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About clover

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  1. Thanks! Thanks for your thoughts Jamie. I'm not reloading - I'd like to but currently don't have the facilities; one of the reasons I've gone for .223. I did wonder about the cheekpiece height as they generally seem to be woefully low - something you'd have thought they'd address on a gun that's never going to have iron sights fitted... given the scope size I'm hoping to get away with pretty low mounts but haven't rules out the need for a cheekpiece riser. I've got the Neoprene Bearthooth kits on my other two firearms, which work very well for what they are but admittedly aren't ideal. I'll certainly keep your recommendation in mind, although tbh I'm not a huge fan of irreversible stock mods! Depending on how things go I might look at a higher capacity mag - I believe the riflemags.co.uk items can accomodate longer rounds so that looks like the best way to go, slightly eye-watering price notwithstanding. I suppose I will have to invest in a chamber flag, as much as I've managed to escape them at my current club (actions open, chambers empty, mags out of course!). No worries about the eggs - while I'm well seasoned in other areas of shooting, everything centrefire is new to me so I'm very happy to listen to advice Thanks James - that's very reassuring and reinforces my perception that Tikka offer good quality and value. I was torn over barrel length - the choice being 20" threaded v 24" plain.. I ended up going for the short one as I might want to fit a mod in future, which would make the gun very long and front heavy (while also requiring threading by a third party). Really I'm looking for a "jack of all trades" so have to take into account mass and handling too - I'm guessing there are advantages to shorter length in practical comps. I did go for just about the cheapest heavy-barreled option, although tbh this was less out of choice as the Super Varmint isn't available in LH, as much as I'd have liked one.. so swapping the stocks is out too. Tbh I'm just looking to dip my toe in the water at the moment and see where it takes me, so I don't want to commit to big, heavy, expensive glass (which again I guess could be a disadvantage in practical comps).. so since the 3.5-10x44 owes me very little and will get me started, I'll stick to this for now. So, the rifle was finally ordered today (T3x Varmint, Stainless, .223, 20" threaded barrel, 1:8" twist) - unfortunately being subject to the dreaded 6 month lead time on account of the LH option and quick twist. I hope I've done the right thing with the barrel choice - I'd rather it was longer from a ballistics perspective, but don't want to make it unmanageable and don't like the idea of having to get it threaded at a later date if I decide I want a mod. I did completely forget to order a set of mounts but I'll get these sorted nearer the time.. planning on going for a set of opti-locks in stainless to match the action, unless anyone can convince me of any better alternatives! Thanks again for all your thoughts
  2. Yes, thanks - I'm aware of that. The issue being that the first time I enquired about the 1:8 twist it was implied that the lead time would be fairly short as it's a common option (rather than a special order) which I figured would be the case since I'd guess this would be a popular choice in the heavier barrel profiles. Upon placing the order however, air was sucked through teeth and "special order" was mentioned.. As above, this is what I expected regarding the twist rate and what I was told when first enquiring. I agree about the barrel length.. my gut tells me to go longer on account of improved ballistics, however I've been told the same re. the availability of the 24" variants. I've been pretty much sold on the 20" version since it's threaded and should be quicker to get (for reasons I won't go into I have a somewhat limited window to acquire the rifle). That said if the spec 20" 1:8 twist turns out to be a special order, I might just spec at threaded 24" barrel if already paying the time penalty.
  3. Thanks guys - lots of great info that gives sufficent argument to persuade me that Stainless is superior and the way to go. The rifle's been just about ordered although there was some consternation over the 1:8 twist (which I'd have guessed would have pretty much been the standard on the Varmint rifles, but apparently not) so they're getting back to me in the new year to confirm a lead time..
  4. Absolutely- totally happy to spend the extra as long as it's in return for tangible benefits other than simply corrosion resistance and aesthetics
  5. It'll be target shooting, so probably more rounds than were I hunting but it won't be seeing hundreds of rounds a month. To be honest I can't really put a number on it at the moment; suffice to say that longer barrel life will be welcomed regardless!
