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  4. Tikka T3x Lite Compact Review: A Lightweight Show Stopper
Tikka T3x Lite Compact Review: A Lightweight Show Stopper preview image
Aug 03 2023
10 min read

Tikka T3x Lite Compact Review: A Lightweight Show Stopper


The Tikka (pronounced tick-ah) T3x Lite Compact is a lightweight rifle designed and manufactured by Tikka in Finland. Part of the T3x line that was introduced in 2016, the Tikka T3x Lite Compact is an outstanding rifle.

tikka t3x lite compact review with hornady ammo

Light hunting rifles are very popular among hunters, especially those who will be hiking up the backcountry or carrying their rifles over distance. The Tikka T3x Lite Compact fits the requirement to a T.

When discussing the Tikka; you are talking about a rifle from a company with a long history of excellence. Tikka is owned by Sako, who, in turn, since 2000, has been owned by Beretta. These are all reputable firearms brands.

Tikka rifles could be said to be Toyota to Sako’s Lexis. They are made in the same factory, to the same high standards. The lower price does not mean lower quality. Tikkas are known for their accuracy, durability, versatility, and overall quality.

Tikka T3x Lite Compact Review

Tikka T3x Lite For Sale

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The Tikka T3x Lite Compact comes from the factory with a 3-shot 1-MOA guarantee. Out of the box, the Tikka T3x Lite Compact is more accurate and precise than many of those who plan to shoot it.

The T3x has a modular synthetic stock, allowing the shooter to replace the pistol grip and the forend with parts that suit them. The parts are sold separately. I like the feel of both the forend and the pistol grip, but the Tikka T3x allows you to go a different direction, which is a great feature.

tikka t3x lite compact review
Workmanesqe black synthetic stock – Photo Credit: Tina Fail

Another nice feature that Tikka T3x Lite Compact includes with their synthetic stock is a foam insert in the stock. The insert cuts down on noise generated by a hollow synthetic stock banging around.

The grip texture on the Tikka is described as “asymmetrical.” The asymmetrical grip is designed to make the grip pattern effective in multiple weather conditions. Having used this rifle for hunting the East Texas Piney Woods, at the range, in sweltering humidity, and in the Texas version of a cold winter, I feel like the grip texture works.

The Trigger on the Tikka T3x Lite Compact is crisp. You have the option to adjust the trigger to between 2 & 4 pounds. My rifle has a 3-pound trigger pull out of the box.

tikka t3x lite compact review with vortex scope mounted
Grip texture on the T3x Lite Compact handguard and pistol grip – Photo Credit: Tina Fail

Another means of cutting weight Tikka used to lighten the T3x Lite Compact was to have a hollow bolt handle.

tikka t3x lite compact review with vortex scope mounted close up
Hollow bolt: When ounces matter, every little bit helps. – Photo Credit: Tina Fail
tikka t3x lite compact review bolt action and safety
Tikka T3x safety and cocking indicator – Photo Credit: Tikka


Caliber7mm-08, other calibers available
Barrel Twist1:9.5
Barrel Length20 inches
Overall Length39.4 inches
Weight5.9 pounds

Pros & Cons

  • Accurate out of the box
  • Good out of the box trigger
  • Quality construction
  • Durable & lightweight
  • Polymer trigger guard/bottom
  • Lightweight might lead to higher felt recoil

Range Report

Special thanks to Hornady for providing ammo for the review. During my most recent range trip, I shot both Hornady American Hunter and Hornady Precision Hunter. Both rounds zeroed very easily and were very precise.

tikka t3x lite compact review with hornady ammo precision hunter american whitetail
Hornady Precision Hunt and Hornady American Hunter
hornady precision hunter ammo
Hornady Precision Hunter with the polymer tipped ELD-X bullet & Hornady American Hunter with the exposed lead tipped Interlock bullet.


I have owned the Tikka T3x Lite Compact since 2020.

