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Tikka M55/595

16 Jan 2014
@ 04:02 pm (GMT)

Karl Thompson

Hi Nathan,
Just wanted your thoughts on the older models from Tikka, specifically the M55's and M595's with timber stocks. I am a bit dubious about synthetic stocks from that age - I assume they would probably need replacement by now.

I have purchased your book (in PDF form), but you don't specifically discuss the M-series Tikkas. You mention the M-series in the contents, you talk specifically about the T3; the lite, varmint & tactical models, but the M series is barely mentioned.


Cheers,

Karl

Replies

16 Jan 2014
@ 09:12 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka M55/595
Hi Karl, looking at the paperback now, I have shown photos of the M series Tikka on pages 97 through to 100 and noted the importance of the lug set up during bedding.

The book should give you enough information in that you can use your own judgement on whether the action design has merit. For example, you can see that the big square slab offers ample bedding surface area and you can see that it is a floating lug design so lug alignment is critical. The action has a very large tang for weight distribution etc. Basically the rifle has many good features. The trigger unit is also very good.

As for other thoughts. Well, you don't really need that giant L plate in the stock. A simple round boss could be machined, then fitted with stress loading at the rear of the action boss (as per bedding instructions), then bedded in place. This is merely an option.However- bedding methods are critical as described and further elaborated on in the bedding tutorial on the site.

Apart from this, the M series is pretty straight forwards. The only other aspect to watch for is pinching in the side walls. During bedding, the side walls need a heavy layer of release agent and graphite. If they pinch,the rifle may double group. The fit will still be tight, even with heavy release agent- but the rifle will shoot!

Other aspects of the M series are the same as the T3, the plastic magazine and floor plate etc. The Sako clones are just that, albeit with actual bottom metal. This was the beginning of Sako's cost cutting strategy which has been ongoing. Soon we will have the post apocalyptic Sako Model 95 slingshot chambered in gravel.




16 Jan 2014
@ 09:15 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka M55/595
Sorry, one last thing- it is important to bed the M series as many are now showing split stocks with age / oil / screw torque.
17 Jan 2014
@ 05:08 pm (GMT)

Karl Thompson

Re: Tikka M55/595
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly Nathan, and your very comprehensive reply.

I looked up my PDF of your book and found the sections you refer to - and feel like a real twit now - I read the whole book last year and had a short list of suitable rifles. I am now seriously looking into buying my next rifle. I had forgotten about about the Tikka M-series in the bedding section. I simply looked up the Tikka M-series in the contents and found the write-up pp 173-178. D'Oh !

Your section on bedding covered the Tikka M-series & Sakos very comprehensively. Lesson learned - RE-READ the book before I buy my next firearm !

Speaking of Sakos, if I understand correctly, the TRG21/22's main drawbacks are weight & price. What about the M995/TRG-S series? The main issue here in Australia appears to be their poor availability, limited calibre range (the big Weatherby calibres are most common here) and the synthetic stock has a reputation for cracking at the wrist. Surely that's a no-brainer - McMillan has the solution if the original stock is dodgy.

The big Weatherby magnums have no interest at all for me - simply I am a bit recoil sensitive - .30'06 is as big as I can tolerate.


Kind regards,

Karl
18 Jan 2014
@ 01:47 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka M55/595
No worries karl, I am no better.

Yes, the only downside of the TRG was the weight. But this will not effect all hunters. It all depends on how far the rifle is to be carried.

When I next revise the rifles book, I need to state that the 3 lug bolt system of the TRG is the same as Sako 75 but that the action is similar to the T3. There are a couple of statements in the book which allude to the entire action being the same as the 75. This is incorrect. The TRG is very much a giant harmonic deadening T3 action. The recoil lug is pretty much identical.

The entire story gets convoluted because you end up wondering who adopted or copied who. Did Sako copy the Tikka M series rifles then decide to adopt this premise for the TRG? Did Tikka then copy the TRG? Then, after producing the 75, did Sako decide to copy the T3 but try to hide the fact? And if the TRG concept came first, why not just copy the T3 (TRG) directly regarding the current sako rifles and be done with it? Very confusing for sure and I am not sure if I want to go that far down the rabbit hole.

So, things to consider: The T3 is to some extent a very light version of the TRG-S (sporting variant of the TRG sniper rifle). There are some differences but the premise is much the same. If a .30-06 is on your mind and you like this style of action, the T3 has merit if you cannot find your dream TRG-S rifle in .30-06.

A couple of options:
Buy the laminate stocked T3 rifle and utilize the laminate to soak up some recoil.

Buy a second hand T3 lite, replace the barrel with a mid weight and fit a Wild dog A5 style stock to create a custom dream. We did a similar project not long ago and it really was a great rifle. The final weight was still quite light due to the whole T3 set up, good carry weight, very handy.

Hope that helps a bit and sorry for any confusion.

As for finding a TRG-S, I remember a .30-06 TRG-S rifle being test fired in Australia when the rifle design was first launched. Guess there must be a few around.

18 Jan 2014
@ 02:59 am (GMT)

Karl Thompson

Re: Tikka M55/595
Thank you Nathan for your rapid and extremely helpful reply. I am looking forward to being able to post information that might be helpful to you - with any luck it will be photos of animals I have taken for your wound database !

