Tikka T3 6.5 Creedmoor CTR 24" review

danmayland

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Tikka T3 6.5 Creedmoor CTR 24" review

In early February I had the opportunity to pick up two Tikka 6.5 Creedmoor's in the CTR package. I've included an initial
Impression video along with some results and my final opinion on the guns.



The guns cost around $999 MSRP but I picked them up a little cheaper than that.

Unboxing review:
New 2017 Tikka T3X CRT 6.5 Creedmoor - YouTube

As you can see in the video, I'm very pleased with the fit and feel of the gun out of the box. The action is amazingly smooth and I'm very pleased with the ability to customize the bolt handle, bolt shroud and muzzle brake.

Both guns shoot exceptionally well with handloads and I have not tried factory ammo in either one as I hand load for my competition Howa 6.5 CM and didn't feel like spending money on factory ammo when I have all the components needed.

The scope was mounted just to compare colors of the scope to the new cerakote job :)

I must admit I have had limited experience with Tikka prior to picking up both these guns. I did some Gunsmithing on one for my taxidermist a few years ago and wasn't all that impressed. After seeing a few at the range and seeing the amazing out of the box accuracy I talked a couple pals in investing in a few. The new CTR certainly changed my mind. It's by far my new favorite factory action and I'll likely never own another Remington 700 action.

Some custom cerakote in Sig Grey :)

The good, the bad and the ugly:

The good:
As mentioned above; the action is unreal smooth. It just feels good all around and it's known that the tolerances are the best in the industry. The customizable bolt handle and bolt shroud are icing on the cake. The barrel is marketed as a "heavy" barrel but I'd call it more of a medium profile and perfect for hunting or light competition shooting.

The best:
I run my handloads about .010 thou off the lands in my competition Howa 6.5CM. I can run the same loads in the Tikka's with room to spare in the mags. I don't know if any factory 6.5 Creedmorors that can accomplish that!!





The bad:
The stock is really my only complaint of this rifle. It feels good and it's pretty darn light. When I pulled the action and barrel I was very disappointed to learn there was zero pillar bedding. The stock was making significant contact with the barrel for the first 3-3.5 inches out in front of the action. The cheek riser is a good idea but I've yet to see any release of additional cheek risers. The one on the gun looks good but is completely useless. Even with low scope rings using a Leupold vx-3 50mm scope I needed at least a 1/4 more of comb for proper cheek wield. The grip feels good to me but I have huge hands and people with smaller mits might find it cumbersome. Again supposedly it's interchangeable but I haven't seen anything from Tikka. Despite being plastic with no pillars after some modification it shot amazingly well.

The ugly:
The picatinny rail...
Now if you have no desire to remove it just skip this part. However if you plan on running a 20MOA rail or any other rail take note. It's a PITA!!!! It's nearly impossible to remove. Nearly....
If I had to do it all over again I would do this; get some PB Blaster penetrating oil and spray down the four screws holding it in place minus the front screw. Do this from the under side of the rifle with it turned up side down in a vice of sorts. Let that soak for 24-48 hours. Then turn it over and repeat the process on the top screws for 24-48 hours. The. Turn it over and do it again for 24 hours. Next take an iron and place it on top of the rail. Let it heat up the entire rail until it's hot enough to burn you if you touch it. Let the action cool and then using a quality steel tied bit carefully try to remove the screws. If they don't bug and you sense that the screw might strip repeat the above process until they bread free. Once they are removed take the front screw and turn it clockwise effectively prying the rail up and away from the action. Clean up any remaining epoxy with acetone. If your lucky this will work. If not you may have to take it to a quality gunsmith. I ended up having to drill out the screws and retap the action...arg

Final thoughts:
The Tikka T3 6.5 Creedmoor is an exceptional rifle. Total weight without a scope is 7.4 lbs. The accuracy with hand loads ranges between .25-.5 moa for me after the stock modification.

What did I modify? I took a dremel tool with a sanding drum along with some sandpaper and a round dowel to whittle down about 1/8 of material on each side of the stock where the barrel meets the action. The length of material removed was about 3 inches. This completely free floated the barrel and made a positive difference in accuracy.

