Tikka T3 Lite or Savage?


December 5, 2009, 08:06 PM
I am thinking about buying a bolt action rifle and need a left hand model. The two rifles I'm considering are a Tikka T3 Lite or Savage in .308 caliber. So are there any significant differences in these two guns? My purpose is for rifle competitions in my area (200-600yds) and informal bench rest shooting. Thank you.

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December 5, 2009, 08:20 PM
Rifle competitions and bench rest shooting are probably not the best applications of a lightweight rifle.

The Tikka Lite, much as it subjectively feels sort of cruddy to me, is a great little hunting rifle for the mountains.

For competitions and benchrest, a heavier barrel and a heavier gun are both desirable and probably essential. The Lite is a carry lots, shoot little rifle, for deer hunting on foot.

Savage makes heavy barrel rifles as well as light sporters. I'd look around their website at the target, varmint or tactical style bolt guns. For models where it's relevant, make SURE you get the new Accu Stock, not a pre-2009 synthetic Savage. The older stocks were a bit flexible and not really up to target use.

December 5, 2009, 11:48 PM
Unless he's going to be shooting in a hunter class benchrest competition like we have at my club. A lightweight rifle may not be ideal for that, but a standard barreled Savage or Tikka would be just the ticket.

December 6, 2009, 12:18 AM
I vote for Tikka T3, one of the best and accurate rifles I have ever fired.

Boba Fett
December 6, 2009, 12:35 AM
One big difference I can think of is the AccuTrigger, which I personally love.

Here are a couple reviews from a pretty good reviewer:

Tikka 3

Savage 10FCP

I'd probably get the Savage, but that's me and I really like the Savage rifles.

Uncle Mike
December 6, 2009, 02:11 AM

December 6, 2009, 02:19 AM
savage... i don't personally care for the tikka lite, and savage is my go to brand in rifles anyway.

December 6, 2009, 07:21 AM
I run both a Tikka T3 and a Savage. Both have different roles in the arsenal. Both acceptable. I am VERY happy with my T3 purchase. Great gun. I posted a writeup here a while back, let me repost:



December 6, 2009, 07:52 AM
A T3 will likely shoot just as well as a Savage but functions like a Swiss watch and is lightweight. T3's are no nonsense well engineered guns.

Savages make good heavy barrel varmint type guns IMO but I prefer the T3 for a general hunting rifle. I prefer my T3 to my Sako 85 that cost $1500 too. Shoots better, smaller, and lightweight. T3's have the same trigger and barrel as a Sako. The action is just simpler and lighter. What's not to like?

December 6, 2009, 09:43 AM
What's not to like?

The action. It's AWFUL. I've seen mini-Mausers; this one feels like a mini-Mosin, if the Russians had heard of injection-molded plastic!:D

Other things not to like: some of the plastic crap on it, and the overal fugliness of the thing.

Still, the OP asked about a gun for benchrest. Even if you love the Tikka, a "Lite" anything isn't a good choice. Get something with a serious barrel on it, at least.

Does anyone ever actually read the OP's questions? Geez.

December 6, 2009, 11:25 AM
I totally missed it Armed Bear. Savage gets the nod for heavy barrel benchguns.

I politely disagree with you about the Tikka action though. If you are familiar with the Sako TRG line you will see the action is VERY similar to the Tikka. TRG's are commonly listed as one of the most accurate production guns ever made. I view Tikka's action as it's biggest positive. Certainly smoother and easier on the eyes than a Savage.

December 6, 2009, 01:07 PM
I've never shot a Savage, but picked up a Tikke T3 Hunter a couple months ago, it shoots wonderfully from the bench and, is more accurate than I am.

After "playing" with several rifles months ago, including Savage, I fell for the Tikka, T3 Lite, just got a better deal on the Hunter (not complaining!).

December 6, 2009, 03:24 PM
Rough action....my T3 Lite is smooth as silk...don't know where that comment comes from. I have a .270 that shot a .75" group out of the box with no mods. The trigger is nice and I like the weight. Of course I hunt with it. Action is not even close to a Mosin....maybe you meant like an Enfield...

December 6, 2009, 03:52 PM

Tikka makes several other iterations of the basic T3 theme. For your application I'd suggest going to the Tikka site & checking out what's available. They list LHB's as a category & show the spread in there.

For what it's worth, I've got a few LHB Tikka's and zero Savages. Went to buy a Savage that was cataloged, but gee, nobody, ever, actually had it & could deliver. So instead I bought the Tikka that could be placed in my hands & have never looked back.


December 6, 2009, 03:57 PM
Tikka - period! I have owned both and the Tikka exceeds my Savage in every category.

December 6, 2009, 05:16 PM
Thanks, Gentlemen, for your replies. I plan to attend a large gun show sometime soon to try and see both a Savage and a Tikka. FWIW, the rifle Match I would like to try is a tactical match, shooting at targets from 200-600 yards. Here is a link to some photos, just scroll down the page a bit.


