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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tts0lid, Sep 24, 2011.

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  1. tts0lid

    tts0lid Member

    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.
  2. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Well-Known Member

    .270 recoil is nothing

    Get the .270
  3. bukijin

    bukijin Well-Known Member

    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 useful.

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

    Lone Star Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  5. tts0lid

    tts0lid Member

    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.
  6. R H Clark

    R H Clark Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Well-Known Member

    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!
  8. tts0lid

    tts0lid Member

    ^ 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.
  9. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Well-Known Member

    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...
  10. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  12. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  13. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. viking499

    viking499 Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. tts0lid

    tts0lid Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  16. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    Nice choices. For a little more, check out the Browning X bolt , its one heck of a rifle.
  17. whalerman

    whalerman member

    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.
  18. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. bobnob

    bobnob Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. 00

    00 Active Member

    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.
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