September 2, 2020
Posted By Jason
Mountain Tactical .223 Tikka T3 Project Rifle

Mountain Tactical .223 Tikka T3 Project Rifle

Hi. It's Jason McCann from Tikka Performance Center. We're going to show you how easy it is to take your standard Tikka T3 and turn it into a tactical tack driver. So we have here is my personal 223, it's a one in eight twists. This thing, as is, is an excellent shooter. We're going to put thumbhole tactical stock on it. We're going to put a whole new trigger kit on it. We're going to put a new scope, new bolt handle, bolt shroud, muzzle brake, we're going to do the works, I'm going to show you how easy it is to actually do all this. So first, make sure nothing is in the chamber, pull out the bolt, pull out the magazine, and we're going to take off our scope. This has been an [00:01:00] excellent scope, this is the Vortex PST focal plane – Oops, didn't get that one out enough – 6 to 24, excellent glass. We're actually going to put the second focal plane on there just because they mainly shoot people with this gun. And I'd like to have the second focal plane to simply have a smaller finer crosshair. 

So we have the scope off of it, which you always want to do before you take the stock off, you don't want to put any pressure on your scope. And we're going to flip this over just like so. Take out two action screws. If you ever forget, the front one is the short one. Rear one is the long one. Pop these [00:02:00] right out. I always use this opportunity, since it's already down, pop out the bottom metal, just takes a little bit of a tug. Set that aside. We're going to use that in our new stock. And then, just lift the stock right off the action. I am going to put this there. And we're going to take this piece of Tupperware, set it to the side. 

All right, the Tikka factory trigger is fantastic. I mean, that's one of the things that Tikkas are known for. And so here's your adjustment screw right here, this black one, turn it counterclockwise to loosen it down to two pounds and you can turn it clockwise to increase the weight up to four pounds. What we're going to do here and this is a truly modular gun, I know Savage gets all the credit for being the modular gun, but this is one of the reasons why Sako was able to keep the cost down on the Tikka line is you have this one [00:03:00] screw right here, it's a five-millimeter screw, holds the trigger group [inaudible]. So we're going to take this, remove it, be sure to keep the magazine spring in a nice safe location so you don't lose it, and then this lifts right out of there. You can see it's a very simple mechanism, it's a nice solid aluminum block, a nice shoe that controls the tension spring on the sear engagement. One of the downfalls of this trigger is that you have to actually take your gun off the safety to remove the bolt. The nice thing is the jar trigger solves that. So we're going to set this to the side, we're going to hold on to our five millimeter bolt. I'm going to put it with my magazine spring. I'm going to just quickly clean this, [00:04:00] just so I am not trapping any gunk underneath the new assembly. I am going to get really nice and clean. You can see even under there, there's a lot of gunk that builds up. I even pride myself on how well I keep these things clean but it's a never-ending struggle, especially here in Montana, we have some pretty harsh conditions, and even just a standard day at the range can turn into an adventure. So I'm just putting a little bit of oil down now just to have a nice oil barrier on that metal on the metal part. I have my new JARD trigger, this is a 12-ounce trigger, excellent piece of workmanship here. [00:05:00]

So I'm going to take my magazine spring with the bolt in there to hold it, slide it through here, tighten that down, finger tight, then going to snug this guy. Sure we have – and Greg, I don't know if you can zoom in here, I'm going to turn this over if you can see this. But one of the things that have been rumored on the internet is there have been issues with safety. As we get to see here, when this safety is in fire position, I mean, this is what controls [00:06:00] that. When this is in the safe position, there is no way for that pin to move, I mean, it locks just tight as a malt. You can tell by moving this, I mean, this is very fine machine work. So far we've tested several of these and we've never had an issue with them coming off of safety. We're actually going to drop test this one a couple of times, abuse my own gun just to make sure that this is a safe one, I mean, 12 ounces, it's incredibly light, but I think it's going to make a great, great FTR gun when we're done. And cut. 

Alright, so before we put the new stock on, we're just going to kind of clean up the action just a little bit, you don't want to trap anything underneath there. When you shoot as much as we do, we go through a lot of solvents, we go through a lot of cleaners just making sure everything stays [00:07:00] nice and clean. I know there are some guys out there who think that you should never clean your gun and all the gunk in there kind of fills in the crevices in your barrel, and I read a lot about the validity of that, there is some, but personally, I like always having a really nice clean gun, making sure that it's always working very, very well. So we are just going to put a thin coat of oil on these parts that are going to be touching the stock, just to get a little bit of a moisture barrier. [00:08:00] 

