I never shot a Tikka but have always had outstanding results from savages. I've owned 10 of them and they are all great shooters.
Here is an excerpt from chuck hawks website about the tikka:
A Critical Look at the Tikka T3
(And Other Economy Hunting Rifles)
By Chuck Hawks
Like many old geezers, I bemoan the loss, or lack, of standards in our modern world. And nowhere is this devaluation of quality more evident than in 21st Century hunting rifles. (Actually, the slide started in the 1960's and accelerated toward the end of the 20th Century).
We are, today, reaping the crop of sub-standard rifles previously sown. Most of the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of the writers and publishers of the specialty outdoors print magazines. In the quest for advertising dollars they have turned a blind eye to the constant cheapening of our hunting guns. Often they have merely parroted the promotional flack handed to them by the manufacturer's ad agencies.
Thus flimsy, injection molded plastic stocks are praised as "lightweight" or "weather resistant" rather than criticized as the inferior bedding platforms that they actually are. Free floating barrels, introduced simply to minimize the labor cost of precisely bedding a barreled action in a gun stock, are now praised as an asset by those who know nothing else. A perfect example of an economy shortcut becoming the new standard.
The deficiencies of receivers that are simply drilled from bar stock and that substitute heavy washers for integral recoil lugs are never examined in modern rifle reviews. Often the loading/ejection port--merely a slot cut into the tubular receiver--is so small that it is difficult or impossible to load a cartridge directly into the chamber, or manually remove a fired case. But the implication of this drawback at the range and in the field is never mentioned in most rifle reviews.
In many cases, "short actions" are merely long actions with the bolt stop moved to limit bolt travel. The modern gun writers who review these creations likewise never mention that this defeats the fundamental purpose of the short action calibers for which these rifles are chambered.
The receiver holds the bolt, which brings up a salient question: does anyone really believe than a cheap multi-piece, assembled bolt has any possible advantage over a one-piece forged steel bolt except economy of manufacture?
The use of plastic, nearly disposable, detachable magazines and trigger guards is overlooked by the popular print press, or actually praised for their lightweight construction. Talk about spin, these guys could teach the Washington politicians some tricks!
In fact, "lightweight" and "accuracy" are the buzzwords most frequently used to "spin" hunting rifle reviews in a paying advertiser's favor. (Cheap substitute materials are usually lighter--but not stronger--than forged steel, and most production rifles will occasionally shoot a "braggin' group" that can be exploited in a review.) Whenever reviewers start touting either, watch out! There may not be a lot to tout in the critical areas of design, material quality, manufacture, or fit and finish.
A rifle's lines and finish are largely cosmetic, but why should we be condemned to hunt with ugly rifles? Matte finishes on barreled actions are sold as a benefit ("low glare"), but in reality they are simply faster and thus less expensive for the manufacturer to produce than a highly polished finish. And the flat black color touted as a stealth advantage of plastic stocks over walnut is patently absurd. Why would a rational person believe that such stocks are any less visible to animals in the woods than a wooden stock?
Have you noticed how the checkered areas on wood stocked Tikka T3 rifles are divided into several small patches? That is done because it is easier (and therefore cheaper) to cut a small patch of checkering than a larger one. The shorter the individual checkering lines, the easier it is to keep them straight. Once again, manufacturing economy triumphs over aesthetics and function.
The Tikka T3 is certainly not the only modern hunting rifle to adopt some or most of these production shortcuts. I have not chosen it for the lead in this article just to pick on Tikka. I have chosen it as the poster child for cheap rifles because it is one of the few models to incorporate all of these cost and quality reducing shortcuts. If there is a production shortcut out there, the T3 has probably already incorporated it.
Then there is the Tikka 1" 100-yard test. I have yet to see, or even read about, a T3 hunting rifle that will consistently meet Tikka's 3-shots into 1" at 100 yards accuracy claim.
Now, unlike many gun writers today, I try not to over emphasize the importance of accuracy in big game hunting rifles. Big game animals are large and hair-splitting accuracy is almost never required. A rifle that will shoot into 2" at 100 yards (2 MOA) is accurate enough for most purposes. A hunting rifle that will average 1.5 MOA groups is a good one, and most T3 rifles fall into that category.
But the Beretta/Sako/Tikka conglomerate heavily advertises their accuracy guarantee. They market their rifles on that basis. And, in my experience, most Tikka T3 rifles simply will not consistently meet their own accuracy guarantee. If a average T3 will shoot an occasional 1" group with any load it is doing well. (Want a real MOA hunting rifle? Read our review of the Weatherby Vanguard SUB-MOA on the Product Review Page.) Why do none of my fellow gun writers in the popular press call Beretta on its misleading advertising?
That is, of course, a rhetorical question. The answer is simple: Beretta Corp. is a big bucks advertiser in the popular print magazines. But what about the writers' and editors' obligation to their readers, who pay their hard earned dollars to read those reviews? Obviously, the word "integrity" has been deleted from the print mag publishers' spelling checkers.
To add insult to injury, the Tikka T3 is a cheap rifle, but not an inexpensive one. These things cost as much or more than some higher quality, better designed, and better turned-out hunting rifles.
None of this means that a person cannot hunt successfully with a Tikka T3 rifle, or that Tikka owners are a particularly dissatisfied lot. There are many T3 owners who have no complaints, and many who are pleased with the performance of their T3 rifles and satisfied with their purchase. In truth, they are safe, functional rifles and perfectly capable of killing game in the hands of an adequate shot. The same could be said about most other economy models, including the Stevens 200, Remington 710, and NEF rifles.
But I suspect that most satisfied T3 customers are not experienced rifle buyers. A person who has never owned a fine rifle is much more likely to be tolerant (or ignorant) of an economy rifle's shortcomings than an experienced shooter and hunter. The relative newcomer simply has inadequate personal experience upon which to formulate an informed opinion.
To make a crude analogy, all acoustic guitars may feel pretty much alike in the hands of a person who doesn't play, but not to a virtuoso. Similarly, I'll bet that most hunters who use economy rifles don't realize that their rifle's cheap plastic stock is too thick through the wrist and forearm. This is something that comes into play every time they pick up their rifle, yet they don't even know that it is deficient! They have never owned a rifle equipped with a well-designed stock, so they have no frame of reference and simply don't understand how much better a good rifle feels in the hands.
Still, I find it hard to understand how Tikka stays in business offering less rifle for more money. The T3's success is a tribute to the ignorance of the modern American sportsman--and the connivance of the sporting press upon which they rely for information.
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