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Thread: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Guys,

    For years now, I find myself in a downward trend when it comes to hunting calibers/bullet size. I like as little recoil and meat damage as possible while still getting the job done cleanly. I already own a 6mm Remington, but it's a heavy, long-barreled affair designed for varmint hunting off of a bench. I would just as soon just buy a different/more woodland-friendly sporter gun in 6mm Rem since I already have the reloading components to make it happen. However, the aforementioned gun is a custom build because it's difficult, if not impossible, to find a left-handed factory gun in 6mm Remington. Hell, even Remington doesn't offer it in anything other than a varmint rig in this caliber and it's a righty.

    So, the next best option for me is the .243 Win. The question is which one? I have two options that I want to focus on: The Tikka T3 (already own a T3 Lite Stainless in .30-06 and I love it) or the Browning X-Bolt (I own an A-Bolt in .300 Win Mag, but it's very different from the X-Bolt line)...

    Both guns are similar in form with wood stocks, blued metal finish on most surfaces, and adjustable triggers (the Tikka can go 1/2 lb. lighter). Both have handy weights and lengths (about the same 22" barrel lengths with the X-Bolt being 3 oz. lighter) and I have experience with products from both manufacturers. If you have experience with the X-Bolt, in particular, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts since it's the one with which I have no experience.

    Here's the rundown of what/where I will be using this gun:

    -Function: hunting

    -Target: whitetails/mule deer

    -Distances: mixed bag (deep woods/inside of 75 yards out to open fields/200, 300, or even 400+)

    -Conditions: mostly very dry but with extreme temps - this gun will be used in the bitter cold November/Decembers in Nebraska (9 degrees with 45% humidity on the evening I get my two deer) and possibly on mule deer here in Nevada (still dry as can be, but significantly warmer).

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    Senior Member jbp-ohio's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Gun manufacturers offerings in LH models make ZERO sense! You can get an A-bolt Micro Hunter in .22 hornet, (Why no .223???) .22-250, .243, .308, .300WSM, .270WSM, and.325WSM.........

    The LH Micro comes in .22Hornet and...................... THAT'S IT!!!
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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Tell me about it! I've been dealing with this madness for longer than I care to remember. You get stuck with either vanilla calibers or complete oddball choices for the platform. Seldom to do you get ample in-between options. No disrepect to the .22 Hornet as it has a niche as a quiet, short range varminter, but I'd bet that more lefties have use for a .223.

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    Senior Member justin10mm's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I may not be helping the situation, but anyway, here you go.

    http://www.cooperfirearms.com/rifles...l=6mm-Rem%2054

    I like Tikka also.

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    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Tikka
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Jermanator's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?


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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I've owned 5 Tikka's (T3) and only parted with two of them because a great friend wanted them and he had some stuff I wanted so we traded. All of them (.223, 6.5x55, .26-06, 7mm-08 and .204 Ruger) will shoot well under MOA for 5 shots at 100 yds. All but the .25-06 will regularly shoot .5 MOA, the .25-06 will usually hold to .75 MOA. This is with handloads of course, but really none of them were hard to work up loads for.

    I like the triggers, the low bolt throw and the amazing accuracy and price. The stocks aren't the greatest looking, but I've had my .25-06 for 8 years now it's still doing it's job so I guess it ain't that bad.
    You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts

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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Add another vote for the Tikka (the only one I have any experience with)
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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I appreciate the other suggestions, but I really am hammered in on these two choies. I've looked around a bit and handled other guns, but these are the two whose features and ergonomics work best for what I'm after. Durwood' list of positives are the main reason I've been leaning toward another Tikka. The Tikka Lite Stainless I presently own is sub-half MOA capable with the the primary Sierra GameKing load I use for it and half MOA capable with a tougher, Nosler Partition load I have as an alternate. However, the X-Bolt really has a great feel to it and a very tempting feature set. What I really wish was out there was a lefty stainless hunter, featuring the wood stock, but stainless metal finish. It's more forgiving to have when you are forced to set your gun down in snow for long portions of the day with minimal cleaning supplies on hand while traveling out of state to hunt. f that were the case, this would be an open/shut thread. Alas, that's yet another option not available to a lefty.

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    Senior Member orchidman's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    [QUOTE=Six-Gun;56210]Guys,

    The Tikka T3 (already own a T3 Lite Stainless in .30-06 and I love it)

    There is your answer right there. Why have a different brand of rifle when you can have 2 almost identical ones that differ only in calibre.

    I think the mags will be interchangeable as well. ( I know my 7mm08 and 22-250 mags do)

    I would be inclined to go with the synthetic stock/stainless model if you can get a wrong handed one....only cos of the conditions you outlined re extreme temps.

