Browning A-Bolt vs. Tikka T3 Hunter


June 21, 2005, 05:32 PM
I'm searching for my first bolt gun in 30-06. After visiting store and spend almost one hour with these models still can't decide. Almost the same price, weight, safety ... what else?

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June 21, 2005, 05:51 PM
Tikka is superior, in my opinion. With Tikka you get a Sako match free-floated barrel and a great, easily-adjusted trigger.

June 21, 2005, 06:24 PM
I've got a Tikka T3, and I think it is a great rifle. The A-bolt is nice too, but personally I think that Tikka is one of the best shooting guns I've ever gotten to use. (actually the T3 belongs to my wife, but she lets me shoot it once in awhile) :)

June 21, 2005, 09:03 PM
Same price? Around where I live the A-Bolts are $200 more than the equivalent T3.

I like the 3 lug bolt and controlled round feed of the A-bolt.

The T3's bolt lift is short, only 70 compared to most 2 lugged bolt guns at 90.
The A-bolt is even shorter still at about 50. The T3's bolt throw is smoother though. The only smoother bolt throw is found in Sako actions ;)

If I had to choose I would pick the fact I have a T3 Lite in 308.
Its guaranteed to shoot 1MOA and mine easily does that. Rem Exp Core-Lokt will shoot groups from 1-1.5", Federal Ballistic Tips, Win Supreme Ballistic tips, and Hornady Light Magnum at 0.5-0.8", and will shoot Black Hills Match at 0.3-0.5" all at 100 yards.

I simply have never had a stock fit me as well as the T3's does. That is a personal issue of course.

You should try to shoot one of each. To me, the A-bolt feels like a more expensive gun, but I think that's simply because it's heavier. The T3 almost fits into the ultra light category of rifles and I'm surprised it's not marketed as being one.

For me the T3's selling points were:
-accuracy guarantee
-stock fit
-smoothass bolt
-great magazine that lets you feed single rounds into the ejection port
-much better fit and finish than a similarly priced guns. The bolt lugs came from the factory with almost 100% contact. You don't find ugly half-ass finish on the bolt handle, jeweling on the bolt to hide the machine marks, ugly welds, rounded over corners on the metal where the lines should be nice and crisp, etc.

June 21, 2005, 09:04 PM
I'd take a Tikka over any US-manufactured rifle. Excellent QC, great performance in the field.

June 21, 2005, 09:35 PM
I have no experience with the A-bolt, but it has an excellent rep. The T3 Lite I love. Very accurate, very slick. The only thing I don't like is the 2-position safety that must be in the fire position to work the very slick bolt.

June 21, 2005, 09:40 PM
I had the same question a couple years ago and settled on the Tikka T3 in .308. I couldn't be happier. It prefers Hornady 165gr. BTHP Match.

June 21, 2005, 09:48 PM
:: Same price? Around where I live the A-Bolts are $200 more than the equivalent T3.

prices for A-Bolt and Tikka in CAD

is there a big difference between 30-06 and .308 in recoil prospective?

June 21, 2005, 09:54 PM
I'm just the opposite, I have no experience with the Tikka but have a number of Browning bolt actions. Although I like the BBR (the A-Bolts predecessor) better than the A-Bolts, the A-Bolts are very nice rifles. I can vouch for their quality and out of the box accuracy. I have two that are BOSS equipped, pretty nice feature. The Tikka may or may not be a nicer rifle, I just haven't had the fortune to be able to shoot one.......yet. ;)

June 21, 2005, 09:57 PM
Skip the bolt altogether and go for a BAR/BOSS Stalker in .30-06... :)

edited: you'd have to search for a BOSS, I guess. Otherwise, the open sight model is still on the Browning website ---

June 21, 2005, 09:58 PM
I couldn't be happier with my T3 in .308 (stainless laminate). Great balance, free-floating barrel, and I get .4 MOA with my handloads. The bolt action is very smooth. I had a friend who's been hunting and shooting for the last 30 years try the T3. He's had every other brand at one time in his life, but never a Sako/Tikka. The grin on his face after working the bolt a few times was quite a sight :D

They did have a batch of bad stainless fluted barrels recently, gave me heartburn for a few days until I found out mine wasn't on the list. :cuss:

BTW, here's Pics & range report for Tikka t3 ( , for those so inclined.

June 21, 2005, 09:59 PM
I guess I'm the odd man out as far as loving tikka's. I got a tikka master deluxe in 25-06 at the time they were discontinuing their sale here in favor of the cheaper (quality qise not price wise) T3. It arrived with 3 or 4 separate cracks in the stock. After all kinds of hassle I finally got them to say send it in. Some time later I get ot back with a new stock--with 4 or 5 cracks in it! Had to go through all kinds of crap to send it back AGAIN. Finally about a year after purchasing it (already missed one hunting season) I got it back with a gorgeous piece of wood and finally no cracks. Unfortunately, when I finally got to shoot it it had the distinction of being the most inaccurate center fire firearm I have ever owned. U spent hundreds of dollars getting ahold of every type of factory ammo I could try, and the best I ever got was groups a little better than 3"--most were in the 4-5" range. Finally traded the lemon in on a browning citori and vowed never again on a beretta product.

All that having been said, I've owned 2 abolts, which were two of the more accurate centerfires I have ever owned. My 243 will literally shoot 1/2" groups at 150 yds with handloads. Pretty much any factory load will at least do 1 1/2" at 100 yds, with the more accurate ones going sub moa.

The tikka's do have a great trigger, and my brother has one he loves (his second--the first one he had to send back for--you guessed it--a big crack in the stock) and most people seem to get good ones. Guess I just got a lemon.

rust collector
June 21, 2005, 10:32 PM
I have no experience with the Browning A-bolt, but have always shied away from the very glossy finish Browning put on their guns. I do have a Citori which seems to mash clay birds better for me than the Beretta I struggled with before. I do really enjoy my Tikka T3 lite stainless in 308, but it won't win any beauty contests.

I don't think you can go wrong. Just a matter of trying them both out and selecting the one that works best with your frame and aesthetics. You may also want to try on a CZ 550 and a Howa while you're at it.

Essex County
June 22, 2005, 10:24 AM
I own both. Eaxh I feel is excellent. The browning is in 7-08 and the T-3 is a .22-250 and quite accurate. I bet you would be happy with either...Essex

June 22, 2005, 11:49 AM
I'd take a Tikka over any US-manufactured rifle. Excellent QC, great performance in the field.

the a-bolts are made in japan by miroku

judging by the numbers with cracked stocks and the exploding ones, tikka/sako qc can't be THAT great... :evil:

June 22, 2005, 02:10 PM
Browning A-bolt Controlled round feed? Nope!

June 22, 2005, 03:15 PM
honestly, you have a better than averahe chance of getting a decent rifle in either one.

The only real knock O have against the new T3 (besides a chealer gun being sold to us for MORE money than the old whitetail model they replaced with it) is the lack of a short action. Hell, even savage came out with a short action.

June 22, 2005, 11:20 PM
I have no complaints about my 308 having the same length action as a 30-06. We're only talking half an inch of difference and the gun already weighs only 6lbs 3oz. The bolt stop is different lengths for different length cartridges, so a 308 will still have a short action bolt throw.

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