Input on Tikka as a department rifle

We have 5 PD precision rifles. All lightly modified Rem 700P's. None are younger than 15 years old. The barrels were chopped from 24 to 20", and they were dropped into a chassis that took AICS mags. 2 are on their second barrel. All have had the triggers replaced when all the trigger drama hit and the chief red something on the internet about how we were all going to die with the factory triggers in place.

County has Larue OBR's for their 3 guys - none of my business. 

Well, we want to go shorter, and add cans. 16" with threaded barrels. That costs money. Since they are all so old, none with less than 8k through them (no borescope) and are not the greatest shooting lot (they're about 1MOA with our duty load - 168gr ELD-M), I was thinking about new barrels. The stocks, McRees early chassis, are big, fat and heavy.  There are a lot simpler, lighter more user-friendly chassis out there. 

BUT - I got a Tikka T3X CTR a few months back after reading and watching favorable stuff on it. I'm duly impressed. The LE price on them is decent, and the Tac A1 comes in a really nice chassis, 16" threaded barrel, and everyone raves about it's accuracy and durability. Parts are common - you can buy lots of Tikka crap off brownells for reasonable cost. 

For the cost of an upgraded barrel and chassis (and everyone is all horny about Timney triggers and are trying to talk me into those), it's cheaper to buy a whole new Tikka. 

Right now, my CTR in a KRG Bravo chassis is the most accurate rifle I own, including my custom 700 that I've had for years. 

Am I missing something? Decent price, accurate, easy parts availability, anyone who can work on a Rem can work on this thing (meaning re-barreling in the future). Safety is basically in the same position, so no major retraining on that. Shorter bolt throw, better trigger from the box - on it's face it's awesome. 

We would use the current optics if we swapped, and we would not be able to use the AICS mags (each rifle comes with 2 10-rounders, though - which are shorter than the AICS). 

The guys who have their own rifles would be mad or jealous - but I'm used to hate. 2 of them have RPR's anyway. 

Opinions on if this is a bad route that I can't see.

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Original Post

I've never used a precision gun professionally, but I've heard nothing but good about the T3X Tac A1. So much good, in fact, that I'll probably end up buying one.

Joined: 30 May 2003                  Location: SE PA

Not LE, but Tikka T3X owner. There are 67 pages on Sniper's Hide just about the T3. None of it bad. I don't see how you could go wrong.

Someone will probably be along with a solution to your mag question, though if you're using factory ammo, I don't see a problem with factory mags.

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

I've shot one of the older T3 tactical models (standard stock) with the heavy barrel on targets.  The stock trigger and action were excellent.  It had good accuracy with match ammo, but I don't remember the ammo specs or group sizes.  I'd purchase one to replace my Remington 700 if the Remington sees a loss of accuracy (I don't shoot it a lot).  I also didn't see a need to modify anything on the Tika.  However, IIRC the Tika I was shooting used Tika specific plastic magazines, I don't know what mags the current ones use.  I never had a feed issue with the tika magazines.  I believe the barrels are press fit.  I never had an issue with the barrel, I believe that the rifle would have to go back to the factory for rebarrelling.      

I'd recommend trying to find other agencies with long term use experience.  I didn't get a lot of rounds through the Tikka so I cannot comment on longevity for an LE agency.  I'd also ask Sully or some of our resident experts for their opinion.     Several of my hunting buddies at Drum had them and most became die hard Tika fans.   

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I'm either dead right, or horribly wrong. Either way the results should be entertaining.

 

"Shoot the MOTHERF$%^ER until he changes shape or catches fire"  the PAT ROGERS

Ping Doc Spears at Forge Tactical. He has been using the TAC A1 extensively.  I recall words to the effect that "this is the best turn key LE precision rifle on the market right now"

A friend and I were making first round hits at 742 the other day with his TAC A1 in 6.5CM. This friend is the kind of guy who accidentally breaks anvils, and has the luck of a leper when it comes to guns. He has had nothing but great results with his...

The steel CTR mags feed very well,  are compact, and superior to the AICS system in every way that I can tell, except maybe cost. The mag release is more positive and less prone to snag interference than the AICS as well.

I'd recommend trying to find other agencies with long term use experience. 

That's what I'm trying to do. I figure more LE types here than on SH - an awful lot of hobby shooters and competition types there. They're totally fine with swapping the barrel out twice a year, or dropping big money on any new piece of gear that they want. They all reload, have 100000 yard ranges, and have the latest ballistic software embedded in a chip in their brain.

