A few years back we took a detailed look at the T3 Tactical rifle with the 24″ barrel and found some things we liked and did not like about the rifle. Tikka has continued to make some higher quality rifles that are relatively affordable which have been imported by Beretta USA. Unfortunately Beretta does not import every rifle that Tikka makes so we in the USA miss out on some of the unique stuff, like their T3 tactical chambered in 260. One of the more recent rifles that Tikka has introduced is their T3 Sporter which is designed to be a competition target rifle that is similar to their old Master Sporter rifle from years back. The new T3 Sporter is available in the USA in limited quantities and it is based on their popular T3 series of rifles. We had the opportunity come up that allowed us to take one of these T3 Sporter rifles chambered in 260 and run it through a full review to see how it might perform as a dedicated sniper rifle.

Before we proceed, we wanted to remind readers that with our new web page layout, we are able to easily use higher resolution images, which we have done. So feel free to click on each of the images in this review to see higher resolution versions. And do not forget to look at all the detailed specs on the right hand side of the page.

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The T3 Sporter is available in two different barrel lengths (20″ and 24″) and is available in five different chamberings including 308 Win, 260 Rem, 6.5×55 Swede, 223 Rem and the 222 Rem. The 222 is really the only odd ball one there but it is a popular varmint hunting cartridge. The rifle we had on hand to evaluate was a 24″ barrel chambered in 260 Remington which had just ran through one of our Advanced Long Range Precision Marksman courses with a student. Both the student and rifle did well. All of the T3 Sporter rifles with a 20″ barrel are threaded for a suppressor or muzzlebrake and the 24″ versions are available with barrel threading as an option. This rifle had the threaded muzzle and a non-Tikka/Sako muzzlebrake installed. As the rifle was not ours, we elected not to remove the muzzlebrake and to run the test with it installed.

Back before the days of widely available synthetic stocks, laminated wood was a better option over a standard walnut wood stock as the various layers of laminate stiffened the wood up and it allowed the stock to not flex nearly as much as a traditional wood stock that changes when the weather and moisture in the air change. Since the T3 Sporter is intended for competition shooting and not tactical work, Tikka has elected to use laminated wood for this rifle. If you compare the shape of the Sporter stock to that of its distant cousin, the Sako TRG-22/42, you will notice that the shape closely matches the shape of the popular Sako sniper rifle. This is not a bad thing at all as the TRG design is very ergonomic and well designed.

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The padded buttpad adjusts vertically, sliding up and down, and it is also adjustable for length of pull using a spacer system. The operator can use additional spacers to lengthen it, and of course can remove spacers to shorten the length of pull. The spacer system is not as quick or easy to adjust as some other adjustable stock setups, but it is the most solid adjustable design and allows for a very rigid stock. The cheekpiece adjusts up and down and locks into place via a single tightening screw. The cheekpiece also can adjust laterally side to side by using screws under the cheepiece where the vertical pillars attach to the raised cheekrest. These same vertical pillars have a clever system where a screw threads into the forward pillar allowing the user to set a “memory” for the height of the cheekpiece by threading the screw into, or out of, the pillar. This allows the cheekpiece to drop immediately back to its pre-set position. This is especially handy because the cheekpiece must be removed in order to remove the bolt from the rifle. The cheekpiece has a canted edge to it to provide more comfort for right handed shooters. There is a left handed version of the T3 Sporter for those that need or desire a left handed rifle.

When looking at the stock it is obvious to notice that it is tailored for a right handed shooter due to the shape of the pistol grip area with its thumb rest and the afore mentioned cheekpiece. The pistol grip is very nicely contoured to allow for a very comfortable fit for the shooting hand, but this prevents off handed shooters from being able to use the rifle comfortably. The pistol grip is a vertical style pistol grip that puts the trigger finger in an excellent position to get a properly aligned trigger squeeze. This is a good thing as the trigger is a target style trigger with a light trigger pull. The trigger is adjustable and on our test rifle was measure at just a hair over 1 pound, which we consider to be too light for a tactical rifle, but it is very nice for a target or range only rifle. The trigger has a semi-wide shoe with vertical ribs and broke very crisply with no creep or overtravel. For a factory rifle, it was a very nice trigger. As was mentioned already, the thumb rest is nicely contoured and the stock very comfortable to shoot.

