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Rifles of Interest: The Thompson/Center Venture

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July 22, 2009

Rifles of Interest: The Thompson/Center Venture

By David E. Petzal

A couple of years ago, Thompson/Center introduced its first bolt-action rifle, the Icon, a very handsome, very accurate arm that caused people to twitch because it was also pretty costly. But now we have the Venture, which at $499 is affordable to anyone not living in an oceangoing shipping container.

The Venture retains many of the Icon’s features: an extremely stiff receiver, an excellent, owner-adjustable trigger (The factory says it’s set at 3 to 3 ½ pounds, but mine breaks at 4 ¼ pounds which disturbs me not at all.), massive bolt with three rebated lugs and a short 60-degree lift, and a match-grade button-rifled barrel. My .30/06 Venture weighs 7 pounds, 12 ounces with a Cabela’s Alaska Guide Premium 3X-9X scope on board, so it is a light rifle. The stock is molded, has a good recoil pad, and gray “traction panels” at the grip and fore-end. The Venture feeds from a detachable single-stack magazine, and comes in .270, .30/06, 7mm Rem. Mag or .300 Win. Mag. You can have any barrel length you want as long as it’s 24 inches.

Thompson/Center guarantees that the Venture will shoot a minute of angle. Mine will do better than that—a lot better. Here’s the poop. (All groups are three shots at 100 yards.)

Federal 168-grain Match--.789”

Federal 165-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip—1.195”

HSM 165-grain soft-point--.855”*

Nosler 180-grain E-Tip handload--.919”

Winchester 180-grain Power Point—1.163”

Berger 155-grain VLD handload--.667”**

T/C is not woofing; this is an MOA rifle and then some. It’s worth noting that not all that long ago, you could not have bought a big-game rifle this accurate no matter what you spent. For something to shoot like this for under $500 shakes me to the core of my being. Ventures should be in the pipeline as you read this, but I would not be surprised if they are in short supply for a while. The gun is astounding.

*I hope it’s not lost on you that HSM, which is Cabela’s bargain-brand ammo, shot nearly as well as the Federal Match.

**If any of you handloaders would like to see how well your rifle can really shoot, get a box of Berger VLDs. They are positively uncanny; they have been outstanding in every rifle I’ve tried them in.

Comments (52)

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from buckstopper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,
Please settle an argument. At what point do your measure the bullet hole group. I was under the impression that you measured from the center of the hole. Others have said you measure from the edge. Which is correct?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Savage Model 110E did the same thing 20 years ago but all gunwriters could mutter was "ugly". I still have mine and it still shoots under a inch.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Injected molded stocks are junk. I guess thats where they cut the cost.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

My next and likely last rifle (short of winning the lottery) will probably be a Savage 114 American Classic in .30-06.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Sounds and looks like a Tikka T3.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

@ Walt & Mike Diehl

The Savage 110's that I have shot were all excellent shooters!

And they are just as fugly as they were 20 years ago. The new 114 American Classic is finely finished, akin to putting the lipstick on a pig!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave I just ordered an all stainless ER Shaw boltgun in 22-250 with a heavy 26" barrel and 1 in 12 rifling. The wait is now up to 8 months probably thanks to you. Hope this sucker shoots like yours.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Berger 155-grain VLD handload?

For the best results, you need a 1-11 twist and the 155 is specially designed for Palma Matches by the way :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I got alot of life in my hard to beat 03-A3 perhaps maybe a TC someday. Be nice if the had a 1-10 barrel for the 06!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,

Because of you my "want list" is now one rifle longer. You have got to stop advertising these great (priced and made) rifles. My wife's gonna kill me.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

should have waited and bought one of these in 300 win mag not my kimber which was over 1200. might get one in 270 though always been curious about the round but did not have a use at 500 i guess i could find a use.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Wa MtnHunter, I do not see your reasoning for slamming the Savage rifle. Forever it has been a better shooting rifle than any Remington ever hoped to be, for the last 10 years it has been adequately stocked for it's price and nice looking, and recently the Classic (my pick) or the Am. Classic is as fine looking as any Remington out there (unless you want to go to their custom shop and really get ripped off) and I won't have to go to the range and cry why a $660 rifle is outshooting my $1100 one.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Well, the Savage 10/110 is an ugly rile, but it does the job better than most. The 114 is not at all ugly. I don't find the barrel lug at all unpleasant; IMO what made the older savages "ugly" was the stocks, but the 114 has a stock with traditional lines. That's why I want a 114. Because it's a savage and therefore a tight shooter, and because the 114 has good lines.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Seems like a very good rifle for a guy on a budget.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I am not really slamming the Savage 110 series. Just an editorial comment that I think the action is ugly with the bolt handle at the absolute rear of the bolt and the bolt release lever on the right side. The barrel nut is not altogether attractive either.

