Normally, I am a buy American kind of guy. I drive a Ford truck, I drink Coors, and go out of my way to buy work boots made in the USA. Sometimes, however, we want something a little bit exotic. Maybe not Thai ladyboy exotic, but exotic like English shotguns or high-end Scotch. A Finnish rifle is like that for me. You have to respect a country that gave a beat down twice to the Soviet Union, and once to the Germans, in the same war. Also, I tend to have a lot of faith in rifles or tools built in a country that extends over the Arctic Circle as long as their national sport isn’t drinking vodka while starving peasants. If you make bad hunting tools in the Caribbean, you eat coconuts instead. If you make bad hunting tools in the frozen north, you starve to death.
This is the part where if I had a gun I was lukewarm about, I would wax eloquent about the history of Finns shooting people and braving nature for 600 words so I didn’t have to address the actual object of review. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to. The Tikka T3X TAC A1 is quite possibly the most impressive rifle I have ever picked up. And I have shot a couple rifles in my day.
- Chambering: 6.5 Creedmoor
- Barrel: 24-inch variants
- Twist Rate: 1:8
- OA Length: 43.8 inches
- Weight: 10.8 pounds
- Stock: Chassis
- Sights: None
- Action: Bolt
- Finish: Matte-black
- MSRP: $1,899
Just a couple of years ago, you would need $4,000 just to buy a chassis system for your existing rifle, if you had one of the few that would fit. The TAC A1 comes out of the box dressed for success, with an extremely well thought out chassis. The buttstock is adjustable for length of pull by inserting spacers, and includes enough options of stacking to make this fit anyone. The spacers are held in by man-sized bolts, which eliminate any movement once you are tightened down. You can also adjust the position and cant of the toe of the stock if you are so inclined, which again bolts down incredibly solid. Included on the toe is a three-slot Picatinny rail, ready to go to work if you like a monopod in the rear. No judgment to your personal tastes if you are so inclined. The comb height is adjustable, with a cutaway section for removing the bolt. No need to do Tetris or collapse the comb for disassembly. I very much approve the securing set up. This is a weak point on many stocks with an adjustable comb, including both traditional style and chassis systems. There is nothing worse than having your cheek riser collapse in the middle of a trigger pull on an 800-yard shot. The Tikka has a unique set up of bolts that have been radiused, large knurled nuts for finger loosening, and steel retaining rings to ensure those nuts can’t fall off and become lost. The tolerances are so tight on this set up that you go from sloppy loose to as tight as hands can torque in three turns. Absolutely brilliant.
Article continued below video …
The stock is an aluminum skeleton to save on weight, with four built-in sling attachment points for whatever style you run. The aluminum ends in a steel castle nut, the same as an AR-15. If for some reason you don’t like the Tikka stock, you can replace it with any AR stock you care for. The castle nut is steel, and attaches to the other incredible chunk of engineering in the rear of the rifle- the folding section of the buttstock. This was not so long ago a segment of the market fully owned by Accuracy International, no one else built a folder that locked up solid enough for a precision gun. Tikka has definitely met that challenge, this device locks up like a bank vault. The hinge is entirely steel for durability and opens with a simple button press on top. It locks in the fully open position as well as the closed, a real finger saver.
The action is steel embedded in an aluminum chassis. It offers the slim lines and streamlined feel you would expect from a high-end bolt gun. There is enough gun to feel like a gun, and no excess. This model offers a 3 position safety, which operates incredibly smoothly. Simply by depressing the bolt release while the gun is on safe, you can extract a round from the chamber without ever needing to put the weapon on fire. Not a feature I would have been a die hard about, but a change from previous Tikka models.
