The Tikka T3 was designed and manufactured in Riihimäki, Finland by Sako Limited. The T3 embodies the same characteristics of the original Tikka LSA 55/M55 which was manufactured in 1967 before the merger with Sako. I did not become familiar with Tikka rifles until Marcus Blanchard began using one as his match gun for PRS style competition around 2010. During that time aftermarket options for the T3 were limited and I wouldn’t have considered it for use as a competition rifle. I viewed them as a budget hunting rifle to Sako.
The Tikka T3 has since become a great option for a match gun build because you can purchase a donor rifle relatively inexpensively. Once stripped down you will find that the action likely does not need additional machine work to true the receiver and bolt. The factory trigger can easily & inexpensively be upgraded by the instillation of an aftermarket “Yo Dave” spring. The smooth operation of the 70 degree 2 lug Tikka action make it a fast bolt rifle. The T3 also has the ability to direct mount your optic and the number of aftermarket products has grown considerably since 2003.
The Tikka T3 is not without its short comings and there are some things we are not crazy about. The first thing that comes to mind is the bolt stop, or specifically the pin that retains the bolt stop. The pin can be prone to failure if you run your bolt too hard. When the pin breaks you lose the bolt stop allowing the bolt to be pulled out of the receiver. We also hear some criticize the female recoil lug set up used by the Tikka but we have not experienced any issues or inaccuracy because of it.
Overall for us the Tikka T3 family of rifles is very much worth considering for a match gun build and we are seeing their popularity increase. We currently offer re-barrel services for the T3 and aftermarket upgrades from Kinetic Research Group. We have consistently attained excellent results by paring Tikka T3 actions with Bartlein 5R & Proof Research carbon fiber wrapped barrels. We can upgrade your current hunting rifle, or build your new PRS style match gun. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get your Tikka build started!