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Rifle Review: The Tikka T3X “Drover” Ranch Rifle

What features does this rifle offer?

This rifle comes with plenty of useful features. It’s built with Tikka Battue Express sights, for fast sight alignment and target acquisition. It’s offered with a 10-round capacity magazine, for multiple varmint engagements, and enlarged bolt knob for ease of manipulation. The 20” barrel has a slightly heavier contour, which will allow for accurate and consistent follow up shots, with lower barrel attenuation and heat buildup. The barrel comes threaded metric but features a thread adapter from M15x1 to 5/8x24” imperial, for various barrel accessories. The rifle weighs in at 6.4 LBS without optics or accessories, making it not too heavy for carrying, and not too light for steadying longer distance shots. Finally, the rifle is fitted with Tikka’s Roughtech Stock, which offers better abrasion and impact resistance comparatively to other polymer stocks, making it rugged and durable.

What is this rifle’s intended use?

The Drover is a rifle that answers the call to action. When out in the field, driving and protecting a herd of cattle, or needing to deal with nuisance animals you need a rifle that’s fast, easy to handle. On horseback, or going through thick brush or difficult terrain, its maneuverable, expedient, and able to take a beating. It’s designed to be used as a ranch rifle but also versatile enough to be more of a modern frontier rifle, or scout rifle concept.  So, if you ever needed one rifle that can handle just about anything you throw at it when it comes to hunting medium to large game, defense, or precision, the Tikka T3x Drover is that rifle.

Is it “Drover” or “Boomslang”?

When first marketed, this rifle was named after a Sub-Saharan African snake called the Boomslang, which is known for its distinctive green hue and extremely venomous bite. With this rifle clad in Roughtech green and potent .308 Winchester, it would have been aptly named. The only issue is that context is key, and not very many people know what a Boomslang is, comparatively to other snakes like Vipers, Cobras, and Mambas. Ultimately, the name was changed to “Drover”, which better suits its intended use as a ranch rifle. A Drover is “one who drives cattle or other hoof stock”, usually over long distances. Although the term Drover has been reportedly used as early 1350’s -1400’s, in more recent times it evokes classic iconography of the original Cowboys and Vaqueros, the distances they travel, blood, sweat, and hard work. In doing so, this rifle solidifies its role as a tool of the trade and deserves such a name.

Final take away.

The Drover, from Tikka, is not just a good rifle, but a great tool. It’s a rifle that’s intended for heavy, and rough use in various environments. It’s a rifle built to endure and contend with the wilderness. It’s designed to be dependable, accurate, and available should the need arise.





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