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The Famous Grouse 11-18-2009 06:31 PM

Savage vs Tikka in .243. Which and why?
Ok, I've narrowed down my seach for a .243 to Savage 114 or a Tikka T3.

My thinking so far:

Both guns seem to have good reputations for accuracy. The Savage has the nifty Accutrigger, which I have tried and it's quite amazing to get a trigger pull that good used to cost hundreds more.

But the question is which one has the better overall accuracy?

Tikka seems to score a lot of points in the out of box accuracy department and from what I've read even with factory loads these guns seem to produce very nice groups almost without exception.

My father has a Tikka in .22-250 and it's very impressive. I'm not sure we're at the limits yet, but with a 55g BTHPM Hornaday we've shot numerous 3 shot 100 yd groups that could be covered with a quarter. Even out at 300, I'd be very, very afraid if I were a coyote.

I really can't find that much about the Savage. People seem to really like the Accutrigger, but a good trigger only gains you so much. What's the overall package like?

Primarily I'm going to use the rifle for coyotes and when my son is old enough to hunt I thought it would make a good first deer rifle.

Which would you choose and why?


rimjob_rob 11-18-2009 06:37 PM

Of those two I think I would get the Savage. No personal experience though.. I have handled them both in the store, and I really do not like the Tikka. Have heard tons of good things about them, but the stock is not really my thing. Looks like wood (might actually be wood) but feels like a synthetic and feels really cheap to me. I am thinking about buying a 243 for the same reasons you are, but I think I am set on a Winchester Model 70 featherweight. Not that its any better than the two you a looking at, just more my style.

vabyrd 11-18-2009 07:56 PM

Tikka all the way. One of the best factory triggers you can get.

Scott Gags 11-19-2009 12:15 PM

Both have reputations for accuracy and reliability. Why not buy the american made product all else equal.

DeerandbearhoG 11-19-2009 12:33 PM

I had the 114 in 7mag, the wood was really nice, shot excellent, got a good deal on a SS remington 7mag so I sold the savage. I would go w/ the savage.

driftrider 11-19-2009 01:58 PM

I've owned both, and I still have the Savage (a Model 111 in .30-06), but not because there was anything wrong with the Tikka (which was a T3 Lite in 300 WSM), other than it just kicked like a mule on steroids. Both are of roughly equal quality, but in the trigger department the nod goes to the Accu-Trigger. The Tikka's trigger adjusted to be a pretty good trigger, but I like the Accutrigger even better. I also like the fact that the Savage can be easily loaded without removing the magazine. The small ejection port on the Tikka makes single loading directly into the chamber difficult at the range. Also, if you buy the Tikka, make darn sure you don't lose the magazine. It's the most expensive piece of plastic you'll ever find, with replacement mags running in the $65-75 range. The Savage centerfeed magazines are very well made (out of metal, btw), and the rounds feed very smoothly. Of the two, my Savage also get the nod in the accuracy department, though not by that much. The best I got the Tikka to shoot was just a hair under 1" average with handloads. The Savage will shoot Winchester 150 grain Power Points (factory ammo) right at 3/4 MOA, and 150 grain Rem Core Locks (again factory loads) into 1.25 MOA. I have yet to try handloads for the Savage, and I never shot factory loads from the Tikka, but if the results are typical, the groups will shrink if I ever get around to getting 30-06 dies for the Savage.

So, in reality, it's really a bit of a wash between the two. I'd happily buy another Tikka, and I don't plan on getting rid of my Savage anytime soon (though I have had the urge to rebarrel it for no other reason than I feel like it! :) ). Look at both, and buy what you like the best. Both are very good rifles.


vabyrd 11-19-2009 05:32 PM

Dude, at this point, it's like buying a guitar. You got to get the one that talks to you. Heck, make a list of all the features, then cross out all the ones that are the same, and see whats left. Figure out the one you like best and go shooting.

cjwink 11-23-2009 01:28 PM

I had a Tikka and I liked it.. I would go with a Savage though.. Just cause I havn't had one..

Big Z 11-23-2009 01:31 PM

No complaints with my Savage.

The Famous Grouse 11-23-2009 01:49 PM

Appreciate the input, folks.

Good points from Driftrider especially. Hadn't thought about the Tikka's small port, but now that I looked at my father's .22-250, you're right. Also, never thought about the magazine cost, one would assume that the cheap-looking plastic mags the Tikka uses would be cheap. . . and one would be wrong.

That's high praise for the AccuTrigger too. If it's even better than an already-good Tikka adjustable trigger, then that put's the Savage at least ahead by a nose.

I'm pretty sure I can get serious at the reloading bench and find some combination that either one of the rifles will shoot to an acceptable or better level of accuracy.

I have to say, I like the looks of the Savage better than the Tikka, but not so much that it would rule out the Tikka.

The local sporting goods shop has customer appreciation day coming up, 10% off of everything, so I'm going to see if I can get them to stretch "everything" to include anything custom-ordered. The shop is both a Tiakka and Savage dealer, but they don't have either in stock in .243. I asked about it and they kind of hemmed and hawed about giving discounts on a custom order, but then the firearms manager came by and said he wouldn't promise anything but if I had my checkbook out and a pen at the ready, he'd seriously consider it.


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