Tikka T1x Rifle: Fine Rimfire Precision From Finland
Tikka has made a great name for itself here in the U.S. firearms market. Ask a question in almost any forum about what is the best buy for a sharpshooting rifle, and many of the comments immediately start coming back with Tikka, T3x, and so on.
Today, we are taking a look at another popular model, the Tikka T1x rimfire. The T1x maintains a great deal of Tikka's popular design features, some of them just downsized to fit the rimfire-sized action. So, let’s dive in.
Opening the Box
I must admit, I was quite pleasantly surprised when I opened the box containing the T1x. The handsome little rifle came to me married to a Boyds At-One hardwood stock in a bright red color. The handsome curves of the Tikka action flow very well with the aesthetics of the stock, and the fit was good and tight as well. Of course, after checking the rifle, I had to get it to my shoulder to see how it felt. The thumbhole stock was not what I call a good fit to my hand, but it was not an issue at all as I generally run my thumb parallel to my trigger finger.
Handsome polymer sections were placed at all the likely ground contact points, and there were dual front sling studs for both a sling and a bipod. The polished finish of the T1x bolt knob was reminiscent of every T3 rifle I’ve ever shot and ran similarly as well. But I was so expecting to feel what my T3 does that it caught me off guard to have such a short bolt-throw and stroke. The trigger in the T1x is a great little single-stage trigger. The clean break also reminded me of the trigger I fell in love with on my T3.
The rifle came chambered in .17 HMR and hosted a 20-inch barrel with a 1:9 twist. As it should be, the muzzle was nicely crowned and offered a 1/2-28 thread. The detachable 10-round magazine fits neatly into the bottom of the stock, and the forward-mounted release tab is easily manipulated for loading. At the back of the stock, there are depressible buttons to adjust both the comb height and length of pull. This feature made the rifle easily fitted to a new shooter in just a few seconds.
With rifle and ammo in hand, I headed to my shooting spot to get this Tikka warmed up. I had mounted my Kahles 318i on the rifle, which is much more scope than this rifle needs. But the high-quality scope made an excellent addition to the rifle and was sure to give solid confirmation on the accuracy of the T1x.
I adjusted the stock to get the best eye relief and feel. The adjustments on the stock only require you to push in and then adjust the height of the comb or length of the recoil pad. A simple depressing of a button seemed a little too simple and potentially easy to accidentally move, but to my surprise, they were quite stiff. As a matter of fact, I had quite a time getting the recoil pad adjusted due to the force required to push the button. This is a small concern for me, as it’s not something I expect to adjust frequently. Once I finally started shooting, this little Tikka’s accuracy showed itself on paper downrange.
Shooting Suppressed and Other Range Notes
I wanted to start shooting the rifle with a bare muzzle, mainly for those of you who plan to shoot it that way, too. I only shoot loud if I must, so the majority of my shooting was done through my new Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor. I also find it slightly interesting to see the offset when shooting a rifle with and without a suppressor. It’s not a huge deal, but on the off chance I find myself shooting without my can, I like to know where the shift is.
The T1x obviously has no real recoil. It’s not a light rifle as far as rimfires go, and the .17 HMR is basically the smallest magnum in existence. The recoil was more of a jolt in no particular direction, which makes spotting your shots easy. In no time at all, I had adjusted my K318i to zero and shot a few patterns to see how the rifle performed. I only had a couple of kinds of ammo to try – the old standard Hornady 17-grain V-Max load and the CCI 20-grain hollow-point load. Both of them shot the lights out, and there wasn’t a squirrel left in the county that was safe inside 200 yards.
Shooting the Tikka was an absolute pleasure. I like heavier-than-standard rifles because of the lack of recoil and general accuracy, and the T1x is exactly what I want in a rimfire rifle. The trigger breaking was perfect every time, and I love watching my impacts right as the trigger breaks. It’s quite a shame that it is the middle of winter. Otherwise, I would have taken the Tikka out for one of my favorite varmint hunts. Unfortunately, all my marmots are buried safely under several feet of snow.
The Tikka T1x shoots great, and 50-yard groups were easily half an inch in diameter. At 100 yards, it opened up a little bit, with 10-shot groups hovering right around 1 inch. Though, I think it does shoot a little better with the Phantom 22 installed, which doesn’t surprise me.
I hoped that I would find this rifle near perfect, but I can come up with a couple of gripes for those of you looking to talk yourself out of it. I’ve mentioned the weight a couple of times. I like it just the way it is, but I can surely see somebody else thinking it’s too heavy. For youth shooters, I can definitely see it being a smidge much for the smallest framed among them. But if you fancy yourself an adult like me, then the weight is no big deal.
I never had a problem running the bolt, but it was a bit sticky for a Tikka. My other Tikka rifles have perhaps spoiled me. They are just as smooth as rifles that cost two or three times as much. I imagine this comes from the short length of the T1x bolt. There was just a little bit of a grab sometimes when running it, but I imagine I would easily get used to it with increased shooting frequency.
The Boyds stock was very sturdy and particularly handsome, but there were just a couple of things I’d change. The thumbhole stock always seems to be a love or hate thing with me. Some fit the hand well, and others just won’t. This one was a no for me, but as I mentioned, I don’t care because I don’t put my thumb through it anyway. Your results may vary.
The hard button to adjust the stock was also a little irritating but not a deal-breaker in anyway. And, lastly, there seemed to be a very small misalignment between rifle and stock, with the barrel not being perfectly centered in the stock. The T1x is mounted very well, much like a center-fire rifle would be. It probably wouldn’t take much to correct the issue, but it certainly didn’t affect the shooting enough for me to care.
My tastes in rifles may run a bit rich, but I’m okay with that. If I was buying another rimfire rifle, it would definitely be this one or one comparable to this T1x. I could even see myself buying a small collection of Tikka’s in .17 HMR and .22 LR. I think this rifle stands squarely at the front of the rifles in its price range, and it’s well worth your time if you need a new rimfire rifle.