In LE, if you ask for a new rifle every 20 years, they want to know what's wrong with the old one. I fought for two years to swap from duplex to mil dots. We had to send the old scopes in. People just don't understand the struggle over on SH. 

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

I don’t have a long term use report, but we are changing over to Tikka Tacticals for our sniper rifles and we have two now in KRG chassis with AICS mag conversions.   They shoot lights out, as in one hole groups at 100y, and seniority trumps as to who gets them.   The tacticals come with the standard plastic sporter style magazine and a full size heavy barrel.   

I have a personal CTR that shoots regularly between 0.5 and 0.75 moa with factory Hornady 168 TAP.   

The one weak point on Tikkas is the bolt stop pin. I had mine let go during “aggressive” bolt manipulation.    I was able to make a field repair with an appropriate size drill bit shank from the local hardware store, but have replaced it with aftermarket Mountain Tactical / Tikka Performance parts.    Oh, and check out German Gun Stocks for your personal CTR.   Functional art.  And a Sterk AI style swept bolt knob...trust me.    

I can’t imagine wearing a hammer forged Tikka barrel any faster than anything coming out of factory Remington.   And it is turnkey from the factory.   The trigger is wonderful for a single stage, but I would prefer the two stage found on the TAC A1.  

When we first bought our 700’s, we had Charlie Milazzo work them over.   He even had us return one for exchange with Remington.   And this was before Freedom Group.  I don’t see the Tikkas needing as much fine tuning as the Remingtons out of the factory.    Bolt them in a chassis, or not, mount your scope, and shoot.

I’d probably recommend the TAC-A1 also over the Tactical now.   Only caveat, is there a provision for a night vision bridge?   That’s why we put the tacticals in a chassis...

"To be born free is an accident; to live free is a privilege; to die free is a responsibility." - Richard Secord

Joined 08/25/2008.   Location: Northest WI

Doc Spears from Forge is the guy you need to talk to. I went to thier Sniper overwatch course in May and within a month'ish we had a Tac A1 for T&E on my team. One guy took it to the Gastonia sniper comp and said it ran great, and is running it this week in a week long high round count precision rifle course. Only issue to date was the hand guard and barrel nut working loose at the comp, but it's a T&E gun who knows what the last tester did with it. Tightened it down and finished the comp and halfway through this week and no issues. Mags run great and the 16" barrel is NOT a hindrance even out to 800+. If it were solely up to me we would buy 12 tomorrow. 

Joined: 9-29-2009
Location: Indiana/Kentucky
Jay Smith posted:

 

I can’t imagine wearing a hammer forged Tikka barrel any faster than anything coming out of factory Remington.   And it is turnkey from the factory.

I was about to comment on this. Since Tikka and Sako are very closely related, I had to imagine they had CHF barrels.

With Remington announcing bankruptcy, Tikka would certainly be a good choice. I know that they are still doing work, but I'm skeptical personally. The Tac seems like the way to go if funds are there. If not, the plain jane CTR w/ threaded barrel would probably suffice. Disclaimer: not an LE sniper, but I learned a thing or two in Wyoming. =]

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Colt and Remington being so financially in the toilet has been a heads-up for me lately. I've had years where Colts were hard to get, and it made my life difficult. We have not had good luck with some other brands of AR. 

Remingtons are - in my opinion - not the same quality that they were 15 years ago. They're also very far behind feature-wise for their basic LE precision rifle packages (unless you want to shell out big bucks). All of this has me looking elsewhere. 

Tech and demand have moved on - they haven't. They're suffering for it. 

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Another good option may be the Tikka CTR coupled with the KRG Bravo chassis. This of course depending on how ammenable the agency is to minor modifications like stocks.

The TAC A1 is hard to beat- it gives you compact storage, adjustable stock features, and a full length 12 o'clock rail for when you eventually buy inline NVG devices for your snipers.

I shot Doc's Tac A1 at class in Sept.  I must say that after spending the least 3 years being solely Accuracy International, the Tac A1 didn't feel like shit...it felt like a nice, usable rifle.  I think that's a big complement for a rifle 1/5th the cost of my AI.

I attached KRG's report on Tikka's for posterity.  Mind you the T3X has updated the bolt handle, cocking shroud and I believe the recoil lug.

