Hitting Shooting Lab! Maybe we did a first ever Sako Powerhead Blade bullet test? In the Finland? In the world?

Before we go to the test results, we want to give our big thanks to Sako Oy, who handed these brand new Sako cartridges for us to test! Really great gesture for the enthusiasts, because there are a lot of people who are interested how this new lead-free hunting bullet will perform. It also shows their trust towards their own products when they give it to us to test!

I would like to say that it was really courageous act from them!

Sako Powerhead Blade cartridge box  308win

But, to the results!

Ladies & Gentleman! The Sako Powerhead Blade, 308win, with the 162gr bullet!

  • The factory load! The first time ever I see a lead-free hunting bullet to open over 18mm width in 308win! The bullet opened all-the-way to the bottom of the expansion cavity with the impact speed of 792m/s. I would say, that this Sako Powerhead Blade 162gr bullet is optimized for the velocities of the 308win! Velocity of this factory cartridge is spot on for this bullet and that is great thing when thinking about the future users of this cartridge. Notice that the 30-06spr and 300wm cartridges they released together with this 308win version, have a different bullet, which probably is developed for the higher velocities!
  • The reloading of the new bullet! I probably would not add much more velocity for this new Powerhead Blade 162gr bullet, because I think it is not planned for the higher velocities than the factory cartridge has. Of course, you seldom have a possibility to shoot a moose with your barrel touching the side of it, so you can adjust your desired impact speed for the specific distance by reloading.
  • The specification of the cartridge promises the velocity of the bullet to be an 815m/s at the muzzle. We shot these tests with the Tikka T3x Tactical which have a 600mm barrel and the velocities were as promised. If the bullet leaves the barrel with the velocity of 815m/s the flying velocity of the bullet is about 646m/s at the distance of 225 meters. Expansion of the bullet at that distance is also very good.
  • Test targets were wetted newspapers. The bullet with impact speed of 792m/s penetrated 46cm of wet newspapers and the bullet with impact speed of 646m/s penetrated 58cm. Considering the very good expansion of the bullet, these penetrations are also very good.
  • The wound cavity. Sako has told on their marketing material, that they have developed this bullet to open fast and really reliable. That is also the reason, why they used a pure copper instead of a gilding or copper alloys on this bullet. The fast opening could also be seen on our test. The wound cavity and the bullet opened really fast and it was easy to see immediately after shot on the external surface of the newspaper pile. The cavity opened really quick from the surface to the width of 5cm. Then widening fast to 10cm width and even from there to 14cm width. After that the cavity started to reduce.
  • Summa summarum. This is a lead-free hunting cartridge loaded with a bullet, that is made for this cartridge. You can expect really good performance!

Thrilled? – Yes, we are! Cannot wait the other Sako Blade bullets & cartridges to hit the shelves!

Sako Blade Bullet