A few months back, I ran into a deal on a Tikka 695 stainless/laminate that was just too good to pass up. I'd been looking for a traveling rifle that I was willing to sacrifice to the airline gods if necessary, but in which I had good hunting confidence. When I took it to the range, I found it would shoot full-tilt 180 grain loads into a ragged hole at 100 yards. I found this particularly impressive because the bullets in question, Speer MagTips, have a reputation for being very good game bullets, but of very ordinary quality when it comes to accuracy. All in all, my experiences with the pre-scratched rifle were very favorable. The trigger was excellent, it fed very smoothly: it was just a good rifle.
Anyway, I've been thinking about getting a rifle for mid-range practice, focusing on distances between 400 and 600 yards. An obvious turn key choice in a factory rifle is the Tikka CTR, so today I pulled the trigger on a GunBroker auction and became the proud owner of a T3X in .260 Remington, which should arrive at my FFL within a week or so. I think it's a great way to get my feet wet in mid-range shooting; if I find that I'm doing a lot of that type of shooting a year or so from now, I'll consider upgrading to a custom, but we'll see how that goes.
Wish me luck.
NRA Endowment & DSC Lifer