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Much like its Sako TRG cousin, the stock is bulky through the action area with a wide platform for the action to set down into. That bulk continues in front of the trigger area where the detachable box magazine fits up into the action. The trigger guard and floorplate are made of plastic which gives us some concern for durability. The choice to use plastic was certainly done for cost reduction. As is visible in the pictures, the magazine fits completely up into the stock and is even recessed a bit. While this provides very nice protection for the magazine and prevents it from protruding below the rifle and getting snagged or bumped on anything, it also can provide some difficultly with rapid magazine swaps as occasionally we found ourselves fiddling with getting the magazine aligned and into the mag well. There is a magazine release button in front of the magazine which can also take a little getting used to before you are able to find it and release the magazine without having to look where it is. The magazine does not fall free from the well without having to pull it out which makes rapid mag swaps a bit more difficult. The magazines themselves are a polymer (fancy plastic) with a single stack design that holds 5 rounds of 260 ammunition. Some of the smaller calibers, such as the 223, will hold 6 rounds. The rifle fed well from the magazines throughout our tests without any hangups.

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The stock nicely curves up in front of the magazine well and blends into a flat and wide forearm area that provides a stable and solid shooting platform when shooting from a fixed rest such as sandbags. There is an accessory rail on the bottom side of the forearm that allows for all of the traditional adapters to be used for sling studs, fancy bipod mounts and even small picatinny rails. The forearm also has some ventilation slots cut into it to help aid with barrel cooling. On the left hand side of the forearm is another smaller area where a smaller accessory rail is attached and this can be used for a sling swivel or other items. Of course, as you might imagine on a target rifle, the barrel is free floated all the way back to the receiver. The stock is mounted to the action via the traditional action screws through the floorplate. The stock is not glass bedded but has aluminum pillars that the screws mount up through.

The action on the rifle is the standard Tikka T3 action that is found on their normal hunting and tactical rifles and in which incorporates the normal push feed T3 design. There is a two position safety on the right hand side of the rear tang, forward is fire, to the rear is safe. The bolt is polished steel that incorporates a nice Sako style extractor with plunger for ejection. This extractor setup is popular and should come as no surprise given the family ties with Sako. There is also a large bolt knob with black hardened finish around the knob itself. The nice thing about the Tikka bolts is that the knobs are removable quiet easily and aftermarket bolt handles are available and easy to replace onto the bolt. The rear bolt shroud is a somewhat blocky design that does incorporate a cocked indicator. There are two bolt lugs on the front of the bolt.

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The action itself is mostly enclosed with a small ejection port on the bolt side. This style of action using an ejection port is used by many custom action builders as it provides more stiffness versus the actions with an open top. The downside is that it is more difficult for an operator to get his or her finger inside the action to help single feed or remove spent brass they may have failed to extract. There are 17mm dovetail groves machined into the top of the action that can be used to mount dovetail style rings directly to the action. The action is also drilled and tapped to allow mounting a picatinny style rail on top, which is how our test rifle was setup. The upper sides of the action are milled down flat that gives the action a hex style shape to it. There is also a bolt release lever on the left hand side of the action that requires just a simple press while pulling the bolt to the rear to remove the bolt from the action. The bottom of the action has the recoil lug directly machined into the action itself, there is not a separate recoil lug like on the Remington 700.

Mounted to the action is a 24″ (actually 23.6″) hammer forged heavy barrel. As mentioned earlier, a 20″ barrel option is available which automatically comes threaded with the 5/8″-24tpi thread spec for a suppressor or muzzlebrake. The 24″ barrel version is not threaded by default but is available with threading as an option, which this one had. The 260 Remington version of the Tikka Sporter rifles have a 1:8″ rate of twist which is fast enough to stabilize the heavier 142gr, or higher, bullets. Tikka typically does a good job selecting their rates of twist as even their 308 rifles have the 1:11″ twist that many consider ideal. The heavy barrel and action have a good even, semi-matte bluing finish applied, while the bolt remains polished steel.

