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Hello - please validate my choice of first centrefire rifle!

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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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Mike - welcome to the Forum - your reasoning is valid but you'll no doubt get dozens of replies offering different advice.

My advice would be to go with your wish list - enjoy your 223 Tikka and see where shooting takes you.

I'll be surprised if you don't have a totally different opinion after a year of shooting.

 

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MIke,welcome to the forum.

No doubt a few will still suggest more exotic options,but those won't really meet your red line criteria ( I have (used )6,7&30 BR;22& 6PPC etc etc-but none come close to the easy versatility of the modern 1/8 223 (Tikka are excellent value) esp for non reloaders.

I'd agree with all your decisions-and your reasons.The Tikka is a fine medium  grade rifle,and 1/8 will shoot decently to 600y, with reasonably heavy bullets-and you will learn a fair bit trying to get results considerably further away!  ( :-)

 Ammo is widely available and priced pretty fairly by quality-so you have  quite wide choice (not so for some exotics-I like exotics,but then my current  choice rifles for 300-600 are two 223s,though differnt in platform/chassis.

    A rough guide to barrel reduction /loss of velocity is about 25 fps less MV for each inch of barrel shortened. For your application,that would just not be noticed.

 

   Scope is ok-if it had more mag,it would maybe be a bit better-as you suspect- there will always be upgrades available (and for anything else- don't expect substantial improvements in performance for every 'upgrade' but  the expense might be balanced by pleasure etc-don't rush these- an out of the box Tikka is a very sound rifle.

Get one and enjoy-the odds are that you will add another rifle/cartridge if you do a moderate amount of  longer range shooting,but you learn  a lot with modern 223 rigs/ammo-and there  is not any other combination that is so easy to own,shoot,and feed ,with decent shootability and enjoyable ,reasonably economic performance within your specs and criteria.   Good shooting-it's a hobby-enjoy!

gbal

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By ‘practical rifle’, do you mean something like CSR? If so, you might need a greater magazine capacity. But with the Tikkas this is easily taken care of by getting a gunsmith to install an aftermarket bottom metal for AICS mags. Or there are the 10 round Tikka magazines sold by Riflemags.

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Yes welcome.Great choice! enjoy it and see where it takes you.  

George out of interest why did you say Tikka 1:8 an excellent choice for non re loaders?  do you imply that the next step up in accuracy would be a custom job with hand loads and they are one of the best factory options?

 

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I agree with The Gun Pimp.  The Tikka is a great choice, is well made and very accurate. Personally, for your use, I would have jumped straight in with a 6.5 x 47 Lapua or 6.5 Creedmoor as these would have allowed you to extend your ranges to 1000 yards.  I shoot .223 in the same twist and 600 to 750 yards is really about it range wise with the heaviest (longest) bullets it will stabilise which really isn't anything much past the 77gr projectiles.  Trouble is, to get any better range you need to step up to 80 or 90gr in .223 than that means 1/7 at least on twist = custom barrel job.

As there's far better longer range calibre choices out there, as long as you limit yourself to 600 yards you'll have great fun with the 223 and will be reloading way cheaper than the 6.5 options.  Don't skimp on glass.  The latest Sightrons are meant to be a big improvement over the older ones but for similar money I much prefer the newer Bushnell long range 34mm tubed scopes (DMR etc from their Elite Tactical range), that or a good used S&B or Nightforce scope.  RE Mounts, Tier One or Burris Xtreme Signature are both excelent mounts.

 

Good luck with it and good choice of rifle.

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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.

 

20 hours ago, Shuggy said:

By ‘practical rifle’, do you mean something like CSR? If so, you might need a greater magazine capacity. But with the Tikkas this is easily taken care of by getting a gunsmith to install an aftermarket bottom metal for AICS mags. Or there are the 10 round Tikka magazines sold by Riflemags.

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).

 

18 hours ago, VarmLR said:

I agree with The Gun Pimp.  The Tikka is a great choice, is well made and very accurate. Personally, for your use, I would have jumped straight in with a 6.5 x 47 Lapua or 6.5 Creedmoor as these would have allowed you to extend your ranges to 1000 yards.  I shoot .223 in the same twist and 600 to 750 yards is really about it range wise with the heaviest (longest) bullets it will stabilise which really isn't anything much past the 77gr projectiles.  Trouble is, to get any better range you need to step up to 80 or 90gr in .223 than that means 1/7 at least on twist = custom barrel job.

