It is pretty easy to go spend a ton of money to buy a new rifle. Heck, I could sit here all day and think of all the possibilities for new rifles given an unlimited budget. The fact of the matter is, like most of you, I don’t have an unlimited budget when it comes to rifles and that is one of the many reasons I like the Thompson/Center Venture.
I had the opportunity a few years back to test a T/C Icon rifle before they came out. I was solidly impressed with the performance and accuracy of the rifle. The only thing lacking was weight and a lower price. The Venture is a more economically-built version of the Icon rifle. It costs less yet still has the accuracy you’d expect from T/C.
My test Venture is a .308 chambered, WeatherShield-clad, all-weather tack driver. Oh wait. I’m supposed to build some suspense here, aren’t I? Sorry. The cat is out of the bag, I guess. The venture is a darn nice shooting gun. In fact, T/C claims the Venture is guaranteed sub-MOA right out of the box.
I mounted a 3-9-50 Bushnell Legend Ultra HD scope on the nicely pre-mounted bases and grabbed an assortment of different ammo before heading to the range. Here’s a few notes:
- The gun looks and feels great. It has a decent recoil pad, a nicely fitting stock and it feels good being held. The weight is pretty good at 7 pounds pre-scope. There are textured Hogue grip panels in the right areas. I like Hogue stocks and like the addition here.
- The bolt, which is Melanite coated to smoother action, was stiff and has yet to lighten up. I think, as with any bolt gun, this will get better, but I was used to some of my more broken-in actions and it was a touch tight.
- The trigger was light and is adjustable from 3.5 to 5 lbs. Mine was set right at just a hair over 4. It worked well and I like it.
- The detachable magazine worked flawlessly.
- The gun shoots just as well as they advertised. The barrel features 5R rifling and a crowned muzzle. After I got it dialed in with the scope, we were shooting three shot groups that were all within a hair of touching at 100 yards. At 200, I was still within an inch. Impressive for a “cheap” gun.
- The rifle liked better ammo. My best shots came with Federal Premium loaded with Barnes 150-grain TSX bullets.
- For shooting at the range, you can do no better for a gun rest than the Caldwell Matrix. I love mine!
The Outwrite Truth
Thompson/Center is going to sell a lot of these. If you need a solid rifle for all weather conditions, the Venture is a good choice. With several caliber options up to .300 Win Mag, you would be well advised to take a serious look at them. The hardest thing I have to do is convince my wife that it is our rifle. She thinks it’s her’s!