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Tikka T3x TAC A1 chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor, a review. **New look 28Jul20** Login/Join 
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My experience with 6.5CM Bartlein barrels, using Hornady factory ammo.

#1 -- pulled at 3,236 rounds. It shot quite accurately out to 800-ish yards. In a match with two stages of 10 rounds at 1,000 yard targets, I experienced a few low impacts that couldn't be explained by wind, errors in my technique, or normal MV variations. I pulled the barrel, as I had an ELR match in the following month. My gunsmith stated this barrel was absolutely toast -- the bullet had a jump of at least an inch to the lands. He was surprised it still shot so well.

#2 -- pulled at 2,924 rounds. There were no issues with this barrel, at any distance. However, I pulled the barrel, as I had an ELR match in the following month. I did not want to take the chance of the barrel crapping out in the middle of a match. My gunsmith didn't look all that closely at this barrel's throat, but he said there was a noticeable amount of fire cracking.

Both barrels were used in field-type and PRS-type matches. Some stages got the barrels pretty hot, other stages were less demanding.
 
Posts: 6649 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, fritz; more good information.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:

I believe I mentioned that. Wink

quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
The T3x magazines cannot be used in TRG rifles because of the rubber base plate, but TRG mags work fine in the T3x TAC A1.




Occasionally my reading comprehension just sucks! Thanks for not beating me up too badly about it. LOL

I saw identical magazines somewhere and thought the point might be worth making. I'm still a little tweaked at Sako.

The Tac A1 is a great rifle for sure that's also worth repeating! :-D


Remember, this is all supposed to be for fun...................
 
Posts: 3906 | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A couple of more 5-shot groups from today to finish off a box.
Hornady 147 grain ELD Match, prone with bipod, 100 yards. (The other three groups not shown were with different ammunition.)

I can’t seem to hold all five shots. But even though the “flier” in the top group spoiled what seemed to be possible, that overall group was still less than 0.8 MOA. I continue to be amazed at what modern factory bone stock rifles and ammunition are capable of these days.






“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Found it--Single shot sled for the Tikka at $29


https://mkmachining.com/produc...tr-single-shot-sled/
 
Posts: 1677 | Location: Southeast CT | Registered: January 18, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you. I may have to return my effort to its original use.

I had actually seen that before, but for some reason at that time I was confused about whether it would fit the TAC—and despite the fact that I later stated that the CTR and TAC use the same magazines.
Confused? Who, me? Huh?




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by huskerlrrp:
Great thread! I have been thinking about this T3x TAC, a Sako TRG22, a Christensen MPR and re-barreling a Tikka T3x with KRG chassis in 6.5 Creedmore. I am looking for an under 1/2 MOA rifle and don't want to spend more than $3,000. After owning a couple Steyrs I'm starting to drift away from the Remington 700 action.
From your experience, does your T3x shoot the same accuracy as the Sako TRG? That way you can spend the money on something else?


I have both, the Tikka Shoots as well as well as my TRG-22 and both shoot better than my Christensen MPR. In my mind the Christensen is a different class of rifle, it is LIGHT enough for normal hunting while still being very accurate. I would recommend you Purchase the Tikka T3x TAC and use the money you save to upgrade your optics.

Rebarreling an existing T3X might be a viable option but I do like the two-stage trigger in the TAC A1. If you are a devout single stage user you might lean towards the rebarrel vs the Tac A1 if you are like me and prefer a 2 stage. I thought the KRG stock was a nice option for the Seekins Havak's there were using. I bought one to try as a folding stock option for one of my TRG's and it was NOT acceptable for that and I returned it. Best use a KRG for a full stocking option for another rifle...........


Remember, this is all supposed to be for fun...................
 
Posts: 3906 | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by djpaintles:
quote:
Originally posted by huskerlrrp:
Great thread! I have been thinking about this T3x TAC, a Sako TRG22, a Christensen MPR and re-barreling a Tikka T3x with KRG chassis in 6.5 Creedmore. I am looking for an under 1/2 MOA rifle and don't want to spend more than $3,000. After owning a couple Steyrs I'm starting to drift away from the Remington 700 action.
From your experience, does your T3x shoot the same accuracy as the Sako TRG? That way you can spend the money on something else?


I have both, the Tikka Shoots as well as well as my TRG-22 and both shoot better than my Christensen MPR. In my mind the Christensen is a different class of rifle, it is LIGHT enough for normal hunting while still being very accurate. I would recommend you Purchase the Tikka T3x TAC and use the money you save to upgrade your optics.

