First rifle, Tikka T3 lite - 7mm-08 or 270?


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tts0lid
September 24, 2011, 07:45 PM
I'm going to be purchasing my first hunting rifle soon. I've settled on the Tikka T3 Lite in stainless. (I've read a lot of good things and it felt great shouldering it).

Now I'm trying to decide on caliber. The Tikkas use the same action whether the rifle is a short action or a long action, so there isn't really any rifle weight/size advantage between SA and LA on these rifles.

But the rifle still only weighs 6.18 pounds. From what I've read they kick a ton in .270. This will be my first bolt action rifle, so I really don't know how I will handle the recoil. (It could be fine, it could be bad- I don't know).

This lead me to consider the 7mm-08. I've always liked the idea of a lightweight 7mm-08, and the caliber would be fine for where I'm ever likely to hunt (FL, GA, AL). I also see it recommended a lot for a first hunting rifle.

But part of me thinks that I'd rather have a .270 just in case I ever get the opportunity to hunt out west. (But hey if I ever go out west that might be reason enough to get another rifle). Ammunition also seems to be easier to find in .270. It's just that I have no idea how I'll handle the recoil.

So I wonder if I'm overblowing the whole recoil thing. I mean, even if it's bad, there are always limbsavers, reduced recoil ammunition, sissy pads, etc., right?

Anyone have any thoughts? I'm sure I'll be happy either way. Just looking for some guidance. If I could shoot 'em before I buy I would.

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Omaha-BeenGlockin
September 24, 2011, 08:01 PM
.270 recoil is nothing

Get the .270

bukijin
September 24, 2011, 08:05 PM
You will be happy with the Tikka I think. Recoil sounds like it is an issue for you. No point in getting a rifle that you are uncomfortable shooting. 7mm-08 will have less recoil than .270. Can I suggest 6.5x55 also ? (off topic i know but worthy of consideration I think - especially in a Tikka) I find the recoil table on Chuck Hawk's website (http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm) useful.

What about ammo costs ? In the end, ammunition will cost much more than the rifle itself. Let us know what you decide....

Lone Star
September 24, 2011, 08:10 PM
I own both a small (ladies or kids size) Howa 1500 in 7mm-08 and a Winchester M-70 Classic Fwt. .270. But they can't be directly compared, because the .270 is larger//longer and has a conventional wooden stock. The Howa is smaller and has a synthetic stock, a bit short for me unless I have on a heavy coat. It was swapped to me (along with a mounted deer head) fora Zeiss binocular. Made the swap because my son and DIL needed the binocular and they have more rifles than I do. And, they're family...:rolleyes:

But I doubt that there's a lot of recoil difference in identical rifles. With 'scope and recoil pad, sling, and loaded, the kick shouldn't be too bad. Certainly less than for a .30/06.

The 7mm can use heavier bullets, loaded to perform about like the older version of the 7X57mm, which has killed a lot of game, even in Africa.

Given that action length isn't a factor, I'd go with the .270 for ammo avalibility. Both can be bought in factory ammo with Nosler Partition bullets, which is a big plus. The 7mm has fewer buller weight choices, unless you reload. But there's very little in North America that you can't kill with a 7-08 with 140 grain Noslers.

Are both barrels 22 inches? That helps to even out velocities, but the .270 might still have an edge. And it'd probably shoot a little flatter if you hunt pronghorns or African plains game. Speaking of the latter, outside the US and maybe Canada, the .270 is more likely to have ammo in local stores.

Do you shoot a shotgun? A 12 ga. or a light 20 will kick more than a .270, I think, or that's how I perceive it.

Really, it's kind of hard to go wrong with either. Both are outstanding choices. Just use tough bullets that penetrate well for elk or moose and bear.

tts0lid
September 24, 2011, 08:26 PM
I own both a small (ladies or kids size) Howa 1500 in 7mm-08 and a Winchester M-70 Classic Fwt. .270. But they can't be directly compared, because the .270 is larger//longer and has a conventional wooden stock. The Howa is smaller and has a synthetic stock, a bit short for me unless I have on a heavy coat. It was swapped to me (along with a mounted deer head) fora Zeiss binocular. Made the swap because my son and DIL needed the binocular and they have more rifles than I do. And, they're family...