The bolt moves like ball bearings on glass; that is to say smooth. I would easily compare the movement to any custom bolt action I have ever shot. This is one you just have to feel to believe. The craftsmanship here is a sight to behold, not a millimeter of tightness until the bolt completes its travel. It locks closed with the lightest of touches, and the pressure needed to unlock the bolt is, for lack of a more descriptive term, perfect. The trigger is far better than I would have believed at this price point as well. Mine came out of the box at a crisp 4 pounds, but is user-adjustable down to 2. My trigger gauge actually says 1.8 pounds, but it was made by the lowest bidder. The real brilliance here is the adjustment point. There is a hole in the magazine well that offers access to the trigger adjustment without needing to disassemble the weapon. It feels a little strange, adjusting an Allen key you can’t see. And it is a little tight to get into, don’t expect more than a ¼ turn at a time. But it works, and you probably only need to adjust it once. The Allen key is captured, so there is no danger of pulling it all the way out by accident. A marvel of machining. Once mine was adjusted down as light as it would go, I was shocked by how fantastic the trigger is. It features a small amount of no pressure take up, and then breaks like an Al Qaeda finger under interrogation. Which means by accident maybe? No, it breaks so clean it is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I hope no one was planning on retiring off of aftermarket Tikka triggers. There is no need.
The magazine price has been a sticking point with some people about this new model. It only takes Tikka magazines, and they are $90 apiece. Currently, the gun comes with two, and you get a 3rd in the mail when you register the gun for warranty. Having now had the system in my hands, I am actually glad they chose this route. Tikka set out to build a gun and then a magazine, not a gun for a magazine, and it shows. The mag well is perfectly sized, it takes no pressure to fully insert a magazine or drop one free. The beveled top means you don’t miss on a fast reload, and the feed lips look as sturdy as I-beams. The Tikka magazine comes to a single feed point, which prevents double feeds so common in SR25 magazines. With the wide feed point on an SR magazine, it is very easy to short stroke the bolt and then pick up a second round on the recovery, which results in a debacle. The option also obviously existed to use Accuracy International magazines, but the price is the same, and then the gun would have needed to be built to AI spec. I see no issue with the magazines, and if you have doubts, I encourage you to go load and unload one if you can. Once you feel how it works, any doubt will be gone.
The pistol grip is also an AR standardized part, which you can switch if you like. The Tikka one is stubby and a little thicker than normal, but it works fine as is. At no point in my testing did I even think about wanting to switch it out. The same goes for the fore end. It is a standard AR part, and you can swap with almost any you like. The factory model comes with M-Lok as the standard, and a full rail on top. It is long enough for almost anything you need, even clip-on night vision in front of your scope if that is how you roll. If that is yours and not issued, please contribute to the Clay Martin Ferrari fund at the link below. The length also gives you plenty of distance to place your bipod for maximum stability. My one complaint about the entire rifle is that it didn’t come with any M-Lok rail sections, one would have been nice on the bottom for said bipods. I guess $10 in needed add-ons is a pretty weak gripe all things considered. The barrel is threaded with a thread protector in place, making this suppressor-ready on day one. Also included is a user-installable muzzle brake, which is quite effective at taming the recoil of the weapon.
Where It Counts
So enough of the window dressing, the big concern for most of us is how did it shoot? The answer to that is that it was absolutely unreal. This rifle loved the Hornady ELD 140 grain. Every paper group I shot in zero was .3 inches or less, which is staggeringly good. I did cheat a little bit this time, my loaner F-class bipod from Accu-tec was incredibly stable. I have never used one of those before, and it does make a huge difference in holding the gun steady. You wouldn’t want to hump this model around in the woods for certain, but for range shooting it was a huge asset. One three-round group was so tight, I won’t even publish the center to center measurement I took. It would be like telling you about that time Ms. June though Ms. December came over to borrow a cup of baby oil, and could they please wash their sexy underwear in my sink too. I went for a 780-meter paper group (sorry no 1,000 meter, Idaho is having historic flooding) which is something I rarely do. Usually, I shoot steel past 300 exclusively. I pulled one shot, which was still on my IPSC paper, but the other two were level, 3.5 inches apart. The level but dispersed horizontally is most likely a small shift in the wind. What I am saying here it is that 3.5 is a damn tight group for 780m, but in no way is it the absolute limit of the gun. I will be repeating this at 1,000 as soon as I get some more bullets, and maybe I will try to pull the trigger like I’m not a gorilla from the zoo this time too.
