Browning A-bolt or Tikka T3?


November 2, 2004, 07:55 AM
Hi. I've been considering purchasing a new bolt action rifle in 243 win.

I had been set on getting a Tikka T3 Lite based on all the positive reviews I'd read from others.

But now, all of the sudden, I'm reading reports of safety defects. One guy said his Tikka started slam-firing after only 140 rounds through it. link (

And secondly I've read of 2 recent Sako kabooms on this forum. link (

I'm no expert, but, as far as I can tell...a rifle blowing up on you or firing when not intended are probably the 2 most dangerous defects any firearm could have.

So now I'm thinking maybe I should get something else. My next choice is a Browning A-bolt composite stalker. It's made in Japan and supposedly has the best quality control of any rifle available.

What is the advice here on the boards? Don't worry about it and get the Tikka...or go with the Browning A-bolt?

Thanks. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Browning A-bolt or Tikka T3?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 2, 2004, 11:30 AM
Sako and Tikka have previously had a good track record and have been fine rifles (I have two). I might wait a little while to see how Beretta handles the recall and corrects the problems. I doubt you can find a major gun manufacturer that has never had some problem at some point in time.

OTOH, I have heard plenty of positive things about Browning rifles.

Black Snowman
November 2, 2004, 12:10 PM
I have a Browning A-Bolt Eclipse and just got done taking a good, long, hard look at the Tikka T3s at the advice of a professional barrel maker. The A-Bolt is higher quality and a good design. The Tikka is a very simple, very strong, and very clever design that requires much less machining to make a good rifle. If money was a factor I'd get the Tikka. If I wasn't paying I'd take the A-Bolt.

Next bolt rifle I buy will be a Tikka T3.

November 2, 2004, 12:13 PM
Those are the first negative comments I've heard about the Tikka. If I were in your position, I think I'd go with the A-bolt. From what I've heard, an A-bolt with the (non-ported) boss is a nice, very accurate gun. I'd also suggest the standard Winchester, Remington, Ruger rifles (I like my M77 a lot), but it sounds like your choices have already been narrowed down.

Browns Fan
November 2, 2004, 12:15 PM
I have an A-bolt in .308 and love it. It's got an excellent trigger!

November 2, 2004, 02:42 PM
Both Tikkas and Remington 700's have better (as far as adjustability) triggers than Browning.

I'd wait for the Tikka. I don't think the Sako Kb had anything to do with Sako's quality. More likely, just another indicator of Federal's quality control issues.

November 2, 2004, 02:49 PM
that is odd. I've had a tikka for 3 years without a single problem. Very Very accurate.


November 2, 2004, 07:11 PM
Not to Hijack but just how does a bolt rifle slam fire? I have only heard of this on semi's


November 2, 2004, 08:15 PM
My vote is for the Browning.

One thing I haven't been able to get anyone to confirm about the TIKKA is that you can't load it through the port.
It MUST have the magazine removed to reload the rifle!
Is that true, TIKKA fans?

Here's a link to a good looking A-Bolt II in .243:

The B.O.S.S. should address any accuracy concerns you'd have.
The magazine is loadable THROUGH the port; when detached and also when attached to the swingdown floorplate.

November 2, 2004, 10:35 PM
One thing I haven't been able to get anyone to confirm about the TIKKA is that you can't load it through the port.
You can easily drop a round into the ejection port and camber it just like a single shot bolt action.
It is possible to load the mag through the ejection port...if you have skinny fingers. I can personally load them this way, but it's rather combersome because the round had to go veryfar forward before it will clear the magazine's retaining lips.

November 2, 2004, 10:38 PM

Another possible option for you. There should still be Tikka Whitetail Hunters available at wholesaler's. Have your local gun emporium do a search. The Whitetail preceded the T-3 & some regard it as a better Tikka.

For instance, is currently not open, but will give you an example of an on-line wholesaler whose inventory you, or your dealer, can access.


November 3, 2004, 12:25 AM
I've fired a good number of rounds through my Tikka and never had a simple problem.

I just looked through the exploded Tikka photos. Wow. I noticed the barrel was stamped .300 Win Mag, but nowhere in any of the photos of the ammo box was pictured the caliber of the ammo. Not saying the person is dishonest, but I'd like I know what the load of that ammo was.

It MUST have the magazine removed to reload the rifle!

Nope. You can load one round at a time. You can also reload the mag while it's in the rifle, but I have large hands and extra mags. So, I just drop the mag to reload or manually load one round at a time.

December 14, 2004, 02:58 AM
Update: I saw this on another forum today....

Stainless Tikka .243 exploded at the range today (

December 14, 2004, 04:56 AM
Stainless steel Sako and Tikka rifles made this year have had a problem of kabooms.Information is on this and other forums.

DT Guy
December 14, 2004, 09:17 AM
I'd go with the Browning, just because I don't like 'sploding... :D


Lobotomy Boy
December 14, 2004, 10:58 AM
The only Tikka problems I've read about involve stainless barrels manufactured earlier this year. I have the Lite version (blued barrel) in .30-06 and have had zero problems. In theory the stainless problem has been corrected, but I'd recommend going with the blued version just in case. It is a light weight, robust, well-designed, and extremely accurate rifle for an incredibly low price, and it has the best stock trigger of any rifle I've ever shot.

I'm sure the Browning is also a fine gun, and if the extra cost is not important to you I'm sure you will be pleased with that, should you choose. I've been considering a .308 autoloader and have given serious thought to a BAR.

December 14, 2004, 07:33 PM
There's been a recall on some of the stainless Tikkas and Sakos. A bolt rifle can slamfire if the engagement isn't sufficient. That's not unique to Tikkas, but to any rifle with an adjustable trigger that's been adjusted incorrectly.

rust collector
December 14, 2004, 08:34 PM
My T3 lite stainless .308 preceded the affected lot. You are correct--Beretta hasn't been very forthcoming. They should be trying to reach all purchasers of the flawed guns. Perhaps they are and we don't know.

Another good reason to register your purchase...

This'll be a costly mistake. Knowing the pride Sako takes in its product, I hope they do what they must to prevent recurrence. They do make a fine rifle, but they are taking hits over this. Can't wait for the rest of the story.

December 14, 2004, 11:35 PM
While I have never shot a Tikka, I to own a Browning M-1000 Eclipse in .300wm. Absolutely love it! I aim to shoot up to its standards some day. Its only downfall (really it's a tradeoff) is weight. I wanted the heavy barrel. I like the detachable magazine and the positioning of the the safety. The trigger and bolt action are fantastic. I was going in to purchase a Stainless Composite Stalker and shouldered the pistolgrip rifle and was hooked. I know Brownings are pricey, but I looked for and bought a keeper. Getting past this current issue with Tikka Stainless barrels, I am sure that they are fine rifles, and you would do well to own either one.


December 14, 2004, 11:44 PM
I came back to say:

Just get a Browning BAR in whatever caliber you like and put a fixed power NIKON or Leupold on it.
That'd be a damn nice rifle without ANY of the worries expressed here.
Even comes WITHOUT a BOLT HANDLE! :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Browning A-bolt or Tikka T3?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!