The first three shot group out of this gun without any modifications:



The next 5 shot group with stock modifications:


Shooting it at 211 yards:

Tikka CTR 6.5 Creedmoor factory gun - YouTube

I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another one or recommend one for obvious reasons. Even though I'm disappointed the stock doesn't have pillars or an aluminum bedding block you can clearly see the results!

I hope this review has helped you or someone you know in the quest for a quality, accurate rifle. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!





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luke moffat

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Nice review!! I picked up a 24" CTR 6.5 Creedmoor in stainless in February. I have to agree with everything you said. The stock isn't much to write home about but thats ok as I am putting it in XLR chassis anyways. But it has already killed 2 caribou in the crappy stock but will be swapping to the new stock here in a few days.

I was going to just get a Ruger Precision but decided I wanted stainless so when the CTR/XLR route. For $900 for the stainless rifle in 24" Creedmoor and then the XLR...it isn't that much more than a non-stainless Ruger Precision.

I have shot 2 5 shot groups at 100 yards so far with factory ammo....both went sub 1/2 MOA....which is pretty good that I was able to flinch all five inside a 1/2" :)

Congrats on your new rifle.
 
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danmayland

danmayland

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Nice review!! I picked up a 24" CTR 6.5 Creedmoor in stainless in February. I have to agree with everything you said. The stock isn't much to write home about but thats ok as I am putting it in XLR chassis anyways. But it has already killed 2 caribou in the crappy stock but will be swapping to the new stock here in a few days.

I was going to just get a Ruger Precision but decided I wanted stainless so when the CTR/XLR route. For $900 for the stainless rifle in 24" Creedmoor and then the XLR...it isn't that much more than a non-stainless Ruger Precision.

I have shot 2 5 shot groups at 100 yards so far with factory ammo....both went sub 1/2 MOA....which is pretty good that I was able to flinch all five inside a 1/2" :)

Congrats on your new rifle.
Nice! and you got a way better gun!!! That Ruger action is atrocious albeit the Ruger is way more customizable. I seriously considered one for a while until I ran the action. Yuck


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USPcompact

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Easiest way to remove the rail is with heat. I used a micro jet oxy/propane torch and it came off with no fuss. A Murphy Precison 20 MOA rail went in its place.

I changed both the shroud and handle with replacements from Sterk. The bolt handle is the curved ball like is found on the AI rifles. Stuck on a Heathen brake from Insite Arms and dropped it in an XLR chassis and it's an unbelievably great shooter, doubly so considering what it cost.
 

R_burg

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Boom, was going to post this as well:
Easiest way to remove the rail is with heat. I used a micro jet oxy/propane torch and it came off with no fuss.
Picked up a 24" CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor myself. Gonna drop it in a KRG chassis. Can't wait to shoot it. My Yodave spring arrived a couple days ago, but I haven't swapped it yet. Rumor is a couple places are making 2 stage triggers for them soon. The new TAC model comes with one, its supposed to be nice.

PVA and Criterion Barrels have barrel nut kits for it already, and I'm sure more are on the way. That action with the ability to swap your own barrels cant be beat.
 
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danmayland

danmayland

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Easiest way to remove the rail is with heat. I used a micro jet oxy/propane torch and it came off with no fuss. A Murphy Precison 20 MOA rail went in its place.

I changed both the shroud and handle with replacements from Sterk. The bolt handle is the curved ball like is found on the AI rifles. Stuck on a Heathen brake from Insite Arms and dropped it in an XLR chassis and it's an unbelievably great shooter, doubly so considering what it cost.
Awesome!!! Consider yourself lucky yours came off that easy!!! I used a torch as well and even let the PB sit for two days. The rail wasn't so bad it was the pesky screws that were epoxied in. The guy I bought these rifles from said he's had four come back that he's had to drill and tap to get the screws out.