I looked up the Model 70 featherweight and it's about 3/4 lb heavier than the Tikka and the Tikka has a synthetic stock.

But I doubt that there's a lot of recoil difference in identical rifles. With 'scope and recoil pad, sling, and loaded, the kick shouldn't be too bad. Certainly less than for a .30/06.

The 7mm can use heavier bullets, loaded to perform about like the older version of the 7X57mm, which has killed a lot of game, even in Africa.

Given that action length isn't a factor, I'd go with the .270 for ammo availibility. Both can be bought in factory ammo with Nosler Patition bullets, which is a big plus. The 7mm has fewer buller weight choices, unless you reload. But there's very little in North Aerica that you can't kill with a 7-08 with 14o grain Noslers.

Are both barrels 22 inches? That helps to even out velocities, but the .270 might still have an edge. And it'd probably shoot a little flatter if you hunt pronghorns or African plains game. Speaking of the latter, outside the US and maybe Canada, the .270 is more likely to have ammo in local stores.

Both are 22.43 inch barrels

Do you shoot a shotgun? A 12 ga. or a light 20 will kick more than a .270, I think, or that's how I perceive it.

I shot a 20 ga. quite a bit as a kid (maybe 10-15 years ago). I've given my 20 ga. to my sister and now have a Remington 870 12 ga. that I haven't had a chance to shoot yet.


The more I think about it the more I think I'll just get the 270. In all honestly I probably won't be at the range a lot with it. I'll likely just sight it in and use it out hunting. If I ever want to take up target shooting, I'll get a .223 or something when the budget and wife allow.

The only reason I'm even debating at all is because google turned up a thread on another forum with a bunch of people going on and on about how much the tikkas kick.

R H Clark
September 24, 2011, 09:24 PM
Unless you are a very small person,the only time the kick of the 270 might bother you would be at an extended range session.Get a scope with 4" of eye relief and you won't ever have any problems shooting from prone or odd angles.

Gtscotty
September 24, 2011, 10:27 PM
I have a T3 lite in 30-06, and a T3 Hunter in 270 WSM. Both calibers are more powerful than the ones that you are considering, and I load them fairly heavy. I bought limbsavers for both of these rifles (and all of my other decently powerful long guns), and 20-30 round range visits are not a big deal. Either rifle would be quite shootable without limbsavers, but I find they cut down on recoil significantly, and don't really have a downside, in my experience. Also, I don't get to go to the range as often as I'd like these days, and when I'm there I want to be able to put as many rounds down range as I can before I start developing a flinch. I really think that neither of the rounds you mentioned will pose a problem recoil wise... pretty much any uninjured person should be able to learn to handle the recoil of these rounds, and shoot them accurately with practice.

As to which one you should get, while 7mm-08 is an excellent round, for your first big game rifle I'd go with the .270. It is one of the three most popular hunting rounds in America, and as such has many, many options in loadings; ammunition is pretty much universally available for reasonable prices. The .270 also has a little bit more punch than the 7mm-08. If you're sure you don't want to go with the king (the old '06 ;) ) then I don't think you can go wrong with a .270. Fair warning though, if you get a .270, its going to be more difficult to rationalize your next hunting rifle, there just isn't a whole lot the .270 can't do.

By the way, excellent choice of rifle for your first big game piece. After some load development my 30-06 shoots lights out, and the 270 WSM was stacking bullets with the first loading I tried. Good luck!

tts0lid
September 24, 2011, 11:19 PM
^ That's funny about the 270 makes it more difficult to rationalize the next hunting rifle. It's always good to have a second rifle to loan to buddies, right? :D

I haven't even been hunting in years and here I am planning out my next three rifle purchases. When the bug bites it bites hard.

