Chuck Hawks rips Tikka a new one


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Pafrmu
July 19, 2006, 11:49 AM
A Critical Look at the Tikka T3
(And Other Economy Hunting Rifles)
By Chuck Hawks



Like many old geezers, I bemoan the loss, or lack, of standards in our modern world. And nowhere is this devaluation of quality more evident than in 21st Century hunting rifles. (Actually, the slide started in the 1960's and accelerated toward the end of the 20th Century).

We are, today, reaping the crop of sub-standard rifles previously sown. Most of the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of the writers and publishers of the specialty outdoors print magazines. In the quest for advertising dollars they have turned a blind eye to the constant cheapening of our hunting guns. Often they have merely parroted the promotional flack handed to them by the manufacturer's ad agencies.

Thus flimsy, injection molded plastic stocks are praised as "lightweight" or "weather resistant" rather than criticized as the inferior bedding platforms that they actually are. Free floating barrels, introduced simply to minimize the labor cost of precisely bedding a barreled action in a gun stock, are now praised as an asset by those who know nothing else. A perfect example of an economy shortcut becoming the new standard.

The deficiencies of receivers that are simply drilled from bar stock and that substitute heavy washers for integral recoil lugs are never examined in modern rifle reviews. Often the loading/ejection port--merely a slot cut into the tubular receiver--is so small that it is difficult or impossible to load a cartridge directly into the chamber, or manually remove a fired case. But the implication of this drawback at the range and in the field is never mentioned in most rifle reviews.

In many cases, "short actions" are merely long actions with the bolt stop moved to limit bolt travel. The modern gun writers who review these creations likewise never mention that this defeats the fundamental purpose of the short action calibers for which these rifles are chambered.

The receiver holds the bolt, which brings up a salient question: does anyone really believe than a cheap multi-piece, assembled bolt has any possible advantage over a one-piece forged steel bolt except economy of manufacture?

The use of plastic, nearly disposable, detachable magazines and trigger guards is overlooked by the popular print press, or actually praised for their lightweight construction. Talk about spin, these guys could teach the Washington politicians some tricks!

In fact, "lightweight" and "accuracy" are the buzzwords most frequently used to "spin" hunting rifle reviews in a paying advertiser's favor. (Cheap substitute materials are usually lighter--but not stronger--than forged steel, and most production rifles will occasionally shoot a "braggin' group" that can be exploited in a review.) Whenever reviewers start touting either, watch out! There may not be a lot to tout in the critical areas of design, material quality, manufacture, or fit and finish.

A rifle's lines and finish are largely cosmetic, but why should we be condemned to hunt with ugly rifles? Matte finishes on barreled actions are sold as a benefit ("low glare"), but in reality they are simply faster and thus less expensive for the manufacturer to produce than a highly polished finish. And the flat black color touted as a stealth advantage of plastic stocks over walnut is patently absurd. Why would a rational person believe that such stocks are any less visible to animals in the woods than a wooden stock?

Have you noticed how the checkered areas on wood stocked Tikka T3 rifles are divided into several small patches? That is done because it is easier (and therefore cheaper) to cut a small patch of checkering than a larger one. The shorter the individual checkering lines, the easier it is to keep them straight. Once again, manufacturing economy triumphs over aesthetics and function.

The Tikka T3 is certainly not the only modern hunting rifle to adopt some or most of these production shortcuts. I have not chosen it for the lead in this article just to pick on Tikka. I have chosen it as the poster child for cheap rifles because it is one of the few models to incorporate all of these cost and quality reducing shortcuts. If there is a production shortcut out there, the T3 has probably already incorporated it.

Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim.

Now, unlike many gun writers today, I try not to over emphasize the importance of accuracy in big game hunting rifles. Big game animals are large and hair-splitting accuracy is almost never required. A rifle that will shoot into 2" at 100 yards (2 MOA) is accurate enough for most purposes. A hunting rifle that will average 1.5 MOA groups is a good one, and most T3 rifles fall into that category.

But the Beretta/Sako/Tikka conglomerate heavily advertises their accuracy guarantee. They market their rifles on that basis. And, in my experience, most Tikka T3 rifles simply will not consistently meet their own accuracy guarantee. If a average T3 will shoot an occasional 1" group with any load it is doing well. (Want a real MOA hunting rifle? Read our review of the Weatherby Vanguard SUB-MOA on the Product Review Page.) Why do none of my fellow gun writers in the popular press call Beretta on its misleading advertising?

That is, of course, a rhetorical question. The answer is simple: Beretta Corp. is a big bucks advertiser in the popular print magazines. But what about the writers' and editors' obligation to their readers, who pay their hard earned dollars to read those reviews? Obviously, the word "integrity" has been deleted from the print mag publishers' spelling checkers.

To add insult to injury, the Tikka T3 is a cheap rifle, but not an inexpensive one. These things cost as much or more than some higher quality, better designed, and better turned-out hunting rifles.

None of this means that a person cannot hunt successfully with a Tikka T3 rifle, or that Tikka owners are a particularly dissatisfied lot. There are many T3 owners who have no complaints, and many who are pleased with the performance of their T3 rifles and satisfied with their purchase. In truth, they are safe, functional rifles and perfectly capable of killing game in the hands of an adequate shot. The same could be said about most other economy models, including the Stevens 200, Remington 710, and NEF rifles.

But I suspect that most satisfied T3 customers are not experienced rifle buyers. A person who has never owned a fine rifle is much more likely to be tolerant (or ignorant) of an economy rifle's shortcomings than an experienced shooter and hunter. The relative newcomer simply has inadequate personal experience upon which to formulate an informed opinion.

To make a crude analogy, all acoustic guitars may feel pretty much alike in the hands of a person who doesn't play, but not to a virtuoso. Similarly, I'll bet that most hunters who use economy rifles don't realize that their rifle's cheap plastic stock is too thick through the wrist and forearm. This is something that comes into play every time they pick up their rifle, yet they don't even know that it is deficient! They have never owned a rifle equipped with a well-designed stock, so they have no frame of reference and simply don't understand how much better a good rifle feels in the hands.

Still, I find it hard to understand how Tikka stays in business offering less rifle for more money. The T3's success is a tribute to the ignorance of the modern American sportsman--and the connivance of the sporting press upon which they rely for information.


Posted from http://www.chuckhawks.com/critical_look_T3.htm

What do you guys think about what he has to say? I was thinking about getting a Tikka/Sako but this article gives me second thoughts.

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Omaha-BeenGlockin
July 19, 2006, 11:56 AM
Sounds like he can't get a good group because of the shakes from all the crack he's been smoking.

Correia
July 19, 2006, 12:22 PM
Strange, I can get sub MOA out of my wife's .223 Tikka T3 using Black Hills ammo.

Plus I would still take it over a current production Remington 700, which is kind of the standard.

I agree with the economy aspects that he points out, but the market for beautiful, hand-crafted, EXPENSIVE bolt guns is a pretty small one. That is a fact of life. Sorry Chuck.

USSR
July 19, 2006, 12:32 PM
Still, I find it hard to understand how Tikka stays in business offering less rifle for more money.

Easy, they're trading off their brand name, just as Remington is doing with their 710 model. But, how do they get away with it?

A person who has never owned a fine rifle is much more likely to be tolerant (or ignorant) of an economy rifle's shortcomings than an experienced shooter and hunter.

Bingo! Because there are so many ignorant and cheap b@stards among the shooting fraternity.

Don

JohnRov
July 19, 2006, 12:38 PM
Whether you like the Tikka or not, his points about gun reviews are dead on, which I think we all knew already. That said, I thought about a Tikka, but it did feel cheap when I handled it.

mete
July 19, 2006, 12:39 PM
Just read this forum and count how many times you see the question "which gun is the cheapest ? "

jdinevens
July 19, 2006, 01:10 PM
i thought free-floating barrels were good because it allowed the barrel to resonate (like a guitar string) giving you better consistency and accuracy. :scrutiny: maybe hes proving his point but i've only ever heard they are a good thing.

"Free floating barrels, introduced simply to minimize the labor cost of precisely bedding a barreled action in a gun stock, are now praised as an asset by those who know nothing else. A perfect example of an economy shortcut becoming the new standard. "

jashobeam
July 19, 2006, 01:30 PM
I have read (probably here on THR) about the difficulty in creating an accurate double rifle, as the soldering between the two barrels must be repeatedly broken and reapplied while each barrel is sighted in (or something like that). Maybe if double rifles sported two free-floating barrels they would be affordable for the rest of us. :D

This is an interesting topic. Are there rifles without free-floating barrels that are as accurate as rifles with this "feature"?

The Grand Inquisitor
July 19, 2006, 01:50 PM
That article reads like a conversation (or rather...monologue) with a crotchety old man at an old-age home. As soon as he started off the article by stating that firearms have been in a steady decline since the 60's, he gave away his bias.

I have no experiance with Tikka firearms, furthermore I am interested primarily in military arms and not firearms for hunting, but the experiance that I do have with Tikka and Sako (who he does mention) has been very positive.

I don't know how far he would like to take his arguement, because the reports that I have seen of the Sako TRG in .338 Lapua have been very good (in fact, I believe it is use as a military/police DM rifle in Europe) to exceptional.


His point about gun magazines is true, but unfortunately, totally moot. Everyone who has more than a passing interest in firearms knows that most gun magazines are little more than elaborate advertisements and mostly worthless. It's always good to see an article saying the things that we know, but people have been making the same statements about the magazines here on THR for years.

Jim Watson
July 19, 2006, 02:01 PM
Couple of target shooters of my acquaintance really miss the previous Tikka rifles, which they liked for conversion to Long Range match rifles. They don't think the T3 will do as well.

atblis
July 19, 2006, 02:49 PM
I like the older Tikkas (mine easily makes it into the sub moa club). Something doesn't quite sit right with me about the T3, and I haven't even considered getting one (not to mention the 200 hundred dollar price increase).

220_Swift
July 19, 2006, 04:03 PM
Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim.


I guess my Tikka T3 Lite 22-250 doesn't know it isn't supposed to shoot 3/4" groups at 100 yards all day long. I bought this gun under the pretence that is was light and handy. I didn't want a heavy rig to lug around. And I didn't care if it was an absolute tack driver, just needed to be accurate enough to hit a yote out to 250 yards. This rifle does that with ease.

hessy
July 19, 2006, 04:14 PM
I have a .223 Tikka T3 light. It is not the prettiest, but it consistently puts 3 shots sub-MOA on a cold barrel with factory ammo, including dirt-cheap Wolf. This is contrary to Chuck's assertions. When I read his article, my respect for him diminished greatly.
Tikka T3 is inexpensive, light, and very accrurate and reliable rifle. I would put it above Remington 700 XPS, if you ask me. But, I am not a big hunting guru.

hoghunting
July 19, 2006, 04:23 PM
I keep forgeting that Hawks praises many of the other manufacturers' rifles and then will go on to say that free floating the barrel, bedding the action, and doing a trigger job will really make those rifles into shooters.

Strange, my T3 in 300 WSM will shoot 3/8" groups consistantly without doing anything to it. Pull it out of the box, clean it, and shoot it. But, then again, I am not the "expert" like Hawks.

igorts
July 19, 2006, 04:30 PM
I own Tikka T3 in 30.06.
it shoots sub-MOA on cold, it still shoots 1 MOA when hot...
but all i need is 1 shot to hit my game where i aim, and it does it all the time.
:)
I plan to buy another one, in 223 soon with heavy barrel.
Don't care what some "crotchety old man at an old-age home" said.

BrainOnSigs
July 19, 2006, 04:36 PM
I paid $550 NIB for this Tikka T3 Varmint with the heavy stainless barrel. Great barrel, adjustable trigger, smooth bolt action and best of all...it shoots like a laser beam. I once shot a .154" group using factory Black Hill 50 gr V-Max .223 ammo thru it. Here is what is did straight out of the box during barrel break-in. One of the best damn rifles that I have ever purchased.

Chuck is way off base on this one. I have seen 2 other Tikka T3s that shoot every bit a well as mine.

http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL875/3165911/8282895/98374736.jpg
http://pic18.picturetrail.com/VOL875/3165911/8282895/135257739.jpg

Karbon
July 19, 2006, 04:36 PM
I'm no marksman, but I love my Tikka. No other factory rifle for the price can touch it in performance, quality of parts and slickness of the action. 42442

42443

This was my first day out, with only one kind of ammo, on a 5-10 mph wind day, 90 degrees, at 100yards. (270wsm, SS lam Tikka T3)

The only other rifle brand I would have even considered was the Sako line.

If I can't afford a Sako next, no other rifle but a Tikka will be considered...

ArmedBear
July 19, 2006, 04:51 PM
Chuck Hawks is some good reading. Just don't think he's the last word on everything, any more than anyone else.

Hell, what would we be shooting if we just took (pick any gun writer)'s word as gospel? Would it really be the best thing for each of us?

Zundfolge
July 19, 2006, 04:54 PM
So how much would a rifle built "good enough" for Chuck cost?

And what about cheap guns prior to the 1960s? Are they better made and more accurate than the cheap rifles of today? Could they be built as cheaply today?


I'm not a high paid gun writer and I can't afford some fancy schmancy new custom rifle so would he rather that people like me not hunt at all?

cyanide
July 19, 2006, 04:59 PM
I agree with him 100 percent

carterbeauford
July 19, 2006, 05:03 PM
Like many old geezers

Thanks for the warning...

I bet he'd really love my $240 Mossberg 100ATR :neener:

Bobhwry
July 19, 2006, 05:13 PM
Chuck Hawks is my hero for having the guts to say what has needed to be said for a long time!! I don,t think he was knocking Tikka but rather using them of an example of the sub-standard firearms being offered on the market today.The marketing guys are smart. Make it cheaper and then tout the advantages so people think their getting a deal.It's called making a silk purse from a sows ear!! Pouring plastic into a mold is alot cheaper than crafting a wood stock. Then they call it free floated instead of poor fit and finish.
I don't have a plastic anything in my gun safe and never will!!Chuck Hawks is right on target on this. Don't be manipulated by the marketing or the lackey gun writers of gun manufacturers.

270Win
July 19, 2006, 05:39 PM
You guys should your testimonies to Mr Hawks.... he would be interested to hear them, I'm sure!

cyanide
July 19, 2006, 05:41 PM
You guys should your testimonies to Mr Hawks.... he would be interested to hear them, I'm sure!

Got an e mail addy ?

goalie
July 19, 2006, 05:42 PM
Thanks for the warning...

I bet he'd really love my $240 Mossberg 100ATR

Well, I've shot spendy rifles, "cheap" rifles, and accurate rifles. The accurate one's didn't come from one or the other of the first groups exclusively.

FWIW, I have a hard time understanding why my Mossy ATR-100 that cost 240 bucks and shoots 1.5 inch 100 yard groups with factory ammo is a bad buy for a beater hunting rifle?!?!?! Double so if the buyer is going to sight in a few times a year and just use it for hunting deer.

I hope someone remembered to tell my deer last year that it was shot by a CHEAP rifle. ;)

Gewehr98
July 19, 2006, 05:48 PM
Free floating barrels, introduced simply to minimize the labor cost of precisely bedding a barreled action in a gun stock, are now praised as an asset by those who know nothing else. A perfect example of an economy shortcut becoming the new standard.

Sorry, Chuck, you lose. Free-floating barrels and bedded actions have been around for a long time, well before the advent of the synthetic stock. It's considerably easier to reduce group sizes by free-floating a barrel and bedding the receiver than it is to find and implement a consistent pressure point on a barrel's node.

My own father taught me that trick in the mid 1970s, and he'd known about it since Gawd knows when.

Now, I certainly think the flimsy synthetic stocks as found on Savage rifles need a bit of help, as delivered they twist like Chubby Checker, especially in the forend area.