When I see someone shooting one, I think there is a guy who is very practical and has a fine shooting rifle and is not too worried about the looks. Just like I think some year models of Dodge, Chevy, Ford, and Toyota trucks are fugly, but not all. If you saw my Remington 700's you would think they are ugly too in the shape the wood is in....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Sounds like a great gun. But what is the rate of twist? And is it availible in stainless steel? They need to make it in more cartridges too. Like say 6mm Rem, 243 Win, 25/06, 223, and even more. Other than that it sounds like a nice gun. A whole lot better deal than the Icon.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Buckstopper:

To find out how large your groups are, measure from the outside edge to the outside edge of the farthest apart holes in the target, then subtract the bullet diameter of the caliber you are shooting from that measurement. For example, if your outside edge measurement of your (3, 5, or 10) shots is 1.25 inches, and you are shooting a .308, subtract .308" from 1.25". The answer is .942" a sub-one inch group.

It is very cool that for less than a week's pay (for most of us; for Dave, less than a day's pay) you can buy a rifle that you can hunt pygmy shrews with at 100 yards. Twenty years ago you'd have had to hand two months pay to Kenny Jarrett to get the same thing. That goes for the Savages, too. To quote Jeff Cooper, "I like how it works, so automatically I like how it looks."

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Though no gaurantee is issued as with the Icon and some others my 700's both shoot well under MOA. They are very different as I purchased my 700SPS Varmint new 2 years ago and the other I came into last fall is about a 20yr old beat to death .270BDL with the high gloss monte carlo stock and pressed basketweave. Their best to date are 0.257" and 0.350" respectively from bench and average under half MOA with handloads. Truly though aren't the majority of bolt action deer guns boring to look at.

I looked at the ICON when it first came out; it is a very nice rifle and I am sure the Venture is as well. I will never own either. My first muzzleloader was a TC Omega that I am pretty sure was had a pox placed upon it by a voodoo medicine man. I had many just odd bad luck things happen when I took it afield and it scared me away from T/C products all together. Seriously I had a misfire on a December morning hunt that was the last straw and just about wrapped the gun around a tree. I then went to the local gun shop and traded it for a Knight, may they rest in peace, Disc Elite. I sighted the rifle in while scarfing down a sandwich and took my best buck to date when I went back to the woods that evening. Unfounded and superstitious yes, but I just can't shake the mental block.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

First of all I could live with this rifle in any of the calibers listed as available even with the injection molded stock which is certainly not my choice of synthetics. Having shot hundreds of VLDs since I first heard of them years ago I can confirm that not only are they exceedingly accurate but are very deadly as a hunting bullet at very long range even though that was not their original intended purpose. Walt Berger makes a 7 mm in 168 gr with a revised BC of .617 that certainly does the job when leaving the barrel at 3400 fps. I will warn you that you might have to seat the bullets very deep to fit the magazines of some bolt guns although if you use a single shot this is of course not an issue.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

My previously-owned Browning A-Bolt in .243 Win. cost me $550 and shoots SOA (Second Of Angle) at 100 yards.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

it is a decent looking rifle as far as lines go, but if anyone making plastic stocked guns wants my business, they will have to at least make an attempt for the plastic to look like wood. i do not like black plastic rifles. camo would be better than black, but in my heart, i like wood. but to be honest, i have no intention of buying another rifle, with the possible exception of one day owning an ar-10 type, unless a 375 H&H, or 458 Lott came along at a rediculously low price. not that i will ever go to africa, but having one in the closet, and having one shove me around a bit occasionaly would be fun. of course, if i won the lottery, i would have to have a genuine Holland and Holland double made for me. but i am not holding my breath on that one. as for the bergers, i will have to buy a box, and wring out my Remington 300 win mag.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Mike Diehl-
I have to agree about the Savage 114. It is better looking than the previous Savage offerings, has the Acu-trigger, and is offered in left hand configuration. I will probably look very closely at that one if I ever decide to get a .300 Win Mag. If the Savage rifles I have had previous experience with are any indication, accuracy should be excellent, as well.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Vic wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

It is good to hear that TC is still making great weapons. I have never had any reason to doubt it. My father bought me a .45 Hawken rifle when I was 15. That was 30+ years ago and it still shoots great. 5 years ago I bought a TC Omega and put a 2-7 Leupold on it. Kill ratio is 90+. When I drop the hammer on that gun something is most likely going to die. Last year alone I was 5 for 5 with it. 2 of those were pretty nice bucks. I have been thinking about another centerfire rifle and the Venture may just be the one. Only problem around here is places to shoot one. Where I live it is mostly shotgun and MZ only. Sure looks like a great utility rifle!

Vic

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quahog wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Being a lifelong lever-gun guy slowed down by age to club shootin' and very little hunting, I was brought to the conclusion that I'd purchase a bolt-gun for the bench. I never cared much for the lever style, side safeties on the Rems or the Savages that I fooled with over the years. So when DP glowingly reviewed the "new" Model 70 in F&S several months ago, following instructions carefully, I snorted and farted my way to the Trading Post and purchased a slick lookin' Featherweight-Deluxe in .308 along with a Leupold VX-3 3.5-10X40 scope. Best group to date is a .605 using Federal 168-grain Match ammo. Total cost of above w/Tally rings was slightly more than 1100 bucks - with nice figured wood. And no polystyrene sleeve to keep the bolt from rattling and wagging about.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

The new Savage rifles have a modified action. The Bolt release is no longer on the right side by the bolt handle. It is now located forward of the trigger guard and is a button.

