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Old October 6, 2013, 01:37 PM   #1
MNDH 1007
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Tikka T3 lite which caliber...

The more I think about it buy the best you can get do it right the first time... Looking for a mostly whitetail rifle with possible bear action someday... Thinking an 06 or a 270 possibly a 7 mag. Scopes I'm thinking a vari x 2 or a buck master... Feeling the T3 lite blued or is the stainless worth the extra $$$. Thanks
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Old October 6, 2013, 02:01 PM   #2
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Not $.05 worth of difference between anything from 7-08 up to the 300 mags at ranges under 400 yards. Could probably throw in the 243 even it is about as small as I'd want to go with on bear.

The Tikka's are about 1-1.5 lbs lighter than most other guns, so you might want to stay with something with a little less recoil in that gun. My personal favorite would be the 308, but within that range there is really no bad choice. Some chamberings are easier to find ammo for, and cheaper ammo, if you don't handload. That would be my deciding factor, along with recoil.

I like the VX-2 a LOT better than the Buckmaster. The current VX-2's are the most scope you can get for the dollar right now.
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Old October 6, 2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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I'm pleased to say that I have a new T3Lite in 260 Remington (a fellow on another forum had a few made up, and with a heavier than factory barrel on it). It's in stainless and I really like the way it handles. All I need now are my scope mounts/rings and I'm in business. So I agree with your thought on the rifle. As for what jmr40 says about the VX2, I certainly agree. I had a Nikon Monarch on my 223 for a time, and I wasn't that happy with it. Then it died. I replaced it with a VX2 in 6-18 and that scope (in my aging and experienced view) is a step up from the Monarch. I just wish they made the VX2 in a 4-16.
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Old October 6, 2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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I have a T3 Stainless and I LOVE IT!! Could have had the blued for a little less but I love my stainless. Mine is a 6.5x55 the PERFECT all around deer hunting caliber I use it more then all my other rifles combined, though if I did not handload the similar 260 Rem or 270 Winchester would be my first choice.
Tikka does not have a great recoil pad and they are very light so I would think twice before buying one in 7mm Rem Mag or 30-06.
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Old October 6, 2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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.270 winchester

Flat shooting, common, can take any game in North America (or the south for that matter) a good round for reloading.

To put it simply, it is popular for a reason.
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Old October 6, 2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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I have a blued one in .300WSM and love it for hunting. The recoil pad is horrible on them, I put a limbsaver on before I ever shot it. It still thumps pretty good and 20 shots out of it at the range leaves some neat colors on my shoulder the next day. I didn't like the hollow sound of the butt stock so it got filled with expanding foam. The scope rings that come with them are decent, but the screws in the rings and mounts are terrible. I had to replace them and am very happy with the whole package now.
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Old October 6, 2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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.270 winchester

Flat shooting, common, can take any game in North America (or the south for that matter) a good round for reloading.

To put it simply, it is popular for a reason.
It'll do everything the .30-06 can do except faster, flatter and less recoil.
150 grain bullets in .277 have similar sectional density to 185 grain bullets in .308 cal.
.277" (.270) 130 grain, SD .242
.277" (.270) 140 grain, SD .261
.277" (.270) 150 grain, SD .279
.277'' (.270) 180 grain, SD .335
.308" (7.62mm) 150 grain, SD .226
.308" (7.62mm) 180 grain, SD .271
.308" (7.62mm) 220 grain, SD .331
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Old October 6, 2013, 11:47 PM   #8
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I've shot the Tikka T3 lite in 308, and it certainly had a fair bit of kick to it.
I'd be inclined to go for a 7mm 08 as it should do just as well as 308 but less recoil, I'm not recoil sensitive but I'd go for less recoil any day.

260rem would be another good calibre but ammo availability is nothing like the others you have mentioned.
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Old October 7, 2013, 12:28 AM   #9
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You might want to consider the T3 Hunter model. It's a little heavier than the T3 Lite which would help somewhat with recoil.
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Old October 7, 2013, 03:02 AM   #10
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Tikka T3 lite which caliber...