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Overall with the target style stock design and the brighter orange laminated wood, the rifle has a unique look to it that we find attractive here, though not very tactical. The rifle is comfortable and decently light at less than 10 lbs, to allow it to be easily carried around. The wood laminate concerns us only in that it will invariably get scratched when being used as a tactical rifle and if the operator can live with that, then there appears to be some potential to the rifle. It is almost like a half priced younger cousin to that Sako TRG we keep mentioning. Of course, the proof is in the shooting and the question needs to be answered whether the rifle can shoot. It must be time for our favorite part of the evaluation process.

For our shooting tests we mounted one of our traditional test scopes to the rifle using some Leupold Mark 4 rings. The scope is a Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20x50mm LR scope that we have used on numerous rifle reviews and it has always worked well for us. Of course, with the Pictinny rail mounted, mounting the scope was the same as any other tactical rifle with a rail and didn’t take much time. We were able to round up four different long range match loads from three different ammunition manufactures for our testing. We had our trusty HSM 123gr Scenar load, their 142gr Sierra Matchking load, a hotter Corbon 123 gr Scenar load and finally the Black Hills 139gr Scenar load. This was a nice mix of different long range loads and it should show the capability of the rifle nicely. Do notice that three of the four loads use Lapua bullets and while we prefer to have a wider mix of bullet manufacturers, we also did not have a lot of choices with 260.

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Of course, it was another rifle review performed in the early winter of Montana so we had snow, like usual this time of year. The shooting was done in 25 degree weather with little to no wind, which was nice. All groups that were measured were fired at 100 yards with a front sandbag and a rear sand sock. The shooting results are listed below:

Ammo Average Best Average MOA
Corbon 123gr Scenar .686″ .549″ .66 MOA
HSM 123gr Scenar .904″ .565″ .86 MOA
Blackhills 139gr Scenar .680″ .399″ .65 MOA
HSM 142gr SMK 1.022″ .731″ .98 MOA

Note first that all of the loads averaged under 1 MOA. Normally the HSM 123gr is at the top of our best performing 260 factory ammo, but in this particular case the Tikka did not shoot it as well as it did the Corbon or Blackhills. The Corbon 123gr was extremely consistent, easily printing the most consistent sized groups from group to group. It was down in the .5 – .75 MOA range with every group. The Blackhills had a tighter average but it was not as consistent as the Corbon. It just had some really tight sub .5 MOA groups that would bring the overall average down. For a factory mass produced rifle in a non-bedded stock, shooting factory ammo, the results were not bad at all.

The muzzlebrake on this rifle is not the factory Sako brake that is designed to fit on these rifles but rather an aftermarket setup and it does need to be mentioned that while it did a good job of reducing recoil, which isn’t harsh with the 260 to begin with, it also was extremely loud. Even noticeably louder than a majority of the other muzzlebrakes on the market. We cannot explain why, but we thought it should be mentioned.

We also noticed that when feeding from the magazine there was a “hitch” in the cycle when the round was being stripped from the magazine and fed into the chamber. It was a noticeable notch that prevented the action from being labeled “butter smooth” by us. It never failed to feed and was never a malfunction, but it was just not as smooth as we would like. The bolt throw on the bolt is very short and this allowed for some easy and quick rapid follow up shots… but we continued to notice the hitch in the cycling of the bolt during these same rapid fire drills.

It should also be noted that we were reminded of just how “warm” a wood stock feels. This was especially apparent when we were shooting in below freezing temperatures. There is something to be said about the warm feel of wood versus synthetic stocks. Of course, the merits of a synthetic stock for tactical use far outweigh a “warm” feeling, but it was funny how we noticed it.

Overall impressions of the rifle are positive. No, it is not ideally suited for the sniping role, but it certainly can fill the role if needed as the rifle is comfortable, has nice accessory rails and provided good accuracy for an out of the box factory rifle. There are more and more stock options that are available for the T3 rifles from the likes of Manners, Accuracy International, Bell and Carlson and others. This could allow for the opportunity to pick up one of these T3 Sporters and then put it into a different stock to get even more performance out of the rifle. The hitch in the feeding cycle from the magazine was a minor complaint but we are aware that it never once failed to feed or cause a problem. The stock is comfortable and if needed, it could easily be spray painted and put into service as is. If painted in this manner, then a bit of marring on it wouldn’t bother you as much as it would a pretty laminated wood finish. Typically using a target rifle for a sniper rifle doesn’t work out, but in this particular case, we think it could be doable.

