Tikka Hunter T3 vs. What?


July 3, 2013, 04:15 PM
I would like to get a good quality bolt action rifle, in caliber .270. Problem is, I don't know a lot about them, for example what is short throw vs. long throw action? At the NRA convention in May I stopped at the Beretta booth and looked at the Sako and Tikka rifles.

My question is, what is out there comparable that I can also consider?

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July 3, 2013, 04:21 PM
The T-3's are all long action. You could do a LOT worse. TIkka's are one of the lightest guns made under $1,000. They are smooth as silk and have great triggers. One of the most accurate rifles I've ever shot.

Some don't care for the use of plastics and the unconventional looks, but if that does not bother you they are excellent shooters. They have one of the better factory synthetic stocks.

The only negative I can come up with is that they require detachable magazines which are a little hard to find and are pricey. I'd have to keep one spare. Anything that can be removed from the gun could be lost no matter how careful you try to be.

July 3, 2013, 04:40 PM
Very hard to beat a Tikka for that price range. The actions are very smooth and positive. They are extremely accurate, light weight, and have good, ergonomic stock design. With a good scope, they balance better than when mounting a bare one in a store.

The Vanguard is a pretty good rifle, but extremely heavy. They may be a good range gun, due to weight, but seem to be quite heavy for walking around much.

I was looking closely at a Ruger American, but didn't like the rough forend. After that I handled a Tikka and fell in love.

Remington stocks and balance have always been great for me. I've had four 700s and loved each one. They may not be as nicely finished as my older ones, but still pretty good.

Arkansas Paul
July 3, 2013, 05:09 PM
Problem is, I don't know a lot about them, for example what is short throw vs. long throw action?

Long and short actions simply refers to the length of the cartridge. Long actions are for .30-06, .270 and similar length.
Short action is .308, .243 and 7mm-08 length rounds.
The difference is the short actions will be a few ounces lighter and theoretically more robust because the action is shorter and less prone to flex. I really don't think that last part is a real world concern, but a few ounces can matter if you carry it a lot.

July 3, 2013, 05:32 PM
You'd be hard pressed to go wrong with a Tikka. In that general price range I would also look at new Winchester Model 70's and Browning X-bolts. I used to have two Tikka's, and now I have an M70 and a stainless X-bolt. I really like the Winchester and Browning, but I'll probably pick up another Tikka to go with them next time I see a good deal.

July 3, 2013, 06:37 PM
Nice trigger, decent stock, slick bolt, light gun ... can't think of a think not to like.

July 3, 2013, 07:36 PM

The 60 degree bolt throw leaves more room between the scope and your hand when you cycle the rifle. It is made possible by a 3 lug bolt head. The classic Mauser bolt has two opposing lugs, which requires a 90degree turn. The Tikkas have an intermediate bt throw, about 75 degrees. Because the bolt handle is slightly downturned, it gives good clearance, compared to some traditional designs that almost ride the scope.
A short bolt turn is also found in the Browning and Thompson Center rifles. They compete with Tikka head-to-head. There is also one Savage model with this feature. In the price range you indicated, you will be looking at
• A Bolt
•T/C Venture
• Savage M25
•Tikka T3 Lite

I have owned and shot all except the M25. Choosing one is a tough but not unpleasant job, given their high quality.

July 3, 2013, 09:55 PM
There's certainly nothing wrong with Tikka's plastic stocked T3 Lite (I love mine). But the OP is asking about the T3 hunter, their wood stocked model. And, while it would be a bit heavier, I have to think that it would be a great choice as well. And, I don't know what the going street price is, but BassPro (http://www.basspro.com/Tikka-T3-Hunter-270-WIN-Rifle-Blue-Barrel-&-Walnut-Stock/product/10218523/) has the Hunter in .270 listed for $680.


July 3, 2013, 10:36 PM
The Hunter still has a plastic trigger guard/mag/bolt shroud. I'd get one and it'd be broke in three weeks.

