Tikka (and Ithaca LSA) Scope Rings and Mounts

Discussion in 'Valmet and Tikka' started by icebear, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    The variations of rings and mounts for Tikka rifles are not well known, so I thought it was time to post what information I have. This post is mainly focused on the Tikka M55/M65 rifles, plus the later M558/658 and M595/695 models. In Tikka nomenclature (prior to the current T3 series), a model number starting with a 5 (55, 558, 595), denotes a medium action (.308 length) and a 6 denotes a long action (.30-06 length). Tikka made these rifles in two action lengths, rather than three as did Sako, so Tikka rifles in .222, .223, etc. are built on medium length actions. Tikka offered a much shorter menu of caliber options than Sako, although that has expanded over time. The Ithaca LSA-55 and LSA-65 rifles were identical to the Tikka M55 and M65.

    All, or almost all, Tikka centerfire sporting rifles have used a parallel dovetail scope mount milled into the action. This contrasts with the tapered dovetail used by Sako. The Tikka dovetail is identical in size to the one used on the CZ 527, except that the Czech rifle has a locating pin located off-center on the rear ring, which fits into a recess on the dovetail.


    The factory rings for the M55/65 series, which were manufactured from the early 1970's through the late 80's, are shown below. They have an attractive streamlined shape and the upper half is held in place with four screws. The rings bear the name "Tikka" engraved or stamped into one side. I believe these rings were made in more than one height, but I have only seen one height, which I would call a medium. It is high enough to mount most 40mm scopes if the scope does not have an adjustable objective. A Leupold 40mm AO scope will not clear the barrel with the usual Tikka rings.

    The rings are intended to be mounted at the rear of the front and rear dovetails, and they have removable locating screws. These screws have a dished slot like a Redfield scope mount screw, but smaller. I've never seen a driver made to fit them, but it's easy enough to grind a screwdriver blade or bit to fit. The lower half of each ring is machined from a single piece of steel, incorporating the clamping piece as part of the ring. These fit quite snugly on the rails even before tightening the clamp screw, and it's not unusual that you have to use a screwdriver as a wedge to open up the slot when mounting the ring. The clamp screws require a Redfield-type curved driver bit.

    Warne makes some very nice rings that clamp onto the Tikka rail. Both permanent and QD variations are available. They also used to make this ring for Sako dovetails, but unfortunately those have been discontinued.

    Here are photos of the dovetails on an M55 and a pair of original Tikka rings for the M55/M65 series. Note that the action is also drilled for aftermarket scope bases. Most M55/65 rifles, and all 558/658/595/695 rifles, are factory drilled and tapped. Weaver and others make bases to fit.
    M55 Dovetails.JPG Old Tikka Rings - original.JPG

    The indexing screws sometimes get lost, and originals are all but impossible to find. Here's a pair with replacement screws. I took M4 Allen head screws, added a snug-fitting black washer, and good as new.
    Old Tikka Rings - substitute screws.JPG

    Here is a set of Australian-made Hillver aftermarket rings for Tikka. They are much higher than the factory rings that were marketed by Ithaca. I picked up a set of these, or something similar, on eBay a couple of years ago.
    Hillver Mounts 1.jpg
    When Tikka replaced the M55/65 series with the 558/658, they also changed the ring design. The upper ring half is held with two screws rather than four and the indexing screw has been eliminated. Here's a 695 with these rings. (I believe these are factory rings, but I am not 100% certain as I do not have the factory packaging. I got this rifle secondhand and I think the rings were on the gun when I got it.)
    Tikka6.5-5.JPG

    Below is a newer factory mount that appears to be identical, or nearly so, to the current Optilock, but the packaging does not say Optilock. The rings have a cleverly designed plastic insert that self-adjusts to 1" or 26mm. They also fit the Sako TRG series, which use a Tikka-type mounting rail with the addition of recesses for an indexing pin. The removable pin is for the TRG; I've never seen a Tikka that uses this setup.
    Newer Ring Box 1.JPG Newer Ring Box 2.JPG Newer Rings 1.JPG Newer Rings 2.JPG

