Considering a Tikka T3x CTR in .223

chris_w

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looks just like my .223 T3X Varmint in an MDT LSS-XL gen-2 chassis, Scope is a Vortex Viper PST G2 5-25x50 on a 20MOA rail.

Mine seems to favor the heavier ammo.736EEBB1-2074-423B-92F3-43F65AB27D5F.jpeg
 
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Stooxie

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Thanks for the detailed input and confirmation of my suspicions. The cant and contour of the GRS grip looks very comfortable, more so than my KRG Bravo. Where do you position your thumb on the GRS?

One thing I like about laminated stocks is they are easy to custom contour to your own hand. I have Devcon Steel Putty in stock and a can of Spruh Konig which makes spot finishing easy. The Boyds Pro Varmint my Savage Bmag sits in required heavy modification to obtain a comfortable grip, though its the most comfortable grip I have now.

Compared to the Varmint, the T3x Tactical and Sporter appear to be not much more than stylized marketing hype.

The Varmint with the GRS which adds quick cheek riser and LOP adjustment with a natural grip position makes the most sense. The worst part is the GRS Hybrid is backordered 3-5 months, but EuroOptic's price is hard to argue.

The GRS laminates use aluminum pillars right? What about the recoil lug fit? I'm assuming the GRS laminates are actually milled parallel to the bore compared to my Boyds stock that I spent hours on squaring and cleaning up sloppy machining. Thankfully I have a small manual mill that makes mods relatively easy.

Last question - Is your T3 Scout a factory 1:8 barrel? If so, what bullet/ammo does it like?
My Scout is all factory, 1:8 twist. It likes the AE 223 grey tipped varmint and Hornady American Gunner 55gr HP the best so far. I haven't tried that many, but given that I get 1/3 MOA from ammo that cost me 40 cpr (both on crazy sale from PSA) I kinda stopped looking! It shoots 75gr Hornady Black BTHP Match extremely well, too.

The GRS laminate stocks have no pillars at all. Just wood. They do come with a steel recoil lug installed, they look exactly like a factory Tikka wood stock inside. Machining is excellent, yes, the barrel channel is absolutely straight. BTW, the barrel channel will accommodate any barrel width up to the width of the receiver itself. So, no worries there! Great for barrel nut setups as well.

If you want something totally maintenance free I recommend the Berserk or Bifrost. The Berserk has a nicer rubbery feel to it but doesn't have the crazy shoulder pad tilting (which I don't even use). The Berserk also has a shorter minimum LOP. The Bifrost has a Glock plastic feel with rubber grip pads, but stiff as a board and solid as a rock.

The laminate stocks are works of art but need to be rubbed with Danish oil every year or so. One note about bedding, a lot of people think they are clever by bedding a Tikka recoil lug the same way a tombstone recoil lug is bedded, i.e. attach the lug to the receiver with a tiny bit of crazy glue and then filling the recoil lug hole with bedding compound and pressing it in. That's not how the Tikka design works and GRS (I believe) specifically warns you not to put bedding compound under the lug. I can explain why that is if anyone doesn't know.

Frankly, I'm of the belief that folks get too fixated on pillars and bedding and all that. I did it just so that I wasn't pressing against bare wood. I followed what this guy did in a GENERAL sense: Tikka bedding in GRS stock. Again, I didn't do what he did with the recoil lug (and certainly felt no need to make my own!). I just kept the recoil lug where it was in the stock and applied bedding compound all around it. I also used cast pillars which work just fine.

As for where my thumb goes? Here's a picture of my 6.8 SPC Tikka in the Bifrost. I don't even feel it when I grip the gun, it feels completely natural. This is a fully adjustable half MOA deer rifle that cost me about $1,500 to build, including all the LRI work (bolt fluting and Cerakoting). You just can't go wrong with this setup. If you don't need a custom barrel then it's less than $1,200.

-Stooxie

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Sieg

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    Well, this morning before the market took a big dump forcing frugal me to chicken out I ordered a Varmint from Kyle @ EuroOptic, including an extra mag, Nightforce 20MOA rail, Harris bipod, Pod-lock handle, and Sterk swept bolt handle. I already have a tracking number and must say it was a pleasure doing business with Kyle, finally found someone willing to get answers to specific unpublished specs.

