Tikka T3 Varmint


September 23, 2006, 08:01 PM
Im currently deciding whether i want a .223, a .204, or a .308. If i get a .223 or .308 ive been lokoing at the Tikka T3 Varmint. Anyone have any comments on this gun, is it reliable and accurate?

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September 23, 2006, 08:28 PM
The Tikka is very underrated. My Varmint has shot groups as small as .154" at 100 yards. I recently whacked 250+ P-dogs in South Dakota with a 90% kill rate. They make a great barrel.

You can send me a PM if you want to discuss.


September 24, 2006, 01:26 AM
And it printed nice tight groups right out of the box with WWB something or others.

Smooth action, nice rifle. It was not a varminter barrel and it did not seem to wander as many successive shots were made. But in all fairness, I was comparing it to my stepdads 223 Mini 14, which is NOT an accurate shooter.


September 30, 2006, 03:35 PM
anyone else have some experience with this rifle?

IV Troop
September 30, 2006, 10:43 PM
This is a re post of an article I wrote a while back:

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

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.

IV Troop

October 1, 2006, 02:21 PM
Thanks, i just got done reading it on the other thread i just recently found :)

November 5, 2007, 09:51 PM
I own a T3 Varmint in .308---I LOVE IT. This is by far the best .308 I have ever owned, an I have owned 7 different .308s over the years. The best group I ever shot was with Hornady, 155gr TAP rounds. The 5 shot grouping at 200 yards were just under an inch. Thats 1/2 an MOA....at 200 yards, with a Nikon Monarch X 2.5 - 10 x 44mm Illuminated Mil-Dot Rifle Scope 8413. This set up is a little bit expensive...but I am sure a cheaper scope would work just fine. This rifle is also very good at long ranges. The longest I have shot mine is at an 800 yard range. My best 5 shot group at that distance was just over 4.95 inches, again about 1/2 MOA with the same TAP ammo. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND the T3 Varmint to anyone with the ability to buy it. With that said, if you are looking for a great 308, and given the amazing qualities of the varmint, I would be willing to bet the Tikka T3 Tactical would be an even better choice but its a bit more money.

cracked butt
November 5, 2007, 11:42 PM
Though not the varmint model, I shot a new Tikka T3 in .270 today that I was helping a friend sight in. I had him shoot, while I spotted for him and helped walk him into the bullseye (the scope was off by 1.5ft to begin with) He shot a few 2-3" groups (he's a novice rifleman) before I asked him if I could shoot a group to determine exactly where it was shooting. I placed 3 rounds into a group just over 1/2, and this was with a hot barrel. I was very impressed with the rifle. FWIW, I was also shooting my .308 deer rifle which I normally get with boring predicatability and did get today 3/4" groups with handloads.

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