I'm looking for my first .223 varmint bolt gun and from the listed guns you can see i'm on a budget. I'm leaning towards savage but if i'm wrong let me know. Don't just vote. Give a specific reason why one is better than the other. As varmint indicates, this would be for punching paper when i can't and red misting when i can :evil:
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January 12, 2007, 11:08 PM
The Savage is a short action receiver that costs less and offers an aftermarket to answer any needs you may develop.
The Tikka is a long action with a crappy block in it. There's no aftermarket to speak of and it costs more than it should.
Every last accuracy report I've read has put the Savage ahead. You should know that Savage rifles are cheaper for a few reasons. The barrel jam nut is a controversial aesthetic issue. The accu-triggers are nice but mine decocks the action if the bolt is worked vigorously with it set at minimum. The ejector pin is too small and causes crappy ejection. Given it's problems the Savage will probably need some tweaking to make it work perfectly for you. As a plus, the .223 will be easier to eject so the plunger probably won't give you problems. Even if it did, the total price to get the Savage running perfectly is still less than the Tikka AND the Savage will outshoot it anyhow.
January 13, 2007, 12:06 AM
Savage for the accutrigger, aftermarket options, the barrel mount / easy change system and American manufacture. Tikka if you really like an exceptionally ugly rifle.
January 13, 2007, 01:41 AM
A timely thread. I just traded my savage 116 vssf .223 with a 26 inch barrel for a new Tikka Stainless varmint. I haven't had a chance to shoot the Tikka yet. Maybe tomorrow. The savage was probably the most accurate rifle I've ever had. It would shoot just about any load under 1/2 inch. Amazing... The rub was the 26 inch barrel. It was just too long for me. For coyote calling I just like a shorter barrel. I hope the tikka can come close to 1/2 inch groups. That's a tall order. If the Tikka won't shoot like the savage, I'll probably trade it for another savage with a shorter barrel. The Tikkas are supposed to shoot-we shall see.
For the money ($699) I'm really not impressed with the Tikka's composite stock. The wide beavertail forend and high cheek piece are each just bolted on the regular hunting stock. It's alright...... but kinda cheesy. I love the trigger and the action is smooth, so it really has some merit. I really like both rifles. You can't go wrong with either, but the savage doesn't hurt your wallet as much.
January 13, 2007, 02:05 AM
The savages have a horrendous bolt design, with one of the worst extractor designs known to man. The accutrigger doesn't equal the trigger pull of a Tikka T3 Light in .30-06 that is also at my job--the Tikka's is better. It's a better platform, supported by a better manufacturer, and I am seriously debating plunking down close to a grand to order either a Tikka or Sako sometime in the next few months. Tikka might not "look" the best, but honestly, it has the most comfortable stock I've ever held on a "standard" rifle; the bolt is smooth as glass and requires almost no effort to use, the action is scaled to the cartridge instead of "short" or "long" action only.
Honestly, if you want an awesome rifle for cheap, I would advise the Tikka (even better would be a Sako). If you really have questions on the bolt design of the Savage, please PM me. Tikka/Sako bolts are positively amazing in their design simplicity; every Savage bolt I've seen has been more or less the exact same--the only difference is where the stud is to shorten the bolt travel, but the bolt is exactly the same on a .204 Ruger as on a .300 WSM. I know I'm one of the sole "detractors" to Savage, but out of the box, the Tikka is a better rifle.
January 13, 2007, 02:50 AM
January 13, 2007, 03:02 AM
I have Tikka T-3 lite in stainless (308 cal.)and love it.I think it has very smooth bolt compared to my other rifles and very accurate to boot.I would also look at CZ rifles,maybe the varmint or american models.I have 2 CZ,s both models I mentioned they are tack drivers.:)
January 13, 2007, 03:11 AM
i just figure if i don't like something about a rifle that has after market parts then i'll customize. If i don't like something on the tikka i'm s.o.l. I think i'm going with the varminter low profile LH. Now the question i need help answering is what caliber? .204, .223 or 22-250. I've pretty much eliminated 22-250 from my options due to what i've heard about barrel life. Seems twice the powder for 400+/- fps takes it's toll on the tube. Like the idea of the .204 but don't know if it can be as explosive as the .223. What causes the "red mist" :evil: speed? Mass? Assuming i'm using a 55 grain nosler 3200 fps .223 vs 40 grain nosler 4000 fps .204 which would be most explosive on impact? Also is there much of a price difference for factory? Reloading?