I just received my new Savage Model 16FLHSS (stainless) in 7-08 from their Hunter Education Instructor Purchase Program. It features a much improved injection molded synthetic stock with the Accustock aluminum bedding system and the Accutrigger. From the factory the trigger broke at a crisp 3 lbs! Savage has also installed a very cushy recoil pad on the new models, I can't remember their designation for it. My rifle also has the hinged floor plate with a captured release button, pretty neat.
The barrel lock nuts have been stream lined and gone are the wrench grooves from sight. The barrel mating system is much more attractive than in the older rifles. The rear of the bolt is more streamlined especially with the bolt release now relocated. It still has that high "hiney" look to it though...

The stock does not have that hollow feel and sound typical of other tupperware stocks. The molded in checkering is positive if not a little too grippy. The bolt is very smooth as is feeding from the center feed magazine. Common garden varietry 7-08 loads have come in well un an inch. I'll have more time to play and report back with group sizes from more "exotic" loads later...

Savage's program is a great opportunity for certified Hunter Ed Instructors. You can purchase one Savage firearm per year from them at a tremendous cost savings. Savage even pays shipping to your FFL dealer. For more info contact Cathy Hale, Savage Arms Sales & Marketing Assistant at 413-642-4121. The waiting period is typically 3-4 months, but it is well worth the savings!

Incidentially other companies that offer discounts to Hunter Ed instructors are Ruger, Henry, S & W, CVA, CZ-USA, Leupold and more... If you are a certified hunter ed instructor join the IHEA www.ihea.com and you can access more of the these offers from companies who appreciate what we do.

Also visit Savage Arms and check out what is being said about the new Accu-Stock. www.savagearms.com

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Beekeeper-
Question, how was the bolt function on your
16FLHSS? My Model 10 was very stiff, and took
a lot of liquid graphite and a lot of working
the action before it semi-sort of smoothed out, but the bolt lift is still stiffer than anything else I use.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Just so you know, my dad lost a arm and a leg in WWII. When I turned 16 my dad bought my savage for me on my birthday. You can call it ugly all you want,in my eyes there is no prettier rifle.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

CRM3006,

The bolt functions very smoothly. Bolt lift is smooth without excessive effort. Tikka T3's are famous for smooth bolts and my new Savage 16 is just as smooth as the T3 I own.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ozark American wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I see a few folks referenced the Tikka T-3 as a kissing cousin. It also is an MOA shooter, lighter( close to a Melvin Forbes production or a Kimber Montana),lots of good calibers and with an action"slicker than deer guts on a door knob"' to quote on of you gun scribes.One of my T-3's in the seemingly antiquated 7mm Rem Mag. with a affordible Burris 3x9 with a Ballistic Plex reticle has been my rifle of choice for Elk, Caribou, and two trips to S. Africa. Not bad for a 700 Dollar package !

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Buckstopper the standard is center to center but how do you determine the center of the hole? If you measure the edges outside to inside of the farthest spread you will have the magic number you are looking for with no adding or subtracting or determining centers or whatnot...

Wa Mtnhunter and I agree on few things but I back him 100% on this one... lipstick on a pig life is too short.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Oh yeah this is a blog about the T/C Venture... the "traction panels" bother me and I don't know why. I have shot the Encore in about every caliber known to man including the 30 TC, but that's about my experience with them besides their muzzle loaders. The Encore's I have shot were incredibly accurate I know someone who made a 200 yd.+ shot with an Encore pistol if that's what you call a .270 with a 15" barrel and Leupold scope. Why didn't you get a Venture in the 30TC? Bet you don't have one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

If it compares to teh MArlin XL7 it's a top quality gun. We all better get used to molded stocks, as will be soon that the only way can get a Walnut is by special order or BOYDS. Love My Marlin, but if had not bought it, I might try this new T/C/ Price i reasonable and if T/C retained their quality, should be a good deal. I got all the guns I need, just need the season to open and me hit he woods someplace. Shoot-um-straight and often.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave plugs TC Rifles, and US GUN NUTS scream the virtues of our beloved SAVAGE Rifles.
Life is sweet, indeed!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Can't add to the Venture conversation, but will vouch with the others for the Savage and Marlin bolt guns. Cheap and deadly, like good women.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Well guys I finally got'r done. Ordered the ER Shaw bolt gun in stainless, with brown laminated stock, heavy barrel with spiral fluting, 1 in 12" twist in 22-250 calibler. I'm told it will take about 8 months for delivery.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,

After the write-up you gave ER Shaw I'm gonna be disappointed if I can't strike matches at 200 yds with this baby. My shootin' should now be up there with the legendary Cooper with this baby.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Ralph the Rifleman-
I might extol the virtues of the Venture a lot more if they offered it in a left hand configuration.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Albert A Rasch wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Guys,

Even I can afford the T/C, and in 300WM to boot. I'll just have to give up lunch for 225 days or so! It's not like i can't afford to do it either, it will be good for me!