Alright, now, let's grab our foam thumbhole tactical stock here, and we're putting these stocks on. We have the integrated recoil lug here, it's going to go on this notch on the action here. As long as we have that lined up, it should go in rather smooth. I got that lined up. We're going to put bottom metal back in, just be very careful, there's a small hole right here for the trigger shoe to go through. Let's make sure it slides right in there. Don't want to damage our nice new trigger. Push that down. The short one in front, a long one in the back. And personally, you know, everybody's guns are a little different, I found that [00:09:00] my guns like to be torqued about 40-inch pounds in the rear, 35 in the front has produced some of the best accuracies for me. Let's rear tang in. Slide this down. And torque our front one down. It's easy to change the stock. The helmet does an excellent job of making sure the fit is excellent here. You can see just an excellent, excellent looking stock, fits the line of the gun very well and the rear tang which is a very difficult part to the lineup on a [00:10:00] Tikka just because the tangs on these are a lot different than other makes and models. So here, here's our new safety on the new trigger and off safety, on safety, has a nice – it's kind of a little diamond plating on here, gives a real tactile feel so you can really feel that you're on that safety, nice free-floated barrel all the way up to the recoil lug, just an excellent looking stock here. So we have our gun, our action, and our new stock. Now let's do a little work on the bolt. 

Alright, one of our most popular products is the Hinterland Shooting Supply bolt shroud and tactical handle. And so, you can see here I put the Sako, a piece of the plastic knob on the end of my handle, that's great. It adds a lot of tactile feels, but it's $45, I mean, [00:11:00] it's just ridiculous. And then you have to pay the shipping on top of that to Beretta here in the US. And for a piece of plastic, you should really get something for your money. So what we're going to do here is show you how easy it is to replace this plastic bolt shroud with a nice aluminum bolt shroud, it's much stronger; and how easy it is to replace the bolt handle here. So what you have here, I'm going to flip this over, and you can see you have, this is a large detent right here. Do not turn this towards the large detent, you will actually unload the spring and the firing pin. And unless you're Hercules, you're going to have a really tough time pulling – rotating this back around. So what you're going to do is you're just going to take your handle, hold on to it nice and tight, and you're actually going to rotate this away from this large detent, away from the handle. It's going to rotate nice and smooth until it won't rotate anymore, and then this is just going to slide right off. We're then going to take our new one, slide it on here, [00:12:00] a little pressure, and we're going to slide it back to until you hear the first click. As soon as you hear the first click, don't stop, turn, or don't turn any longer, you get into this deep well here, as I said, you're going to have a – you're going to be hurting.

Anyway, so let's take a look at how easy it is to get this bolt handle on, so what we're going to do is we're actually going to take off this shroud again. Again, nice and easy. And what we're going to do is, I like a little Allen wrench, this works really well, and if you can see in here, there's this space right here and we're going to insert this in here. What this is going to do, this is going to give us the leverage we need to rotate it. 

Alright, so we have our Allen wrench in place, we're just going to rotate this around, you hear the first click, and we're going to release the pressure on that spring, and pop this out. And you might want to take a moment to pull out your firing pin and see how stout this thing is. Be sure never to oil this. [00:13:00] Tikka requires that there be no oil in here to function properly. So if you clean it, just make sure that you use a really good degreaser in here. So slide that back in there, take our new bolt handle, and these are very precision machine parts and might take a little wiggling to get everything lined up correctly. We got it in there. Now, we have the leverage from our Allen wrench to get us up and over that big hump. I'm going to go all the way around, remove the Allen wrench, put our nice aluminum bolt shroud on, come back and we're done. We have a nice new bolt handle, bolt shroud, much stronger than the original plastic pieces. 

Alright, so now we're going to install our muzzle brake. And so this is the Hinterland Shooting Supplies’ bolt-on muzzle brake four ports. I'm a little skeptical of how this is going to work, [00:14:00] but we're going to find out. The gun's upside down in the vise right now, and the reason is that I'm going to level it based on the bottom, it's a flat bottom so it doesn't kick up any dust if you're shooting prone. Now, you have four screws here, the middle screw holes, or if you need to jack the brake open, and so it actually just hits a flat part, you take one of these screws, put it in there and you can jack the brake open. This one slides on our barrel real nice and neat, just going to slide on just like so. Before I tighten it down, I'm just going to squirt a little bit of cleaner on there, make sure I'm not damaging the barrel, and throw a little bit of oil and nice moisture barrier in there. I'm going to take you to the range and it's been a little rainy, so just [00:15:00] so no moisture seeps in there, and slide this right on. Now, there are no instructions that come with this muzzle brake, so we're actually going to put this video out there just as general instructions on it. So we don't know what our torque specs should be, I just found out about the ratcheting by emailing Hinterland – Fiona over there, she is great. I asked her why do you have this middle hole. She said, oh yes, to ratchet the brake open. So there we have it. So we're just going to torque this down to just 35-inch pounds, it's an arbitrary number. We'll get to the range and see if there's anything, or if we should do any more. [00:16:00] 