    Strategy FTW! ;)
     
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    DownhillFromHere

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    Well, this morning before the market took a big dump forcing frugal me to chicken out I ordered a Varmint from Kyle @ EuroOptic, including an extra mag, Nightforce 20MOA rail, Harris bipod, Pod-lock handle, and Sterk swept bolt handle. I already have a tracking number and must say it was a pleasure doing business with Kyle, finally found someone willing to get answers to specific unpublished specs.

    Strategy FTW! ;)
    I don't think you'll be disappointed. You'll probably want to replace the trigger spring for a lighter pull range. Lots of threads here about that. Factory Tikka triggers are quite decent but, if you have a Vudoo, "decent" probably won't be satisfactory.

    About ammo... I have not tried any "quality" 55-grain rounds in my Varmint. I've only tried Wolf Bronze 55-grain bulk ammo because I got a case of it cheap for up-close carbine competition. I ran out of patience after about 5 shots. After watching the 69-grain stuff shoot ragged holes or close to it @100, the 1-2" groups from the bulk ammo felt like I was launching stones with black powder.

    I'll be interested in hearing about how your new rifle performs.
     
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    Sieg

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    I don't think you'll be disappointed. You'll probably want to replace the trigger spring for a lighter pull range. Lots of threads here about that. Factory Tikka triggers are quite decent but, if you have a Vudoo, "decent" probably won't be satisfactory.

    About ammo... I have not tried any "quality" 55-grain rounds in my Varmint. I've only tried Wolf Bronze 55-grain bulk ammo because I got a case of it cheap for up-close carbine competition. I ran out of patience after about 5 shots. After watching the 69-grain stuff shoot ragged holes or close to it @100, the 1-2" groups from the bulk ammo felt like I was launching stones with black powder.

    I'll be interested in hearing about how your new rifle performs.
    I hope I won't be disaappointed, Tikka's have a respectable reputation for above average accuracy. My Vudoo has a Timney Calvin Elite that's set at 9ozs. I'm going to get a Yo Dave's or Mountain Tactical spring for it first and see what it breaks at first, since every Tikka trigger I've tested has had a surprisingly clean break if I can get is close to 1lb it should work. Timney has a 2-stage T3 trigger available though my plan is to test the gun first and the range. If the accuracy is good I'll probably put the action in a KRG Bravo stock, if the Timney can be made to fit - KRG says they won't fit in T3's, but they are selling their own trigger now. My Vudoo is in a Bravo and there was no fitment issues. I really wanted to try a GRS Hybrid stock because of the ergonomic grip design, but at $725+ and still "needs" pillars and action bedding I decided against it. The Bravo is plug and play at half the price.

    I bought a case of PMC Bronze .308 I bought when I bought my Ruger SR-762. it's Wrist Rocket accurate...... 2.5" 10 shot groups at 100 trying hard so it's basically minute of dirtbag.

    I have 55g V-max stock for varmint hunting, hopefully the T3x shoots minute of small squirrel with that. Also just ordered 200rds of Federal GMM 69g SMK for $156 delivered to sample as I also have a new Krieger 7.7T 22" barrel coming for my AR, hopefully the tried and true 69g GMM works in both. I also plan on testing 60g V-max as I've read numerous positive reports in 7.7 & 8T barrels.

    Definitely excited to have another centerfire bolt gun, it's been too long since my Ruger M77 Varmint in 22-250 that I bought new in '82. Still pissed I sold that one, it was a tack driver with 4895 and Speer 52hp handloads.
     

    DownhillFromHere

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    I'm going to get a Yo Dave's or Mountain Tactical spring for it first and see what it breaks at first, since every Tikka trigger I've tested has had a surprisingly clean break if I can get is close to 1lb it should work.
    I couldn't get either of my Tikkas down to a pound with a spring change but I think I got about 24 ounces (see below). I also have a Timney CE trigger in my Vudoo, set to 8 ounces. The Jewell trigger in my 6.5CM is also at 8 oz. So, the Tikka feels heavy at 24 oz but it's crisp.