Rebarreling an existing T3X might be a viable option but I do like the two-stage trigger in the TAC A1. If you are a devout single stage user you might lean towards the rebarrel vs the Tac A1 if you are like me and prefer a 2 stage. I thought the KRG stock was a nice option for the Seekins Havak's there were using. I bought one to try as a folding stock option for one of my TRG's and it was NOT acceptable for that and I returned it. Best use a KRG for a full stocking option for another rifle...........

There was a great deal on a Sako TRG22 but after I looked at the magazine and bipod prices I've was shell shocked. I've been hunting for a good deal on the TAC A1 and also have recently been considering a stainless CTR and getting another stock for it. It looks like the same barrel and action as the TAC but in stainless. Any of you guys know if the TAC A1 and the CTR share the same trigger?


 
Posts: 1690 | Location: North Cackalacky | Registered: September 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am much happier with the Tikka than I was with the TRG-22. The Sako was a very nice rifle, but just seemed too … something. FWIW, though, B&T Industries (the Atlas bipod people) make a couple of Picatinny rail adapters for the TRG that permit using any compatible bipod. I have gotten TRG magazines from Beretta during their 25-30% off sales, but they are still a shock.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by huskerlrrp:
I've been hunting for a good deal on the TAC A1 and also have recently been considering a stainless CTR and getting another stock for it. It looks like the same barrel and action as the TAC but in stainless. Any of you guys know if the TAC A1 and the CTR share the same trigger?


IIRC the CTR has a Single stage trigger. The TAC A1 has a lighter 2 stage trigger.

Eurooptics was running a good deal on the Tac A1 with a Scope. If you need a scope too check it out. Actually they are a great place to buy one anyway so check them out regardless.......


Remember, this is all supposed to be for fun...................
 
Posts: 3906 | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by SIGfourme:
Found it--Single shot sled for the Tikka at $29


https://mkmachining.com/produc...tr-single-shot-sled/


I decided to try the MKM sled, and as it turns out it suffers from the same problem as just dropping a round onto the top of an empty magazine: It orients the cartridge so that it’s pushed straight in horizontally and bullets with large meplats contact the barrel just below the chamber opening. It works okay with match load bullets that have very sharp points like the Hornady ELDs, but not with a Harbour Arms snap cap, and it might not work with some hunting loads.


Take a video of what's happening. Call MK Machine and offer to send the video. I found small companies like MK appreciate and want that feedback!

FYI. I have countless dry fires on my center fire rifles, never used a snap cap.
 
Posts: 2868 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I decided to try the MKM sled, and as it turns out it suffers from the same problem as just dropping a round onto the top of an empty magazine: It orients the cartridge so that it’s pushed straight in horizontally and bullets with large meplats contact the barrel just below the chamber opening. It works okay with match load bullets that have very sharp points like the Hornady ELDs, but not with a Harbour Arms snap cap, and it might not work with some hunting loads.


Take a video of what's happening. Call MK Machine and offer to send the video. I found small companies like MK appreciate and want that feedback!

FYI. I have countless dry fires on my center fire rifles, never used a snap cap.


Thanks. I did send an email. I have never dealt with videos, so it would be a new thing to learn. Will see what response I get.

I appreciate your comment about snap caps.

(I am, BTW, not sure what happened to the original of my above post. It seemed there was a duplicate, but when I deleted it, both disappeared. Strange.)




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I fired more five-shot groups the last few days, all with Hornady 147 grain ELD Match ammunition from a bench at 100 yards.





The group sizes, center to center:

Upper left - 0.506"
Upper center - 0.624"
Upper right - 0.441"
Lower left - 0.514"

Between the first and second groups I mounted and zeroed a new scope with four shots. Otherwise the groups were all fired in succession, so there are none that were disregarded.

None of this is in the same league as what the good shooters with really fine rifles demonstrate here, but considering the rifle’s price, factory ammunition, and shooter skill (or lack thereof), I can say without hesitation that I have never been more satisfied with a precision rifle.

And thanks to all the members who have contributed to the forum and my skills and knowledge. There are too many to remember each one, but that includes offgrid, fritz, and NikonUser in particular




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Looking good. I have days where I only wish my groups were that tight.

At this point I believe you will achieve a greater understanding of technique by shooting dot drills, as opposed to groups. Special targets are not needed -- just pasters and some kind of backer. Shoot-n-see pasters provide good feedback.
 
Posts: 6649 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I see you're using factory 147 ELD ammo. It's very accurate in my rifle, but I won't replace it once my current case of 200 is gone.

I started with 2 boxes of 147 ELD to check 100-yard accuracy, MV, and preliminary accuracy on steel at distance. Accuracy was great -- at least equal to factory 140 ELD. MV was a little slower than I hoped. I didn't have a ballistics program with me at the range, so I guessed elevations. The 147s held vertical very well and crosswind deflection was noticeably less than with the 140s.