December 6, 2009, 07:19 PM
I have owned both.. 3 savages with the accutrigger and 2 tikkas.. I was never really impressed with the accutrigger. the tikka has a fine trigger compared. Both are extremely Accurate rifles generally.. Bot my tikkas and savages are .5" MOA guns.. My tikkas seem to have a nicer fit and finish.. Both good guns

December 7, 2009, 10:52 PM
One thing not mentioned above is that the sliding safety on the Tikka is easily pushed off safe. A sliding safety should be designed and function along the lines of CZ's or Weatherby's Mark V rifles.

Uncle Mike
December 8, 2009, 12:09 AM
Tikka - period! I have owned both and the Tikka exceeds my Savage in every category.

Well... now that's why you can't argue with opinion!

December 8, 2009, 12:27 AM

December 8, 2009, 11:47 AM
Tikka, no doubt. Fantastic trigger without having that chincy accuthing.

December 8, 2009, 01:42 PM
I'm a lefty, shopping in the same category.

The plastic $50 dollar mags, plastic/synthetic stock, poor safety design, and a limited number of calibers in LH models all contributed to me not buying a Tikka.

The level of finish on Savages leaves something to be desired, but the internals work well.

I'm hoping that Winchester will start up LH actions again...and not just in WSM calibers. I'd get a featherweight in 308 in a heartbeat, but for the bench, I'd recommend a classic or Supergrade to the OP...but that's still just me wishing...and if wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak!

Have you thought about Ruger at all? They have some options at a similar price-point.

December 8, 2009, 04:25 PM
Having owned two T3 and some Savages, I say the Savage is the better deal. If you are comparing prices alone, the Savage will give you better performance in the end. You can buy a custom barrel for $300. Have Kevin Rayhill do a T&T on the Savage action and it will much improve the horrible Savage action.

The edge definitely goes to Tikka for a smooth action. I never could get the Tikkas to keep up with the Savages in the accuracy department.

Uncle Mike
December 9, 2009, 10:17 AM
The level of finish on Savages leaves something to be desired, but the internals work well.

Apparently, you have not viewed the 'new' Savage...the 14/114, if your into blue, is done as well as any other production rifle out there, as far as the actual blue is concerned, I'll agree that Savage could 'finish' off parts better, mold lines and such...but then, they would cost more!

I'm hoping that Winchester will start up LH actions again...and not just in WSM calibers. I'd get a featherweight in 308 in a heartbeat, but for the bench, I'd recommend a classic or Supergrade to the OP...but that's still just me wishing

You and a million others.... I have heard that Winchester is bringing the Model 70 line out in additional calibers, both standard and magnum....I have 'heard' that! Who knows, these reps. will tell you anything to get you to buy more product! lol

Wonder if Winchester will bring out a left version of the Featherweight...? I know many have inquired about it, all we can tell them is...?

As to the OP's question...as I previously said...Savage.

The Tikkas seem to have a certain, tight nit following, people either love them, or hate them...they not a 'bad' rifle, but their cheap shortcuts tend to miff some folks.

I tend to agree, and we hear it a lot...customers will want to look at a Tikka, and while doing so peck on the bolt shroud, trigger guard and so on and ask..."is that plastic...?"

Another comment heard often..."it just 'feels' cheap" and not to forget the "Eurotrash" statement... concerning the ever so sporty looking stock profile.

But the Tikkas shoot pretty good and the price point isn't all that bad...still, I prefer the Savage line. And Savage has the goods to back up their swagger.

December 9, 2009, 09:03 PM
The same people that complain about Tikka's plastic magazine (enclosed in the receiver by the way) probably don't mind plastic framed firearms, plastic AR mags (pmags), and the like. Has anyone ever broken one?

Tikkas are awesome and as far as the Eurotrash sentiment goes, come on. Do you think that America is the only country that enjoys hunting?

December 9, 2009, 09:30 PM
i've already mentioned in this thread how i prefer savage, and don't particularly care for the tikka... but i will say, as far as the t3 lite against a comparable priced savage, there's really little difference as far as function goes... as you can see ts, there are people in here who love one, and despise the other, going both ways. check them out in person, shoot if possible, and see which you like better. there are things to dislike, and like about both, find out which one has more you do like, and less you don't like... i still maintain (like some others) the heavier gun will have the advantage in your given scenario, but if you don't like the gun that it can't be made up for. the weight is my main reason for not personally liking the tikka lite, but then again, i like, and don't mind carrying around 9lb+ rifles.

December 10, 2009, 12:39 AM
I picked up a tika lite left hand stainless in 223,,My one and only left hand rifle.I have savage, but I like how the tika feels.I never had issues with my safety , and hope not to..

the only thing I dont like with the tika is you have to load the clip.. you can't top off, you must take the clip out of the rifle.

December 10, 2009, 12:58 AM
Best of the two... I would have to say the Tika...

For YOUR application... bench rest shooting, well.. a savage option is probably best... Personally, I prefer the everything about the Tika to an equivalent savage...

Also.. you may want to look at the TC Ventures out right now... GREAT GUNS with guaranteed MOA at 100.... It may well be the best bang for the buck right now in hunting rifles.

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