Rifle brand. Howa, Tikka, Bergara...

Johnson6471

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Jun 17, 2019
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Yes I agree it is an overly broad question that can't be reliably answered. But hearing opinions does help. Thanks man
 

SoCalHuntr

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These help me decide what to get thread's always make me wonder who helped the person starting them pick out his wife! :) My advice is pretty much always the same, go handle rifle's and find one you like, kind of like picking out a wife but more serious! These days I think it would be hard to pick out a bad rifle so for me it boils down to what do you like! Say someone convince's you to get one brand and there don't exist in your area. What now, buy one sight unseen? I an a huge fan of round action rifles but I do have a mod 70 I like very well. Get a Friday rifle from the best maker and it could have problems. I think most rifle today, if not all, are very reliable. Get one that appeals to you!
I live in San Diego, there aren’t very many options to handle rifles. I drove 2 hours to buy a tikka with never being able to shoot one... sometimes sight unseen is some people’s only option.
 
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Mainer207

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Jan 3, 2019
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I recently purchased a tikka t3x hunter in 30-06. Personally, I find The weight is great and the gun is well balanced. Fits my frame well, but I’m not a very big guy.

The synthetic is nice too, but there’s nothing quite like a wood stock.
 

FLS

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Jan 10, 2019
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Tikka T3x laminated stainless.
A little bit more expensive, but worth it IMO. The plastic stocks leave a lot to be desired and the extra weigh is a good thing with the 300 magnum.

 

Gila

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I have a t3 from 15 years ago (without the x). It's no secret that the tikka is one of the most accurate out of the box, factory rifles ever made. The mauser type action is very fast, smooth. My rifle came with an adjustable trigger. I have mine set to 2.5 lb and it is crisp breaking. Synthetic stock with Swedish SS, what can ya say?

If you still need to mount a scope:

And you are going to use the t3 standard base (which is a dovetail rail machined into the receiver) I recommend the Burris rings made for the tikka. The front ring fits the recoil notch. Sako makes the Opti-lock rings which are the standard hexagon mil type rings but they are heavy and seem outta place on a hunting rifle to me. The Burris rings are very clean looking and make mounting the scope easy. You probably won't have to hone out the Burris rings because they are smoothe and true. They also come with friction paper. As far as ring size goes, just for a point of reference, I have a 30mm tube with a 50mm Objective. The medium height rings gave me enough clearance to run a cleaning cloth under the bell with the lens cap on. I also highly recommend the Wheeler scope mounting kit with levels and torque wrench. That is if you are inclined to mount your own scope. Every scope I had mounted at the gunstore came back with the wrong eye relief. It is not a good thing to loosen the rings once torqued down.

EDIT: Oh...you did not get one yet. Some nice rifles out there in different brands. Guess you know a bit more about the Tikka now.
 
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bobbydean

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Gila, your name if familiar. Did have a hunting site a few years back pretty local to New Mexico. If you are that Gila and shot a book Blacktail in the Northwest a few years back, Welcome. If you are not that Gila, Welcome.
 

Gila

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Thank you, alas, I am not that person. The wife and I sold our ranch in South Dakota to retire down here near the Gila about two years ago. My job now is to take care of a few horses, fly-fish and hunt. The mountains in the avatar pic are actually in the Cibola National Forest. Thank you for the welcome!
 
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bobbydean

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Gila, Thanks for making New Mexico your home. Has a lot to offer. Looking forward to your first Gila elk. Try Spirit lake in the Pecos. I made the connection because the old Gila did have an amazing knowledge of firearms.+
 
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recurveman

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Jun 27, 2018
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Gilbert, Arizona
I've been a remington 700 guy for a very long time. They have made a great gun for years. Just bought a Tikka superlite in .308 about 10 weeks ago because I needed a lighter rifle and the Kimber subalpine is a complete POS. I am super impressed with the gun. I have loaded the gun really hot for a .308 and the recoil is very nice. Put a trigger spring in the gun and put the trigger at 1.5# like my other custom rifles and it feels great!!!!!! I think you would be super happy with the Tikka. I was super surprised at how good the Tikka was and how bad the Kimber is. I'm sure that there are a bunch of other factory guns that are also great but the Tikka has impressed me.
 