Sniper Central 2015

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30 Comments

Hypo

Great timing on the review.
We had a thread going recently where someone mentioned a $1500 gun budget.
Just to be different I mentioned a Tikka Sporter but in 6.5X55 Swede.
Bet there won’t be many of these at the range.
I can just picture the AR guys looking and cocking their head sideways trying to figure out what it is.

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Joe

Please help I like both the Tika t3
tactical and the Tika sporter in .308 which should I buy ? I want it for hunting and target .

Joe f

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Mel Ewing

The synthetic stock on the T3 Tactical is setup more for rugged field use and makes for a bit more compact and lighter rifle than the Sporter. But if a majority of the time is going to be shooting at the range, the sporter stock is more comfortable and setup for competition style shooting.

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Matt

I have one of these! In 6.5×55 Swede. It’s a great rifle, shot about .65 MOA from the factory with handloads. I’ve made the switch over to an aftermarket bottom metal (CGI) that uses AI 300WM mags. That system works great, though I had to really modify the stock to make it all work. The trigger’s on these Tikka’s are pretty nice, and they’ve managed to keep the lawyers from making them terrible (but super safe!!). Mine breaks at a crisp 2 lbs, though I did have to back off one of the set screws to get it there. It was about 4-5 from the factory.

I did notice the accuracy starting to degrade after a year of heavy use. I tracked it down to the laminated stock compressing and the stock recoil lug being too loose. So I ordered a Lumley oversized titanium lug, machined my own pillars, and bedded the pig with DevCon. It’s sweet now, averaging roughly .36-.45 MOA off a bipod.

As a side note, I really recommend the 6.5 swede! All Tikka’s are long actions, so you might as well upgrade from the .260 Rem. I’ve found it fills in nicely between the .260 and the 6.5-284. You are kind of on your own as far as handloads goes, most books under cut the powder quantities to avoid blowing up an old Krag Jorgensen…work up slowly. I’m pushing Berger VLD’s at 2820 fps using 46 grains of H4350. *Once again, work up to that. Check for pressure signs*

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Mel Ewing

Thanks for the comments! We agree about the Swede, great cartridge, we really like it. The Tikka Sporter is a nice as well!

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[…] 308 or 6.5X55 Swede are available calibers. Funky orangish laminated stock though. Review here. Tikka T3 Sporter – Sniper Central FN SPR A1 is in that price range but you already have a 308. Reply With […]

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jeff young

Really appreciated your comments on Tikka’s T-3 offering in 6.5 x 55. I’ve shot Swede military Mausers, a couple sporters and even a Norwegian Krag in this caliber — love them all.
Most of my shooting is position smallbore. Using a target stocked Swede would be a real pleasure. I hadn’t seen the T-3 in a while. Someone at Tikka must believe there are actually accuracy-minded Americans who shoot position stocked centerfire rifles.
Have any of you shot a T-3 in .223?
jeff in tumwater, wa

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Mel Ewing

We have shot a good number of T3’s, but not one in 223 (We do not do a lot of 223 shooting here).

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El Jefe

Just wondering what anyone knows about the LH version. Are there dedicated stocks for both sides or do they simply move the bolt on a right handed gun?

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Mel Ewing

Go ahead and read the review which talks about the accuracy and lists a price. Let us know if you have other questions

