Tikka T3x 260 Remington
Last year Sniper’s Hide introduced the shooting community to the Ruger Precision Rifle. We did a series of videos on the RPR including the wildly popular “Upgrade” video. We basically took a stock Ruger Precision Rifle and upgraded it with every available aftermarket option. A common question that came up during the past year in response to these videos was, “What about the Tikka ? “
Now, I was familiar with the Tikka CTR only from the viewpoint of a casual observer. I have had many students over the years with Tikka CTR rifles and because they were accurate, reliable and basically drama free, there was really no need to look at them much. For me, I own the SAKO TRG Series of rifles, so I never really saw the need to go to a Tikka.
Email after Email came in asking me to take a harder look at the Tikka CTR so I decided to give it a try.
I knew Euro Optics sold Tikka rifles so I called up Jason B at Euro and inquired about them. He told me that new models were dropping soon and since I had a pretty busy training schedule I waited for the T3x to come out before ordering one.
At just over $1000 retail, they competed directly with the Ruger Precision Rifle. With this in mind I ordered a 260REM variant as the 6.5 Creedmoor was not supposed to be out for at least a month more. As of this writing the 6.5CM is available from Euro Optics, along with about 3000+ others. Euro Optics has a huge inventory of Tikka rifles and announced a major shipment on Sniper’s Hide not too long ago.
With my Tikka T3x in hand, I headed to the range, not really sure what to expect. I have an upgrade path, but first I wanted to set a baseline by shooting the rifle stock. I mounted a Burris XTRII 5-25x on it, opting to match the rifles budget to the scope rather than put a $3000 piece of glass on it. And the guys over at Insite Arms gave me a .264 Heathen Brake for the rifle, so I would use that before adding a suppressor.
Pretty straight forward with mounting and preparing. The plan was to use Prime Factory 260REM ammo. The Tikka has a 4 groove 1-8 twist barrel, however being 20” I was sure the 130gr Prime would work out fine. Just in case I brought along some custom loaded Copper Creek Ammo. The 136gr Scenar load is my competition round used in my Accuracy International 260s.
Zeroing the Rifle was super simple, no drama here. got on paper with a simple bore sight. Fired my first couple of 3 round groups to zero her up, and made the appropriate adjustments to center. The initial 3 shot groups were sub 1/2 MOA right out of the gate. No break in, no issues.
After the scope was zeroed, I went on to chronograph the rifle. I needed a base line and wanted to see what kind of numbers the 20” barrel got with Factory Prime Ammo.
Temp: 95 degrees
Muzzle Velocity Recorded Factory Prime 130gr
2745fps (10 shot average)
Muzzle Velocity Record 136gr Scenars
2725fps (5 shot average)
So armed with this information, and cooking out in the sun, I decided for a quick trip to 600 yards.
Dialing 3.4 Mils on the scope, I found I needed .75 Mils of wind as we had a 6 to 9 Mph wind blowing in from the left. (270 degrees)
I had some solid hits at 600 yards despite the heavy mirage, and found I could have gone to 3.5 Mils for a centered up group on steel.
In all I was thrilled with the results from the Tikka T3x. Now understand this is just the beginning. Rarely do I make a single range trip with a rifle and report my findings, but I do plan on upgrading the rifle.
Aside from adding the Heathen brake, which resulted in a .4 mil shift at 6 o Clock. I also plan to immediately replace the stock. The Tikka stock, even though it is billed as a compact tactical rifle is really just a light, synthetic hunting rifle stock. So that will go right away.
Cadex Defence out of Canada has sent along a Competition Chassis for the Tikka. There are several manufacturers who make chassis for the Tikka, but the Cadex is one of my favorite designs. So the next step will be to install the rifle in the Cadex and note the changes. This is a process, so I want to record every step of the process. Since the barrel is not changing right away, we can still look at its performance over time. We do have a Hardy Barrel on the way, but that will be one of the last steps we take. As well I have an aftermarket bolt shroud and bolt knob coming from Sterk out of Australia. I also grabbed a trigger spring from YoDave’s Mainspring Industries. For $10 how can you resist.
So far I have to say, this is a highly upgradeable package. The Tikka out of the box is accurate, the magazine reliable, and while the barrel is short, it works. The velocity loss right now is just a number. We can deal with that.
It’s a fun project and I appreciate the members for staying on me to do this. I am really enjoying this project.null