Tikka T3 Problems - Please Help

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Scol_NZ, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Scol_NZ

    Scol_NZ Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Two of my friends recently purchased Tikka T3's in .223. One is a Tactical, the other a Varmint model. Both have 1:8 twist barrels and synthetic stocks. Despite trying numerous projectile/powder combinations we can't get either rifle to group under 1.5-2.0 moa. Tried an Optimum Weight Charge test with Speer 62gr FMJ-BTs and H4895 going up in .3 grain increments from 22.9gr to 25.3gr. Not one three shot group from either rifle was under 1.3 moa.

    We've all read numerous reports that these things are meant to be real tack drivers but based on what I've seen so far I could not recommend either of these rifles to anyone. The barrels are clearly designed for longer projectiles (hence the 1:8 twist) but the magazines are blocked off too short to allow these projectiles to be seated out far enough.

    Ive suggested to my friends that we investigate bedding the actions but I can't seem to find much information on-line about how to bed a T3. I'm aware they have a funny setup where the recoil lug is part of the stock and fits into a recessed slot in the bottom of the receiver. Some have suggested welding a remington style recoil lug on but we hope to find an easier solution.

    So much for the Tikka "under 1 moa guarantee". For comparison, my Savage 112BVSS in 7mm rem mag has never grouped over an inch and usually groups .5 - .7 moa. Never needed any bedding.

    Can anyone help with a description or photos of how to bed a Tikka T3 action and modify the magazines to allow longer C.O.L? Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    I guess the first thing I would try is different bullets. Not all rifles do well with the same bullets. As for the magazine length... most factory rifles are made with a fair amount of freebore in them as a safety mechanism I believe. before you weld them I would take it back and have it sent in. The Tikka comes with a guarantee of 3 shot one inch group at 100 yards.
     

  3. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Try getting in touch with the guy who writes the Varmint hunting articles for NZHunter magazine, I am pretty sure that he is using a tactical T3 in .223.
    Just a thought.

    Stu.
     
  4. Scol_NZ

    Scol_NZ Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Thanks guys. We have tried quite a few handload and factory load combinations from 50gr to 62gr projectiles. No decent groups with either rifle. We are about to write to Tikka regarding replacing the rifles. Problem is both rifles have had custom suppressors made for them to the tune od $500 each so both owners are fairly committed to staying with each particular model rather than getting refunds. I told them that they could get the rifles replaced and still have the need to bed the new ones so it would be worth looking into how to bed the T3. That's when I discovered there is not a lot of info on the net about how tobed a T3.

    Surely someone must have bedded a T3 and made a tack-driver out of a dog.....

    Cheers,

    Colin
     
  5. Topshot

    Topshot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    "Problem is both rifles have had custom suppressors made for them"

    Did you shoot them prior to fitting the suppressors? How do they shoot with and without the suppressor?

    The crown of the rifle was not altered when the suppressor was fitted?

    I would take off the suppressor and have the barrel crown re-cut. I would then shoot the rifles without the suppressors and see how they go.


    It seems too big a coincidence that they both shoot poorly and have both been fitted with custom suppressors!!!!
     
  6. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007

    +1 on that!
    good point. Admittedly I'm a big Sako fan, but you have to admit that it is not very common to hear of Tikka's or Sako's that shoot terribly.
     
  7. Scol_NZ

    Scol_NZ Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    The Tactical came already threaded for a suppressor and the gunsmith who threaded the Varmint has done hundreds of these (the use of suppressors is legal in New Zealand so they are common). There seems to be no difference in group size whether the suppressors are fitted or not.
     
  8. 300WSMMAD

    300WSMMAD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Pm sent.

    regards 300WSMMAD
     
  9. countryrebel

    countryrebel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Call the factory and send them back. They may or may not touch the varmint being threaded by a gunsmith.
     
  10. Scol_NZ

    Scol_NZ Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    More testing yesterday with twelve different loads. The rifle still won't group. So far the Tactical has worn a top of the line Leupold, a Falcon Menace 4-14x44 FFP, and finally a Nightforce 8-32x56 NXS. No change in group sizes. I think it might be time to send it back and test that Tikka 1 moa guarantee....


    Thanks for your help guys, especially 300WSMMAD for sending over some trial projectiles and offering great advice.
     
  11. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    I am having the same problem with my Sako Finnlight. It is going back to the factory for the second time. If you tell them about shooting handloads out of it, chances are they will void the warrantee. And if you have modified your barrel for the suppressors, chances are you are toast for the warrantee. Any mods at all to the rifle, bedding, etc., and shooting handloads will null your warrantee. What I have learned from my experience in buying a factory rifle with an accuracy guarantee is to get a box of factory ammo and shoot it.

    If the factory doesn't honor the warrantee, you can always do the standard bedding and re-crown job. One other thing is the rings. Tikka rings are crap. You might try replacing the rings and bases. Ihave read a few reports where that has fixed the accuracy problems, but usually in the more powerfull cartridges.

    Last, my Finnlight also has a lot of freebore. Bullets seated to fit the mag will not come close to the lands. To seat the bullets close to the lands means shooting single shot.

    Hope it works ourt for your mates,

    -MR
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  12. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,902
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Your's are the first I've heard of that just won't shoot. Both of my 7mm Rem Mag Tikka T3s are shooters. Never heard of anyone pressing the Tikka warranty before so I'll be interested in how it turns out. I agree the Tikka factory aluminum rings are bogus. I replace both sets of mine, as both sets were deforming under recoil.

    Hope you get some satisfaction from Tikka. If nothing else, sell them on the used market. There are a lot of hunters that never shoot past 200 yds and they'd be completely content as long as the rifle fires a bullet when the trigger is pulled. Then either give up on the Tikka or try another one. Odds are against getting two in a row that won't shoot. Use a different supplier the next time, just in case he's jinxed.

    Good luck to your and your buds.
     
  13. Topshot

    Topshot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008

    Those Tikka mounts that are no good.........Are they the Sako Opti-lock mounts or some other type of mount?
     
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    They are quite different than the Optilocks. They are the cheapest looking rings I have ever laid my eyes on. But with a .223, I wouldn't think they are the problem?

    I've read mixed reviews on the Optilocks, but they seem to be OK. I believe they are keeping my NSX in place very well with the recoil of the 300 WSM.