As for Tikka, I am still willing to pay top dollar to get my hands on one of the older Tikka 595 Master Sporter rifles, especially in 6.5x55, as every one I've tried has been a sub-MOA gun straight out of the box, even though the barrels are free-floated.

The only reason I don't already have a Tikka 595 Master Sporter is I spent the money on a Remington 700PSS. You know, with the cheapo matte finish, lame-ass HS Precision synthetic stock w/wussy aluminum bedding block, and horrible free-floated barrel - just a disaster waiting to happen in Chuck's esteemed opinion. Funny thing is, the 700PSS shoots 1/2 MOA or better with boring regularity, even crotchety old flatulants like Chuck would have to notice that. As for the washer-style recoil lug, how many of those have been sold and shot over the decades with nary a problem?

Manufacturing techniques for firearms has changed, few shooters are willing to pay the labor to chuck up a billet of forged ordnance steel and machine away every thing that doesn't look like a flat-bottom Mauser 98 action or pre '64 Winchester action. That's life. Surprisingly, the tubular Remington 700/70and cast Ruger 77 actions have done very well for themselves over the years, and will continue to do so.

You want to grouse about something, Chuck, let fly about Accutriggers, crossbolt levergun safeties, tang-mounted levergun safeties, levergun safeties in general, horrendously long barrel throats in Remington rifles, and the necessity (actually, lack thereof) for the newer ShortFat magnums, which don't do anything their predecessors didn't.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
July 19, 2006, 05:49 PM
Point by point:


"Like many old geezers"

He says it himself in the first line.

"In the quest for advertising dollars they have turned a blind eye to the constant cheapening of our hunting guns. Often they have merely parroted the promotional flack handed to them by the manufacturer's ad agencies."

We all know the gun rags are bunch of suck-ups----that's why we are all here on the forums.

"Thus flimsy, injection molded plastic stocks are praised as "lightweight" or "weather resistant" rather than criticized as the inferior bedding platforms that they actually are. Free floating barrels, introduced simply to minimize the labor cost of precisely bedding a barreled action in a gun stock, are now praised as an asset by those who know nothing else. A perfect example of an economy shortcut becoming the new standard."

This is such a load of bovine scat that does it really need to be addressed? Sure some outfits offer flimsy syn stocks--Tikka isn't one of them. Free floating is a time honored way of improving accuracy---not to cut production costs.

"The deficiencies of receivers that are simply drilled from bar stock and that substitute heavy washers for integral recoil lugs are never examined in modern rifle reviews. Often the loading/ejection port--merely a slot cut into the tubular receiver--is so small that it is difficult or impossible to load a cartridge directly into the chamber, or manually remove a fired case. But the implication of this drawback at the range and in the field is never mentioned in most rifle reviews."

Didn't know anybody had any problems loading and unloading Tikka's----washers or lugs-- who cares---as long as it works(and it does--very well)---if they save me a few bucks on the cost of rifle---great.

"In many cases, "short actions" are merely long actions with the bolt stop moved to limit bolt travel. The modern gun writers who review these creations likewise never mention that this defeats the fundamental purpose of the short action calibers for which these rifles are chambered."

Tikka is guilty of this and they really can't be defended on this one----they need to offer a short action receiver.

"The receiver holds the bolt, which brings up a salient question: does anyone really believe than a cheap multi-piece, assembled bolt has any possible advantage over a one-piece forged steel bolt except economy of manufacture?"

This one is really pushing it---it would be a point if Remingtons and Winchesters could outshoot Brownings---Savages and Tikkas with their multi piece bolts----problem is multi bolts will out shoot the solid bolts all day long any day of the week.

"The use of plastic, nearly disposable, detachable magazines and trigger guards is overlooked by the popular print press, or actually praised for their lightweight construction. Talk about spin, these guys could teach the Washington politicians some tricks!"

Plastic--if done right---is actually superior to metal-----the jury is still out on the long term durability of the Tikka mags.

"In fact, "lightweight" and "accuracy" are the buzzwords most frequently used to "spin" hunting rifle reviews in a paying advertiser's favor. (Cheap substitute materials are usually lighter--but not stronger--than forged steel, and most production rifles will occasionally shoot a "braggin' group" that can be exploited in a review.) Whenever reviewers start touting either, watch out! There may not be a lot to tout in the critical areas of design, material quality, manufacture, or fit and finish"

Not even sure what his point is here---EVERY Tikka I've ever seen will shoot MOA or better out of the box without even trying---Remingtons and Winchesters are at best a crap shoot and the 10+plus I've owned of either of them---NONE were MOA shooters out of the box.

"A rifle's lines and finish are largely cosmetic, but why should we be condemned to hunt with ugly rifles? Matte finishes on barreled actions are sold as a benefit ("low glare"), but in reality they are simply faster and thus less expensive for the manufacturer to produce than a highly polished finish. And the flat black color touted as a stealth advantage of plastic stocks over walnut is patently absurd. Why would a rational person believe that such stocks are any less visible to animals in the woods than a wooden stock?"

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder-- and to me--shiney Weatherby/Rem BDL looks are an abomimation:barf:

"Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim."

This one is beyond the pale---hasn't even read about??? You can sit there on the internet all day long of guys telling you how well their T3 shoots. Come on now Chucky---you must have missed your meds the last few days at the rest home to come up with this one. What a load of BS!!!!!!!

"Now, unlike many gun writers today, I try not to over emphasize the importance of accuracy in big game hunting rifles. Big game animals are large and hair-splitting accuracy is almost never required. A rifle that will shoot into 2" at 100 yards (2 MOA) is accurate enough for most purposes. A hunting rifle that will average 1.5 MOA groups is a good one, and most T3 rifles fall into that category."

Well which is it?? In the very paragraph above you tell us accuracy is important---now you're telling us its not?? And again---EVERY T3 I've ever seen will shoot MOA or better.

Ran out of time---back with more later.

ArmedBear
July 19, 2006, 05:57 PM
I don't have a plastic anything in my gun safe

I do, and I prefer wood, usually.

Xytel is neat stuff, used appropriately. My 10/22 is plastic and blue; I can't see paying more than $180 for a non-customized 10/22, and Rugers base wood is nothing but a club with urethane sprayed on it. The plastic is nicer, more durable, with checkering and much better shape to the wrist! It's my plinker for our local rock-and-sand areas. Different strokes for different guns.

Some fiberglass stocks can be great. They're often more expensive than wood. Mcmillan stocks are not junk, whether you like them or not.

I will, along with the old geezer, vouch for the value of the Weatherby Vanguard. Mine is stocked in cut-checkered walnut and rosewood, though, as it ought to be.:)

cyanide
July 19, 2006, 06:10 PM
I hope someone remembered to tell my deer last year that it was shot by a CHEAP rifle.

It ain't about cheap or bucks spent for a firearm .

it is about what you spend and what you get

Savage is a fine rifle , better than most sold and it costs less.

and it beats a Rem model 710 -----not because the 710 ain't cheap, it is just a crap rifle not cheap , just cheaply made.

Bobhwry
July 19, 2006, 06:46 PM
If you read the article he didn't say it would not be appropriate for hunting. He was lamenting the trend towards cheaper is better and the downward trend in quality?

cyanide
July 19, 2006, 06:52 PM
exactly

Pafrmu
July 19, 2006, 07:03 PM
I think my biggest problem with Chuck's article is that he claims that Tikka's aren't worth the price.

Bobhwry
July 19, 2006, 09:37 PM
They may be worth the price for hunting purposes but the point he was making is to not mistake them as a finely crafted rifle? they are not!!What's really sad is seeing what once were a great manufacturer of rifles degrade their quality to appeal to the masses.Guess it's a sign of the times.Fewer of us around willing to pay for quality and more willing to accept less. I will not compromise on quality!!!

beerslurpy
July 19, 2006, 09:44 PM
Maybe things changed greatly since the previous generation of tikkas, but I was able to shoot tiny groups with cheap factory remington ammo.

swingset
July 19, 2006, 10:08 PM
Blowhard. That'sums up my feelings about gun snob writers who pine for the days of early weatherby rifles and fine sporting arms that cost $10,000 and shoot like one of today's $500 Savage bolt guns.

Terrierman
July 19, 2006, 10:33 PM
Say what you will about T3 but they really are butt ugly aren't they?

hessy
July 19, 2006, 10:57 PM
'Say what you will about T3 but they really are butt ugly aren't they'

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I actually like how my Tikka looks.:) I had mine for $435 OTD and will not hesitate to shoot it or put in a track. My buddy has a Kimber SuperAmerica and it happily sits in his safe as he is afraid to scratch the looks. It has a much creepier trigger than my Tikka at 3X the price.:neener:

iamkris
July 19, 2006, 10:57 PM
I like Chuck's articles and reviews (not enough to pay for them in the new structure) but I can't agree with him on the Tikka. Is it a finely crafted pre-64 Win 70? No but I only paid $400 for my tikka T3 Hunter (that's the wood stock version). It has a silky smooth action, awesome trigger and, even in .300 WSM caliber, is a sub MOA rifle.

Not sure what his standards are but that meets mine. I don't consider myself a "novice rifle buyer" (I have over 29 rifles many of which are finely crafted examples over 75 years old) either.

Dionysusigma
July 19, 2006, 11:11 PM
They do just fine for the majority of gun owners who can't buy a Holland and Holland double, an Accuracy International, or an original Sharps every season.

Individual standards are fine, but the instant anyone tries to impress theirs upon me (whether they want me to adopt theirs or conform to theirs) they lose my respect. I'd much rather take out a Savage Stevens .308 and a Sightron SII (for a total of ~$500.00 including mounts, rings, and an adequate box of ammo) and hold onto it than pay $600 for a gun that someone's going to preemptively whine about.

I've never paid over $400 for a gun, and what little I own is far more accurate, more powerful, and better built than a lot of stuff you see touted as the "best."

browningguy
July 19, 2006, 11:31 PM
It's hard to imagine comparing an HS Precision stock to the cheap piece of crap on the majority of factory rifles. HE WASN'T TALKING ABOUT THE GOOD STUFF!!!

The last couple of weeks I've been out shopping with a friend who is just getting into shooting and wants to hunt this year. The Tikka, Ruger, Winchester, Savages, low end Remmys all had stocks that were made like resealable baggies. You can push them around all over the place. I can't imagine how someone that thinks this is a good thing, those aren't inexpensive, just plain cheap. If you sling up, or try to use an improvised rest there is no telling what the stock is going to do. And even though I'm in Texas, few of my shots are shooting off sandbags on a nice bench.

For me, the cheapest usable plastic stock is probably the Bell and Carlsen, around $200 and it's solid, I have one on my 7x57. If you want something less expensive that works well you can go to the Boyd Brothers laminate, I've got one on my 458 Win and for $89 you absolutely can't beat it. Yep, you'll need to bed your action to it because the inletting isn't very good, and you may have to look at a couple to find one with the barrel channel inletted perfectly straight, but that's relatively simple.

I'll wind up recommending the Savage, it's one of the most "consistently" accurate out of the box rifles, under $400, and has the accutrigger. I'd want to replace the stock on the more expensive guns anyway, beacause they are just as cheap. The Savage works as well as the other cheap guns, the only difference is they sell it for what it's worth.

By the way I don't even own a Savage personally, mostly because I'm a gun snob. :)

ArmedBear
July 20, 2006, 01:05 AM
One thing to remember...

Many common working guns of grandpa's day weren't exactly Dakotas, either, or even Model 70s. Wood stocks can be pretty crappy, too, and a lot of old ones are.

We remember the classics that many people couldn't afford. But the guns that many people used for meat hunting were often crude, too. Most of them have gone to rust in someone's attic or basement by now, with the other junk.

Most "regular guys" weren't shooting birds for dinner with Parkers, either.

I think the T3 is fugly, but others disagree. But when you consider percentage of median income, it probably offers a lot more than grandpa could get for his labor, way back when, even if it did have a wood stock.

goalie
July 20, 2006, 07:52 AM
He would have a point IF the rise of low-cost, accurate rifles such as the Tika, Savage, Mossy etc somehow stopped other manufacturers from making high-end rifles.

Last time I checked, Chucky can still drop a ton-o-cash on a high-end custom rifle if he wants. I guess he's just mad that someone more frugal can get a 3/4 MOA savage for a tenth the price of his 1/2 MOA custom.

:neener:

lawson
July 20, 2006, 08:16 AM
someone should tell grandpa he shouldn't have put meat on the table with an Eddystone 1917, and a SxS 12 gauge with no markings other than "Made In Brazil".

i agree with some of the points about quality control, but if an affordable gun can shoot accurately, us working stiffs view that as a "good thing".

LAK
July 20, 2006, 08:52 AM
And nowhere is this devaluation of quality more evident than in 21st Century hunting rifles. (Actually, the slide started in the 1960's and accelerated toward the end of the 20th Century).
As a general statement - agreed.

While some or many recent production Tikka rifles shoot superbly, they are not half the gun they were some years back. Regardless of utility when new, plastic parts - mags, trigger guards etc - are not going to go the long haul IMO.

There are very few lower or even mid-priced modern production rifles that would tempt me to part with money; offhand, CZ and Weatherby being the only two.

--------------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Karbon
July 20, 2006, 09:26 AM
Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one.

So, to each there own I guess.

I dare him to take a factory Rem 700, the equal Winchesters, the Rugers and the Savages and shoot them against the Tikka T3. Out of the box the Tikka will blow them away in accuracy and he will then see how sloppy and cheap the big 3 mfgs production rifles are. He'll then appreciate the slickness and performance he can get for $500. Hell, spend a few $'s more and get the wood stock and stop crying about cheap syn stocks. That's what I did. People who buy them are aiming for light weight, not looks.

I hope he convinces gullable people, that way I can pick up more Tikkas and not have to wait again.

Ugly Gun
42471

carterbeauford
July 20, 2006, 10:16 AM
FWIW, I have a hard time understanding why my Mossy ATR-100 that cost 240 bucks and shoots 1.5 inch 100 yard groups with factory ammo is a bad buy for a beater hunting rifle?!?!?! Double so if the buyer is going to sight in a few times a year and just use it for hunting deer.


My only complaint about Mossberg is that they don't make more rifles in more calibers. It is fairly accurate, lightweight and reliable. Sure it's not a precision-crafted target rifle, but it goes boom when I pull the trigger and hits what I point it at, good enough for me for the price.

Mr. Hawks needs to understand this is the general trend with most consumer goods today, not just guns. He'd probably write a similar rant on buying a new chainsaw and finding it to be mostly plastic instead of all steel like in the good old days. Welcome to 2006.

Karbon
July 20, 2006, 10:53 AM
Well said in the above post.
Same could be said about nearly all consumer goods today.

Look at how much plastic is in your cars and trucks, especially the dash.
Is it cheap? Yes
Would wood or metal look better? Yes
Is it still functional? Yes
Will the auto makers do anything else? No

Go buy a Bently if you want the fancy wood, titanium and who knows what ever else for $250K.

Same goes for the rifle industry. My income dosen't allow me to drive a Bently, or even an Escalade for that matter... nor can I spend $3000 on a top end custom job or even a Sako..but I'm damn satisfied with my Tikka, as would most if they gave them a chance.

ArmedBear
July 20, 2006, 12:11 PM
My only complaint about Mossberg is that they don't make more rifles in more calibers.

I think that Mossberg is doing the right thing. By building only .270 and .30-06, they're cutting costs without cutting versatility. These are the least expensive and most versatile hunting rounds in America. Magnum rounds require a more expensive rifle, and 7mm-08 and .308 are redundant unless they make a significantly shorter, lighter rifle. The proliferation of calibers is fun for the connoisseur (a custom rifle is even more "special" if it's in a caliber nobody has ever heard of, that shoots 1/2" flatter than a .270 at 300 yards, and is only available in proprietary brass loaded by Swedish elves). But most of the countless available calibers from .257 to 8mm don't put any more meat on the table than a .30-06, particularly since Mossberg's target market isn't going on $20,000 guided hunts in Mongolia any time soon.

roo_ster
July 20, 2006, 12:22 PM
I really don't think y'all refuted any of Chuck's points. He readily admitted that folks will be happy with their purchases. Most will convince themselves that a marginal purchase is "pretty good" and a pretty good purchase is the "bees knees."

