Tikka T3x Superlite or...?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by westernrover, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    I'm thinking of buying a rifle that my 15 yo son will use when we go hunting mule deer and pronghorn. It will be his when he's an adult. The last couple of years he hunted with my CZ, but I will need it for someone else.

    I'm pretty sure he will like a Tikka because it is smooth and accurate. I like the CZ myself because of the Mauser action, but the bolt binds when feeding and the non-rotating extractor is just not super smooth. The Tikka's I've handled have been very smooth.

    The Tikka I have in mind is the T3x Superlite. I wonder if the all stainless steel bolt and receiver will gall. I never heard of it happening on Tikkas. Are the black/blued steel rifles better for this reason?

    I'm pretty sure I will get it chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. I don't have a Creedmoor or any chambering that I want another of, and I figure 6.5 CM checks all the boxes. In a standard length action, I'd rather have a 270 or a 6.5 PRC myself. Creedmoor or 308 are the last chamberings I'd choose, but my son's not a gun nut and has no nostalgia, so none of this means anything to him. I think my son would prefer the lower recoil of the CM. He just wants an accurate rifle that's effective on game.

    I want an accurate rifle that I can depend on being accurate without a lot of fuss. My son's a great shot and whenever his groups have opened up on paper, it's been the gun or the ammo and I've been through a lot of tweaking that's frustrating. I like solid wood stocks and esoteric chamberings. My son just wants to shoot accurately so I figure plastic, creedmoor.

    I know he'll want something lightweight. A Kimber might be lighter but has a reputation for requiring above mentioned tweaking to get it to be dependably accurate.

    Whatever I get, it will wear a Swarovski scope I already have.

    I don't really want to spend much more than what a T3x superlite costs, $779 because I'm convinced it will fit the bill. Other things I'm considering: Vanguard or B-14 which are progressively heavier but might have some other advantages.
     
  2. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I prefer the bergaras, vanguards, or kimbers over the Tikkas, but that's just personal preference.
    For what your looking for I think the Tikka would be a good choice. I also think the 6.5cms a good choice.
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I think the Tikka would be a good choice if you want a lightweight rig. The 6.5CM is pretty light recoiling even in a light rifle. Performance wise as a hunting cartridge it'll do anything a 270 will do. And the cartridge is versatile enough for target shooting past 1000 yards.

    You might be able to save a little and get the standard "Lite" rifle instead of the "Superlite". There is only 1/10 lb difference listed on their website.

    The Kimber is probably more than you want to spend, but in my experience, there is nothing wrong with the rifles. The problem is that very few shooters are skilled enough to shoot a 5 lb rifle as accurately as a 7-8 lb rifle.

    I had one for several years and liked carrying it around, it was under 6 lbs scoped. And the rifle was plenty accurate. But I found something about 1 lb heavier (around 7-7.25 lbs scoped) was not a burden to carry, and I shot them better from field positions.

    Don't worry about the short action cartridge in a long action rifle. There are some advantages to doing it that way. Don't overthink that.


    The Bergara and Vanguard are fine rifles that are more traditionally styled. I've had both. But both are overweight for what I want a rifle to do. Especially the Vanguard. Sounds like you have a heavy scope planned for this project. Combine that with a heavy rifle and you can end up with something closer to 10 lbs to hunt with. The Tikka is almost 2 lbs lighter than a Vanguard. About 1lb lighter than Bergara Hunter.
     
  4. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    I'm hunting with a Howa right now, which if you didn't already know, is what the Vanguard actually is. I like my Howa, but if I were to have to replace it today, I would probably buy the Tikka or the Savage 110 Storm.
     
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  5. MachIVshooter
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    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    If I were buying a new hunting rifle today, it would be a Tikka. You'd have to spend a lot more to do better right now.
     
  6. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    My favorite by far is a Tikka T3 in stainless steel, 7-08. It does have a muzzle brake. More than enough power and accuracy, light recoil and smooth and trouble free. I have never had galling on any SS weapon. I did buy a Remington 700 in .243 for my grandson and put a youth stock on it. He is 11 and loves it. Killed a deer and coyote with it. I'd look at Howa,Vanguard or Ruger over Bergara but It's not my money. Get the Tikka.
     
