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G'day from Down Under - Looking for advise on maximising Tikka T1X Accuracy

2279 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Sav93
I'm currently going through the process of trying to extract the most accuracy I can out of a little Tikka T1X in 22lr (16" barrel version) that I shoot at my local benchrest club against the more typical and heavier Anschutz and the like bench guns shooting 20m, 50m & 90m. Down here in Aus, there isn't anything really similar to the NRL22 / factory category type competitions that you guys have in the states and my local club refers to this category as 'Bunny Gun' (in a slightly derogatory but good humoured way). As such I thought this forum would be a good source of more relevant knowledge and experience to draw upon.

I really enjoy shooting my Tikka and it already shoots pretty good (typically 5 shots into .3' to .4" at 50m with Eley Match shooting off the bench with a bipod & rear bag, using a Delta Optical 6-24 x 42 scope). I've even won a few club shoots (I don't think some of the Annie crowd were to impressed at being beaten by a 'Bunny Gun' ;)).

I've recently gone down the rabbit hole of trying a Lowey Tuner (Australian manufacturer) with reasonable success at 50m, but so far I've found the settings that improve accuracy at 50m (55yds) have inconsistent or even negative effect at 90m (100yds). I was inclined to blame my technique or wind calls until I did the 90m 'With' & 'Without' tuner comparison, which showed I could achieve much better consistency without the tuner than I was getting with it. As such, I'm inclined to walkaway from using the tuner, but thought I'd give it one last chance see what insights you guys might be able to provide. Any insights on any or all of the following would be appreciated:

1. Has anyone tried a tuner on a similar set up (short 16" or similar medium weight barrel 0.72" at the muzzle)? and if so what were your results like?

2. With a tuner on a 22lr do you typically use one setting for all distances? Or have you found that you need to use a different tune/setting for different distances? I've read several different & often conflicting theoretical posts, but I'm interested in real world findings with similar rifle setups e.g. more factory/sporter & less benchrest/custom.

3. 90m (100yd) results with the tuner tend to have more vertical spread than without the tuner - is this perhaps indicating that I've selected the wrong node?

I was thinking perhaps it was inconsistent rear bag pressure (my 50m groups show a little vertical spread as well), but when I did a comparison of CCI SV, Eley Match & SK Flatnose (multiple 10 shot groups at 90m) both with & without the tuner (see bottom pic) it indicated that I was getting less vertical spread and generally better consistency without the tuner then I was with the tuner.

Tuner & Tuning process - The Lowey Tuner is a clamp on design (you provide barrel diameter 2" back from the muzzle and the bore it to a close slip fit, then pinched up with 2 studs), which has has 50 increments marked per rotation and 10 full rotations of adjustments (500 total settings), so I shot 3 control groups at the top of each page (highlighted in yellow) without the tuner, then started the tuner testing at '0' revolutions (closest the chamber) and fired 3 shot groups working outwards towards the target in 10 setting increments (1/5th of a turn), each row of 5 bulls therefore represents 1 full rotation of the tuner.
By the end of the first page, the wind was threatening to come in, so based on the pattern emerging of the '10' setting in each rotation looking quite good, I skipped ahead and fired a shot group on each rotation at the '10' setting (5:10, 6:10, 7:10 etc) to see if there were any stand out rotations to focus my efforts. The wind conditions didn't end up deteriorating, so I went back and filled in all of the other 3 shot groups. The 8:10 to 8:40 range looked the most promising so I started trialling 8:25 & 8:30 settings in the weekly club shoots (20m & 50m) with promising results as shown below, however the results were far less consistent at the monthly 90m shoots, hence the 90m test to compare the ammo that was giving the best results at 50m (CCI SV, Eley Match & SK Flatnose) with and without the tuner.

Apologies for the lengthy first post... Here's a few picks of my rifle with tuner fitted (this was back when I was using a Vixen 4-16x scope before switching to the Delta) and examples of typical results.

The coin in some of the pics for scale is an Australian 5 cent piece 19.4mm (or a hare over 3/4") and the USBR target used for tuning was printed about 1/2 scale (A4 pages).

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馃榿馃嚭馃嚫WELCOME TO RFC!!!馃嚭馃嚫馃榿

I'm going to bump this thread on down to the Tikka forum so you can get better answers to this query. Feel free to open another thread here in the New Member Introduction area to introduce yourself to the membership.

Good luck in your quest

DrGunner
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Welcome to Rimfire Central from Colorado Mick!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Frank
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馃榿馃嚭馃嚫WELCOME TO RFC!!!馃嚭馃嚫馃榿

I'm going to bump this thread on down to the Tikka forum so you can get better answers to this query. Feel free to open another thread here in the New Member Introduction area to introduce yourself to the membership.