Also, he said that they would get the job done as bargain hunting rifles.

CH is spot-on WRT how rifles are made today. Go out and spend less than $200 for a Schmidt-Rubin K31 or $300 a Swedish mauser. Compare to your average $500+ Remchester. The difference is jaw-dropping. I compare them to the commercial rifles I have and I wonder what I was thinking when I thought the Remmy 700ADL was a quality arm. Quality? Nope. Adequate? Yes.

That's probably why I haven't bought a new sporting rifle in over a decade. I am too cheap to pay for the top-end and too discriminating for a Remchester.

CZ will likely get my dollars soon, however. They are very reasonably priced and provide value for those dollars, unlike most commercial rifles.

Nortonics
July 20, 2006, 12:55 PM
I generally agree with Chuck on this one. I looked at Tikka during a serious purchase decision back a few months ago - I left it on the shelf at the Sportsman's Warehouse because of his exact ideas - although it may shoot accurately, it felt and looked too damn cheap for my money to get thrown at it - much the same way I'd probably never buy a Taurus handgun - might be accurate, but has a cheap look and feel, and won't see squat for resale value...

Art Eatman
July 20, 2006, 01:16 PM
What I see in the changes in plain-vanilla rifles over the last 60 years is that the new stuff shoots much tighter groups, but generally doesn't have the exterior finish of yesteryear's.

Better machining; less hand finishing. For a hunting rifle, a $2,500 custom job won't really do you any better in the field than something in the $400 range.

For instance, I saw an ad in Shotgun News for Bo Clerke match-target barrels for a 10/22 at $80. Mr. Clerke told me his bores are held to a tolerance of one ten-thousandth of an inch. That's a whole bunch better than what Winchester was doing with pre-'64 Model 70s.

But I don't like plastic. :D

Art

mrmeval
July 20, 2006, 02:45 PM
He's a gun reviewer bashing gun reviewers. I agree with his assessment of himself. "Theya nevah mayke theyum lak theya usesta."

I'm glad I don't pay to read reviews.

Pafrmu
July 20, 2006, 02:52 PM
Doesn't the Tikka outshoot most of the guns CH recommends?

Karbon
July 20, 2006, 02:59 PM
Yup.

Cosmoline
July 20, 2006, 04:00 PM
Most Remchesters do nothing for me. They're cheaply made and full of cut corners to save a few bucks. But there are still some good hunting rifles if you get past the hype. Ruger's ugly, underrated M-77 Mark II's have earned a good reputation for toughness here. The CZ-550's also tend to be a cut above.

I don't agree with Chuck completely, but he's dead on about not trusting gun rag hacks. When was the last time one of those clowns stood up and said "THIS SAFETY IS STUPID!" or "DO NOT BUY THIS RIFLE!" They know who butters their bread.

I don't know about the T-3 from personal experience, but I can tell you I've seen a bunch of them for sale on the local bulletin boards. That's rarely a good sign.

ArmedBear
July 20, 2006, 04:19 PM
"THIS SAFETY IS STUPID!" or "DO NOT BUY THIS RIFLE!"

Gun Tests says that sort of thing ALL THE TIME!

Y'all need to cancel your subscriptions to everything else (well, except AR or whatever else you get free with an NRA membership) and get Gun Tests. $24/year and worth every penny. They even do complete tests of milsurps that come down the pike.

ArmedBear
July 20, 2006, 04:29 PM
Ruger's ugly, underrated M-77 Mark II's have earned a good reputation for toughness here.

Yeah. Call Rugers ugly if you want (or just say that Ruger has an odd aesthetic, which is true whether or not you like the look), but calling them sloppily-made or flimsy is WAY off the mark.

Winchester, BTW, no longer makes rifles, or anything else. "Winchester" is just a name stamped on imports, their classic American reissues are Made in Japan, and their new rifle is an uglier Browning with a big W on the side!

SXR
http://www.winchesterguns.com/prodinfo/catalog/images/531008m.jpg

BAR
http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/images/031219m.jpg

But when Winchester DID make rifles, their recent Model 70 Classic Featherweight was a well-put-together gun, with no signs of "sloppiness" or shoddy construction, at least on the examples I got my hands on.

One can have lots of complaints, but again, Hawks is comparing nicer production "working guns" to old handmade customs. Compare old "working guns" to new ones, head to head, especially accounting for price in constant dollars, and the results might be more interesting.

Correia
July 20, 2006, 04:34 PM
Since I write for gun magazines, I'm going to have to say that only about half of the writers are hacks. :) But then again, I don't do much with pretty guns.

mrmeval
July 21, 2006, 01:40 AM
The only Ruger I ever owned, a 10/22 came filled with sand. I'd call that sloppy in that case. Probably a Friday build.

270Win
July 21, 2006, 03:20 PM
Filled ... with sand??!

Do tell! There sure sounds like a good story there.

rbernie
July 21, 2006, 04:12 PM
I shot my first deer a handful of years ago with a 1895 Chilean Mauser. Almost one hundred and ten years after its date of manufacture, it still shoots close to MOA and is capable of being used as a fine hunting rifle. It shows the dings and dents of hard use, but its metal construction and fine build quality allows it to continue working today and into the foreseeable future.

I suspect that Chuck's point is that a Tikka made today isn't likely to be able to make that claim in fifty years from now, much less a hundred. Heck, I watched a guy drop a rifle in the field not six months ago and shatter his rifle's plastic trigger guard to smithereens. It was only by the grace of the overlords of all that is good that his rifle's plastic-n-potmetal trigger didn't get FUBAR'ed along with the trigger guard.

I'm sure that the manufacturer of that rifle touts the four ounces of weight savings in that plastic trigger guard as an advantage. But I suspect that the real savings was likely pure economics for the manufacturer. In this case, that cost/weight savings almost caused the end of an expensive out-of-state hunt for the rifle's owner.

Everyone gets to make the call as to what they're willing to abide in the tradeoff between cost and quality. It's just a shame to NOT understand what you're missing until it bites you in the butt.

mrmeval
July 21, 2006, 05:04 PM
270win,

I caught it before it was a problem. I don't know what the stuff was, sand blasting media, something they cleaned with or skeet surfing (http://www.dvdmoviecentral.com/ReviewsText/top_secret.htm) dood used it then brought it back and I got it 'new'. As far as I could tell it was new, not a mark on it. It was my first 22 rifle. I learned a lot about it by having to disassemble it farther than the included manual called for then cleaning it and lubricating it then figuring out how to put it together again. I did't bother Ruger about it. It loved Australian made Winchester subsonics. I eventually gave it to my Mom because she said she wanted it. I didn't buy Ruger again because of the AWB deal and probably never will. Without that I'd probably own a number of Ruger products but I'd check them for sand and sex wax first.

benor
July 21, 2006, 09:57 PM
I placed my order for a Savage 10FLP in 223 this week. I really wanted the 12VLP, but couldn't get left-handed locally and choose to not buy guns through the net. This gun will be my 200 and 300 yard plinker and practice rifle. I'm mounting a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x50 for optics.

Before settling on Savage I looked at Tikka, Ruger, Remington, Browning, CZ, Winchester, Weatherby, and I'm probably missing one or two others. The Savage stands out for price and out of the box accuracy. The heavy varmint barrels are superb.

I own a SAKO 7mm mag for hunting. I also have a Rem 700 in 30-06 as a backup. Both are left handed actions. The SAKO is sweet, but it's an expensive SAKO, not a TIKKA. The Remington also is a straight shooter, but isn't quite as straight as my SAKO.

The TIKKA along with so many of the others, including the Savage I ordered, have black plastic stocks that are functional but not pretty. The TIKKA felt cheap in my hands - too much plastic. I opted for price, accuracy, and a trigger that feels pretty good out of the box.

I tend to agree with the original posting. Sako cuts too many corners with its TIKKA. Stock synthetics on most all brands are too lite and flimsy. Many barrel finishes look cheap and kiddish. Some triggers (especially CZ) are just plain nasty.

To each his or her own. Buy what works for you. Sell what doesn't.

benor
July 21, 2006, 09:59 PM
I placed my order for a Savage 10FLP in 223 this week. I really wanted the 12VLP, but couldn't get left-handed locally and choose to not buy guns through the net. This gun will be my 200 and 300 yard plinker and practice rifle. I'm mounting a Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x50 for optics.

Before settling on Savage I looked at Tikka, Ruger, Remington, Browning, CZ, Winchester, Weatherby, and I'm probably missing one or two others. The Savage stands out for price and out of the box accuracy. The heavy varmint barrels are superb.

I own a SAKO 7mm mag for hunting. I also have a Rem 700 in 30-06 as a backup. Both are left handed actions. The SAKO is sweet, but it's an expensive SAKO, not a TIKKA. The Remington also is a straight shooter, but isn't quite as straight as my SAKO.

The TIKKA along with so many of the others, including the Savage I ordered, have black plastic stocks that are functional but not pretty. The TIKKA felt cheap in my hands - too much plastic. I opted for price, accuracy, and a trigger that feels pretty good out of the box.

I agree with Chuck. SAKO cuts too many corners with its TIKKA. Stock synthetics on most all brands are too lite and flimsy. Many barrel finishes look cheap and kiddish. Some triggers (especially CZ) are just plain nasty.

To each his or her own. Buy what works for you. Sell what doesn't.

Hokkmike
July 22, 2006, 09:20 PM
I don't like the way he lumps SAKO in with all of this. My experience with TIKKA is limited, but I have shot SAKO's for almost 3 decades. Compared to just about every other rifle I have encountered in the field comparisons make them an obvious preferred choice. At least he knows what the BEST White Tail caliber is !!!

Skoghund
July 23, 2006, 12:32 PM
I wonder in 50 years time if the hunters of the day will say they don't make rifles like the Tikka T3 any more.
Don't like plastic etc on rifles or shotguns. All my rifles are plastic free. But with Tikka and Sako you get a very accurate rifle with a good trigger out of the box " have shot quite a few".
In the 1970s went for a look round the Holland & Holland factory. The person showing us round said that their bolt action rifles were not as accurate as many commercial rifles produced at the time. You payed for workmanship and quality and got a rifle that would shoot a 3" group with a H&H.

atblis
July 24, 2006, 09:46 AM
awesome trigger, shoots better than any $350 dollar gun has the right to.

However, they are not worth 450-600 bucks. That is what they are selling for around me.

$350 it's an awesome gun
$500 it's a cheap piece of plastic crap (that still shoots great though).

They could be a much nicer gun.

ArmedBear
July 24, 2006, 12:59 PM
that cost/weight savings almost caused the end of an expensive out-of-state hunt for the rifle's owner

See, there's the real issue.

There's nothing wrong with grabbing a cheap but functional and accurate rifle to drive down the road and go after some local game. What's the worst thing that can happen? You break the gun and borrow one from the neighbor?

If you go on an expensive out-of-state hunt, get an expensive out-of-state rifle to do it with.

What Chuck Hawks, old geezer that he may claim to be, seems to have forgotten is how many rifles or shotguns that granddad or even dad bought from Monkey Wards or Sears, often with store brand labels. Some of those were tolerable, some were piles of crap. Precious few of those guns ever show up in store or gun show racks, because they fell apart, rusted under the seat of a farm truck, etc. They may not have had much plastic, but they had cheap, break-prone zinc castings, and stocks that would change POI when it got warm or cold out. They weren't bedded, they weren't Mausers, they weren't MOA rifles, and their parts weren't all machined steel.

The reason you can still find a Chilean Mauser at a gun show is that the rifle is still in one piece. It's natural selection. The old guns seem better in part because only the really well-made ones survived.

Furthermore, in 1895, the infantryman's rifle was the primary weapon in a nation's arsenal, at least when you're talking about war on land. There was undoubtedly a willingness to spend a good amount of money on each one, just as we now spend plenty of cash on tanks, jets, rockets, artillery, etc. I'm absolutely certain that an arsenal of Mausers constituted a MUCH larger portion of a nation's defense budget than all the AR rifles the US has ever bought, put together.

Again, the fact that a cheap rifle these days can shoot sub-MOA is a good thing, not a bad one! Just don't think that said cheap rifle is really equivalent to a top-end piece, and take it on a $10,000 hunting trip.

hessy
July 24, 2006, 01:05 PM
I don't get why Tikka T3 is a good gun for $350 and cheap crap for $500. We have Savage rifles with much crappier stocks selling here for $400. In .223Rem, Tikka has an accurate barrel with 1:8 twist-try it with other brands.
Do you guys shoot Glocks? I view my Tikka like a very accurate Glock with excellent trigger. You put a trigger and accuracy job into a Glock and you can easily double the price...
Granted, I prefer 1911 to Glocks, but in the rifle world, Tikka is good:)

atblis
July 24, 2006, 02:04 PM
I don't own any Savages. For $400 dollars I'd buy a Tikka over a Savage any day.

My point is that price matters. Tikka/Beretta raised their prices, but not their quality.

spooney
July 24, 2006, 03:36 PM
I don't think it is a bad thing for rifles to be made out of cheaper materials, if our sport is only accessable to those who have large amounts of disposable income then there will be an ever smaller population of shooters in this country. We need inexpensive rifles, I know that it is not the case for many people on this forum but in the real world $600 is a large amount of money for a great many people.

rbernie
July 24, 2006, 04:02 PM
The sporterized 1895 Mauser in 7x57 that I used in my earlier example cost me a whopping $179 when I bought it five years ago. Cost is NOT a hard-n-fast determining factor in terms of quality received unless you make it so.

ArmedBear
July 24, 2006, 04:22 PM
Clearly, I would agree with your premise, rbernie: it can be a better and cheaper decision to buy a good used gun than a lousy new one. Hell, my Mauser cost me $100. It's military surplus, but could be sporterized for a reasonable price, and it's got nice iron sights, which most new guns don't.

However, what would it cost to get a brand-new Mauser sporter?

Two companies sell production guns with 98 actions in the US: Remington (Zastava) and Mauser. Real German Mausers are a tad on the expensive side, new. Nice guns, though.

Ruger makes a similar action that's not a Mauser action.

The Tikka is far cheaper than any of them.

It's been a while since I bought a new gun, for a damn good reason...:)

And the last NIB gun I bought was massively marked down because of some minor surface scratches in the stock finish. It's a walnut Weatherby Vanguard in .30-'06, which I'll agree with Chuck, is a great full-size gun, especially for the 400 bucks I paid, NIB.:)

Otherwise, the longer I shoot, the older the guns I purchase, it seems... This isn't necessarily because the older ones are better though sometimes they are; it's because the older ones are just as good, but a lot less expensive.

ECVMatt
July 24, 2006, 04:46 PM
I have looked at Tika's each time, but have passed on them every time. The main thing the get me is they do not make a short action. I do not want a long action with stopper in it. That just seems cheesey and very cheap to me. For the price they charge, they should have a true short action. The same goes for the CZ 550. I really like them, but I will not use a short action cartridge in a long action gun. I think Chuck is pretty much right on.

Matt

Bobhwry
July 24, 2006, 05:37 PM
Looked at a Tikka this weekend.Felt like I was holding a piece of PVC.Not for me.

redneck2
July 24, 2006, 07:03 PM
I have a friend that had a chance to buy a NIB (and I mean NIB, unwrapped, unfired) A-5 Belgian Browning for $600. I thought it would be the screaming deal of a lifetime. The local dealer (who is older and extremely knowledgable) said the price was about right.

