Howa vs Tikka Action

Mar 29, 2014
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#1
So it seems that these are the two that are always recommended for builds not going the custom route....so which one would y’all say is the best for the money?

Which one is the better option for an action that you plan to build off of and replace barrels with?

I’m sure they are both very good, but what would make you pick one over the other?
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
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876
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Central TX
#2
For the money? Howa. The tikka is better over all. You can get a full howa set up for under 300. A base tikka will run 500-600. I don’t think the tikka is 2x as good as howa but not everything in life is linear, you pay more of a premium for better stuff.

The question is what’s it worth to you?
 
Mar 29, 2014
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#3
What makes the Tikka better?

I have two options that I’m considering:

Buy a Howa barrelled action and build exactly what I want with chassis, ect.

OR

Buy a Tikka CTR and shoot it (and learn a bunch) till the barrel wears out and then build it how I want.

The only reason I would go the Tikka route is if the action is considerably better and aftermarket support with new barrels and other accessories are easier to come by. It would be cheaper up front also (but more expensive long term).

So, back to the original question, what makes one better than the other? And which would be best (long term) to build with?
 
Mar 29, 2014
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#6
So for those citing the action as being smoother, does the gap between the two narrow after thousands of cycles?

I will definitely try to handle the Tikka alongside a Howa to feel the difference before making a decision.

Of slightly more concern is the after-market re-barreling selection. Thoughts?
 

rockmyglock

Online Training Member
Apr 3, 2011
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#7
What makes the Tikka better?

I have two options that I’m considering:

Buy a Howa barrelled action and build exactly what I want with chassis, ect.

OR

Buy a Tikka CTR ...
After having the same "either or" consideration, I ended up with the Howa. My experience with the Tikka ends at the counter of the LGS. I can't offer a comparison.

After having shot the Howa, I'm a fan. 10/10 would buy it again. It shoots better than I do and offers good value. I mounted the barreled action in a chassis and am now able to switch calibers with two screws. The makers of chassis/stocks are numerous. MPA, KRG, GRS, MDT ...

Re: Smith and re-barreling - Mark at Short Action Customs works on them. I was intending to have him or Mile High re-barrel the 6.5 with a Proof after this one gets shot for a bit.
 
Last edited:
Feb 11, 2017
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#11
Having had both I think the Tikka is a significant cut above the Howa. 70 vs 90 deg throw, much smoother cycle and the ability for the user to swap bolt handles are worth the price difference to me. That said I think the Howa is fantastic value and for a real budget build that's where I'd steer most people.
 
Jul 7, 2005
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#13
I've built and sold several Howas over the past 10yrs, and have never had a problem with any of them. I keep one of my lathes set up to cut metric threads because of the Howa action. There are a few more choices in aftermarket support than there were when I started doing barrel & action work - most notably, PTG's Stealth DBM (although it requires some machine work at the rear of the action's mag well to fit), and B&C's #2093 stock. While the HACT 2-stage trigger is much better than the older style OEM trigger it replaced, I still prefer a Timney set at a little under 2lbs. I've taken several of the Howas in 6.5 CM, pulled the OEM 24" hvy bbl, dialed it in & threaded 5/8-24, machined the mag well for the DBM, added either a EGW or Warne 20 MOA sloped scope rail, then bedded the bbl'd action into the #2093 stock, and sold them to guys needing a basic rifle to get started. Can't do it for less than $1200 without giving my labor away, which doesn't compete price-wise with the RPR. But I'd prefer the resulting Howa to a stock RPR myself.

I've never so much as held a Tikka - would like to work with one, get it up & running in B&C's new #1046 stock, then see how it compares to the Howa. Both the Howa & Tikka have a well-deserved reputation for very decent accuracy with their OEM bbls, but like I said, I don't have any experience with the Tikka.
 
Likes: lawofsavage
Oct 23, 2009
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#14
Having shot both the Tikka is better. Smoother, better trigger. Comes with a DBM out the box (CTR Model). My local smith loves them, minimal work out the box on the action when its time for a new tube.

Howa is more budget friendly. Shoots good, not as refined as the tikka.

scott
 
Oct 17, 2017
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#15
So you're going to buy a custom? Would you rather have a $1500 really nice gun or a $1200 almost nice gun?

Buy the Tikka. A few hundred bucks is nothing in the long run of how long you'll have the gun, and the Tikka has way more accessory options.
 

Thunderhorse

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
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#18
Tikka has really been coming into its own in terms of aftermarket support, obviously not on the same level as Remington as there aren't custom actions based off of it, but the KRG guys really like them and have an inlet for them in their big 3 chassis systems. MPA, Cadex, and a lot of the other big chassis and stock makers do too. I think Howas are gaining in popularity too, but at least now there is more out there for Tikka and I think Tikka has a smoother and more rigid action.

ETA: looking at their site did KRG discontinue the 180 X-ray for Howa? I am only seeing CZ now
 
Feb 21, 2017
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#19
Tikka has really been coming into its own in terms of aftermarket support, obviously not on the same level as Remington as there aren't custom actions based off of it, but the KRG guys really like them and have an inlet for them in their big 3 chassis systems. MPA, Cadex, and a lot of the other big chassis and stock makers do too. I think Howas are gaining in popularity too, but at least now there is more out there for Tikka and I think Tikka has a smoother and more rigid action.

ETA: looking at their site did KRG discontinue the 180 X-ray for Howa? I am only seeing CZ now
They supposedly discontinued it, though you can still get it at Brownells for now.
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,599
1,025
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San Diego, Ca
#20
Tikka has really been coming into its own in terms of aftermarket support, obviously not on the same level as Remington as there aren't custom actions based off of it, but the KRG guys really like them and have an inlet for them in their big 3 chassis systems. MPA, Cadex, and a lot of the other big chassis and stock makers do too. I think Howas are gaining in popularity too, but at least now there is more out there for Tikka and I think Tikka has a smoother and more rigid action.

ETA: looking at their site did KRG discontinue the 180 X-ray for Howa? I am only seeing CZ now
I'd think the forth coming T1X rimfire will also be a hit for training rifles. Uses the same action foot print as the T3X (smart).
 

Thunderhorse

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
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Central MO
#21
I'd think the forth coming T1X rimfire will also be a hit for training rifles. Uses the same action foot print as the T3X (smart).
I saw that. It looks sweet, but my wife is already pissed enough at what I spent on my current Tikka to let me build a .22 replica trainer. I could say its for her but she wouldn't go for it.

That is a good point though for those trying to decide for whom the ability to build a trainer would be a benefit.

I find it ironic that my .308 came with a plastic bolt shroud and the .22 comes with a metal one
 
Mar 29, 2014
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#22
Having had both I think the Tikka is a significant cut above the Howa. 70 vs 90 deg throw, much smoother cycle and the ability for the user to swap bolt handles are worth the price difference to me. That said I think the Howa is fantastic value and for a real budget build that's where I'd steer most people.
Having shot both the Tikka is better. Smoother, better trigger. Comes with a DBM out the box (CTR Model). My local smith loves them, minimal work out the box on the action when its time for a new tube.

Howa is more budget friendly. Shoots good, not as refined as the tikka.

scott
Tikka. Better bolt throw, smoother action, better trigger, good aftermarket support... 'nuff said.
Thanks to everyone for the replies. Some of the things said in the above posts were what sold me after I got a chance to handle a Tikka. That bolt throw & action is silky smooth compared to the Howa!

I ended up picking up a Tikka CTR 20” 6.5CM off the EE here for a fair price.
 
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