Tikka vs Custom Build

TheBigCountry

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    Title sums it up. Wanting to dip back into shooting, with eventual plans to try to get into PRS, and the two options are either a CTR in 6.5 or saving up and having a custom built.

    I’ve had custom rigs before, both by popular builders who frequent the site, but after handling a few Tikkas and seeing all the favorable reviews has me pondering whether to go the short route or just keep saving all the nickels and dimes and getting another custom rig...it’s a longer process versus something I can grab off the shelf, persay, and get right to shooting..

    Thoughts from those in the know? Or have had the same dilemma?
     

    TimeWillTell

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    You could also go with something like a RPR or one of the Christensen offerings as a semi-custom option. Less cost of getting back into it, maybe offers something over the Tikka depending on your preferences. Just throwing out other ideas to toss around as well.
     

    lennyo3034

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    My Tikka action is nice, but it's no custom. If you get the Tikka, will you still be thinking of a custom?
     

    Simia Dei

    Boendr
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    I just bought a CTR and am putting a build together with it. Ordered a MCS T4A with CTR inlet for it and am acquiring two new bolts (.223 and magnum boltfaces) to put together a .223, .243 (is a .243 CTR), 6.5x47 (my intended competition caliber) and a 7SAUM barrel (just because I want one). I will only be buying one scope and will use this as my go to for most tasks, it won't be perfect for everything but I won't be dropping a shitload of cash on a number of optics either. I went this pathway instead of a custom because of availability of suitable actions and components here, plus I like tikkas.

    If you're happy to buy a rifle that shoots great out of the box with decent magazines, and you can progressively upgrade, I'd suggest getting the tikka (or a Bergara HMR). You won't break the bank and will have a decent rifle from the get go.
     

    346ci

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    I thought about the same a few years back and ended up with a T3 lite for the action, had a Hawk Hill barrel installed and put it in a Manners T4 stock. The only thing I could change now would be the action and I don't see any advantage to the costs for my needs. I'd get the CTR and go from there, you can get a Manners inletted for the factory bottom metal.
     

    steve123

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    I just bought a CTR and am putting a build together with it. Ordered a MCS T4A with CTR inlet for it and am acquiring two new bolts (.223 and magnum boltfaces) to put together a .223, .243 (is a .243 CTR), 6.5x47 (my intended competition caliber) and a 7SAUM barrel (just because I want one). I will only be buying one scope and will use this as my go to for most tasks, it won't be perfect for everything but I won't be dropping a shitload of cash on a number of optics either. I went this pathway instead of a custom because of availability of suitable actions and components here, plus I like tikkas.

    If you're happy to buy a rifle that shoots great out of the box with decent magazines, and you can progressively upgrade, I'd suggest getting the tikka (or a Bergara HMR). You won't break the bank and will have a decent rifle from the get go.

    I didn't know one could get extra bolts for Tikka. Where do you buy them and how much do they run?
     

    Simia Dei

    Boendr
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    In Aus they're $800 a bolt. If I can snatch up a cheaper .223 or WSM I'll take that though. I'll just be ordering them through my local gun shop.
     

    BallisticPrimate

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    My comp gun is a no compromise 6.5x47 build on a Surgeon action. That rifle sits in a Manners T5 and I really can't think of anything I'd change to make it better. My backup comp rifle uses a Tikka action and it's chambered in .243, save for minor differences it's built to replicate the Surgeon configuration. I've got 5 Tikkas now, two .308's, two .243's and a .223 - they are all absolutely outstanding rifles that shoot as well as anyone could hope for -regardless of price.

    The above setup also means I've got 4 Tikka bolts with the same bolt head - I've never had one go down but it's good to know I've got spares if I ever need them.

    These days Tikka has you covered all the way from a PRS style comp build through to a basic lightweight walkabout hunter that's super accurate and reliable. It's been the most popular rifle in Australia for quite some time now and it's good to see it gaining traction in the US.

    A few years ago I took a 9.3x62 tikka T3 lite to Africa - it's the only rifle I really regret selling.