Best regards,
Albert
Trophy Merriam’s Turkey
Outfitter Chronicles Interview: J Scott Croner Part I

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 175rltw wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Who would have thought that sub MOA rifles would be common to point of Boring at some point. Wow. The amazing thing is that just SHOOTING THAT GOOD is no longer a valid reason to purchase a rifle like that, now days it needs to be sort of special too- IE the Shaw rifles. Sort of semi custom. I always say it, this is an amazing time to be alive, course probably not for that much longer. I wonder how long "SUB MOA" rifles will be legal- the FED GOVT will likely try to enforce a maximum accuracy standard of 3-5 MOA for civillian rifles sooner or later, to keep these dangerous SNIPER rifles out of the hands of the masses...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

It is ironic that, as soon as we have rifles available that are mind-blowing by older standards, and can be had at low prices, our right to own them is potentially threatened.

Figures. The new Golden Age of Riflery might be cut off by the new Dark Ages.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Well, Shane, we can always hope for a cometary impact to push the ole reset button. ;)

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Sounds like a great rifle, especially for the price. Really can not ask for anything more, it's light, its accurate, and it is also good looking, O and not to mention that it is cheap as hell for a rifle of that quality.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

can't speak to the Venture, but as for the Tikka T3 comments about a smooth bolt...I just purchased a .243 T3 last week and that was the first comment in an email to a buddy of mine in WY - smoothest bolt I've ever tried. Can't wait to get to the range!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I might purchase this rifle if(when?) it is offered in a .25 or .26 caliber.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from magnum wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

TC makes a nice rifle. I, unfortunately, have one in 30TC which seems to be DOA. I can not find any reloading information and it seems only Hornady is making ammunitions for it. But for how long. TC even seems not to be making rifles in 30 TC any more. Maybe it is now a collector item. Any one want to buy a collector item?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The Marlin XL7 zeroed at 200 yds + l" will pattern 2-3" till bbl gets to hot. I now shoot it 3 rimes and alow it to cool down and pratice with other guns I've traded for or bought and plan to hunt with. Iuse Nikon Monarch scopes and Leupold Dual Dove rail mounts and they stay in place. Doubt could drop from 40K feet and they not be intact. Believe you me, the luggage handes try to do as much damage to Gun and Bow cass as they can. I've watche them load gun after I was boarded o the plane and sw then throw the cases to each other, and have seen many hit the pavement,So far my weapons have stayed seroed in for me till I switchee Ammo, then screwed up the zero and switched back to the Swift Sciroccos and solved teh problem . to me firearms like Autos, they must be pampered with correct oil/gas. etc. The plain Jane Coe-lkts have killed many animals at cloe range under 200 yds, but beyond 200 yds, I lose faith in them. Shot-um-straight and often.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris DeHart wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I just recently purchased my Venture model a few weeks ago in .270 form. (I used the new winchester Supreme Elite cp3, 130grn) This firearm performs better than what was expected. After installing my Nikon Buckmasters 4.5x14x40 scope and boresighting it, it took 4 shots to be zeroed in at 100 yards. If that wasn't impressive enough, I let the barrel cool, and went ahead and fired off a 5th round and found it was touching the previous hole. I let my brother fire it off, and was only 1/8" away from my 4th and 5th shots! Needless to say, I was VERY impressed, being able to shoot a dime 3 times from 2 different shooters at 100 yards! I was comparing this model to the Tikka T3 lite, and also the Weatherby Vanguard. And within the $500 range, this seems...no wait....this rifle IS the BEST quality and accuracy you can find. AND, it's made in the USA! (WITH A LIFETIME WARRANTY!) The bolt slides very, very smooth with minimal throw (60 degrees) and with 5R rifling technology, accuracy is unsurpassed. Thank you Dave for reviewing this rifle. This article actually made my decision to make the purchase, and upon holding the rifle at the gun shop, it was all over from there. I can't wait for this year's deer season to start! P.S.--->> I'm not here to nag on Savage, however, by brother (same guy as mentioned above) has a savage bolt action .17HMR (with bull barrel) that consistantly shoots about 10"-12" groups at 100 yards... :( not a typo! yes, 10-12" I will admit that, yes, it still has the original scope that it came with (not high-end scope) however, it should still shoot better than that. uses the Hornady rounds, and we fired off of a good solid rest. We double-checked all the screws, fasteners, and even all scope mounts, nothing loose. the only thing i could think of is #1 crappy scope, or #2 the barrel inlay is not set correct (which if this is the case, that goes to show low quality) I will say NOT a very good experience with Savage. any ideas?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I have never in my life seen a Savage anything group that bad. You have most likely a scope issue. If not, contact Savage, and I would bet if you sent it back they would make it right. It's not in their interest for a product of theirs to shoot that bad and be out in a customer's hands too.

Hell, I have a Savage shotgun that almost groups better than that....LOL

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from satundy wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Okay I'm not posting this to get heckeled or brag whatsoever. Just what I experienced with my new TC venture....

I went to range to sight in my new Venture 30-06 outfitted with a Nikon 3-9X50 scope and Remington Core Lokt 150grain PSP ammo. After a few shots I had it zeroed at 50yrds and stepped it out to 100yrds for my next 3 shot group. Well, I only took 3 shots at 100yrds and left because I was an inch high at 100yrds very pleased with the grouping.

Now not for a second will I say that I am an incredible shot...I was using a "sand bag" style shooting rest for the front and that was it. Once returning home I measured the group and the greatest outside measurement was .875". Now subtract .308 for bullet dia. it came to a measurement of .567"!

