by Con Kapralos
In the presence about 80 of Beretta Australia’s national network of dealers and the shooting sports media, the official launch of the Tikka T3x, the biggest overhaul in the Tikka rifle line, went ahead in Melbourne on March 14. The previous week saw reports of the Tikka T3x family of rifles take the IWA OutdoorClassics event in Nuremberg, Germany by storm, with all the anticipation and fanfare expected about a fresh product from Sako/Tikka, who are part of the global Beretta Holding Group. The T3x will assume the mantle of one of the most popular rifles ever produced by modern gunmaking standards in the Tikka T3.
Not one to miss a golden opportunity, Beretta Australia also invited several international guests from the Beretta Holding Group to showcase merchandise for the Australian shooting and hunting fraternity. This included director of Rifle Business at Tikka (Sako) Kari Harila, chief global marketing officer for Beretta Optics Division Stephen McKelvain, head of Sales Group Business (Steiner) Martin Schorman and assistant sales manager at Burris Optics Sky Leighton.
The prelude to the launch at the SSAA Little River rifle range was a seminar at the Mercure Treasury Gardens in Melbourne. Luca Scribani Rossi, managing director of Beretta Australia, together with Clemente Scribani Rossi, marketing manager for Rifles and Optics at Beretta Australia, welcomed all the guests and introduced the international visitors. The highlight was naturally the new Tikka T3x with the catchphrase ‘Second to None’.
Clemente invited Kari Harila to the podium. Kari gave a brief talk on the history of Sako/Tikka and then unveiled the new T3x rifle. He outlined the features of the rifle family over the existing T3 line and commented how these would make an already excellent rifle platform even better. The latest look includes a modular stock, enhanced grip, revamped recoil pad, stock noise reduction, slick rail attachment, metallic bolt shroud and metal recoil lug.
Kari, together with Clemente, explained how Sako/Tikka listened to feedback from users of the Tikka T3 rifle (since its inception in 2003), which were instrumental in the new features of the T3x line. They went on to reiterate that the same out-of-the-box accuracy (three-shot groups of less than 1″ at 100m), performance and reliability would continue with the T3x. “Sako has really listened to the small list of shortcomings on the existing T3 platform and has delivered a rifle that goes above all expectations,” said Clemente. “These enhancements will definitely ensure that Tikka remains Australia’s favourite rifle brand for many years to come.”
Additionally to the T3x, a range of Tikka accessories such as normal and vertical grips, modular fore-end attachment, recoil pad, metal bolt shroud and steel recoil lug were also released to help users to customise their Tikka to suit their purpose. The grips and modular fore-end attachment are designed specifically for the T3x (with the synthetic stocks), but the recoil pad, metal bolt shroud and steel recoil lug can be retro-fitted to existing Tikka T3 rifles.
Following a morning tea break, the podium was handed over to Stephen McKelvain, from Beretta Optics Division. Stephen gave an entertaining talk on the rebranding of the Steiner and Burris lines to better reflect the current product range, which are some of the most innovative and technologically advanced on the market. Beretta Australia is serious in giving the sporting shooter the very best optics available. Whether you are looking for an entry-level riflescope, a serious target or long-range unit, or binoculars for a particular application, Steiner and Burris have all bases covered.
Martin Schorman and Sky Leighton, from Steiner and Burris Optics respectively, took to the floor to outline several new models of scopes and binoculars which will soon be available to Australian consumers. The Steiner Ranger hunting scopes, Steiner Observer binoculars and Burris XTR II, Veracity and Droptine scope ranges were discussed and I have no doubt that all these exciting optics will really shake up the hunting and shooting optics field in 2016 and beyond. They offer something for all budgets and applications, while having the backing of the Beretta Australia group.
The Burris line goes one step further with its ‘Forever Warranty – No Questions Asked’. If you have a problem with your Burris scope, simply take it back to the dealer it was purchased from and it will be replaced with a scope of identical specifications (and comparable quality). Furthermore, if you bought the scope secondhand and have had trouble with it, provided it was acquired from an authorised Australian Beretta dealer, the scope will be exchanged, no questions asked. No other company to my knowledge can match that level of customer service.
The presentations wrapped up around midday and it was off to the SSAA Little River range. On arriving, all guests were treated to a barbecue lunch and Beretta Australia had an extensive array of rifles for its dealers and media to put to the test. Guests were also given complimentary Sport EAR X-Pro earplugs, which offer class 5 hearing protection and are from a new agency Beretta Australia is distributing.
The Tikka T3x was ‘king of the range’, but there were also a few Sako TRGs. All rifles were in .308 Winchester calibre, being fed the new Tikka 150-grain soft-point loads, supplied in a box of 50 rounds. I personally take my hat off to Tikka and Beretta Australia for this. The T3x rifles had a wide variety of sights and scopes fitted, from red-dot type sights in the Aimpoint and Burris models to the excellent Steiner Ranger and new Burris scopes.
Also on hand were a couple of the new Steiner Observer binoculars, which were nothing short of brilliant. With a backdrop of the You Yangs behind the rifle range, these binoculars bought them to within arm’s reach, all in perfect crispness and clarity, and they were easy to use. Steiner’s ‘Fast close Focus’ central focusing wheel means super quick and minor adjustments will give you absolute clarity from close-up to infinity.
The launch of the Tikka T3x rifles, Tikka accessories, Tikka ammunition and the fresh options in the Steiner and Burris optics are further proof that Beretta Australia, with the backing of the Beretta Holding Group, is at the forefront of giving Australian shooters and hunters the most innovative and best value-for-money options on the market. These companies have complete faith in their products, with the expertise and superb customer service to back it up. Second to none? Absolutely!
For more information about these new products, ask your local Beretta Australia dealer or visit their website.