Good luck in your quest

DrGunner
Thanks 馃憤
Welcome to the site Mick, I am pretty new to it also. I looks like you groups and bulls are similar to mine. Mine is a 20" with no tuner. Added beaver tail grip, vertical grip, trigger spring and rubber but pad for increased length of pull. The pad changed the eye relief. I readjusted it, seamed ok but wasn't quite right. i need to readjust again. Just a touch off. My Sightron target scope is more picky on eye relief then the Tract I had on it. Listed below are my biggest gains in no particular order.
1. Changed trigger spring. Set at 1lb 0oz on my Lyman digital gauge. Still some adjustment to lower left but I'm em happy there so far. Did safety check it numerous times and no fails.
2. Quality scope for purpose. Target dot scope over cross hairs was a plus for me. Using a Sightron 10 X 50 X 60 set on about 24 power at 50 yd. Still experimenting on power.
3. Ammo. SK match for mine. Eley match and club close but every time i compare SK Match consistently wins out in my T1x.
4. Practice, practice, practice and pay attention to what the best shooters are doing. Ask questions, most are willing to share what has worked for them.
Danny
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Welcome to the site Mick, I am pretty new to it also. I looks like you groups and bulls are similar to mine. Mine is a 20" with no tuner. Added beaver tail grip, vertical grip, trigger spring and rubber but pad for increased length of pull. The pad changed the eye relief. I readjusted it, seamed ok but wasn't quite right. i need to readjust again. Just a touch off. My Sightron target scope is more picky on eye relief then the Tract I had on it. Listed below are my biggest gains in no particular order.
1. Changed trigger spring. Set at 1lb 0oz on my Lyman digital gauge. Still some adjustment to lower left but I'm em happy there so far. Did safety check it numerous times and no fails.
2. Quality scope for purpose. Target dot scope over cross hairs was a plus for me. Using a Sightron 10 X 50 X 60 set on about 24 power at 50 yd. Still experimenting on power.
3. Ammo. SK match for mine. Eley match and club close but every time i compare SK Match consistently wins out in my T1x.
4. Practice, practice, practice and pay attention to what the best shooters are doing. Ask questions, most are willing to share what has worked for them.
Danny
Thanks for the reply Danny. Yes, always keen to take advantage of any opportunity for more trigger time (ammo availability permitting).
My main query was seeking opinions/thoughts on the differences I鈥檝e observed with / without tuner at 90m (100yds) and whether others using tuners on similar 22 platforms find they can you use the same setting at 50 and 100yds, or do they develope a different tuner setting for each distance?
I myself just ordered a Tuner to experiment with on my T1x. I have an IBI 22鈥 barrel. From the research I鈥檝e done the standard tuner (using only it鈥檚 solid mass adjusted forward and aft) the longer the barrel the more efficiently it changes the nodes creating best results. General consensus 22鈥 or longer. Anything under that may be less effective. I can鈥檛 attest to that being the absolute truth by experience but if true it may be a reason your short barrel isn鈥檛 responding well. It may not be actually tuned and shows it at longer yardages. Just a thought.
On the other hand, a tuner using PDT (particle dampening technology) is said to have more positive results across all barrel lengths and far less finicky to find the sweet spot. Ezell Custom Rifles in KY makes them and has a great reputation for his PDT tuner doing just that. Something else for you to ponder. I myself chose the Ezell and that鈥檚 what鈥檚 coming!


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I myself just ordered a Tuner to experiment with on my T1x. I have an IBI 22鈥 barrel. From the research I鈥檝e done the standard tuner (using only it鈥檚 solid mass adjusted forward and aft) the longer the barrel the more efficiently it changes the nodes creating best results. General consensus 22鈥 or longer. Anything under that may be less effective. I can鈥檛 attest to that being the absolute truth by experience but if true it may be a reason your short barrel isn鈥檛 responding well. It may not be actually tuned and shows it at longer yardages. Just a thought.
On the other hand, a tuner using PDT (particle dampening technology) is said to have more positive results across all barrel lengths and far less finicky to find the sweet spot. Ezell Custom Rifles in KY makes them and has a great reputation for his PDT tuner doing just that. Something else for you to ponder. I myself chose the Ezell and that鈥檚 what鈥檚 coming!