Like I said I am not bragging at all...I just want to let people know what this gun is capable of. This spring I'll get the barrel broken in and put it in a Lead Sled to see what it really can do. I am open to emailing a picture of the target to anyone for confirmation. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase!

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from Jboudreaux wrote 3 years 35 weeks ago

Satundy, I would like to see a picture or two of your half in group. I am currently debating between this gun, the marlin xs7 and the howa 36307. The only thing I'm iffy about on this one is its accuracy. Email me at j.boudreaux88@gmail.com

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from derrickLee wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I purchased a TC Venture .30-06 as my first gun. Great gun and shoots like a laser beam. Very accurate rifle. Rifle shoots sub-moa with bullet holes touching each other. This particular rifle seemed to prefer 165 grain nosler ballistic by federal. Will be purchasing different caliber rifle from TC in the future.

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from wscottbarber wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I am VERY interested in the new T/C Venture Weathershield coming out this year in 300 WSM. Do you have any information/reviews and do you know when it will be available to the public?

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from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Well, the Savage 10/110 is an ugly rile, but it does the job better than most. The 114 is not at all ugly. I don't find the barrel lug at all unpleasant; IMO what made the older savages "ugly" was the stocks, but the 114 has a stock with traditional lines. That's why I want a 114. Because it's a savage and therefore a tight shooter, and because the 114 has good lines.

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Buckstopper:

To find out how large your groups are, measure from the outside edge to the outside edge of the farthest apart holes in the target, then subtract the bullet diameter of the caliber you are shooting from that measurement. For example, if your outside edge measurement of your (3, 5, or 10) shots is 1.25 inches, and you are shooting a .308, subtract .308" from 1.25". The answer is .942" a sub-one inch group.

It is very cool that for less than a week's pay (for most of us; for Dave, less than a day's pay) you can buy a rifle that you can hunt pygmy shrews with at 100 yards. Twenty years ago you'd have had to hand two months pay to Kenny Jarrett to get the same thing. That goes for the Savages, too. To quote Jeff Cooper, "I like how it works, so automatically I like how it looks."

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ozark American wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I see a few folks referenced the Tikka T-3 as a kissing cousin. It also is an MOA shooter, lighter( close to a Melvin Forbes production or a Kimber Montana),lots of good calibers and with an action"slicker than deer guts on a door knob"' to quote on of you gun scribes.One of my T-3's in the seemingly antiquated 7mm Rem Mag. with a affordible Burris 3x9 with a Ballistic Plex reticle has been my rifle of choice for Elk, Caribou, and two trips to S. Africa. Not bad for a 700 Dollar package !

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Savage Model 110E did the same thing 20 years ago but all gunwriters could mutter was "ugly". I still have mine and it still shoots under a inch.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

My next and likely last rifle (short of winning the lottery) will probably be a Savage 114 American Classic in .30-06.

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from Quahog wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Being a lifelong lever-gun guy slowed down by age to club shootin' and very little hunting, I was brought to the conclusion that I'd purchase a bolt-gun for the bench. I never cared much for the lever style, side safeties on the Rems or the Savages that I fooled with over the years. So when DP glowingly reviewed the "new" Model 70 in F&S several months ago, following instructions carefully, I snorted and farted my way to the Trading Post and purchased a slick lookin' Featherweight-Deluxe in .308 along with a Leupold VX-3 3.5-10X40 scope. Best group to date is a .605 using Federal 168-grain Match ammo. Total cost of above w/Tally rings was slightly more than 1100 bucks - with nice figured wood. And no polystyrene sleeve to keep the bolt from rattling and wagging about.

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Just so you know, my dad lost a arm and a leg in WWII. When I turned 16 my dad bought my savage for me on my birthday. You can call it ugly all you want,in my eyes there is no prettier rifle.

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from shane wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

It is ironic that, as soon as we have rifles available that are mind-blowing by older standards, and can be had at low prices, our right to own them is potentially threatened.

Figures. The new Golden Age of Riflery might be cut off by the new Dark Ages.

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from buckstopper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,
Please settle an argument. At what point do your measure the bullet hole group. I was under the impression that you measured from the center of the hole. Others have said you measure from the edge. Which is correct?

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Sounds and looks like a Tikka T3.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

@ Walt & Mike Diehl

The Savage 110's that I have shot were all excellent shooters!

And they are just as fugly as they were 20 years ago. The new 114 American Classic is finely finished, akin to putting the lipstick on a pig!

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave I just ordered an all stainless ER Shaw boltgun in 22-250 with a heavy 26" barrel and 1 in 12 rifling. The wait is now up to 8 months probably thanks to you. Hope this sucker shoots like yours.

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from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,

Because of you my "want list" is now one rifle longer. You have got to stop advertising these great (priced and made) rifles. My wife's gonna kill me.

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from ggmack wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

should have waited and bought one of these in 300 win mag not my kimber which was over 1200. might get one in 270 though always been curious about the round but did not have a use at 500 i guess i could find a use.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Wa MtnHunter, I do not see your reasoning for slamming the Savage rifle. Forever it has been a better shooting rifle than any Remington ever hoped to be, for the last 10 years it has been adequately stocked for it's price and nice looking, and recently the Classic (my pick) or the Am. Classic is as fine looking as any Remington out there (unless you want to go to their custom shop and really get ripped off) and I won't have to go to the range and cry why a $660 rifle is outshooting my $1100 one.