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Chris

I own the 6.5×55 in the LH version, with the 23.6″ bbl. I am right-handed, but left-eye dominant, so shoot left-handed. I ordered this rifle in May of 2014 and it arrived in the country that November. I believe that it was one of two that were on the shipment. Not too many of these LH versions come in, so I’m told. As Mel notes in his review, the pistol grip is suited only to the shooter that the rifle is designed for. My wife is right-handed and right-eye dominant, and can’t comfortably shoot this rifle.
The stock coloration is actually quite attractive in person, and functional where I live from a hunting perspective; I generally hunt for deer after the leaves are off the trees, and the variegated orange/tan/gray coloration of the stock blends in well enough with that environment that no deer has seemingly noticed it at the range that I generally engage them. I will likely paint or Duracoat the metal on the rifle into a lighter gray color to help hide it more effectively.
Before I had even fired the first round, I decided to replace the factory trigger guard piece with an aluminum one made by a shop in Australia who does custom work for the T3 and a few other rifles. Also replaced the bolt knob and the bolt shroud with nicer parts from the same guy. I had toyed with the idea of having a trigger guard assembly that is compatible with AI mags installed as opposed to the route that I went, however the cost was more than I was willing to pay, and since then I have acquired another T3 that the original owner built into a tactical package (McMillan stock, accepts AI mags, etc.), and I must say that the AI mag is not as reliable as the factory Tikka poly mags that I am using with the Sporter. The “tactical” T3 is chambered in .270 Win (I am considering re-barreling it). The AI mag (long action for 300 WM) doesn’t feed properly all the time. Interesting thing is that the 6.5×55 and the .270 Win bolt faces are identical between the two rifles; I could literally swap them between the two rifles without issue. At any rate, I’m glad that I didn’t invest the additional money to go with an AI-compatible trigger guard for the Sporter.
My Sporter wears an EGW rail and Leupold Mark AR 6-18×40 with Burris rings, and I use a standard Harris bipod for stabilization.
Performance-wise, the Sporter has functioned flawlessly for me so far. Ammo used has been a mix of Hornady Vintage Match, Nosler (Accubond), and Swedish military surplus M/41 sniper ammo (which is ultra-consistent, even among different lots; I use this in my other 6.5×55 rifles). All of these use 140-grain projectiles. The farthest that I have the opportunity to shoot is 300 yards. There’s a 1000-yd club not too far from me, which I will begin to visit when I’ve had more time behind the trigger.
There are a lot of comments on this review from people sweet on the Swede; it really is a most-versatile cartridge, particularly in a modern action such as the T3 capable of handling modern loads. Basically, the shooter has the option of 85 – 160-grain projectiles, many of the 140 – 160-grain projectiles with BC values in excess of .61 (Matrix Ballistics, the new Hornady ELD and ELD-X offerings, etc.). There are two notable differences, as I see it, between the 6.5×55 and the .260 Rem. First, you can still buy ammo for the former most places, whereas the latter is becoming increasingly difficult to find anywhere except from a few online vendors. Heck, even my local Cabela’s discontinued selling it (which is not cool, considering that I own a .260 Rem DPMS). When it is available, .260 Rem factory ammo tends to be >$1.50 per round. Additionally, the Swede in modern loads outperforms the .260 Rem on paper, and can easily be reamed into an AI version which will still fire factory 6.5×55 ammo with good consistency and accuracy, giving the shooter the ability to gain velocity if desired by loading their own AI rounds or simply stick with a “standard”, though preferably modern, loading.
By the way – I purchased this rifle because of Mel’s favorable review on the Master Sporter. I was thrilled to see that he and his crew had done such a thorough review, including a range test, with the Sporter. Thanks, Mel!

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KGL

My .308 sporter is a keeper.
I shoot 168gr. Berger bullets and can make one jagged hole at 100 meters. I move the scope elevation 1moa. to see where the bullets are hitting.
At 200 meters it shoots 1moa. consistently.
My rifle has a set trigger and a Cortac muzzle brake to reduce muzzle jump and shoot off a Harris bipod. I use a Vortex 4×16 PST. My views excellent shooting rifle for the 2K market.

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Steve Makin

Independantly I bought one of these beauties in left handed version 6.5×55 Swedish and reload for it exclusively. It shoots really well so far. Like most owners I am a tad concerned with the “plastic” bolt shroud, trigger blade and trigger gaurd housing, but it doesn’t detract from the magic groups I am shooting. However Using two 5shot standard mags in speed shooting competitions is a real bind, especially as the empty mag doesn’t drop free from the well on release! Does anybody know where (if?) there is a good quality 10 shot replacement that I can buy/import into the U.K. Please?? This would really be appreciated and I bet I am not alone here!.. One thing though, ANY replacement mag MUST allow me to produce reloads with the bullets seated way out as per the original 5shot mags!! My 139 grain Lapua Scenar bullet loads have a COL around 3.150″…
Thanks for any sensible replies here..

