Petzal Reviews the Thompson/Center Icon Warlord

You might recall a recent post regarding putting five shots in one hole. Here is a little more on the gun that did so.

The Thompson/Center Warlord is based on the premise that any shooting you do with a tactical rifle is bound to be serious and for high stakes, and that you don't want your bullets going other than where you aim them. It's built on the principle that if you want to make an accurate rifle you have to a) eliminate vibration as much as possible and b) make whatever vibration that's left over as uniform as possible. So, with that firmly in mind, let us look at the beast.

The action is T/C's Icon three-lug bolt action. It's thick-walled, has a small ejection port, and a 20 MOA mil-spec Picatinny rail. All this metal makes for an extremely stiff action. Bottom metal is by Badger Ordnance; it incorporates a paddle-style release and the rifle feeds from either a 5- or a 10-round magazine. The magazine clatters around a bit, but operation and feeding are flawless.

T/C screws in one of their own barrels, button-rifled with 5R rifling and hand-lapped. The tube is 22 inches long, deeply fluted, and appears to be about a #7 contour, .9 at the muzzle. It is some heavy son of a bitch. When I got my Warlord, T/C offered a choice of several different twists (mine is a 1/10), but apparently now offers only 1/11.25.

The stock is Manners composite 2A fitted with a cheekpiece that adjust not only for height, but for cast as well. The stock is fitted with an aluminum bedding block and flush side-sling attachments. Weight, without scope, is 12 ¾ pounds. My Warlord is green, but apparently this has been dropped in favor of flat black. The trigger is T/C's own, and while it can be adjusted for an excellent pull, mine was not. It weighed 3.5 pounds, which was fine, but had far too much sear engagement, which was not. Considering that this is a handmade gun, whoever worked on the trigger needs his thumbs broken to re-focus his mind.