My Tikka T3 Saga. Or, stuff for sale.


December 2, 2008, 10:30 PM
I read up quite a bit on the Tikka T3 and came to the conclusion that most people thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. Since my deer rifle for the last 2 years has been an M91/30, I figured it was time to upgrade. After a great deal of research, I determined that a T3 Lite SS in 6.5x55 would be my ideal deer rifle. I called a local gunsmith/dealer to order one, but found out that he couldn't get one. I tried online dealers, but no go. I came to find out that Beretta USA wasn't anticipating a new shipment until January 2009. With only 4 weeks left until deer season, I decided that compromises needed to be made. I ordered a T3 Lite Stainless in .30-06 through my local dealer and busied myself with shopping for brass, bullets, dies, a sling, a scope, and mounts.

One week later, I got the call to pick up my new rifle. I only had a few minutes before work to go get it, so I hurried over and filled out all of the paper work, inspecting the rifle quite thoroughly. After dropping the rifle off at home, I got to work just barely on time. After a long day, I went home and took the gun out of the box. I was reading through the manual and admiring the smooth bolt, checking each part of the rifle as I came to it in the manual. To my surprise, when I looked at the crown of the barrel I saw brown spots. Small, rust-colored spots. Thinking it must be flecks of dirt or something, I wiped the crown with my thumb. No help. I took an eraser and gently rubbed the surface. Nothing. A little more elbow grease produced no change whatsoever. I had a new, rusted gun.

I called my dealer the next day and was quite upset. I showed him the barrel, and he confirmed it was indeed rust. Not just surface rust, but pitted. Since I had already accepted transfer on the rifle, my only option was to have my dealer send it to Beretta USA for service. I was told that wait time was anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks. It was 3 weeks from opening day.

After a week and a half, I got a call from another dealer. He just wanted to let me know that Beretta imported another batch of 6.5x55 T3 Lite SS rifles. I called my dealer and had him order one for me. Awesome! I'll have a rifle for deer season after all! After a 5 day wait, I got the call from my dealer that the rifle had arrived. I eagerly drove to his shop to check out the rifle. This time I was going to go over it with a fine-toothed comb.

When I arrived at my dealer, he had a look on his face that I have seen too many times in my life. He said, it's here, but I don't know. You look at it. It didn't take me long to see the rust spot on the bottom of the barrel. I looked at the top of the receiver and saw that there was rust in the grooves. He offered me a light to look inside the action. Rust. I refused transfer on the rifle and it was sent back. The second rifle came from a different distributor than the first.

Dejected, I drove home. Barely over a week left until deer season and I had no rifle. For reasons I won't get into the M91/30 was unserviceable. I ended up borrowing a friends rifle and missing a shot on a nice 6 pointer. The shot was from 35 yards, 3x scope, solid rest, perfect execution. However, a small sapling decided it would like to deflect the bullet. Tough cookies for me.

With one day left in rifle season, I get a call from my dealer. The rifle was back from Beretta, in perfect condition. They refinished it, bead-blasted it, put a protective coating on it, and sent it back re-crowned. Great. I picked up the rifle and took it home. I have taken it out of the box once or twice, but nothing more. Every time I look at it, I feel let down.

So how does this saga end? I have Lapua brass, Nosler bullets, and dies for a 6.5x55 that I don't own, and a pristine, unfired Tikka T3 Lite SS .30-06 that I don't want to own. I am selling it all and going with something else. The Tikka T3 has left a very bad taste in my mouth. If you want it, PM me. I'll even pay shipping just to get rid of it. I also have Burris XTR steel Weaver bases and Warne 30mm Quick Detach rings. I will edit this post shortly to contain the link to the" For Sale" thread. I am not saying that the T3 is a bad rifle, it just isn't the rifle for me right now.

Thanks for reading,



For Sale thread:

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rust collector
December 3, 2008, 01:59 AM
That's a very sad story, Pounder. I have seen no rust on my T3 lite stnls in 308, but I have read that others have had that problem. The shipment must have been improperly sealed/dessicated for sea transit.

I wish I could help you out on the 30/06, but I pd $440 new for my rifle 4 or 5 years ago and it'll do most of what a 30/06 can. I do hope you find the rifle of your dreams.

December 3, 2008, 09:31 AM
The same thing happened to me on a T3 SS lite in 243. I removed the rust with Flitz polish. But that left a shiny spot on the barrel tip. SO I returned the gun and they ordered me a new one. The new one had rust on the crown too. But it was so little it wiped off with a rag. After 2 in a row the salesman and I took a walk down their Tikka isle. SAS every stainless Tikka had at least a little bit of it. Brown spots on the muzzle and barrel end.

It looked to me like some type of cleaner or solvent they used in the bore at the factory that ran out of the muzzle end and removed all protective oil. ???

That's my best guess. We took a rag to some of the ones on the floor and it usually wipes right off.

December 3, 2008, 10:04 AM
Man... I just spent 45 days trying to find a T3 Lite SS in 6.5x55 and eventually settled on a T3 Lam/SS in 243 due to nil availability of the swede. Just got it setup with my DNZ mount, ready to take it out this weekend. I couldn't have been happier until you just said Beretta imported another batch of the 6.5x55s... But after reading your full account, perhaps I am better off as I noticed no signs of rust on my 243. I will definitely give it a more thorough looking over once I get home today.

