I was asked about my setup, so I made this short video and write up. At the moment this is my favorite setup that consists of Tikka M595 rifle in .223 Remington caliber with Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14×50 riflescope and A-Tec CMM-4 ALU sound moderator. Because .223 is only roe legal here I use it from April till July when red stags come in season and February-March when only roe does are in season. I also use it for some target shooting as everyone needs some practice from time to time… 🙄
Tikka M595 .223 Remington rifle
I was always a fan of German/Austrian classic deer stalking rifles. However, when we moved to the UK and I got my FAC I struggled to find nice Sauer or old Mannlicher in decent condition at affordable price. I then bought Steyr Pro Hunter which was a compromise as I would prefer one of the older S/M/L models, but nothing interesting came up at the time and I needed rifle quick. Then I stated looking for the .223.
I looked at a few rifles when I spotted Tikka M595 setup on one of the forums. It looked decent condition with rifle, Leupold scope in Optilocks, T8 moderator with some ammo and case for about £1,000. I don’t like Leupold so made an offer of £500 for everything minus scope. The guy wanted £600, but it was too much for me. I waited a bit and he contacted me again if I still wanted it, but as he was in Wales I would need RFD transfer. A few emails later he offered to deliver it to me. That looked a bit desperate, so I agreed to take it for £400 delivered… 😈 Even if it needed re-barreled it was still a bargain for stainless M595 action with custom stock, T8 moderator, Optilock mounts, case and 60pcs of ammo. 🙄
The rifle had a barrel cut to 17.5″. It was threaded 1/2″ UNF that matched my other moderator, so I still have T8 as a spare. When I tried the rifle I could get 0.5″ groups with factory ammunition, so barrel is not too bad. Short barrel was ideal for my A-tec CMM-4 ALU sound moderator. Because A-Tec is end-of-barrel type and extends the overall length by about 6″, the whole setup was more or less like regular rifle with 24″ barrel and very well balanced. I think also trigger was worked on a bit as it is very light (I think it is less than 2lbs as stated in the menual as lower limit) and perfect for both stalking and target shooting. No need for set trigger in this rifle.
This rifle shot well some Remington and Federal 40 and 50gr ammo I got with it, but I use Sako 55gr soft points on roe deer. The rifle is grouping well with this ammunition and roe usually drop on the spot. Not much meat damage either.
Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14×50 riflescope
The Tikka used to have Minox ZA5 2-10×40 riflescope on top, but I moved scopes around and now it is Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14×50 I used to have on my .308. The scope is not available in Europe and I bought it from the states. I must confess I really do hate European dealers and their prices. Brand new Zeiss Conquest from US was much cheaper than anything else from the top optics manufacturers at that time. It also has side parallax and target turrets which are nice features. Not really needed on hunting rifle, but I still have ambition to practice more long range shooting… 🙄 but never seem to find time to do it…
The scope has #4 reticule which is in second focal plane. I think this is absolutely brilliant reticle and at the time only Zeiss Conquest offered that. It is thick enough for low light and I shot deer at very last light with it and the middle of the cross hairs is thin enough for precise shots. Nowadays, Zeiss introduced Duralyt range of scopes on European market, but I still think Conquests are better. #6 reticule is thinner and would not be in as good in low light as #4 on my Conquest. I also prefer lighter 1″ tube from traditional European 30mm size. Also choice of scopes is limited in Duralyt series with 3-12×50 being closest to 4.5-14×50 I have. I agree 3-12×50 illuminated #60 reticule must be great, but it is still twice the price of the Conquest… so Zeiss Conquest it is. I never had a problem with mine and when I lost a screw from one of the turrets Zeiss US just send me some free of charge, so can’t complain. I would love another one, but now not all dealers want to ship scopes outside US and second hand are not easy to find… There are plenty S/H riflescopes with useless #20 plex reticle that Americans for some reasons prefer, but #4 are not popular out there…