Tikka Tikka 658 - Baby and bath water...

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by CameronBC, Dec 4, 2021.

  1. CameronBC

    CameronBC Member

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    I have owned a Tikka 658RH in 30-06 for about 15 years and I am currently trying to decide what to do with it. The action is beautiful, smooth as butter, and the trigger is great.

    Got the rifle for 3 hours of work. Essentially free. No history on the rifle other than it wasn't stolen and the friend I got it from got it in a repossession he did as he is a bailiff.

    The rifle came with the barrel EDM ported. I put a Leupold M8 4X scope on it and it shot like crap as in 6 to 8 MOA at 100 yards. Assuming the scope was unhappy because I bought it from a pawn shop for $50.00 I sent the scope to Leupold and they replaced the objective, re-charged it and re-set the reticles. 2 thumbs up for Leupold warranty. Shot a lot better but still 4 to 5 inch MOA and the occasional flyer.

    I called Magnaport to see if the porting was the culprit and they said not our problem because the EDM porting was not done by them. I took it to a gunsmith and asked if the porting could be the cause of the problem and he said maybe. I said would it get any worse if the barrel was shortened and crowned and he said not likely. He did the work and the problem now is that I can shoot about 3 MOA at best at 100 yards and in most cases I get a 4 to 6 inch flyer as well. I have other rifles that I shot sub moa so I would like to think it is not me and I had others shoot with the same result. I have tried different types of ammo, 3 different Leupold scopes and 2 different base/ring combos and no joy. The rifle has sat as I have a few others that shoot better.

    My choices now are:
    1. Sell the gun but I couldn't ethically sell it for full value as I know it shoots like crap. Result: Probably a couple hundred dollars in my pocket. Not my best option as I really like the rest of the gun and making some money on it is not a priority.
    2. Find an OEM barrel or another M658 with a compromised action but good barrel which I think would be near impossible given the limited run of these guns in Canada. Result: Get the gun back to stock and hopefully shooting accurately as close to new as possible. Unknown cost but probably under $500, I hope.
    3. Replace the barrel with a Tikka barrel from another rifle. Gunsmith here in BC offered a T3 stainless takeoff for about $850.00 installed. Would look a bit odd with the blued action but he said it could be Cerakoted to match at extra cost. Result: Also guaranteed accuracy to sub-MOA or better and would range test bullets for the best match before I get it back. Realistically a $1,000 bill or more once all the extras and shipping are accounted for.
    4. Replace the barrel with an aftermarket stainless barrel with chambering at about $820.00 through International Barrels. Result should be good and a little less cost, maybe.
    5. Just noticed a Tikka take off barrel for $180 online but I don't know if it can be fitted to the M658.
    I would prefer not to throw out the baby with the bathwater as I think the action is worth keeping and I could ultimately have a very accurate rifle. I am definitely overthinking this as I don't want to spend money just to come up short in the accuracy department again.

    My questions are:

    What would be the best course of action or suggestions based on your experience?

    Anybody here with experience or technical expertise on swapping barrels on the M658 or similar? Suggestions?


    Ideas on how I could get this done for less money but good results?

    I was looking at a Sako S20 Precision today and paying the extra money was tempting but I have more time than money most days so it will have to wait.

    I am open to other opinions on the best course of action. Thanks in advance.
     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Assuming your stock is inletted properly, action screws are tight & there are no bedding issues, try cleaning the Holy [email protected]! out of the bore. Use one of the new copper eating solvents like Wipe-Out, a bronze brush & a couple hundred patches & spend a couple days scrubbing it. Can't tell you how many rifles I've restored accuracy on that when I got them was told "the barrel is shot out". If that fails, rebarrel it. You will be hard pressed to find a better action & trigger in todays market. The best, easiest & least expensive way is to send it to a barrel maker that will do a custom contour to match your barrel's contour & have them install it. You can get CM steel or stainless & choose other custom features if you so please. CM barrels are cheaper, but by the time you pay to blue them the stainless barrels cost about the same. Haven't had any rebarrel work done for a few years, but the last one cost a little over $700 installed & ready to shoot! Beings you got it for nothing, that's a bargain price for a "new" rifle. Plus you can change calibers if you want to any round that fits your action & bolt face. Pac-Nor did the last two rebarrels for me & I couldn't have been more pleased with their work. Both shoot sub-MOA. Good Luck! BTW, you can make the barrel it's original length as well.
     
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  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I agree that a copper cleanout is in order, but the makers of the most aggressive copper antagonists like Eliminator recommend using a nylon brush. The cleaner will attack the brush, and not only does this radically reduce brush life, it can give a false positive reading by depositing copper salts from the brush in the bore, turning the patch green even if the bore is copper-free. I've been using Eliminator for a while, and have gotten an amazing amount of copper out of barrels that had previously been cleaned with other copper removers. I have some Wipe-Out but have not yet tried it.
     
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  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Trying to salvage a rifle of relatively modest retail value with a new $600-$900 barrel seems like a loosing proposition, especially if you're not certain that it is the barrel which is the problem to begin with. If a thorough multi-day cleaning doesn't improve its performance (and not other issues like bedding, etc. are found) then I'd suggest that you put it up for sale and apply the proceeds to another rifle. A fine old Sako L61R or AIII/AV in standard grade in the very common .30-06 chambering will often run you less than $1,000, particularly if it shows a few bumps and scratches from field use. With a new-to-you Finnbear you'll have a higher-grade rifle than your Tikka (excellent rifle though it is) and in all likelihood your accuracy problems will be solved. And with the proceeds from the sale of your Tikka, you'll have much less money in the trade than you would if rebarreling your Tikka.
     