  6. Thanks for your thoughts - that's a great point about the holes that I've never considered tbh, however I've settled on .223 for all the reasons previously given. Those are some fantastic groups though (3 shots at 100yd?) - if mine shoots anywhere near as good I'll be very happy! Looks like a very nice setup you have there (both land and gear) - what action material are your rifles? I'm guessing the finish is Cerakote.. what's the stock - it looks very capable and I'm guessing is properly bedded, which will no doubt help with the accuracy.. I like the CTR and would have had one if they'd done it in .223. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement! In the longer term I'm certainly considering the upgrades you mention, however the plan is currently to get the rifle sorted and see where it takes me after that. In time the upgraded bolt handle and mag will probably be a given, while I've given serious thought to the GRS Hybrid stock. Other than the not-inconsiderable cost the only other potential stumbling block is the fact that they're very much dedicated to LH or RH use - something that's great if you never want to use it from the weak shoulder, however I'm guessing this might be a requirement in some practical comps. In addition given their price and bulk, I also wonder if I'd not be better just going for the T3x sporter off the shelf.. and so the circular- thinking continues. Looks like more homework is required!
  7. Apologies if this has been done to death before - I've tried a forum seach but it's not turning much up. As per my other recent thread I'm on the cusp of ordering a Tikka T3x Varmint in .223 and the last point of indecision is the barrel / action material. Google's provided a fair bit of (sometimes conflicting) information, however the general information I'm getting is that: Chrome Moly is cheaper (around £140 on this gun), harder, less dense (around 7600kg/m^3) and obviously requires a finish (bluing, phosphating etc) to prevent corrosion. Stainless is more expensive, softer, more dense (around 8000kg/m^3 / 4% heavier) and is left self-coloured being less susceptible to corrosion. I've read that Stainless is easier to machine to tighter tolerances / better finished since it's softer - meaning better-finished bores that break in faster, don't foul so quickly and are easier to clean. I'm not sure if this suggestion of stainless giving a better finish would apply in the case of the Tikka cold hammer forged barrels though, on account of the way they're made. I've also read that Stainless is more resistant to throat erosion (so might give better barrel life) but dissipates heat more slowly (presumably because of it's greater density) and is possibly more susceptible to general bore wear as it's softer. Finally I've also read that Stainless barrels tend to shoot well until a point where accuracy falls off very quickly, while the accuracy of Chrome Moly barrels tends to decline more steadily with use. Unsurprisingly I prefer the price of the Chrome-Moly as well as the aesthetic of it's black finish, however I want to buy the option that offers the best in terms of accuracy, ease of cleaning / maintenance, reliability and longevity. The gun will probably only be used on the range and I'm OCD about my gear so the corrosion resistance argument isn't a deal-breaker, although obviously lower maintenance demands are nice. As such I'd be very interested to hear what barrel material forum members are using, your reasons for doing so and your experiences with each. Thanks!
  8. Thanks to each of you for the warm welcome and all the thoughts / encouragement (especially to gbal for being so overwhelmingly positive :D). I much appreciate you all taking the time to share you experience as I'm still very green when it comes to this stuff. Thanks and yes - CSR looks very interesting although to be honest I'm still looking at what's available in terms of more practical shooting disciplines. The majority of stuff I've shot in the past has been static paper targets and as much as I enjoy it, it does tend to get a bit boring after a few decades! As such I'm looking to do something a bit more dynamic / interesting to maintain / expand my interest in the sport. For various reasons I'm currently in an advantageous position to purchase the kit so the plan is to get it all bought, take a few casual trips down to Bisley (my club hires one of the ranges monthly, can't remember which) to get it broken in / set up and familiarise myself with it, then see what interesting stuff I can do with it. Thanks for the thoughts on the mag capacity - as I'm sure you're aware Tikka do offer some more "practical" / "tactical" (god I hate that word) models off the shelf, however these are all out on calibre or action orientation grounds. I very much like the look of the T3x Sporter (adjustable laminate stock) however I'm guessing this would be a bit of a lump for more practical stuff, while it's also bloody expensive and subject to significant lead times in LH format. As you suggest though there seem to be some good options out there for higher capacity stuff - IIRC some of the aftermarket mags are also capable of accepting rounds of longer COL on account of the Tikka's "one size fits all" action format, which could be useful if going for heavier bullets (although I accept that to an extent I'll be limited by the twist rate and barrel length). Thanks - unfortunately as per my OP the 6.5s are out on account of ammo cost and availability off the shelf. In principal I'd love a nice 6.5mm but it's too much of a stretch at the moment and since I've never shot past 100yd before I figured I might as well start small, cheap(er) and more accessible with the .223 and see where it takes me. Thanks for your thoughts on the glass - again though it's somewhat a case of "Hobson's choice" as I have the SIII sitting here doing precisely nothing while anything comparable will cost me £700+. Again the aim is to start small, accessible, cheapish and versatile and see where I go. The whole long range experience is all new to me and is a big step up in every way (knowledge, cost, travelling time) from just popping down to my club a couple of miles down the road - as such I want to ease myself in gently! Would anyone care to wade in on barrel and action material please? I prefer the cost and aesthetic of the blacked chrome moly but Stainless seems better on practical grounds. Also I need to do a lot of learning about break-in, cleaning and all that other basic stuff - are there any pinned threads on the forum / any other resources on the net that members would particularly recommend? Cheers!