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  7. Wyo82

    Wyo82 Member

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    10E1F03B-CFCD-4F39-9A4F-274D667E4F5D.jpeg I have the Tikka T3 Lite “D18” , which sportsman’s and cabelas carries, in 6.5 creedmoor. It has the muzzle brake, fluted barrel and bolt, cerakoted and synthetic stock. Topped off with a Zeiss for glass. I absolutely love it. Tack driver even with cheap factory ammo, even tighter with hand loads. Haven’t had a problem one with this rifle, only thing I have had to adapt to is the detachable magazine. I’ve always shot Remington model 700’s with the built in mag growing up for hunting rifles, but this Tikka is great. Smooth, shoots great, and doesn’t wear you out packing it all day long while hunting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
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  8. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    I may start a war, but I would not start a young person on a 6.5 Creedmoor. I find wind drifting can be an issue
    with the 6.5 depending on the bullet size. If the kid wants a dependable, accurate rifle, a .308 would be my choice. Ammo for .308 is easier to come by right now. And the .308 has proved itself time and time again.
    And I find the Tikka, the best rifle one can buy for under $1,000.
     
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  9. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Just wanted to ask for a bit of clarification on that statement. What about the wind drift characteristics is an issue with the 6.5s? Ive mostly been shooting 140-147s, tho I've been considering dropping back to 123s, for a little more velocity.
     
  10. Wyo82

    Wyo82 Member

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    What yardages are you shooting that wind drift is an issue? I see he’s buying it for his teen for muleys and speedgoats, and while you can take some long distance shots at them, usually shots within “hunting yardages” I haven’t had any issues. YMMV of course
     
  11. Wyo82

    Wyo82 Member

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    319D8776-766B-4D2F-84BA-9184E81E2A28.jpeg
    After reading your post, I’ve been doing some searching and reading, and came upon this chart. It is based on a 10 mph crosswind. Now I don’t take this as gospel by any means, just someone’s data that they posted. As with everything, take it with a grain of salt. Maybe the heavier bullets have more of a problem, and that is what you’re experiencing?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  12. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I just traded into a nice Browning X bolt. I was looking for a Tikka, but no one had one they wanted to get rid of. I’m impressed with this Browning however. Factory glass bedded, fantastic trigger, and the action gives up nothing on the buttery smooth Tikka:)
     
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  13. rust collector
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    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    A 308 T3 lite stainless has been my meat gun for at least 15 years now, and it remains accurate and enjoyable to use. I am sure there are many other good options, but I am just reporting that Tikkas are good for the long haul. I would buy a 6.5 if I were doing it now.
     
  14. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Sure like my Storm.
     
  15. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I probably buy too many cheap rifles and too few higher priced ones, but my Ruger American Predator has been trouble-free for far less money than the Tikka as has my T/C Compass which is a tack driver.

    I do understand that both of these are rarely discussed in comparison with the T3 and may not be considered heirloom quality. I get that they’re built to a price point and won’t ever be as smooth. For non-aficionados however I think either stands as good a chance of taking game in the woods.

    My kids aren’t proving out to be as gun ho as me so I’ve chosen economy models many times over, knowing some day they’ll also inherit a select few firearms of higher grade (though not much higher) to enjoy if they choose. A Tikka isn’t a bank buster either though, which makes it a fine choice for this same application.
     
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  16. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    westernrover, "my son's not a gun nut and has no nostalgia, so none of this means anything to him."
    Maybe I'm prejudice, but I've seen a lot of people shoot 6.5 Creedmoors at the range and they were not happy with the initial results. It took a lot of practice and some playing around with loads for them to come up with a good shooting round. I always thought it was a too light weight rifle combined with a small weight bullet and too much velocity plus some cross wind that caused their trouble. On the other hand, I've never seen anyone with a.308 ever be disappointed sighting in their rifle.
     
  17. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Excellent Plan the 6.5 Creedmoor will do all you need it to do and I’d just get the T3X lite If it were me but other than that I say you’re putting together a hunting package that your son will enjoy for years to come! Which Swarovski scope are you putting on it?
     
