Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review

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This Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review is brought to you buy The Old Deer Hunters. Most of the review will be based around my rifle chambered in 270 Winchester, however you will also receive updates for the 308 Winchester caliber.

My hunting buddy Fred and I have been searching for a Tikka T3X Lite Rougtech Ember for several months. Finally, I got a call from CTS Tactical in Athens, GA that there were a couple of Roughtech Ember’s available in 270 and 308 calibers. Fred chose the 308 Winchester caliber and I got the 270 Winchester caliber.

This is a review in progress as we are still working up loads for the rifle and have yet to shoot any factory ammo. As we progress through the year from June 1st I will provide you updates. The Tikka 270 will be my primary deer hunting rifle for the year and we may be able to take a few hogs this summer.

Hunting With Tikka Roughtech 270

hog hunting Tikka T3X Roughtech Ember270

Well that did not take long. A couple of corn robbers showed up this morning about daylight on the TACTACAM Reveal X PRO Cellular Trail Cam. When I made it to the feeder the hogs were still there, but now they have departed. The load was 130 Hornady SST’s and it put both hogs down in their tracks.

I am so glad the Roughtech has a threaded barrel so I can use my suppressor. After the first shot from approximately 100 yards, the other hog just kept feeding. I was able to experience just how smooth the Tikka T3X action was as I bolted the second round to take the second hog. Overall, the Roughnech made my first hog hunt very enjoyable and successful.

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The recoil was less than expected, and I think the new Tikka Robust recoil pad that is part of the Roughtech series is one of the reasons. The recoil pad really soaks up the recoil, and feels like only a little more recoil than my 243 Winchester. Fred says the muzzle break on his 308 definitely helps reduce recoil when he is shooting 165 grain ammo in his rifle.

Both shots on the hogs were right on point thanks partly to one of the best triggers you will find on a production rifle. It breaks perfectly at 2.5 pounds every shot. There is no creep or take up of the trigger. You just start applying pressure, it goes bang, and you never feel it move.

Another feature I like is the interchangeable grips. I replaced my standard grip with the Tikka Composite Vertical Grip and it really feels and works well when shooting from the tripod. It aligns your trigger finger so you are pulling straight back. Since I shoot my AR’s from the tripod when coyote hunting, the vertical grip makes the transition to the bolt gun a lot easier.

The rifle handles very well and using it with my Leofoto tripod and leveling base made the 100 yard shot easy. Follow this link if you would like to learn more about Tripod Systems For Hunting. The Leofoto SO-322C Tripod For Huntng is a 2-Section Inverted Carbon Fiber Tripod.

The Tikka T3X Roughtech 270 is an excellent big game rifle, and this tripod provides rock-solid support for long shots. The light weight and robust 66 lb load capacity also makes it suitable for use for varmint, hog or big game hunting. It has a 10-year limited warranty. Retail price is $469 with frequent sales prices down to $299.

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Tikka T3x Lite Roughtech Ember Features

The Roughtech Ember is my third Tikka rifle. I keep adding to the collection because I love smooth action, and the accuracy of the Tikka T3X is exceptional. I have a T3 in 243 with beautiful blued finish, and a T3X stainless in 223 Remington. The Roughtech Ember is a cut above my other Tikka rifles with a lot of special features usually only found on custom rifles.

Special Features: The new Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Ember incorporates a Tikka Lite stainless steel action with a barrel that is fluted and threaded. It also has a spiral fluted bolt with large bolt knob. The special stock has a new “grippy” finish and new and improved recoil pad. A very nice muzzle break is included, but I will be using my suppressor.

Roughtech Coating: At the heart of the Roughtech’s durability lies its unique Roughtech coating. Applied to the synthetic stock, this rugged finish provides an enhanced grip and superior resistance to scratches, abrasions, and weather elements. The Roughtech coating is to ensure that the rifle maintains its functionality and appearance even after rigorous use in rugged terrains. It is a very handsome finish and it feels completely different than the standard Tikka stock. If feels stronger and more like a solid stock.

