First elk hunt. Leaning toward Tikka

TxHeartShot

Active Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
25
Location
Houston TX
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
I would get a new rifle, because you deserve it!
I would get a new outfitter, because you deserve it.
Every outfitter I've ever hunted with told me to bring the rifle I'm most comfortable shooting in a sufficient caliber for the game we're chasing. There's nothing in N. America I wouldn't hunt with a 30-06 (although there is one critter which gives me pause). I might have to get one...
 

Caveman0101

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Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
173
Location
Colorado
I’m going to Colorado this fall. Checking and researching, I am taking my 30-06 with a Barnes 168 grain TTSX. There are all sorts of comments out there, non mag, mag. For me, I’m going with 30-06. It will do the job as long as the shooter does his/her job.
I believe the TTSX needs 2200fps to work as designed, that will limit you to about 400 yards in an '06. Choose a different bullet or rifle unless 400 yards is your limit.
 

Shortmag11

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Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
151
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
I have a Tikka T3X Super Lite in 7mm RM. mine shoots Barnes 145gr LRX over RL26 into 1 hole at 100yds. That is more than adequate for elk at 400yds. Haven’t found that kind of accuracy with the 160 AB’s yet but still working on it. Good luck
 

nksmfamjp

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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
671
I was born in Montana and hunted elk there several years.

IME, Elk can be shot from 3yds to a mile. I think the real issue is often elk are seen a ways off and people hate to lose an opportunity by sneaking up within a normal shooting distance. So then guides suggest 300 WM for 3,4,5,700 yd shots. Well, most people can’t shoot 700 yds reliably with a 6lb 300WM.

So, IMO, a person needs to go into this situation with a capable rifle/optic that they can hit with.

I’m currently working up a 300 Sherman (30’06 on steroids!) Model 70 at about 9.5lbs for this. I like the weight for shooting stability and recoil mitigation.

If your guide says 6lb 300 mag counter with....Do your job dude! Drive me up to the elk and point me out a good one at 50 yards!

Remember, getting on the elk is not all your work. If he gets frisky, ask him what the wind hold is on a 180gr Accubond in a 40 mph crosswind gusting and swirling down the mountain! It’s Montana, he ought to be able to call that out to you!
 

adiredneck

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Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
40
Location
Upstate NY- Adirondacks
Not that is applies in this case, but I’ll never understand the “go buy a big magnum” speech from outfitters. If this is a person who has any business taking 500 yard shots at game, they probably already have a big magnum if they think they need it (or if they just want it, which is also valid). More often than not, they are taking a person who may be capable of making reliable shots at 2-300 (hopefully) with their 30-06/270/7-08 etc And convincing them to buy a lightweight mountain rifle in a big heavy hitter. Now that same person has a new flinch, or just a rifle they don’t shoot very well, and now have an effective accurate range of 150 yards, but think they are ready for 500. Any outfitter making recommendations based on “possible 5-600 yard shots“ better be watching that hunter ring some vitals sized steel at those ranges from field positions.
My savage Lwh 30-06 tips the scales at 6 pounds, 11 ounces with a Leupold VX-3 3-9x40 scope and weaver steel rings. I can’t imagine a huge difference with a 7mm mag as far as recoil.

Perhaps I have this whole thing backwards. I should probably get an upgraded optic first for my 116 and do some experimenting this year. If I find that it doesn’t fit the bill, I can upgrade the rifle and transfer the scope over the winter. That’ll give me all spring and summer next year to get it dialed in. I have 20+ months to get this figured out.
 

