Earlier in the week I reserved a Tikka T3 Light in .243 just waiting for the variation to come through. I tried in the shop alongside the Sako A7 and at the time, preferred the feel (and price) of the T3. Going into collect yesterday, I just thought I'd try the two alongside each other again and was glad I did. No doubt the T3 is a very fine rifle, but for me it felt like the Sako had the edge, with the added benefit of the ability to load the magazine through the open bolt. Already owing a Sako Quad in .17 HMR, it was also nice to be able to stick with the same maker.
Just back from zeroing today and I am indeed very relieved I didn’t opt for the T3. The A7 handles like a dream and the ability to load through the open bolt is so much easier than having to remove the mag each time. I fired 55 rounds and by the end she had consistently settled to ¾ inch at 100 with 90g Sako Gamehead Soft Point’s. I also tried the Hornady 95g Custom SST and apart from a slightly different MOA, I couldn’t split them, both as good as the other. Whilst the “boom” of the larger calibre is clearly a lot louder than the HMR’s “crack”, it doesn’t appear to have affected my hearing/tinnitus quite the same, so great news all round.
Next week (or possibly evenings this week) I’ll be looking to plot the MOA at 50m, 75m, 150m, 200m, 250m and 300m and after that, move onto sticks in advance of my first stalk for 18th October. Although I have deferred DSC1 until February, my mentor has kindly lent me his manual which I'm steadily working through. My mentor has also very kindly offered to come and show me how to properly prepare the carcass, should the stalk be successful (I'm hoping to serve a joint of venison from my first stalk for my 40th birthday family meal on the Sunday).
Sincere thanks to SD for all the help and advice getting me this far.