As there's far better longer range calibre choices out there, as long as you limit yourself to 600 yards you'll have great fun with the 223 and will be reloading way cheaper than the 6.5 options.  Don't skimp on glass.  The latest Sightrons are meant to be a big improvement over the older ones but for similar money I much prefer the newer Bushnell long range 34mm tubed scopes (DMR etc from their Elite Tactical range), that or a good used S&B or Nightforce scope.  RE Mounts, Tier One or Burris Xtreme Signature are both excelent mounts.

 

Good luck with it and good choice of rifle.

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!

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223 is nice but I prefer plinking with a 308. If one is alone one can spot a 308 strike easier than the little 223 bullet. Even a 30cal bullet hole in paper can just about be seen with a 24mag scope at 500m. 308 has fantastic match ammo in 168gr that will get you out to 800m. I have 2 308 CTR stainless rifles, both shot exactly the same accuracy with Hornady match ammo. Although my range is not in any way well equipped. We don't have a proper range anywhere close.

Two different CTR rifles out the box except for the stocks.

e38ryd2.jpg

3DrL6mM.jpg

y0atDQw.jpg

edi

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21 hours ago, sam39 said:

Yes welcome.Great choice! enjoy it and see where it takes you.  

George out of interest why did you say Tikka 1:8 an excellent choice for non re loaders?  do you imply that the next step up in accuracy would be a custom job with hand loads and they are one of the best factory options?

Sam, I mentoned a few 'exotica/wildcat etc' cartridges I'd used,just as examples of excellent options,but not for the OPs criteria,and  then said the 1/8 223 Tikka was an excellent value rifle;and none of the many other cartridges would offer the same easy versatility of that combo (Tikka/223),especiallly for non reloaders (by which I meant that there is a very wide choice of factory ammo,covering nearly all applications of the 223, and that none of the other cartridges can match-probably not even by hand loading. 223  does  it 'off the shelf',and comparatively economically.

So yes,the  factory Tikka is a very good option,for good accuracy.

   Some Tikkas are remarkably accurate.I'd expect most custom rifles to be in at least the same  class as the best Tikkas,and the really precision oriented custom Bench Rest 6PPCs to edge the lot (we're now talking about  well sub .25 aggregate  grouping (and 5 shot groups) and better in benign conditions,to 200y.This is almost always hand loaded ammo-indeed there may not be much factory ammo-and most such rifles have custom chambers anyhow.

    Most shooters will not get this level of precision,and do not need it. It will almost always be considerably more expensive than a Tikka rig. But yes, if you want a high probability of such an level of precision,the custom rifle and premium reloading is usually the route. Sometimes,there may be an 'off the peg' option (very expensive 'factory'  rifles like  6BR Bleiker or a 6XC Tubb2K -developed for specific disciplnes.)

 The cartridge/chamber choices will be reduced -and won't be 223. (Eg 6PPC for 100/200 yards;30BR for score shooting esp at 300y :then  the hot 6mms -often necked 6.5s-for 3-800 Precision/Practical type competion disciplines,where recoil is a factor,hot 7s for 1000y . The 6BR has a wide application,and serious precision.The new Valkyrie 224 might offer a little extra  for those retaining an AR15 type platform,though for most use with that (CSR eg) the 223 does remain an excellent choice.

There is no free lunch,but some shooters always nibble ,anyhow    :-)

There are always new offerings,often very nice,but also niche !

gbal

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

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Hello Mike.

I'm not going to trap on endlesly here, it sounds as though you have settled on a .223 in a Tikka t3x so I will validate your decision. Its a good rifle no doubt. I have the earlier Varmint model (T3) with the longer barrel also in 1:8 with the s/steel option.

The only changes I made was to put a better stock on it, opting for a GRS in a shade of grey, which makes it look really nice. A heavier tactical style bolt handle and a 10 round mag which allows for seating longer bullets when handloading. 

Don't worry, go ahead and get one, you'll be fine with it.  

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21 hours ago, ejg223 said:

223 is nice but I prefer plinking with a 308. If one is alone one can spot a 308 strike easier than the little 223 bullet. Even a 30cal bullet hole in paper can just about be seen with a 24mag scope at 500m. 308 has fantastic match ammo in 168gr that will get you out to 800m. I have 2 308 CTR stainless rifles, both shot exactly the same accuracy with Hornady match ammo. Although my range is not in any way well equipped. We don't have a proper range anywhere close.