I bought a case of 200 rounds of 147 ELD. Confirmed MV of this lot was within a few fps of my first 2 boxes. Accuracy still great. I printed JBM ballistics tables for multiple Density Altitudes, then went to Raton, NM for a combo weekend match. Saturday was the ELR day and Sunday was the regular sporting match.

Just prior to the ELR stages, shooters can confirm elevation dope on the targets. My 140s were dead on elevation out to 1400 yards with JBM, but I had to add elevation at 1500 yards -- as usual. The 147s did not perform anywhere close to JBM numbers. The first target was a large plate and 1000 yards, and the 147s were well below it. It took two boxes of ammo to get sorta kinda close-ish elevations for the target.

The shooter next to me had a 6.5 PRC. He echoed my frustration with 147's BC -- said it is way overstated in the ballistics programs. He stopped using 147 ELD in his loads, went to 150 SMK, and all was good. He won 1 of 3 strings with his 6.5 PRC.

****
At last week's Wyoming ELR match, I brought different "fast" lots of 140 ELD to the match. I wasn't certain if I had enough rounds for the entire match with any one lot, therefore I wanted to test them all. On practice day we had confirmation plates at 500, 700, 900, 1200, 1400, and 1600 yards. I smacked plates 700 through 1400 like clockwork, using 2 of the 3 lots. The 1600 yard plate required an additional 2 MOA for one lot, and an additional 1.5 MOA from another. After 25-ish rounds, I was good to go.

The guy next to me had a new-ish 6.5 PRC, using Hornady 147 ELD ammo. He commented that I was quick in the dope confirmation process. I told him the wind and elevation gave me fits at 1600, but rest went well. He said that all his shots were landing lower than expected. Said his MV was good, DA was good, and was using Applied Ballistics for elevation dope.

I told him sorry, but the BC in JBM and A-B isn't correct for the 147 ELD. Better figure out real dope before the match.

******
If you don't shoot long distances, then the 147 ELD works just fine. Expect to build your own elevation dope tables. You will likely see a real world dope difference from the ballistics tables at roughly 500 yards. I suspect the real-world 147 BC is about half way between the published BC for 140s and 147s.
 
Posts: 6649 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for that discussion of the 147 grain ELD. Most of my shooting will unfortunately be limited to shorter ranges, but it’s good to know all that.

What really surprised me when I reviewed the velocity measurements I recorded along with zeroing and the groups yesterday was the huge velocity difference between two lots of the Hornady load. The sample sizes were relatively small, 10 and 19 rounds, but each lot was relatively consistent with standard deviations of about 20 fps. The averages, however, were 100 fps apart: ~2620 and ~2520 fps from the same gun. Although the precision for both was more than satisfactory, to see such a velocity difference between lots was discouraging.

Thanks for the reminder about dot drills; they are humbling, and that’s probably why I haven’t thought about them for some time. Wink




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by sigfreund:
What really surprised me when I reviewed the velocity measurements I recorded along with zeroing and the groups yesterday was the huge velocity difference between two lots of the Hornady load. The sample sizes were relatively small, 10 and 19 rounds, but each lot was relatively consistent with standard deviations of about 20 fps. The averages, however, were 100 fps apart: ~2620 and ~2520 fps from the same gun. Although the precision for both was more than satisfactory, to see such a velocity difference between lots was discouraging.

I used to think Hornady's 6.5CM ammo showed consistent MVs among lots. If you recall my ammo testing from last summer, I found this wasn't the case. What further made the MV analysis a challenge was a barrel which increased MV between 300 and 400 rounds.

My two 147 ELD lots produced MVs of 2740 and 2780. My 140 ELD lots are currently grouped into three MV ranges. The important thing is to determine MVs of each lot, then group like-MV lots together -- for when you exhaust the ammo of a given lot in a shooting session, then have to switch to another lot.

FWIW, all my Hornady 6.5CM lots show great accuracy. Most of them show low SDs of MV. All of them impact at the same 100-yard zero.
 
Posts: 6649 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
If you recall my ammo testing from last summer ....


I do. But that sort of thing is something that always happens to the other guy; surely not me. Wink

I have a couple of 200-round boxes of the 147 load and after I discovered the MV variation I mentioned above, I checked lot numbers for the two batches with the faint hope that both would be the same. No such luck, so now I'll have to do some more chronograph testing to know what to expect when the first lot runs out.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Perhaps still of interest to the membership.
 
Posts: 42552 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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sigfreund and all,

I've had better luck with the 140-142 grain ammo in my Tikka, which mirror's yours, than the 147 grain loads. They seem to be more consistent in the long run.

I'll stick with the lighter loads for now...

Wes
 
Posts: 2201 | Location: Salem, OR | Registered: May 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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