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Old September 26, 2012, 07:14 AM   #1
Picher
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New Tikka T-3

I got a cost-of-living retirement check and went shopping for a new rifle. At Cabelas, I found a .243 Win, Tikka T-3 Lite for $549 and couldn't pass it up.

I'm very impressed with the rifle, especially the stiffness of the synthetic stock and the accuracy it affords. The bedding system uses an imbedded steel recoil plate that fits tightly into a notch in the forward part of the receiver. The action goes into the stock snugly. A T-Wrench is supplied for the Torx action screws and it's possible to tighten the screws well and there
is very little stock compression.

Using an old Bushnell 3-9X scope and after adjusting the trigger to 3.5 lbs, I was getting 5/8" groups with my Hornady 80 grain, GMX hunting load at 100 yards. The GMX bullets are very hard-hitting and work well on deer. The scope is crappy, so I ordered a new Leupold 3-9x for it.

The bore is very smooth and has a slight tight spot at the muzzle, just like my older Tikka 595 (.223 Rem). Barrels that have tighter muzzles are usually more accurate than those that have the same internal diameter and something that many custom gunsmiths seek.

The rifle seemed to be a bit light at the rear, but after mounting the scope, it's well-balanced at the front screw. The detachable magazine works better than the one on the 595, having a stronger spring and better follower.

This rifle will be used somewhat by my teen and subteen grand-kids for deer under 200 yards. The deer around here are generally under 160 lbs and the kids are very good shots. I'll use it for a walkabout rifle in the off-season, should coyotes or other large varmints be encountered on the property. With scope, it weighs one pound less than the little .243 Win, Handi-Rifle it's going to replace.

Bottom Line: I'd recommend this rifle to anyone wanting a very accurate, fairly light rifle. It feels better to me and seems to function better than other fairly low-priced rifles I considered, including Weatherby Vanguard, Ruger American, Remington 700 ADL/SPS, Howa, and TC Venture.
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:45 PM   #2
RamItOne
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Good choice

Can't go wrong with the T3

I adjusted my trigger to the lightest possible with the adjustments provided. They're some nice drop in trigger options but if you don't need a 20oz pull the factory trigger is great.

Enjoy
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Old September 26, 2012, 06:22 PM   #3
Picher
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The trigger is so new that a lighter pull resulted in too much backlash for the return spring. As it wears in, it may balance by lightening, but probably not until after deer season, since, for safety, use with gloves by my grandkids will require at least 3 lbs.


Last edited by Picher; September 28, 2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:17 PM   #4
warbirdlover
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Excellent choice!
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:38 AM   #5
jehu
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You chose wisely, fine rifle!!
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Old September 27, 2012, 05:23 PM   #6
Joe Chicago
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I don't know whyyyyy there are no pics of the rifle and outstanding groups posted!
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:11 PM   #7
RamItOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Chicago
I don't know whyyyyy there are no pics of the rifle and outstanding groups posted!
Ive posted this one before.... 200 yards .308 lake city bulk
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Old September 28, 2012, 05:57 AM   #8
Picher
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I shot the Tikka .243 Win yesterday with 85 grain Sierra 85 grain HPBT bullets ahead of 38 grains of IMR 4895, CCI LR primers, and Win cases. The first 3-shot group at 100 yards, being careful to shoot at minimal wind, yielded a perfect Cloverleaf measuring 3/8". The fishtailing wind then came up quite a bit, but the second group was 5/8". The third, a 4-shot, was 3/4" wide, but only 3/8" high.

I used wind flags and hugged the leeward, wooded side of the range, but wind swirled considerably as the session continued.

To say that I'm happy with the rifle would be the biggest understatement of the year!!!!! It shoots at least as well as my super-match re-barreled 1980's Remington 700 ADL in the same caliber.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:16 AM   #9
Picher
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that on a walk-about to the family blueberry field down back, from my tent blind, I spied the bottom of a soda (pop) can about 100 yards away and barely visible through the low bushes, but shining in the afternoon sun. Using a shooting stick, from a sitting position, and in a pretty strong quartering wind, I nailed it only about a 3/8" from dead center on my second shot! On the first, I had underestimated the hold, so that bullet went just over the can.

The rifle carries very well and is now my favorite walk-about gun. I can't wait to get the Leupold VX-2, 3-9x, 40 mm I ordered. The cheap Bushnell on it now was taken off my son's rifle after his dog knocked the rifle over at the house last hunting season and it fell on the objective. The scope was bent badly, causing my son to miss a deer 5 times at 40 yards!

After giving one of my scopes to him, I took a rubber hammer to the scope and after a couple of careful whacks, straightened the body and checked out the adjustments. It works well enough to use it as a spare, but the optical quality was never great and the Tikka deserves better glass.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:49 AM   #10
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I hope this one works. The original picture was too big to post on this board.

The notes on the target weren't meant for publishing. Three rifles were shot at it; the Tikka .243 Win, a Tikka .223 Rem, and a .243 Win, my old Rem 700 ADL with Pac-Nor Super-Match barrel.

Only the middle and left bull were shot with the new Tikka .243 Win. Note also the 1/4" group shot with the Tikka .223 Rem in the lower-left corner.

Oh yeah, it should be noted that the first shots in the three best groups fired by each rifle were from clean barrels!
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File Type: jpg Copy of Target 092712.JPG (70.8 KB, 25 views)

Last edited by Picher; September 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old October 1, 2012, 10:18 AM   #11
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I'm curious... I looked at a couple T-3's... are they all, set up for long action??? I'd like to add a couple stainless rifles specifically for hunting, & could definately see doing the Tika in .270... but also need / want a stainless 223, & right now, I'm less optimistic about using the Tika with the 223, because of the extra bolt travel... have they started doing both a long action & a short action, or are they all still set up for the long cartridge ???
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Old October 1, 2012, 10:57 AM   #12
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The bolt is soooooo smooth you won't even notice.
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Old October 1, 2012, 02:18 PM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
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I did notice that they had a very smooth bolt on the guns I've handled
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Old October 4, 2012, 11:17 AM   #14
Picher
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Attached: The T3 with new 3-9x Leupold VX-2. The action length provides good ring spacing for the scope.

For those who don't know, the rifle comes with mounts and a grooved receiver. The forward base screw fits into a groove in the receiver to eliminate recoil- induced sliding.

The rifle with the new scope, but without sling weighs 7.6 lbs. It balances about a quarter-inch ahead of the front stock screw.
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File Type: jpg T3 b.JPG (41.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg T3 a.JPG (34.0 KB, 16 views)
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