I protested that, a few years ago they were going for 1k+. He agreed, but said that today, most young shooters want something with Parkerized finish and synthetic stocks. Something they don't have to take care of.

Go ahead and build a ton of beautiful walnut stocked rifles with deep blued finish and finely machined actions and try to sell them.

You think S&W and Colt quit making the super fine revolvers with the deep blue because they sold too well?? It's because they cost more than Joe Lunchbucket was willing to pay.

Yeah...the new Rem's and particularly Savages look like crap compared to a nice pre-64 Winchester. Trouble is, they shoot every bit as good or better.

ArmedBear
July 24, 2006, 08:25 PM
I'm not sure that the A-5 has anything to do with the trend you mentioned.

I've only shot one a few times, and I'll have to say it was wierd. Felt like the whole gun was doing the jitterbug in my hands every shot! And the whole bushing thing sounds like a PITA to me, though I haven't done it.

I've seen plenty of new, shiny, walnut and polished blue guns at the shotgun range: Benellis, Berettas, Brownings, Remingtons, SKB's, Winchesters, Perazzis, etc. Many of them are in the hands of younger guys (if they can afford it).

However, even many of the old guys seem to like the well-made (and expensive) plastic and parkerized guns for waterfowl hunting. And young guys with very limited budgets are happy to get a gun that isn't pretty, but functions very well and doesn't rust easily, because it will do the job without sending them to the poorhouse.

The thing about the Auto 5 is that it's just not worth over $1K as a shotgun these days. It's a neat collector piece, and it'll still work, but for $1K or less you can get a really nice gun from many trusted vendors, brand new with warranty, and they'll shoot whatever you feed them from 2.75" to 3.5" with little or no adjustment.

IV Troop
July 24, 2006, 10:13 PM
While I enjoy Chuck Hawks writing usually, I must respectfully disagree with him on Tikkas. I wrote this a while back for a LE periodical:

here is an article I wrote a while back. It is on another tikka thread but I will cut and paste:

Here is the article with some names ommitted for OPSEC and PERSEC reasons. My partner does UC work and would not appreciate his name on the net.



The Tikka T3
By XXXXXXXX

As a firearms guy I am always eyeballing a new toy or object that I am intrigued by. I generally try to keep up to date on the latest high quality guns coming on to the market. Sometimes it is hard to form an opinion based upon what you read in the commercial gun magazines. Every gun it seems that is featured in a magazine is the latest, greatest thing since smokeless powder.

However it is not very often that a new gun really trips my trigger so to speak. I have grown rather jaundiced and cynical with all the advertisements spouting about the latest “Spec Op” “CQB” “Marine” “Ninja” blaster that only the most elite government and law enforcement agencies are using. Usually they simply have more attachments for accessories that Walter Wannabe has been convinced he must have to be truly “Tactical”. It has been my experience that simple reliable gear works best.

Highly accurate rifles are one area of interest for me. Be they called “sniper” rifles or “tactical” rifles or even “precision” rifles, I don’t care. For me it is all about performance on demand rather than the CDI ( chicks dig it) factor.

One new rifle on the American market that has not gotten a lot of press but I believe soon will is the rifle from the Finnish company Tikka. Tikka rifles are made in the same factory as Sako rifles. Sako has been a well known manufacturer of military, target and sporting rifles for a very long time. Recently I bought a Tikka T3 heavy barrel in 308 Winchester caliber. The factory accuracy guarantee of 3 shots under one inch for their sporting models peaked my interest. You will not get that from Remington or Winchester.

The rifle itself is rather sleek and unusual looking. However I was interested in its performance in the field. I mounted a top of the line Leupold MK 4 6.5x20 on the gun using Burris two piece bases. This is a truly fine piece of glass and it actually costs more than the rifle itself. On that note I have never understood why guys mount a $39 dollar Simmons or Tasco on a $500 rifle and then can’t figure out why their gun just is not up to par.

Anyways, I set out to test my new rifle. I was quite impressed right out of the box. During the barrel break in process I was getting sub .75" groups at 100 yards from the bench. Always a good sign. The more I shot it, the better it got. About this time DetectiveXXX XXX decided he wanted to play with the gun. He spent an afternoon with it and went down to the local Sportsmans Warehouse and ordered an identical one. With a little load development between the two of us, we found a hunting bullet load that would shoot 5 shot groups under a half inch. For those of you that are not into rifles, that is super impressive. We started shooting a lot of 1/4 inch 3 shot groups. Not always of course, but often enough to know it was not a fluke. Suffice to say these guns shoot way beyond their modest price.

The Tikka is rather light weight for a heavy barrel rifle. It tips the scales at only 8 pounds.The stock design, with its raised cheek piece and flat fore end make it a fine field piece. The barrel is an odd 23 and 3/8ths inches. It is fed from a single stack, detachable box magazine that holds five rounds in 308. Overall I was impressed but I still wanted to give a good test.

What better way to test the gun than the NRA Law Enforcement precision rifle (sniper) instructor school. So I took vacation and off to the school I went. Word to the wise, DO NOT go to Mississippi in late spring. Between the bugs, the heat and the horrible humidity it is not pleasant.

Anyways, I was the only guy present not shooting a Remington 308. However everyone shot Leupold scopes. By the end of the week it was apparent that the handling characteristics of the Tikka had much to offer over the Remingtons. The five round detachable box magazine made many of the drills so easy it was like cheating. The light weight of the rifle made many of the snap shooting drills and movement to contact drills a relative breeze. The only negative aspect of the rifle I found was that the ejection port was rather small and hard to get my big fingers in to compared to the Remington 700. My biggest problem was that I was afraid I was going to run out of ammo as most the cadre at the academy wanted to try the gun.

I returned to XX just in time to shoot the XX State Sniper Championships with Detective XX as my partner. The airlines had managed to disassemble my bolt and screw with my gun to the point of temporary inoperability. Fortunately XX brought two guns. One being an identical Tikka 308 with a 4x14 Leupold scope. I knew from previous experience that we shoot pretty close to the same point of impact so only minor adjustments were made for me to use the gun. XX, using the Tikka posted the best 3 shot group out of 50 some odd teams. He shot from the prone at 100 yards and shot about a 1/4 “ group. Not bad considering the caliber of the military and law enforcement teams present. He took home a new MK IV Leupold for his “best three shot group” prize. In the end a third place was earned. We were pleased considering we were shooting against guys with three to five thousand dollar rigs.

In short, the Tikka has a lot to offer for a very modest price tag. One should be able to pick one up from Sportsmans Warehouse for around $700. That is flat out inexpensive for a precision rifle of this quality. After looking at a couple of examples I brought in to one of the local city agencies, they opted for new Tikka 308s for their snipers. A good choice both in terms of performance and budget. So if you are in the market for a long range hunting, competition, or work gun, give one of these a look.

My only gripe is I have spent way too much money building custom guns that cost two to three times as much, only to equal the Tikka in performance.



POST SCRIPT: Since I wrote this, I have purchased 2 other HB Tikkas and Shot extensively a sporter contour in 6.5 Swede. ALL, including the skinny barrel 6.5 will consistently shoot .5 moa or better with careful handloading and match bullets (Sierra MK's or Lapua Scenars).

LAK
July 25, 2006, 03:59 AM
ArmedBearWhat Chuck Hawks, old geezer that he may claim to be, seems to have forgotten is how many rifles or shotguns that granddad or even dad bought from Monkey Wards or Sears, often with store brand labels. Some of those were tolerable, some were piles of crap. Precious few of those guns ever show up in store or gun show racks, because they fell apart, rusted under the seat of a farm truck, etc.
I would have to disagree with this; many of those 'Wards and Sears guns were outstanding pieces - lacking only the spit & polish of high end pieces. An example is some of the Higgins rifles that were put together with commercial FN Mauser actions. The Glenfield 30-30s were (and are) no less servicable than those also made by Marlin carrying the name.

Of course you can not make a silk purse from a sow's ear; there were of course many poor designs marketed going back to the first commercially manufactured guns in the 1800s. But this is a matter of the law of averages; one must take into account the sheer number of designs put on the market over the last one hundred years. Many of those Browning, Whitworth, BRNO, Sako, Steyr, Tikka (to name a fraction of them) sporters made from the 1960s on back lacked nothing in quality of design, materials and fabrication. And few of them will have been literally worn out with use.

I have a Steyr made in 1953 with some finish wear and signs of use - it functions perfectly and really shoots well. Steyr discontinued these rifles and carbines over nothing more than production cost issues in the 1960s. Many of the same guns manufactured going back to the first decade of the 20th century are still going strong.

One of the reasons some of these guns are not seen at shows is probably neglect (neglect a stainless gun and see what happens). However, I would say that one of the main reasons many are not seen for sale is that people are hanging onto them. Sure you can find many online, but most of the sellers are dealers. I see plenty of vintage Steyr, Husqvarna, BRNO, Tikka, Sako (etc) rifles for sale from these sources - but I do not see them on private tables at shows - or the classified ads. The dealers are probably getting many of them at estate sales (the heirs don't shoot), or the surviving spouse takes them to a dealer.

---------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

ArmedBear
July 25, 2006, 04:15 PM
I've got an old Steyr myself, among other things.:) It's a military gun, but though it lacks a high-polish finish, it's truly perfectly designed and built. Like everything Austrian (but I'm a tad prejudiced).

I'm now even convinced that I ought to buy up some more surplus Yugo Mausers, because even if I spend the price of a good new rifle on a barrel, stock, refinishing, etc., I'll end up with a better rifle than the new one. I'll have to do some work myself, of course, but that's the beauty of a hobby. I don't have to charge myself by the hour.:)

Anyway, the Glenfields were fine, but a brand-spankin'-new Marlin 336 or 1894 can still be had for $334, retail, here in California no less. See this current ad: http://big5sportinggoods.shoplocal.com/big5/default.aspx?action=browsepagedetail&storeid=2504028&rapid=296164&pagenumber=2&listingid=-2094684110&ref=%2fbig5%2fdefault.aspx%3faction%3dbrowsepagesingle%26storeid%3d2504028%26rapid%3d296164%26pagenumber%3d2

I have a VERY high opinion of Marlin's lever guns. They do make 'em like they used to, even the "entry-level" versions. But they're still some of the least-expensive deer rifles you can buy new; only single-shots are priced lower, and not that much lower, without sights at that. So nothing has been lost, there.

I never thought that no old guns were any good. I just think people have selective memories, and I've seen a good few guns that support my assertion. :)

Mannlicher
July 25, 2006, 04:37 PM
I think Chuck is right on target. Manufacturing shotcuts abound in the new rifles. I have shot two different examples of the Tikka T3. One in .270, the other in 30-06. Both were decent rifles, but neither would group less than 2.5 inches. My old FN Mauser in 7mm Ackley shoots rings around them both.

aubie515
July 26, 2006, 11:31 PM
I wouldn't say the Tikka T3's feel cheap...compare the action on a T3 to a Remington and you wouldn't say it's cheap. I feel that the Tikka line is one of the best bargains out there in a hunting rifle.

ajax
July 28, 2006, 10:37 PM
I agree with Chuck myself. My father got my grandads guns when he passed away and their is a definite quality difference and more importently feel.

mylesrom
August 6, 2006, 04:20 AM
Up here in Canada the T3 Lite starts at 700 Cdn or 600 USD for the blued version. They are really nice rifles, but I think they are overpriced for what you are getting. There is more to quality rifles than submoa. If they were selling for 500 -550 Cdn, they would be a better deal.

JohnBT
August 6, 2006, 09:45 AM
"Go ahead and build a ton of beautiful walnut stocked rifles with deep blued finish and finely machined actions and try to sell them."

www.cooperfirearms.com isn't having any trouble at all.

JT

Ash
August 6, 2006, 10:21 PM
I agree with LAK. I have several "store brand" rifles made by Mossberg for Western Auto and Montgomery Wards. The rifles specifically are the Mossberg 800 short action with 9 locking lugs and the 810 long action with 4 lugs. These were the "cheap rifles" of their day, yet are far better finished than the average rifle today. For instance, I have a Western Field model 732 (810) in 7mm Rem Mag. It is in a walnut stock, has a deep polished blue, has a Williams style flip down rear sight and a ramped front sight, has a hinged floorplate (or detachable mag) a grip cap, jewelled one piece forged bolt, and fully adjustable trigger. It was produced in about 1968 and is far better finished than any rifle you can get at Walmart. What makes it cheap? Impressed checkering and an anodized aluminum triggerguard. That's it. That was a cheap rifle 40 years ago. Folks then would not even consider wasting their time on what we are accustomed to today.

Ash

mylesrom
August 7, 2006, 09:08 PM
Chuckhawks is also anti shortmag. He did a comparison of 7mm WSM and 7mm Rem Mag and also 300 win mag and 300 WSM. Both showing the standard as superior which is correct. Then he did a comparison of 270 WSM and 270 Weatherby, favoring the Weatherby. I sent him a email asking why he doesn't do a 270 win and 270 WSM comparison. He replied there is nothing to gain on a 270 WSM over a 270 Win ?????? But that is not what the ballastic charts show or reloading manuals.

He does the reviews and comparisons on what he likes, which shows the things he favors. He does not always show all the facts. Take what he says with a grain of salt. If it doesn't favor something he agrees with, then he just won't do it.

rust collector
August 7, 2006, 10:09 PM
so we love our pre-64 Winchesters, our 98 Mausers and Mannlicher-Schoenauers. That warm oil finish on beautifully figured walnut and mirror polished rust blue finish brings a smile to our face and probably some great memories of long past shooting expeditions.

Fast forward to modern firearms and behold the AUG, the M-16, the Anschutz or Walther aluminum frame smallbore competition guns with short barrels and bloop tubes, the benchrest behemoths, and Barrett 50s. They work for the purpose intended, better than the old ones.

The proof is in the pudding. My T-3 shoots well. It's perfect for use in the real world. I don't care how much it cost to manufacture, so long as it's practical and does what I bought it to do. We'd all like works of art that are amazingly accurate. Very few will or can pay the cost of such gems.

Dakota Arms recently filed for chapter 11 protection. They make beautiful firearms, but most of us can't afford a $3K rifle and would hate to take it afield if we had one. Works of art belong in a gallery for all to enjoy.

johnsonrlp
August 8, 2006, 01:00 AM
Well, my great-grandfather bought a sears robuck shotgun around the turn of the (one before last) century. It's seen a lot of use and still works perfectly. That's what I want to leave my (grand)children. Quality. Now, if you just wan't a deer rifle and don't care about passing it on to future generations...

skeeter1
August 8, 2006, 04:24 AM
If you want to email chuck hawks, try

chuck@chuckhawks.com

Be forewarned, he's highly opinionated, to say the least. He's also gotten greedy by putting half of his site on the "pay-to-view" circuit. I once thought highly of the man, but anymore, I couldn't care less what he has to say.

Ash
August 8, 2006, 12:49 PM
We've been duped into accepting lower quality finishes and stocks in the name of "it doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it shoots." There is some truth to that, but we accept blind magazines, cheap wood, cheap finishes just because it's a tool and as long as it shoots, who cares how it looks?

I don't mean wasted money on a Dakota, but it doesn't take $3,000 to get a nice rifle. Again, "cheap rifles" in the 1960's are generally better finished and with more features like good iron sights and better wood than the mid-grade today. Poorer finishes and fitting are defacto price increases. You pay the same price for a lower quality product.