Gtscotty
September 24, 2011, 11:29 PM
The bug bites hard indeed. I had the same problem with my 30-06... I couldn't think of anything I would realistically hunt that I couldn't hunt with an '06... I finally gave up trying to rationalize the purchase and bought the next rifle(s) because I wanted them... The loaner rifle is a good point though, you almost have to have one... I guess I should probably get started looking for a good rifle to fill that niche...

wlewisiii
September 24, 2011, 11:38 PM
I went 7mm-08 because it neatly duplicates the ballistics of 7mm Mauser (my favorite cartridge), is very easy on recoil (important for wife & young son) and is reasonably available. Both are still too expensive to shoot enough for proper training unless you reload, so bear that in mind as well. If you get a .308 instead, for example, there is surplus available. OTOH, some dies, powder & the rest and you're set for a long time to come.

Art Eatman
September 25, 2011, 12:07 AM
A 7mm08 is about like a .308 but with ten grains less bullet weight. 140 vs. 150, for the most common loads for deer and such.

My 700 Ti, fully dressed to hunt, is 6.5 pounds total. I've not found the recoil at all bad from the bench rest. In the field? No big deal at all.

Kachok
September 25, 2011, 12:10 AM
The 270 is a great choice if you buy factory ammo, and the 7-08 is a great choice for handloaders. If you plan on 300+yd shots the 270 has a tad better trajectory, but within realistic ranges the 7-08 will do everything the 270 will with less recoil, and muzzle blast. I absolutly love my T3 Stainless 6.5x55 and would not trade it for any other rifle/caliber combanation in the world today, I think it is the perfect rifle for the North American hunter, similar to the 7-08 in ballistics with a tad better BC and slightly less frontal area, but you HAVE to handload to get real performance out of the Sweed becasue the factory ammo is loaded to low pressures be safe for 120 year old rifles.
I doubt you would have any issue with the recoil of either the 270 or 7-08, neither one of them is a real thumper even in light rifles. 30-06/7mm rem mag is kind of the cut off point where you have to worry about rifle weight to tame the recoil.

rbernie
September 25, 2011, 12:14 AM
You can buy factory Remington reduced-recoil 270 ammo, which uses a 125gr bullet at sub-3000fps velocities. It's a very mild load that's quite effective on deer and such, in my experience.

I'm partial to 270, but that's predominantly because it's simply available in more loadings and sold in more stores than 7mm-08. If you ever wind up loading your own ammo, you'll probably find that the 270 is a bit more flexible in terms of options.

viking499
September 25, 2011, 12:19 AM
The T-3 was my sons first rifle and my wifes 1st and 2nd rifle. It is also my deer rifle. Mine is a SWEET 6.5x55 and my wifes is a 7mm-08.

tts0lid
September 25, 2011, 12:34 AM
Thanks for the responses everyone. I think I'm settled on the .270.

That's not to say I won't revisit the 7mm-08 again down the road. I'd love to get my wife into shooting and hunting, and I think a slightly heavier 7mm-08 would be perfect for her. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself.

I'm more exited about getting out in the woods than the gun itsself tbh. I've been wanting to get out there for a while but school and work have sapped up all of my time and money.

Thanks for the comments everyone.

nathan
September 25, 2011, 12:47 AM
Nice choices. For a little more, check out the Browning X bolt , its one heck of a rifle.

whalerman
September 25, 2011, 12:56 AM
Whoever is giving you advice and steering you to either the .270 or 7mm-08 has done you well. I lean .270 for availability. Recoil won't be an issue. Get it out of your head. But both calibers are great. Now put some good glass on the rifle. Shop with your eyes, not just with reputation. LOOK through stuff before you buy. Enjoy, be safe.