    Look forward to seeing the pics of the TIKKAlol.

    Edited to add: Ooops, our posts crossed. Why the hell dont they import the damned things in LH versions???
    Last edited by orchidman; 11-27-2011 at 10:39 PM.
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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by orchidman View Post
    There is your answer right there. Why have a different brand of rifle when you can have 2 almost identical ones that differ only in calibre.

    I think the mags will be interchangeable as well. ( I know my 7mm08 and 22-250 mags do)

    I would be inclined to go with the synthetic stock/stainless model if you can get a wrong handed one....only cos of the conditions you outlined re extreme temps.

    Look forward to seeing the pics of the TIKKAlol.
    I can get the stainless synthetic version, for sure. The Lite Stainless I already own is exactly that. The main reason why I would go with the regular hunter version with the wood stock here is partially for my desire for a little variety and partially because when my daughter is old enough travel to Nebraska with me, any little bit of extra weight to kill recoil is welcome, especially when the gun is still appreciably light overall. I think a .243 with a tiny little bit of extra weight is a perfect rig to keep away the "flinchies" for a young shooter hunting for whitetail. I doesn't hurt that dad appreciates a comfortable-shooting rig, too.

    The issue of interchangeable mags has me wondering. The two guns would be two different actioin lengths (30-06 vs. .243 = long vs. short) in my case, so I'm not sure this would work. Regardless, while some folks don't like the plastic mags, I found that I love how much they add to an already smooth-as-silk bolt cycle. They are tougher than you would think and contribute wonderfully to that buttery bolt throw. I pride myself on on not needing follow-up shots, but this year I most certainly used up all 4 rounds on the two deer I killed in sequence (one dropped to the shot, the other got to running after the first shot hit, absorbing a few more rounds). That fast cycling was definitely welcome.
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 11-27-2011 at 10:52 PM.

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    Member wizard78's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I don't own any Tikka's but have plenty of laser acurate Sako's that are similar. You'll never look back.
    .

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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Can't really speak for the Tikka, but I went to the gun shop yesterday fully prepared to put down the money for an x-bolt until I held one. I know gun fit is different from person to person but I was very dissappointed in the way the X-bolt hunter felt to me.

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by weshod View Post
    Can't really speak for the Tikka, but I went to the gun shop yesterday fully prepared to put down the money for an x-bolt until I held one. I know gun fit is different from person to person but I was very dissappointed in the way the X-bolt hunter felt to me.
    I can see that. Fit and feel is an entirely personal affair. Some guns have everything you would ever want...until you hold them. There's no right or wrong answer that works for everyone in that department and I assure you that I've had the same experience. In my case, the X-Bolt felt excellent.

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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I was really disappointed because I would really like to own a Browning rifle. I ended up going with the Model 70 Featherweight and can't wait until it comes in. Might have to try an A bolt for my next rifle.

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    Moderator Linefinder's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    The reason I have my ABolt is "feel". Went into WallyWorld around 6AM one Sunday morning for toothpaste, walked through their sporting goods dept, shouldered the ABolt, and went home with it. Forgot the toothpaste.

    I bought that rifle for no other reason except I'd never owned a rifle that just fit me so perfectly. And other than that one, I still don't.

    Mike

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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I also like the X-Bolt, but a couple of things put me in another Tikka the last time I was rifle shopping. 1) The X-bolt has a very slim barrel, moreso than the A Bolt and I've never had excellent results with pencil barrels--even my Kimber Montana in .257 Bob (that I love) is finicky with it's pencil barrel. 2) Tikka's feel right to me--for such light rifles they still have a medium contour barrel and a very slight muzzle heavy feel that I believe contributes to thier shootability in the field.
    You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts

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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Durwood View Post
    2) Tikka's feel right to me--for such light rifles they still have a medium contour barrel and a very slight muzzle heavy feel that I believe contributes to thier shootability in the field.
    I know what you mean. I had a Browning A-Bolt Varminter in .223 Rem. While it had a thicker than sporter barrel, it wasn't as heavy as a Rem Varmint contour barrel. The Browning Varminter was a tad muzzle heavy, but for a walk-around varmint rig (especially coyotes) it was a dream. I attribute that to the slightly "forward heavy" feel.

    Mike

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    The point about a pencil barrel is a valid one that I hadn't considered. I have that .300 Win Mag A-Bolt and it requires loooong breaks between shots to prevent an unnaturally opened group due to heating issues. While this is a much lighter caliber, its definitely good food for thought.

    I should mention that both Sako and Winchester both crossed my mind, but both companies are no longer offering lefty guns. Sako's website hunted that something may be on the horizon in the Finnlight line. From their FAQ:

    Is the Sako 85 Finnlight available in left-handed version?