Thanks for all you insights
January 13, 2007, 03:24 AM
"Tikka might not "look" the best, but honestly, it has the most comfortable stock I've ever held on a "standard" rifle; the bolt is smooth as glass and requires almost no effort to use, the action is scaled to the cartridge instead of "short" or "long" action only."
Dude seriously what are you talking about? There's the long action, then there's the long action. Tikka doesn't "scale" anything for short actions. As for stock fit, you are clearly the body type that fits perfectly. Good for you, I do think the Tikkas are well built, I just think that they are too expensive to not offer a true short action length receiver.
I agree to an extent about the Savage bolt. The ejector pin is too small, however they designed a bolt that uses the exact same extractor for ALL cartridges. Secondly their bolt is designed to allow EASY left to right hand operation conversion. That is a special order proposition for those unlucky 10% that are lefties on just about any other rifle. Plus the Savage bolt design coupled with the barrel jam nut makes it possible for a non gunsmith to change calibers within action length. Now granted the magazine feed lips won't be perfect for most situations but the detachable magazine Savage rifles would answer that problem in spades. Frankly it sounds to me like you are assuming that the interchangable bolt face concept is somehow a shortcoming as opposed to the elegant design that it is. Plus and I really mean this, if a Savage will shoot tighter groups than the Sako or the Tikka how is their design falling short? I think the Sakos will likely hold value as thier beauty and craftsmanship will be appreciated for many years to come. Esoteric arguements of future value notwithstanding I fail to see how the Tikka could possibly represent a better value dollar for dollar.
January 13, 2007, 09:47 AM
Good for you, I do think the Tikkas are well built, I just think that they are too expensive to not offer a true short action length receiver.
I have a question for you. First, let me say I own both a Tikka T3 and a Savage 12BVSS. I consider both of them fine rifles, and could not honestly say that one is better than the other. Both shoot better than me, and neither have had any mechanical issues whatsoever.
My question is why you are so unhappy with the fact that Tikka uses a long action length receiver on cartridges that could be chambered in short actions. I don't see how or why this makes any practical difference. Its like a half an inch of extra bolt movement, and I just don't see the big deal. I agree with you that it would be ideal to have short cartridges in short actions, but I doubt it makes any actual difference that can be detected in the field. In fact, I owned my Tikka for a few months before I even noticed this. I am not ragging on you for considering this less than an ideal design, but seriously, what difference does it make?
January 13, 2007, 02:51 PM
I'm a great Savage fan, but when it came time to treat myself to a Sporter weight 22-250 I went with the Tikka and couldn't be more pleased. Either will be capable of extreme accuracy. I wouldn't be concerned about barrel life in the .22-250. It would take a lot of shooting......Essex
January 13, 2007, 02:55 PM
I've only HELD both.
The Savage had the most annoying bolt. To unlock, you have to push HARD up until it clicks, slide back, push forward, then push down HARD. I didnt like it.
I've only held ONE Tikka, so I dont know if this was unique but the whole thing felt flimsy. Bolt, action/stock, etc.
January 13, 2007, 03:07 PM
"The Savage had the most annoying bolt. To unlock, you have to push HARD up until it clicks, slide back, push forward, then push down HARD. I didnt like it."
This comes as a surprise to me as I have owned three Mod.110s,a Mod.111 and presently own a Mod.112 SS heavy fluted barrel. All my bolts were smooth with the Mod.112 "like butta". Maybe the one you tried was just an anomaly. Just my dollar two ninety-eights worth.
January 13, 2007, 03:11 PM
Well, couple of questions.
The savages have a horrendous bolt design, with one of the worst extractor designs known to man. The accutrigger doesn't equal the trigger pull of a Tikka T3 Light in .30-06 that is also at my job--the Tikka's is better.
