Sako was born in 1921. Original Finnish name for the company was Suojeluskuntain Ase-ja Konepaja Osakeyhti (Firearms and Machine workshop of the Civil Guard). The company was established to make and maintain the firearms that were used by the men in Finland’s newborn Civil Guard. Finland had achieved independence in 1917,and voluntary Civil Guard had an important role in maintaining defence readiness for the young Nation. The firearms were mostly old military rifles, needing repair, rebarreling and service. Soon facilities in Finland’s capital Helsinki showed to be too small, and Sako was relocated to a small town Riihimki, about 75 km (46 miles) North of Helsinki, in 1927.
Besides military rifles, also rifles for competition and hunting were designed. Prototypes of sporting rifles were designed and made already in 1930, but actual small caliber hunting rifles designed and made in Riihimki emerged during the 2. World War. L-42 was born, and further developed to L46 after the war. This small game centerfire rifle became a world success. Sako was tested in several magazines and found the best production rifle “right out of the box”. Soon Sako developed larger bolt action sporters, L579 “Forrester”, L61R “Finnbear” and VL 63 Lever action “Finnwolf” were added to the “Flock” of fine Sako hunting rifles.
In 1993 professional rifle designers decided to develop a dream rifle for devoted riflemen. Four years designers, metallurgist, product engineers and marketing department worked to develop and test and shoot the new rifle that evolved into the Sako 75. The year of introduction marked Sakos 75th anniversary. Full line of 5 different action sizes, detachable magazines, ergonomical stock, and various models emerged. Calibers ranged from 222 Rem all the way up to 416 Rem.Mag. On top of the 75 models was 80th Anniversary Safari rifle , made in 375Holland &Holland caliber.