Kachok
September 25, 2011, 01:12 AM
Well enjoy your new Tikka, they really are a very fine rifle. I was very pleased with the silky smooth action and the trigger that was as crisp as expensive aftermarket units. If your wife wants a lower recoiling version I highly recomend the 243 and 6.5x55 for their super mild recoil, even less then the 7mm-08.

bobnob
September 25, 2011, 02:53 AM
If you shoot the 130g bullets the recoil is really mild in the 270.

Shoots flatter, hits harder, cheaper and more types of ammo. No contest when action length is the same for both, I think.

00
September 25, 2011, 07:14 AM
Anyone have any thoughts?

I have both calibers and they're both great. But if I can have only one (and I reload), I would go with the 7mm-08. Maybe it's just mental for me, but I can shoot the 7mm-08 more accurately. But if you don't reload, .270 is the better choice for ammo availability.

Also, if you have not shot either calibers, I would recommend seeking someone with them to see first hand. That's the only way you can tell which you'll like better. Since we're all built differently with different tastes, these "electronic suggestions" won't do you justice.

Good luck and have fun with your rifle purchase.

BrocLuno
September 26, 2011, 10:06 AM
Great rifle and good choice. Yes, the Tikka action is designed around the 30-06, so the 270 is the next logical step down in caliber and the ammo is everywhere :)

The Tikka factory scope rings are pretty good, but the fasteners are not. When you get your rifle, go to the local big hardware and buy SS metric screws for all the fasteners in the ring system. A few drops of thread lock too.

You have a nice light rifle, now for nice lite scope. I prefer Nikons for an application like this as they are cost effective and available at any WalMart. If you break one (not likely) you can get another on the road easy enough, remount, rezero and your good to go - and you've saved something for that next rifle.

For the wife's gun (if you can get her interested?) - 6.5x55 makes a lot of sense. Mild recoil, accurate and it will drop anything she might hunt casually. If she needs a harder hit, she can borrow your Tikka :)

kenjs1
September 26, 2011, 12:10 PM
Friend of mine got his first rifle last year and same question came up- I pushed the 7mm-08. Anything to reduce recoil in a light rifle will be appreciated.

dougwx12
September 26, 2011, 12:13 PM
I have a number of Tikkas, and the .270 has more felt recoil than my '06 (both T3 lites). Don't ask me why.

The Tikka in .270 will get your attention on the bench. Non-issue in field positions. But if it causes you to develop a flinch, get something smaller (7mm08, 6.5x55 243).

Kachok
September 26, 2011, 12:13 PM
My only gripe with the Tikkas as a whole is the overly stiff recoil pad, while that is a total non issue on my 6.5x55 I would not want to be shooting a 300 win mag or even a 30-06 without changing it out for a limbsaver. My Savages come with a much better factory pad.

sansone
September 26, 2011, 12:14 PM
if 7mm-08 loaded ammo was easier to get I would suggest it (308 parent case)
That being said.. 270 is my choice

WTBguns10kOK
September 26, 2011, 09:49 PM
The .270 is relatively pointless, considering the .30-06 can do all that and can also shoot bigger, heavier bullets. The .270 is not that much softer kicking than a .30-06 either, if you look at the foot pounds of recoil. What do you really gain from it vs. a 30 cal rifle? If you want a big gun, at least go with the more versatile choice.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

The 7mm-08 has measurably less recoil and is plenty capable of taking large game. It is a good choice for medium power and recoil. The "out west" plan, needing a big rifle is becoming obsolete. With premium ammo, people use .243's, 30-30's and certainly a 7mm-08 or 6.5 Swede for elk, moose and the like. I'll take the 243 or 30-30 for elk this year...no need to feel undergunned with these.

rbernie
September 27, 2011, 08:46 AM
The 7mm-08 has measurably less recoil How much less recoil does a 7mm08 shooting a 120gr bullet at 2900fps have relative to a 270 shooting a 125gr bullet at 2900 fps?

WTBguns10kOK
September 27, 2011, 09:12 PM
How much less recoil does a 7mm08 shooting a 120gr bullet at 2900fps have relative to a 270 shooting a 125gr bullet at 2900 fps?