Since I first brought the rifle home, I have shot a decent amount with the rifle. Over 300 rounds downrange with zero issues. I have shot Remington Core-Lokt, Hornady Superformance, Hornady Custom Lite, Hornady American Hunter, and Hornady Precision Hunter.

hornady superperformance remington core lokt hornady custom lite ammo
Some ammunition offerings from Hornady & Remington. Photo Credit: Tina Fail

I shot sixty rounds of Hornady American Hunter and Hornady Precision Hunter on my recent trip to the range. Zero issues were experienced.


When I got my Tikka, I put a Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10X50 on the rifle and took it to the range. Zeroing the rifle took only a few shots. Hornady’s American Hunter performed well.

Most groupings were sub-1-MOA, although I occasionally experienced a flier.

tikka t3x lite review groupings
Good results from the Tikka T3x Lite Compact shooting Hornady American Hunter with the occasional flier from shooter error.

I attribute the flyers to the shooter, me, and not the rifle. I have had visits to the range where all groups were sub-1-MOA.

When I shifted to shooting Hornady Precision Hunter, the T3x Lite Compact responded very well, and all my groups were under 1-MOA.

I also spent a significant amount of time shooting 12-inch diameter plates at 300 yards and was very pleased with the rifle’s accuracy and precision. Shooting without a spotter, I could ring the steel on all but a couple of shots.

tikka t3x lite review groupings 2
Typical Results when shooting Hornady Precision Hunter from the Tikka T3x Lite Compact

Overall Feel

The Overall feel of the Tikka T3x Lite Compact is fantastic. The rifle fits the hands and points well. I initially bought this rifle for smaller shooters like my wife and kids, but I have been so pleased that it is my go-to when hunting.

tikka t3x lite range test with hornady ammo


3-shot Sub-MOA Accuracy Guarantee

This was the feature that put me onto the Tikka T3x Lite Compact. Knowing that if I did my job, the rifle was precise enough to put three shots into an inch at one hundred yards was exactly what I was looking for.

As my primary hunting rifle, I have used the Tikka to harvest many animals. The rifle has never failed to put the animal down quickly and humanely. As a hunter, it is my job to ensure I use the appropriate tools for the job, and the Tikka T3x Lite Compact fits this requirement.


The Tikka T3x Lite Compact has this name for a reason. For those looking for a rifle with less weight and one that can be easily carried for long periods of time, the Tikka is it.

The polymer stock, lightweight barrel, hollow bolt, and other weight-saving features ensure the Tikka isn’t a strain on the shooter’s arms and shoulders and can be carried for as long as necessary.


The modular synthetic stock is another major feature of the Tikka T3x Lite Compact. The changeable pistol grips and forend are great. Parts for these changes are available from multiple retailers.

The Tikka T3x Lite Compact has multiple ways of mounting optics. I mounted my optic directly to my Tikka T3x Lite Compact using DNZ Products Tikka Tube Mount. The Tikka T3x Lite Compact can also have a Picatinny rail attached to the top. The variety of ways for mounting optics means you can find the method that works best for you.

Upgrades Over the Tikka T3

Tikka upgraded the T3x with features that shooters of the earlier T3 requested. Improved rail and scope attachments were added. The ejection port was redesigned, making feeding one cartridge at a time easier.

Another change that Tikka made to the T3x line was to change to a metallic bolt shroud instead of the polymer one on the T3. Sticking with the theme of improving materials, Tikka improved the recoil lug to ensure minimal deformation, even with large calibers.

tikka t3x lite range test close up on bolt action and safety
Upgraded Bolt Shroud – Photo Credit: Tikka

How We Tested

I tested my Tikka T3x Lite by taking trips to the range and hauling it through the piney woods of East Texas when hunting.

Ammo Used

Hornady provided me with high-quality hunting ammo in 7mm-08 for my most recent trip to the range. The two ammunition types provided were Hornady American Hunter and Hornady Precision Hunter.

Both ammunitions produced 3-shot sub-MOA groups out of the Tikka T3x Lite Compact. Of the two, the premium Precision Hunter seemed to shoot slightly better, but the differences in results were negligible enough at the distances I was shooting.

hornady precision ammo at range test tikka t3x lite
hornady american whitetail ammo with tikka t3x lite

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)

The Tikka T3x Lite Compact is 100% reliable. I have never had a single issue with the rifle.