To put this in perspective, I was a sniper in two services for most of two decades. I graduated almost every sniper school in the DOD, and I taught both SOTIC and USMC Urban Sniper as a soldier and a contractor. In that time I was issued some pretty impressive bolt guns, some of which I can’t even tell you the name of. I haven’t tested durability yet, so excluding that the following statement is true. In a short action, I would choose this Tikka T3 over any bolt gun Uncle Sugar ever gave me. I would have no hesitation putting it up against a Surgeon, an Accuracy International, or any custom gun I have ever shot. I would go to the line, caliber for caliber, against any other gun I have ever laid hands too and not feel outclassed. I will get a redemption shot on paper grouping because Tikka can’t have this one back. I am buying it, and I would buy it at twice MSRP having shot it. Further, I have no doubt I will buy another one when it comes out in .260 Remington.
I don’t normally encourage my readers to go buy anything but rather let them make their own decision, but this is an exception. If you plan to buy a precision rifle this year, this is the one. Run, don’t walk to your dealer. Once people figure out what a bargain this is, no way Tikka will be able to keep up on production. Go get yours before they have a six-month back order.
P.S.- In the time between this writing, and the date of publishing, I have used the Tikka T3 and the Hornady ELD 140 grain to train one of my long range students. He shot a .31 inch group at 100 meters during zero, the best group he has every fired. Immediately switching to targets at distance, he had a first round hit at 855 meters, 958 meters, and 1,018 meters. This rifle and ammo combination continues to impress.
To learn more, visit https://www.tikka.fi/rifles/tikka-t3x/t3x-tac-a1.
To buy a Tikka T3X on GunsAmerica.com, visit https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Tikka%20T3X.
Wow, there sure are some weepy snowflakes commenting on here. It’s humor, don’t take it too hard. I concur, the Tac A1 is well worth the money. It’s worlds better than the RPR. I’ve got the 16″ Tac A1 in .308 and it shoots as well as any of my customs do, and thats with factory ammo. Tikka rifles are, in my humble opinion, the best factory option out there. My CTR outshot my Seekins Precision Havak Bravo out of the box. I sold the Havak, and still happily have the CTR.
Great article, and sense of humor!! I have a tikka t3 lite lefty in 270wsm, great rifle that shoots extremely well, actions on the tikka rifles are smooth as silk, I also own a few 700’s, older models, that were built right, and the tikka outshines them all. If they make this in a lefty 260, sign me up.
Clays review along with a few others has been a primary factory in my purchase of the Tac A1. I’ve had it for almost 3 years and it’s been unbelievable. In 6.5 Creedmoor I’ve been able to shoot 3/8 MOA groups from the bench. In competitions I’ve had a few top 10 finishes at local matches, but the rifle has performed flawlessly. I haven’t met a single owner of one of these rifles that’s been disappointed.
Half the comments need to look at a globe. Ford is made in America. He didn’t say the unites states. There is a North America and South America…. that’s why they can say made in America when they are made in Canada or Mexico. The more you know…
I own a Tikka T3x in 6.5 Creedmoor. As a first time shooter, I found it easy to hit .5 MOA at 100 yards. I will sell it to a friend or give it to my wife and build a 6.5 PRC (Expensive). But I hope to see Tikka build a T3X TAC A1 6.5 PRC someday.
Enjoyed your article regarding the Tikka and yes the humorous portions as well! It’s refreshing to read an article written in a style much like the conversations I’ve had with friends in hunting camps, or at shooting ranges after a competition or “training day” with a bunch of other sheep dogs.
My first huntin’ gun in the ‘70’s was a Remington 700; some years later thanks to shooting skills my dad passed on to me I joined the law enforcement sniper community and stayed with it till I put my 30 in. 700’s were pretty much the “go to” weapon and I new little else.
Then one day I bought a Tikka T3 lite in .300 Win. Mag. for elk hunting, fell in love with its smooth action and accuracy – ended up buyin a .308 as well. Looks like I’ll be adding one for to the collection.