Optional vertical grips, scope rings and other Tikka accessories are also available from Beretta Amazon store. I ordered the composite vertical grip and I like the grip angle very much. There is also a soft rubber grip available and they come in several colors.

Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Brown

The Roughtech is available three colors; Ember, a dark brown with orange spiderweb, brown with black spiderweb, or black.

Stainless Steel Barrel and Action: The Tikka T3x Roughtech features the Tikka T3X Lite Stainless Steel action. This stainless steel allows the rifle is supposed to endure harsh weather conditions without compromising its performance. In my experience, this finish is very beautiful and weather resistant, but no more so than the traditional blue Tikka finish. I would advise hunters to still practice proper maintenance procedures to protect the finish from extreme weather. The fluted and threaded barrel reduces weight and the provided muzzle break reduces recoil.

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Enhanced Stability: To maximize accuracy and stability, the Tikka T3x Roughtech incorporates a composite bedding area with steel recoil lug. It mirrors the action and the stock fits very tightly to the receiver area. The bedding area provides a solid foundation for the action, ensuring consistent and reliable shot placement. The action is attached to the stock with three screws. Right out of the box, my rifle shot less the 3/4 MOA with the first two 130 grain hunting loads I tried.

Cold-Hammer-Forged Barrel: The Tikka T3x Roughtech boasts a cold-hammer-forged barrel, renowned for its exceptional accuracy. Takka’s hammer forged barrel manufacturing process ensures consistent rifling and precise dimensions. Tikka says there is no need for barrel break-in. It is ready to shoot right out of the box. Based on my experience with three rifles that all shoot less than 1 MOA, I believe them. The barrel is threaded (⅝X24) to accept the included muzzle break or suppressor. That was important to me because I always hunt suppressed.

Smooth and Reliable Action: The rifle incorporates the Tikka T3x’s renowned smooth bolt operation. The two-lug bolt with a 70-degree lift and large bolt handle allows for quick and effortless cycling, even in adverse conditions. One of the most notable features of the action is the spiral fluted bolt. Tikka says it saves weight but the look of that bolt screams custom rifle.

The action has an intergraded 17mm rail to accept Tikka OPTILOCK scope mounts and is also drilled and tapped to accept a picatiny rail or two piece scope mounts from other manufactures like Leupold and Talley.

Tikka Roughtech Spiral fluted bolt

Versatility and Caliber Options: The Tikka T3x Roughtech is available in a variety of caliber options to suit different hunting and shooting requirements. Whether you prefer the flat-shooting .243, the hard-hitting .300 Win Mag, or any other caliber in the lineup, the T3x Roughtech offers versatility and performance to meet your specific needs.

The Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech rifle represents the epitome of durability, innovation, and performance. With its rugged Roughtech coating, stainless steel components, and precision engineering, it is designed to excel in challenging environments. Whether you’re navigating rugged terrains, enduring inclement weather, or pursuing game in harsh conditions, the Tikka T3x Roughtech ensures reliable and accurate performance. The Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Ember is hard to beat.

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Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review – Setup

Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Ember review
Tikka Roughtech Ember With Leupold Vx5 3-15×44

After cleaning the barrel of the 270, Fred and I used a Lyman Digital trigger scale to determine the trigger pull weights and found both rifles breaking at a tad over 3 pounds. Adjusting the Tikka trigger is very easy by adjusting the Allen screw on the front of the trigger. I adjusted mine to 2.5 pounds and Fred set his at just under 3 pounds. The trigger is great with no noticeable creep and it breaks like glass. I don’t really think I could ask for a better trigger on a hunting rifle.

I mounted a Leupold VX5 3-15X44 scope on the rifle, and then set to work up a couple of loads to see how the Tikka would perform. I had no doubts that this rifle would be very accurate, but I was wondering what the velocity of my ammunition would be fired from the Tikka’s 22.5″ barrel. Many calibers and rifles do not live up to published velocities which a usually rated from a 26″ test barrel.

Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech review scopes

My experience has been good in the past with 270’s. They usually do very well in 22″ barrels with handloads using slow burning powder like IMR 4831. Another powder that Hodgdon recommended for the 270 Winchester with 130 grain bullets was Staball 6.5.