I greatly appreciate the time and effort you spend answering questions from people you have never met - like me. I have spent hours reading your site over the last 18 months or thereabouts, and bought your first book as a small token of appreciation to support you and your family.

I hope you know the impact that your website and book has made and I will definitely look you up when I finally get to visit NZ just to say thanks in person. When my next rifle arrives, I'll be purchasing your bedding products for the same reason, but also to help ensure the thing shoots to it's potential !


Cheers,

Karl
18 Jan 2014
@ 03:33 am (GMT)

Andy Stewart

Re: Tikka M55/595
The TRG-S turns up on Trademe from time to time, I aquired one in .270 and turned it into a 338 Lap. Huge bolt and clearly not intended for .270 and 3006 as so many became, but as a .270 is was a total pussycat to shoot. As a 338 Lap, it has a good muzzle brake and recoil is quite managable, it is some years since conversion but the wrist on the original standard stock has not appeared to suffer at all. Might be inclined to sell it if anyone was looking for an anti aircraft gun.............
17 Feb 2014
@ 05:30 pm (GMT)

Wayne Woodard

Re: Tikka M55/595
Quote:
Hi Karl, looking at the paperback now, I have shown photos of the M series Tikka on pages 97 through to 100 and noted the importance of the lug set up during bedding.

The book should give you enough information in that you can use your own judgement on whether the action design has merit. For example, you can see that the big square slab offers ample bedding surface area and you can see that it is a floating lug design so lug alignment is critical. The action has a very large tang for weight distribution etc. Basically the rifle has many good features. The trigger unit is also very good.

As for other thoughts. Well, you don't really need that giant L plate in the stock. A simple round boss could be machined, then fitted with stress loading at the rear of the action boss (as per bedding instructions), then bedded in place. This is merely an option.However- bedding methods are critical as described and further elaborated on in the bedding tutorial on the site.

Apart from this, the M series is pretty straight forwards. The only other aspect to watch for is pinching in the side walls. During bedding, the side walls need a heavy layer of release agent and graphite. If they pinch,the rifle may double group. The fit will still be tight, even with heavy release agent- but the rifle will shoot!

Other aspects of the M series are the same as the T3, the plastic magazine and floor plate etc. The Sako clones are just that, albeit with actual bottom metal. This was the beginning of Sako's cost cutting strategy which has been ongoing. Soon we will have the post apocalyptic Sako Model 95 slingshot chambered in gravel.




l maybe reading this wrong, but the m55 does not have any plastic and was made before Sako owned Tikka.
17 Feb 2014
@ 07:02 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka M55/595
The Tikka M series rifle had plastic floorware and a plastic bolt shroud. I have been told that Tikka pioneered these particular aspects of synthetics. I don't know when Tikka first began to utilize synthetics but it was a very long time ago.

Dissasembling a client rifle for initial inspection prior to bedding etc:





18 Feb 2014
@ 04:05 am (GMT)

Wayne Woodard

Re: Tikka M55/595
Quote:
The Tikka M series rifle had plastic floorware and a plastic bolt shroud. I have been told that Tikka pioneered these particular aspects of synthetics. I don't know when Tikka first began to utilize synthetics but it was a very long time ago.

Dissasembling a client rifle for initial inspection prior to bedding etc:





Hi Nathan, The m55 looks nothing like these photos and I believe m55 was the first of the m series. The m595 was 3 models after. I think It went m55, m558, m590, m595. M590 is when they changed I think. Sako had them then. I stand to be corrected.
Cheers
Woody.
18 Feb 2014
@ 04:29 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka M55/595
Sorry, yes I see where you are going with this now.

I have not seen an early Tikka rifle with steel floorware. I have often wondered what these rifles were like, what the magazine length was, were they a big beefy slab of steel like the above rifle?
02 Sep 2020
@ 09:23 am (GMT)

Robert Fleming

Re: Tikka M55/595
Readers have probably figured this out by now but the references made to the M55 by Nathan are not consistent with it's construction. The M55 was overall of sleeker and lighter construction than the M590/595 models which superseded it, no plastics were utilized in their construction, the magazine was a 3 round all steel vertical stack type. I have owned 3 of these rifles in .243 and still own the first one that I bought in 1979. I have a hunting mate that bought a M595 on the basis of what he had seen of my M55's, for NZ hunting purposes it has a comparatively heavy feel about it but has the same accuracy and reliabliity characteristics. I believe that Nathan has inadvertantly made reference to the M590 or M595.
02 Sep 2020
@ 10:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka M55/595
Hi Robert, I have also since discovered that the lug assembly on the M55 rifle was different to later models, being attached to the action.

Thanks for the input here guys, very useful.
02 Sep 2020
@ 04:12 pm (GMT)

Robert Fleming

Re: Tikka M55/595
The one that I still have is now on it's third barrel, original factory then Tony Hawkins barrel and now a Sako take-off barrel, these days I shoot 100 gr Speer SBPT with 47 grains of RL26 for about 3150 feet/sec and 0.5 Moa accuracy at 100 yards, between 0.5 and 0.75 moa at 400 yards. They have a very well engineered, smooth and dependable action that never jams or fails to feed, the trigger is very good. I've shot red deer out to 400 yds with this combination with reliable kills, same load through my other .243 with 1:8 twist at 530 yds into the lungs, dead after 20 metres.
 

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