August 2013 Tikka of the Month
Al Quast, or YukonAl as he is known here at TikkaShooters.com, has been an integral member of the forum since its inception. Al has provided thousands of Tikka Shooters words of wisdom from his vast library of shooting knowledge. He is an accomplished marksman, winning matches with factory Tikka T3s. Currently, his favorite competitive stick is the last, new Tikka T3 Super Varmint sold in America – chambered in .223 Remington.
Early last year, Al told me he was working on a custom .284 built on a Tikka T3 action. Seeing as this was the exact project I was wanting to build, I was all ears to learn what he was going to do.
Through some strokes of luck, Al was able to acquire 5 Tikka T3 donor actions to build with to his heart’s content.
This action started its life as a .270 Winchester. The long action caliber saved time since no modification of the bolt stop would be necessary to take advantage of the additional overall length the 284 would require for maximum performance.
Here is a shot of the completed barreled action ready to be bead blasted. The trigger was adjusted to 1-1/2#. Now the long wait for the McMillan – Sako Varmint Pattern Stock.
As anyone who has ever built a new toy knows, the waiting is the hardest part. But 4 weeks from this point, a package arrived and the finished product was put together.
At this point Al just started to tease me with photos of the finished product, stories of how easy load development was, and of course proof of how accurate the rifle was.
“Well, I've been fire-forming the first 100 WIN brass with 168 VLD's, and had 25 left-after I finished load work with the 168's. So I just threw some 5 shot loads together with the 180's (which I originally intended on using).
I have a match chamber, and when I sized, I sized to SAAMI specs-1.802" headspace (datum). All my fired cases are measuring 1.800" at the datum. So now I know why several cases damn near needed a hammer to close the bolt on, during fire forming. I didn't know if it was necks, or what. Well, at least I got all that crap done. Now I can size with .001" bump, and load 'em up and play. They'll all be concentric, and should shoot well…”
Judge for yourself but I think this rifle is a shooter.
“Shot the .284 again at 400 yesterday on some life-size animal targets. Prone, in the snow, Harris bipod, no rear rest. 10 for 3" on the coyote, 10 for 1-1/2" on the deer. It's the real deal. I'm loving it! Now the fun starts…TX in Jan., maybe back down in Feb., or who knows where. Someplace else in March. But rest assured, it'll be bloody by spring.”
“I chrono'ed the 168's at 2800 fps. The 180s go between 2600, and 2700 depending on powder selection”
Well, Al, now I need to catch up to you and screw my .284 together. Thank you for sharing your project and knowledge with the TikkaShooters.com community.
Action – Tikka T3
Recoil Lug – Al's own lug design
Trigger – Stock tuned to 1-1/2#
Barrel – Kreiger 1 in 9 twist finished to 26”
Stock – McMillan A3
Brake – Vais
Rail – Talley
Rings – Night Force
Magazine – Standard Tikka Long Action
Brass – Winchester .284
Bullet – 168 and 180 Berger VLDs
Powder – H4831sc and V560
Primers – Federal 210M
As promised to all Tikka of the Month owners, Al will receive some Tikka Shooters swag from our grab bag. If you have a great Tikka project or even just a Tikka story you would like to share, send your request to [email protected]. You and your gun could be immortalized in the digital annals!