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Thread: What to look for when buying a second hand rifle?

  1. #1

    What to look for when buying a second hand rifle?

    I need some assistance pls.
    Im going to look at a second hand tikka t3 light with a stainless barrel and just want a few tips, at what to look for. Obviously marks r the first thing . But what else?

  2. #2
    I am not at all an expert, but have now done it quite successfully three times.

    First, get a sense of what the rifle was used for and by who. Avoid heavily used rifles used by professionals - these will have seen a necessarily hard life, and a lot of rounds in poor conditions. Ideally you want one used by a recreational stalker who's been a bit precious about keeping it clean and dry, and where it's probably only seen a box or two of ammo a year. Unfortunately for you, T3 Lites are work horse guns, used by the former type of stalker.

    Then I have a check list:

    Check barrel for obvious rust or pits.
    Check crown for dings or uneven wear.
    Check bolt face for wear or corrosion.
    Check bolt for signs of binding.
    Cycle bolt and fire action. Does it cycle smoothely, without grinding or binding.
    Does the trigger have any creep in it.
    Try to fire it with safety on.
    Thump the butt gently on the floor with safety on and see if it fires.
    Try firing with safety on again.
    Check magazine release.
    Check the barrel is truly free floating - can you run a bit of paper all the way down to the actio ?
    Check everywhere for signs that the blueing is worn - gives an indication of level of use.
    Wiggle barrel back and forth in its channel and make sure it's not shifting the action around with it.

    I'm sure others can advise you on more. But by this point, you will start to have a feel for it.

    Critically, the attitude of the seller makes all the difference. If they're friendly and open, happy to answer questions and talk through it with you, that's a good sign.

  3. #3
    For the Tikka T3,
    * Does it have factory rings?
    If so, check the ring screws for stripping, as the screws are aluminum. If you buy it, replace with blue steel from a hardware store. They are a standard size cap head metric machine screw.

    * If there are no rings or bases, check the threads in the receiver with some real bases.
    The factor filler screws are plastic, throwaways, so don't just be satisfied with seeing them in there. Try real screws and bases.
    Ask what kind of rings and bases were installed, and bargain to have them thrown in. Try fitting them.

    * Bolt shroud is plastic. Make sure it is not cracked or loose.

    * Take some snap caps and check the magazine lock up and feeding.
    * Then check the firing and trigger and safety.
    * The T3 has some little bedding pads in the forend, so the sliding of a paper bill to check the free floating clearance may stop there. If so, that is how it was made. no problem.
    * Ask to see some targets, and what loads did he use? Is he an experienced handloader, or one of those who tries to wring out an extra 100 fps out of every rifle?

  4. #4
    For Christs sake when will people learn :-

    Check the barrel is truly free floating - can you run a bit of paper all the way down to the actio ?
    Not every rifle is free floated, not every rifle wants to be/ needs to be/or meant to be free floated.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brithunter View Post
    For Christs sake when will people learn :-

    Not every rifle is free floated, not every rifle wants to be/ needs to be/or meant to be free floated.
    Brit - the T3 IS free floated. At least the 2 I've owned have been, and were meant to be.

    Yes, there are many older rifles that are not meant to be - but the majority of current production rifles are.
    Last edited by Mungo; 20-05-2014 at 07:50.

  6. #6
    My Tikka T3 Lite SS .30-06 ( 2006) has the barrel supported for about 6.5 inches in front of the action, and shoots all factory ammo I use, as well as USGI, well under 1 MOA. It shoots the best loads of my other .30-06s into even smaller groups, some under 0.5 MOA. So I am not touching it.

  7. #7
    Thanks for u r comments I just brought it last night. I'm mint condition tikka t3 lite in .223 with a t4 mod and a burris black diamond scope and 50 rounds for 720.

  8. #8
    Good deal you got, there! The Burris BD is an excellent scope, and not cheap.

  9. #9
    I have a t3 tactical over 6000round and still under 1inch 100yards don't think there will be much to think about with a tikka mine is 243 cant shoot the thing out but im doing my best

  10. #10
    Just spent a few hours cleaning and she's shooting sweet as a nut. Thank god I went for a left hander. I've always shot right handers but this is just right . I'm like a kid at Xmas. A few more test the just in time for the cubs to come out and play. Thanks again for u r imput.

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