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Tikka T3 Review

Tikka T3 Rifle Review

Tikkakoski (Tikka for short) is a gun manufacturer from Jyväskylä, Finland, and built the first factory in 1893 and started manufacturing gun parts in 1918, during the first World War. As Tikka began to develop more gun parts, they quickly realized they needed more experience and gunsmithing knowledge, so they decided to incorporate it into another company, called “Sako.”

Sako is another Finnish gun manufacturer that was created in the early 1920s after Finland was able to secure its independence from the Soviet Union. As both of these companies began to work together, they realized they were much better off together instead of being independent of each other. Sako was able to purchase the Tikka brand in 1983, and the two companies have been making some of the best rifles the world has ever seen.

As they began to produce some of the best hunting rifles, Baretta took notice and around the year 2000. The Baretta Group bought the majority shares of Sako to expand their holdings into the gun world. For Sako, this was an excellent opportunity to continue their work by creating the best rifles and have access to the advanced technology that a billion-dollar company, like Baretta, can offer.

With the financial backing of Baretta, Sako could focus solely on producing the best rifles and cartridges possible, without putting up an exuberant amount of money. This review is for all the hunters that want an alternative to the more popular Remington 700.

Tikka T3 Tactical

The Tikka T3 series comes in many models with up to 38 different cartridges and multiple barrel lengths. The T3 Tactical is one of the first generation rifles that Sako produced and has been modified and made better recently with the T3X series, which we’ll get into below. The T3 Tactical was chosen because it’s cheaper than the T3X series and the newer Remington 700 rifles.

At 8 lbs and chambered in a .308 caliber round, this rifle is capable of reaching distances up to 1,000 meters for a large target. As a responsible hunter, I would never shoot at any animal from more than 600 meters due to the possibility of wounding and causing suffering to the animal.  If you feel like you’re Chris Kyle, then go for it, but there are just too many things to consider to comfortably make a shot at distances greater than 600-700 meters.

I know many of you reading this feel comfortable at taking shots at these distances, and I applaud the skill you must have to make those shots, but its important to make sure the conditions are right (wind, elevation, POA, etc…). My concerns over distance shooting stem from the understanding of MOA and my concerns about the environmental conditions we face while hunting in the mountains, which you can read here. With all that being said, this rifle is incredibly accurate with a 1:14″ twist rate and a guaranteed 1 MOA.

 

Specs:Tikka T3 TAC

Tikka T3
Weight 8.14 lbs (24″ barrel)
Overall Length 43.75″
Barrel Length 24″
Magazine Capacity 4-6 rounds
Operation Bolt-Action, two locking lugs
Caliber .223, .308
MSRP About $900.00 (base)
Twist Rate 1:14″

 

Pros:

  • Incredibly accurate
  • Lightweight
  • A smooth cycle of operations
  • Cheaper than comparable models

Cons:

  • Much newer models out today

Features:

  • Two-Stage safety secures the bolt and trigger
  • Adjustable and ambidextrous cheekpiece for maximum comfort
  • Two-locking lug bolt for incredibly smooth firing
  • Free-Floating Barrel
  • Muzzle threading for adding muzzle brake or silencer

Why You Should Buy This Gun

If you’re in the market for a new hunting rifle that can be used as a sport shooting rifle as well, this is a great choice and opportunity to own one of the best guns on the market.  There are many newer models out today, but the original T3 Tactical model will be much cheaper and offers the same standard that Sako has been known for in the gun community. If you’re a hunter and you’re usually hunting from ranges above 400 yards, look at the 24″ barrel for added accuracy at range.

Tikka T3 Varmint

Also known as the T3x Varmint, this rifle is designed for hunting vermin, such as rabbits, coyotes, groundhogs, squirrels, and foxes. These animals can cause a lot of problems in people’s farms, gardens, and yards by eating chickens, digging holes, eating crops, and groundhogs can even ruin the foundation of a home (I found this out the hard way, ugh…).

The Varmint rifle is one rifle that you can’t live without if you have any kind of land or like to hunt small vermin.  We chose to review this model because of the application and necessity of being able to protect your property from animals that can hurt you financially by eating your gardens or crops and diminish your property value by digging holes everywhere.

The .22 caliber Remington bullet is not going to bring down a Bear or Wolf, but it will easily bring down any vermin you run across. A well-placed shot will easily bring down a fox or coyote and will kill any other vermin with ease with a hit. This rifle has a relatively long barrel for such a small caliber round, but it allows you to shoot vermin at a greater distance.

As many of us know, squirrels and rabbits are incredibly fast and spook very easily, so a longer barrel will give you the element of surprise, so you don’t have to be as close. This rifle seems expensive, but for the accuracy and durability that offers is tough to beat. With a new redesigned ejection port and recoil reduction system, the T3X offers incredible comfort and precision for the smallest of vermin.

Specs:

Tikka T3x VARMINT

Tikka T3X Varmint
Weight 8.5 lbs
Overall Length 43.9″
Barrel Length 23.7″
Twist Rate 1:14″
Operation Bolt Action, two locking lugs
Caliber 22-250 Remington
Magazine Capacity 5+1
MSRP $897.00

Pros:

  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Reliable
  • Ambidextrous design (ask upon order)
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Can be expensive for a varmint rifle (well worth it though)

Features:

  • A modular stock that is easily replaced
  • An improved recoil pad for less felt recoil
  • A foam insert in the stock to reduce noise
  • A wider ejection port for hand-fed rounds

Why You Should Buy This Gun

This is the best Varmint rifle on the market today and offers incredible versatility for hunting small game and protecting your property against hard to kill vermin. We’d never recommend hunting deer or anything bigger with a .22 caliber rifle, but this is perfect for rabbit and fox hunting.  I know $900 seems expensive upfront, but the alternative to losing cattle, horses, crops, or property value makes this an invaluable gun to own.