Take care n keep your powder dry!
I own a 6.5 CM Ruger Precision Rifle with a Bushnell ERS 3.5 – 21 x 50 scope, H59 reticle.
With that combination and Hornady 140 gr. ELD-M (Match) cartridges I consistently get 1/2 MOA or less groups, and this is out to 960 yards, our club’s longest range. I’m consistently hitting 9″x9″ steel plates at 960 yards so it’s slightly less than MOA size.
This accuracy is with an Atlas bipod and a CTK monopod on a Midway shooting mat. I can shoot as well from prone with these supports as I can from a bench with an iron bench rest front support.
COMPARISONS _ Tikka TAC A1 & Ruger Precision Rifle”
1. Tikka and Ruger both have cold hammer forged barrels, both are, according to other reviews, equally accurate.
2. Tikka has a smoother feeling bolt but Ruger has a 3 lug bolt for faster bolt cycling so that is a wash.
3. Ruger has a patented side and read magazine latch permitting the use of MANY magazine brands. Tikka changes $90. for their proprietary magazine!!
4. Gen. 2 RPRs come with a muzzle brake, Tikka does not have this approximately $200. option.
5. Both rifles have adjustable triggers. I feel my factory RPR trigger is equal in feel to my aftermarket Timney trigger on my 6.5 CM Ruger American Predator.
6. Both Tikka and Ruger butt stock pads can be canted left or right.
7. The RPR sells for at least $200. less than the TAC A1.
8. IMHO the rifles are basically equal in accuracy and features with the RPR possibly having a few more features.
The nice thing about the Tikka as apposed to the Ruger Precision is it comes left handed, the RPR does not. Thank you Tikka.
Great write up! Funny, entertaining, and very informative. Great style.
I am currently ennamerred with tikka rifles. I dont think ill buy another domestic bolt gun, probably ever.
Don’t stop being funny, man. Best article I’ve read on tikka rifles by far. And I read allot of articles and do a good amount of research before I buy anything. Looking forward to reading your next one. You got a fan!
This guy tries way too hard. Takes potshots at Thais and Russians and then says his definition of “exotic” is England or Scotland. What a boring little sheltered American. Enjoy your awful beer and your made-in-Mexico deathtrap truck.
A Ford truck and Made in America is an oxymoron.
PS, the breaking fingers joje doesnt bother me at all.
Ok, the “not as exotic as a Thai ladyboy” comparison.
I had to look that one up.
I would say:
1) definitely innappropriate to reference in this article for Oh so many reasons, sexual, racial, gender, blah, blah… but seriously the last thing I want to think about when I am reading about a new precision rifle is a young Asian guy with boobs and penis getting another mans privates up his pisterior while he also performs fellatio in another guy.
2) author just revealed his porn fantasy which includes young asian prostitute boys (who cross dress and have had sex change operations)
I dunno, maybe it would have worked if he included a picture of a lady boy holding a Tikka?
He revealed his fantasy? No. You revealed your lack of a sense of humor.
Okay, Mr. ‘Not a…’, Clay writes for real men about real guns. So maybe you should just get a tube of hand cream and go back to reading Cosmopolitan while sucking on a red lollipop?
LOL! This guy drives a Ford and thinks it’s made in America. Talk about urban myths. How do you take any credibility from someone who thinks like that? Check out where your stuff is really made people! Just so you know, my Toyota was made in Kentucky, USA.
Just so you know, your Toyota was ASSEMBLED in Kentucky. Many parts are from other countries, I haul automotive parts and know for certain that the overseas shipping containers I deliver do not contain American parts.
Also the money you spent goes to what country, yep to one whose headquarters are NOT in Dearborn Michigan like Ford.
Do us all a favor next time you decide to berate a person writing an article, get your facts straight.
Well written article. I had been considering buying this rifle and this pushed me over the edge. Oh, and regarding your writing style. Some people just don’t understand war, or a warrior’s sense of humor. Broken fingers don’t pull triggers.
Keep up the good work Sir! I look forward to your future “tasteless and unnecessary reference to gratuitous violence”.