What are you talking about? Handloads? As if he were buying a gun based one certain load? Have you looked at factory ammo on Midway? The energy for the top end loads are hundreds of foot pounds different. And here, once again, a sampling of the recoil table

.270 Win. (140 at 3000) 8.0 17.1
7mm-08 Rem. (140 at 2860) 8.0 12.6

I think most people would be happy to lose 4.5 lbs. of recoil with 140 ft/sec. I doubt the OP is reloading, there's no need to confuse him.

rbernie
September 27, 2011, 09:43 PM
I doubt the OP is reloading, there's no need to confuse him.I presumed that you read post #13 before contributing your opinion.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=350063
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=882105

While I probably should have selected comparison ballistics based upon one of the two loads listed above to avoid confusing anyone not capable of reading the whole thread, my point remains that I can take the 270 down to 'lite' performance levels and up to 'light magnum' levels, all with factory loads, far more easily than can be done with the 7mm08. The longer case and resultant extra case capacity of the 270 simply makes the chambering more flexible than a shorter equivalent, even with factory loads.

That's not to say that there's anything wrong with 7mm08 - I have several rifles chambered for it in the safe as I type this. But if I had to choose between it and 270, I would select 270 every time.

I should also point out that the Tikka T3 uses only one action length - long - and the short chamberings are simply blocked. There is no OAL or receiver dimension advantage to the shorter round in that specific rifle.

Owen Sparks
September 27, 2011, 09:52 PM
I tried my first Tikka last fall, a light weight .30-'06, and I was HIGHLY impressed. I like the 6.5 x 55 for general use.

WTBguns10kOK
September 27, 2011, 09:54 PM
OK this is my last post, as common sense is not appreciated here.

1. He's worried about recoil.
2. Said he's just going to take it out hunting. He doesn't care about super high or super low loads.
3. What do I care about post 13? You know that round is accurate in his gun? Really?
4. That's great if YOU would choose the .270 EVERY TIME. We're trying to help HIM.

rbernie
September 27, 2011, 10:37 PM
You may call it common sense, but I call it arguing for limitations and ignoring the stark reality of the matter.

You are suggesting that a chambering that has far fewer factory loadings than another, and that does not have any greater number of low recoil factory loadings than the other choice, is somehow a better choice because of its low inherent recoil.

Well, ok, I guess.

BrocLuno
September 27, 2011, 11:02 PM
Thing about these Tikkas is they are built around a 30-06 length action. Yes they will feed a shorter round, but why? You an buy all sorts of 270 loads from mild to pretty harry, and you can buy Remington's Managed Recoil rounds for when you want to take care of the shoulder, or introduce another family member to the rifle.

Cold barrel shot hunting is a lot different from 3 boxes at the range. But, I do agree taht if there is a bit too much "punch", pull the butt pad and get a limbsaver :)

tts0lid
September 28, 2011, 12:27 AM
Thing about these Tikkas is they are built around a 30-06 length action. Yes they will feed a shorter round, but why? You an buy all sorts of 270 loads from mild to pretty harry, and you can buy Remington's Managed Recoil rounds for when you want to take care of the shoulder, or introduce another family member to the rifle.

Cold barrel shot hunting is a lot different from 3 boxes at the range. But, I do agree taht if there is a bit too much "punch", pull the butt pad and get a limbsaver

This is pretty much the line of though I had. The chances of me shooting 3 boxes at the range through this rifle in any one sitting are pretty slim anyway. That's what the 10/22 is for. :)

I don't reload (although it's not out of the question down the road). I'm sure I will be prepared with ammo long before any hunts or trips to the range, but it's still nice to know that I can go to any random "Jim Bob's Gas, Hot Dogs, & Ammo" and find ammunition.

The point further up about just going with the .30-06 is pretty compelling. But considering where I will hunt and what I will be shooting at, I don't think the heavier bullet really matters. From what I've read the 270 shoots slightly flatter. I kind of feel like there is no wrong choice here and I might as well flip a coin.