    I have a YoDave kit in my CZ-455. They are a good outfit. But, if you order from YoDave, you might be shocked at the shipping fee. It's not their fault. It's because of Canada-US import whatever. So what I did was got a few buddies to also buy into a YoDave kit. Turns out it cost the same to ship three of them as one.

    Another alternative is Elay Precision. I read about Brian here on the Hide last year and ordered T3X springs from him to avoid the Canadian shipping screwage. Prompt, courteous service; the web site is still active. I can't say whether YoDave would get the pull below the 24 ounces I got with the Elay spring. Since I got an extra Elay spring, I could try cutting a coil off and see how that affects pull weight.

    Hope this helps.
     

    Sieg

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    I couldn't get either of my Tikkas down to a pound with a spring change but I think I got about 24 ounces (see below). I also have a Timney CE trigger in my Vudoo, set to 8 ounces. The Jewell trigger in my 6.5CM is also at 8 oz. So, the Tikka feels heavy at 24 oz but it's crisp.

    I have a YoDave kit in my CZ-455. They are a good outfit. But, if you order from YoDave, you might be shocked at the shipping fee. It's not their fault. It's because of Canada-US import whatever. So what I did was got a few buddies to also buy into a YoDave kit. Turns out it cost the same to ship three of them as one.

    Another alternative is Elay Precision. I read about Brian here on the Hide last year and ordered T3X springs from him to avoid the Canadian shipping screwage. Prompt, courteous service; the web site is still active. I can't say whether YoDave would get the pull below the 24 ounces I got with the Elay spring. Since I got an extra Elay spring, I could try cutting a coil off and see how that affects pull weight.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks, I found this option for $10 shipped http://www.erniethegunsmith.com/catalog/i33.html …..we shall see. He offers 2 different rate springs, hunting and varmint. Once I check the stock spring dimensions and compare against this spring and check weights on both, if it's not light enough I'll go shopping for a lighter spring if needed.
     

    308pirate

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    Questions I have:

    - Barrel length options are 20" and 24" w/ 1:8 twist, which length will potentially produce the best accuracy?
    - Chrome Moly vs Stainless related to potential barrel accuracy and life?
    Neither barrel length nor steel have any impact on accuracy and barrel life. You'll get a metric shit ton of anecdotal evidence arguing either way but zero proof or hard evidence.

    Personally I would buy the 20" in stainless for its combination of better corrosion resistance (the 400 stainless used in firearms is not corrosion proof) and handiness.
     

    Sieg

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    Neither barrel length nor steel have any impact on accuracy and barrel life. You'll get a metric shit ton of anecdotal evidence arguing either way but zero proof or hard evidence.

    Personally I would buy the 20" in stainless for its combination of better corrosion resistance (the 400 stainless used in firearms is not corrosion proof) and handiness.
    Agreed, it's similar to which oil is best on a car or motorcycle forum. Lot of opinion and little quantifiable data.

    I went with the Varmint which doesn't appear to come in stainless and only in 23.7". It appears to be the best value in their lineup for my plan which includes KRG Bravo for it's traditional look and machined bedding surface. The longer Tikka barrels are either 23.7" or 24", of course there is no explanation for the difference. The Sako 85 Varmint in .223 is stainless with a 23-5/8" 1:10T barrel, interestingly it appears to be the only .223 in their lineup.

    I'll be breaking in and testing a stainless Krieger AR varmint barrel in .223 22" 1:7.7T along with the Tikka in the next few weeks so I'll be learning first hand. Hopefully they are both shooters once I find the proper loads. (y)
     

    308pirate

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    I went with the Varmint which doesn't appear to come in stainless and only in 23.7". It appears to be the best value in their lineup for my plan which includes KRG Bravo for it's traditional look and machined bedding surface.
    Solid plan


    The longer Tikka barrels are either 23.7" or 24", of course there is no explanation for the difference.
    Probably rounding from metric. The long barrel is 602 mm which works out to 23.700787"
     
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    Sieg

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    Decided on the Tikka T3x Varmint which arrived Monday this week. I installed my Athlon Ares ETR scope, and a Ernie the Gunsmith lighter trigger spring which gives a consistent 1lb 4oz crisp release. Also installed a Sterk swept bolt handle, in the Tikka Varmint stock the bolt knob contacts my trigger finger forcing an un-natural position.