    Conetrol also makes a clamp-on base for the Tikka dovetail. Conetrol rings are a pain to install, but they are extremely attractive, being designed without ring screws. The joints in the rings are all but invisible and there are no protrusions. The rings fit together like a puzzle and everything is held together by the cone-tipped set screws on the bases, which also provide windage adjustment. I was pleasantly surprised recently when a Tikka I bought had a set of Conetrol mounts and rings in the box, unmentioned by the seller. Here are the bases, mounted on an M55.
    Conetrol Bases 1.JPG Conetrol Bases 2.JPG

    I haven't gotten the scope mounted on this gun yet. Here's a set of Conetrol rings on a Sako L461, just to show what the completed setup looks like.
    Audette 3.JPG
     
    Charles Witt likes this.

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    3,429
    Likes Received:
    617
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Iowa
    Do the plastic inserts open up to go over the tube without breaking? That's a pretty good stretch!
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    Funny you should ask - the answer is, I don't know. Those rings came with a rifle I bought recently, and I don't think they've ever been used. And there's another strange thing - one of the inserts is one piece, and the other is two pieces, with about a 2/3 - 1/3 split. The ends don't quite meet when the ring is tightened; that's part of how they compensate for 1" vs. 26mm. I haven't tried to put the one-piece insert on a scope. The other one snaps on easily. I need to look more closely to see if the two-piece insert was made by cutting a one-piece. Maybe I'll get up my nerve and see if I can snap the one-piece ring onto a scope as is. It is very flexible, but as you say, that's a pretty big stretch. If it seems like it is going to break, I can always cut it to match the other one.
     
  4. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    242
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Oregon
    Hey paulson, yes the poly inserts are open/split at one location and are fairly flexible. Flexible enough to allow opening to get over/around the main tube. I broke one once by not being careful. But if careful they are easy to install and can be opened many times. Icebear’s two piece is most likely broken, but can still be used.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    It appears to have been made that way, but I will take a closer look. If it broke, it broke in a straight line.
     
  6. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    242
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Oregon
    Mine broke almost perfectly in half and it was nearly straight across. Furthermore, I used it until I could replace it.
     
  7. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    I checked mine and it was a break or a cut, but clean and square, not the sort of thing you usually get with broken plastic. Maybe it did break that cleanly, or maybe somebody felt it start to crack and cut it with a razor saw. In any case, it still works just fine and is easier to install than the unbroken one, so I plan to leave it as is.
     
  8. Lex

    Lex Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Country Flag:
    Australia
    State/Region:
    AU Queensland
    Hey Icebear. I have a Tikka M55 and want to use Optilock bases. I noticed that the Optilock bases have a locator/limiter lug. My M55 action has no place for the locator lug...do you know if this lug is removable?
     
  9. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    It should be removable. I believe the pin is for the TRG series rifles, which use a Tikka type rail with a locating notch. One of the photos above shows a set of rings which I believe to be an early version of the Optilock, before they started calling it an Optilock. The pin is removable on those rings, as you can see in the photo. I have never actually handled a set of Tikka bases labeled Optilock, but I am pretty sure that pin would be removable.
     
  10. Lex

    Lex Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Country Flag:
    Australia
    State/Region:
    AU Queensland
     
  11. Lex

    Lex Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Country Flag:
    Australia
    State/Region:
    AU Queensland
    Thanks heaps for getting back to me so fast. They aren’t cheap but I think they will do a great job. Cheers.
     
  12. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    You might be able to find a set on eBay. Warne also makes good rings for Tikka. For an M55 I prefer the original style Tikka rings, but the Optilocks will work fine.
     
  13. Lex

    Lex Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Country Flag:
    Australia
    State/Region:
    AU Queensland
    The tikka rings are nice but hard to come by in 30mm.
     
  14. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    719
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    True. I believe the Warne rings are available in 30mm.
     

Share This Page

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Okay More information