1) How is the Savage a "horrendous" bolt design? How is the extractor design bad? I sorta think it's pretty positive, of course comparing to the Remingtons round spring extractor thingy.
2) How can a gun be any uglier than a Savage? LOL! I've never seen a Tikka or at least never paid attention.
Anyway, the Savage will git-er-done, as they say. It's an accurate, reliable rifle. There are better rifles, of course, but for the money they ain't bad. I have one of 'em. Mine don't even have the accutrigger and I adjusted it down to a nice, crisp 3 lbs, perfect for a hunting rifle IMHO. No, it won't go down to .0000001 ounces, but hey, anything lighter than 3 lbs is dangerous in a hunting rifle IMHO and it's really hard to feel the sear through a pair of heavy winter gloves with those ridiculously light triggers. All 3 of my primary hunting rifles are set at 3 lbs. If you think you're a world class sniper and want less or you're into competition, you really don't want a Savage, anyway, though they do make aftermarket triggers to suit about anyone. I see the Savage as a very effective budget hunting rifle. Of course, the only use I have for a rifle is killing game. I don't do games with my rifles or wear Ghilly suits on the weekends. Oh, I'll shoot an informal bench rest competition with the gun club occasionally, but I ain't a bench rest guy.
The bolt on my Savage feels like it's riding on sandpaper compared to my Remingtons. It ain't that hard to operate, though, it just cannot be described as anywhere close to smooth. My Remingtons, especially my old M722, you can elevate the barrel slightly above horizontal with the action open and the action will glide back like it's on ball bearings. The Savage has to be above 45 degrees of horizontal before it'll fall open. the absolute SMOOTHEST bolt I've ever seen, though, is on an old German M88 commision rifle I bought for $27.50 back in the 70s. Wow, that thing has some workmanship in it! It's just an old POS milsurp, but the workmanship is amazing.
January 13, 2007, 03:19 PM
Appearance wise The Tikka T3 reminds me of a Browning A bolt which I think is more attractive than the Savage. My choice, however,all things considered is the Savage.
January 13, 2007, 04:27 PM
This comes as a surprise to me as I have owned three Mod.110s,a Mod.111 and presently own a Mod.112 SS heavy fluted barrel. All my bolts were smooth with the Mod.112 "like butta". Maybe the one you tried was just an anomaly. Just my dollar two ninety-eights wort
You might be right. But I just remember that the bolt must be pushed up with an audible *click* before moving it back. On the Remington 700s it was more fluid.
Yours is worth more than my 2 cents :)
January 13, 2007, 05:17 PM
i have neither arm specified, but I have a Tikka T3 in .270, and I love it. I've got a wood stocked version.
It's accurate (quarter sized 5-shot group at 100 yards with commercial ammo) and well-made. Unlike the Savage guns, it looks like something a craftsman would make and is finished well - it looks like a lot more than a $600 gun (I got mine for $480 a year and a half ago). Everything is smooth. The trigger is a nice, crisp single-stage trigger - a 'glass rod', as they say. I have no idea how to tell how heavy it is, but it's light enough that it's a decent bench gun as well as a hunting gun. The removeable magazine takes 3 rounds, and spent cartridge ejection is solid - work the bolt quickly, as you would for a follow-up shot while hunting, and the brass will go flying 5 feet. Finally, the Tikka just fit me better than the Savages do, particularly with a scope.
Why I've been unsatisfied with Savage enough to not buy them: First, I can't stand their AccuTriggers. I prefer the 1-stage crisp triggers when I can get them. Also, their fit and finish isn't as good, and they generally feel like they're just thrown together. They may be dead accurate, but if you're not paying attention enough to the details to make it look pretty, I'm going to be somewhat leary about the quality of other 'small details', like whether the metal is strong enough, small parts work, etc. as well.
January 13, 2007, 08:25 PM
And got the same answers:
"Savage sucks - Tikka is better since I have one."
"No way Tikka sucks, looks cheap, Savage shoots better because I have one"
"Save your money and get a Sako"
"Why not just buy a Remington instead?"
"Savage bolts are blah blah blah blah, and Tikka is blah blah blah blah"
Go check them both out. Both are accurate, pick the one that fits you better and fits your wallet. Then go have fun with it.
