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Old June 5, 2010, 10:57 PM   #1
mustang66maniac
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Howa/Hogue vs. Tikka T3 Hunter

These are my two finalists for my next rifle. Its going to be in 6.5x55 and I will use it bone stock for a while, then upgrade as I see fit. Eventually it will be a long range precision target rifle, most likely VERY rarely used as a hunting rifle, if ever.
Any advice, experience, words of wisdom etc would be highly appreciated towards these two rifles. I've shot a Howa 1500 before, although in S&W guise, and I've handled a T3 lite, although not shot one.
What do you think?
http://www.tikka.fi/t3models.php?hun...wdata#pagedown
http://www.legacysports.com/products...owa_hogue.html
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Old June 5, 2010, 11:57 PM   #2
handlerer2
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I own a Weatherby Vanguard in 300 WBY and am very pleased with it. The factory target is under .7". Both of these rifles will serve you well IMO. The Howa is a heavier, more solid piece. It has a solid bolt, a receiver machined from a solid billet and an excellent hammer forged barrel. The Tikka is a lighter rifle, with an excellent barrel, also hammer forged. The Howa's have 24" barrels and the Tikka's 22". The Tikka's have a superior trigger, but have one size bolt. So if you get it in 6.5x55 you get the same length bolt as if you bought on in 300WinMag. The Howa, Vanguard come in three size bolt lengths. After market stocks are more available for the Howa than for the Tikka. I don't really like the ejection port on the Tikka, or the plastic trigger guard, or mag well. Both rifles are known for excellent accuracy. To my eye the Tikka looks kind of funny, but the eye of the beholder you know. As I said earlier you won't go wrong with either, but I prefer the Howa-Vanguard.
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Old June 6, 2010, 05:34 AM   #3
jmr40
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There are virtually no upgrades available for the Tikka. One could say they are not needed. Both are good rifles with a reputation for accuracy. For me I'd have to replace the Hogue stock so that would add to the cost of the Howa. I do like the more traditional looks of the Howa, but would personally chose the Tikka just because of the weight difference.

Once you get a scope and mounts on the Howa it will weigh around 9 lbs. The Tikka 7 lbs. Since you don't plan to hunt with it, it may not matter to you and you may actually prefer more weight.

I like both rifles and don't think you will go wrong with either choice.
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Old June 6, 2010, 09:24 PM   #4
Woodyed
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Tikka all the way. Smoothest,slickest bolt action on the market today. Don't worry about the plastic trigger guard and magazine as they are very strong and I can't see anyone breaking either under normal use or even rough use for that matter. I have many Tikka's and I hope to add more. Tikka's also are rated to shot under MOA.
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Old June 6, 2010, 11:26 PM   #5
hoghunting
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Here's another vote for the Tikka. I own a T3 and have used a friend's Vanguard - same as the Howa, but a different stock. The Tikka has a better trigger, smoother action, and groups less than 0.5 MOA.
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Old June 7, 2010, 12:14 AM   #6
mustang66maniac
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Thanks for the replies guys seems like Tikka is the top pick so far, but I'm still open to the idea of the Howa.
My only concern would be the lack of aftermarket for it. I'd like to get a nice stock and the only one I've seen so far is the RCS stock http://www.webshop.roedale.de/produc...Complete-.html which I really like actually.
Eventually, I'd like to get a heavy barrel and although I'd probably be hard pressed to find a pre threaded barrel, I could still get one custom fitted, right?
Midway has virtually nothing for Tikkas, and it seems like if I find a website with Tikka parts, its usually overseas. Any ideas on where to find parts stateside?
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Old June 7, 2010, 01:38 AM   #7
jgcoastie
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Why not start with a Tikka T3 Varmint from the get-go?

Haven't found one online chambered for 6.5x55 Swedish yet, but Tikka's website lists it available in that caliber...
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Old June 7, 2010, 07:54 AM   #8
precision_shooter
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My Vote is the Tikka... But, Why the T3 Hunter Model? You should just get the T3 Varmint or Super Varmint model with heavy barrel...
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Old June 7, 2010, 10:17 AM   #9
mustang66maniac
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Well, the thing with Tikka is that Beretta only imports certain models. They import the T3 varmint in only the most popular US calibers, which 6.5x55 is not. I think it would be pretty hard to find one in my caliber being that they only sell them overseas.
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Old June 7, 2010, 10:25 AM   #10
PTS1
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If your gonna use it for target mostly, then go howa,vanguard. Weight, stregnth and aftermarket is the deciding factor. If you were going to use maily for hunting, then I would say Tikka just for the lighter weight.
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Old June 7, 2010, 11:55 AM   #11
Drewdoo41
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+1 to what PTS1 said. I'd choose the Howa.

While the 6.5x55 isn't a hard kicking round, the Howa will be more comfortable off the bench. I agree that the tikka bolt and action are slick and smooth, but that Howa action is no slouch either. At least you have choices as a right handed shooter. I'm jealous! I really wanted a lefty in 6.5x55 but didn't have the $$ and got a .243. Good luck with your choice!
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Old June 7, 2010, 08:57 PM   #12
Woodyed
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There are plenty of 6.5x55 Tikka's available. Gun Broker has many listed on it's website and so does Guns America.
In regard to your interest in aftermarket products, let me assure you that Tikka's are so well made you don't need or require any aftermarket products.
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Old June 8, 2010, 06:03 AM   #13
viking499
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My 6.5x55 Tikka is a SWEET shooter.
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Old June 8, 2010, 10:39 AM   #14
snipecatcher
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I have a Tikka T3 Lite in 6.5x55, and it shoots great, and it is the lightest rifle I own. However, for a target rifle, I would go with the Howa/Weatherby. There are upgrades for it and it is built heavier. Also, the Tikka is not easy to load a single round if you choose to do that. The Vanguard I owned (in 270 Win) was a very well made rifle, and a joy to shoot, but it was just TOO heavy for hunting, which is why I sold it for the T3.
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