    Is a tikka better than a full custom build? I can't really say because most of mine are semi-custom (stocks being a the first thing I usually replace) What I can say is that none of the Tikkas I've had have failed to do what I've asked of them - and I've asked a lot. BP
     

    BallisticPrimate

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    I just bought a CTR and am putting a build together with it. Ordered a MCS T4A with CTR inlet for it and am acquiring two new bolts (.223 and magnum boltfaces) to put together a .223, .243 (is a .243 CTR), 6.5x47 (my intended competition caliber) and a 7SAUM barrel (just because I want one). I will only be buying one scope and will use this as my go to for most tasks, it won't be perfect for everything but I won't be dropping a shitload of cash on a number of optics either. I went this pathway instead of a custom because of availability of suitable actions and components here, plus I like tikkas.

    If you're happy to buy a rifle that shoots great out of the box with decent magazines, and you can progressively upgrade, I'd suggest getting the tikka (or a Bergara HMR). You won't break the bank and will have a decent rifle from the get go.

    G'day mate, how do you intend to feed the .223 given you're having it letted for the Factory CTR bottom metal?
     
    Last edited:

    Simia Dei

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    G'day mate, how do you intend to feed the .223 given you're having it I letted for the Factory CTR bottom metal?

    Hey mate, no idea yet, I need to take the rifle down to the smith to discuss it. He's happy with the SAUM but will see what he can do with the .223 idea. Worst case is a new rifle is bought in time (That Howa 8 twist .223 in a KRG Bravo looks like a suitable alternative).
     

    BallisticPrimate

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    Hey mate, no idea yet, I need to take the rifle down to the smith to discuss it. He's happy with the SAUM but will see what he can do with the .223 idea. Worst case is a new rifle is bought in time (That Howa 8 twist .223 in a KRG Bravo looks like a suitable alternative).

    I suppose you could use the atlasworkx dbm system that has the CTR footprint, that way you could swap out the dbm when you screw on the .223 barrel and use AI style.223 mags
     
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    lowspeed_highdrag

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    I went the CTR route, and now have almost $4k in the rifle without it being custom at all. I think it wouldve been smart of me to have gone with a factory chassis rifle, like the RPR or T3X Tac A1 and had it all done for me with a reasonable price. YMMV.
     

    Simia Dei

    Boendr
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    I suppose you could use the atlasworkx dbm system that has the CTR footprint, that way you could swap out the dbm when you screw on the .223 barrel and use AI style.223 mags

    Thats a good idea, I might get some measurements for this and see if this'll work. Cheers for the idea mate
     

    shakin_bakin

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    I went the CTR route, and now have almost $4k in the rifle without it being custom at all. I think it wouldve been smart of me to have gone with a factory chassis rifle, like the RPR or T3X Tac A1 and had it all done for me with a reasonable price. YMMV.

    I have an RPR, I actually have two right now. One in .308 and the other in 6.5. I will say, for the price, they are very nice guns. Are they a custom, no. However, if I were to buy a factory gun right now, that is shooting very accurate, the Bergara is a VERY nice rifle. I dont like the stock. I think a Tikka or a Bergara is the route I would go and I own two RPR's... If I could sell my RPR today and get some of the money back, I'd go buy a Tikka or Bergara (staying factory).
    Next year, I'll probably buy a custom rifle and keep the RPR in 6.5 for my wife as a plinking gun for her.

    EDIT: Pros to an RPR for me is the stock, I like it compared to other factory rifles, its a really solid stock.
    - the RPR has a lot of aftermarket parts available and a large customer base, its not going anywhere

    CONS: The RPR is heavy, and you have to do some load development to get the accuracy people are getting out of the Bergara
    - the action is not nearly as smooth as the Tikka

    Last option: Look into the Howa HCR, cheaper than all other options, and performs well. Lowlight did a review on it this past month. Its on the snipershide home page. Howa's are really nice guns for what you get. Smooth actions, good accuracy.
     
