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Thread: Tikka T3 vs Winchester M70 Ultimate Shadow

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    Default Tikka T3 vs Winchester M70 Ultimate Shadow

    Hi folks. Trying to decide between a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless and a Winchester Model 70 Ultimate Shadow, in .300 win mag (or possibly .300 wsm). Or, whether to bite the bullet and pony up (and save my pennies) for a Sako Finnlight.

    Based on overall impressions and info gathered, the lightness of the Tikka is a real draw, but I'm a little concerned about recoil in something that light, even with a limbsaver (I'm not especially recoil sensitive, but still...). By the time I buy rings to replace the problematic ones that come with the Tikka, and put on a limbsaver, cost will be around $800

    The Ultimate Shadow feels a little more balanced, and I like the floor plate (as opposed to the Tikka mag) and have a general nostalgic affection for Model 70s (my first centerfire rifle as a teen was a Model 70 in .243). However, the Ultimate Shadow in .300 win mag has a 26" barrel, which to me is just a bit unnecessary and unwieldy. And it's about a half pound heavier than the tikka (which might not be a bad thing). But by the time I pay for the rifle, buy rings, have the barrel cut and crowned, we're in the $1000 vicinity. The .300 short mag, however, has a 24" barrel, which would be just about right, so with rings we're talking ~$900-ish.

    The Finnlight seems like pretty much everything I would want, in a refined package, just add optics and go. But at $1500, it's double the cost of the Tikka, and 60% more than the Winchester. It would be a real stretch for me, but for a 'lifetime' kind of rifle, I might be able to make it work. But it's a real leap.

    So, questions:

    1. For folks who actually have a Tikka in .300, what's your experience of the felt recoil?
    2. Aesthetics and brand name aside, is the Sako Finnlight really that much better than the Tikka? Should I just get the Tikka and be happy with a 'Toyota,' and forget about my 'Lexus' fantasies, at least for the
    3. I know Tikka will shoot well, but at that price point and with that lightness, I'm wondering about ruggedness and longevity. Anyone own Tikkas long term and want to comment on this? Concerns?
    4. Any input from folks who have Model 70 Ultimate Shadow (or Extreme Weather)?
    5. Any other reflections, considerations, etc., on these 3 rifles?

    Thanks!

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    I love my Tikka T3 lite stainless 30-06 , LH ... I have not had it long enough to be able to comment on durability. BUT, it is comfortable to shoot, has a smooth action and is accurate enough for me (1/2 inch group at 100yd - and that is me shooting it...LOL which means probably other people could do better).

    I don't plan on ever getting another rifle. I put the vortex diamondback 3-9 (I think, LOL) on it.
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    Just an FYI Tikka is made by Sako.
    I had the Tikka T3 in a 308 and it was (is) the best shooting rifle I have even shoot. Out of the box is by far every bit of a 1/2 min rifle and will out perform most shooter. It is very light so I am sure your going to get a good return when you are behind it. I'm not a big fan of the magnum cal anymore.
    I have one of the older Sako as well and that is another favorite of mine. I do not think you can go wrong with the Tikka in ss, not sure about the problems that you are talking about the rings. The do come with the rifle an yes they are a bit cheesy as compared to Leopold rings. If there is a draw back to the rifle I guess it wuld be the mag because it is a bit expensive if you lose it.

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    Thanks! Yes, understood re: Tikka being made by Sako (hence my Toyota-Lexus comment, above). And I have no concerns re: accuracy of Tikka, but am definitely interested in any sense of longevity. I prefer spending a little more for something I'll have forever, and frankly, to me the Tikkas just don't feel like a hand-down-to-your-kids rifle, whereas I know a Winchester Model 70 or a Sako is that kind of firearm. I'm hoping someone has some direct experience with this...