Mc Fraser

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Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
292
Location
Calgary, AB
I would go with a 300win mag, I believe Tikka has 1:10 twist which will be enough for 180gr bullets. Later on if you want you can rebarrel it to a faster twist rate 300wm 7mm rm, etc.
 

montana west

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Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
300
Location
stryker montana
a tikka in a syn stock in 7mm mag will have no more recoil that you 30/06. remember a hunting rifle should not be a shiny collectors gun , but a work horse , as a fact the weatherby plain jane syn blue bbl is as good as you can get.. in a 7mm mag with a good scope the best is the leapole 6 x 42 for open country like east of the divide in our state and a 3x9 on low power west of the divide . there is no more Tikka it is now a Beretta, who now owns the T and of course it is the same rifle and they are very good rifles.. My neghbor kill an elk every year here in the NW part of the state with his 30/06, but we have thick woods up here.. good luck and welcome to M to hunt.
 

sceeder

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Joined
Mar 15, 2012
Messages
322
Location
Nebraska
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
I've killed 4 Elk with my Weatherby Vanguard and it's a 30/06. I used Nosler partition in a 200gr bullet and the farthest shot was just over 400 yards. All were in Montana. Just remember when you aim up hill or down hill aim low. My first Elk hunt I didn't know that and missed a big beautiful bull by shooting over it's back. Good luck.
 

lisasman

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
14
One of the great things about Tikka is that the tolerances are so exacting that many barrel manufacturers are selling shouldered prefit barrels with out having to send your action in for fitting. Of course you will always have to check head space before using. With that said there are many factory new take off barrels on Ebay in 7mm, 300WM, 270WSM and 300WSM for sale at around $150 and should fit your possibly new magnum faced Tikka as well, repeat you will always want to check head space. Buy your 7mm and then you can add other chamberings very cheaply. Limbsaver AirTech recoil pads are always a must and work wonderfully. Do you need it for the hunt probably not but it's not always about what you need. Best of luck and enjoy.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
7
Location
74008
I can appreciate your dilemma. A few years ago we went on my first elk hunt in northern New Mexico. My son came with me to help pack out, and he carried a back-up rifle for me.

My rifle of choice was a Win Model 70 Super Grade in 264 Win Mag that I had purchased almost 50 years ago. I knew it like the back of my hand. Had killed a lot of deer with it, DRT. The back-up rifle was a Weatherby 300 Mag. We shoot both rifles on a 600 yard range. And both are equally accurate.

The first day of the hunt the guide got us on a herd of almost 200 elk! We ranged them at 485 to about 600 yards. As I was setting up the guide asked me what I was shooting. (He should have asked that earlier.) When I told him that I was going to use the 264 WM he suggested that I use the 300 Wby for the shot. I disagreed and we had a short discussion about a caliber he was not familiar with at the time. He then said we'd go back down the hill and catch the herd at a choke point so that I'd have a shorter shot.

Of course, the herd turned as we were hiking to that point he had in mind. There were no shots at elk that day, or the next. I should have just used the 300 Wby that day. But I was stubborn, as was he.

That night, back at the ranch house he asked to look at my rifle and commented on the pristine condition. He then asked to see the cartridge. As he was holding it he commented that it was as large as his 300 Win Mag! I told him that yes, it's the same brass, necked down a little. He then regretted not letting me take that shot. And I regretted not using the 300 Wby for the easy shot.

The point is that your outfitter has history that causes him to make the recommendation to use another caliber. You have history of shooting your rifle. Talk to him again. Explain your confidence in the gun you own and shoot today. Ask him to explain why he thinks your rifle would not be enough at ranges of 400 or less. The two of you just might come to an understanding.

Then go buy a Tikka and get it worked up for a hunt. Take both rifles with you. Decide at the moment which one is better for the task that day. And good luck on your hunt.
 

Buano

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Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
904
You don't state your level of physical fitness, or your hunting background, so I will qualify my thoughts and be more long-winded than I might otherwise be.

If carrying a standard weight rifle will be burdensome to you, you may want to go to a lighter rifle, but when shooting magnum rounds a light-weight rifle can be punishing — at least in practice. (You will never feel the recoil when shooting an elk.) I also find a standard-weight rifle easier to shoot well when I'm winded and a light-weight rifle would be bouncing with every heartbeat.