The Remington 870 is not nearly as well finished today than even 10 years ago. Of course, the Mossberg 500 is generally better made now than 10 years go (cut checkering instead of pressed), but that is generally the exception to the rule. I would rather an ugly rifle that shoots than a pretty rifle that does not. However, I'd rather have one that was well finished than one that was not. And, since I can get better finished rifles made in the 1960's for less than new poorer finished rifles, I'll do that. Now, my Mossberg-made Western Field gets about 1.5 MOA, which isn't as good as that Tikka T3, but not that much worse. AND, at half the price and more features, I'll take it any day. I'm a hunter and it'll do all I need. However, I do also have a Savage 110C with a press-checkered walnut stock from the 1960's in .270 which can get below 1 MOA from the bench. It, too, is better made and finished than most rifles today, AND is just as accurate.

Ash

bbglass
August 17, 2006, 09:36 PM
short story,
A friend and I went hunting ground squirlls near elko nv., The trip was very sucsessful. If you ever have a chance to go I highly recomend it, not only is it fun but it seasons your shooting skills. Anyway I jumped out of the truck, chevy 1977 3/4 ton, to take a leak. I leaned my ruger 77/22 on the fender behind the front tire. As I was doing my business my friend decided to start the truck, as he pushed in the clutch my rifle fell to the ground and the front passenger tire rolled on top of my gun. I yelled at him to pull forward, as he proceeded forward in 4 weel drive I could see my gun grind into the rocks and gravel. I was freaked out and thought it was destroyed. I picked up the rifle to inspect it and it had a small scratch on the barrell and 2 dents in the synthetic stock on the forearm. Needless to say I was very pleased with the damage on my gun. I sighted in my scope again and resumed our hunting trip.
As of now I really respect the progress of synthetic material it holds up wonderfully, and if I had a choice in durability well you read my story.

Eightball
August 17, 2006, 10:42 PM
After reading Hawks column, I have just one question.....

Should I order a T3 Tactical in .308 w/brake (commonality of ammo, lesser recoil--I'm no ninja), or a Stainless Varminter in .223? :rolleyes:

Metapotent
August 18, 2006, 04:01 AM
Should I order a T3 Tactical in .308 w/brake (commonality of ammo, lesser recoil--I'm no ninja), or a Stainless Varminter in .223?

I have two Tikka T3 Tacticals, one in .223 and one in .308.

I think Chuck Hawks is smoking something to suggest that these rifles aren't damn right excellent in every aspect.

But what one to choose? If you want to varmint hunt you could also get the .223 tactical in stead of the Varminter, but If I had to choose I would get the .308 due to its ridiculously high value. It has Accuracy comparable to multi-thousand-dollar rifles but cost me 1600 including a scope.

Will Fennell
August 18, 2006, 08:57 AM
CH needs to take a look at the real world as it races past him.......

I have a safe full of great, well made, classic M70 Winchesters. They are fine rifles with many desirable features. But they are now OUT OF BUSINESS.....you cannot built rifles with that much machining in them at prices that the public will pay. Remington's M700, IMHO, not nearly as nice a rifle, with many of the shortcuts that CH rails against, REmington is not exactly in great finacial shape. Its about the market and staying in business.

I love my old customized Pre-64 M70's.....and when I need a rilfe that absolutely HAS to function, that is what I get out of the safe. But when I just need to snipe another whitetail across a beanfield, my uber accurate TIKKA T3 in 270WSM handles that task just fine.

hessy
August 18, 2006, 10:13 AM
"But when I just need to snipe another whitetail across a beanfield, my uber accurate TIKKA T3 in 270WS"M handles that task just fine."
Well said. I can outshoot guys with custom rifles at the range with my T3 in the range 100-600 yards. Their guns are prettier, but mine is better, I dare to say. BTW, when I was in the military, my gun was not prettier than T3, but I could depend on it.
Chuck can say whatever he wants, he's got no respect from me.

abearir
August 19, 2006, 02:29 AM
coming already..........but....... When I was looking to buy my "new" (like I needed another) elk rifle, I looked hard at the T3. Something just didnt click with me. I felt the basic design was not as good as other rifles I have or were looking at. That damn plastic clip, was a real drawback as far as I was concerned. I also hated the feel of the lightweight synthetic stock. Sure the whole package was a bit lighter than some others, but I'm not going to pack any brand .338 win mag 20 miles either. Then there was price........what can I say, my dealer definately wanted all he could get for the name for sure. In the end, I wound up with a Ruger MKII wood. Yeah I know EVERYONE hates Ruger rifles...but this fit me well, has a beautiful stock, perfect deep bluing, and holds 1.5" at a hundred after a I installed a $60.00 Timney.........all for the low price NIB of $325.99... She was 3 years old in the box when I brought her home last fall, but she looks better everytime I look at the prices of the new stuff hitting the sales rack. :)

Bobhwry
August 19, 2006, 05:17 PM
Give Chuck a break!!!He was just lamenting the trend towards plastic stocks, magazines, trigger guards and other cost cutting moves.Many of todays barells are better than ever but then they use castings in the receiver and shroud the whole thing in black plastic!!!

Heavy Barrel
August 20, 2006, 03:38 PM
Actually you are probably better off doing your own evaluation.I have never bought a gun on someones elses opinion or recommendation.Out of 50+ guns I have yet to own something I regretted buying.

dragongoddess
August 20, 2006, 05:05 PM
Well I don't know who this gentleman is but I would love to have a quality rifle like a Merkel or Krieghoff double rifle with all the engraving or even a drilling but I'm poor and live on a fixed income. So its the lower level firearms that I can afford unless I come across something someone is trying to just get rid of.

Ash
August 20, 2006, 06:35 PM
Chuck's issue is that we have allowed ourselves to accept that the finish of a rifle is not important. It isn't as far as killing a deer or punching holes in paper. However, by reducing quality of fit and finish, we pay the same price for inferior workmanship and materials. As I said, store brand rifles 30 years ago, the cheapest rifles out there, have better materials, fitting, features, and finish than rifles today. Plastic stocks are an excuse to build a cheaper rifle. They really are. I would bet that my 1960's Savage not only looks better than a current Tikka, but will shoot just as well or better.

Of course, folks don't mind paying more for prettier cars and trucks. Vehicles are vastly more expensive, even when inflation is considered, than vehicles 30 years ago. Sure, there are computers and air bags, but fundamentally that is not enough to justify the additional cost.

My real question is, why attack Chuck for telling the truth? Sure, todays rifles shoot very well, in many cases better than 30 years ago. Yet, they are not as well made as they once were. No, they really aren't. They may be accurate, but they do use lots of very cheap components, things that a generation earlier would not have been tollerated.

Ash

Art Eatman
August 21, 2006, 12:12 AM
"...inferior workmanship and materials."

Naw, it ain't inferior workmanship; it's just that there is less of it in the final-finish department. Labor = $$$.

Inferior materials? Priced decent hardwood, particularly quality walnut? And more particularly, burled walnut? $$$$$

In constant dollars, whatever cost $100 in 1971 is $500, today. In 1971, my Weatherby Mark V retailed for $350, plus 5% sales tax in Texas. Today, in constant dollars, it oughta be $1,750 plus 8.75% sales tax in Texas.

Quality of fit and finish is readily available today. All sorts of gorgeous stuff out there.

But it ain't gonna retail for four hundred bucks.

Art

Koobuh
August 21, 2006, 04:20 AM
"My real question is, why attack Chuck for telling the truth?"

He's making a value judgement of a rifle based purely on aesthetics rather than functionality. That's his prerogitive, but a lot of people will follow his judgement without question, and that's what I at least object to. He doesn't like the rifle's looks and construction, so regardless of how excellently it can shoot and perform otherwise, he tears it down.
Then he bemoans the lack of aesthetic workmanship in modern guns, insulting those of us that don't mind black plastic stocks and chintzy bolt lugs if the rifle performs.

Insulting? Presumptive? Just plain arrogant? He's got it in spades, and while his opinion may have merit, it's presented in a way that tears down a perfectly useable rifle. He should save his derision for firearms that don't perform the operation they were designed for, is my view at least.

Frankly, I would not care to carry a finely made piece of craftsmanship into the field when I could tote a utilitarian tool that I don't have to worry about dropping in a mud-puddle or re-zeroing after a sudden weather change.

rbernie
August 21, 2006, 07:56 AM
He's making a value judgement of a rifle based purely on aesthetics rather than functionality. I don't see the use of plastic trigger parts, floorplate parts, trigger guard parts, or magazine parts on a hunting rifle to be 'aesthetics'.

But that's just me.

rangerruck
August 21, 2006, 10:18 AM
severe ouchy. However, as much as he is right in his review here, there is another problem. most rifle makers count on North American and South American buyers to keep them making money. The regs, taxes, laws, lawyers, etc., in our governments make it impossible for them to make a quality product,
sell plenty of guns,keep themselves and their employees in business, and turn a decent profit.

Ash
August 21, 2006, 01:21 PM
Many synethetic stocked rifles have very poor finish, with casting lines and very poor stock to metal fit. Of course, it doesn't really matter because the pillars or bedding blocks fit nicely, but I have priced Walnut. That isn't my point. The cheapo rifles 30 years ago are finished nicer than rifles today, with decent iron sights, jeweled bolts, hinged floorplates (or even detachable magazines), adjustable triggers, and grip caps that have gone by the wayside on what is considered higher end rifles today. Take a look at the casting marks on the Remington 700 bolt handle, or the rough machining on the Winchester 70 bolt heads before they went away. Pick up a Remington model 710 to see the worst of it all.

But, the Tikka T3 isn't a $400 rifle, is it? Chuck wasn't talking about a Mossberg 100ATR or Stevens 200, which can expected to have the bottom end finishes and materials. Heck, my Stevens 110 in .243 from the early 80's exhibits some better finish than the Remington ADL's did (though the stock was not walnut). As to wood, American Walnut is pricey. Yet Turkish walnut isn't. But any wood stock, even beech, costs more than the very cheap to produce injection molded plastic that most stocks are today. Want something better, like fiberglass, and you'll pay much more.

Now, to be certain, the American shooter gets a fine shooting rifle these days, especially now that adjustable triggers have come back in fashon in many rifles that did not have them for many a long year. But the rifle we get today is not as well made and finished as they once were, which is made more significant because of the new machinery at our disposal today (the cause of the increased accuracy). Indeed, if we were still making rifles on the kind of machinery in the 1960's, accuracy would likely be worse, not better. If anything, the CNC machinery, which makes rifles cheaper to produce for the factory than ever before, should allow us to have even better finished rifles than before. Yet the factory rifle of today is not as nicely made as the exact same counterparts of yesteryear even though production ability is at its cheapest.

Ash

Koobuh
August 21, 2006, 06:56 PM
"I don't see the use of plastic trigger parts, floorplate parts, trigger guard parts, or magazine parts on a hunting rifle to be 'aesthetics'.

But that's just me."

Does it impede functionality? No? Then it's aesthetics.
More often these changes are for weight and inexpensive manufacture, but again, does it make the rifle not work to have plastic parts?

rbernie
August 21, 2006, 07:52 PM
The use of plastic bits as mentioned impedes reliability and/or longevity. That is NOT a question of aesthetics. As I posted about fifty posts back:

Heck, I watched a guy drop a rifle in the field not six months ago and shatter his rifle's plastic trigger guard to smithereens. It was only by the grace of the overlords of all that is good that his rifle's plastic-n-potmetal trigger didn't get FUBAR'ed along with the trigger guard.

I'm sure that the manufacturer of that rifle touts the four ounces of weight savings in that plastic trigger guard as an advantage. But I suspect that the real savings was likely pure economics for the manufacturer. In this case, that cost/weight savings almost caused the end of an expensive out-of-state hunt for the rifle's owner.
You can push the problem around all you want, but in the end Chuck is not WRONG. People today accept a lower standard of materials and workmanship in their rifle in exchange for cachet or some other attribute. Anyone who thinks that a rifle needs to have plastic working bits (I don't consider stocks to be mechanical working bits) in order to be both accurate and inexpensive needs to look to Savage or Howa to see how to better balance cost against performance, reliability, longevity, and accuracy.

Ash
August 22, 2006, 09:49 AM
I guess my issue is that folks have been saying they can't afford $3,000 custom rifles, which is what you pay if you want something nice. But there was a time when any fellow could afford a nicely made rifle, with good bluing, iron sights, a hinged floorplate or detachable magazine, adjustable trigger, good stock. These older rifles exhibited a kind of craftmanship that doesn't exist today. Rifles have a much more disposable feel to them, and so many of them are not the kind of thing you would see your son shooting when he grew up. Even my oh so very humble Mossberg 183 bolt action .410 that was my grandfather's, that my dad and I both grew up shooting, has a better finish and standard of workmanship than many modern rifles. That Mossberg looks nicer than anything on the rack at Walmart (even though it does have a plastic trigger guard). And with the Stevens 200 costing so cheap, we KNOW we could get better made rifles for not too much money. If the Stevens can be sold for $250, then surely for $400 we can get a better finish and a nice turkish walnut stock. There seems to real excuse not to offer that except in a super premium price.

And, more to the point, how much money is lost when customers pass on the new rifles for a better made, even if it is less accurate, rifle from the 1960's? I have a Savage 111, a Revelation and four Western Fields, in .270, .30-06, .308, .243, 7mm Rem Mag, and .30-06. I picked up the Savage because the Remington 710 was such a piece of junk. I then picked up the Revelation because it was so finely made in comparison with the other rifles I looked at, even the stock Rem 700. Then the Western Fields out of nostalgia and because they, too, were better made. There were at least 4, if not 6, rifles not sold to me because of a lower standard of finish. That Savage is as accurate as anything offered today but in a much more attractive package. The Revelation is also just as accurate. The Western Fields are all hunter grade, the 7mm Rem is as accurate as the Savage. The secondary market is not good for Remington or any other producers.

Ash

Ash

pete f
August 23, 2006, 05:00 AM
Read this and then went to Sportsmans warehouse to look at one tonight.

The one I saw was a butt ugly piece. The parting line on the stock was sharp enough to draw blood. The forearm was in no way sturdy enough to use a sling for a steadyrest on. The trigger was atrocious, maybe 8 lbs.

The QC on it was just poor. Remington once upon a time made a cheap gun that was actually well made, called it the 788, accurate all out of proportion to what it cost. but people just refused to buy it because it was ugly, now they sell used for the price of a new 700.

Savage 110's used to just sit on the shelves because they were ugly, then people started to realize that the darn things made tiny holes in the paper.


But this Tikka, for the price of a real gun, was just bad. Maybe some of you have good ones, but the one i looked at was really rough/

Elkobsessed
August 23, 2006, 05:16 AM
I am in the market for a new rifle, something that I can use on elk, deer, bear, pretty much all north american big game. My dilema is I want the best bang for my buck as do most people. I want something light, accuarate, and durable. I am really considering the Tikka T3 lite stainless in the .300 WSM but I have not heard alot about the accuracy of it. My current favorite hunting rifle is a Huskavarna ( <--spelling ) 7mm mag and with hand loads is a very accurate and nice rifle to shoot. It is however getting old and I want this rifle to stay in good condition for years to come and want something that if I get a scratch in it who cares. Anyway I am open to suggestions on make, model, caliber, any help is better than no help....right?.

Budget 1000.00 CND funds.

mylesrom
August 26, 2006, 01:58 AM
Look at the Tikka, Vanguard, Savage and Remington SPS.... handle all of them at the shop and see which one feels best to you. You have to carry it and hunt with it.

In 300 WSM the Tikka is the lightest. Will kick a little harder... You will want to change the Pad out to a Limbsaver.

rbernie
August 26, 2006, 10:30 AM
For the money, I don't hink that you can beat the Vanguard/Howa. The SPS examples that I've handled have been, ah, disappointing.

RugerOldArmy
August 26, 2006, 12:21 PM
Only a few objective points here. A lot of cognate dissonance from T-3 owners.

In general, I agree with Chuck. Handle a pre-64 Model 70!

Is the steel as good as now...dunno, I doubt it. Is the barel then within .0005? Doubt it.

It would be nice to have the best of both worlds.