  9. Afternoon all - I've just joined your excellent forum as I'm looking to dip my toe into the water and purchase my first "proper" centrefire rifle. I have many years of experience target shooting with airguns, rimfire and centrefire gallery rifle and am now looking to have a crack at longer range stuff - I'm thinking initially 300-600yd initially but maybe further in future. I've got a pretty good idea of what I want but am new to all this so am looking for a bit of validation please! Apologies for the long post but I want to make sure I've got everything "right" before taking the plunge. I don't want to over-complicate things so have settled on .223 as the calibre due to its low recoil, flexibility and ammo cost / availabilty. I've read up on a lot of the more exotic 6mm & 6.5mm calibres, however I don't want to try and run before I can walk and for the time being won't have the facility to reload so need to be able to source decent off-the-shelf ammunition. I'm looking at a Tikka T3x Varmint - seemingly a pretty easy choice after a bit of research as the cheaper / American stuff looks a bit ropey quality-wise and I require a left-handed action which sadly rules out CZ, Sako and some of the other better quality European manufacturers. The guns seem popular with a good reputation and plenty of aftermarket goodies. I want the heavy barrel on the usual stiffness / accuracy grounds and prefer the front-baised balance (I currently have a .22lr Sako Finnfire Varmint). I'm looking at the 1:8 twist for use with longer / heavier projectiles. The guns are made with either 20" threaded or 24" plain barrels - the latter being a special order. Ordinarily I'd prefer the longer tube, however am tempted by the 20" as it would be more manageable with a mod (if one was required in future) and wouldn't require threading (at additional cost and risk) in future to fit one. The LH rifles are special order anyway, but I think the 24" barrels add a fair wait to this. In addition I'm considering doing a bit of practical rifle so the rifle needs to be easy to manouver. The gun is available with both carbon / chrome moly and stainless actions - I'm edging towards the stainless as I've read it's softer / easier to machine so likely to hold better tolerances / be better finished so subject to less fouling and easier to clean. Obviously there's the improved corrosion-resistance angle too. So, the calibre is fixed as the slot's already on my ticket (and has been for ages, much to my FEO's chargrin!), I'm 99% sold on the rifle but would be interested to hear alternative suggestions. The two things I'm not quite decided upon are barrel length (I'm guessing shorter barrel will limit velocity and to an extent the maximum mass of bullet I can stabilise) or the material - so I'd be interested to hear thoughts on these please. I'm lucky enough to have a "redundant" Sightron SIII 3.5-10x44 that's earmarked to go on the rifle - ideally I'd guess a bit more mag would be good but I'm looking to keep costs down to start with so use what I have. I was considering a 20MOA picatinny rail, however over 600yd I think the 120MOA of internal adjustment the scope has should be more than adequate with standard "straight" Tikka / Sako Optilock mounts. According to the JBM ballistics calculator 69gn SMKs at 2950ft/s (ADI ammo specs; unsure of barrel length) will require about 16MOA at 600yd from a 100yd zero. Anyway, any thoughts on any parts of the above would be very much appreciated please. I don't want to over-think things but do want to get everything right first time if i can! Cheers, Mike

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