There are people who take elk with .243s, so yes, a smaller round CAN kill an elk under the right circumstances with a perfect shot. Elk are BIG animals, especially a bull that has his muscles pumped up from the rut. I've seen a premium bullet from a 7-mag not penetrate the ribcage on a close-range shoulder shot. I've seen elk not even flinch on being shot. Putting these observations together, I am certain that many "misses" elk hunting were not misses, just kill-shots that will take 3 days to be effective.

An outfitted elk hunt is a BIG deal to me, something I don't get to do often. I don't want to be on the hunt of a lifetime, have a shot that would be "reasonable" with the right rifle, and not have a rifle capable of that shot. For that reason I'll never again hunt elk with less than a .300 mag. I took my last 2 elk with a .338/.378 Weatherby Accumark as both were at a full run through the timber. I knew I didn't have a perfect shot on either, but I knew the magnum would put them down. Both tumbled to the ground instantly when I pulled the trigger. Both times the guide was as impressed as I was with the rifle's performance.

Guides tend to over-estimate shooting range before a western hunt to convince their potential clients to be prepared for the possibility of a longer-range shot. I've been told by the guides that they do this because otherwise they get hunters that have never shot over 100 yards and freeze up on great shots at ranges well within their rifle's capabilities. In reality most elk are shot between 30 and 200 yards — well within the range of a .30-06. (I shot my biggest bull during the peak of the rut at all of 9 yards.)

Most elk guides I've talked with and worked with tell people to bring AT LEAST a .270 Win., and that being comfortable with your rifle is more important than the size of the cartridge. I agree with that, although I would add that the hunter also needs to know HIS effective range with the rifle he is carrying. If you are comfortable with your .30-06 and are comfortable knowing there may be shots you should not take with that rifle, it is an excellent choice. If you want to maximize your chances of bring home an elk, you may want a more powerful cartridge.

Whatever cartridge you settle on, be sure to use a bullet that will penetrate to the vitals from any angle you may be shooting from! With elk, PENETRATION, is the most important measure of a bullet's effectiveness.

You don't mention your optics. A quality scope on your rifle and high-quality binoculars should be a given for a guided elk hunt. I bought a new pair of Leupold binoculars before my first elk hunt — and returned them to the store as soon as I got back. They were not good enough for me to judge animals at a distance. I now own Swarovski binoculars.

One thing guides don't tell hunters — in most areas only a third of hunters will get a shot at a bull elk. The most important thing you can do to increase your odds is to RUN now. Cardiovascular stamina often separates hunters who don't have a chance from those that do.

I hope you have a great hunt and come back with memories for a lifetime!
 

DartonJager

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Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
516
I will say this I own two Tikka T3's Lites now and both have no B.S. whatsoever lived up to Tikka's OOTB accuracy reputation.
Two of my friends (father and son) witnessed me shoot my 300wsm T3 and were so impressed with the accuracy they went out and both bought T3's in 300wm and both are beyond satisfied with them.

Right now for under $700-$900 the Tikka T3 IMHO can not be beat, possibly equaled? Yes but only by a few but not beaten. If you watch the internet sales a 30/06 can be had for considerably less than $700 making it again IMHO a super bargain.
I researched rifles for MONTHS prior to buying my Tikka's and the reviews were (HUNDREDS of them) 95-98% VG to excellent. You can not go wrong with a Tikka, you just can not.
 

Deltarome21

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Marco Island, FL
There are going to be times when you want to shoot 500 yards and not worry about wounding the animal if not broadside to you. Wind affects lighter and slower shots. If planning on having a long range rifle for all lower 48 big game, get a 300 WM or 300 PRC. I have had a Rem 700 mountain 300 RUM for 20 years and now going to a lighter Fierce Rival 300 PRC for shots up to 800 yards in NW colorado. Practice to gain muscle memory and get a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. Buy a scope that costs at least as much as your rifle and consider its weight too. I have a Leupold VX6HD on my 700 and going with lighter VX5 on Fierce. Stay Safe
 

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