But the cost of Labor drives a lot of this. The cost to make a pre-64 Model 70 drove it's demise. Quality costs money. The price of putting a BAT action ( or Stolle, or Nesika etc.) would not appeal to the market that buys T-3(s).

mylesrom
August 28, 2006, 05:54 PM
I have had and shot Remington 700's, Winchester 70's, Tikka T-3's, Kimber 8400, Sako 75, and Weatherby Vanguards. The most consistantly accurate rifle has been the Vangaurd in 257wby, right out of the box with nothing done to it and its also the least expensive of the bunch.

ArmedBear
August 28, 2006, 06:23 PM
Hear, hear, for the Vanguard. Available in walnut, too.

hessy
August 28, 2006, 11:30 PM
Nothing beats Tikka T3 in .223 Rem. Vanguard is 2 pounds heavier, creepy 6 lb trigger, no detachable mag and has 1:12 twist :barf:
Tikka is 6.1 pound, excellent trigger that is easy to adjust, 1:8 twist and you do not have to buy a sub-MOA option for it to be sub-MOA:neener:
Say all you want, Tikka all the way for me:D

igorts
August 28, 2006, 11:44 PM
I love my Tikka T3 in 30-06 and don't care if someone craps around. It does it job as well as a few$k rifles and makes a hole exactly where I aim.
It's a hunter rifle, with syntetic stock and no extra care needed.
My next rifle will be Tikka.:D

mylesrom
August 29, 2006, 03:28 AM
I own a Sako, tikka's big brother its still not as accurate as the Vanguard, 5 shots in one ragged hole, time after time..... Its not the submoa version either, its their cheapest model, consistantly shoot under .50 in groupings. Tikka t3 is fine in a smaller caliber, not in the magnums, have shot the 300wsm and it isn't any fun. My Sako is over 8lbs before the scope and handles the 270 Wby recoil well.

schmidtbender
April 21, 2007, 12:15 AM
Chuck has never owned a 595 target/sniper or he would sing a different tune. My 308 is an out of the box 1/2 moa rifle with fed prem mtch ammo. Cost $650 new. Here's a very nice 22-250 (same model) I bought yesterday for $750. bet it too will shoot small holes at 1/3 the price of a TRG or even a fancy savage.
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w320/schmidtbender/IMG_0530-14.jpg

Waywatcher
April 21, 2007, 06:20 AM
I think the rampant elitism in the article is sickening. :barf:

Hokkmike
April 21, 2007, 07:19 AM
Sako and Tikka are my preferred brands, but the man does have experience.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 09:08 AM
Back when a Model 70 cost $54, retail, a graduate engineer fresh out of college made $200 a month, before taxes.

Generally, post-64 Model 70s shoot tighter groups than pre-64 Model 70s.

Modern stuff does even better, plastic parts or no plastic parts. Show me a modern action that's as smooth as a Krag, and then tell me the cost.

And so it goes...

That Chuck Hawks may be very knowledgeable about firearms does not make him knowledgeable about either economics or history.

Art

theken206
May 8, 2007, 06:19 AM
you guys raggin on my rifle are hurting my feelings, tell ya what. Maybe I got the cherry pick but ill tell yeah, alot of us that own them think they ARE the bees knees.




some people dont seem to get that tikka t-3s are are manufactured by the same technicians using the same state-of-the-art machinery and the same quality of materials that are used for Sako firearms.:banghead:

same cold hammer forged free floating barrels ect ect.

just type in tikka-t3 reviews to get a look at what those of us who own them think of them.

from snipercentral.com

"The Tikka T3 Tactical was awarded the prestigious ‘Rifle of the Year’ award from American Rifleman. American Rifleman is one of the official NRA magazines and they award annual awards for rifle and handgun of the year. For the T3, they states “… among the candidates from the past year, one stood out for its combination of quality, handling, accuracy, styling and features: the Tikka T3 Tactical.” They tested the 20″ version and were obviously quite fond of it. It is a good rifle and we liked the one we reviewed also."

:neener:

and its funny how fond people are of my t3 when I take it to the rifle range. Including the older guys on there daddy's pre-64 model 70. Heck MY DAD had a custom pre-64 "bug holed, tack driver of a rifle" model 70 that his father left him.{got pawned for 150 buck by my mom:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:}

He is as fond as my tikka-t3 as anyone and says he wished he would have got one instead of his remmy'700.

Agin maybe some of us got the pick of the litter and others havent but I wouldnt trade my tikka for any rifle in the world, I love it, its mine, it VERY accurate and damn it its mine and I love it.:D

randomblunt
October 4, 2007, 06:40 PM
been hunting on my own since i was 12, so at 25 and after 100's of deer, goats, tahr, chamois 'downed', i may be qualified to offer an opinion.
i'm not a gun writer, I'm a hunter, and you would see that just by looking at my rifles, mostly stainless, a couple with scratched up blood smeared synthetic and composite stocks, and a couple of slightly worn, well looked after wallnut blued jobs.
these rifles get used allot, but none moreso than my tikka t3 270 wsm.
it groups under moa with most factory ammo and has taken game from 60 to 600 yards.
i have no trouble loading single rounds into the chamber through the ejection port, if an animal is running away you only get enough time for one shot most time, and if more is needed the spare mag in my pocket is just the ticket.
positive safety, good trigger, solid stock, and good glass to topp it off with.
its been covered in mud, blood, dropped of a cliff(allong with me), used as a brake while sliding down a glacier, and well looked after.
my kids will be using this rifle in years to come, if they're still making the 270 wsm cartridge.

skinewmexico
October 4, 2007, 07:06 PM
I think the rampant elitism in the article is sickening.

No more so than the elitism in some of the replies. "No plastic in my guns"? Does that make you what? More of a man? Crap, what kind of car do you drive now, a 1959 Cadillac? Still using a metal fishing pole? You know what, if they shoot good, they're all good to me. Walnut, plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, it doesn't matter. My self esteem is high enough that I don't need a certain rifle to prop it up. If that's what you like, just say so,no need to imply everyone else is wrong.

oledug
October 8, 2007, 04:17 AM
Can't let this one go..even had to join up to have my say. I have a bunch of Sako's and the like from the 1960s and am an old died-in-the-wool walnut and blued steel rifle lover. Yes, these are rifles from another age when quality finish and craftsmanship were the rule rather than the exception. That said, I recently bought a Tikka T3 stainless synthetic 30/06. I would have preferred a 7mm/08 or 308 but the long action for a short cartridge bugged me, so I went for an '06. First trip to the range...well, I'm sorry, but a 6.5lb rifle that prints a 5/8" 3 shot group for its 1st 3 shots has my unabiding attention. So maybe we need to think outside the square on this one. Maybe these guys decided to give us an almost bench-rest style action with minimum magazine and ejection port cutouts and a meaty barrel and throw away weight in the floorplate, mag and stock knowing that they could then guarantee delivery of a lightweight, keenly-priced sub-moa rifle. And maybe they figured folks would see past a fully-machined steel floorplate and see instead an inspired piece of design that capitalises on materials that just weren't around in pre-64 Mod 70 days. I agree, the aesthetics are not the same...but I know which rifle I'd take if weght, accuracy and a constant POI were the main considerations. Yes, the action is designed for ease and economy of manufacture, but it is very nicely executed....smooth, slick, and with an excellent trigger.

steverjo
October 8, 2007, 05:06 AM
I just bought a T3 Tactical. I couldnt ask for a better rifle. I have shot Rem 700's, and also custom snipers. This T3 Tactical is extemely accurate and well made. The plastic magazines work flawlessly and are much easier to use than the internal mechanism on others. Excellent trigger. Sub moa groups.

KI.W.
October 8, 2007, 05:38 AM
If I nee a new rifle, will to buy 98 Mauser and to have new barrel from Shilen or Lothar Walther. Tikka and Sako no more for me, because they are not Finns like I, but Beretta Yuo know.
Big price, low quality.

yesit'sloaded
October 8, 2007, 04:04 PM
Lets be honest. All you need for dear hunting is a Mosin and a box of softpoints. I know I speak blasphemy but it is true. There are very view places where a 300+ yard shot at a deer will be made. The Mosin will take a beating that would snap one of these new plastic rifles in half. Same thing for the old Mausers and K-31s. You only need about 3 MOA for deer hunting anyway. Is the Tikka T-3 an accurate rifle that is more than good enough for deer hunting,yes. Is it made with cost cutting in mind,yes. Is it overpriced because of the Tikka name,yes.

Ash
October 8, 2007, 06:52 PM
To be honest, you are right. For most Deer hunting, a Mosin, or a 30-30 lever gun are all we need.

Ash

yesit'sloaded
October 8, 2007, 07:01 PM
Then that being the case anything over and above becomes personal preference. As much as I love a good rifle with engraving and nice wood, I'm not going to call someone less of a hunter if they can get the job done with something that is not that. I'm not a fan of Tikkas, Holland and Hollands, or even Kimber pistols. It is not because they are bad guns, and I would not turn one down as a gift. For me they cost too much for what they deliver. Remington, Rock Island, Glock, Savage, and others will always get my vote because they do the job well for a reasonable amount. If you want to put MOA holes in paper from 100 yards out, buy something that will do it. If you want to hunt with it too, thats fine. But don't assume you have to pay 5 or 6 hundred dollars for a good deer rifle.

langenc
October 8, 2007, 10:35 PM
No question about the plastic mags part-and they want $70 or so for one..

plexreticle
October 8, 2007, 10:53 PM
You can still buy a gun as expensive as you like with all the quality you want or you can get what you pay for. I don't see a problem with this.

Hauptmann
October 8, 2007, 11:26 PM
There are still plenty of well made rifles to be had out there. Weatherby is still producing their fine rifles for those that want them. However, I'm one of those guys that likes a good synthetic stock and all stainless steel parts. I've got a .270 Weatherby that is a beautiful rifle, but unless I'm hunting from a stand in good weather I'm too worried to take it out and get it scratch up. It is definately a work of art and unless you've held and shot one yourself, you can't appreciate it. It's like owning a Ferrari. Sure it's one hell of a car and you like to show it off and drive it one the weekends, but you're too afraid to use it in daily driving. I think most ppl are utility oriented and I like my stainless Remington 700 with sythetic stock for 90% of my hunting needs.

However, Chuck does have a point about the marketing and over pricing of polymer parts and cheaper manufacturing practices. Polymer is INCREDIBLY cheap to produce and make into parts. Firearms manufacturers are making massive profits by convincing the consumers that polymer parts are on par price-wise as steel or aluminum parts. This is a very big con by manufacturers and most consumers don't know any better.

M1 Shooter
October 8, 2007, 11:32 PM
I know exactly what he's talking about.
I once owned an old pre-war Winchester M70 in .30-06 with a Lyman reciever sight. No plastic parts, barrel not free floated, in fact the barrel is secured to the stock with a screw, and no scope. No it was not an MOA rifle, it was a 1.5 MOA rifle at best, so what? It was consistent, no matter what, clean barrel, dirty barrel, hot, cold, didn't matter. It always put its shots to the exact same place, day in day out. From what I've heard and read about rifles from that era, this was the rule, not the exception. Today you have the opposite. I have only owned one modern sporter that is as consistent as that old Winchester. All the others I've owned, or that friends and family own/owned, seem to be cursed with wandering zero problems. They will throw the first shot out of a cold, clean barrel to a different spot than the rest of the group. They spread their shots around as the barrels heat up, and other maladies. That old Winchester just didn't care. They knew how to build rifles back then, and unfortunately a lot of that knowledge has been lost or it is too expensive to do today and remain competitive. I wish I still had that old Winchester, I didn't really appreciate what I really had, so it wound up getting traded towards a shiney new sporter that proved disappointing. You live and learn.

jpwilly
October 9, 2007, 12:50 AM
Chuck said if you buy an inexpensive rifle with a plastic stock and free floated barrel your stupid!!! I GUESS I'M STUPID!! Several times over! I love my crappy, no good, poorly manufactured, can't hit the broad side of a barn, rifles.

kidmugg
January 7, 2008, 03:52 PM
I just got a new Tikka T3 7mm. Synthetic stock. Stainless steel. Follow this thread for three pages before noting it's a year and a half old. :D

I opted out of the walnut as it wasn't stainless.

I got it for accuracy and to take down deer and elk. I didn't get it as a gun enthusiast.

The stainless requires less maintenance.

I won't feel troubled when my synthetic get scraped and scratched in my Jeep. I wanted a gun I didn't have to baby.

The money I saved from buying a more expensive rifles that'll do the same job I put into my scope. My scope cost almost as much as my rifle.

Function, function, function for me. Like in the Jeeping world, if it doesn't get you to the top of the mountain any better, why waste the money... or unless you're trying to go in style or think of your arsenal as a monetary investment. I don't think of this gun that way. I like it as it is.

kidmugg
January 7, 2008, 03:57 PM
delete

ArmedBear
January 7, 2008, 04:22 PM
Chuck said if you buy an inexpensive rifle with a plastic stock and free floated barrel your stupid!!! I GUESS I'M STUPID!!

He does?

What he wrote was, "The T3's success is a tribute to the ignorance of the modern American sportsman--and the connivance of the sporting press upon which they rely for information."

The relevant definition of "ignorant" from Merriam-Webster is: "lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified <parents ignorant of modern mathematics>."

That doesn't mean "stupid." Therefore Chuck Hawks, whatever you think of him, never called you "stupid." Now I've never met him, so maybe he would think you're stupid for thinking he called you stupid, or maybe he'd think you were simply ignorant of the meaning of "ignorant."

Furthermore, he wasn't decrying the fact that you can get an inexpensive, serviceable rifle with the features in question. His whole point was that companies were making cheap rifles, and overcharging for them by passing them off as high-end. His anger seemed mostly directed at the shooting press that abets them by misinforming hunters who, mostly, aren't gunmakers or gunsmiths, and therefore can't be expected to know everything about gunmaking if they're being fed misinformation by the publications they trust.

So frankly, I'm not sure where you're getting that he was calling you stupid for buying a budget rifle that shoots well enough for your needs. I didn't get that at all.

ArmedBear
January 7, 2008, 04:46 PM
BTW what's interesting is that this article is somewhat dated.

Since he wrote it, a few manufacturers have designed and marketed new rifles with cost-savings in mind, but in order to pass those savings on to the consumer.

Mossberg, Savage and most recently Marlin have brought out inexpensive centerfire hunting rifles. Marlin's latest looks like it will retail for well under 300 bucks. Not bad. This provides serviceable rifles for hunters, at very competitive prices.

Now to bash these rifles, given their prices, simply for not being figured walnut with polished blue bedded actions and barrels, might be elitist. To compare them and to give an opinion about which is really the best deal is not elitist. To state that a specific $600 rifle is no better than what these companies will sell for half that, or less, is not elitist, either.

Clearly, Hawks was right. The fact that several companies have looked at the marketplace and said, "We can make a profit on these rifles at a substantially lower price than others are charging," confirms that, indeed, some guns have been designed with cost-savings in mind, but that the savings were not being passed along to the consumer.

cracked butt
January 7, 2008, 07:45 PM
As usual Chuck is full of....himself.:rolleyes:

Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim.

I guess he hasn't actually shot a Tikka or if he has, simply doesn't have the skill to shoot 1" groups wiht a rifle. I shot two T3s last fall, both shot sub-moa. Chuck can have his 2 moa dee rifles with $800 worth of expensive engraved furniture on them.

I actually had to educate another poster on another site who had taken a Chuck Hawks article on Swedish Mausers as gospel late last week. Hawk's article was so full of errors and probably stuff that he simply just made up that it was a comical read.:barf:

silverlance
January 7, 2008, 10:48 PM
Here is my Tikka T3 Tactical.
Bought it used. Came with a SAKO muzzle brake and a TASCO Super Sniper 20x, $1070 shipped OTD. Had less than 100 rounds through it. I'll be first to admit that I don't know much about precision rifles. The only other precision rifle I've shot much is a Savage 10FP with a Bell&Carlson Medalist, SWFA SS 10x. So I'll compare the two.

