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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2017, 9:36 AM
Mistadobalina_CA Mistadobalina_CA is offline
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Default Fondled a Tikka T3X Varmint & CZ 527 Carbine today (meh)

In my quest for a .223 range rifle I took a trip to Target Masters to check out the Tikka T3X Varmint and CZ 527 Carbine. I was hoping for a love at first sight experience but unfortunately didn't make an immediate connection with either. I have no doubt that each are as accurate as owners claim but neither knocked my socks off in person.

CZ 527 Carbine (527M) - I know we are talking about a .223 but everything about this rifle screamed high end pellet gun. It felt like a toy I'd give my son to shoot. Maybe it's built to be a youth rifle? I was originally leaning toward buying the heavy barreled 527 Varmint but if it's built and proportioned the same as the 527M, sans a beefier barrel, I have to pass.

Tikka T3X Varmint - I know a heavy barrel translates to less recoil and greater accuracy but I felt like the barrel was overkill for .223. I plan on predominantly bench firing it with the support of sandbags or a bipod but I'm going to need to build a lot more strength in my support arm to fire it well from a standing position. Adding a scope will balance it out a lot more but will add another pound as well. I'm guessing I'd eventually adjust to the heft but I'd prefer a wood stock over synthetic. I may end up buying this regardless.

Where to go from here if looking for a tack driver at 100 yards?

T3X Hunter? Wood stock but 3 round mag vs 5 on the Varmint.

Howa M1500? May be accurate but skeptical of the build quality of a 5 lb rifle. Plus synthetic stock only.

Weatherby Vanguard? They have a heavy barrel version but there's not a lot of talk about this line and it's possibly built no better than the Howa given it's made in the same factory.

Savage 12/25? Remington 700? Ruger Hawkeye? All seem overpriced for what you get although I'll admit I haven't done much research on any of them.

If anyone wants to recommend another I'm all ears. Bonus points if you can recommend something that's available to see at a Bay Area Gun Shop.



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  #2  
Old 12-07-2017, 9:54 AM
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Check out the ruger american ranch...
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Old 12-07-2017, 9:57 AM
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If you want a bench rifle then the 527 is the wrong rifle for you. It is a lightweight backcountry type rifle.
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Old 12-07-2017, 9:58 AM
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The Tikka is the one to get.
Shooting offhand with a varmint heavy barrel is NOT what they are designed for. You also state that you will be bench shooting and that is what the heavy barrel is for.

If you want to shoot offhand and such get a Tikka with a lesser diameter barrel for that. It will also shoot well off the bench but heat up faster.

You cannot have the best of both in one rifle
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2017, 10:00 AM
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Winchester
Weatherby
Howa
Ruger
Savage
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:12 AM
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Funny I thought the Tikka varmint barrel was too small. But my target rifles have 28" long barrels with a 1" muzzle. For bench shooting you want a heavy barrel. I would buy a 700 5R in 223 if I was in your shoes.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:44 AM
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Howa offers many contours. And weight really has nothing to do with build quality. You can get a #6 contour if you want an HBAR. No reason to pay the Weatherby premium unless it's the Mark V.

https://www.legacysports.com/viewcat...-web-specs.pdf

Check out their complete lineup. Use ctrl-F to search for the features you'd like, or even go for a barreled action if you find the stocks inadequate.

As for Tikkas, I think they make superb hunting guns, but are kind occupying a weird place. If it's getting dragged in the field, I'm definitely going for a cheap, functional Thompson/Center for $200. Minute of deer or minute of varmint is really not that demanding.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:27 PM
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Get a sling for the Tikka for when you don't have a bipod or bench.
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Old 12-07-2017, 2:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissiontoMars View Post
Check out the ruger american ranch...
This is the one I want...

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  #10  
Old 12-07-2017, 2:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divernhunter View Post
The Tikka is the one to get.
Shooting offhand with a varmint heavy barrel is NOT what they are designed for. You also state that you will be bench shooting and that is what the heavy barrel is for.

If you want to shoot offhand and such get a Tikka with a lesser diameter barrel for that. It will also shoot well off the bench but heat up faster.

You cannot have the best of both in one rifle
This...

I have multiple Ruger rifles, fit, finish of the Tikka rifles are a significantly nicer. I honestly wish I spend the extra money instead of going the route that I went with the American.

Heavy barrel is heavy barrel... for a bench / tack-driver application, that is what you want.
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Old 12-07-2017, 2:44 PM
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How about the Tikka CTR ??

Aren't they shorter and lighter ??
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2017, 4:59 PM
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You bought a carbine built on a mini action in .223. What were you expecting? The 527 carbine is a nice little light rifle to carry around or plink with.
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Old 12-07-2017, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd joe View Post
You bought a carbine built on a mini action in .223. What were you expecting? The 527 carbine is a nice little light rifle to carry around or plink with.
Didn't buy anything yet. Just looked at one at a LGS.