Two different CTR rifles out the box except for the stocks.

<snip>

edi

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.

 

50 minutes ago, ezmobile said:

Hello Mike.

I'm not going to trap on endlesly here, it sounds as though you have settled on a .223 in a Tikka t3x so I will validate your decision. Its a good rifle no doubt. I have the earlier Varmint model (T3) with the longer barrel also in 1:8 with the s/steel option.

The only changes I made was to put a better stock on it, opting for a GRS in a shade of grey, which makes it look really nice. A heavier tactical style bolt handle and a 10 round mag which allows for seating longer bullets when handloading. 

Don't worry, go ahead and get one, you'll be fine with it.  

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!

 

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On 21/12/2017 at 1:20 PM, ejg223 said:

223 is nice but I prefer plinking with a 308. If one is alone one can spot a 308 strike easier than the little 223 bullet. Even a 30cal bullet hole in paper can just about be seen with a 24mag scope at 500m. 308 has fantastic match ammo in 168gr that will get you out to 800m. I have 2 308 CTR stainless rifles, both shot exactly the same accuracy with Hornady match ammo. Although my range is not in any way well equipped. We don't have a proper range anywhere close.

Two different CTR rifles out the box except for the stocks.

e38ryd2.jpg

3DrL6mM.jpg

y0atDQw.jpg

edi

Fabulous groups.  The CTR was my 2nd choice after the TAC A1.  Love the stock you've fitted to that one as well.

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I've shot at 300 and 600 at the Kingsbury Range, through the club i was a member of then,  called 'Offa's Dyke'. I was using my basic skinny barrel 24" (I believe) Certainly not a 20"...  You will need something like the now 75 grain ELD Match, (previously the 'A-Max' in Hornady flavour) From memory i needed 14-15 moa to hit the 600 yard target. Not sure if you're reloading. I do, and at the time i used a converted Tikka mag that accepted very long, (for .223) rounds. The only thing i found a pain, is the height of the comb, (cheek rest). It was too low to see through the scope properly. I bought an 'Accu-Riser' cheek piece from www.accu-riser.com A great bit of kit, (Less than £20 delivered in a week from the USA).          I unscrewed the supplied very low cheek piece, and used one of the holes already there to screw my 'accu-riser' on. Then marked and pilot drilled the second hole (closest to the butt) and self tapped it with the second screw provided. You then have 2 rubber type cheek pieces (that clip on securely), basically low and medium/high. I only needed the low/medium. I mentioned this, as the bag type you velcro on just move about, and look pants. You will get the best out of the .223 if you reload. But if you're just after the fun factor, then just crack on with whatever you buy. I agree that at this point there's no need to buy a 'better' scope. Albeit, more magnification may be better. You need to know if you get on doing long range and enjoy it.... As regards ammo. If you end up reloading, then you can just buy a plastic 'sled' that goes into the magazine like a round. They're cheap to buy... Then with the bolt open you can single feed by hand. Which is fine if you're target shooting like i did, as you shoot a shot, then your 'shooting buddy' will take his shot. You'll also need a chamber 'safe' flag. The pole of the flag goes in the chamber and the flag is clear to see by anyone with the bolt back. That way the RO will know the rifle is clear. Apologies if i'm teaching you to suck eggs. Just my observations from your posts...

Have fun.

Jamie

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1 hour ago, VarmLR said:

Fabulous groups.  The CTR was my 2nd choice after the TAC A1.  Love the stock you've fitted to that one as well.

That whole set-up in the picture looks awesome Varm! Especially the stock!

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Hi Mike,

Just a quick reflection.

Over the years, I've owned various exotica RPA, A.W. etc. I now own two center fire rifles through choice, a .308 T3 CTR in an A5 type stock and a stock T3 Tactical in .223. Both of these rifles shoot better than I can, nullifying any costly advantage of Gucci kit. Both are easily sellable if I wanted to trade up (no chance) and both are easily upgradable as the market is flooded with trick bits.

As to calibres, .223 or .308 every time for me as there's usually mil surp about for plinking. If you do go with a .223, you will likely need a mag that allows longer rounds. AICS bottom metal is probably the best way forward as you can use it on a 308 if you wanted to go to a heavier caliber later. If you can get a 24" tube, go for it but don't get hung up on it.