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    I would consider the T3 and Sako pretty much equilivent - except for cost! The T3's are very durable and take a lickin' and keep on ticking. My choice would turn on accuracy - esp if sheep hunting is in your future. I would spend the extra $55 bucks for an extra magazine from the get go for the T3. The Win 70 is a fine rifle but you can't go wrong with the T3. If you are not esp recoil sensitive then go for the 300 WM or 300 WSM - pretty much the same except for heavy bullets. My T3 300 WSM certainly kicks but it is not obnoxious. I own a number of Win 70's, all of which I am fond of.Good luck.
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    I bought a ruger american in stainless, .308 compact version so its 18" weighs 5lbs 12oz with rings a little bit of cutting/drilling on the stock no scope yet. The leupold i want is 12oz so loaded with scope it should be under 7lbs i wanted a sub 6 pound gun but the action is heavy on this one, also plan to have the bolt but and hollowed as well as the butt pad and stock hollowed a bit more, the gun is a tack driver i shot open sights at 100 and it was touching on two shots with a flyer, the cheap remington ammo at that. 20 bucks a box should be awesome on sheep.
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    This thread should belong in the Shooting section...should it not?

    That being said I love my Tikka T3's for what it's worth. Light and Accurate. Have one in .06 and .270WSM.

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    Thanks, appreciated, and apologies for the miscategorization. Moderators, can you move this to the shooting section?

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forager View Post
    Thanks, appreciated, and apologies for the miscategorization. Moderators, can you move this to the shooting section?
    heck... why? It pertains to hunting too...

    I had a winchester 70 in the 375 h&h for a number of years. It took all manner of AK game. I liked it quite well and drug it through many 'Alaskan' adventures... it held up well, never had any issues at all... I did not the weight of it. LOL
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    I have both (and a Sako finnbear mannlicher but it's a bit more pricy). A T3 in .270 and M70 featherlight stainless in 300wsm. M70 is classy, smooth bolt function, and shoots fairly accurately. Tikka is more accurate, weighs less, more plasticky, but with the same bolt smoothness. Magazine on the Tikka is nice but can also be a curse if you loose it.

    I would have to say that if someone gave me $1k and I had a choice for an all round "get it done" gun I'd go T3 with a Ziess or Lupy 3x9 or 4x12. Bang for the buck the T3's are pretty hard to beat.

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    I have the Tikka T3 in 300 and the recoil is noticable but after buying a leadsled to sight it in I have never noticed the recoil in the field.

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    Thanks for all the input. Just made the decision the old fashioned way: a friend offered to sell me a lightly used Tikka (7mm mag) at a price I couldn't refuse. Done deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forager View Post
    Thanks for all the input. Just made the decision the old fashioned way: a friend offered to sell me a lightly used Tikka (7mm mag) at a price I couldn't refuse. Done deal.
    Awesome mountain gun, especially I you hand load!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Forager View Post
    Thanks for all the input. Just made the decision the old fashioned way: a friend offered to sell me a lightly used Tikka (7mm mag) at a price I couldn't refuse. Done deal.
    You should be very happy with this decision. You got the better rifle and saved money too.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    You will like the accuracy to be had with your new Tikka. I own the little brother to yours (a 7mm08) and she's a shooter for sure.

    I also own a newer M70 (weather extreme) in 325WSM and love the functionality of the rifle. Sucker feels like a tank (in a good way) and is my pick for the Mtns..

    Conclusion: Eventually own both (maybe bump up to a 30 cal in the M70).

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    Quote Originally Posted by shimano 33 View Post
    Eventually own both (maybe bump up to a 30 cal in the M70).
    My thoughts exactly! And a Sako, too, some day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKHUNTINFOOL View Post
    I have the Tikka T3 in 300 and the recoil is noticable but after buying a leadsled to sight it in I have never noticed the recoil in the field.
    I literally said the same thing outloud before i read your post. i have 2 T3s, 1 in 308, and another in 300wsm.
    its better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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    I think if you put a quality stock on the tikka it's a rifle that your grand kids will use. Here's my tikka .300 wsm at 100 yards with 200 gr partitions, 3 shot group.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Grayson View Post
    I think if you put a quality stock on the tikka it's a rifle that your grand kids will use. Here's my tikka .300 wsm at 100 yards with 200 gr partitions, 3 shot group.
    Yup, id say you got a shooter for sure... and with partitions to boot.

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    Nice! I'm getting ready to go sight my new T3 in next week...

    That brings up an additional question about rings. My friend put a scope in the rifle a while back but never sighted it in, and it's mounted with the stock Tikka rings. I've heard nothing good about them, but it is already mounted and boresighted.

    Anyone have thoughts on whether it makes sense to just sight it in as-is and see how it goes, or just plunk down another few bucks for rings I can trust? Any positive or negative experience of Tikka rings that might steer me one way or another?

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