I'm beginning to see the light of the Howa barreled action offerings. MDT chassis systems and the stocks from Belle & Carlson are something to get excited about.

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Old 12-07-2017, 6:08 PM
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The mags aren't cheap, but the difference in price between the Hunter and the Varmint Tikka would probably pay for a 5-round Tikka magazine. I got one for my T-3 Hunter in addition to the 3-round one it came with. I use my .243 T-3 Lite for varmints, particularly called coyotes and bobcats. It is accurate enough for ground squirrels and prairie dogs but I don't shoot rapid high-volume on them - that is what my heavier .22-250 and .223 are for. I also have a T-3 Lite in .300 Win for bigger stuff (took a 180 mule deer, for example) but that is not pleasant to shoot off the bench.
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Old 12-07-2017, 6:19 PM
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Have you looked at Bergara yet ?
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Old 12-07-2017, 7:07 PM
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https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...B+223+LAM+11RD

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...D+223+LAM+10RD

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...B+223+LAM+10RD
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Old 12-07-2017, 7:15 PM
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https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...+223+FL+MOBRSH
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Old 12-07-2017, 8:49 PM
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Buy the Tikka. I have one in 308, a tikka tactical, similar in some ways. I shoot below 0.5 moa all day long. The gun is a breeze at 1000 yards too.

Or you can buy a Remington 700, drop a few grand on it, and it might shoot 0.5 moa....

The tikka could use a heavier stock for benchwork and they are available, but its a fine gun out the door......a very fine gun. The best five shot group I had is 0.32" with hand loads, 168 grain SMKs.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:08 PM
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How about a heavy barrel Howa Mini Action and then mount it in a chassis? Probably net out to about the same money as the guns you looked at should be a great target rig.


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Old 12-08-2017, 12:33 AM
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The mini action is why the Howa is so light. It's extra small for calibers like the .223.
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Old 12-08-2017, 1:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano3467 View Post
Have you looked at Bergara yet ?
Yes. They are beautiful but not offered in 223.

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Old 12-08-2017, 1:11 AM
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Thanks for the links.

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Old 12-08-2017, 1:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbapug1 View Post
Buy the Tikka. I have one in 308, a tikka tactical, similar in some ways. I shoot below 0.5 moa all day long. The gun is a breeze at 1000 yards too.

Or you can buy a Remington 700, drop a few grand on it, and it might shoot 0.5 moa....

The tikka could use a heavier stock for benchwork and they are available, but its a fine gun out the door......a very fine gun. The best five shot group I had is 0.32" with hand loads, 168 grain SMKs.
Would it have to be a few grand? I could buy a 26" heavy barrel 700 for around $600 and buy a decent KRG chassis/stock with fully adjustable cheekpiece and LOP for another $400. I'd be at the price of the Tikka with a better stock.

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Old 12-08-2017, 2:07 AM
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Default Mossbeeg MVP

Check out the Mossberg MVP. They have many configurations and take AR15 magazines. I saw a guy at the range with the varmint version. It was really nice.

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Old 12-08-2017, 5:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistadobalina_CA View Post
Would it have to be a few grand? I could buy a 26" heavy barrel 700 for around $600 and buy a decent KRG chassis/stock with fully adjustable cheekpiece and LOP for another $400. I'd be at the price of the Tikka with a better stock.

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You're overthinking this... Save your money

Just get a heavy barrel savage for$500 or less, a decent Nikon scope and some good ammo..

That = 100 yard tack driver

http://www.cabelas.com/product/SAVAG...LE/1994604.uts

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Last edited by agent88; 12-08-2017 at 7:00 AM..
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Old 12-08-2017, 7:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent88 View Post
You're overthinking this... Save your money

Just get a heavy barrel savage for$500 or less, a decent Nikon scope and some good ammo..

That = 100 yard tack driver

http://www.cabelas.com/product/SAVAG...LE/1994604.uts

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That is a terrific deal, and I can always upgrade the stock later if I want.

PS - Is it possible to transfer firearms from Cabela's?