270 Winchester Load Data

Below you will see recommend loads from Hodgdon for both powders. My loads for the Tikka’s first range test used both of these powders with Hornady 130 SST bullets and Winchester Large Magnum primers in new Starline brass.

Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Ember 270 load data
image 5 Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review

Jack O’Connor’s Made the 270 Famous

I used the Hornady 546300 DIE SET 270 WIN Winchester Custom Grade Reloading DIE Set to do the loading. As usual, these dies are easy to set up and work very well. We chronographed the loads with the Oehler P35 chronograph.

The table below shows results of the loads I worked up for the Tikka 270. Velocities were impressive from the 22.5″ barrel and both shot under 1 MOA. I was really impressed by the Staball 6.5 power. Velocity averaged 3050 fps and pressure was low. Another half grain of Staball 6.5 would probably push the 130 grain SST’s to 3100 fps with no issues.

The IMR 4831 power also did very well at almost 3000 fps. This load could also be loaded higher as the pressure was also quite mild. Neither of the loads flattened the primers.

NOTE: Hodgdon data lists 57 grains of IMR4831 as a compressed Load but I did not experience that issue. 57 grains of IMR 4831 filled the case to the bottom of the neck and my loads were not compressed.

Weight BulletPowder ChargeVelocityBarrel Remarks 130 Hornady SST57.0 IMR4831299022.5″ TikkaLow Pressure 130 Hornady SST55.0 Staball 6.5305022.5″ TikkaLow Pressure

Hornady 270 Win, 130 SST with 55 Grains of Staball 6.5 Powder 3 Shot Group

Tikka T3X Lite accuracy test

Hornady 270 Win, 130 SST with 57 Grains of IMR 4831 3 Shot Groups

Tikka T3X Lite accuracy test

I shot three 3-shot groups at 100 yards. I only had three of the Staball rounds left after zeroing the rifle. All of the groups had two shots touching and the third less than an inch away. Both loads also hit at almost the same point on target at 100 yards so I can use either load without scope adjustments. I don’t think I have ever had such good groups from a rifle right out of box. Of course, it is a TIKKA T3X!

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The 130 SST bullets have a ballistic coefficient of .460 and a sectional density of .240 which combine to be a great bullet for deer hunting. At over 3000 fps, this load in the 270 Winchester still has over a ton of energy at 200 yards. The high sectional density insures good penetration even at extended distances.

270 Winchester in Tikka T3X Roughtech

Tikka T3X Roughtech Lite 308 Winchester Data

Tikka T3X Roughtech in 308 Winchester

Fred and I made it to the range today to check six different brands of factory ammo in his new Tikka T3X Roughtech in 308 Winchester. Standouts of the brands were the Winchester Extreme 150 with polymer tip which printed an excellent 0.5″ group. The Barnes 168 TSSX was the best of the heavier bullets with 3 shots under an inch.

As far as velocity, the Federal Fusion 150 stole the show at 2875 fps. The group was not as good, but by the time Fred got to the fusion, he was getting a little tired.

Any of this ammo is adequate for deer hunting and the Tikka Roughtech did really well on it’s first trip to the range. Younger eyes and a better rest probably would have made the groups even smaller.

Weight BulletPowder ChargeVelocityBarrel Remarks 150 Winchester ExtremeFactory273522.5″ Tikka0.5″ 150 Norma WhitetailFactory270022.5″ Tikka1.0″ Federal Fusion 150Factory287522.5″ Tikka1.5″ Barnes TSSX 168Factory263522.5″ Tijkka0.9″ 168 Hornady Black AmaxFactory261022.5″ Tikka1.4″ 168 Remington HogFactory263022.5″ Tikka1.6″

Tikka T3X Roughtech Lite 308 Winchester Data

Norma and Winchester Brands- 308 Winchester 150 3-shot Groups @ 100 yards

Tikka T3X Roughtech Lite 308 Winchester Test
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image 35 Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review

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Exploring the Tikka T3x Rifle

The Tikka and Sako brands are now owned by Beretta, one of the oldest firearm companies in the world. All Tikka rifles are imported by Beretta USA.