Definitely the kind of situation that would leave me with a broken heart too. Sorry man.

December 3, 2008, 10:58 AM
Well, great, now I gotta go dig up my T3 SS .308 and check the crown for rust spots.:( Thanks for the heads up, though.

December 3, 2008, 06:50 PM
Sometimes the greatest thing since sliced bread... ain't.

That's a sad story, seems like some QA/QC issues need to be addressed.

I had a T3 in .243, blued, it was one of the very first ones over here. It was sweet. I think I actually sold it for $11 more than what I paid for it. :cool:

December 5, 2008, 12:09 AM
I just wish I could find a Tikka in 6.5x55, or maybe a Sako at a good price.

December 5, 2008, 10:31 PM
i bought a t3 lite s/s in rust anywhere,shoot great,so smooth. yeahoo im happy.. You have thm kind of problems with everything,its sad that it happens,I know I paid out the nose for mine as its a left hand, but its what i wanted.

December 6, 2008, 12:13 AM

And if you think the T3 in 6.5 is hard to find, let me tell you that you haven't a hard time finding much of anything until you've tried to find a 6.5 Swede in LHB! That's Left Hand Bolt, for the uninitiated.

There are rumors of Sako 75's in left Swede, but try to find one. Yes a Blaser or Mauser can be ordered. But I don't particularly want to sell the eldest male child at this time.

Perforce, I'm having one built. Sorry, had to rant a bit.


Jerry D
December 6, 2008, 12:33 AM
Ahahah yea - left handed bolt actions in 6.5 or .260 rem...

Tikka is the "ONLY" company that offers it - and then to get one is another thing.

In my honest opinion - SAVAGE is the only true gun company for us lefties - I finally ordered one even though I hate the way they look and how the bolt opens/shuts compared to my abolt...

HOWEVER - they shoot and its a fact and that is what I care about. Also just buy in on the caliber you want or the case family and buy a drop in barrel and bamb you got yourself another caliber.

I'm probably buying myself one in .308 or .30-06 so I can make a .260. I was told to go a long action so you can load those long high bc 6.5 bullets - I could also swap out the barrel if I ever shoot it out for a .243 etc...

Also Savage has better standard twist rates (.223 standard in 1 in 9 vs 1 in 12...) in my opinion and they offer stock rifles for F class etc etc - They have been doing alot.

December 6, 2008, 08:23 AM

I've spent decades aquiring a portsider's battery. Not a Savage amongst 'em. Did have a Savage MKII .22 LHB at one time & might get another. But sold the first one to get the CZ452 American .22.

I dunno, the Savage centerfires just don't appeal to me. I like rifles that have some aesthetics. Given; the Savages have a reputation for accuracy, but not durability. And they look like something the cat drug in. But, once upon a time I did order a Savage LHB to have for my very own. And waited, and waited, and waited. After a year, I demanded my money back. The dealer offered me another option, a Tikka LHB in the same caliber, .338 Winchester magnum. And furthermore, he swore his wholesaler had two in stock. In other words it wasn't just cataloged to make a market segment feel better about the company, but not available.

Quoth the raven: "Nevermore".


December 6, 2008, 09:30 AM

You are not alone. I also have other guns that shoot as good as Savages and are not ugly. I also don't care if they can be rebarreled easily. If I want another cal. that's a great reason to buy another rifle.

December 6, 2008, 02:23 PM
If someone is looking for a stainless synthetic T3 6.5x55 and has an FFL that can order from Acusport, they are showing that they have 6 in stock right now.

Jerry D
December 6, 2008, 03:33 PM
Idk but for me - something I always wanted to do was to stick by my current model instead of switching - this is very possible for right handed shooters as current models are offered in many calibers - however for us lefties many only come in .223/.270/.308/.30-06/.300 win mag

Savage though - offers a larger - if not the "largest" selection for left handed rifles so I've been mitigating towards them.

I feel yea to though how they don't have much aesthetics... My browning abolt has a nicer fit finish, a way better, shorter, and smoother bolt throw, and a much nicer appearing magazine.

As for stock accuracy and stock trigger though I have to give the plus to the Savage.

Speaking of Tikka's tho - I do own one of them. The t3 lite - Very nice bolt throw but what a crappy magazine - its plastic and its damn hard to get the last (3rd) round in it. However it is also a single stack mag so that can contribute to "somewhat" of a nicer bolt throw/chambering feeling.

December 9, 2008, 03:33 PM
I also am left handed, but prefer a right hand bolt. When shooting from prone you can work the bolt with your right hand and keep your solid shooting grip. I only shoot once when hunting, so it isn't a big deal.

One low-ball offer on the rifle so far, but the more I look at it the more I think I might keep it and make my single-shot project into a 6.5x55. I'm still open to offers...


d vader
December 15, 2008, 08:14 PM
I have sent you an e mail regarding the rifle thanks Marc

January 11, 2009, 02:36 AM
I came here from the forsale add.. Bummer for sure, But it looks like they took care of you.. Buying guns by ordering them sight unseen is always taking a chance.. But now you should quit feeling sorry for your self and go shoot the damn thing.. It is a nice rifle.. Good luck either way;)

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