If you laid a Tikka and a Valmet side by side you would have to look at the lettering to tell them apart. I have a Tikka 512s, and it is just an ok gun. Mine has the silver colored finish on the receiver or should I say HAD a silver colored finish. It wore off on the bottom and gets rusty very quickly. The only Valmet I have seen also has suffered the same fate. Mine has about a thousand rounds through it, and frankly it’s a bit loose around its pivot hinge. If you take the forepiece off and shake the gun, it moves!
In contrast, my Ultra, after 7-8000 rounds is still tight enough so that you have to work the action open. Now I only paid $700 for the gun new three years ago (Stoeger who imports had a special), but I wouldn’t do it again. I shoot skeet with it occasionally and woodcock and grouse also (26″ barrels), but I don’t think it would stand too many clays shoots without falling apart. For what it’s worth,
Thanks for the confirmation that the Tikka and Valmet are the same gun. I haven’t owned the guns, but have shot and handled a bunch of Valmets. One of the guys in my gun club was instrumental in the design and import of a target version of the Valmets about a dozen or so years ago.
I see two Valmets in semi-constant weekend skeet use and they seem to hold up OK. I have never tried the standard “forend off, gun closed” wiggle test on any of these guns, but they appear to lock up adequately and the owners still have all their fingers. The Valmet target guns that I have seen have never been more than adequate quality (though some did come through with absolutely killer wood), but they haven’t been really bad either. Perhaps yours is just on the loose side of the curve. Perhaps the ones I saw were on the tight side of the curve. Maybe the target versions were built differently? Who knows.
Generally, the Japanese Brownings are good guns. I have seen a couple with a million billion rounds through them that are still as tight as new. I have also seen a couple of low usage Citoris get very sloppy very fast. I never figured out why. The vast majority of the Citoris are good and I recommend them highly for clays. Just replace the opening lever spring every 10K and all will be well (except for the bluing).
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)