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woodcr24

Steve, the only route that I know of to provide the ability to use a mag with more than 5-round capacity is replacement of the factory trigger guard piece with one that is designed to accommodate the AI mags. I have this installed on another long action T3 in .270 win, and the internal length of the mag will accommodate an OAL of just over 3.500″. The mag is the same that is used for the .300 win mag. This is an expensive modification to make, however I do not know of an aftermarket magazine that is specifically made for any of the long action Tikka rifles which can hold more than five rounds. Keep in mind that the AI mags are very expensive (relative to the factory T3 mags). The last time that I checked, I believe that the 10-round AI mags were selling for $110.

There’s a company in the States which offers a number of aftermarket parts and upgrades for the T3, M595, and M695 platforms, however the 10-round mags that they sell are all for short action, only.

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woodcr24

As a follow up, the 10-round mag will accommodate COAL of 3.625″. Looks as though they are now listing for ~$130 each. You will need to modify the magazine to properly function with the shorter 6.5×55 rounds, as these mags are made to feed .300 Win Mag. It’s not a big job. Just involves bending the tabs that hold the cartridges in place so that they leave the mag at the proper angle to feed properly into the chamber.
One other thought is to contact Atlasworxs in Australia and ask them about replacing the mag-release tab with one of the longer ones that they make. It may help with mag ejection, but again will probably require complete replacement of the trigger guard assembly with one of theirs. This is what I did on my Sporter. Seems to drop mags reasonably well.
Best of luck with any mods that you make.

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Steve Makin

Hi WOODCR24.
Thank you for your excellently considered responses to my queries about any possible 10 round mags and a better mag release button for my – much beloved – 6.5×55 Swede Sporter. I have been unwell, hence the delays in answering, but I do appreciate your comments, all-be-it not much liked as my pocket money is somewhat restricted these days!.. The idea of having to change the trigger guard so my rifle can accommodate a really quite expensive 10 round mag that I then ALSO need to alter somewhat (with bending the feed lips) is far from ideal I must say!
Sometime, with the numbers of T3 rifles sold to (and loved by) their owners, there WILL come a time when Tikka/Sako themselves and “independents” will finally consider this being an economical addition to their market line!? Hopefully!?
Thank you agian “woodcr24”, and should you find there IS a version out there, a headsup on here would be VERY MUCH appreciated.
Kind Regards…

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woodcr24

Following up on this review, there are a couple of points that potential buyers of the Tikka T3 Sporter ought to be made aware of. My particular Sporter was produced in 2014, as mentioned in my initial post. There are some aspects of my Sporter that differ from the description that Mel provided.
First, the stock on my Sporter is not pillar bedded. Next, the recoil lug is not part of the action; it is the same design used in other Tikka T3 actions, meaning that the lug sits within a recess in the stock, the other end sitting in a shallow recess in the action. I have discovered that the material that the lug is made of is too soft even for the mild recoil of the Swede when combined with this wood stock. The discovery was made the last time that I was at the range, and the rifle would not group as previously. Upon removing the action from the stock and inspecting the lug, there is an obvious indentation in the face of the lug material, and significant wiggle room within the lug recess (I recall it being a more snug fit previously). I will be pillar bedding the stock and replacing the lug with a package from Lumley, and likely bedding the action, in general.
I have to say that for all of the coolness of this rifle, and the initial accuracy that was obtained, I was initially and remain disappointed with what I feel the cost has come out to be, in terms of the original price plus the cost of upgrading from the plastic trigger guard, mag well, bolt shroud, and bolt knob. Add another $50 for the pillars and Ti lug, and the cost of a bedding job (either the materials themselves or having the work performed by another individual), and the cost climbs well over $2K. This is without purchasing the additional mount required to use a standard Harris-type bipod (granted not expensive, but yet another add-on). Lastly, the instruction manual that accompanied my Sporter had no instructions regarding adjusting the butt pad for shoulder fit. Nor does the information exist on Tikka’s website. It’s not exactly intuitive, either, because the screw that accesses this adjustment is hidden behind the butt pad and must be accessed by passing a screw driver through the butt pad material in order to loosen and tighten the screw.
For me, the biggest attraction to the Tikka T3 is the smoothness of the action; it is a thing of beauty. But when it really comes down to it, I would not recommend the purchase of this particular model, nor of the mildly-feature-improved T3x in the Sporter package, to anyone. My benchmark for accuracy and value will remain the Savage 110. Maybe not the prettiest action out there, but despite all of the detractors who write about the design flaws on paper, all of my 110’s have been 0.10 – 0.25″ capable, and that accuracy costs less than $1,500 with a feature-rich package made from components.
Just my 0.02.