When it comes to precision, reliability, and exceptional craftsmanship, the Tikka T3x rifle stands as a symbol of excellence in the world of firearms. Renowned for its superb accuracy, smooth operation, and innovative design, the Tikka T3x has captured the attention and admiration of hunters, sport shooters, and professionals alike.

Legendary Finnish Heritage: The Tikka brand, originating from Finland, has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality firearms. Building on this legacy, the Tikka T3x rifle continues the tradition of Finnish craftsmanship, showcasing meticulous attention to detail, robust construction, and a commitment to excellence.

Superb Accuracy: At the heart of the Tikka T3x’s appeal is its exceptional accuracy. Each rifle is meticulously built and subjected to rigorous quality control measures, ensuring consistent precision. The T3x’s cold-hammer-forged barrel, precise bedding, and free-floating design all contribute to its outstanding shot-to-shot consistency, enabling shooters to confidently place their rounds on target with exceptional precision.

Modular Design and Ergonomics: The Tikka T3x boasts a modular design that allows for easy customization and adaptability to individual preferences. The rifle features interchangeable grips and recoil pads, enabling shooters to achieve optimal comfort and fit. The adjustable trigger, with its crisp and clean break, enhances the overall shooting experience, allowing for precise control.

Smooth Operation: The Tikka T3x is revered for its smooth and reliable action. The two-lug bolt with a 70-degree lift ensures swift and effortless cycling, while the integral steel recoil lug enhances stability and recoil management. Additionally, the T3x’s detachable magazine system allows for quick and efficient reloading, enabling shooters to stay focused on the target.

Versatile Caliber Options: The Tikka T3x is available in a wide range of calibers, catering to various shooting applications and preferences. Whether you’re pursuing big game, engaging in precision long-range shooting, or enjoying sport shooting competitions, the Tikka T3x offers a caliber option to suit your needs. From the popular .308 Winchester to the powerful .300 Win Mag, there is a T3x chambered in a caliber that matches your shooting goals.

Weather Resistance: Designed to withstand the harshest conditions, the Tikka T3x features a durable synthetic stock and a corrosion-resistant stainless steel barrel and action. This weather-resistant construction ensures that the rifle can perform flawlessly in challenging environments, making it a reliable companion for hunters and shooters who venture into rugged terrains.

Exceptional Value: Despite its premium features and superb performance, the Tikka T3x offers excellent value for its price range. Combining Finnish craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to quality, the Tikka T3x delivers a level of performance that exceeds its cost, providing shooters with an exceptional rifle that can truly elevate their shooting experience. Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Ember.

Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review (continued)

The History of the .270 Winchester Cartridge

My Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Ember is chambered in the .270 Winchester cartridge. The 270 holds a special place in the hearts of many hunters and shooting enthusiasts. Renowned for its flat trajectory, long-range accuracy, and excellent terminal performance, this popular cartridge has a rich history that spans over nine decades. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating story behind the development and evolution of the .270 Winchester cartridge.

Origins and Development: The story of the .270 Winchester begins in the early 1920s when renowned gun designer and ballistician, Charles Newton, developed the .256 Newton cartridge. Recognizing its potential, Newton worked on further refining the cartridge by necking down the case to .277 caliber. However, before he could finalize his design, he tragically passed away in 1932.

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Collaboration with Winchester: Following Newton’s untimely demise, his work caught the attention of Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Winchester saw the potential of the .277 caliber cartridge and decided to develop and introduce it as a commercial offering. They modified the original design and unveiled the .270 Winchester in 1925. The cartridge’s name was derived from its bullet diameter, which is .277 inches.

Adoption and Success: The .270 Winchester was met with immediate success among hunters and shooters. It quickly gained a reputation as an accurate and versatile cartridge suitable for a wide range of game, including deer, elk, and sheep. Its flat trajectory and excellent downrange energy made it particularly well-suited for long-range shooting and open-country hunting.

Ballistics and Performance: The .270 Winchester is a high-velocity cartridge known for its flat-shooting characteristics. It typically launches bullets between 130 to 150 grains at impressive speeds, resulting in excellent downrange energy and expansion. The cartridge’s performance is further enhanced by its efficient case design, allowing it to deliver reliable terminal ballistics and effective game takedown.