Those XLR Chassis's are sick!! 🤤


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danmayland

danmayland

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Boom, was going to post this as well:


Picked up a 24" CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor myself. Gonna drop it in a KRG chassis. Can't wait to shoot it. My Yodave spring arrived a couple days ago, but I haven't swapped it yet. Rumor is a couple places are making 2 stage triggers for them soon. The new TAC model comes with one, its supposed to be nice.

PVA and Criterion Barrels have barrel nut kits for it already, and I'm sure more are on the way. That action with the ability to swap your own barrels cant be beat.
That's one thing I completely forgot to mention in the review above! The trigger!! It's pretty darn nice for a stock trigger. I was able to adjust both down to about 1.5lbs with zero creep. Personally if these were my rifles I would find something that would adjust from 6-12oz because I like them super light. But as far as factory I think they've got a real winner.

The KRG Chassis would be my Chassis of choice although I have to say the new MDT ESS is freakin sweet!!


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R_burg

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That's one thing I completely forgot to mention in the review above! The trigger!! It's pretty darn nice for a stock trigger. I was able to adjust both down to about 1.5lbs with zero creep. Personally if these were my rifles I would find something that would adjust from 6-12oz because I like them super light. But as far as factory I think they've got a real winner.

The KRG Chassis would be my Chassis of choice although I have to say the new MDT ESS is freakin sweet!!


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That new MDT ESS is pretty sweet! I like the vertical grip of the KRG... and they were designed around a TRG22... something about that is kinda cool when putting a Tikka in it. :D


Here is the link to the spring. I have not installed it yet, but everyone recommends them. What you can get the trigger pull down to is 'gun-dependent', but you should definitely be able to get below 16 oz, if not below 12oz.

Tikka T3 trigger spring
 
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danmayland

danmayland

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That new MDT ESS is pretty sweet! I like the vertical grip of the KRG... and they were designed around a TRG22... something about that is kinda cool when putting a Tikka in it. :D


Here is the link to the spring. I have not installed it yet, but everyone recommends them. What you can get the trigger pull down to is 'gun-dependent', but you should definitely be able to get below 16 oz, if not below 12oz.

Tikka T3 trigger spring
Thank you for sharing


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elkguide

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I DON'T "need" another rifle! I DON'T "need" another rifle! I DON'T "need" another rifle!

Please stop posting such great reviews!!!!!
 
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danmayland

danmayland

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I DON'T "need" another rifle! I DON'T "need" another rifle! I DON'T "need" another rifle!

Please stop posting such great reviews!!!!!
Sure you do! You can never have too many guns :)


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907to406

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I'm trying to sell my RPR to get into one of these. No complaints with the RPR but I'm a big Tikka lover. Thanks for the write up on it, reconfirms my decision!
 

matthewmt

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Lowlight from snipers hide did a review on a 260 CTR out of the box and said it was hands down better than the rem 700's.


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907to406

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Lowlight from snipers hide did a review on a 260 CTR out of the box and said it was hands down better than the rem 700's.


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With the amount of aftermarket support for Tikkas now days and just the overall better quality I see no reason to ever buy another REM 700
 
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danmayland

danmayland

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I'm trying to sell my RPR to get into one of these. No complaints with the RPR but I'm a big Tikka lover. Thanks for the write up on it, reconfirms my decision!
The new Tikka TAC A1 will be a real crowd pleaser. Its pretty much a RPR with a Tikka action


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danmayland

danmayland

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With the amount of aftermarket support for Tikkas now days and just the overall better quality I see no reason to ever buy another REM 700
I agree completely. It would be nice to be able to pick up a bare Tikka action to build precision rifles rather than having to buy a whole gun first.


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Fireguy

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Thought I would bump this up. Have a stainless 24" CTR in 6.5 Creed that I LOVE. It is amazingly accurate with everything I feed it. It absolutely loves the Prime factory 130 grain offering, as well as Hornady ELD-M 140&147 as well as the 143 ELD-X. I haven't even tried reloading for it yet. Took off the factory rail and mounted a Mountain Tactical 20 MOA rail and currently running a SWFA 10x. I have a bad habit of selling really great, accurate rifles so my new policy is - spray paint them! I think it turned out ok. Will most likely get a chassis for this one.




 
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