Thump and I Meet

Thump arrived today, I picked him up at my local FFL holder (Federal FireArm License), Corey’s Sport Shop in Littleton NH.  The rifle was purchased from EuroOptic along with a spare magazine.

Thump is a Sako Kodiak .375 Holland and Holland Magnum stainless steel bolt action rifle made in Finland. I’ve been recruiting Thump to join up with me for quite some time, as together we can grow to become a good solid team in the forest and mountains of the Great North Woods.

This extremely powerful rifle is made for animals such as elephants and rhinos in Africa. The high caliber Sako Kodiak .375 Holland and Holland Magnum also penetrates human body armor with ease – which is why I got it. In spite of my trapping many animals in my teens and twenties for food and pelt selling, at this point in my life I would not kill even a fly or butterfly. But make no mistake – an early life of knocking living things off makes me a skilled predator come what may.

In future articles I will discuss some of the reasons I believe a large caliber rifle made in Finland by an experienced company located in the northern forest is a good match for the area I call home.

In future Viam Fec articles I’ll also delve more deeply into the Sako Kodiak 375 Holland and Holland specs, for now this article is about Thumps unveiling as we meet for the first time.

Opening the brown cardboard shipping container, I pulled out the box containing Thump. It reads “Sako, Demand Perfection”. A bit hooky, but you know that marketing is most effective when directed at hooky people so that is what they do.

Sako .375 H&H Kodiak box
Sako .375 H&H Kodiak box
On the side the box Sako has printed “This rifle has been tested with Sako Center-fire Cartridges to guarantee 1MOA or better accuracy.  Demand Sako Center-fire Cartridges from your local gun shop – Demand Perfection”.

This rifle has been tested with Sako Centerfire Cartridges to guarantee 1MOA or better accuracy. Demand Sako Centerfire Cartridges from your local gunshop – Demand Perfection
This rifle has been tested with Sako Centerfire Cartridges to guarantee 1MOA or better accuracy. Demand Sako Centerfire Cartridges from your local gunshop – Demand Perfection
Another marketing jingo, this one a blatant attempt at getting the new rifle owner to purchase Sako ammunition.  At a later time I will acquire some Sako 375 H&H ammo in order to give it a try. If the Sako 375 Holland and Holland ammunition is anything like the Sako rifle it will do very well.

Opening the black cardboard box I immediately see the Sako 85 manual, written in eight languages, and the spare Sako 85 magazine I ordered.  In the picture you can also see the butt stock of the rifle wrapped in yellow plastic.  All parts are protected from damage during shipping by Styrofoam and cardboard.

Sako 375 Kodiak open box
Sako 375 Kodiak open box
Here Thump and I become acquainted for the first time while the rifle is still in it’s plastic wrap.

375 h&h in plastic
375 h&h in plastic
I next pulled all contents from the container and laid them on the birch stumps.  Sako slipped what they call a “shipping slip” between the barrel and the stock, possibly to prove to the world the Sako 85 has a free floated barrel.

Sake Free Floated Barrel
Sake Free Floated Barrel
Shown on the birch stumps are everything that was boxed with the rifle:

  • .375 Holland and Holland Sako Kodiak rifle
  • Rifle bolt
  • Rifle lock
  • Rifle manual
  • Spare magazine (ordered separately)
  • Rings
  • 2mm Allen Key
The bolt is very easy to insert, simply align it the correct way. The first time I directly handle Thump.


Included with the rifle is the following certificate:

Sako .375 H&H accuracy certification
Sako .375 H&H accuracy certification

Each rifle manufactured by SAKO Ltd. is proof fired with two high pressure cartridges and inspected for safety according to C.I.P regulations.

After proof testing, this rifle has been test shot using SAKO Ltd. manufactured ammunition in order to verify the rifle’s accuracy and functionality. Upon leaving the factory, SAKO Ltd. guarantees this rifle to have a minimum performance of 1 MOA or better, at 100 meters with 5 cartridges.

The lion head figure below is the inspection mark of the Finnish National Proof House for Firearms. This mark verifies that the firearm has been tested according to CIP regulations and is safe to use.

Moving off into the nearby forest, Thump and I interact as Man and Rifle, free in the Great North Woods of the tall mountains of northern New Hampshire USA.

Sako .375 H&H magnum in the Great North Woods
Taking aim with the Sako .375 H&H magnum in the Great North Woods