Last point with a T3, my advice would be to buy the lowest model you can with the barrel configuration you want as super varmint / tactical stocks often come up for sale second hand. There's usually little other difference between the rifles and if you buy used there's less depreciation when you sell on.

Regarding glass, use what you have and upgrade when you can. At least that'll get you on the range. I use an ex military 6x42 and a 10x42 on ranges further than you quote but a little more mag would be nice I would admit. I suppose it depends what type of targets your shooting at and how serious you want to take putting holes in things V how much fun you want? Quality of glass over quantity of mag every time for me.

Just my rambling thoughts.

Anyway good luck,

Regards,

James

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On 29/12/2017 at 11:52 PM, David will said:

I have two varments 222 and 22.250 both tack drivers. Just go for it.

Thanks!

 

On 04/01/2018 at 4:38 PM, chaz said:

I've shot at 300 and 600 at the Kingsbury Range, through the club i was a member of then,  called 'Offa's Dyke'. I was using my basic skinny barrel 24" (I believe) Certainly not a 20"...  You will need something like the now 75 grain ELD Match, (previously the 'A-Max' in Hornady flavour) From memory i needed 14-15 moa to hit the 600 yard target. Not sure if you're reloading. I do, and at the time i used a converted Tikka mag that accepted very long, (for .223) rounds. The only thing i found a pain, is the height of the comb, (cheek rest). It was too low to see through the scope properly. I bought an 'Accu-Riser' cheek piece from www.accu-riser.com A great bit of kit, (Less than £20 delivered in a week from the USA).          I unscrewed the supplied very low cheek piece, and used one of the holes already there to screw my 'accu-riser' on. Then marked and pilot drilled the second hole (closest to the butt) and self tapped it with the second screw provided. You then have 2 rubber type cheek pieces (that clip on securely), basically low and medium/high. I only needed the low/medium. I mentioned this, as the bag type you velcro on just move about, and look pants. You will get the best out of the .223 if you reload. But if you're just after the fun factor, then just crack on with whatever you buy. I agree that at this point there's no need to buy a 'better' scope. Albeit, more magnification may be better. You need to know if you get on doing long range and enjoy it.... As regards ammo. If you end up reloading, then you can just buy a plastic 'sled' that goes into the magazine like a round. They're cheap to buy... Then with the bolt open you can single feed by hand. Which is fine if you're target shooting like i did, as you shoot a shot, then your 'shooting buddy' will take his shot. You'll also need a chamber 'safe' flag. The pole of the flag goes in the chamber and the flag is clear to see by anyone with the bolt back. That way the RO will know the rifle is clear. Apologies if i'm teaching you to suck eggs. Just my observations from your posts...

Have fun.

Jamie

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 :)

 

On 06/01/2018 at 9:04 AM, mam's 'lil soldier said:

Hi Mike,

Just a quick reflection.

Over the years, I've owned various exotica RPA, A.W. etc. I now own two center fire rifles through choice, a .308 T3 CTR in an A5 type stock and a stock T3 Tactical in .223. Both of these rifles shoot better than I can, nullifying any costly advantage of Gucci kit. Both are easily sellable if I wanted to trade up (no chance) and both are easily upgradable as the market is flooded with trick bits.

As to calibres, .223 or .308 every time for me as there's usually mil surp about for plinking. If you do go with a .223, you will likely need a mag that allows longer rounds. AICS bottom metal is probably the best way forward as you can use it on a 308 if you wanted to go to a heavier caliber later. If you can get a 24" tube, go for it but don't get hung up on it.

Last point with a T3, my advice would be to buy the lowest model you can with the barrel configuration you want as super varmint / tactical stocks often come up for sale second hand. There's usually little other difference between the rifles and if you buy used there's less depreciation when you sell on.

Regarding glass, use what you have and upgrade when you can. At least that'll get you on the range. I use an ex military 6x42 and a 10x42 on ranges further than you quote but a little more mag would be nice I would admit. I suppose it depends what type of targets your shooting at and how serious you want to take putting holes in things V how much fun you want? Quality of glass over quantity of mag every time for me.

Just my rambling thoughts.

Anyway good luck,

Regards,

James

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 ;)

 

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