Lots of opinions on the net. I never found anything that was a side by side comparison and not just someone's opinion.
January 13, 2007, 10:41 PM
Oh no... another savage vs. ( ) thread. Must resist posting..... must restist posting............
The bolt on my Savage feels like it's riding on sandpaper compared to my Remingtons. It ain't that hard to operate, though, it just cannot be described as anywhere close to smooth.
This is what I did, when your watching TV work the bolt back and forth about 500 times (you might even burn a few calories). Now if I tilt it to a 45 degree angle it slides back, tilt, slide forward.
Also, their fit and finish isn't as good, and they generally feel like they're just thrown together.
........... a thrown together gun that shoots 1/2 MOA all day long is better than the most beautifull rifle in the world if it shoots 2moa, in a situation that depended on accuracy you would prolly take the one that shoots 1/2moa. I have seen some lemons that where absolutly horrible both savage and tikka.
As for caliber, whatever works for you, If you reload thats a plus if you dont go with the .223, the cheap ammo will keep you happy for many days to come:D
just my $.02
January 13, 2007, 11:51 PM
I'll vote for Tikka. Savages haven't impressed me (haven't shot the varmint models though).
I might give the Tikka is an ugly gun thing credence is we weren't comparing to an equally ugly gun. Neither are beauty queens.
The accutrigger feels decent. I know the Tikka triggers are good.
Tikka bolt throw, despite not being a short action is smooooooth. Savages, are, well Savages.
Pretty much a tossup. Both are reported accurate by their users, both have good triggers (assuming you get an accutrigger), both are kinda ugly. Price wise I think they're about the same.
I will concede that the Tikka varmint stock is cheesy, but the guns still shoot. I whish they offered a HS Precision type stock or a laminate (do they have a laminate for the varmint?).
One user on this board reports his Tikka varmint to be just as accurate as his Coopers.
January 14, 2007, 12:50 AM
I would go Savage. they are reliable and accurate while still remaining affordable. I love Remingtons, but a Savage is going to be my next varmint rifle.
January 14, 2007, 11:00 AM
My vote is for the Tikka. I owned a Savage it it shot very well, the accutrigger was ok but not great. I couldn't get over the ugly factor and sold my Savage which killed me since Savage rifles have no resale value. I for the most part stick with CZ rifles but I purchased my first Tikka a while back and am glad that I did. The Tikka has one of the best triggers that I have ever used, it is even better than the CZ triggers and the bolt is smooth as glass. My Tikka is the T3 Hunter with the wood stock and it fits me perfectly. So give the Tikka a hard look and you might even give CZ a look too.
Here's a review
January 14, 2007, 03:51 PM
Lone_Gunman : I'm all for an economical design that allows a manufacturer to deliver a good product for a lower cost to it's consumer. The deal is that the Tikka's are considerably more money ($100.00 - $200.00) than their Savage counterparts. When you take into account the reasons why short action cartridges were developed, the lighter weight, added stiffness and shorter throw (faster to operate) of a short action are often at the top of the list.
For a shooter who's interest is in accuracy, reliability, and longevity I'm sure the Tikka will deliver. I guess that I feel as though the Tikka's lack of options is enough of an annoyance that "economizing the action length" is just too much to take. If the poster wanted a 30-06 length cartridge, I'd enthusiastically recommend the Tikka if they wanted a more polished rifle than a Savage.
The smooth bolt travel thing has me wondering if ANY of you have considered applying a bit of oil? From what I've experienced, the Tikkas on the shelf have a marginally better bolt travel, however the Savage line offers an enlarged bolt knob which in my opinion is one of the most profound improvements in cycling "feel" I've yet encountered. Plus, the Savage bolt does smooth out after shooting 100 rounds or so which is an easy improvement when you're printing 1/2 MOA groups!
January 15, 2007, 08:37 PM
pretty much moot. I find the whole short action thing laughable.
Lighter weight on a varmint rig? Heavy barrel and stock pretty much negate that (heavier guns shoot better anyways).
Stiffness. You'll never see the difference if there even is an accuracy difference.
Shorter bolt throw. If I need to fire fast shots, I'll get a semi.
