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Thread: First rifle help

  1. #1

    First rifle help

    Hi, I am planning to buy my first rifle and after reading all the discussions on calibre have just ended up confused so have decided on a .243, so FAC application in and now need to decide on a gun. I have been shooting an old Tikka and it seems fine to me, so my first thoughts are a Tikka T3 synthetic stainless but after other comments on here I have started looking at the Sako 85 and aesthetically it is more appealing to me but is it really worth the extra money? I can convince the purse holder that I need to spend more money but will I be able to convince myself? From what I read on here I will not be disappointed by the T3 and am a bit loath to spend more money than is necessary on my first gun, but also do not want to end up selling for something "better" after a short period. I shot a cheap Rizzini shotgun for 20 years and last year changed to a Beretta, it hasn't improved my shooting but does look a lot nicer! will the same be true of rifles?

    Also, I guess that stock length is as important on a rifle as a shotgun, should I be looking for a similar length as my shotgun?


  2. #2
    ive got a tikka t3 lite, in .223. Lovely little foxing gun for carrying around padocks. Very happy with it, but i prefer the safety on the sako, you can keep it on safe when you pull the bolt back. The tikka safety is very easy to slide on and off and consequently im always checking its on, or only chamber when ive seen a fox. Just one detail ive noted for what its worth!

  3. #3
    Have you considered second hand? I got a nice 'pre-owned' Sako 85 for about the price of a Tikka. Only fired a T3 on one occasion but didn't like the trigger. That's probably just me; not asking for lots of shouting from T3 owners.
    Better barbarity than boredom

  4. #4
    Suffered the same dilemma - have handled both now and went for a sako 85 as it felt better and stock felt less flimsy. If money's a factor though have you seen the new sako A7?

    I handled an A7 and a tikka t3 together and preferred the A7.

  5. #5
    no rifle is "worth" the extra money unless YOU think it is.

    a 50 battered work horse from the 70's will often shoot just as well as a shiney stainless laminate model still in its wrapper.

    cant get away from build quality, IMO that is where the money lies.
    Sako, Sauer etc all feel very well made, and very well finished, heirloom material
    the lower end of the market might do the job but wont feel as nice.

    more importantly get one that fits.
    Length of pull is by far the most important measurement and can mean the difference between you enjoying a rifle and shooting it well and developing a flinch and hating it!

  6. #6
    As your confused/not sure which rifle to get my advice is as always try as many as possible to find one that fits, feels right and you are happy with then buy it.

    I don't know if other clubs do so but one I used to belong too have regular newcomers days on the range where it was possible to do such things. Try different rifles and try different types of targets and shooting.

    As it's your first rifle buying used is probably a very good idea. Spend a lot less and get used to shooting it and refining your feel and ideas then you will be better armed with knowledge to choose a new rifle if that's your wish.

    What ever you do have fun with it.

  7. #7
    hi i have a tikka L/H in 243 this is a good all round gun fox and deer with sub inch at 100 yard .i use 80 grain spbt.go tikka

  8. #8
    I have a T3 but bought a Sako 85 for the next gun. The Tikka is good, the Sako feels so much better.

    I do prefer the T3 to the cheap Sako that I forget the number of - that did feel cheap.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  9. #9
    ive got CZ's, Marlins, Rugers and parker hale. got to say I do like the CZ's feel good in your hand and on the plus side dont cost the earth!

  10. #10
    They are both excellent rifles. Looking at Macleods website, they have the T3 s/s for 845 and the Sako s/s for 1710. They will both shoot under 1", probably nearer half that, so the main difference is the aesthetics. I own both, and actually prefer the T3 as it's a bit lighter to carry.

    If I were starting off on a budget, I'd go for the T3 every time. You'll be needing plenty of other kit and the rifle is only part of it. Scope, mounts, moderator, sling, binoculars - it all mounts up. No point in dropping an extra 850 on the rifle when that sort of amount could get you a decent scope/set of binos.

    As ever, it all comes down to your personal value judgements. You won't be disappointed with either rifle. The T3 may be less expensive but it's every bit as accurate and workmanlike.

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