July 3, 2013, 10:37 PM
I have owned alot of rifles, none of them are as accurate or smooth as my Tikka T3 Stainless, it is in a class of it's own, as an added bonus it has the best factory trigger I have ever used, better then my X-Mark Pro, better then my MOA, and even better then my Accutriggers. My only gripes with Tikka are their lackluster recoil pad, and much like Savage they like short barrels on the T3 Lite, I would much rather have a 24" tube on a 270 Win or 25-06 but that is just my personal opinion.
Tikka is the best buy for the money on the market IMHO, there are other solid performing rifles, but all around the T3 is top of the food chain in it's price range.
Some people gripe about the "plastic" parts on a Tikka, what they don't know is their "plastic" is a super strong fiber/matrix composite, I have never seen any break.

July 3, 2013, 10:52 PM
I had a Tikka T3 Lite for a couple months. It is a great rifle. Light, accurate, smooth bolt and an amazing factory trigger. I sold mine because I just didn't care for it. Cant tell you why I didn't as I couldn't find any fault with it. We just didn't click. I would HIGHLY recommend one to anybody looking for a hunting rifle.

July 3, 2013, 11:38 PM
Certainly the extra weight of a wood stock is welcome on a 270 caliber Tikka. The Tikka bolt action is so slick you can do a colonoscopy with it. The Browning A Bolt and the T/C are very close.

But here is why I traded my Tikka Varmint (a heavy barreled T3). It lost benchrest accuracy after 15 rounds or so fired at a leisurely pace. Whether it needed frequent cleaning, cooling, or both, I am still not sure and not about to veer off discussing it. The polymer mags often resisted being loaded. Breaking them was to be avoided considering the going price of 70-80 bucks a piece. The receiver balked at some ammo, such as factory tracers - again not a problem with the Browning or the Venture.

Nonetheless, I would buy another Tikka when the price meets the need to have it. I think my experience with that one rifle was singular. But there are others, among them Chuck Hawks, who believe that cost cutting has affected the brand quality.

July 3, 2013, 11:49 PM
I have the utmost respect for Chuck Hawks, but I have to respectfully disagree with him on the Tikka rifles. Mine is more accurate then my Savages, A-Bolt, and even my new Winchester model 70, and I don't mean one load is more accurate, I mean it is tighter shooting then anything else across the board, 120gr, 130gr, 140gr, Speers, Sierras, Noslers, Hornady, RL19, IMR4350, RL22 pick a combo put it together and expect magic, heck it even shoots super cheap Prvi ammo and Winchester Power Points sub MOA with ease. Yeah it is THAT good. If there is any real criticism of Tikka it is that they lack some of the personality you can only get from premium hardwood/steel and a Mauser style action.

July 4, 2013, 12:02 AM
I have a Tikka T3 Hunter in 7mm Rem Mag and it is a tack driver and one of my favorite rifles. Actually probably my "go to" rifle for most of my hunting. It has taken well over a hundred hogs so far as well as many deer. Still going strong.

July 4, 2013, 02:32 AM
The Tikka T3 I once owned was a piece of junk. It would literally shoot 3-4inch groups at best. The dealer took it back and refunded my money.

There is a lot of plastic including the magazine and bolt shroud I didn't care for. The factory supplied rings have a lot to be desired as well and the recoil lug is very unconventional. About the only redeeming value it had for me is that it's trigger is decent. I wouldn't wish that rifle on anybody. I do own several Sako's and they are very nice shooters.

July 4, 2013, 12:48 PM
Every rifle I own that says "Made in Finland" on the side is a great one. The fact that all of those are either Sako or Tikka probably explains that!

I love the vintage Sako rifles. If you can find one in excellent condition that you like, that's the sweet spot. For current production rifles and "bang for the buck," the Tikkas are nice.


July 4, 2013, 01:29 PM
Yeah, the Vanguard S2 at about 7 1/2 lbs may be heavy to some, but the trade off is that it's such a pleasure to shoot. It really soaks up recoil, especially with that great pad it comes with. I have two of them, in .308 and .223. Weatherby guarantees sub MOA groups at 100 yards with premium ammo right out of the box, and with my reloads, my .308 easily shoots half that size. I just got a scope for my .223, but i expect similar results from it based on what I've seen from it so far just using an optic.

July 4, 2013, 01:48 PM
Take a look at a bunch of different brands, Tikka, Remington, Winchester, Browning, etc. See which fits and feels the best to you; you're gonna have to shoulder a lot of rifles. Don't worry so much about the small details like length of action (although details are fun), most important is how that rifle feels to you.