By allying with Nazi Germany, the Finns lost territory at the end of WWII that they never got back, so the author is making yet more American gun store mythology instead of being historically accurate.
I looked this gun over this weekend and the trigger made me sick.
I get the two stage idea but the trigger up take sucks, the trigger also had a unacceptable amount of over travel. The breake was ok but heavy( I know you can adjust that) but I was very disappointed in the rifle s trigger.
I own a m695 in 25-06 and it’s a GREAT rifle with a much better trigger, I REALLY wanted to like the t3 tac ( my ego needed the tikka to put the ruger in its place) but… the price should be about $300 less due to the trigger. Buy the… ruger. (Made me sick to wright that)
I totally and absolutely agree on the trigger; I did not like military style triggers in the Army of the sixties and so not like them any better now. I have been hunting with a canjar single set on a ruger bolt gun for 35 years now and still marvel at how CRISP
I just picked up on (actually I physically pick it up from FFL tomorrow) in 6.5 for $1574 free shipping and free credit card use. I’m about to retire, so it will be my last expensive gun. My favorite before this, and one I won many matches with in my younger day, was my GI parts built and accurized M1A.
Does any body have any info on the T3X TAC AI barrel life span? how many rounds fired before needing a new barrel? I would like to know how it compares to the Bergara LRP in 6.5 Creedmoor? I have read that the LRP last about 2000 rounds.
I bought a T3 Tac A1 in 6.5 Creedmoor and it is the most accurate rifle I’ve shot in 43 years of shooting. It is a bargain.
Just bought the Tika over the weekend, any suggestions on how you break the barrel in. Thx
The need to break in a barrel is a myth. There are a lot of people willing to tell you how to do it, but none of them can prove it’s necessary. OTOH, there are a lot of excellent competition shooters who say they have never broken in a barrel and their shooting has never suffered for it, and that the whole concept is hooey. I’m firmly on the “hooey” side.
I thoroughly enjoyed the review! I just got lucky and found a retailer with one in stock and committed. I have been shooting a Ruger RPR .308 for awhile and it’s also a very nice firearm, but am super excited to challenge myself with this new rifle and caliber;)
So the angle of the shot taken of that Accu Tac bipod has me intrigued. It almost has the appearance of the FC5 but looks a little different. What model was pictured in your review?
Being left handed I dont have much problem shooting right handed guns. I would like to know if the cheek rest can be switched to the other side though.
I was lucky enough to get one of the first 40 shipped the NA. I shoot LH as well. The cheek rest can be moved to opposite side. There are snap rings to prevent the thump nuts from unscrewing all the way off. Just remove them, switch sides and snap them back on.
Most of you dudes are MORON REDNECK
You bla bla on Tikka or Sako because it is not Made in America….
but unfortunately for you American’ “made in” is not at the top in many products line..
German cars, Japanese Truck, Fin Rifle, German optics, French helicopter. Italian Shotgun, Austrian handgun, etc etc…. are better designed…. It is a FACT !
So SHUT UP and enjoy….
OMG…get your head out of your third point of contact…stand up and understand what you wrote. You are completely unaware of anything that you wrote. I am not even going to try to correct you. You seem to be one of these idiots who simply are trolling to attempt to get some attention. Grow up….or go back under that turd you crawled out from under.
I have a Tikka T3x CTR in 6.5 and it easily shoots .5 MOA 5 shot groups at 100 consistently with a harris bipod and Trijicon 2.5-10 scope…no rear bag, no cherry picked reloads etc….by far the best stock bolt gun I’ve shot in this price range. I shot a .47″ group one cold afternoon as the sun was setting, they guy next to me was looking for the fliers LOL, there were none. I’m just a middle aged guy, weekend shooter etc. I have extremely limited experience compared to the author and can only imagine some of the groups he was able to wring out at long ranges. Even if you throw out the authors two shot group, there is no denying these guns perform extremely well.