  5. CameronBC

    CameronBC Member

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    I am going to clean as you suggested though I do normally clean it after every session. I have some very good solvents similar to Wipe-Out that should do the job. If that fixes it, it would be a miracle and the price is right! Actions screws, scope mount and ring screws are all torqued to proper spec.

    I agree with your take on the action and trigger as it is very similar if not identical in the way it breaks and feels to the S20 I looked at. Getting a "new" rifle would be a bonus for sure.

    I will have to talk with International Barrels (they are relatively local) and/or a local gunsmith about the rebarreling to get a more accurate estimate on costs. I hadn't thought about copying the barrel profile to the old one so I will take that into consideration. Thanks for the recommendation to Pac-Nor but getting any gun across the border and back is a PITA and would be a last recourse if it just can't get done in Canada.

    I had never heard of inletting before you mentioned it so I watched a video on it. I don't have the experience to know whether the inletting is correct or the tools to rectify any problems but I will mention it to the gunsmith to check. I do know that the barrel has proper clearance from the stock. Is it possible that improper inletting on its own could cause such a wide variation or is it more likely just part of the problem?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  6. CameronBC

    CameronBC Member

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    You make a good point about the barrel possibly not being the issue but proper bedding/inletting should resolve that and that would be cheaper than re-barreling. After I clean the barrel I will have the other possible issues looked at by a gunsmith to eliminate them. I am not familiar with the L61R or the AIII/AV but anything Sako has a good name so definitely worth looking at. What would you suggest selling the M658 for given its issues? I had a fellow offer $500 but he hadn't looked at the gun and it was just a casual conversation. I am thinking 3 to 400?
     
  7. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Here's another thought. Is there another caliber that you've always sort of wanted, but Tikka doesn't make? Like maybe 9.3x62, or .35 Whelen, or 7x57, or 6.5-06? If you determine you need a new barrel, a change to another caliber based on the .30-06 or the Mauser might be an interesting option. If you are hunting large game in Canada, 9.3x62 would be an attractive option.

    Getting back to the current situation, if the rifle has the original stock and hasn't been messed with, it is highly unlikely that there would be a bedding problem. Tikka rifles normally have excellent stock-to-action fit. If it's been restocked, all bets are off.
     
  8. CameronBC

    CameronBC Member

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    Unfortunately, no. I am a bread and butter kind of guy when it comes to cartridges. All of my rifles are 22, 243, 270, 30-06, and 338 WinMag. I don't shoot long distance and don't have the budget to experiment with other rounds. Good idea though and I appreciate the input!

    I am 100 percent certain it is the OEM stock with no mods.
     
  9. CameronBC

    CameronBC Member

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    Just an update. I cleaned the bore with J-B Non Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound today. It is as shiny as a new nickle right down the bore. I will update after I have run a few shots through.
     
  10. Jeffrey Harvey

    Jeffrey Harvey Well-Known Member

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    I would contact Sako re your issues & they may repair the rifle under warranty or re barrel at a reasonable cost.
     
  11. CameronBC

    CameronBC Member

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    I would try this but given that the barrel is cut down and the rifle is 20+ years old I think they would pretty much ignore me unless you know something or someone I don't. :)
     
  12. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Sako wasn't associated with Tikka when this rifle was produced. If you asked for "warranty" work from them the best you would get would be a puzzled look.
     
  13. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    According to the Tikka website, the Tikka 558/658 series was produced 1989-1991. The Sako-Tikka merger took place in 1983. The Tikkakoski factory closed in March 1989, so the 558/658 rifles were produced at Riihimäki.

    I doubt that any firearm manufacturer would give warranty coverage to a 30-year-old rifle that had been ported and/or chopped. They might or might not offer to install a new barrel at a reasonable cost - if they even have any 658 barrels left after 30 years.
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I stand corrected. Thanks! I thought the 658 was older than that -- in fact, I was confusing it with the LSA 55-65 which was marketed in the U.S. for a time under the Ithaca brand. And I thought the Tikka plant was shuttered much later than that. Time flies when you're in your eighth decade:(.
     
  15. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The 558/658 were first imported in the late 1980,s and were, IMHO, the best rifle Tikka ever made & on a par with any Sako from both build quality & aesthetics. I purchase one on a FFL dealer introductory offer & I regret selling it to this day. They were the first new model of Tikkas imported after Sako bought them. The 595/695 model that came out later was not nearly as nice & appear to be built to compete with the lower priced domestic rifles. Stone, I have come to realize that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.
     
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  16. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I had a 658 in .30-06 for a couple of years. It was very accurate and had interesting wood - there was a contrasting mix of heart and sapwood. I sold it after I got a 695 in 6.5x55 and decided that I had an excess of rifles chambered in .30-06. I'd probably buy it back if the friend I sold it to would sell it, but I'm quite sure he wouldn't. My M695 is a nice gun and I like it, but the earlier model was maybe a little nicer. M558/658 rifles are getting hard to find, since they were only made for a couple of years. Look anywhere for Tikka rifles and you will be buried in T3/T3x models, with very few older guns.
     
  17. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    It seems like it was last year, but maybe the year before, that I went to my younger grandson's 2nd grade graduation where he got a gold star for perfect attendance. They just told me that earlier this week he got his driver's license. WHAT?! That just can't be right.
     
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