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Tikka T3X Compact

26 Apr 2023
@ 03:53 am (GMT)

Robert McLean

Morning all,

Grandson getting bigger and ready to shoot more than the 22 in a couple of years and I need a bush gun now so I am thinking that the Tikka T3X Compact in 308 work be a good fit.

It seems to tik all the boxes for both a good youth gun and a good bush gun and following all the instructions available on here, should be able to turn it into a pretty good little shooting machine and as a bonus, pretty good price considering the gun inflation these days.

Anyone have experience with one?


27 Apr 2023
@ 01:22 pm (GMT)

David Landwehr

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
Hi Rob,
I don't have experience with CTR's but I like my tikka 's.
With a standard tikka in 308W you can modify the bolt stop and utilise 30-06 mags for the 308W so you can load your bullets long.
I don't know if the CTR mag allows this so it would pay to check magazine length. You'll also lose some velocity with the shorter barrel but if it's a bush gun you might not be reaching out too far so would have little effect on performance.
Finally, the 308 is a big step up from a 22 so be careful you don't induce a flinch on a young shooter. This could be achieved with some low powered hand loads while introducing them to the bigger rifle, or a good excuse to buy a 223 as well as you can't have too many rifles.
So consider the above and if that still suits your needs I'd say go for it.
Cheers, Dave.
28 Apr 2023
@ 04:38 am (GMT)

Robert McLean

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
When the time comes I will be making some lighter loads for him, I love to experiment with loads.

The bolt stop idea is good, I will look into that when the time comes.

20" barrel does seem a bit short but there sure seems to be alot of 308's coming with that these days, even the 5R police I ran across.

I guess my 7mm sendero is getting a bit predictable and becoming more and more of a lug and is bloody expensive to load now. Maybe I am just needing a change to get my interest back up. As far as more guns goes, I am more likely to sell the 7mm and move on. I like to focus on one gun, not having safe princess's making me feel guilty because I never get out with them. That is another appealing part of the 308, it can give me some long range plinking fun and yet be the easier hunting gun. I haven't shot anything past 200 m in a while now.

I watched a champion club shooter a while back at the range do 5 touching at 200 m prone with a really nice 308, definitely longer than 20" barrel. Peeked my interest in the caliber.
28 Apr 2023
@ 06:14 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Tikka T3X Compact

I'm a Tikka fan myself. Never fails to please. As I recall, the CTR mags are the "standard" short length type, so In order to use longer mags you probably have to change the bottom metal to the standard type (plastic) or similar, if the stock allows it. Bet you can find a discarded original one for next to nothing.


30 Apr 2023
@ 02:16 pm (GMT)

Robert McLean

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
Thanks for this, will be helpful. This is why I come here.
30 Apr 2023
@ 02:16 pm (GMT)

Robert McLean

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
Thanks for this, will be helpful. This is why I come here.
01 May 2023
@ 07:51 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
well Im going to say it if no one else will
good value???? yeah right TUI anyone
a couple of thousand bucks to hopefully get something ideal

now me....I would look at one of the many many many 2nd hand rifles out there and go with it... bush rifle,thats my area of normal/happy place
average range is 50 yards..long shot for me is 350 and that will be out in the open.... so ANY rifle which will poke holes into 1-2" group is ethical so you dont need brand new tikka
I bought a brand new,Howa for half that amount,threaded and suppressed too... and cannot fault it at all...OK so I put a walnut stock on it as a $150 price was too good to pass up and plastic doesnt do it for me.
dead easy to make .308 load that wont boot young person about and suppressed its even easier to do...
if you were to look around and spend say 5-6-700 on rifle and Ive seen some absolute doozies come up for sale in last 12 mths,a couple of .243s practically given can spend saved coin on ammunition,decent scope and if needed suppression...
Ive never been a huge fan of 243 but admit it wouldve done 99% of anything Ive ever done with rifle just as well as what Ive used
there are 308s in same price range being sold too..seems a lot of folks have an itch for new rifle,buy it,sort out tack driving load then get big bill or itch to try something else,rifle is onsold at huge loss.
yo ucould even buy a rifle with action and stock you like and get it rebarreled by one of the many gunsmiths around the show for same price as the new tikka
I know they shoot well and have few flaws but plastic spastic tikkas just seem somehow souless to me
another thought,if you bought a cheap rifle you can beat it up in the bush,the young fella can use it without worry of getting it dirty or scratched
it will always be a good spare rifle,if he shoots first deer with it .sentmental value will be huge... yo ucan kee pit as bush hack and buy something flash later on but keep it there as spare/wet weather/loaner and because it doesnt owe you a fortune..if the lad wants to keep it for himself,so be it. good excuse for you to buy something special for yourself down the track.
03 May 2023
@ 07:44 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
Hi Robert, the .308 is a good choice for younger shooters. Besides working up plinking loads with Trail Boss (around 1000fps etc), the case size is just perfect for reduced loads with H4895 (ADI 2206H). = The 110gr V-Max works well enough at 2200fps though killing performance does tend to be better from an MV of around 2400fps and above. Heavier 168gr bullets can also be driven at 2200fps, boasting much greater downrange energy (similar to .30-30). Alternatively, full power loads can be used with a suppressor (the CTR is threaded). Certainly a great deal of room for experimentation. H4895 is also ideal for developing full power loads from a 20" barrel. A longer barrel may produce slightly higher velocity (more so with slower burning Varget burn rate powders) but the differences are often negligible and in some instances non existent. The 20" barrel is no handicap, a loss of about 25 yards effective range compared to a 24" barrel (regarding long range shooting).

The trigger is generally very good on the Tikka once adjusted, ideal for youth training. Having said this, I have noticed a slight drop in trigger quality (creep) this past few years. A quick hone from an experienced gunsmith can rectify this should you encounter a slightly creepy trigger.

Barrel quality is generally better than other brands at present. The rifles are quite often capable of sub inch out of the box, again ideal for youth training having a good base line to work to. Fliers can attributed to shooter error, not the rifle.

The CTR is (though not always) available in stainless steel. This is one of the more important considerations for those of us who do a lot of hunting in inclement weather.

The trigger guard on this model is ali, the magazine steel. The items are robust and perfectly fine for the .308. The long loading David mentioned (plastic guard models) can be useful if one wishes to seat 200gr bullets out a bit for the sake of powder space and experimenting with a shorter jump. Regardless, the CTR houses and feeds 200gr /208gr bullets just fine, albeit at a shorter length.

The rifle is slightly heavy (semi varmint) so it will pay to share the carrying of the rifle. You could opt for the 2lb lighter Lite model but these produce quite a bit of recoil much as a result the plastic stock (Mikes comments come into play here). If you opt for the lighter model, more thought / caution will need to go into youth load development.

You'll possibly find the forend is OK for small hands but as the boy grows, it would be nice to have the forend over-mold (also for yourself).

OK, hope that helps a bit. More info can be found in the book series and also the Tikka Video series:
04 May 2023
@ 10:45 am (GMT)

Robert McLean

Re: Tikka T3X Compact
Ok, so 'bush gun'. Well, I really wanted something short easy to carry on the hunt. a meaty barrel that would still be a good one to play with at the range. I still like to get those holes close. Yes there are used available for sure but with re-barreling and any other work done by a smith going for big bucks here in mid alberta, I just don't need to grief.

I actually already rented that video once to set up my step sons tikka 7mm. Worked like a charm. I liked that gun alot. Bit of a kicker for sure but been putting meat in the freezer for him for 5 years or so now.

Would certainly do it again and likely bed this one.

308 seems like such a versatile round, my wife might even give it a go.



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