I would love to see a quality test of this rifle along side the Bergara and Masterpiece Arms equivalent offerings. Price point is similar. Looks like everyone is using this style chassis lately. So it must boil down to barrel, action, trigger and shooter. Please consider a write up with these competitors. It should be a lot of fun.
A couple of years ago I had the urge to buy and maybe build a 300WSM. I chose a Tikka T-3 because of the comments from other shooters on the smoothness of the action ,accuracy etc and all the other BS. I could not attain the groups that these readers were talking about even handloading using different powders Cols. bullet brands etc. The best groups attained 1in. to 1.5 and larger as the distance increases. I even let other skilled shooters in the club try this weapon to no avail either. Either I got a lemon or someone is stretching the truth about Tikka weapons. I am a tried and true Sako man and have been for many years. If you want real accuracy and reliability as the old saying goes it only cost 20% more to go first class. Buy a Sako.
I’m eyeballin’ this rifle!
I’ve a Sako L259 .243 & a 75 in 7-08. The throat lead is so long on both of them. he best factory ammo groups my 7-08 produced were 2 5/8″ @ 100 yrds. The first handloads I made, 0.010″ off the lands produced a 0.35″ 5 round group. I do love the stability, smoothness and 70 deg Sako bolt.
So Sako makes these guns, and the guns are apparently as good as, if not better than, Sako’s guns; only cheaper?
I am convinced the rifle shoots well – but why does it have to be so ugly?
I wholeheartedly agree
Tikka t3’s must have got rid of that crappy aluminum recoil lug. I have converted them to a Remington style recoil lug with way better results. But great article! The bolts are smooth and the triggers are great and accuracy is ok. Now if they would offer it in a better caliber, the 6.5 creedmore is too slow. But did enjoy the humor. Some people just don’t have a sense of it.
Just like a kid at Christmas!
Just ordered one based on your recommendation. Ive been looking for a new precision and was looking at several, you sold me on this one! Thanks man and keep up the good work.
The Finns did provide a beatdown to the Russians but they did it with borrowed Swedish Mausers.
I believe they used Russian Makarovs – just let their armourers upfit them substantially first…
Hi, Finn here, rifles used in frontlines were modified Mosin-Nagant M91s with more accurate barrels/build. We did have Mauser M/96 from Sweden too, but they were only used by swedish volunteers in the Winter war and finnish troops not in frontline. Swedish mausers were used by finnish AA-troops, navy personnel etc. on homefront. While the Mauser was perfectly good rifle, it didn’t made sense to use them in frontlines as it would have made logistics problematic because of the different ammo and we had enough Mosin-Nagants.
Damn impressive gun!
My son recently bought himself a Tikka T3x in 6.5 Creedmoor and immediately went out with the Hornady 140 ELD-Match and his video cam for a successful 1000yd first shot hit…..imagine my surprise when he came home last weekend with a left handed version of basically the same rifle and ammo combination for his ol’ pappy’s birthday present!!!!!…..haven’t had a chance to take it out to 1000 yet but rang the gong over and over at 387 yards
I’ve owned a Tikka T3 Hunter in .270 WIN for several years. It’s accuracy and the smooth action shot it straight to “my favorite rifle” status and has yet to be knocked off the top. If the action on this is half as smooth, I’m sold. Now let’s talk about that MSRP…
I really believe him. I’m shooting a fairly plain T3 in a laminated stock, in .308, and my groups at 800 yds. agree with his results very closely. A .300 grouping at 100 yds., out of the box, is also true!! I love this rifle!
How much did it cost to make you sell out to a foreign concern; a new rifle, a new rifle and scope, or a new rifle and scope and other bennies? Do not make your nose grow any longer than it is by trying to tell everyone that you got nothing for this betrayal!
Have you run this by the military? Damned sure should if this is legitimate! I know a couple of operatives who would love something like this.
I actually own a tikka t3 lite in 300win mag with a vortex viper PST 6-24×50 sitting on Talley rings. ($1035.89 total) I have actually had better 5 shot groups than this at 800 yards on sandbags. The rifle is not modified in any way. So why go out and buy an $1800 dollar rifle and a $1500 dollar scope to shoot this poorly. SMH, I just don’t get the need for “tactical assemblies” on everything when old fashion will do the same or in this case better.
