Shooters who want the best rimfire the world has to offer have been limited to very few brands but Tikka joined that elite group when it released the T1x MTR, a quality rifle with many ingenious features.
Outwardly, the T1x bears some resemblance to the Tikka T3x centrefire line. Stock shape is the same as the synthetic stock that’s available on some of the Tx rifles, the action shares the same bedding footprint as the T3x, the trigger is identical to those found on Tikka centrefire rifles and the trigger plate has the same dimensions. 12 Inch Hex Bolt
This means that the T1x MTR (for Multi-Task Rifle) can share all the aftermarket stocks, accessories and triggers designed for the T3x.
Tikka’s expansion into the world of rimfire rifles and chamberings is not only built to T3 specs, but borrows some features from previous Sako rimfires, such as the early Finnfire and later Quad, a versatile gun with a single receiver that accepts quick-change barrels in four rimfire calibres.
Tikka’s first rimfire rifle, then, is a modular design that clearly lives up to Tikka’s reputation for quality and accuracy.
Tikka rifles have always been famous for their quality and accuracy.
The T1X MTR has a machined steel receiver finished in matte black. The flat-sided receiver has angled sides on the exterior like the Browning A-Bolt and a rounded bottom with a machined flat.
The rounded top is cut with an 11mm dovetail which accepts both Burris and Sako rings. There is no provision for iron sights.
Held in the stock by two hex-headed screws, one just in front of the floorplate and the other behind the trigger guard, the receiver is a close fit in the injection-molded synthetic stock.
The stainless steel bolt is left in the white and has two locking lugs at the rear. One is the root of the bolt handle, while the other locks into a recess in the left-hand receiver wall.
The stem of the handle is dished at the top to help clear the eyepiece of a low-mounted scope.
Travel is short and cartridges fed smoothly when I worked the bolt as fast as I could. A large round elastomer (synthetic rubber) bolt knob with a diameter of 14mm resembles a golf ball.
The bolt release lever is located on the left-hand side of the receiver bridge. Pressing the lever’s grooved rear end allows the bolt to be withdrawn.
The Tikka T1x bolt, which resembles that of the Sako Quad, is assembled in two pieces and pinned together. The front section copies the familiar half-cutaway rimfire design and houses a substantial single extractor.
The footprint may be the same length as the T3x, but bolt lift is a short 45 degrees and bolt travel is a short 40mm, exactly what you’d expect from a rimfire.
The ejector is a spring steel wire that runs at an angle along the lefthand wall of the receiver and is aligned with a cutout in the side of the ejection port. This feature, copied from the Sako Quad, is intended to eject cartridges of different lengths.
The T1xs fire control system is a good one: a two-position safety button on the righthand receiver wall just behind the bolt handle. Rocked fully to the rear it blocks movement of the trigger and the striker. Additionally, the bolt cannot be opened with the safety engaged.
Two hex-head action screws hold a composite floorplate with integral trigger guard to the bottom of the receiver. It is only after the plate has been removed that the ingenious features (some obvious and some not so obvious) of the T1x MTR design are revealed.
The muzzle of the cold hammer-forged barrel is pressed into the receiver and secured by three hex-head screws. Tikka has attached a removable moulded section to the stock which is a close fit to the barrel shank. This can be removed and replaced with another spacer tailored to fit larger or smaller diameter barrel shanks when swapping barrels.
The T1x MTR is available with a 50cm (20”) or 40cm (16”) barrel in .22 LR and .17 HMR, with twist rates of 1:16.5 and 1:9 respectively.
The 50cm barrel has a diameter of 18.5mm (0.730”) through the mid-section to the muzzle which puts it in the medium-heavy class.
Ahead of the receiver ring, the lower section of the action is extended by 36mm to wrap around the lower half of the barrel. This extension serves a dual purpose by having a threaded hole for the front action screw and a recess which accepts a forward recoil lug set into the stock (identical to the T3x setup).
Tikka has engineered its rimfire to T3x specs, creating a surprisingly modular rimfire rifle built to Tikka’s legendary standard of excellence which can be attributed to a properly bedded action.