Here's the simple truth.

1. The T3 Tac ($1100 MSRP) is not going to shoot significantly better than a Savage ($650 MSRP) at 100 yards using factory loads and with an average shooter behind the scope. 1", 1.5", 2"... Unless you are willing to get serious into reloading, and shoot extensively, it will all be the same.

2. It is much lighter than the Savage. The detachable magazine is a huge plus - many times my buddy cussed and swore as he tried to get misfed rounds out from under the scope. The action is also far smoother; the Savage is gritty. Both triggers are good.

3. The plastic is not cheap or flimsy. I think he's thinkign about Saiga stocks. Now those, they remind one of plastic milk jugs. It's also comb height adjustable as well as LOP adjustable.

Anyway, my only misgiving is that perhaps I should have bought a used T3 standard instead - I don't see that much of a benefit over the standard vs tactical. sure the rail is integral to the receiver, but is that really important? I don't know.

Here's a pic of two of my favorite rifles. T3 Tactical and Finnish M39 Sk.Y
I think the T3 Tactical is just as beautiful as my M39.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=66281&d=1193553039

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=66280&d=1193553034

atblis
January 8, 2008, 12:02 PM
That's all there is really, Opinions. Don't like something, don't buy it!

However,

I have 695 I bought a several years ago. Absolutely love that rifle. Fantastic trigger. Detachable mags that work perfectly. Stock has a palm swell, and is quite agreeable. Total class act IMO. Cost me $350 NIB.

I will not buy a T3. Very similar rifle, but it just seems like they crapped it up a bit. The rifle does seem cheaper. Nothing's changed drastically. The kicker is the price increase.

My Sako is over 8lbs before the scope and handles the 270 Wby recoil well.
270 Wby is not known for being a tack driving cartridge. It makes up for that though.

ArmedBear
January 8, 2008, 01:35 PM
I will not buy a T3. Very similar rifle, but it just seems like they crapped it up a bit. The rifle does seem cheaper. Nothing's changed drastically. The kicker is the price increase.

The same is said about a lot of what Remington makes, and rightly so IMO.

As usual Chuck is full of....himself.

That may be, but it doesn't necessarily make his opinion about cheapened rifles for inflated prices incorrect.

cracked butt
January 8, 2008, 01:50 PM
That may be, but it doesn't necessarily make his opinion about cheapened rifles for inflated prices incorrect.


True, but the good old days weren't always so good.

How much camparitively did a Pre-64 Mod 70 cost in the 1950s? A month's, maybe 2 month's salary for the average worker? Compare that to a Tikka or a Savage where a single paycheck from a McDonalds sandwich assembly technician could cover. There's something to be said about being good enough, unless Hawks expects every hunting rifle to cost at least as much as a Cooper or Sako.

ArmedBear
January 8, 2008, 02:01 PM
Oh yeah, and the good old days saw a lot of junk. Many rifles we haven't ever heard of rust away in barns and basements as we speak.

We remember the few good ones, and forget that the Winchester Model 70 was a premium rifle back then, not the rifle everybody took into the field.

That said, though, the new budget centerfire offerings from Savage, Mossberg and Marlin do suggest that, if you design something to be built cheaply and efficiently, you can sell someone an accurate, functional rifle for a lot less than 500 or 600 bucks

Furthermore, I have the same beef with Remington. The 7 or 700 CDL, which has a botched safety and does not have particularly nice wood or a nice finish or anything, is $800 retail here. It's the best argument for trying to get a hold of the reintroduced Model 70 Featherweight Deluxe, which is from all appearances a vastly superior piece for a few bucks more.

cracked butt
January 8, 2008, 05:57 PM
Furthermore, I have the same beef with Remington. The 7 or 700 CDL, which has a botched safety and does not have particularly nice wood or a nice finish or anything, is $800 retail here. It's the best argument for trying to get a hold of the reintroduced Model 70 Featherweight Deluxe, which is from all appearances a vastly superior piece for a few bucks more.


Yep and yeppers.

igorts
January 8, 2008, 07:20 PM
added another Tikka T3 to my signature.
Always within 1MOA, even in my hands. rugged hole when my buddy shots either of my Tikkas.
Chuck should change that line :
Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim.
Read it here, come to see and you might be able to repeat it:neener:

rigs:
Beretta 92FS INOX Brigadier
Remington 870
TIKKA-T3 30.06 /TIKKA-T3 22-250 Varmint
Sig Trailside 6" / Ultimate Ruger10/22
Ruger Alaskan 44mag

Gator
January 8, 2008, 07:34 PM
What do you guys think about what he has to say?

Chuck Hawks: Self proclaimed expert on guns, hunting, motorcycles, photography, astronomy, military history, travel, and fishing.

:scrutiny: :scrutiny: :scrutiny:

gunsnmoses
January 8, 2008, 11:06 PM
Tikka varmint in 223, bipod off bench, 5 rounds, with a nice flyer from pure human error. And I am NOT a good rifle shooter...
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b130/jinva/tikkaholes.jpg

Yes, it has the plastic trigger guard...so don't drop it on concrete or run it over with your truck.

Maybe Chuck will come over and post the groups he gets with his 40 year old forged wood stocked rifles? Or send them to me for testing? :)

atblis
January 10, 2008, 12:16 PM
The same is said about a lot of what Remington makes, and rightly so IMO.
Own no Remingtons, have none on my wishlist. Trying to buy older Tikkas/Sakos/Steyrs currently.

Fumbler
January 10, 2008, 12:34 PM
I used to have a lot of respect for Hawks.
But that article was one of the biggest pieces of gun snobbery ever put out by an "expert."

So what if it's plastic? The nicer version of a Tikka is a Sako priced twice as much.
Every Tikka I've seen is built to much better tolerances than any 700.

The T3 is a good representation of a moderately priced rifle with the performance of a high dollar rifle.

Saying...
Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim.
...is rediculous. Every T3 owner knows it's true.
At least we T3 owners don't have to go around bragging about how our 700s shoot 1MOA with handloads.

Here's what my T3 Lite in 308 Win does with a bipod and 168gr Black Hills BTHP at 100 yards.
http://www.thewolfweb.com/photos/00349750.jpg
Federal 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tips do even better, I just don't have a pic.

biggameballs
January 11, 2008, 01:22 PM
Tikka rifles are JUNK! Cheap ass sh*tball rifles! Buy a winchester model 70 or a browning A Bolt.

Zak Smith
January 11, 2008, 01:39 PM
The Tikka T3 is a good deal and I don't think you'll find many better rifles for $550 these days.

Richard.Howe
January 11, 2008, 02:24 PM
My brother-in-law's T3 Lite just will not group any factory ammo larger than about 1-1/4".

What a crappy rifle. At least it should have a brand of ammo that it dislikes. It's predictable accuracy is just too boring.

:)

I told him that it's a good thing I didn't shoot the gun before giving it to him, or I'd likely have kept it for myself.

Tikka's are what they are. They aren't pre-'64 Supergrades or Blasers or Merkels. They're just a good, weather-resistant, sub-$600, straight-shooting rifle. If you want something more, buy something else.

mr.trooper
January 11, 2008, 02:39 PM
Tikkas are awesome rifles. The fact that they are trying to save money in a competitive market is nothing to bemoan.

The action on the Tikka is smoother and stronger than most other rifles on the market, and they have excellent barrels. While the stocks are synthetic, they are far from "flimsy". Its not like they flex or bend under recoil.

He DOES know you can buy Tikkas with nice wooden stocks right? Old Geezer needs to lighten up and stop imposing his PREFERENCES on his readers, and stop speaking about his own OPINIONS as if they were fact.

SWMAN
January 11, 2008, 03:06 PM
Hard to believe Hawks has a site where people pay him to listen to his opinions.:what:

cpttango30
January 11, 2008, 03:42 PM
After visiting the local gun stores lately I have come to the conclusion that Remington is putting out junk anymore. I have a 700VLS that came with a pot metal trigger guard the fit and finish were not that great but was good. It is nothing on the fit of many of my fathers older ugler rifles. That new Remington SPS is junk the stock is a discrase to the Remington name.

I do not agree 100% with him but I am there 98%. Many people out there either want the cheapest thing they can get or the most expensive rifle out there and the most expensive scope on it.

Like the guy I see with a Weatherby I think either a 300 or a 340 wthby mag Then he went and bought some goofy looking 8.5-25x50mm scope for it.

We as americans are the cause of this we have all made the sacrafice of quality for teh price. Look at AR rifles plastic and cast aluminum yet we will pay $1800 for them. I am not knocking any ar rifle but really where is all the cost comming from? We are willing to stop buying at the local mom and pop gun stores and buy from the mega box stores because we can get what ever we want and not have to wait for it at all. Do not get me wrong as the last 2 firearms I purchased i got from a mega box store. They have piss poor customer service there is new person behind the gun counter every time I go in the store. The bad thing about the mega box stores is they order in large quanties that something has to give for the manufactures to get the orders filled as fast as they can.

Do not expect custom gun quality from a factory made gun.

skinewmexico
January 11, 2008, 04:40 PM
This thread is 18 months old now, can't it just die?

Fumbler
January 11, 2008, 04:43 PM
Tikka rifles are JUNK! Cheap ass sh*tball rifles! Buy a winchester model 70 or a browning A Bolt.
My T3 shoots better than my girlfriend's brother's A-Bolt Grade III. The T3 also has a nicer trigger when they're both adjusted down.

Not bashing the A-bolt, but my $500 (bought 4 years ago) T3 can do what his $1100 A-Bolt can do, but better.

I like this quote:
To add insult to injury, the Tikka T3 is a cheap rifle, but not an inexpensive one. These things cost as much or more than some higher quality, better designed, and better turned-out hunting rifles.
What's higher quality than a T3 and costs the same or less?
The Rem 700 ADL?
Push feed M70s?
Savages?
I really doubt he can name any examples of better built guns for the price.

T3s have plastic trigger guards and mags. So what? Ever heard of one breaking?
Heck, look at the Remington 700 extractor. It's a POS piece of bent spring steel that's riveted in place. It works just like the plastic on a T3 works, yet he doesn't talk trash about it.

He needs a reality check.

It's a free market. Gun makers produce what we will buy.
I wanted a high performance no frills rifle and got the best of them.
If I wanted a good looking well made rifle then I would have gotten an A-Bolt.
If I wanted a somewhat good looking rifle with poor machining, cheap parts, and crappy performance then I would have picked one of those 700s that he speaks so highly of.

vmfrantz
January 11, 2008, 09:07 PM
Instead of ripping everyone, he should've told us the rifles that meet his criteria. And for his info I wouldnt even look at a rifle better built but
shoots only 2" moa.

stevereno1
January 11, 2008, 11:09 PM
Tikka's are fine rifles, but I don't like the way they kind of cover up the top of the bolt. I don't like that "ejection hole". Good shooters though.

Bob R
January 11, 2008, 11:14 PM
Who is Chuck Hawks? And why should I care what he says?

I guess I am out of the loop on gun writers, I gave up on gun mags years ago. I prefer to get recommendations from people who have bought and shoot the guns I am interested in.

bob

Feanaro
January 12, 2008, 02:57 PM
Oh yeah, and the good old days saw a lot of junk. Many rifles we haven't ever heard of rust away in barns and basements as we speak.

We remember the few good ones, and forget that the Winchester Model 70 was a premium rifle back then, not the rifle everybody took into the field.

Yep. With with the exception of two shotguns and a Krag, all the "old" firearms in my family are cheap. Cheap copies of S&W pistols, cheap rifles, cheap single shots, and even a cheap single shot with a faux wood stock... that's really plastic. ;) This seems to match up with most everyone else I know.

Art Eatman
January 12, 2008, 03:08 PM
I remember when holding a half a thousandth of an inch was precision machining. That's back before "pre-'64 Model 70s" were considered superduperomigods and generally held around one to one-point-five MOA.

Bo Clerke told me he holds one ten-thousandth of an inch on his barrels.

Odds are, the average Tikka will shoot equally as well if not better than the "Rifleman's rifle". So it's not gonna take field combat abuse in time of war. So what?

IronCurtain
May 10, 2008, 03:38 AM
I have to chime in here.

Chuck Hawks is dead on.

I was shopping for a centerfire and liked the Tikka T3 from what I read. After checking them out, talking to some people and finding out more about the rifle I decided NOT to buy it.

Sure, its a good shooter, however I did not like the cheap feel, plastic parts, and long action receiver. I DO NOT want plastic on my hunting rifle. For me that was a deal breaker.

Now, call me an elitist, rich bastard becasue I don't want cheap plastic on a hunting rifle, in fact I'm a dirt poor. I paying my own way through school, I live off kraft dinner, potatoes and whatever I catch or kill but I appreciate good craftmanship with everything I buy and will gladly pay for it.

I left the shop with a used Marlin 336 in 30-30 becasue that was all I could afford at the time. This little lever gun is bare bones, no frills, but its built like a hunting rifle should be. It's not nearly as accurate as the Tikka but I can drop in down a hill, drag it through dirt, kick it and have no worries about something breaking. Snap to take apart and clean. I used it for almost 2 years until I saved up enough for my dream gun, a CZ 550 fullstock rifle in .308 which I paid almost $1000 for.

Chuck Hawks brings up a very valid point. I'm not arguing that the Tikka's are not good shooters, from everything I've read they certainly are, however they are cheaply built which Hawks rightfully points out.

In 50 years when the plastic mags are lost or broken, the plastic trigger guards have snapped off and the plastic stocks are cracking on the Tikka T3's that old Marlin 336 I bought for $250 bucks will still be the same as it is today.

This might offend some people who buy cheap guns, 2 for 1 burgers, lease cheap cars, buy Made in China Walmart coffee makers and toasters and look for deals above all else. The perfect consumers, buy everything cheap and ultimatly disposable.

Some people however still value good craftmanship. I for one will contiune using my old old Marlin, cherish by CZ 550 and drive my used Japansese car with over 200k miles on it.

When I want something new I'll will save up enough money for a well built product instead of supporting companies and products that have inferior build quality. If that makes me a 'snob' so be it. Maybe if more people did this we'd all be getting a better product instead of the junk out there today.

Horsemany
May 10, 2008, 07:47 AM
Iron curtain

I couldn't agree more. Ignorance is bliss they say. If you have never owned, held, or shot a quality piece you wouldn't know what you're missing. I think the younger generation is so far removed from the time when guns were basically hand built (1950's) that they don't know what they're missing. There is something solid and right about holding a gun that even the tiniest parts are machined out of bar stock. The stocks hand fit and hand checkered. I suspect many don't even know these guns existed so they don't care or know there is something better than a plastic gun. Gun manufactureres love to sell you a blow molded plastic stock that cost them $5 to $10 on average rather than have to shape, finish, and checker one out of wood. Where was the price reduction when they started doing this in the $90's?

stubbicatt
May 10, 2008, 07:52 AM
Maybe not Tikka in particular, but I too have noticed a diminution of quality in the rifles being sold these days. Some I totally expect to malfunction right out of the box, so prevalent is this QC deficiency.

Ash
May 10, 2008, 08:28 AM
That is why I often buy used. None of my hunting rifles are younger than 30 years old! My 308 and 22 rifles. If nothing else, to keep this oh so old thread going!

Ash

KI.W.
May 10, 2008, 09:05 AM
I like older Tikkas and Sakos. Now those new ones "Berettas" are like Remington, Ruger, Browning, Winchester........

Art Eatman
May 10, 2008, 11:21 AM
Well, when there is market resistance for prices above the $500 level, you're gonna get $500 guns. If a factory only makes $2,000 guns, they're probably not gonna stay in business with the present number of employees.