    Tuesday and Wednesday I tested 5 shot groups of Blackhills Blue 50g Vmax, Bulk 55g Vmax, FGMM 69SMK, and Magtech 5.56 77g OTM ammunition shooting off a Harris bipod with Protektor rear bag. The 50g just held 1MOA at 100yds, the others were 1/2-3/4 MOA. The 55g and 77g produced the best groups. I'm the biggest variable as I haven't shot a centerfire bolt gun in a couple decades so I'm still figuring what techniques work best with the gun.

    With the accuracy confirmed I ordered a KRG Bravo with a spigot mount which arrives tomorrow. Hopefully the Sterk bolt handle ergo's work with the Bravo.

    MDT AICS poly mags, Fiocchi 55g Vmax & 77g SMK, Blackhills Blue 60g Vmax, and LAX RangeTime 60g Vmax are in transit as well.

    I'm definitely very pleased with this rifle, for the price it's a steal IMO.

    I'll be shooting a 100/200 bench match this Sunday to test it and myself (the weak link).

    Thank you all for your valuable input in the process. (y)
     

    reubenski

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    Decided on the Tikka T3x Varmint which arrived Monday this week. I installed my Athlon Ares ETR scope, and a Ernie the Gunsmith lighter trigger spring which gives a consistent 1lb 4oz crisp release. Also installed a Sterk swept bolt handle, in the Tikka Varmint stock the bolt knob contacts my trigger finger forcing an un-natural position.

    Tuesday and Wednesday I tested 5 shot groups of Blackhills Blue 50g Vmax, Bulk 55g Vmax, FGMM 69SMK, and Magtech 5.56 77g OTM ammunition shooting off a Harris bipod with Protektor rear bag. The 50g just held 1MOA at 100yds, the others were 1/2-3/4 MOA. The 55g and 77g produced the best groups. I'm the biggest variable as I haven't shot a centerfire bolt gun in a couple decades so I'm still figuring what techniques work best with the gun.

    With the accuracy confirmed I ordered a KRG Bravo with a spigot mount which arrives tomorrow. Hopefully the Sterk bolt handle ergo's work with the Bravo.

    MDT AICS poly mags, Fiocchi 55g Vmax & 77g SMK, Blackhills Blue 60g Vmax, and LAX RangeTime 60g Vmax are in transit as well.

    I'm definitely very pleased with this rifle, for the price it's a steal IMO.

    I'll be shooting a 100/200 bench match this Sunday to test it and myself (the weak link).

    Thank you all for your valuable input in the process. (y)
    Pics!!! And they better be up to Viking78's standards...
     
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    Sieg

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    The Bravo stock arrived this morning, installation was a breeze thanks to KRG's accurate instructions (lost art in this day and age for some unknown reason). Spigot mount with Picatinny rail for bipod/machine rest plate installed, everything purple Loctited and torqued to spec. The Gen 2 version aligned nicely, once fully assembled I was glad I went with the Sako Green color. The rifle just looks "proper" to my eye.





    I slipped out to the range @3 to test the fit and accuracy with the Harris bipod and Anschutz machine rest guide plate. Main reason was to determine which set up I'd use in Sunday's match. I shot 3 five shot groups with the bipod and small Protektor #14 rear bag @100y with bulk 55g Vmax, Blackhills Blue 60g Vmax, and FGMM 69SMK. Then I shot 3 five shot groups with the Cowan rest and guide plate with a Protektor flat top rear bag.

    The results surprised me, and told me something in my setup and technique isn't right shooting off the machine rest.





    The results.......


    I was most comfortable with the bipod/bag setup, trying to minimize shooter influence. Centerfire is a different game compared to all the rimfire I've been shooting. (I started range shooting last year in April, rimfire only) The last centerfire bolt gun I had (22-250 M77 Varmint) was in the 80's. Basically I'm a newbie to this challenging game. Shooting off the Machine rest I was experimenting with minimizing force/influence on the rifle like my Vudoo seems to like and the results show the inconsistency. Once the Indian figures out how to properly shoot the arrow, combined with good hand load, this basically stock "budget" rifle could be pretty impressive.
     