    Last edited:

    kabarNC

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    I went the CTR route, and now have almost $4k in the rifle without it being custom at all. I think it wouldve been smart of me to have gone with a factory chassis rifle, like the RPR or T3X Tac A1 and had it all done for me with a reasonable price. YMMV.

    I did the same thing with my first Tikka, dumped a pile of money into it to get it perfected. My last one I went a different route. I built a Hide gun, everything on it came from the PX here. Barreled action $600, Xray chassis $550, DMR2 optic $1200. A YoDave trigger spring and Sterk bolt handle left me at right at $2500.00, and I had fun to boot.
     

    bab029

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    Get the Tikka. If/when it stops shooting the way you it to, then get a good barrel to put on it.

    This. Shot my .260 CTR until it opened up over MOA consistently, and sent it off with a hawk hill 6mm blank.

    That said, this all comes down to how much disposable income you have. If 3-5k for a custom is no big deal then there's no reason not to do it. You can probably pick up something very close to what you want in the px here for a good price any day of the week.

    However if you want a gun to learn to shoot now (without dropping the cost of a decent used car) and build as you go the T3 is a great option. It's what I did, and I recommend it fully. I can't speak on the other options, but starting with a capable factory rifle will help you figure out what you really want in a rifle before you drop serious (to me) cash.

    Pros:

    The factory triggers are great.

    The actions get really slick with use.

    70* Bolt lift. Not too heavy. Handles are dovetailed, user swappable.

    Enclosed action. Very stiff. Side bolt release already installed.

    Require very little truing work.

    The aftermarket is growing. Manners and McMillan stocks. KRG, XLR, MPA, and many others have chassis systems. Timney (and soon KRG) has two-stage triggers. Pic rails are available from several vendors.
     
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    Ledzep

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    I built customs for close to a year, so I'm fairly familiar with most everything out there. I have a real appreciation for Tikka actions. There are only a handful of customs I would buy over a Tikka (Namely Bighorns and Mausingfields). I'd hop on a CTR with no regrets and build it up as the cash/need arises unless you have something very specific in mind for a custom build.
     

    BCP

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    Title sums it up. Wanting to dip back into shooting, with eventual plans to try to get into PRS, and the two options are either a CTR in 6.5 or saving up and having a custom built.

    I’ve had custom rigs before, both by popular builders who frequent the site, but after handling a few Tikkas and seeing all the favorable reviews has me pondering whether to go the short route or just keep saving all the nickels and dimes and getting another custom rig...it’s a longer process versus something I can grab off the shelf, persay, and get right to shooting..

    Thoughts from those in the know? Or have had the same dilemma?

    I have a Tikka CTR that I stuck in a KRG chassis. It shoots as well as the 5R remington I had but the action and trigger feel better. Really slick and trigger breaks like a nice older FN or Remington that's been adjusted. Good extractor too. I plan on keeping mine for awhile.




     

    TheBigCountry

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    Thanks for all th replies. Im kinda swayed to the Tikka right now, mainly due to cost. A CTR topped with quaility glass would be cost effective without going broke in my mind, and eventually upgrading it with all the aftermarket parts seems ideal. I do like what AO is offering in their Renegade rifle, or picking up a TL3 barreled action and dropping it into a KRG bravo or XRay as well, but that’s a longer road due to cost...

    Thanks for all the thoughts Gents, and Ladies
     

    dino67

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    I have three builds on Tikka T3 actions, 6mm Dasher, 7 Rem SAUM and 7-08 (in process). The actions haven't needed truing and both the SAUM and Dasher have no problem shooting .5" groups at 200m with quick load development and I'm no bench rest shooter. I've competed in long range tactical style comps over here for a couple of years using a standard Tikka varmint in 7-08 dropped into a local made AI style chassis. That rifle shoots as well as AI's, DTA's, and other customs. In 2016 I won 4 out of 5 shoots for the year. The only possible negative with the Tikka is the bolt stop with gorilla fisted use you may sheer the bolt stop pin. Personally never had an issue with any of my 6 Tikka's but it's something to be aware of.

