Is it me? We'll find out.

Discussion in 'Valmet and Tikka' started by d31t, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. d31t

    d31t Member

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    Long story. I bought a Tikka M695 about 17 years ago. I paired it up with a Leupold Vari-X III LR/T with M3 turrets and the store where I bought the rifle mounted the scope. The store picked the rings they used. Fast forward 17 years and I'm perusing some forums and find that people are placing a pretty high value on that old Leupold as part of a clone build. I have no intention of building a clone rifle and, although a nice scope that seemed to serve me well, I thought I would take some advantage of the clone market and upgrade scopes. I wound up, through trades and cash with a Bushnell ERS 3-21x50, a Leupold Mark 6 3-19x44. I had a Bushnell LRHS 3-12x44 on another rifle.


    So, continuing with my long story, the Leupold that I had traded was a 30mm tube and the 17 year old rings on the Tikka were 30mm rings, so, for this year, the Bushnell LRHS was selected to go on top of the Tikka. I mounted the scope, torquing the rings to 18 in-lbs. I did not touch the base screws. Off I went to sight it in. I got close with some factory ammo, trying to conserve my remaining handloads for final confirmation of D.O.P.E. out to 500 yds. Shot groups were poor. I blamed it on the ammo, but when I got home, I looked at the bases and the rear base had migrated forward and was straddling the back of the receiver and the ejection port. I loosened the rings and the base, slid it back into place and torqued to 18 in-lbs and maybe 40 in-lbs on the base.

    Now I took it to the field where I shoot it out to 500 yds, started over with zeroing and was having troubles. Base was moving. Now I undid the base, moved it back, torqued rings to 18 and the base screws to "I don't dare torque anymore". After a few more shots, I noticed the base was moving. I called it a day.

    I was in the process of looking at options for bases for my Sako and also my Tikka, likely to convert to picatinny rails so, later, I took pictures of the rings and posted them, because I wanted to know what they were if I was going to sell them. Responses kind of surprised me, but in hindsight based on my experience, don't surprise me. Here are some comments. "******* angle locs...I'd really recommend you throw them in the trash and save someone the heartache." In response to this comment - "Agreed, worst rings I ever bought" "I'd used ******* turn-in (standard) before and experienced the same thing. Eventually realized they were so soft, they actually bent the clamping screw without ever getting tight." "The first set of rings I ever purchased when I mounted my first scope were *******. Since then I've had an abiding dislike for them." Suffice it to say, the store that mounted my scope did not do me any favors and I guess I've been somewhat ignorant in my marksmanship over the years.

    In past range trips over the years I had tight groups, then not, then tight, then not. There were always variables that I could write it off to, but I think the reason might be getting clearer. I more recently have gotten into reloading and am learning a lot about accuracy and issues and maybe am a little more knowledgeable. Still, I'm by no means an expert.

    So, I took the ******* rings off and threw them in the trash and ordered a picatinny rail for the Tikka. It looked like my options were EGW, Contessa and Near MFG. Mostly good reviews with the EGW and available, but aluminum and some possible incompatibility with quick release bases with the style available for the Tikka M695. Contessa would be extended shipping time. Near MFG were the ones I wanted if money weren't an issue and they had one in stock ready to ship. As I plan on being alive and using this rifle for the next 30 years I could justify $2.50 per year extra, so I chose Near MFG which will be paired with Nightforce rings. After this, with the scope and rifle of known quality, if it doesn't group, it's likely me.

    I am anxiously awaiting delivery of the Near Mfg rail. To be continued...
     

  2. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I have had a couple of M695 Tikkas. One in .30-06 that I don't have anymore, and my current one in 6.5x55 Swedish. I used original Tikka rings on both and never had a problem. These are the regular style rings, not the multi-piece Optilock jigsaw puzzles. It would seem to me that the Picatinny mount is overkill, unless maybe the rifle is a heavy-recoiling caliber. Here's a photo of the 6.5mm M695 with Tikka rings. Warne also makes an excellent Tikka ring. It is vertically split and can be had in fixed or QD versions.

    Tikka6.5-2.JPG
     
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  3. d31t

    d31t Member

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    Overkill is what I’m going for ;).

    It is a relatively heavy recoil with some max load 7mm Rem Mag hand loads. I could have gone with a less expensive rail in this case, such as EGW, but I like the idea of steel on steel, and I think I read that the EGW style available for the M695 is not compatible with quick release mounts.

    Although, I think a simpler connection to the receiver with just rings actually might be more mechanically secure, without adding a possible point of mechanical failure with a rail AND rings, I like the idea of simple optics change out that a rail offers.

    I’m fairly certain my new rail and rings will function better than the old ones. I’m looking forward to the potential.

    We will find out :).
     
  4. d31t

    d31t Member

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    Well, it was quite a week to get my new to me scope mounted and sighted in. Results were 4 rounds at roughly .95 MOA at 200 yards with center mass of the group spot on for elevation and maybe 1/4” right on windage. Set up targets at 400, 450 and 500 and everything tracked perfect and I was vertically within 2 1/2 inches and horizontally within 3” of point of aim on all shots. It was the best day shooting with this rifle since I bought it 17 to 20 years ago.

    This could be some luck involved here since the sample size isn’t what I would like it to be. I was somewhat limited in the number of rounds available, so I’m looking forward to future availability of components. It was one shot at a measured distance, followed by vertical adjustment, then a 3 shot group at each of those ranges to confirm.
     
  5. d31t

    d31t Member

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    Shot 1 was cheap factory ammo with a bore sight. Shot 2 was my 150 gr hand load after adjusting my scope down and right. Group 3 was adjusted up and left based on Shot 2. Group 4 was another hand load and bullet weight (139 gr LRX) to see where POI was relative to the 150 gr TTSX. They were a little hot so I’m going to pull those bullets and start over again.

    I’ve had tighter groups at 100 yds with this rifle and prior scope, but there were always some random head scratchers and point of impact shifts I will now blame on the old rings that I had ;).
    DE85C070-71EF-48B0-B39A-6E5AE5C497B2.jpeg
    C367026C-FC6D-451B-AFD3-8D1728E0C25D.jpeg
     

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