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Thanks for your input, I too was wondering if the 16鈥 barrel length may have been influencing the results / be sub optimal for tuning.
I鈥檓 not familiar with PDT tuners, so I now have some more research to do鈥
I look forward to hearing how you get on with your new tuner - please keep me informed.
Thanks for your input, I too was wondering if the 16鈥 barrel length may have been influencing the results / be sub optimal for tuning.
I鈥檓 not familiar with PDT tuners, so I now have some more research to do鈥
I look forward to hearing how you get on with your new tuner - please keep me informed.
I got the tuner yesterday and got it installed today. Very precise built piece. Of course I鈥檒l keep you posted on my results. Only problem is finding the free time and a day with optimum conditions to spend some time testing. When I came home yesterday to my tuner I was also bringing home my newborn daughter. So Mommy and I have a full schedule


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I got the tuner yesterday and got it installed today. Very precise built piece. Of course I鈥檒l keep you posted on my results. Only problem is finding the free time and a day with optimum conditions to spend some time testing. When I came home yesterday to my tuner I was also bringing home my newborn daughter. So Mommy and I have a full schedule


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Congrats on the new arrival(s) mate. Sounds look you might be getting your shooting fix through the forum for a bit 馃槈
Tuners are so much BULLFONKY created by idiots who see themselves as Gods gift to the shooting fraternity. Throw the tuner in the trash and thank the Good Lord you saw the light early on..................
Tuners are so much BULLFONKY created by idiots who see themselves as Gods gift to the shooting fraternity. Throw the tuner in the trash and thank the Good Lord you saw the light early on..................
馃槀馃ぃ yep, for now I鈥檝e decided to go without. I鈥檓 sure they have their place, I鈥檓 just not finding repeatable results over multiple distances with my set up.
Not to sound like an idiot..:newbie here鈥ut how does a tuner work?
When a rifle is fired and the bullet travels down the barrel there are vibrations set up -- the end of the barrel actually oscillates slightly. Even a very slight difference in where the barrel is "pointed" as the bullet exits the barrel will send that bullet in a slightly different direction. Th result is a group of shots at the target -- very small (ideally) or somewhat or a lot bigger. That vibration varies with the ammo (and some other minor things like temperature), but the tuner mounted at the end of the barrel is turned (trial and error) until it essentially cancels out that vibration so the end of the barrel is "pointed" in the same direction when each shot is fired. Just keep adjusting the tuner till the groups really tighten up.

Doug
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When a rifle is fired and the bullet travels down the barrel there are vibrations set up -- the end of the barrel actually oscillates slightly. Even a very slight difference in where the barrel is "pointed" as the bullet exits the barrel will send that bullet in a slightly different direction. Th result is a group of shots at the target -- very small (ideally) or somewhat or a lot bigger. That vibration varies with the ammo (and some other minor things like temperature), but the tuner mounted at the end of the barrel is turned (trial and error) until it essentially cancels out that vibration so the end of the barrel is "pointed" in the same direction when each shot is fired. Just keep adjusting he tuner till the groups really tighten up.

Doug
Good advice Doug. I'll add that tuning with good ammo is important
So Gidday from "over the ditch" ( for our USA friends that's Kiwi slang for the Tasman Sea). I'm still learning too, shooting a Lithgow LA101, CZ 457 and T1x (all 20") and I've listed them in the order they shoot for me, although to be fair I ran out of the "good" batch of Eley Match before I got the Tikka.

I've considered tuners but want to understand more about "how to drive them" before buying one as it's a big committement of ammo to test.

Anyhoo I came across these videos, it's very hard to discern if he's just selling snake oil or just not presenting enough information. But it's the best explanation of "positive compensation" I've seen, and with the ES in 22 ammo velocities that's where I wonder if the biggest gains are possible with 22s beyond 50M.

Cheers
Foster
I鈥檝e set my tuner up by drawing a horizontal line and spacing dots 2鈥 apart on a sheet of paper. I Also use a chronograph. I read about setting tuner to peak of sine wave based on impact. I have observed that groups impact differently as tuner weight is moved and groups move up and down from the line which is POA. I鈥檝e read that group at peak will be most consistent setting. My reason for chronograph usage is to validate fliers. As you know rimfire ammo has a spread in velocity from the factory. Seeing vertical spread impacts based on velocity changes allows me to make a judgement call on a bad round or bad shooting form or both. I鈥檓 not considering wind effects because that is not something I can control while shooting, even though it affects final outcome. I could show you the results of shooting ammo with a ES of over 100 fps. It was an exercise to observe the tuner workings and influences on that rifle with that ammo. You may find a good setting or you may not. My feeling is once you do it should be good for all distances because you are getting barrel to behave consistently and the barrel doesn鈥檛 know how far away the target is.
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