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from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Sounds like a great gun. But what is the rate of twist? And is it availible in stainless steel? They need to make it in more cartridges too. Like say 6mm Rem, 243 Win, 25/06, 223, and even more. Other than that it sounds like a nice gun. A whole lot better deal than the Icon.

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from ishawooa wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

First of all I could live with this rifle in any of the calibers listed as available even with the injection molded stock which is certainly not my choice of synthetics. Having shot hundreds of VLDs since I first heard of them years ago I can confirm that not only are they exceedingly accurate but are very deadly as a hunting bullet at very long range even though that was not their original intended purpose. Walt Berger makes a 7 mm in 168 gr with a revised BC of .617 that certainly does the job when leaving the barrel at 3400 fps. I will warn you that you might have to seat the bullets very deep to fit the magazines of some bolt guns although if you use a single shot this is of course not an issue.

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Mike Diehl-
I have to agree about the Savage 114. It is better looking than the previous Savage offerings, has the Acu-trigger, and is offered in left hand configuration. I will probably look very closely at that one if I ever decide to get a .300 Win Mag. If the Savage rifles I have had previous experience with are any indication, accuracy should be excellent, as well.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

The new Savage rifles have a modified action. The Bolt release is no longer on the right side by the bolt handle. It is now located forward of the trigger guard and is a button.

I just received my new Savage Model 16FLHSS (stainless) in 7-08 from their Hunter Education Instructor Purchase Program. It features a much improved injection molded synthetic stock with the Accustock aluminum bedding system and the Accutrigger. From the factory the trigger broke at a crisp 3 lbs! Savage has also installed a very cushy recoil pad on the new models, I can't remember their designation for it. My rifle also has the hinged floor plate with a captured release button, pretty neat.
The barrel lock nuts have been stream lined and gone are the wrench grooves from sight. The barrel mating system is much more attractive than in the older rifles. The rear of the bolt is more streamlined especially with the bolt release now relocated. It still has that high "hiney" look to it though...

The stock does not have that hollow feel and sound typical of other tupperware stocks. The molded in checkering is positive if not a little too grippy. The bolt is very smooth as is feeding from the center feed magazine. Common garden varietry 7-08 loads have come in well un an inch. I'll have more time to play and report back with group sizes from more "exotic" loads later...

Savage's program is a great opportunity for certified Hunter Ed Instructors. You can purchase one Savage firearm per year from them at a tremendous cost savings. Savage even pays shipping to your FFL dealer. For more info contact Cathy Hale, Savage Arms Sales & Marketing Assistant at 413-642-4121. The waiting period is typically 3-4 months, but it is well worth the savings!

Incidentially other companies that offer discounts to Hunter Ed instructors are Ruger, Henry, S & W, CVA, CZ-USA, Leupold and more... If you are a certified hunter ed instructor join the IHEA www.ihea.com and you can access more of the these offers from companies who appreciate what we do.

Also visit Savage Arms and check out what is being said about the new Accu-Stock. www.savagearms.com

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

CRM3006,

The bolt functions very smoothly. Bolt lift is smooth without excessive effort. Tikka T3's are famous for smooth bolts and my new Savage 16 is just as smooth as the T3 I own.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave plugs TC Rifles, and US GUN NUTS scream the virtues of our beloved SAVAGE Rifles.
Life is sweet, indeed!

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Well guys I finally got'r done. Ordered the ER Shaw bolt gun in stainless, with brown laminated stock, heavy barrel with spiral fluting, 1 in 12" twist in 22-250 calibler. I'm told it will take about 8 months for delivery.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Dave,

After the write-up you gave ER Shaw I'm gonna be disappointed if I can't strike matches at 200 yds with this baby. My shootin' should now be up there with the legendary Cooper with this baby.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Well, Shane, we can always hope for a cometary impact to push the ole reset button. ;)

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from auburn_hunter wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

can't speak to the Venture, but as for the Tikka T3 comments about a smooth bolt...I just purchased a .243 T3 last week and that was the first comment in an email to a buddy of mine in WY - smoothest bolt I've ever tried. Can't wait to get to the range!

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from jay wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Injected molded stocks are junk. I guess thats where they cut the cost.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I got alot of life in my hard to beat 03-A3 perhaps maybe a TC someday. Be nice if the had a 1-10 barrel for the 06!

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from jbird wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Seems like a very good rifle for a guy on a budget.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

I am not really slamming the Savage 110 series. Just an editorial comment that I think the action is ugly with the bolt handle at the absolute rear of the bolt and the bolt release lever on the right side. The barrel nut is not altogether attractive either.

When I see someone shooting one, I think there is a guy who is very practical and has a fine shooting rifle and is not too worried about the looks. Just like I think some year models of Dodge, Chevy, Ford, and Toyota trucks are fugly, but not all. If you saw my Remington 700's you would think they are ugly too in the shape the wood is in....