Impressive. What can I do with a .257 Weatherby Mag. vs. your 300 Win Mag. Can I expect to hit consistently at 800 yrds, or will the .257 bullets be too light and drift a little too much? I haven’t done any long-range shooting – yet – nothing longer than 300 yards with the old (little) .243 Win.
I recently examined a Tikka T3 (different model) at a LGS, and had a chance to work the action, bolt and tinker with it a little.
WOW! I was massively impressed. I did not know the brand but I was looking at Savage 110/Rem 700 / MVP type precision rifles and never heard of Tikka. I have been eying it ever since as a possible next buy and couldn’t understand why no one heard of Tikka before. . I have looked into it and apparently it is a sleeper. All the respectable reviewers on youtube are infatuated with it. I think, in fairness, there is a little bit of a “Buy” American bias among us all that makes us all want to go for the big 3 (Savage, Mossberg and Rem). I have spoken to some guys who are in the hobby for years and own dozens of rifles and they never even heard of Tikka…probably because it is foreign…HOWEVER, I think this will become an extremely popular rifle once people start to get to know and learn what it is.
The Tikka shown is a $1900 gun with a $1900 scope, LaRue $300 scope mount and a $300 bipod. That is $4500.00 worth of gun in the article.
After some basic research, I bought the Savage 10BA Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor. I put a Vortex Diamondback 4x16x42 dead hold BDC scope on top with Warne rings. $1250 bucks later, I sighted it in at 200 yards. It shoots .5 MOA when cold, when warmed up its a 1 MOA gun at 200 yards with factory Hornady Precision Hunter 143gr ELD-X.
I do that with the k31 and a vortex crossfire. These days any respectable gun gets you to 300 yards very nicely. The Axis and American are examples. Loads of Youtube videos with people shooting those to 1000 yards or a mile.
As he indicated the real test is 800 yards. Although some of the commenters are correct that you need to wait to see what it does when the barrel gets hot.
There are other reviews of the Tikka line online and the respectable and noted bloggers seem to hands down love the thing. Often times more than the 700.
Are we really leading with a two shot group?!?
“I pulled one shot, which was still on my IPSC paper, but the other two were level, 3.5 inches apart.”
Two shots isn’t a group, it’s a coincidence. And are we really reviewing a precision rifle with a $1800 msrp and all we can say about groups are that they were all sub .3’s, with one so good I won’t talk about it.
I was thinking the same…2-shot group…wth?
I guess I was also thinking the same thing. 2 shot groups? I am able to do this with my Ruger and Vortex scope.
The Mossberg MVP LC functions just as good if not better. So… how much was he paid to sell out to foreign country merchandise? Also… is it me or do I have to concentrate to understand what he says most of the times? It’s hard to understand all his words… drives me crazy!!
Over Rated Rifle… With An Over Rated Price Tag…
Any rifle worth a dime can do this once. I have been there a few times in 50 years
“… as long as their national sport isn’t drinking vodka…” Fins are prone to alcoholism even more than Russians, so much so that it was necessary for the government to implement prohibition to save the nation. Know your history. But, yes they are good fighters and marksmen.
Thank you Dr. Good to know.
I’ve read articles about this rifle and all appear to be stating it has fine accuracy. I too was wondering about the two shot groups, but more important to me is someone shooting five round groups and then while the barrel is still warm, shoot a ten round group. For me that tells how the gun is shooting cold, warm, and hot. I have a rifle that shoots 1/2″ groups cold, but when it warns up, drifts right and the groups open up. If I keep shooting and heat up the barrel more, it goes back to shooting 1/2″ groups. It’s an odd one, but I’ve heard a couple of stories similar. I’m in the market for a new rifle, and use to shoot long distances with 308’s, however, I just might come back to the old 222rem in a tikka and 100/200yd bench rest shooting. Got older and wiser and just want to have fun shooting bug holes.
