I had the opportunity to compare the brand new Tikka T3x TAC A1 with the Ruger Precision Rifle (Gen 1). The Tikka is so new it’s hardly on the market yet.

First official deliveries to mortals like you and me are – to my knowledge – end of May.

Both rifles were chambered in .308 Winchester and we were shooting precision at 300 meters.

The rifles are very similar, I guess it’s up to personal preferences which one you would like most (or dislike for that matter).

The Ruger has some minor modifications, Magpul K2+ grip and a B&T Accu-pod. The scope is a Schmidt & Bender 3-12x in a Spuhr QD mount.

The suppressor is an Ase Utra SL7i with QD, from Finland, a very nice choice and highly recommended. Shooting with a suppressor is my preference, much smoother recoil.

The Tikka had a Steiner Military 5-25x on top.

Performance wise the rifles behaved very similar, with very nice 3 and 5 shot groups once the ammunition matched and married.

Below: The Ruger Precision Rifle with the new Spuhr QD mount (Quick-Detatch).

The wrong side of the The Tikka T3x TAC A1. You’re looking through the barrel and you can see the bolt.

The Ruger is now well set and established on the market, but the Tikka T3s have a very good reputation as well.

It will be interesting to see how well Tikka’s answer will be received in the market,Β  and especially what kind of volumes they can sell in the American market.

If you want to read (and see) a recent and funny review of the Tikka T3x TAC A1 check GunsAmerica.

Normally, I am a buy American kind of guy. I drive a Ford truck, I drink Coors, and go out of my way to buy work boots made in the USA. Sometimes, however, we want something a little bit exotic. Maybe not Thai ladyboy exotic, but exotic like English shotguns or high-end Scotch. A Finnish rifle is like that for me.

Which rifle, and caliber, in the similar price region would be your choice?

Personally, I couldn’t decide so I got a Ruger Precision Rifle in .308 Win and have a Tikka T3x TAC A1 in 6,5 Creedmoore on order. Now I need to get some suitable optics for them.

All photos by undersigned.





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  • An RPR with an S&B and a Spuhr mount? Someone needs to re-check their priorities!

    • micmac80

      Optics are still the weak link in any precision package , crap rifle with investment into a new barrel will shoot well above shooters capabilty.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        And such a setup would be deserving of an S&B + Spuhr mount. If the strongest [art of your system is the optics, you are way better off than the optic being the weakest part of your system.

    • CS

      I think who ever wrote this is coming out of Europe, where optics always take a higher priority over the rifle.

      • Gary Kirk

        I’m here, and they should..

      • iksnilol

        As they should.

    • Gary Kirk

      AND.. WHY???

      Oh, wait.. Because we can’t spend more on optics than the rifle.. The RPR is a great (not greatest) rifle, that is as deserving of decent optics as any other.. And could most likely out shoot most people that complain about it (same exact rifle) in a decent shooter’s hands..

      They catch a lot of crap because they don’t require a refinancing of the owner’s home, but are damned fine rifles for the cost. Yes, there are better, but not by a measurable difference to most..

      And I don’t even have one, but I still respect them for what they are..

      • DennisBechtel

        spend the money on a great leupold mark 4 ,and even sig is making some decent glass now ,everybody gets their lenses made and polished in japan except for u.s firearms scopes .

    • Nicks87

      A common saying is ” a man should spend at least as much on his optics as he does on his rifle.” More if you can afford it.

      • FarmerB

        Where does it say a man should spend more on his mount than his Rifle? πŸ™‚

        • iksnilol

          It’s a good mount, alright?

          • FarmerB

            Yes, I have a few, but I don’t put them on Rugers πŸ™‚
            Yes, I have a Ruger.

          • Tassiebush

            I recall you were contemplating spurning a browning BLR for a straight pull. Did you get one and if so how did they compare?

          • FarmerB

            Yeah, well as I said before “Browning sits there and looks at me in the safe, and I am seriously wanting to sell it”, and have not yet done so (hate to sell anything).