Back when I gave $200 for a NIB Sako Forrester, gasoline was 30¢ a gallon.

Think of it this way: If you can buy a good shooter for $500, at least the quality of the steel is still good. If you're worried about the plastic parts breaking, buy some spares and lay them back.

But remember that we here are in the minority of all shooters. The great majority own one or few rifles, shoot a few rounds a year and that's it. Warts and all, a Tikka is plenty good. For that matter, even the Rem 710 will meet the needs of many, many hunters...

So let's not get too snobby about how cool we are and how much we know. Don't get your nose so high in the air that when it rains, you'll drown...

Art

alsaqr
May 10, 2008, 11:49 AM
"So let's not get too snobby about how cool we are and how much we know. Don't get your nose so high in the air that when it rains, you'll drown..."


Bingo!!! Chuck Hawks badmouthed receivers being made from bar stock. The Remington 700 and its predecessors have been made that way for nearly 60 years. They are as strong as any factory gun made today and are just as accurate. They are successful too, having totally swamped the competition.

Grew up hunting and shooting with surplus military rifles. It is what we could afford at the time. Thankfully, today i can afford to have a spiffy custom rifle made: No, i do not have one. It would sit in the gun safe for fear of getting it scratched. My guns are bought to use, not to show. My last purchase, a CZ 527, already has a few "character" dings.

Richard.Howe
May 10, 2008, 12:00 PM
As an experiment, look at the post counts of those who HATE the Tikkas, vs. the experience level of those who think the Tikka is a good or great bargain. Interesting exercise. For example, Art vs. IronCurtain.

I DO NOT want plastic on my hunting rifle.

In 50 years when the plastic mags are lost or broken, the plastic trigger guards have snapped off and the plastic stocks are cracking on the Tikka T3's that old Marlin 336 I bought for $250 bucks will still be the same as it is today.


I for one will contiune using my old old Marlin, cherish by CZ 550 and drive my used Japansese car with over 200k miles on it.

...instead of supporting companies and products that have inferior build quality. If that makes me a 'snob' so be it. Maybe if more people did this we'd all be getting a better product instead of the junk out there today.

wow, just wow.

I would suggest that your Japanese car may have one or two pieces of plastic on it, as do my two Toyotas.

Let me also suggest laying a walnut stock in the woods for 50 years next to a composite one, then revisiting the experiment.

My Glocks (fair amount of plastc, as you may know) have swallowed a total of over 60k rounds. No breakages yet.

I would consider myself a rifle snob -- with a closet full of pre-and post-64 model 70's, some in exhibition grade Turkish walnut, and others in McMilan stocks. Most all have some kind of European glass on top.

But I can still recognize the value and robust design of a bargain rifle such as the Tikka. In fact, I've bought a .223 T3 Lite for myself as a beater 'yote rig.

The higher a monkey climbs, the more easily you can see its backside. No need for anyone to sit so high on a horse.

Ash
May 10, 2008, 12:02 PM
Oh, Tikkas are great hunting rifles. Yet, I paid less than half the price of the Tikka for checkered walnut, hinged floor-plate, short bolt throw, iron sights, all in a short-action 308. Indeed, the whole package, Nikon Monarch, Redfield base and turn-in rings, cost less than a Tikka alone.

Of course, it is 30 years old and, granted, the Tikka is almost certainly going to be more accurate. Yet I just like wood a blue. As it is too expensive new, I went used and have been happy ever since. In the end, those of us who like wood and steel are just as legitimate a group as those who like plastic.

(I'll show my walnut and blue 810 in 7mm Mag someday later).

Ash

Skoghund
May 10, 2008, 12:46 PM
I like a nice bit of wood and all metal parts on a rifle . I have a Merkel combi made in 73 and a Heym -Ruger i bought in 78. But the problem with fine quality is that at the first sign of damp or a bit of blood they rust like hell. I can't complain about the accuracy of either of those weapons. BUT i have just bought a Mauser M03 Extreme. Spending all day out hunting in the rain and snow It just makes sense to have a plastic stock and metal parts that don't rust so quick. Much as i think the Tikka is one pug ugly rifle the truth is that most out of the box Sako,Tikka shoot really well.

Horsemany
May 10, 2008, 02:24 PM
Well, when there is market resistance for prices above the $500 level, you're gonna get $500 guns. If a factory only makes $2,000 guns, they're probably not gonna stay in business with the present number of employees.

Back when I gave $200 for a NIB Sako Forrester, gasoline was 30¢ a gallon.

Think of it this way: If you can buy a good shooter for $500, at least the quality of the steel is still good. If you're worried about the plastic parts breaking, buy some spares and lay them back.

But remember that we here are in the minority of all shooters. The great majority own one or few rifles, shoot a few rounds a year and that's it. Warts and all, a Tikka is plenty good. For that matter, even the Rem 710 will meet the needs of many, many hunters...

So let's not get too snobby about how cool we are and how much we know. Don't get your nose so high in the air that when it rains, you'll drown...

Art

I couldn't agree more Art. It's easy when you really get into guns to forget that most people see them primarily as tools. Some others may appreciate old guns just as an antique collector may covet a piece of fine furniture.

I also agree that any lack of quality can be blamed 100% on the American sportsman who by a vast majority wants CHEAP above all else. We vote with our checkbook boys and Art is right. Those who appreciate fine rifles of the past are in the minority. We should be more supportive of those who share the sport rather than draw lines in the sand.

jmr40
May 10, 2008, 05:07 PM
50 years from now my grandchildren will still be shooting my old S&W's, Colts, and Winchesters. They will be amazed at the quality of workmanship and the amount of hand work that went into them. They will also still be shooting my old Tikka's and Glocks and will be amazed at the engineering that went into a gun that allowed it to work just as well if not better and be manufactured at a fraction of the cost.

For me, I appreciate the fine guns as much as anybody but I like the newer advances as well. If you want to pay the price for the more expensive guns that option is still there.

rust collector
May 10, 2008, 05:26 PM
Commenting negatively on another's choice of ordnance doesn't seem to advance the knowledge base of our community. Use what you enjoy, but no need to cast aspersions. Some of us own pretty rifles and utility rifles so the pretty ones need not be dragged out on the muskeg or rolled over by a fractious pack animal. Is it better to invest in a looker or a cooker?

Driving a Jeep doesn't mean we don't like Lamborghinis, but it may mean the Jeep will do what we need to do without the ownership costs of the Lambo. It's your nickel, and we're not here to tell you how to spend it. Unless you ask.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 10, 2008, 05:31 PM
All very true. But let's not blind ourselves to the incontrovertible FACT that plastic parts WILL break before steel or even aluminum, of the same dimensions, even if not for decades. We won't know the difference in our lifetimes, in all likelihood. But our grandkids will have to try to find replacement parts for some of these guns for non-wear parts, which may or may not be available. That's assuming the legacy of shooting carries on in your family. If it's made of quality steel and wood, on the other hand, they won't need any replacement parts except for parts that receive wear. Whatever one wants to do is fine by me, but plastic trigger guards, magazines, etc., disgust me personally. In fact, I just got a brand new Rem 700 CDL and I cannot even tell if the trigger guard is plastic or aluminum. I *think* it's aluminum, but I have my suspicions when I tap it - anyone know for sure? I'm gonna be :mad: if there's a plastic part on this gun.

Horsemany
May 10, 2008, 05:51 PM
PremiumSauces

I agree with you on the plastics. I collect old Winchesters. If you handle one of those and then fondle a Tikka it's almost laughable. It's like comparing a Mercedes to a Pinto. But the point is some people are perfectly happy with a Pinto and it's not my place to tell them it's junk.

The way you feel about the cheapness of modern guns is the reason people have been collecting older, better made guns for decades. If you haven't started already I've gotta warn you. It's like a sickness.

I'm fairly certain all Remmy 700 trigger gaurds are cast pot metal. All mine are.

Zak Smith
May 10, 2008, 07:35 PM
The rifles many are describing, with "old world" quality are still available-- starting around $1500. If the T3 were made with multiple action lengths and all forged or machined billet parts, it wouldn't sell for under a grand.

Richard.Howe
May 10, 2008, 07:43 PM
We won't know the difference in our lifetimes, in all likelihood. But our grandkids will have to try to find replacement parts for some of these guns for non-wear parts, which may or may not be available

Pretty sure not many of us are buying Tikkas as legacy rifles... :)

Rich

alsaqr
May 10, 2008, 10:06 PM
Yep, people just hate plastic on guns. Except, of course when it is all over a Remington 600 or 660. Then they go goo-goo and spend ten times what the gun cost just to take it home and fondle it.

Ash
May 10, 2008, 10:07 PM
Not me as I'm not at all interested in a Remington 600.

Ash

.38 Special
May 10, 2008, 10:25 PM
I thought Chuck Hawks was a pretty knowledgeable fellow. Followed his instructions on painting my motorcycle and it worked out exactly as he said it would. And his gun stuff was usually well-written, if perhaps a bit topical.

But then I came across his article on Smith & Wesson wherein he berates them for producing the "defective" Model 19: defective for not standing up to extended use with full-house 125 grain magnums. It's an ignorant thing to say on several levels, and it me wonder a bit about the guy.

A few days later I read his article on the .45 Colt, which was chock-full of bias and misinformation. There were several points that demonstrated either a profound ignorance of revolvers, or were simply tall tales about things he claimed to have experienced.

So I no longer see any point to reading anything he writes. *shrug*

mr.trooper
May 10, 2008, 11:40 PM
He'd probably write a similar rant on buying a new chainsaw and finding it to be mostly plastic instead of all steel like in the good old days. Welcome to 2006.

Like how the skill saw used to be all steel? :rolleyes: Gravy, those things weigh 20lbs and have less power than new "plastic crap" models. You should see the things contractors put those things through and they hold.

Just because your $1 off brand G.I. Joe had flimsy plastic and broke does not mean that an appropriate synthetic is a sub-par construction material. :rolleyes:

280shooter
May 11, 2008, 01:02 AM
I bought a tikka3 lite in stainless 223,the twist of rate is 1-8" it wont shoot factory ammo for squt,so i been reloading ,I did get it to shot 1 in" groups
I did break in the barrel,i have over 500 rds through it,I need to spet up to the heavier bullets. before i can s ay its junk.or its gold.right now its zink.My little T/C 21 in. 223 will out shoot this Tikka 3 .as of now.I did pay 600 bucks,GM wanted almost 800, mines left hand,stainless,It was cheaper in price then the 700,I hope i made the right choice,

mr.trooper
May 11, 2008, 03:27 AM
most factory ammo is very light., and 1-8" twist is pretty fast. 45-62 grain is what is loaded in most ammo. Try some Federal Gold metal Match, its a 69 grain bullet and the load is known for good accuracy.

Ash
May 11, 2008, 08:09 AM
Polymer stocks were indeed a chance to drastically decrease the cost of production while maintaining the price. They do indeed cost orders of magnitude less than walnut. The Tikka stock, while better than a Savage 110 stock, is still a pretty cheap thing to make. And that is just fine.

A tremendous number of ice cream manufacturers provide 1/2 gallon-size containers, but don't but that much ice cream in them (they are labeled properly, with an accurate amount in there, which is less than 1/2 gallon). My point? Instead of raising prices, which would reduce consumption, they kept the price the same but offered less product. In this case, the consumer is fooled into paying more per ounce. In the case of polymer, it isn't all that far removed, in the view of Chuck, to put a $10 stock on a rifle and convince you that it is better/high tech/etc.

In my case, I just don't worry about that. I don't like polymer stocks on rifles. I just don't. And, I think it a shame that bottom end rifles in the 1960's, still had polished blue, iron sights, walnut stocks, hinged floorplates, and the like. Bottom end back then was more expensive, in real money, than today of course. Modern rifles such as the Mossberg 100ATR or even Tikka T3, are cheaper when everything is considered. Yet, bottom-end store brand from the 1960's that costs equivalent to the modern-day Tikka was a nicer-made rifle than a Tikka currently is.

There are nice options today, of course. They can cost alot, but they can also be pretty modest. The Savage 114 is an example. That rifle is made for guys like me who like wood and steel but don't want to spend a mint. There are others, of course, and they are in the affordable range. The laminate stocked 700BDL costs about the same as a Tikka, and I would certainly prefer it.

Whether Chuck is right or not, there are plenty of us who agree with him that there is a switcharoo done with plastic stocks, convincing the masses that they are so much greater when in reality they are so much cheaper to produce.

Ash

Art Eatman
May 11, 2008, 10:04 AM
It was roughly twenty years ago that I read that mature Black Walnut trees were worth about $20,000 per each. Yoicks!

Check around for the price on semi-finished halfway-decent wood stocks. If you're looking for "really nice", hang on to your billfold, 'cause you're in for a ride!

I bought a NIB Weatherby Mark V for $315, the same year I bought a brand new Chevy 3/4-ton van for $3,200. Priced vans, lately? I'm amazed that good-shooting rifles are as inexpensive as they are.

Art

Ash
May 11, 2008, 12:38 PM
But cars, of course, have increased at a rate far higher than inflation. A decent car, new, could be had for $1500 in 1965. Today, that would translate into about $10,000. Want nicer? A $3,000 car in 1965 would be a hair less than $20,000 today.

As to rifles, the bottom end now, are cheaper than the bottom end in 1965. Yet, the bottom end in 1965, when placed on an equal price level with mid-ranged, and equally priced, rifles today, is still nicer.


Ash

Sir Aardvark
May 11, 2008, 02:30 PM
Thus flimsy, injection molded plastic stocks are praised as "lightweight" or "weather resistant" rather than criticized as the inferior bedding platforms that they actually are.

The plastic stock that came with my Browning A-Bolt when I bought it in 1993 was a joke.
The forearm would wiggle-waggle around.
I ended up replacing it with a Bell & Carlson stock.

280shooter
May 11, 2008, 08:34 PM
the stock on my tikka3 does feel and look cheap,
Im not big on the plastic,but the price of wood now a days is just out of this world,
Now i have plastic and i had a gun smithh add that when he was building my 8mm.but that was a Mcmillon stock,big dif in quailty if u ask me i shoot both,and that stock was alot more money then wood,back then,

BENELLIMONTE
June 4, 2008, 08:06 AM
I own a Tikka T3 lite in 270 Win. Outside of my Weatherby MKV (300WM) the Tikka is the most accurate out of the box rifle I own. I have taken cow elk and several mule deer with the Tikka. I have no complaints about the rifle.

kurtmax
June 4, 2008, 09:05 PM
I don't see how 'plastic' parts wear more than steel.

For one, the 'plastic' used in firearms is specially designed for that use. It's not Tupperware. Also, plastic doesn't rust or really need any maintenance at all.

More likely, future generations will be trying to find a new barrel or slide for my Glock....

Horsemany
June 4, 2008, 09:24 PM
kurtmax

Plastic does have it's place, but it has weaknesses too IMO. Plastics weaken over time from expansion and contraction. An example would be old vinyl siding that becomes very brittle on southern exposures. Look at older plastic buttplates that are commonly cracked in half. Most plastics become brittle with age and shrink.

That's not saying the alternatives to plastic don't have problems too. Plastics provide a level of durability and weight that is sometimes desireable in firearms. A good thing can be taken too far or used in places it shouldn't. I find plastics good for pistol frames, but I don't care for hollow injection molded riflestocks. Anywhere it's used to make something cheaper to manufacture I feel I'm being cheated in some way. It's just my personal opinion. Handle a well made American gun from the 50's and then handle one of the plastic laden modern guns. The new stuff lacks soul IMO.

Art Eatman
June 4, 2008, 09:48 PM
This thread's sorta gone necro. We can worry about Hawks' opinion some other time...

:), Art

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