Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Year of the 22. Tikka T1x First Impression

If you watched our post SHOT show videos you know I said 2019, for me, would be the year of the 22.  Well, true to my word, it has started.

I recently purchased a Tikka T1x and here is a real fast first impression of this riffle.

Things I like:

1. Overall fit and finish is excellent.
2. The polymer stock is solid and sturdy.  Not flimsy in any way.  Excellent if you like the all weather capability of a polymer stock.
3. The receiver has the same inlet pattern as its big brother the T3x.  So you can use the same stock for both rifles.
4. 10 round detachable magazine.
5. medium weight barrel with threaded muzzle for your favorite muzzle device.
6. Trigger is amazing for a factory trigger.  User adjustable from 2.5 Lbs - 5 Lbs.  Single stage which means no slack, no creep, just a clean, crisp break.  For a mass produced factory trigger it is one of the best.
7.  Accuracy is excellent.  Using quality ammunition you can get near one hole groups at 25 and 50 yards.  Decent accuracy at 100 yards is also attainable.  The Tikka would be a viable candidate as a 22 trainer for your long range, precision rifle.  (this is what I'm using it for).
8. Bolt throw is only 45 degrees.  So plenty of room to mount any scope you want.

Things I don't like:

1. A little pricey.  In my area it retails for $470.  More than your average 22.  But I do think you get good value for your dollars.
2. Standard 11mm dovetail for scope rings.  This is a European standard but less common here in America.  I would  like to see the factory put on a standard 1913 Picatinny rail.  (Good news is, there are aftermarket options available)
3. The magazine protrudes down below the stock.  I would like to have a flush mounted magazine like the old Ruger 77/22 rifles.  This is mostly a preference than a true negative.
4.  The polymer stock could use more checkering.  It is slick where there is no checkering.
5.  The stock has no provision for an elevated cheek rest when mounting a scope.  You need to add an aftermarket pad to get a good cheek weld to the stock.  Or buy an aftermarket stock.
6.  No option for iron sights.  Though iron sights are going the way of the Dodo bird, it would be nice to have them as an option.

Final Thoughts:

 Would I buy this rifle again?  Yes!  Though a little on the expensive side for a 22, I think you get good value for your dollars.  I see the quality good enough you can pass this down to your children and even grandchildren.

If you are looking for a good general purpose target rifle or a hunting rifle, this is an excellent choice. If you want to build a 22 trainer to match your Tikka T3x, again, this is an excellent choice.

Yes, I do like this rifle.  I'll do a more detailed review later once I have more trigger time with it and make desired upgrades.

Now enjoy some photos of my latest outing with the rifle.

April 2019

Stock rifle:

Shoots well with several brands of 22

At 100 yards, I think this rifle is capable of better groups.  I have shot smaller groups in the past.  
I will experiment with other brands of ammunition and practice more to verify.
I'll also weasel a bit and say the indoor ventilation was running on high and might have caused a few shots to drift.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Lesson From The Day Job

I don't talk about specifics from my day job very often. Here especially, and only rarely on my personal blog. I work in the insurance claims industry handling high exposure and litigated commercial liability claims. From time to time, I get assigned to handle claims involving the use of firearms in one form or another. It can be anything from a security guard discharging a gun in self defense to drug deals gone bad to drive by shootings and more.

Yesterday, a claim was assigned to me involving a tragic set of facts. I won't go into too much detail because anyone with more than novice Google Fu skills could probably track it down without too much trouble. Long story short and the lead in to the point of this post, a police officer had to shoot two dogs that had attacked someone.

I was able to meet with my insured this afternoon, and (unusually) there is security video of the event including the shooting. On the plus side, I get to see what happened and when. On the negative side, the incident happened more than 25 yards from where the security camera was mounted making details a little fuzzy (literally).

While I do not know what caliber the officer used, I feel pretty confident in assuming it was some flavor of Glock or Sig 9mm as the majority of the departments in my area issue either Glock 17s or Sig P226s in 9mm. I mention this only to say that the make and caliber of the gun are likely irrelevant given what I saw in the video.

Quick warning to the squeamish, I am about describe what I saw which resulted in the deaths of two dogs. I am a dog lover, and I had to watch it. So, I will do my best to mitigate the imagery.

The officer shot the first dog from a distance of about 5 yards. The first shot was not a killing shot, and the dog started spinning around very quickly. Now, I'm not going to fault the officer for failing to kill the dog on the first shot. I wasn't there, I don't know the officer's experience, etc. What my point here is that the response of the dog to the first shot made all subsequent shots much harder. The second dog, seeing what happened to dog number one, became very agitated and started a spin cycle of its own. I could not tell how many rounds were fired; however, I didn't see a reload involved. So, less than 17 is a safe assumption.

Here are the lessons I would like to offer up in light of this video.

1) Shot placement is everything. Make it count because you might only get one chance. It does not matter how fast you shoot or what caliber you use if you miss the target. Conversely, caliber (within reason) does not matter if you hit the target.
2) Moving targets are harder to hit. This should be self evident to most people, but it bears repeating.
3) Movement buys you time. In this case, the dog could potentially have survived the first shot had it had an avenue of escape and run away. In the self defense context, it's better to be a moving target than a static target.