T3x Tac A1

There several models and variants you can buy on the market today that compare with the Tikka T3X Tac A1, but very few can come close to matching the capability of this rifle. We won’t act like this gun is not expensive, costing somewhere between $1,700-$2,000 with no attachments. After you add a scope, you’re going to end up spending somewhere around $3,000-$4,000. That is an incredible investment for someone to make, considering there are many rifles that are excellent and much cheaper.  The reason we’ve chosen to do this review is the quality of this rifle is unreal.

Under suitable conditions, I would never take a shot over 650 yards, as I’ve mentioned before, but this rifle breaks my own rules. The 24″ barrel and incredibly reduced recoil design in the stock gives this rifle the capability of shooting targets at 1,000 yards. To get a better understanding of range estimation and what you’ll feel comfortable with, read this blog for more info. The ease of operations for this rifle is incredible, and the accuracy is almost unheard of at ranges of 1000 yards or more. The weight is a little heavier, but this is meant for long-range shooting, and without being around 10 lbs, you wouldn’t be able to reach the distances that this gun can reach.

Specs:

Tikka T3x TAC A1

T3X Tac A1
Weight 10.5 lbs
Overall Length 44.5″
Barrel Length 24″
Twist Rate 1:8″
Operation Bolt Action
Caliber 6.5 Creedmore
Magazine Capacity 10+1
MSRP $1,847.00

Pros:

  • Incredibly accurate
  • Durable
  • Well made
  • Smooth as silk
  • M-Lok handguards and Picatinny rails
  • Beautifully designed
  • The best trigger of any rifle I’ve shot

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • 6.5 Creedmore is difficult to find in some places

Features:

  • Double Lock safety system
  • M-Lok for-end
  • Interchangeable for-end
  • AR platform pistol grip and stock
  • Interchangeable cheek pad
  • Adjustable trigger pull weight

Why You Should Buy This Gun

The price of this rifle and its attachments can be very intimidating for most of us without a lot of expendable income, but the moment you shoot this rifle, you’ll want it. If you can afford this gun without taking out a loan, there aren’t many more guns on the market we would recommend. This rifle will shoot up to 1000 yards with less than a 3 MOA, which can easily hit an Elk, Moose, Bear, or Deer. This rifle is so accurate that it would be a great first gun for beginner hunters who are looking for an edge. Hunting in the Rockie Mountains can be very difficult due to the dramatic terrain, wind gusts, elevation changes, and the swirling winds of the valleys.

To succeed in these rough terrains, you’ll need the best gear to go along with the best rifle. One company that we buy gear from is called Outdoor Research, which makes everything from hunting and fishing gear to hiking and winter clothing. We always suggest you know your gear and your rifle before setting out in the mountains or woods, and this gear will give you the peace of mind you need for a successful hunt.

Accessories

Many people want to put everything they can on their rifles because they feel it makes them look more legit, or they feel better about their chances in a hunt. In reality, no animal cares what you have on your gun, and most people could care less about another hunter’s gear. With my hunting rifles, I prefer the old saying “less is more,” which simply means don’t load up your rifle with as many accessories as you can. Instead, focus on the things you need to increase your chances of success in a hunt. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bad-ass looking rifle with no practical application.

LEUPOLD VX-6HD 3-18X50MM CDS SIDE FOCUS FIREDOT DUPLEX RETICLE RIFLESCOPE

When we discuss scopes and the brands we prefer over other models, it always seems to come back to Leupold scopes. This scope is expensive as hell, but it’s worth every penny when it comes to its application in the field. The first thing you’ll notice is the large 30mm main tube and the beautiful matte black finish it comes with to prevent scraping and erosion of the metal.

Leupold created a light management system called, “Twilight Max” that provides high definition sight picture in either in the low light of dawn and dusk or the bright light of the sun beaming down on the mountainside. The scope itself adjusts based on how much light it needs to provide the best possible picture while providing eye relief from squinting through your scope for hours. One of the best attributes of this scope is how it locks into the Picatinny rail, so if you accidentally hit your scope on anything from a tree to a truck bed, you won’t lose your zero.

 

 

STEINER T5XI 5-25X56MM ILLUMINATED SCR MIL RIFLE SCOPE

As much as I like Leupold scopes, I’m not a spokesman for any company, which allows me to remain objective when choosing the right scopes. Steiner offers an incredibly high-quality scope that many hunters prefer to any other brand, even Leupold. Think of it as the debate between Nikon and Canon, or Playstation and X-Box, they’re all great products, but there may be specific things you like about a particular scope over another.

This scope is an absolute legend in the hunting world because of it’s customization to fit your eye profile and the quality and durability of the scope. The 34mm main tube provides a nice big window to see through while the windage and elevation knobs allow you to achieve pinpoint accuracy from longer distances. This scope can even be submersible up to 30 meters of water while remaining waterproof. As the company name suggests, Steiner is a German company, and as offensive as a lot of stereotypes can be, we all know the Germans have some of the world’s best engineers.

Steiner T5Xi 5-25x56mm Illuminated SCR MIL Rifle Scope - 5122

 

 

 

 

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