Monday, 30 December 2019

Review: Tika Tac A1 Part 2

20" Barrel chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor, scope is a Delta Stryker FFP with the DLR1 reticle.

Been a while since that happy day when I bought the Tiktac, and the even happier day when I could afford a scope worthy of the name, and finally got to shoot it. I've put almost 500 rounds through it.
In skilled hands these rifles have put the hustle on some very expensive custom rifles.

Accurate AF! As the petulant teenager formerly known as 'the littlest bushwacker' would say.

But what, SBW, is it like to live with? I hear you ask.

Well dear reader, it is big and it is clever, and in fairness there are a few things where you get to see the corners that were cut to bring it in for its bargain price.

The Tiktac is anodised, which is great if you just carry it from the car to the firing point, mine has been yomped up and down a grimy Norwegian hillside and is showing a few marks.
I'll probably Cerakote it at some point. A sleazy purple, seeing as you ask.

Weight 5, 098kg  
Its not a light rifle, there's always some online-hero telling how he uses it as his stalking rifle, wouldn't be my first choice.
By the time you've added; scope 1,042g, moderator .380g, and mounts .100g
You're at  6,630kg or 14.6 lbs + Bipod.
For competitions where there's a bit of walking involved, or very active Stalking, it might well swing me towards a lighter option if it was to be my only centerfire.

There are both kits and aftermarket triggers, I thought the one it comes with an absolute joy, and in search of greater accuracy the money would be better spent on bullets, powder, primers, and practice.

I'm not a muzzle brake kind of guy, I find them obnoxious and frankly anti-social. Tika ship all Tiktacs with a .30 brake. The barrel is both threaded and the brake clamps in place, so Tika didn't concern themselves with cutting a shoulder for your suppressor/silencer/moderator to mate to. As I'm using a Stalon moderator which is sized up to .30 cal. this hasn't affected me, but some shooters with more bore specific moderators have had issues. Tika and the UK importer GMK have offered some washers, and the option of voiding the warranty if you get a gunsmith to sort it out.
Yeah, pretty crappy isn't it.

While we're on 'pretty crappy' the magazine is a proper let-down, where the rival Ruger Precision takes generic aftermarket magazines, yer Tiktac  can only be fed from Tika's £120 magazine that, from new, wobbles about and fits so poorly the rifle feeds from it sporadically.
You can bend the cut-out for the magazine retention catch with a pair of needle nosed pilers and its all good. But really?

That's not the end of it.
I'm not the only person to have the magazines floor plate bind, and the spring fail to lift rounds 9 to 1, I've seen this fixed by drilling out the rivet that holds the magazine together bending the spring to give it a bit more push and reassembling. For my heard-earned £120 I'd expect better.

A welcome upgrade (not shown, I'll update the picture at some point)
If you've ever shot an Accuracy International (if you want to you can rent one for the McQueens at Bisley) you might well remember the ergonomic joy that is its bolt handle, its not one of those knurled "tactical" numbers, just a sphere on a short length of bent bar that falls to your hand with a pleasing proportion. Sterk in Australia make something similar for Tika rifles, book early to avoid disappointment they do a couple of batches a year and you can put your name on a waiting list. After an interminable wait I got the 'its time to pay' email and mine shipped within ten days.
It's wonderful, everything the original design should have been.
In order to fit it you need to strip the bolt which brings us to....

The Firing Pin.
While I had the bolt stripped down to add the new handle I was horrified to notice there is some  galling -  binding and scratching on the shaft of the firing pin, leading to an unwanted increase in lock time. I'll add some pix when I decide how to deal with this niggle.

Would I buy another one?
If all I wanted from it was shooting from a highseat or firing point near the car. Hell Yes. Unequivocally. Several people have shot gold medal scores with mine.

Coming soon - Clash of the Creedmoors: Tiktac Vs Ruger Precision Rifle

More soon
Your pal

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Midnight Sun Rifle Challenge pt7

  1. Work on your fitness, I talked a good fight but didn’t do enough. Not nearly enough.
  2. Book everything long in advance, we could have halved our travel and hotel costs. 
  3. EU firearms pass. If you live in the Met police area its child’s play, their paperwork game is strong, other forces may vary in their application of the legislation 
  4. Develop a load and record its data to 5m increments, choose a powder you can defiantly buy regularly and stockpile bullets. Even Spud1967 ran out of SST’s during our practice period.I’m trying to horde enough to last the life of the barrel. 
  5. Be very sure you’ve set your zero stop correctly. If you don't have a zero stop get a proper scope.
  6. Travel early - the money you saved on early bookings will be well spent acclimatising. Norway looks like a nice place to hang out. We were both battered by the time we arrived and I’m sure it added to our woes. 
  7. Dress light but windproof - knee and elbow pads are a great idea. There are cheap alternatives to Snickers work pants but the way the knee pads are held in place on the Snickers floor layers trousers makes them the best. Of course Crye precision come with fantastic looking knee pads. 
  8. Lightweight boots - learn from ultralight hikers, a pound off your feet is worth three off your pack
  9. You need a Jerven bag
  10. Take your own 10 power binos - more time studying the targets will help
  11. Take Compeed it didn’t save my competition but it did save the day for a lad who wore wellies. Its the best insurance £3 will buy you. 
  12. Shoot off a rear bag, if our bipod-only strategy was any good the Vikings would be doing it.
  13. Bring a shooting sling that you’ve adjusted to a perfect fit, and use it. 
  14. Water isn’t hydrating enough - bring Dioralyte (isotonic salts).
  15. A rifle scabbard like those made by Vorn, that keeps the centre mass nearer your belt are a much better idea than the barrel-down designs. That wobbling weight between your shoulders is fatiguing. Putting your bag, and therefore rifle down moderator first is a bad bad idea. 
  16. Paint some engineers blue/red on your cases if you plan to retrieve them. It’ll save a lot of time. 
  17. If you’re planning a build: 6mmBR, 6XC, or 6mmSLR (if you can face the 1500 barrel life) [or perhaps 22 Nosler or 223 Valkyrie?] are all potential 1200m alternatives to the 6.5mm rifles.
  18. A First Focal Plane scope; with an unfussy reticle, that reads in Milliradians is minimum bid. As ever; spend whatever it takes to get a good, robust scope, then drop the change on a rifle.
Now we’ve mapped out the bumps in the road for you, you’ll have no excuses in 2020.

There's a crew who claim to be going, ping me and I'll join you to the facebook group

Your pal