    Lots of aftermarket support out there now with bolt handles and shrouds, DBM's and chassis, Pic Rails, and Triggers (CG, Timney, KRG -soon), stocks options etc

    Every time I get tempted to build a custom I look at the $2000+AUD for an action, $300+ for a trigger and compare it to a new Tikka T3 at under $800 in Australia as a donor that includes a very good trigger that with a 1 min spring change can go down to 1lb.

     

    mpk1996

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    well, it depends on how much you want to spend or how you compare apples to apples. by the time you buy the tikka, then put it in a chassis or stock, and put a custom barrel on it, you aren't much different than running a custom. epically since you are going to want to change the BM out so you can run AICS mags vs the tikka mags. actually, that will save you in the long run. honestly there are some good actions out there for what you will have to buy a donor rifle for. sure you can get a 400 hunting rifle and pull it, but then the difference is only a few hundred on that and a custom. Heck the MPA rifle is only like $2000 with their chassis and a trued up r700. its a pretty good setup. the CTR is a great rifle (I love mine) but it has a lot to be desired compared to a true competition rifle. I guess it really depends on what you want, how much you want to spend and what you are willing to compromise
     

    Simia Dei

    Boendr
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    I have three builds on Tikka T3 actions, 6mm Dasher, 7 Rem SAUM and 7-08 (in process). The actions haven't needed truing and both the SAUM and Dasher have no problem shooting .5" groups at 200m with quick load development and I'm no bench rest shooter. I've competed in long range tactical style comps over here for a couple of years using a standard Tikka varmint in 7-08 dropped into a local made AI style chassis. That rifle shoots as well as AI's, DTA's, and other customs. In 2016 I won 4 out of 5 shoots for the year. The only possible negative with the Tikka is the bolt stop with gorilla fisted use you may sheer the bolt stop pin. Personally never had an issue with any of my 6 Tikka's but it's something to be aware of.

    Lots of aftermarket support out there now with bolt handles and shrouds, DBM's and chassis, Pic Rails, and Triggers (CG, Timney, KRG -soon), stocks options etc

    Every time I get tempted to build a custom I look at the $2000+AUD for an action, $300+ for a trigger and compare it to a new Tikka T3 at under $800 in Australia as a donor that includes a very good trigger that with a 1 min spring change can go down to 1lb.

    Mate, what mag are you using for the SAUM?
     

    dino67

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    Simia Dei,

    SAUM is set up to run on short action, all my Tikka's can drop in to each others stocks and chassis. I can run 223, 6mm Dasher, 7-08, SAUM in my AI style chassis with AICS mags with only a mag change needed. 223 runs MDT mags, Dasher AI AICS mag with spacer kit, 7-08 Accurate Mag AICS without front plate, SAUM Alpha WSM mags or they will run out of the accurate mag as well with no feed lip changes but you can only fit 8 SAUM cases in the 10 shot 308 based mags.
     

    Graywolf.260

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    The factory CTR mags will run SAUM smoothly- I run a 6.5 4S in a CTR. Just need to bend the mag lips a bit.
     

    Simia Dei

    Boendr
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    Thanks for the info Dino and Graywolf. Ill stick with the CTR mags for now. Dino, I'm interested in the 7-08 you're running, what projectiles are you using? And what velocities are you hitting with them?
     

    ejg

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    I love my CTR, mainly used for hunting. Is possibly the best all round factory rifle. I had two identical stainless CTR in 308 and both shot 3mm groups with 168 Hornady factory bthp. I also had a T3 lite that I had a 1/13 Lija 3 groove barrel fitted . First three shots she could not beat the CTR but once the rifle got hot the Lilja barrel is just better. Longer strings need a good barrel.
    The nice thing about the CTR is that the weight is not crazy. My CTR in Carbon stock (Pic) only weighs ~7.7lb without scope. I also have Atlasworx floorplate with AICS mag that fit in the same stock.