I have a Sako A7 .30-06 which us very similar to the T3 Lite in terms of weight, stock, barrel length and profile, etc. it is not bad st all even on the bench. I've shot plenty of 100+ rd sessions working up handloads. You will really like the Tikka.

I would get it in whatever caliber is easy for you to find ammo. Any of them will do. If I can find one in 6.5x55 I'll jump on it to go with my '96 Mauser.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:13 AM   #11
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Aren't the Tikka all long action? I'd get .30-06 and put a slip on Decellerator pad when you go to the range.
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Old October 7, 2013, 01:07 PM   #12
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Also consider the largest sized game you will be tackling with this rifle. Here is a breakdown as I see it.

30-06: Love mine but it is simply TOO MUCH gun for our southern whitetail at full stroke but would be great for western mulies at 300+ yards or even elk/moose with the right bullets.

270: a tad behind the 06 in terms of overkill and meat damage and even better shooting at range making it a dandy bean field or western rifle. Much like the 30-06 ammo is readily available and reasonably priced.

25-06 perfect pronghorn rifle and a dandy whitetail whitetail setup but pushing it's luck on game larger then mulies. Very flat shooting in general even slightly more so then the 270. Only downside is ammo tends to be pricy if you don't handload though Hornady and Prvi make a reasonably priced product. Handlaoders love this caliber we can do so much with it.

243: All you ever need to kill a deer inside 300 yards, though when you have to blood trail one sometimes it leaves something to be desired. Very low recoil and a very flat shooter. Great duel purpose varmint/deer gun.

260: Rem per pound of recoil this is simply the most efficient killer on the block mostly due to its very aerodynamic javelin like projectiles and even the light for caliber bullets rank very high due to the tight standard twists of the rifles. Tough enough to tackle elk with stout 140gr-160gr bullets. Factory ammo is a pain to find in person but you can get better prices online anyway. Reloaders and long ranged shooters love 6.5mm bores for good reason.

7mm-08: another favorite of mine, all the punch of a 270 win in a short action package, much like the 260 it packs alot of punch for it's recoil, deer don't stand a chance and even elk/moose shutter at the thought of a 160gr bonded bullet. Ammo is never hard to find but is often expensive locally, lower prices online, but if you don't reload I recommend the 308.

308 Win: This is simply the "do it all" utility caliber for the non-reloader, the 308 is remarkably well rounded and comes in a wide variety of factory loads and in almost every rifle configuration you could imagine. Recoil is tolerable, though not enjoyable, ammo is everywhere and affordable.

The Magnums: 7mm Rem Mag, 270/300 WSM, 300 Win Mag are all real go getters with huge long range credentials. But it is not very often that we encounter large game at the kind of range to justify such firepower. Using such a cartridge up close is as destructive as it is silly IMHO. I own a 270 WSM and there is only one place I hunt with it an 1,100yard peanut field my friend owns. The speed I get with that thing is staggering. But there is a price to pay for such speed/power the ammo often costs twice as much as conventional cartridges, the recoil can be fierce, and to get that speed they require longer/heavier barrels.
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Old October 7, 2013, 03:02 PM   #13
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The more I think about it buy the best you can get do it right the first time...
Excellent statement, and everything you're looking at fits it. The Tikka, with proper care, should last you a lifetime or more. The scopes, again with proper care, should outlast your lifetime but as a Leupold user and fan I prefer them. I do know people who use Nikons and they are very happy with them though. As for caliber, any of the three are going to be able to take the game you want. Pick your favorite and don't look back.

As for Stainless vs. Blued, again this is really a matter of preference. I like the look of brushed stainless so I lean towards spending the extra money and getting it.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new rifle!
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Old October 7, 2013, 09:00 PM   #14
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Love my t3 lite in .308, action is fairly smooth, the trigger is awesome and adjustable.