Influence and Legacy: The .270 Winchester’s success spurred the development of numerous rifles chambered in this caliber. Firearms manufacturers such as Winchester, Remington, Ruger, Browning, and Savage Arms have produced a wide range of rifles chambered in .270 Winchester over the years. Its popularity continues to this day, with hunters and shooters appreciating its reliable performance and wide availability of ammunition.

Enduring Popularity: The .270 Winchester has stood the test of time and remains one of the most popular hunting cartridges worldwide. Its excellent accuracy, flat trajectory, and proven performance have made it a top choice for hunters pursuing a variety of game species. Its availability in both factory loads and reloading components further adds to its enduring popularity.

Tikka T3X Lite Roughtech Review (continued)

Jack O’Connor’s Love Affair with the .270 Winchester

Jack O’Connor, a prominent outdoor writer and hunter, played a significant role in popularizing the .270 Winchester cartridge. With his extensive field experience and captivating writings, O’Connor showcased the capabilities of this exceptional cartridge and its effectiveness in hunting big game. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between Jack O’Connor and the .270 Winchester, highlighting his influence on its popularity and the legacy he left behind.

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Jack O’Connor’s Made the 270 Famous

The Man Behind the Pen: Jack O’Connor, born in 1902, had an insatiable passion for hunting, firearms, and the pursuit of big game. As a renowned writer for Outdoor Life magazine, he shared his adventures, knowledge, and insights with readers, captivating audiences with his vivid storytelling and in-depth understanding of firearms.

A Fortuitous Partnership: O’Connor’s interest in the .270 Winchester began when he collaborated with Winchester Repeating Arms Company during the early 1940s. His expertise in ballistics, combined with his love for hunting, aligned perfectly with the capabilities of the .270 Winchester cartridge, which was still relatively new at the time.

The Perfect Cartridge: O’Connor recognized the potential of the .270 Winchester and became its most prominent advocate. He praised its flat trajectory, outstanding accuracy, and exceptional terminal performance, especially on deer, sheep, and other big game species. O’Connor believed the .270 Winchester struck the perfect balance between power and manageable recoil, making it an ideal choice for both seasoned and novice hunters.

Field Experiences and Hunting Success: Throughout his career, O’Connor pursued a wide range of game with the .270 Winchester, from pronghorn antelope in the American West to big game species such as elk and mule deer. He shared his adventures in his writings, captivating readers with tales of challenging shots and remarkable kills, all made possible by the .270 Winchester’s capabilities.

The O’Connor Influence: Jack O’Connor’s passion for the .270 Winchester and his engaging writing style played a significant role in popularizing the cartridge. His articles and books, including “The Rifle Book” and “Game in the Desert,” became essential reading for aspiring hunters and firearm enthusiasts, introducing them to the .270 Winchester’s virtues and demonstrating its effectiveness in the field.

Enduring Legacy: Even after his passing in 1978, Jack O’Connor’s influence on the popularity of the .270 Winchester continued to resonate. His legacy lives on through his writings and the countless hunters who have embraced the cartridge based on his recommendations. Today, the .270 Winchester remains one of the most popular choices for big game hunting, a testament to O’Connor’s advocacy and the cartridge’s outstanding performance.

Continuing Tradition: The tradition of using the .270 Winchester as a go-to hunting cartridge is carried forward by hunters and shooters who have been inspired by Jack O’Connor’s writings. They trust in the cartridge’s capabilities and appreciate its versatile nature, reaffirming the enduring influence of O’Connor’s love affair with the .270 Winchester.

Jack O’Connor’s passion for hunting, combined with his endorsement of the .270 Winchester, forever linked his name to this exceptional cartridge. His writings and field experiences captured the imaginations of readers, influencing generations of hunters and shooters to embrace the .270 Winchester as their trusted companion in the pursuit of big game. Today, the legacy of Jack O’Connor lives on, reminding us of the enduring bond between the renowned outdoor writer and the beloved .270 Winchester cartridge.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>