I'm still getting the limbsaver right off the bat. And if recoil is an issue or I find myself developing a flinch, I can always go down to the reduced recoil loads.

I can already tell that this won't be my one and only rifle (although it will probably be my one and only for the next couple of years seeing how I'm not too far out of college and more or less broke). So I'm going to try to stick to the plan of making a great deer rifle for the southeast.

The next thing to figure out is glass. I was kind of thinking about going for something smaller and more lightweight to match the rifle like a 4x fixed or something (or maybe one of the leupold ultralights), but I think I'm just aiming for a great all around deer rifle and the versatility of the variable scopes makes more sense for that.

I'm partial to Nikon because I use their camera equipment. But I'm open to Leupold as well. If I can stretch the budget a little I might for a Zeiss Conquest. I was initially planning on spending around $300, but is the extra hundred or so for the conquest worth it? I've looked through them all at one of the big chains, but they all look great inside so it's kind of hard to tell.

It seems like any of the major brands would suffice, so it will probably just come down to budget and whatever I can get the best deal on.

Thanks for all of the comments. The discussion has been interesting to say the least.

rbernie
September 28, 2011, 08:09 AM
One of the true strengths of the T3 is its light weight; putting a large piece of glass kinda removes some of that virtue (and moves the balance of the rifle rearward, which doesn't help offhand shooting much). I'm also highly partial to lower-magnification optics as being more versatile for hunting afield than the now-normal 3x-9x (or greater) magnification ranges. For these reasons, both of my T3s wear a VXIII 1.75x-6x/32.

Be careful with the ultralight scopes - they tend to be short in the body, and may not span the action on the Tikka with enough margin to give you the eye relief that you need.

jogar80
September 28, 2011, 01:04 PM
My opinion... although it recoils less than the .270, the 7-08 still kicks. You WILL feel it. Why don't you just have you cake and eat it too? Get the .270 and put a muzzle brake on it. Voila!

Gtscotty
September 28, 2011, 04:58 PM
As far as scopes go, I'll toss out the two good deals that I see right now (and have already been tossed out on a few threads lately) The first is the Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40 which is currently on closeout at Cabelas for $200, and the second is the Vortex Viper 2-7x32 which is currently on closeout at SWFA for $150. I bring up these two scopes in particular because I own both, and think they are both excellent values. I really like the glass on the 4200's , and the Vortex is very clear as well. The Viper is one of those short bodied scopes a poster above mentioned. I had a little bit of trouble trying to mount the Viper to a long action Savage until I decided to go with a DNZ one piece mount, which the Viper fits in perfectly. I too would like to one day pick up a Zeis Conquest, it seems that everybody who has one loves it.

Get the .270 and put a muzzle brake on it. Voila!

Translation : Get a relatively mildly recoiling rifle and make it super loud. Voila!

Come on man, the 270 really just doesn't kick that bad... I'd rather have some recoil that i'll never feel while shooting at game anyway, than a ringing in my ears for a few days after the hunt...

Kachok
September 28, 2011, 06:08 PM
I topped my Tikka with a Nikon Prostaff BDC. perfect match IMHO, still light and deadly, not to mention the best low light visiablilty I have ever seen. I don't think the kick of a 270 would bother any experenced shooter. Even the 150gr bullets were a non-event to shoot, but if anyone thinks of themselves as being recoil shy I HIGHLY recomend the 6.5x55 any small child can shoot it and no deer would ever know the differnece between it and a 270.

maxcontax
October 17, 2011, 11:45 PM
They are both good deer cartridges but the 270 is more versatile in my opinion. I use mine for Moose and Black bear with 150 Nosler partitions, the 140 boattail is my go-to bullet, and for long long shots across a field, the 270 is just a bit flatter than the 7-08. 20" low at 400 is easy to figure, it's the width of a deers body. Just hold over and squeeze.

Art Eatman
October 18, 2011, 12:43 PM
Since he's decided on the .270, what's to argue about?

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