The only issue I have heard from hardcore Tikka lovers is breaking bolt stop pins.  This isn't a catastrophic failure but it's something to note.  I recall reading a thread where a guy could fix the issue with a roll of tape and a sharpie and make a physical bolt stop for himself to keep his Tikka running.  Luckily there are several Tikka aftermarket options for the bolt stop pin and assembly should one want to upgrade or keep extras on hand.

As I said in your other thread, I think the CTR/KRG combo is the best entry level option in the game at the moment.  We're looking to finally replace our 4th sniper and cost is going to be a huge factor for his agency to get him in the game and we are pimping the Tikka option.  Unfortunately a lot of my pro-Tikka rhetoric is also because I am staunchly hardcore anti-Remington factory anything.  

 

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

Attachments

I'm not an LE sniper but as I will second Pointblank's comments about it compared to an AI. I purchased the Tikka based on Doc Spears' recommendation. The smoothness of the bolt and feeding on the Tikka has more in common with my AI than it does with my custom 700, while being much closer to the 700 in price. I took both my AI AWSM (300WM) and Tikka Tac A1 (260Rem) to the AMTAC Precision Rifle Course at the Arena Training Facility in GA last month. My Tikka is plagued with a slow barrel (80-100fps or more slower than box or book data for reloads) but even in spite of that, was still accurate enough to get multiple hits at 1345yds starting with a 2nd round hit). I have gotten 1/3MOA groups from it before with consistent 1/2 to .6MOA being the norm depending on ammo.

LGOP: a small group of "pissed-off American paratroopers" who are well trained, armed to the teeth, and lack serious supervision. They collectively remember the commander's intent as, "March to the sound of guns, and kill anyone who isn't dressed like you ..."

Apologies; very sorry to have missed this thread.

I likely have more experience with the TacA1 than anyone else in the country and have moved about a dozen agencies into them. I have personally been the person to unbox, mount optics on, and put the first rounds through no less than about 25 of them for Beretta at various media and professional events. I've run the 6.5 and .308's of all barrel length offerings. There's even the potential for a partnership with Proof in the works, and I've shot the prototypes. You'll know if and when that happens.

Anyway, I haven't shot a one that did not have the potential to be a better than 1 moa gun. The 16" I carry with 168TAP will generally put 3  in a hole at 100 yards prone off a bipod, which is as good as I can do as a shooter.

There is some confusion about the model in the posts. The TacA1 is not a CTR in a chassis. Yes, Sako makes Tikka barrels. They are CHF and are the same as any Sako TRG barrel. No the bolt handle is not plastic. Yes the chassis has a full, continuous rail.

Helping to popularize the gun in this country for professional use, we convinced Tikka to  offer the 16" .308 with US thread pattern suppressor mount and not metric. A small victory for an otherwise already perfect gun.

I run mainly custom rifles, SAC's, GAP's, DTA's and the like. These silly cheap Tikkas have come closer than any non-custom rifle I've ever used to matching the accuracy of my Bartlein barreled beauties.

I do not disparage civilian precision rifle shooters; that's who I currently am. However I primarily train professionals. Multiple metro-agencies have either purchased the Tac A1 for duty use on their experience with me or have purchased them personally for duty and personal use as a result.

Many guys run AI's that they purchased personally for duty use; agency approved. I would prefer every agency ran an AI and ponied up the funds for them. They are the best out-of-the-box-duty-capable platform in my opinion.

The Tikka is a close second at a third of the price. I am talking about the TacA1, not any other model.

As a rule I do not self-promote on LF, but I would push you to the Forge Tactical page on FB where you can find a plethora of photos with those guns in multiple of our courses; I don't maintain a picture hosting site account anymore.

John

 

My teammate that was T&E'ing the Tac A1 wrote a T&E report for our team and the distributor that we got it through. Here are his observations/experiences with the rifle. Like I said, I really like the Tac A1 and it is what we are replacing our 700's for.  Hope this helps.

Product / Equipment Tested: Tikka Tac A1 16-inch Rifle with Steiner T5Xi 3x15

Testing Period:  Start Date: 10/12/2018 End Date:10/20/2018; 10/29/2018-11/01/2018

Manufacturer: Tikka

Product POC: 

Estimated Cost of Product:

What the Product / Equipment will be used for: Sniper Precision Rifle

 Reliability: I took this Rifle to the Gastonia Sniper Competition at the Tactical Farm. 140 Painter Rd. Mooresboro, NC 28114 Oct. 17-20, 2018. I used 168 gr BTHP Federal Sierra Match grade ammo. The first stage was the “Barricade Event”. This was a cold bore shot plus a follow up on a bullseye target with a sub MOA bullseye. We then moved to the next shooting position under a barrier simulating shooting under a fence. (Rifle was laid on its side). This was a hostage rescue shot. The 10 ring was a sub MOA circle. I scored well on these. The next stage was the Open Urban Terrain event. This involved positional shooting on Tannerite targets from 100 yds and in.  On my first shot the barrel nut came loose as well the rail system. This caused poor performance in this stage. Luckily there was an armorer who tightened the barrel and rail system to proper specifications. I was able re zero the rifle and continue competition. The next stage was the “Unknown Distance”. This involved targets between 200-600 yards shot from a swinging platform. The first target was a 200 yd sub MOA hostage rescue shot on steel. I was able to successfully make this shot. I was successful on subsequent B34 targets out to 600 yds. Even on the swinging platform the rifle and clear illuminated reticle was an extremely effective combination. The next stage was the “Long Range advance”. This was between 170 and 400 yds. This was a ranging/moving/and positional stage. The Tikka performed well using holds supplied by my Applied Ballistics App.I was not able to true the rifle past 400 yds prior to the competition so I believed Muzzle Velocity was 2275 fps (16- inch barrel).  Tikka was fired from drag bag and tripod as appropriate. I used all holds which was made easy by the hash marks for every .2 mil. Next was the “Run and Gun” event. This involved stage 10 rounds at 125 yds and running to the 100 yd line to address 1- inch squares. A hit on the square was 5 points and a hit on the center ¼ circle was 10 points. I was able to score 7- 5-point hits and 2- 10-point hits (sub MOA) and one miss. The next event was the “Target ID”. This involved a folder with 6 targets that were set up between 10-100 yards. The box magazine made its money as did the clear reticle that was easy for holdovers. The last stage was a challenging obstacle course followed by 2 hostage targets and a bonus Tannerite (MOA target). I effectively engaged hostage rescue targets but missed the 2-inch Tannerite target. I then used it at an advanced Sniper School that was taught by Norse Tactical at Steeles range Fort Knox Ky October 29,2018 -Nov 01, 2018. I trued the rifle and per Applied Ballistics App the muzzle velocity was 2,248 fps. The courses of fire varied from 50 yds out to 1,000 yds. The rifle performed exceptionally well under extreme wind (4-16 mph) as well as rain and fog. The school was completely shot with holds. The .2 mil hash marks on the Steiner T5Xi 3x15 were very useful for milling and exact holds. My classmates who were running traditional Leupold Mark IV mildot scopes had a much more difficult time milling targets and holding. There were two class members running H59 reticles that were superior to both this reticle and the traditional mildots. The illuminated reticle on the T5Xi 3x15 was very useful in cloudy, rainy and foggy conditions

Joined: 9-29-2009
Location: Indiana/Kentucky

Not LE but I own 2 tikas.   A 308 CTR and a Lite 6.5 creedmoor.   They are being th sub MOA guns right out of the box.  They outshoot my 2 700s which have both had work done on them and cost half to a third the price, all in.   That Sako DNA really shines.   

 

They have quite a following in the hunting community.   The only knock I have heard, besides the occasional, rare, lemon, is the magazines are shorter than some long rounds.   Really only an issue for some of the long action shooters that are loading heavy, long bullets.    Apart from that most everyone is very happy and even more so considering the price.  

_______________________ Front Toward Enemy

Guys, I appreciate all the responses. I'm trying to do some budgetary magic to get at least one to test for a six-month period before I go in whole-hog. But I'm liking this idea more and more. 

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

I want to be able to no-shit abuse it. Most things I've gotten for T&E they want me to return without dirt, dings, and gouges. I want to had it to some of our swat gorillas, and come back and see it they broke it. 

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Roger, brother, that makes sense.  FWIW, I'm probably picking one of these up (in 6.5) in the Jan/Feb timeframe once I make room in the budget for the rifle and an appropriate optic (Kahles or a PM II)

Oh, @SPDSNYPR I got that K16i back a week or so ago. When it's not shooting 20mils high, it's SWEET.

Joined: 30 May 2003                  Location: SE PA

Ok, follow-up question as I'm new to the precision game.  Assume you're going to run your Tac A1 suppressed most of the time (with a SOCOM762-RC2 can). Which muzzle device? Warcomp 762 so you get some flash suppression if you're running unsuppressed or a MB-762?

Joined: 30 May 2003                  Location: SE PA

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