Your comparison of the trigger to breaking fingers is a tasteless and unnecessary reference to gratuitous violence that has no place in the review of a rifle. I generally like your articles, but you stepped over the line here.
What? No props for the line about Ms. June through Ms. December, though? I quite enjoy Clay’s writing style.
Lighten up, Francis. The finger joke was one of the best parts. I’ll be recycling it.
Excellent review on the Tikka. Now tell us what spotting scope you used to see that 3.5inch group at 780 yards!
Good review. Thanks for explaining the good features of the rifle, and also comparing it with the RPR. Like you I found the cycling of the action to be much better/smoother on the Tikka T3X than on the Ruger RPR. The 3-shot groups at 100 are indeed impressive, but shooting multiple 5-shot groups is more telling. As for the claim of 3.5″ at 780 yards, well, 2 shots does not make a group, LOL. You can’t simply claim “Oh well I pulled a shot”. Take three more for goodness sake. Sorry, it’s simply wrong and deceptive to make the claim of a 3.5″ group in the title. That’s BS and it undercuts the integrity of the entire article. Actually, I would like to see multiple 5-shot groups at 500 meters, with wind flags deployed. That would give us a better idea of the rifle’s true accuracy for PRS and other types of competition.
I own 3 Tikkas T3’s. They all shot sub half inch groups. My Tikka in 260 Rem in hunter class will keep 5 shots in 1 ragged hole, .285 inch. I’ve used this rifle to shoot a number of deer the past few years. With 129 gr. Hornady SST I get complete pentration from any range and angle.
Tikka rifles are favorites with professional gamekeepers in Scotland. They like the accuracy and workmanship. Shot a couple of roe deer there 2 years ago. Suppressed Tikka 243 with Swarovski optics. Nice set up.
Is any information on tolerances available? Neck, freebore, etc. Magazine length.
What is the ease of barrel replacement and the cost of new barrels?
Well so much for knurled nuts………………
Really enjoyed the review, Clay; good work! Lots of excellent info, and the crack (get it liberals?) about the finger breaking was the right dose of crass humor in the right place. 🙂
I’ve long been a proponent/admirer of Sako/Tikka (and Valmet, another vaunted Finnish brand), and as a friend once opined in the mid-1980s while completing the DROS for my just-bought Valmet M-76: “When you share a border with the Soviet Union, you better take your gun industry seriously!”
Being left handed/left eye dominant can be a bit of a PITA, but I trained/shot competition for many years with right handed bolt guns, so I adapted over the years. The only question I have is this–can the riser be flipped to the “proper” side for us lefties?
Per an earlier comment from retnavet. They make a left handed model. I too shoot lefty and that was my first question.
The cheek piece is reversible on the t3x Tac a1 but the rifle is not offered in left hand. The CTR is offered in a left hand version.
Clay, great article. Your personal eval is very meaningful. I am incredibly impressed by this rifle and can’t recommend it highly enough. What I talked about at the Beretta Defense Summit when we introduced this rifle remains then same; the Ruger RPR is a good rifle. There are a lot of good after market barrels and upgrades available if it is not as tight a gun as you need. The economics are simply that you will end up spending much more when it is all said and done to make that RPR the gun the Tikka is out of the box. I own both. I’ve personally shot more than a dozen of the 6.5 and .308 Tikka and haven’t found a dog in the bunch.
Clay, You have just written your last precision rifle review. No company will send you a rifle knowing it will be compared with the T3X TAC A1. This rifle probably has greater accuracy potential then the majority of purchasers have skill to make it deliver (I count myself in that group too, old age sucks). There should be no bitching on price point on this one and it should steal market share from lower and MUCH, MUCH higher priced platforms! Well done!
“Breaks like a finger during interrogation” Colorful but leaves a mark. LMAO
100% I tried a hunting T3 at the LGS and was amazed just at its handling and engineering. It is three generations newer than a 700 or Savage 10 line. When you ask people though there is all this bravado and machismo about how only the 700 is the be all end all for all bolt actions and most people who purport to be pros don’t even know the Tikka line. I have a feeling it will catch on REAL quick.