This may be regarded overkill by some, but it does ensure a solid union between action and stock and dampens even the slightest wayward vibrations. The stiff medium-weight barrel also helps dampen recoil and doesn’t heat up like a thinner rimfire barrel.
Although I’ve never experienced any heating problems with a rimfire barrel, the extra heft does contribute to the rifle’s balance, which is ideal in any field shooting position, whether offhand, sitting or prone.
In order to make the T1x compatible with T3x stocks and chassis systems, Tikka designed the magazine to fit through a slot machined into the receiver, which separates it from both the stock and trigger guard.
The magazine well is held with a hex-head screw and the magazine release catch is made as an integral part of the polymer magazine box.
The trigger mechanism, with the safety, is housed in a robust aluminium alloy housing and attached to the underside of the receiver directly behind the magazine well.
Changing stocks is quick and easy. You simply remove the two action screws and drop the barrelled action into any other compatible Tikka stock.
The stock has some more features. It’s an injection-moulded synthetic stock with 35 percent fibreglass added to improve its rigidity, enable it to withstand temperature variations, and resist warping which contributes to consistent accuracy.
The buttstock is foam-filled to reduce its hollowness and deaden any noise. You might think that the Tikka stock is over-built for a rimfire rifle, but it’s actually a centrefire stock that’s been adapted to a rimfire.
The stock has a high, straight comb and the slim forend is rounded on the sides and slightly flattened on the bottom to sit steady on a rest.
It is comfortable to grasp, as is the gently curved pistol grip. Panels of checkering on the pistol grip and forend are different to anything I’ve seen previously! It’s not the conventional-type diamond pattern but made up of contoured grooves with tiny, flared serrated surfaces which afford a very secure grasp even to wet or sweaty hands.
This brings us to yet more modular features — the replaceable grip and forend. There are two types of grip available for the Tikka stock: the traditional curved grip and a vertical pistol grip. If you prefer a broader forend, add a beavertail forend.
All the modular accessories are available in black, olive green, coyote brown, orange and stone grey.
The grip is changed by removing a single screw in the bottom of the grip and sliding it off. To slide the beavertail onto the stock, it is necessary to first remove the foregrip screw and swivel stud.
Tikka is aware of the importance of length of pull to the shooter’s build and arm length and offers optional butt stock spacers that can be inserted under the gently curved buttplate to extend the T1x MTR’s length of pull.
I found the test rifle’s 340mm (13.4 inches) length of pull was within millimetres of what I consider just right for me.
The stock is jam-packed with innovatory features, but a critical factor in a rifle’s accuracy is a crisp trigger. The unit, reminiscent of those used in the Tikka and Sako centrefires, is adjustable for a pull weight via a single set screw in front of the housing from 0.9-1.8kg (2-4lb).
The stock has to be removed to get at the adjustment screw. The test rifle was adjusted to give the minimum 900g let-off, which was totally inert — not the slightest hint of any creep or over travel.
For testing the rifle had a 3-9×40 Burris Dropline rimfire scope with crisp 1/4 minute clicks in Burris steel dovetail rings. Built on a 30mm tube and equipped with a BDC reticle, it offers cutting-edge optics, clarity and colour integrity through computer engineered lenses and coatings. This Burris rimfire scope certainly complemented the T1x.
We tested the rifle’s accuracy at 50yd using a dozen different lots of .22 ammo — eight target and four hunting loads. Whether I shot expensive target ammo or relatively cheap hunting loads, the T1x shot everything consistently well.
No one expects hunting loads to equal the accuracy of, say, Eley Tenex, but the better quality high-speed stuff was no slouch, as you can see from the table.
As expected with a rifle of this quality, we never experienced a malfunction of any kind as we went through more than 250 rounds, zeroing the rifle and checking for accuracy.
The T1x MTR is Tikka’s first rimfire and it lives up to the reputation for accuracy that the company has forged over the years with its centrefires.
It’s a rimfire rifle with the heft and balance of a centrefire that can be made into anything you want it to be.
The T1x will appeal to shooters who want all the accuracy, economy, range and hitting power available in .22 Long Rifle, and they may find that it’s the rifle of their dreams.
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