I've just been introduced to deer stalking via a four day course and am now wanting to progress with my DSC level 1 and FAC application etc. During the course we used 2 Tikka T3's in .243 and 6.5mm calibres.
Having not fired a rifle in quite some years I was most happy when I hit a one inch bull at 100 yards with my first shot. I was also happy with the other shots I took from different positions and at different ranges etc. The guns light weight was appreciated and I am happy to say the .243 took both a roe doe and a red hind no problem at all. Both animals ran no more than 3 yards, before dropping. The red only about 1 yard.
The stalker who provided the training course advised me that the T3 was an ideal package. And from my very limited experience I had no doubt to think otherwise. And to be honest I had all intentions of acquiring a T3 .243. The fact that it's Forestry Commision standard issue, also impressed me.
Then I found this site and read that many people don't rate this weapon at all. Unfortunately, few alternatives seem to have been proposed. So, my question to the board is :-
What .243 rifle would you suggest for a begginer to stalk with if you believe a T3 is rubbish. Having been out in the rain, climbing up and down high seats and "army crawled" along the ground in Scotland (The area I plan to stalk in the future), I believe a beautiful walnut stock would be a poor choice as it will only get scratched and damaged etc. So I'm more than happy with a synthetic stock as I believe this will be more practical, although not as aesthetically pleasing.