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Old 12-08-2017, 9:24 AM
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The only thing a Mossberg has going for it is that it takes AR mags. Otherwise you'd probably be better served going for the Tikka.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:10 AM
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Mossberg MVP Varmint in Boyds classic stock with Nikon ProStaff scope
01 MVP.jpg
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:45 AM
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Mossberg MVP Varmint in Boyds classic stock with Nikon ProStaff scope
Thats a handsome looking rifle. Hows is the reliability feeding from the AR magazine? How smooth is the bolt?
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Old 12-08-2017, 2:34 PM
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Thats a handsome looking rifle. Hows is the reliability feeding from the AR magazine? How smooth is the bolt?
Feeds reliably with 10rnd factory, 10rnd Pmags, 10rnd C product mags and a couple Kel Tec SU-16 mags I made into flush fit 6rnd mags that no longer work in anything but the MVP. Of the 10rnd mags I like the C product the best. The bolt is very smooth now, but was a little rough when I first got it.
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Old 12-08-2017, 3:17 PM
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Get the Tikka and buy a 5-round mag for it. It'll shoot better than you can, probably, right out of the box with a great trigger. My .243 T-3 Lite shoots a half inch at 100 all day long, but I don't let it get too hot as it has the lighter barrel. Or get something else and buy a bunch of after-market stuff to make it shoot as well as the TIkka....
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Old 12-08-2017, 3:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
Get the Tikka and buy a 5-round mag for it. It'll shoot better than you can, probably, right out of the box with a great trigger. My .243 T-3 Lite shoots a half inch at 100 all day long, but I don't let it get too hot as it has the lighter barrel. Or get something else and buy a bunch of after-market stuff to make it shoot as well as the TIkka....
Just needs a Savage to do that.
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Old 12-08-2017, 5:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistadobalina_CA View Post
That is a terrific deal, and I can always upgrade the stock later if I want.

PS - Is it possible to transfer firearms from Cabela's?

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It was on sale a week ago for $50 less.
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Old 12-08-2017, 5:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMB 1 View Post
Just needs a Savage to do that.

I have a couple of Savages and had to go to an aftermarket stock and do some trigger work to make them suitable for my use. Mine are pre-Accu trigger. They simply are not as pleasing to me as the Tikka, particularly with factory stocks, etc. Certainly, the actions are nowhere near as smooth. Mine are accurate but seem fussier as to ammo than the Tikkas I own.

Do you own a Tikka as well as Savages? :-)
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Old 12-08-2017, 5:58 PM
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tikka is better option that you listed OP
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Old 12-08-2017, 6:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
I have a couple of Savages and had to go to an aftermarket stock and do some trigger work to make them suitable for my use. Mine are pre-Accu trigger. They simply are not as pleasing to me as the Tikka, particularly with factory stocks, etc. Certainly, the actions are nowhere near as smooth. Mine are accurate but seem fussier as to ammo than the Tikkas I own.

Do you own a Tikka as well as Savages? :-)
No Tikka for me. Savage, Ruger, Remington, Mossberg

I have messed with a Tikka lite, it's plastic stock didn't feel any better than anyone else's, and its action didn't feel any smoother than Savage, Remington or Ruger to me. All are factory except Mossberg that I changed stock on because I don't like the bench rest stock the MVP Varmint came with, the Tikka action is smoother than the MVP Varmint 223 though. Oh and a Remington 783 I put in Boyds stock because I don't like the cheap plastic stocks.
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Old 12-08-2017, 7:21 PM
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I owned mossberg 4x4. While it was an accurate rifle for how light it was in 30/06. I sent it down the road.
Now i have a tikkas and love it.
I also have a CZ 527 carbine in 76239, while it’s a moa shooter with the cheapest rounds i can find. I like the action of the tikka.
My newest addition is a sauer 100 classic in 9.3x62. I have not took out to the range yet, but it feels better than the tikka. Similar price point.
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  #38  
Old 12-08-2017, 7:55 PM
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Have you looked at a Browning?

The X-Bolt Varmint Stalker is a little more $, but nice!
http://www.browning.com/products/fir...oak-brush.html

I have an X-Bolt Composite Stalker. It has the thinner sporter barrel, but shoots sub MOA all day, if you let it cool.
http://www.browning.com/products/fir...e-stalker.html
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Old 12-08-2017, 7:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XVIga_Rob View Post
Have you looked at a Browning?

The X-Bolt Varmint Stalker is a little more $, but nice!
http://www.browning.com/products/fir...oak-brush.html

I have an X-Bolt Composite Stalker. It has the thinner sporter barrel, but shoots sub MOA all day, if you let it cool.
http://www.browning.com/products/fir...e-stalker.html
I'm trying to stick to a 1:9 twist or faster. The Browning has a 1:12. Thanks though.

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Old 12-08-2017, 8:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XVIga_Rob View Post
Have you looked at a Browning?

The X-Bolt Varmint Stalker is a little more $, but nice!
http://www.browning.com/products/fir...oak-brush.html

I have an X-Bolt Composite Stalker. It has the thinner sporter barrel, but shoots sub MOA all day, if you let it cool.
http://www.browning.com/products/fir...e-stalker.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistadobalina_CA View Post
I'm trying to stick to a 1:9 twist or faster. The Browning has a 1:12. Thanks though.

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I understand! The X-Bolt Varmint Stalker is 1:12. My X-Bolt Composite Stalker is 1:8. I too wanted a faster twist, both for heavier lead, and when converting to copper! Use the options pull down menu on the Composite page and you can see 3 offerings in .223. There are 2 that are 1:12 (both when clicked on, show no longer offered) and one near the bottom of the list, that is 1:8

Last edited by XVIga_Rob; 12-08-2017 at 8:17 PM..
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