I had a chance to check out a CZ 527 Varmint Kevlar toady. That gun should be on your list of guns to check out.
January 16, 2007, 01:28 AM
My Savage 110 in .223 or my 116 in .270 have always had smooth actions and are incredibly accurate. Since buying them I have restocked them with Boyd's Varminter stocks and changed the triggers (they are the only thing left to be desired) with SSS competition triggers. There are tons of after market upgrades if you want to build up over time.
January 16, 2007, 09:47 PM
If you buy a Savage, you can plan on putting a new stock on it, and a new trigger?
January 16, 2007, 09:51 PM
You can if you want.
January 17, 2007, 01:59 AM
I buy rifles to shot not upgrade. I would choose the Tikka over a Savage due to no work what so ever required . I prefer the whitetail over the T3. I have shot both and they were both tack drivers savage in 7-08 T3 in .308. To me it comes down to ease of use and triggers, the tikka bolt is so smooth and simple to remove and the trigger is perfect out of the box. The savage has a bolt that is rough and difficult to manipulate, I didnt like the fact I had to pull the trigger to remove the bolt on the savage. Now the savage was a bargain combo so im not sure how the nicer classics are but my preference is the Tikka, still I feel both are great shooters.
January 17, 2007, 08:12 PM
I never said you had to change anything. The trigger and stock from the factory were OK, but like many others I enjoy customizing my rifles. I would upgrade any gun I buy.
January 17, 2007, 10:35 PM
atblis " I find the whole short action thing laughable."
So ignoring the reasons that add up to the .308 Winchester's reputation for accuracy over it's long action counterpart is somehow "laughable". Please note that the "short action thing" came as a result of experience and thoughtfull development. Generally I find people opposed to such things in the blackpowder column!
Just to further my point consider that the 1000yd bullseye at Camp Perry was reduced in diameter BY HALF following the debut of the .308 Winchester. Sort of hammers home the point that all those features make a difference doncha think?
January 18, 2007, 10:52 AM
and then the 5.56 showed up. What happened then?
That would be the cartridge, not the action. The entire short action thing is overrated (totally in hunting guns).
Do you think a 308 sporter type rifle on a short action would shoot noticeably different than a 308 on a long action?
in anything less than a benchrest rifle, there's no measurable difference (and even then...). You don't need multiple length actions. Tikka/Sako is doing an excellent job of proving this.
I am a big fan of the 6.5x55. It goes on a moderate/long action. It has just as much a distinguished target shooting history as the 308 (it's been around quite a while longer).
BTW. People build NM target rifles on the Tikka actions. Savage, not so much.
You guys are forgetting to mention arguably the neatest thing about the Savage, The barrel nut. The ease with which you can swap barrels/calibers and set headspacing.
January 18, 2007, 01:22 PM
I'm looking for my first .223 varmint bolt gun and from the listed guns you can see i'm on a budget. I'm leaning towards savage but if i'm wrong let me know.
Not sure of your budget but I bought my first Savage last year - a laminated stock, stainless 12BVSS in .223 for $599. I always though this was the nicest looking rifle in the Savage line up.
It did not take long for the rifle to prove it's accuracy ability to me. These are some early load tests that went pretty well. Right target was shots 46-50 out of the rifle and left target was shots 51-55. And two totally different bullets - the 69 MatchKing and the 52 Berger match.
So with no real load development (no numerous powder charge tests or seating depth experiments) the Savage was shooting well under MOA for me.
The AccuTrigger is very good for an out of the box trigger - mine was at 2.25lbs and I could not get it to adjust any lower. Since my rifle is a bench gun only I went ahead and had a Sharp Shooter Supply trigger installed set at 13oz. But the targets were shot with the factory trigger still installed.
Have no experience with the Tikka but it sounds like they are quality product , also capable of extreme accuracy.
January 18, 2007, 02:42 PM
My Tikka T3 Hunter (wood stock) was $567 out the door and the factory trigger drops down to 2 pounds with a simple turn of a screw driver. It is one of the best triggers I have ever owned only being beat by the CZ.
Out of the bolt rifles that I have owned I would rate the factory triggers in this order
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