WalkingBird

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Aug 28, 2017
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Tempe, Arizona
You're not going to go wrong with any of those options. I've never owned a Tikka, but have shot a lot of them that belong to buddies and I've never seen one that wouldn't shoot lights out from day 1. I've got the Howa's brother, the Weatherby Vanguard S2 and they also shoot awesome. Bergara has had a reputation for making phenomenal barrels, and their rifles are quickly garnering a similar reputation but I have zero experience with them past the gun counter at the local Sportsmans.

What I'm trying to say is just throw a dart and the one it lands on, go for it, you're not gonna lose
 

iiiNelson

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Oct 25, 2017
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I love my tikkas but not fan of the factory stock (feels oddly small to me) - all are in B&C stocks now. YMMV. Also have howa 1500 in HS precision stock and love it. But I have a hankering to try a Bergara highlander too. Lots of great options. Pick the one that best fits your frame and your budget.
Pretty sure a Bergara Highlander in 280 AI or 7RM will be my next rifle.
 
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I have a Tikka t3x superlite in .308 and love it. Would highly recommend that gun, really doubt you would be disappointed.

A word on the Browning X-bolt long range. I had purchased that gun new in .308 some time back and had high expectations for it. Took it to the range and it would jam up with Nosler 165gr. Accubonds. Was impossible to pull back the bolt after a shot and I needed a rubber mallet to nock the bolt back and eject the casing. I contacted the store I bought it from and they shipped it back to Browning for servicing. Got the gun back and the problem was not resolved. It simply didn't take Nosler 165's, so I switched to 150's and it cycled them just fine and I sighted in the gun and it was a tack driver out to 300. Took it again to the range a couple of weeks later and on the first shot with a 150gr. the gun jammed up again. Tried to nock back the bolt and it did pull back eventually, but the casing remained lodged in the chamber. Called the store again and told them that there would be no way I would ever take that gun on a hunt. They agreed that it was a lemon and took it back no problem. I thought about trying another, but really don't want to go through that hassle again. It's a real pity too, because the gun can shoot, maybe even better than any other gun I've owned. That said, it also needs to cycle rounds flawlessly and at least mine, absolutely didn't.
 

Vanishe187

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I have shot several howas and i own 1 my father owns several and all my uncles and cousins own at least 1 howa each. They are just darn good and reliable guns. I have the axiom in 308 and i love the thing. Super accurate and i really like the recoil buffering system. Makes it easy to shoot all day and my nephew who is 10 can shoot 162 grains without fear of the recoil. My dad has a tikka in 22-250. Its a damn good shooting gun cant say anything bad about it except price point. However my next rifle will most likely be another howa i have a great track record with the guns all shooting well and being reliable. I think any platform or brand will be good and winds up coming down to cosmetics and feel. If the gun is sub moa but you cant get comfortable shooting it, the sub moa is pointless. My advice is go out try some brands your interested in and see which you like, and what fits you.
 

iiiNelson

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Oct 25, 2017
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If they are ever in stock. :(
I’m sure they will be in time. I assume there’s a production order based on getting our products based on popularity to move. Smaller market for a $1600+ rifle than say the $600-850 ones.
 

SoCalHuntr

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Jun 18, 2019
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Not sure I will get another bolt action other than tikka. Unless I get something I don’t plan on hunting with... which is doubtful. Everything is what you could want from a tikka, light accurate smooth operation, light crisp trigger. And you really don’t need to do anything else to it. I stress the need part haha. Could always modify rifles. But for hunting it’s perfect imo
 
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