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    Boltman82

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    I just picked up the 6.5 varmint, I love tikkas. I'm also interested in putting a sterk handle on mine, post some pics when you get yours installed. Nice setup!
     
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    Sieg

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    I just picked up the 6.5 varmint, I love tikkas. I'm also interested in putting a sterk handle on mine, post some pics when you get yours installed. Nice setup!
    Just put it on for you....




    I really like the build quality and styling, and in the Bravo chassis it just clears my trigger finger. Regretfully the swept back design feels cramped and not as fluid of a stroke for me compared to the ergonomics of the OEM handle. I'd buy the Tikka bolt knob but I'm not paying $45 for a piece of plastic with a compression rivet. ?
     
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    Boltman82

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    Just put it on for you....




    I really like the build quality and styling, and in the Bravo chassis it just clears my trigger finger. Regretfully the swept back design feels cramped and not as fluid of a stroke for me compared to the ergonomics of the OEM handle. I'd buy the Tikka bolt knob but I'm not paying $45 for a piece of plastic with a compression rivet. ?
    Looks fantastic! So you would prefer a straight knob and not a swept back one?
     

    Sieg

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    Looks fantastic! So you would prefer a straight knob and not a swept back one?
    I wanted to like the Sterk. I ran the bolt this morning with both handles installed, the stock handle was much more natural for me. I also have my LOP set at 14". A little larger knob would be nice, but "if it's not broken why fix it." I would have be $50 ahead to just buy the silly plastic handle. ?
     
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    Boltman82

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    I wanted to like the Sterk. I ran the bolt this morning with both handles installed, the stock handle was much more natural for me. I also have my LOP set at 14". A little larger knob would be nice, but "if it's not broken why fix it." I would have be $50 ahead to just buy the silly plastic handle. ?
    Ha! I'm on the fence about the sterk. I have never used a swept back handle. I would like the over sized knob though.
     

    Sieg

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    Ha! I'm on the fence about the sterk. I have never used a swept back handle. I would like the over sized knob though.
    Here's a few options:


    Sterk also makes a straight arm:

     

    Boltman82

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    wade2big

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    There has to be a Sterk clone made in the US for half the price with next day shipping. Who sells it?
     

    cannoncrossfire

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    There has to be a Sterk clone made in the US for half the price with next day shipping. Who sells it?
    Glades swept ball including shipping: $67.50 US
    Sterk swept ball including shipping: $84.50 US
    Anarchy swept ball including shipping: $87.74 US

    The 'clones' (copies) of the Sterk are not half the price unfortunately. BTW If anyone knows of a Rolls-Royce clone half the price let me know ;)
     

    XTREM HTR16

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    I have 55g V-max stock for varmint hunting, hopefully the T3x shoots minute of small squirrel with that. Also just ordered 200rds of Federal GMM 69g SMK for $156 delivered to sample as I also have a new Krieger 7.7T 22" barrel coming for my AR, hopefully the tried and true 69g GMM works in both. I also plan on testing 60g V-max as I've read numerous positive reports in 7.7 & 8T barrels.
    If you can find some Fiocchi Extrema with the 50 grain V-max, try it. That ammo shoots 1/2 MOA in my T3X varmint. I don’t even bother with reloading for it, but might need to with heavier bullets.
     
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    Sieg

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    If you can find some Fiocchi Extrema with the 50 grain V-max, try it. That ammo shoots 1/2 MOA in my T3X varmint. I don’t even bother with reloading for it, but might need to with heavier bullets.
    I shot some older Blackhills Blue Box 50g Vmax that shot 1MOA avg. I have Fiocchi 55g Vmax and 77G SMK in transit. If it shoots the Fiocchi 55g well, I'll try the 50g. To date it appears to favor 55 slightly, though 55/60/69/77 have all produced respectable groups. I still need to establish my techniques with this rifle because it appears to more talent than I do. ?
     

    Sieg

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    The Tikka is proving to be worth every dollar spent.

    Today's 100/200y match was good for a win with 400-28x using bulk 55g Vmax, only 10 shooters though, I was the only one shooting off a bipod. Second was a seasoned Vet shooting a RPR .308 w/ handloads with a 400-20x.

