Tikka T3: I was looking for a new deer rifle and kind of approached it differently this time. The first thing I did was to study the ballistic tables and the .270WSM really stood out. This cartridge can push a 140gr bullet at 3,100 fps – flat shooting. At 300 yards (with a 200 yard zero) it has about a 5.5″ drop, is moving at 2,600 fps, 2,100 energy delivery.
So now that I found the cartridge I started searching for the appropriate rifle. I soon ran across the Tikka T3. Tikka is made by Sako in Finland and I’ve always been fond of Sakos.
If you lust for a Sako but balk at the price – check out the Tikka T3. You get the outstanding free-floating Sako barrel and quality, precision parts for less than half the price.
My rifle had a plain polymer stock that, quite frankly, was not all that attractive so I decided to give it a nice camo paint job. I purchased three cans of Krylon at the local Ace hardware store and went to work. First, a light sanding. I then applied the green base coat. Next, I cut leaf templates out of card stock and proceeded to layer on the darker colors. The end result is a more attractive rifle and the paint texture is an improvement over the otherwise slick plastic stock.
Magazine is detachable. There are some complaints about the Tikka T3 using a plastic magazine but I have not experienced any failures.
Nice, crisp trigger which is easily adjustable. I went down to 2 pounds then backed off just a bit. For a rifle in this price range it is an outstanding trigger.
Stainless steel bolt with 75 degree lift is very smooth to operate.
Gun weighs in at just over six pounds.
Mounted a Leupold VXIII 3-9 scope to keep it traditional. Growing up in Texas, the ultimate rig was a Sako with the gold ring scope.
I have taken both deer and hog with this setup and am generally very pleased.
Accuracy is as you would expect from a Sako. The shot group pictured here is with factory ammo, sand bags (no Lead Sled), and just quickly cycling through five rounds without waiting for the barrel to cool. Note that this is a 200 yard, not 100 yard, group. The rifle is capable of tighter groups than this illustrates. This was simply the first five shots after mounting and sighting in the scope.
My favorite factory ammunition is the Nosler Trophy Grade 140gr Accubond.
As a staff writer at Tactical Gun Review, I am constantly testing new guns and swapping out optics. This is my go-to rifle that stays put together and ready to roll. The combination of Tikka, Leupold, and Nosler is accurate, deadly, and reliable.
by Mike Coker