We are going to turn the gun over so you can see what this looks like. It looks great. It looks like a great brake, especially on this heavy barrel, really makes even just a little 223 look pretty beefy here. So I can't wait to see what this actually does. I'm a little skeptical with muzzle brakes in general, just because in order for them to be effective you need to be concentric to the bore, and even screw on ones if you index off the barrel diameter, not every chamber and not all the rifling is concentric to the outside barrel diameter. So a really good gunsmith is going to cut your muzzle brake threads for that. The fact is this is a bolt-on, I love the Sako craftsmanship and the Tikkas, but still, there's a good chance that this bore is not concentric to the outside diameter of this barrel. And then this is [00:17:00] just a – can't really see, if you can see – you saw it in the video earlier that with the bushing here, again, there's a lot of room for error here, we don't have a tight gas seal around the bullet. So we'll see, we’ll see how it does, and we'll know when we hit the range. 

Alright, so we got the gun back together. We got the new Viper PST second focal plane on here, we are just going to put our bolt right back in. We're going to put our magazine in. And let's just test, make sure everything comes together well. So close it, looks good, and I just thought it looks great with that new bolt handle and shroud. And we're going to test this new trigger, see how consistent it is. 12 ounces on the dot. [00:18:00] 12 ounces on the dot. 12 ounces on the dot. That is an incredibly consistent trigger. Another nice thing is I have my safety off right now, I'm going to put the safety on, I'm able to remove the bolts, safety is on. It's a nice firm control on that safety, a very nice feature of being able to actually have your gun on safe and to be able to move around. So let's take a look at the other side, I got something to show you on the other side of the stock here. With this stock, one of the challenges, when you have a raised comb, is that you have to lower it in order to remove the bolt from your gun when you're doing the cleaning. But there's a [00:19:00] nice channel in here, plenty of room to remove the bolts, plenty of room to put it back in. This follows that channel very well. Good job Chad over at designing this. 

Well, so we've been out here testing the new JARD 12-ounce trigger for the Tikka T3, and the Hinterland Shooting Supplies’ muzzle brake. Very surprised actually, the muzzle brake has proven to actually increase accuracy, and it's amazing, even on a 223, you don't get any muzzle jump. So we're actually shooting at 430 yards [00:20:00] right now with a 55-grain BlitzKing, and I'm spotting my shots, I can actually see the bullet travel path through the scope here as it's heading out to 430 yards. The trigger is excellent, great feel on the safety, 12 ounces is incredibly light. I mean, you just think about it and the gun goes off. So it took me a little while to get used to the trigger. But all in all, this is going to be a great, great Varmint package here might even shoot a little FTR with it as well. So JARD trigger group, Hinterland Shooting Supply muzzle brake, both products very impressed with. And another hit on the gong at 430. 

Hi, this is Greg from Tikka Shooters. We're out [00:21:00] today testing the rifle that we built this morning and looks like a really awesome piece and Jason was shooting it quite well. So we're going to see how I can do it. It's been described before, but if you see all the build then you'll know what we've got here, but it's basically a Tikka T3 Varmint 223 Varmint Stock Thumbhole, nice looking stock, and a real sturdy piece of material. We've also got the muzzle brake bolt-on muzzle brake, so anybody can use it. You don't have to take that expensive trip to the gun shop. Anyway, well, we better load her up and see what we can do. So, let's see. 

All right, Greg is taking us out to 430 yards, 223 Tikka Varmint one in the eighth twist with a 55-grain BlitzKing. [00:22:00]

That's a hit. 

Good deal. The trigger feels great. Let's toss another one in here as long as we're doing so good. Wind's picking up out there pretty good too. Well, we'll squeeze this whole bag and see what we come up with. 

Got it again. 

That was – that felt good too. I'm starting to like this rig here. 

Not bad with a... 

I would take this one home with me, Jason.

10-knot crosswind. 

All right, one more for fun. 

All right. [00:23:00] Not bad for a gun you built this morning. 

That's right. Well, that's the whole bag squeeze. We still got a little bit of life in us. But this gun's got a lot of life left back in it. This thing is awesome, and it's cool because it's something that anybody could do. 

It didn't take us long to put everything together on it. 

No, not at all. 

So, well, good shooting man. I think that's a wrap. 

Cool.