Ergonomics (10/10)

The Tikka T3x Lite Compact feels great in the hands and points well. The lightweight makes it a great choice for anyone needing to carry their rifle further than the nearest bench rest.

Customization (8/10)

The pistol grip is replaceable. The forend is replaceable. There are multiple mounting options for optics. The only knock here is that you don’t see the same level of support for Tikka as you might for an offering from Ruger.

Appearance (7/10)

Out of the box the Tikka T3x Lite Compact is a basic-looking rifle. It has a bland but functional black synthetic stock.

Value (10/10)

The Tikka T3x Lite Compact is an incredible value. It shoots as well as a much more expensive rifle. With a price well under $1,000, you can expect a rifle that will shoot a 3-shot sub-MOA group, is rugged, light, and customizable.


High Desert Rifle Works Aluminum Trigger Guard/Bottom


High Desert Rifle Works aluminum trigger guard for the Tikka T3x is a must-have accessory. It increased the rigidity of the rifle and the tension between the stock and the action. Overall this is a really good upgrade that can increase the precision of your Tikka rifle.

LimbSaver Recoil Pad

LimbSaver Recoil Pad

A LimberSaver recoil pad is a good accessory for your Tikka T3x Lite Compact.

As with any light rifle, the lightweight of the rifle does not do as much to mitigate felt recoil. While the Tikka does come with a recoil pad, it is not as good as the LimbSaver recoil pad. Either get the permanently attached pad or a LimbSaver Airtech slip-on pad.

DNZ Products Game Reaper Tikka

DNZ Products Game Reaper Tikka

THe DNZ Products Game Reaper – Tikka is a great way to mount your scope to your Tikka rifle.

Made in the USA from a solid block of aluminum, the DNZ Game Reaper securely holds your scope and ensures that the rifle stays zeroed.


Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic Compact


The Weatherby Vanguard is a very similar rifle to the Tikka T3x Lite Compact. The Vanguard has a synthetic stock, is lightweight, and comes with a 3-shot sub-MOA group guarantee. The Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic Compact is a quality rifle at an affordable price.

Bergara B14 Hunter


The Bergara B14 Hunter is a synthetic stocked rifle. Competing in the same market as the Tikka T3x Lite Compact, it weighs slightly more than the Tikka. As with the Tikka and the Weatherby, the Bergara B14 Hunter has a sub-MOA guarantee. Bergara’s B-14 line is known for its excellent rifles.

Check out our Bergara B-14 HMR review for more info!

Ruger American Compact

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The Ruger American has a synthetic stock and a similar form factor to the Tikka T3x Lite Compact. It offers a crisp trigger and a lightweight, ergonomic stock. While the Ruger American does not offer a sub-MOA guarantee, plenty of shooters report that their rifle shoots sub-MOA.

Last Words

Tikka’s T3x Lite Compact is an excellent rifle. The 3-shot sub-MOA guarantee helps the rifle get its foot in the door. Once the Tikka gets your attention, though, it really knocks your socks off with its quality stock, ease of handling, collection of features, and overall feel.

Anyone looking for a rifle to go hunting with, shoot at the range, and overall shoot and enjoy should add a Tikka T3x Lite Compact to their collection.

Chris Fortenberry photo Chris is a firearms enthusiast and collector located in Texas. Chris’ passion for firearms started at a young age and was fueled by his passion for history. Chris used that passion to become a historian and feels that spreading the understanding of firearms functionally, socially, and politically is one of the paramount jobs of the 2nd Amendment community. He seeks to share his knowledge with those around him.


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Rob Sun, 17 Sep 2023 02:17:32

wanting to know the t3x lite adjustable length of pull minimum length and possible lengths seeking 13″ ish possibly 12.5″
Want a larger caliber than the compact offers but in a shorter length of pull can’t find any info on the adjustable how short it goes?


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