    CTR
    nDb8gG2.jpg


    vs. semi custom with ASH three position safety, lija 3 groove

    SKp4ncQ.jpg


    FTpl6uz.jpg



    edi
     

    sandwarrior

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    I love my CTR, mainly used for hunting. Is possibly the best all round factory rifle. I had two identical stainless CTR in 308 and both shot 3mm groups with 168 Hornady factory bthp. I also had a T3 lite that I had a 1/13 Lija 3 groove barrel fitted . First three shots she could not beat the CTR but once the rifle got hot the Lilja barrel is just better. Longer strings need a good barrel.
    The nice thing about the CTR is that the weight is not crazy. My CTR in Carbon stock (Pic) only weighs ~7.7lb without scope. I also have Atlasworx floorplate with AICS mag that fit in the same stock.

    CTR
    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/i.imgur.com\/nDb8gG2.jpg"}[/IMG2]

    vs. semi custom with ASH three position safety, lija 3 groove

    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/i.imgur.com\/SKp4ncQ.jpg"}[/IMG2]

    [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/i.imgur.com\/FTpl6uz.jpg"}[/IMG2]


    edi

    So, were you having issues with stringing when the barrel got hot with the CTR? I had not seen it happen with the Tikkas like I did with the Remmy's and Winchesters. Love the pics BTW! Where are you at? That is some pretty country
     

    ejg

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    So, were you having issues with stringing when the barrel got hot with the CTR? I had not seen it happen with the Tikkas like I did with the Remmy's and Winchesters. Love the pics BTW! Where are you at? That is some pretty country

    I normally don't shoot long strings and don't have an issue with my CTR when out plinking. We did however show my our rifles to members of a SF unit who tested them. Every now and then I fired a few shots in between and really noticed the wandering. We had a second CTR in a normal stock at the shoot that seemed to do the same. I could not quantify how much it was but i did not experience this as much with a Bartlein on a Remmy or the Lilja on the T3. This was at only 500m.
    I live on the south coast Ireland, first 2 pictures were in our back garden. We hunt on the west coast as the last pic, just had dropped a doe and a calf at the end of the forest.

    edi
     

    rookie7

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    I love my CTR, mainly used for hunting. Is possibly the best all round factory rifle. I had two identical stainless CTR in 308 and both shot 3mm groups with 168 Hornady factory bthp. I also had a T3 lite that I had a 1/13 Lija 3 groove barrel fitted . First three shots she could not beat the CTR but once the rifle got hot the Lilja barrel is just better. Longer strings need a good barrel.
    The nice thing about the CTR is that the weight is not crazy. My CTR in Carbon stock (Pic) only weighs ~7.7lb without scope. I also have Atlasworx floorplate with AICS mag that fit in the same stock.

    CTR
    nDb8gG2.jpg


    vs. semi custom with ASH three position safety, lija 3 groove

    SKp4ncQ.jpg


    FTpl6uz.jpg



    edi

    That third picture is what I would call God's country - beautiful!
     

    rookie7

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    Title sums it up. Wanting to dip back into shooting, with eventual plans to try to get into PRS, and the two options are either a CTR in 6.5 or saving up and having a custom built.

    I’ve had custom rigs before, both by popular builders who frequent the site, but after handling a few Tikkas and seeing all the favorable reviews has me pondering whether to go the short route or just keep saving all the nickels and dimes and getting another custom rig...it’s a longer process versus something I can grab off the shelf, persay, and get right to shooting..

    Thoughts from those in the know? Or have had the same dilemma?

    Check out Bergara's new 2018 offerings. They have an HMR PRO rifle coming out - options being a 6mm creedmoor with 26" tube or 6.5 cm with 24" tube. Retail is around $1725 and street is less. Fits any Remington stocks, triggers, and scope bases. Another option for a little more money is the Seekins Havok rifle.

    I studied Tikkas for months with the same intention. When all is said and done - you're going to have more in the rifle than you anticipated.
     

    BallisticPrimate

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    There is a reason why I go deer shooting from Sept to end Feb every weekend to the Kerry hills, Although the weather is often nasty it is the most beautiful area when the rain stops.
    edi

    Stunning country! Edi, ever sent one of your stocks to Australia?