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from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Though no gaurantee is issued as with the Icon and some others my 700's both shoot well under MOA. They are very different as I purchased my 700SPS Varmint new 2 years ago and the other I came into last fall is about a 20yr old beat to death .270BDL with the high gloss monte carlo stock and pressed basketweave. Their best to date are 0.257" and 0.350" respectively from bench and average under half MOA with handloads. Truly though aren't the majority of bolt action deer guns boring to look at.

I looked at the ICON when it first came out; it is a very nice rifle and I am sure the Venture is as well. I will never own either. My first muzzleloader was a TC Omega that I am pretty sure was had a pox placed upon it by a voodoo medicine man. I had many just odd bad luck things happen when I took it afield and it scared me away from T/C products all together. Seriously I had a misfire on a December morning hunt that was the last straw and just about wrapped the gun around a tree. I then went to the local gun shop and traded it for a Knight, may they rest in peace, Disc Elite. I sighted the rifle in while scarfing down a sandwich and took my best buck to date when I went back to the woods that evening. Unfounded and superstitious yes, but I just can't shake the mental block.

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from elmer f. wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

it is a decent looking rifle as far as lines go, but if anyone making plastic stocked guns wants my business, they will have to at least make an attempt for the plastic to look like wood. i do not like black plastic rifles. camo would be better than black, but in my heart, i like wood. but to be honest, i have no intention of buying another rifle, with the possible exception of one day owning an ar-10 type, unless a 375 H&H, or 458 Lott came along at a rediculously low price. not that i will ever go to africa, but having one in the closet, and having one shove me around a bit occasionaly would be fun. of course, if i won the lottery, i would have to have a genuine Holland and Holland double made for me. but i am not holding my breath on that one. as for the bergers, i will have to buy a box, and wring out my Remington 300 win mag.

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from Vic wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

It is good to hear that TC is still making great weapons. I have never had any reason to doubt it. My father bought me a .45 Hawken rifle when I was 15. That was 30+ years ago and it still shoots great. 5 years ago I bought a TC Omega and put a 2-7 Leupold on it. Kill ratio is 90+. When I drop the hammer on that gun something is most likely going to die. Last year alone I was 5 for 5 with it. 2 of those were pretty nice bucks. I have been thinking about another centerfire rifle and the Venture may just be the one. Only problem around here is places to shoot one. Where I live it is mostly shotgun and MZ only. Sure looks like a great utility rifle!

Vic

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Beekeeper-
Question, how was the bolt function on your
16FLHSS? My Model 10 was very stiff, and took
a lot of liquid graphite and a lot of working
the action before it semi-sort of smoothed out, but the bolt lift is still stiffer than anything else I use.

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from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Buckstopper the standard is center to center but how do you determine the center of the hole? If you measure the edges outside to inside of the farthest spread you will have the magic number you are looking for with no adding or subtracting or determining centers or whatnot...

Wa Mtnhunter and I agree on few things but I back him 100% on this one... lipstick on a pig life is too short.

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from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Oh yeah this is a blog about the T/C Venture... the "traction panels" bother me and I don't know why. I have shot the Encore in about every caliber known to man including the 30 TC, but that's about my experience with them besides their muzzle loaders. The Encore's I have shot were incredibly accurate I know someone who made a 200 yd.+ shot with an Encore pistol if that's what you call a .270 with a 15" barrel and Leupold scope. Why didn't you get a Venture in the 30TC? Bet you don't have one.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

If it compares to teh MArlin XL7 it's a top quality gun. We all better get used to molded stocks, as will be soon that the only way can get a Walnut is by special order or BOYDS. Love My Marlin, but if had not bought it, I might try this new T/C/ Price i reasonable and if T/C retained their quality, should be a good deal. I got all the guns I need, just need the season to open and me hit he woods someplace. Shoot-um-straight and often.

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from shane wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Can't add to the Venture conversation, but will vouch with the others for the Savage and Marlin bolt guns. Cheap and deadly, like good women.

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Ralph the Rifleman-
I might extol the virtues of the Venture a lot more if they offered it in a left hand configuration.

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from Albert A Rasch wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Guys,

Even I can afford the T/C, and in 300WM to boot. I'll just have to give up lunch for 225 days or so! It's not like i can't afford to do it either, it will be good for me!

Best regards,
Albert
Trophy Merriam’s Turkey
Outfitter Chronicles Interview: J Scott Croner Part I

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from 175rltw wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Who would have thought that sub MOA rifles would be common to point of Boring at some point. Wow. The amazing thing is that just SHOOTING THAT GOOD is no longer a valid reason to purchase a rifle like that, now days it needs to be sort of special too- IE the Shaw rifles. Sort of semi custom. I always say it, this is an amazing time to be alive, course probably not for that much longer. I wonder how long "SUB MOA" rifles will be legal- the FED GOVT will likely try to enforce a maximum accuracy standard of 3-5 MOA for civillian rifles sooner or later, to keep these dangerous SNIPER rifles out of the hands of the masses...

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Sounds like a great rifle, especially for the price. Really can not ask for anything more, it's light, its accurate, and it is also good looking, O and not to mention that it is cheap as hell for a rifle of that quality.

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from magnum wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

TC makes a nice rifle. I, unfortunately, have one in 30TC which seems to be DOA. I can not find any reloading information and it seems only Hornady is making ammunitions for it. But for how long. TC even seems not to be making rifles in 30 TC any more. Maybe it is now a collector item. Any one want to buy a collector item?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

Berger 155-grain VLD handload?