            I have a Blaser R93 (UIT CISM) straight pull in 7.5×55 and I have to say it’s awesome. Much better and quicker than my BLR. The magazine system isn’t 100% fool proof but it’s 10 rounds v 4 for BLR (I think you can get box mags for BLR now).

            The R93 might be more expensive (I bought it used), but it can rack out very quick and accurate fire. I’d say it’s faster than my Remington, probably just because of the camming on the up-stroke on the bolt.
            Best of all – it shoots 2cm at 100m with GP-11 ball (e,g, last visit to range, I shot two x five shot groups and both were <= 2cm).

            I now have proper Blaser mounts on it (got rid of rails) with the Steiner military scope and it's awesome out to about 1000m, even with GP-11.

            If I ever had to take a rifle to Oz instead of a long-distance semi-auto, this would be it (although 308W or 6.5×55 might be better suited calibre).

            I love it.

          • Tassiebush

            Oh that’s that precision rifle version of I recall correctly!? Very cool!

          • Tassiebush

            I’d imagine that second hand blasers are reasonably common in Europe? It’d be great if that’s the case. I would really like to get one someday. Probably have to get a new one R8 in the base model that doesn’t have the detachable mag. But will look on the second hand market. Merkel helix also really appeals. Those groups are wonderful!

          • FarmerB

            Yeah, but a lot of them are setup for hunting rifles (same with Helix). Main driver was I wanted something in 7.5 and a bit more precision; ideally with a 10 shot mag. I think extra mags are unobtanium or horrendously expensive (not sure why, they are almost completely square boxes). Also, it’s quite straightforward to convert to another calibre if the Swiss army stops issuing 7.5×55.

            There have been promises for years that Blaser would do a run of 7.5 barrels for their Tac-2 rifles (the Oz army uses them). (The TAC2 has a larger diameter receiver, for 338 LM I believe, and isn’t compatible with the rest of the R93 family).

      • DennisBechtel

        nick 87 tells it like it really is ,you might as well get best optics that you can afford ,have moved sev.mark4 leupolds between rifles over the years .they hold up nicely ,spend the money on the scope,then buy the rifle.

    • Eric B

      Hey, it’s “only” an 3-12x PMII and there’s always a reason to put a Spuhr on any rifle. In this case it’s a Spuhr with QD so I can have the same scope on my AR-10 as well.

    • Tassiebush

      I reckon the glass is a higher spending priority than the rifle given how so many rifles do sub moa these days.

      • Keiichi

        I agree. The vast majority of buyers will never be well trained and practiced enough to shoot as accurately as their rifle is capable of, and a quality optic is their best means to come close.

        • Tassiebush

          I’m definitely in that category. Scopes really have become very impressive! I think too it’s a measure of how good affordable factory rifles have become. They really are excellent. I love my tikka t3lite and I have a sauer100 on the way. On sauers the trigger is magical and bolt is smooth and assuming I get an average one it’ll shoot better than I can. But all that potential hinges on suitable optics. Good young eyes seem to negate some of that need for optics but It’s pretty cool to be able to see something really clearly through a nice scope with wide field of view.

    • iksnilol

      No, it is you who needs to recheck his priorities.

      Cheap gun + expensive optic = good
      Expensive gun + cheap optic = not so good

      That’s the rule of thumb up here in the North. I am always vexed by people buying a Mosin, then not scoping it (or putting on a crap airsoft scope) and then complain that Mosins shoot so bad that they don’t deserve better optics.

  • it’s just Boris

    OT, there appear to be server access problems with more recent blog posts than this one, “Forbidden” errors when clicking on the Browning 1911-.380 and AP shotgun shell headlines.

    • it’s just Boris

      And rapidly fixed. Thank you.

  • Keiichi

    Neat addition to the line.