    All novelties will be introduced to the press and the public at the main events of the year. Please keep checking our website for news
    I read that to mean that at SHOT Show, a lefty 85 Finnlight will be introduced.
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 11-28-2011 at 03:39 AM.

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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Gun View Post
    The point about a pencil barrel is a valid one that I hadn't considered. I have that .300 Win Mag A-Bolt and it requires loooong breaks between shots to prevent an unnaturally opened group due to heating issues. While this is a much lighter caliber, its definitely good food for thought.
    Hit your target with the first shot, silly goose.
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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpj View Post
    Hit your target with the first shot, silly goose.
    Yeah, I always do. That doesn't make it any easier to group it off the bench, you Mozambiqian wing nut.

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    Senior Member MileHighShooter's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    You have a tika. Get the X-bolt, if only for having something new and different. Plus it'll be a shooter, never heard of a Browning that wasn't. I REALLY like the X-bolts, even being the Winchester nut that I am, I always put my paws on the Browning -Bolts when I'm at the used gun rack. Man they just feel good. Plus I do like the DBM idea, rather then putting extra shells in your pocket to jacket to make noise, or having them in your pack if you need to dig em out to use them (hey, stuff happens) its much more handy to have that extra magazine to just slam on in.

    But I gotta ask...which Xbolt? There are what, like 10 different versions? lol

    To be REALLY different, have you considered a Browning BLR? I would think that is pretty ambi, and it is available in the 243 as well. A BLR Light take-down in .243 makes a heck of a traveling gun
    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    That's the biggest draw to the X-Bolt for me: something a little different. I hate redundancy, but I love what I know works (that being the draw back to the Tikka). Any idea how many rounds the mag hold for a .243 Win?

    As for the model, it would be the lefty X-Bolt Hunter:

    http://www.browning.com/products/cat...-hand-firearms

    **Also, I just noticed that the X-Bolt comes factory expoy bedded along with the free-floating. That's another nice plus.
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 11-28-2011 at 04:03 AM.

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    Senior Member MileHighShooter's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    4+1
    Quote Originally Posted by Wambli Ska View Post
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighShooter View Post
    4+1
    Thanks for that. That's another perk for the X-Bolt: one extra round capacity. Again, ya never PLAN to shoot more than once, but when you get more than one opportunity at more than one critter within second of each other, things can get interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by BPsniper View Post
    Six-Gun, if you'd screw your head on correctly, you'd have a lot more options in life. ;-)
    I'm not gonna lie. Life would be a lot simpler being a righty. Right now, looking around, the T3 Hunter is straight-up vaporware in a lefty configuration. I'll call around and see, but chances are good I'm gonna have to find a dealer to place a special order. Who knows how long that would take...
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 11-28-2011 at 04:52 AM.

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Quote Originally Posted by BPsniper View Post
    Wrong minded people garner no respect. It's Darwinism at work. :-)
    So you're saying it would be easier to just found my own rifle company, eh?

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    Senior Member shotgunshooter3's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    If it was myself in your situation, I would go Tikka.

    BTW, the .243 is a great deer round. I took many whitetails with one using 100gr Power Points before I got a 7mm08. I would use it again on deer and speed goats without hesitation.
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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    BP - that would work! It has a nice ring to it.

    SS3 - I have no doubt in my mind that the .243 Win is not only ample, but ideal for whitetails. That's precisely why I'm looking at the caliber for myself and my kids. I've shot, and seen shot, enough of them to know that much of what is slung at them by the average hunter during regular firearm seasons would be ample for elk or moose. A smaller round like the .243 may not be sexy like a .30 cal or an uber-magnum, but it potentially spares a lot of meat in the form of hydroshock over the bigger/faster calibers if you pick the right bullet.
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 11-28-2011 at 06:16 AM.

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    Senior Member jbp-ohio's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    Guess they do/did make the A-bolt Micro Hunter in .243........ That would be my pick. Don't like the stocks on Tikka or X-bolt.

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...ducts_id/32732
    Last edited by jbp-ohio; 11-28-2011 at 06:24 AM.
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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: .243 Win: Tikka T3 Hunter or Browning X-Bolt Hunter?

    I'm actually loving the satin finish on the X-Bolt stock. I won't feel anywhere near as guilty dinging the hell out of it as I do with my A-Bolt medallion.

    On that note, bad news on the Tikka T3 hunter in lefty. I just got off the phone with Beratta USA and they informed me that it doesn't exist in the US. The lefty version of that gun is only available in Europe. I could get another T3 Lite Stainless, but that notion bores me to death. Looks like my hand may be forced on this one.

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