    The Tikka in the KRG Bravo a lighter (1lb 4oz) trigger spring is just a real pleasure to shoot. Shot 52rds and ran 1 dry patch, 2nd patch ran was clean. Total round count is 162.

    It will be interesting to see what handloads can deliver.

    10 @ 200yds 1.519" shot on 18x to defeat mirage.


    Sage rats are not going to like this rifle.
     

    Boltman82

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    The Tikka is proving to be worth every dollar spent.

    Today's 100/200y match was good for a win with 400-28x using bulk 55g Vmax, only 10 shooters though, I was the only one shooting off a bipod. Second was a seasoned Vet shooting a RPR .308 w/ handloads with a 400-20x.

    The Tikka in the KRG Bravo a lighter (1lb 4oz) trigger spring is just a real pleasure to shoot. Shot 52rds and ran 1 dry patch, 2nd patch ran was clean. Total round count is 162.

    It will be interesting to see what handloads can deliver.

    10 @ 200yds 1.519" shot on 18x to defeat mirage.


    Sage rats are not going to like this rifle.
    Congrats! Good shooting! Are you getting used to the swept handle yet?
     

    Sieg

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    Congrats! Good shooting! Are you getting used to the swept handle yet?
    Thank you, I was extremely pleased with Tikka's function and performance during the event, not one hiccup or challenge. I put the factory handle back on for today and it felt completely natural.

    I was also feeding rounds with an open magwell as I don't have my MDT AICS mags for the Bravo yet. That actually works best for bench when no restrictions are placed on sighter rounds during allotted timed scoring.
     

    Boltman82

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    Thank you, I was extremely pleased with Tikka's function and performance during the event, not one hiccup or challenge. I put the factory handle back on for today and it felt completely natural.

    I was also feeding rounds with an open magwell as I don't have my MDT AICS mags for the Bravo yet. That actually works best for bench when no restrictions are placed on sighter rounds during allotted timed scoring.
    I'll trade you my CTR knob for your sterk handle ??.
    Sounds like a fun match, I've never shot one like that before.
     

    Sieg

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    I'm slowly figuring out how this rifle likes to be shot and it appears to like Federal GMM 69g.

    100yds Harris bipod and Protektor rear bag.


    Best group I've ever shot. Feeling pretty damn good about the Tikka T3x Varmint purchase.
     

    DrDeath

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    Does Tikka make the T3X-A1 in .223? Available here in the USA??
    If so where and who do I call!!!
     

    bsbxl

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    maybe eurooptic has them. I know I bought a 10rd 223 ctr magazine from them last summer
    Could you tell what the max COAL is for the CTR 223 magazine? The COAL for the CTR 308 is quite generous compared to the standard 308 plastic magazines. I hope Tikka did the same for their CTR 223 magazines.
     

    Mhahn

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    Has anyone tried out the CTR .223 I cannot find any varmints in stock anywhere. I know I will be dropping into Bravo my two other tikkas sit in bravos.
     

    DownhillFromHere

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    Has anyone tried out the CTR .223 I cannot find any varmints in stock anywhere. I know I will be dropping into Bravo my two other tikkas sit in bravos.
    I ordered mine through my LGS; took a couple weeks to come in. But that was over two years ago when things weren't so crazy.
     

    waspocrew

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Feb 18, 2018
    191
    101
    Cleveland, OH
    Has anyone tried out the CTR .223 I cannot find any varmints in stock anywhere. I know I will be dropping into Bravo my two other tikkas sit in bravos.
    Here’s mine. Went with the 20” 1:8 twist. It shoots! 7 shots at 100 yards with less than 20 rounds down the barrel.

    50B198E2-D6C2-44B9-9B2B-646B6C2A8EC9.jpeg7EC1004D-8E10-4A94-93C4-95CDEEB76469.jpeg77B5394E-2A39-4D88-B930-78E7AF4DF115.jpeg
     

    DrDeath

    Sergeant
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Dec 12, 2009
    556
    4
    54
    Are the CTR T3x .223 magazines metal? They state 10 rounder....single or double stack??