    I guess I was a few months ahead of the game on this one… In October 2016 I finished putting together an entry-level precision rifle for (future) competition use, based on a Tikka T3x Lite in .308. I replace the stock with an MDT HS3, LuthAR MBA-3, Ergo grip (potentially to be replaced by the Masterpiece Arms EVG), Harris bipod, and Vortex Viper PST 4-16×50 FFP in a Spuhr mount.

    Love my rifle, and I’d expect the new offering to be a great alternative to a project gun like mine.

  • Anonymous

    No accuracy results? No photos of targets?

    No offense, but reviewing and comparing a pair of precision bolt guns and describing their groupings as “very nice” is about like having a track day between a Ferrari and a Lamborghini and saying both go “very fast”. C’mon now…

    • TC

      Without using an identical scope and mount, the comparison would not be valid anyway.

      • Blake

        Which they easily could have done. Plus no prices listed, no mentions of ergonomics, nothing. Terrible “comparison”.

      • DennisBechtel

        truth steps in ,identical glass ,different rifles same caliber 308 matchking ,that’s how you test comparitivly speaking.

    • Swarf

      Photos Of The Day.

      Not a review. Just some nice pictures. Look at the nice pictures.

    • Eric B

      It’s PHOTO of the Day, not an accuracy test. But both rifles were very accurate and performed in a similar way. Sorry don’t have any more data than that.

      But I took my RPR out to confirmed hits at 800 and 900 meters this weekend. In very windy conditions-

      1 Mil sized targets, so 80×80 and 90×90 cm ish.

      • Saint Stephen the Obvious

        “But both rifles were very accurate and performed in a similar way”

        Translation: Both hit the target and the bolt action on both worked nicely.

        πŸ˜‰

  • Mike s

    Hearing protection act should be voted on soon, no?

    • Blake

      Keep thinking that.

    • Tom

      NO.. They don’t have the votes and never will.

      • Mike N.

        Yup, unless it’s attached to must-pass legislation, like all the pro-gun legislation that was passed during Pres. Obama.

  • John Daniels

    Tikka is Finnish, therefore better.

    /end/

    • iksnilol

      +50 damage against Russians

      by default.

    • Tassiebush

      I generally agree but there are exceptions to Finnish is better. Bomfunk MC being exhibit A.
      https://youtu.be/ymNFyxvIdaM

    • DennisBechtel

      no always the case ,ruger metallurgy is better now than before ,a step ahead in barrel making tells the results ,have a few tikka rifles ,they shoot tight groups at 500 yds ,but the ruger is capable of better precision shooting .

  • mazkact

    “Thai ladyboy exotic”…………………….That would be an SKS in an be dazzled aluminum chassis ?

  • mazkact

    I have always been a fan of Finnish rifles. I own a Finnish Lion .22 target rifle, M 39’s,Tikka and VKT M 91’s and a M 28-76. Wish I had bought a TRG when they where still affordable but saved my coin when a rumor came out that some TAK 85 rifles were being imported. Turned out to be M 28-76 rifles imported so I got one of those,fine rifle. I will own one of these Tikka T 3 Tac A1 rifles. For me as a collector/shooter the TAK 85 is the grail gun of Finnish rifles, maybe one day.

    • iksnilol

      I just want that stock on a Mauser.

  • Saint Stephen the Obvious

    “Performance wise the rifles behaved very similar, with very nice 3 and 5 shot groups once the ammunition matched and married.”

    Seriously? “very nice”. Could you have been any more vague? Of course you probably could.

    “But both rifles were very accurate and performed in a similar way.”

    Yea both shot bullets that eventually hit a target?

    Come on guys… and the excuse its PHOTO of the Day doesn’t fly. A better choice would be to post a PHOTO of the results then post a separate post to a POTD of the rifles (or visa versa). At least you could get some more bait clicks that way.

    Saint Stephen the Obvious

  • Jack_A_Lope

    Which is which? Only through careful analysis can I identify the Ruger (the one in the photo that says Ruger on the side), but from a distance, my untrained eye couldn’t tell which is which. Nice job.

  • Ruger Shooter

    Guess what I would choose?