Tikka T3x Lite Stainless JRTXB316 308 Winchester

With a very functional polymer stock, the smoothest bolt in the group of test rifles, and the best out-of-the-box trigger, we really liked this rifle.




Sako rifles, made in Finland and imported by Beretta USA, are world renowned for their quality and accuracy. Tikka rifles are made by Sako, and, while they are a bit more of a price brand, they sacrifice little of the quality and accuracy with which the Sako’s are built. Receivers basically come in one length, so a 308 and a 30-06 will use the same action — the usable length of the magazine is just shortened or lengthened as necessary. The barrels are produced to the same standards, whether they are going on a Sako or a Tikka. Think about the Acura versus Honda concept. Quality is very comparable, but options are fewer, so price is better on the Honda.

Action TypeBolt, 2 Lugs
Overall Length 42.5 in.
Barrel Length/Twist 22 in., 1:11 in.
Overall Height w/o Scope Mount6.5 in.
Weight Unloaded6.25 lbs.
Weight Loaded6.5 lbs.
Sight RadiusNA
Action FinishMatte Stainless
Barrel FinishMatte Stainless
Magazine Capacity3 Rounds
Magazine TypeDetachable Box
Drop at Comb1.4 in.
Drop at Heel1.6 in.
Length of Pull13.2 in.
Receiver Scope-Base PatternTikka
Trigger Pull Weight2.5 lbs.
Safety2-Position Rocker
Warranty2 Year
Telephone(800) 237-3882
Made InFinland

The Tikka T3x, introduced in 2016, is an updated version of the T3. This newer model includes some very nice upgrades, such as a larger ejection port, a metal bolt shroud instead of the previous model’s plastic piece, an improved scope rail attachment, and a steel recoil lug to replace the T3’s aluminum lug.

The stainless-steel version of the T3x Lite raises the price a bit versus the blued-steel rifles in our test. The barrel is 22.5 inches long, has a 1:11-inch twist, and tapers to a 0.63-inch diameter at the muzzle. This is not a varmint barrel, but it isn’t pencil thin either.

The barrel attaches to a receiver that has been redesigned to allow easier attachment of optical devices. The top of the action is still grooved for standard Tikka rings, and it has been drilled and tapped to allow easy mounting of a Picatinny rail. We used a 20-MOA rail from Mountain Tactical (Tikkaperformance.com).

The bolt can be removed by pressing a pivoting bar on the left side of the receiver. Bolt lift and throw on this rifle was the smoothest of any in this test. Our two-lug push-feed bolt sports a Sako-style extractor and a plunger-type ejector. It showed a 90-degree lift, but the shape of the bolt handle was such that it stayed well clear of mounted optics.

The rifle mounts to the stock via two action screws, and Tikka does a very good job of supplying torque settings (and other important data) for their rifles in the provided manual. When the two screws are removed, the action can be lifted from the stock, and the trigger is then accessible. Our rifle came to us with the trigger set at 2.5 pounds. Trigger compression was smooth and light with no creep or overtravel. The trigger can be further lightened or made heavier by rotating out an Allen screw mounted right in front of the trigger. This is a very simple thing to do, and there is another screw right in front of the trigger adjustment to keep the shooter from backing it out too far.

The safety is a two-position rocker type on the right side of the receiver, just behind the bolt. The stock, though polymer, is foam filled and doesn’t make that hollow sound created when many plastic stocks are bumped. A three-round polymer magazine protrudes slightly from the bottom of the stock, though not enough to affect how the shooter needs to carry the rifle. The magazine latch was at the front of the mag, but it was well recessed and we were not concerned about it being released inadvertently. Weight was a bit farther toward the muzzle than normal, perhaps, with the rifle balancing, for us, about an inch forward of the magazine release. The stock also allows interchangeable grips so the shooter can choose a more vertical style if desired. The T3x fed perfectly from the magazine but could balk just a little when the flat-nosed SIG HT rounds were single fed. Two sling-swivel studs are provided, and there is a way to add a flat beavertail piece on the forend available from Beretta USA.

This rifle shot everything well, with two of the three types of ammunition providing average groups just longer than 1 inch in diameter. This group of testers, however, has considerable experience with Tikkas and found those numbers a bit disappointing based on experience specifically with Tikka 308s.

Our Team Said: We have found Tikka rifles to respond well to handloads but graded this rifle down a half letter because of its accuracy. Maybe that is not fair. Perhaps it is only an indication of the excellence we have come to expect from Tikkas.

Written and photographed by Joe Woolley, using evaluations from Gun Tests team testers.


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