  18. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    My experience has been totally the opposite especially when you factor in that the 6.5 Creedmoor was built as a Target Cartridge so ACCURACY WAS THE FIRST OBJECTIVE with this Cartridge there is a reason it sells so well and has such a major impact on the shooting world (If it wasn’t as good as it is it would’ve fallen by the wayside by now!) also Show me where a .308 drifts less than a 6.5 Creedmoor I’d love to see it I’ve shot a dozen different 6.5 Creedmoor’s from bare bones budget rifles to customs costing thousands and I’ve yet to see one shoot bad

    So yes I chalk this up to your Prejudice!!!
     
  19. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I’ve had both tikka and Savages and I really think the Savages shoot a bit smaller, can’t say why I just see smaller groups.
     
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  20. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    Yeah, I can't give this post much support or creedence. Before I finally gave in and tried the 6.5 Creedmoor myself, I saw way too many Savage and T/C 6.5cm shooting good groups with factory ammo. I've bought three myself, all different platforms, and all were MOA out of the box with factory anmo.
    I've seen plenty of .308s that won't shoot Moa.
     
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  21. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    7mm-08 would be another nice and light package option in the T3. Creedmoor is a good choice too. I have a Tikka UPR and CTR in the 6.5. They are nice, but the 6.5x55 is still my favorite so far.
     
  22. Turkeytider

    Turkeytider Member

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    Did you find the Savage rifles to be more accurate as well as precise?
     
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  23. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    Thanks for the input. This is not a starter rifle. Been shooting rifles for years, probably four by the time this one comes together for next season. I agree 6.5 CM is not the best starter rifle chambering for a youngster unless it's down-loaded with Trailboss and then it's still needlessly expensive. Other than that, there's no sense in knocking the Creedmoor. If there was anything legitimately wrong with it, it would be well known by now. I'm not a fan, but not foolish enough to think it can't do everything my pet cartridge does and then some. Really the best criticism of it people can come up with is that it's popular with the man-bun and skinny jeans crowd -- meaning it's not something their generation did. Like it or not, Glock, AR15, and Creedmoor are the present day standards. I have my own prejudices, but I don't wish to encumber my son with them. I hope he sees the virtues in my crumudgeonly ways, but I'm aware the world doesn't work according to my tastes.

    50mm Z5. We hunt open country in the Great Basin so most shots are over 100 yards but so far we've been able to keep things under 200. The scope has the ballitic turret so it will work well to easily dial between 100 and 300 yards, and it's 16 oz so not too heavy. We're not doing anything long-range. So far, we haven't even used a rangefinder, just zero at 200, but if we were to go to 300, I think the drop is about 7 inches.
     
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  24. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Hey guys, the trouble maker is back. Better get the tar and feathers.. hurry!!!

    All I meant was there are better deer hunting calibers for a young man who is not a gun nut, like most of us. And I see I have ruffled some feathers.... Now we all know the 6.5 Creedmoor is God's gift to Deer hunting, right?

    Going on the internet this morning, I checked to see how many organizations from gun sales to ammo sales to other publications would agree first to shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor for deer hunting in the U.S. You will never guess what I found. I got tired of looking this this stuff up because almost everyone, Including Hornady (who one of their employees invented the 6.5 Creedmoor) agreed with me. In the top ten, the 6.5 Creedmoor rated #9 in popularity. And the .308 was usually in the top 3. Sources: Hornady, Browning, IF Tatical, Guns.com, Outdoor Life, Hunters News, Most Popular Ammo.com , and many others did not even mention the Creedmoor in any or their listings. Now to be honest, Browning did mention the Creedmoor being popular in one of their rifles with no indication of which was more popular and Peterson's Hunting Mag. rated #1 30.06, #2 .270 Win. and #3 6.5 Creedmoor.
     
  25. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    I don't even own a 6.5 Creedmoor nor do I care to ever, I'm happy with 308 Win and 280ai. But in comparing 308win with the 6.5CM on wind, it isn't even a contest; the 6.5mm/.264 like the 7mm/.284 are just better suited for the wind compared to 7.62/.308.

    One would be better suited to compare the following:

    6.5CM to 7mm08
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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