For the best results, you need a 1-11 twist and the 155 is specially designed for Palma Matches by the way :)

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from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 38 weeks ago

My previously-owned Browning A-Bolt in .243 Win. cost me $550 and shoots SOA (Second Of Angle) at 100 yards.

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I might purchase this rifle if(when?) it is offered in a .25 or .26 caliber.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

The Marlin XL7 zeroed at 200 yds + l" will pattern 2-3" till bbl gets to hot. I now shoot it 3 rimes and alow it to cool down and pratice with other guns I've traded for or bought and plan to hunt with. Iuse Nikon Monarch scopes and Leupold Dual Dove rail mounts and they stay in place. Doubt could drop from 40K feet and they not be intact. Believe you me, the luggage handes try to do as much damage to Gun and Bow cass as they can. I've watche them load gun after I was boarded o the plane and sw then throw the cases to each other, and have seen many hit the pavement,So far my weapons have stayed seroed in for me till I switchee Ammo, then screwed up the zero and switched back to the Swift Sciroccos and solved teh problem . to me firearms like Autos, they must be pampered with correct oil/gas. etc. The plain Jane Coe-lkts have killed many animals at cloe range under 200 yds, but beyond 200 yds, I lose faith in them. Shot-um-straight and often.

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from Chris DeHart wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I just recently purchased my Venture model a few weeks ago in .270 form. (I used the new winchester Supreme Elite cp3, 130grn) This firearm performs better than what was expected. After installing my Nikon Buckmasters 4.5x14x40 scope and boresighting it, it took 4 shots to be zeroed in at 100 yards. If that wasn't impressive enough, I let the barrel cool, and went ahead and fired off a 5th round and found it was touching the previous hole. I let my brother fire it off, and was only 1/8" away from my 4th and 5th shots! Needless to say, I was VERY impressed, being able to shoot a dime 3 times from 2 different shooters at 100 yards! I was comparing this model to the Tikka T3 lite, and also the Weatherby Vanguard. And within the $500 range, this seems...no wait....this rifle IS the BEST quality and accuracy you can find. AND, it's made in the USA! (WITH A LIFETIME WARRANTY!) The bolt slides very, very smooth with minimal throw (60 degrees) and with 5R rifling technology, accuracy is unsurpassed. Thank you Dave for reviewing this rifle. This article actually made my decision to make the purchase, and upon holding the rifle at the gun shop, it was all over from there. I can't wait for this year's deer season to start! P.S.--->> I'm not here to nag on Savage, however, by brother (same guy as mentioned above) has a savage bolt action .17HMR (with bull barrel) that consistantly shoots about 10"-12" groups at 100 yards... :( not a typo! yes, 10-12" I will admit that, yes, it still has the original scope that it came with (not high-end scope) however, it should still shoot better than that. uses the Hornady rounds, and we fired off of a good solid rest. We double-checked all the screws, fasteners, and even all scope mounts, nothing loose. the only thing i could think of is #1 crappy scope, or #2 the barrel inlay is not set correct (which if this is the case, that goes to show low quality) I will say NOT a very good experience with Savage. any ideas?

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from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I have never in my life seen a Savage anything group that bad. You have most likely a scope issue. If not, contact Savage, and I would bet if you sent it back they would make it right. It's not in their interest for a product of theirs to shoot that bad and be out in a customer's hands too.

Hell, I have a Savage shotgun that almost groups better than that....LOL

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from satundy wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Okay I'm not posting this to get heckeled or brag whatsoever. Just what I experienced with my new TC venture....

I went to range to sight in my new Venture 30-06 outfitted with a Nikon 3-9X50 scope and Remington Core Lokt 150grain PSP ammo. After a few shots I had it zeroed at 50yrds and stepped it out to 100yrds for my next 3 shot group. Well, I only took 3 shots at 100yrds and left because I was an inch high at 100yrds very pleased with the grouping.

Now not for a second will I say that I am an incredible shot...I was using a "sand bag" style shooting rest for the front and that was it. Once returning home I measured the group and the greatest outside measurement was .875". Now subtract .308 for bullet dia. it came to a measurement of .567"!

Like I said I am not bragging at all...I just want to let people know what this gun is capable of. This spring I'll get the barrel broken in and put it in a Lead Sled to see what it really can do. I am open to emailing a picture of the target to anyone for confirmation. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase!

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from Jboudreaux wrote 3 years 35 weeks ago

Satundy, I would like to see a picture or two of your half in group. I am currently debating between this gun, the marlin xs7 and the howa 36307. The only thing I'm iffy about on this one is its accuracy. Email me at j.boudreaux88@gmail.com

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from derrickLee wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I purchased a TC Venture .30-06 as my first gun. Great gun and shoots like a laser beam. Very accurate rifle. Rifle shoots sub-moa with bullet holes touching each other. This particular rifle seemed to prefer 165 grain nosler ballistic by federal. Will be purchasing different caliber rifle from TC in the future.

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from wscottbarber wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I am VERY interested in the new T/C Venture Weathershield coming out this year in 300 WSM. Do you have any information/reviews and do you know when it will be available to the public?

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