As for accuracy here's 200 yards

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Old October 8, 2013, 06:14 AM   #15
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I LOVE my Tikka T3 Lite in .270 Win. It kicks pretty hard but I put a Limbsaver recoil pad on it and its better. I haven't shot any game with it yet but it does really nice on paper. Any factory ammo I've tried has been MOA and my handloads are 1/2 MOA consistently at 100yds. Get one in any caliber you can find and slap a recoil pad on it and go shooting.
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Old October 8, 2013, 06:52 AM   #16
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You will love the tikka. I have one in 223 ( much too light for what you are looking for) that shoots 4" 4 shot groups at 350 yards. This is on a calm day as I still have a hard time grouping on windy days. But the accuracy is great. Hard to out it down.
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Old October 10, 2013, 12:46 AM   #17
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I bought a T3 in 6.5x55SE last weekend, few appreciate this cartridge is capible of in a modern action. Using 120 gr Sierra Match Kings & 50gr IMR4831, I got an average velocity of 3024fps. 200mt 5 shot group 1 1/4''. Recoil is mild , drop at 300mts was 5 5/8''. I've owned rifles in 7mm08 , 308 & .270 , the Swede is more versatile & more efficient than any of them.
NOTE: The load mentioned is only safe in modern Sako & Tikka Rifles
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Old October 10, 2013, 05:57 AM   #18
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Simply put if its a Tikka you have a WIN. If it is in a caliber you like you have a WIN WIN

If you have one of every caliber they make you win the "he who dies with the most toys wins" contest.
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Old October 10, 2013, 06:08 AM   #19
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The VX-2 scope is comparable to a Nikon Monarch, so much better than a Buckmaster. Go with the Leupold, you'll never regret it.
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Old October 10, 2013, 06:21 PM   #20
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If I had to do it again, I'd go for 243. Enough power without the recoil of 30-06 (my current rifle). The only reason I haven't attempted to make that switch is that the 30-06 is sub-MOA-accurate with cheap plinking ammo.
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Old October 10, 2013, 09:18 PM   #21
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I have a Nikon Monarch 3 that's super clear and you can get it in 3-12, 4-16, or 5-20x42. They also make it with a 50mm objective lens. I have the 4-16x42 and it's more than enough scope for my 7mm mag. Its the best scope I've had thus far. Way more scope than my Leupold VX-1 and Redfield revolution scopes ( both are high value buget scopes and the cheapest scopes I'd buy). The monarch 3 is twice the money though. $450-$550ish for the monarch 3.

And a vote for .308

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Old October 11, 2013, 11:07 PM   #22
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If a round has to much felt recoil then add a muzzle break and some ear muffs. Enjoy.
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Old October 11, 2013, 11:34 PM   #23
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jmr40 had it right. What cartridge you use isn't that important. So pick a cartridge thats either easy on the wallet or easy on the shoulder.

Since the former no longer exists it makes the picking easier.
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Old October 14, 2013, 07:09 PM   #24
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Re: Tikka T3 lite which caliber...

It is a long action, you may as well use it and go with something that requires a long-action.

That said, I got a used .308 and love it.
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Old October 20, 2013, 02:58 AM   #25
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I have a blued, left-hand T3 in .30-06 and use it for everything from caribou to bears. Oh yeah....... I whacked a wild beef cow on one of the nearby islands with it last year too.

T3s really do live up to their reputation from the sweet trigger to accuracy, the smooth bolt and light weight. Extra mags are a bit spendy and although I don't have first hand experience on this, Beretta CS is like dealing with the mob.

I mounted a Leupold FX-II fixed 4x on it which is the best balance for where and what I hunt, is compact and tends to minimize additional weight added to a lightweight rifle.

The year after I got it I swapped out the OEM scope rings for a set of Warne Perma Mounts as they attach to the receiver in the same manner as the OEM rings. Talley also makes rings and mounts specific to the Tikka. I also replaced the hard rubber pad with a Limbsaver which makes all the difference in the world when shooting Federal HE or developing loads that mimic them.
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