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Steve Makin

Hi agan “woodcr24”! Your notes w.r.t. the recoil lug is something I will admit to NOT knowing prior to purchasing MY T3 Sporter in late 2015. I will now disassemble and check to see what is there in mine, and replace with a STEEL after market version you mention as sold by ‘Lumley’. Think I might replace the bolt shroud and trigger guard whilst I am thinking about this, though the current heavy black plastic material ones are not bad to be honest, and appear quite tough and robust. Bit it is the matter of owner aesthetics isn’t it?
Thank you for your continued, knowledgable remarks on here “woodcr24″….. !!!
Knd Regards..

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woodcr24

Steve,
The newer version of this rifle built around the ‘T3x’ action actually features a metal bolt shroud and a steel recoil lug. I expect that this improvement to the stock offering was made at least in part as a result of consumer feedback.

I’ll be surprised if Tikka offers a magazine for long action cartridges that exceeds the current capacities. I’m pretty certain that the Scandinavian shooting competitions limit the mag capacity to 5 rounds; the 6.5×55 is still widely-used in these competitions, and to my knowledge there are no other long action cartridges used for these competitions. For short action cartridges, there is a tactical application, hence the aftermarket 10-rounders. I am not aware of any other option than to move into a trigger guard/mag well which accommodates a long action mag, a la Accuracy International. I have a T3 in a McMillan A5 stock with their Badger DBM, and with the mod to the feed lips previously noted it has worked without issue.

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Blueman

Would this be a rifle that could serve a multipurpose role of hunting, competition, and shtf sniping?

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mele-02

Hum, it could. I think I would prefer a different stock for the hunting and sniping role, but it certainly could fill those roles. If you like tikka, I’d probably look at their T3 Tactical or CTR

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Blueman

Thanks for the response. I have also been looking at the CTR as well and maybe the sleeker stock design on the CTR would be better as a multipurpose rifle. I have been looking at the Arctic as well, but it is more expensive than the CTR.

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woodcr24

Some feedback post-installation of the steel pillars and recoil lug. I have only fired handloads, ranging from 100- to 160-grains. The most economical target projectiles that I have come across are Norma’s 130-grain, in this case the “standard” non-coated; this is mainly because I came across a sale on 500 pieces. I have also been using the 140-grain Barnes HPBT and Hornady ELD, 143- and 147-grain Hornady ELD. I load all of them to the same distance from the lands, 0.012″. So far, my 6-round groups are in the range of ~0.3 – 0.7 MOA out to 300-yds. (I load five in the mag and one in the chamber when I shoot groups). I’m loading to ≤58K psi. Scope is a Leupold Mark AR 4-12×40. So, with a lot of upgrades, the Sporter is performing better than it initially did. The two biggest issues were, I believe, the lack of pillars and the aluminum recoil lug that were factory standard.

Re: a do-all rifle, the CTR (in .260 Rem) is one that I have been looking at because it’s >2-lbs. lighter than the T3 Sporter. This said, I am thinking about pulling the barreled action out of a CTR stock (and selling the stock and mag), placing the action into a B&C M40, using the standard factory trigger guard/mag well (from my T3) and long action Tikka factory mags, and modifying the CTR bolt stop, to permit me to load the .260 Rem to long action length. It elevates the MV by permitting more powder in the case when the bullet is loaded to 0.012 off the lands. The 5-round mags are about 1/3 the price of the CTR mags, it seems, and they have to be lighter than the 10-round steel mag. I would estimate the whole thing to weigh in the range of 7.5-lbs. or slightly less.

All of this said, however, the best MV that I am calculating with the 20″ CTR barrel is ~2775 fps with a 140 Berger (loaded to 2.993), and I can better that with the 6.5×55 at 58K (same barrel length).

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