It’s hard to improve on excellence…
But you can customize it. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Tikkas in general, and the T1X in particular. In my opinion, it is just about the best bolt action rimfire out there under a grand. It also has become a fast favorite of family and friends, an oft-requested firearm for me to bring if we are headed to the range. That being said, I wanted to share some relatively easy ways one can customize and improve the functionality of one’s Tikka, T1X or otherwise.
Some easy changes
While a few of Tikka’s models offer an adjustable cheekpiece, most do not. While I previously addressed this issue with a slip-on cheekpiece, TFB alum Tom G.’s High Desert Rifle Works was kind enough to send me out a CR1 adjustable cheekpiece from Sweden’s KalixTeknik AB. Coming in at around $145, less than the cost of a new adjustable stock, the CR1 works by being retained inside the hollow stock of a Tikka and tensioned via a screw on the side of the stock.
Installation was relatively straightforward. First, I removed the butted and the foam deadening insert found in newer Tikka stocks. Then, I attached the template to the top of the stock and gradually stepped up in bit diameter to drill the holes (be sure to have up to 12mm diameter metric bits on hand). Following that, I inserted the block, secured it in place, inserted the cheekpiece into the block via the comb of the stock, attached the tensioning screw, and was done. The whole process took me roughly 20 minutes, and I then had an adjustable stock.
Spring for a new trigger pull
Another relatively easy Tikka mod is to replace the trigger spring with an aftermarket spring like those from YoDave or Mountain Tactical. A big advantage of triggers like Tikka, and Sako 75+85 series of rifles is that their already excellent triggers can be further improved by replacement of the main trigger spring. Spring replacement can yield trigger pulls as low as 12oz when properly adjusted, and is a relatively cheap improvement, at around $10/spring. As always, if trigger work makes you uncomfortable in any way, take it to a competent gunsmith.
Taking Tikka to the next level
A new base for the optics
While the original scope that was mounted to the 11mm tip-off rails of my T1X was ok, I wanted the capability to mount any scope of my choosing on to a standard pic rail. 782 Custom Gunworks was kind enough to send me out one of their 20MOA T1X Picatinny rails, and that’s just what I did. Just for fun, I mounted my Schmidt & Bender PMII on the Tikka. The combination of the PMII and the 20MOA rail enabled me to try for shots at ridiculously long ranges for rimfire. There’s quite a high fun factor to lobbing .22 LR onto targets 300 yards or further. Regardless, if one wants a high-quality optics rail for one’s Tikka T1X, I can highly recommend 782’s rail. The price for the rail isn’t too terrible, either, at $65.00.
Taking things Kinetic
Kinetic Research Group, or KRG, is a good place to look if you want to improve the accuracy or ergonomics of your rifle. I equipped the Tikka T1X with two high-quality upgrades from KRG: A Sako Green Bravo Chassis and their Fully adjustable Midas trigger.
Bravo Chassis Rimfire: A Tikka T1x and CZ-457 variant of the Bravo Chassis provides you with the essential chassis benefits combined with conventional target/varmint ergonomics all at a modest price
The Bravo is one of the most comfortable stocks available but that’s just the beginning. The price will make you and your wallet overjoyed.
The precisely machined bedding area will put your action in its happy place nearly like it was custom bedded in there. The full length stiff aluminum backbone will not allow the forend to flex on you but does allow design modularity with loads of accessories and even other KRG chassis.
The ergonomic adjustments are just what you need to fit your frame so you can pull off the difficult shots.
It’s light. It’s comfortable. It’s modular. It’s good looking. And it’s practically free. You will love it.
(For extremely detailed specs, here they are from KRG)
Specs of the Midas Trigger, per KRG:
- Adjustable 1st and 2nd Stage-Adjustable over travel
- Adjustable fore/aft shoe position
- Overall possible adjustment range of about 2lb-5+lbs though we do not support any setting lower than 2.5lbs in order to be compliant with SAAMI drop safe specs.
- MSRP $289.99
Tikka T1X Barreled Action ready for new Trigger, Scope Base, and ChassisBefore installing my T1X into KRG’s Bravo chassis, I installed their excellent Midas trigger. The Midas trigger is a two-stage, fully adjustable trigger. Installation is not difficult, but KRG recommends taking it to a gunsmith for installation. I have previous education and experience as a gunsmith, so performed this installation myself.
The KRG Bravo stock is pretty easy to install one’s Tikka into, and can take a lot of popular precision rifle accessories, like spigot bipods, barrier stops, ARCA rails, etc. After dropping my action into it and properly torquing all the screws, I was ready to hit the range with the Bravo chassis, Midas trigger, and my improved T1X.
At the range, I noticed an immediate improvement in accuracy and ergonomics. The adjustable fore and aft positioning of the Midas trigger also makes for a nice adjustment to make when smaller statured shooters with shorter fingers are shooting my T1X, vs my XL ham-hands. The easily adjustable cheek rest of the Bravo chassis also made for a platform that could easily adapt to most any shooter.
With the T1X and Lapua Polar Biathlon ammunition, I was getting groups at 50y that I was previously getting at 25, and groups at 100 that I was previously getting at 50. The solid bedding of the T1X action in the Bravo stock, combined with the excellent Midas trigger helped yield these results. I felt like my T1X was now a mini-TRG 22/42.
Though Tikka rifles aren’t (yet) the most popular bolt action platform around, options still abound for those of you who want to take yours to the next level, or just give a bit of custom improvement to. Thanks for reading!
A huge thank you to Tom G., High Desert Rifleworks, 782 Custom Gunworks, and Kinetic Research Group for your support!
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