And check out used rifles, too. You can get a really good deal on a lightly used .270, which is a pretty common caliber. Or wait for a good sale. Bolt action hunting rifles are abundant right now.

July 4, 2013, 03:41 PM
Long and short actions simply refers to the length of the cartridge. Long actions are for .30-06, .270 and similar length.
Short action is .308, .243 and 7mm-08 length rounds.
The difference is the short actions will be a few ounces lighter and theoretically more robust because the action is shorter and less prone to flex. I really don't think that last part is a real world concern, but a few ounces can matter if you carry it a lot.

There are several rifle manufacturers that utilize long actions for all their bolt rifles, whether for .308 and shorter calibers or not.

July 4, 2013, 03:50 PM
The OP was asking about the "bolt throw action". I think most responders understood that it meant bolt rotation, not the length of the receiver.

July 4, 2013, 05:23 PM
Guys thanks for all the great replies.. I've since looked at Ruger, Remington, Howa and a couple others but none are as impressive as the Tikka. It's worth it for me to spend more and be content than to underspend out of thrift and be regretful. I'm off to Bass Pro to handle a few more and see what fits me the best.

Happy Fourth!

July 5, 2013, 02:12 AM
On y'alls advice I bought a Tikka T3 Lite today... I liked the composite stock and stainless steel for weather resistance vs. wood/blued. I got it at Bass Pro NIB for $680.

On a personal note, I like to purchase a firearm on Independence Day as a "tradition" if you get my meaning... It's just my way of thanking our forebears for their foresight, when they penned (literally) our protection from them.

So now I need a scope and mounting hardware. Any advice? 3-9 40mm? Brands to look at and/or avoid? My price range is open, but not more than $300. I'm not an uninformed novice, I just need a little guidance from experienced folks who know what works... This will be for target shooting and deer hunts at 100-300 yards.

I truly appreciate all comments and advice.

July 5, 2013, 06:19 AM
A Leupold VX-2 3-9X40mm is 299. Add a set of Talley Lightweight 1-Piece lows and you are set.

July 5, 2013, 09:01 AM
My T3 wears a Nikon Prostaff 3x9-40 BDC, great scope for the money, my Savage 30-06 wears a Leupold VX2 which has superb glass. The Nikon BDC is a better long ranged optic but the Leupold has even best glass of any scope I have every used, light transition and clarity are a cut above and my favorite part the VX2 has plenty of eye relief and it keeps full light very well. The Nikon is the best scope on the market in it's price range, but the VX2 is another class of scope.
I have owned Bushnell, Simmions, and Redfield too but to me it comes down to Nikon or Leupold.

July 5, 2013, 09:38 AM
An illuminated red dot in black crosshairs I found helpful for faster target acquisition and in low light. Mine is a Leupold Firesight, the other one is a Trijicon. Normally they sell at over $300 apiece but better deals come and go all the time. For faster shots low xx a plus, such as 1.5x

July 5, 2013, 09:43 AM
You can't go,wrong with a Leupold, especially a VX-2.

July 6, 2013, 10:45 PM
I'm all set. I got the Leupold VX-2 3 -9 40mm LR Duplex today. I shopped Optics Planet, Gander Mtn, Academy and got it a Bass Pro.

Thanks for the help, let the fun begin!

July 6, 2013, 11:35 PM
Looking forward to a range report after you get it all put together and sighted in.

July 7, 2013, 07:32 AM
I have been looking for a Tikka for several years and finally found one. A good friend died and he had a new unfired stainless all weather in 30.06. Before he died he went through his rifles and put a price on most all of them and I paid his wife exactly what he asked.

I haven't got around to shooting it yet with being rear ended at over 30 MPH, breaking my seat off and knocking me out and a CT and 2 MRIs and another one coming ...........................

At any rate I am setting mine up for long range. I have purchased different mounts and Burris Signature Zee Rings with .020" offset spacers so I can zero the rifle at 600 yards and the scope still be in the middle of it's adjustment range.

The only thing I would do differently would have been to order a new one in varmint weight barrel as I normally like heavier barrels but that would have been much more money.

July 7, 2013, 09:48 PM

Sorry you had that mishap, get better soon.

Range report coming ASAP but it's awful hot out these days...

Thanks for all the tips and advice!

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