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Thompson/Center Venture Predator

Thompson/Center Venture Predator

M.O.A. accuracy guaranteed! That's what T/C says about its new Venture Predator rifle.

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M.O.A. accuracy guaranteed! That's what T/C says about its new Venture Predator rifle. The company even goes so far as to put a special accuracy guarantee icon on the catalog page that details all the features of the Predator.

T/C is able to make that claim by virtue of the Pedator's 5R rifling; match-grade muzzle crown; and adjustable, precision trigger. And it held true during my shooting session. More about that in a minute.


First, here's a quick look at the Venture Predator's fine features. If you're interested in a more in-depth explanation of the T/C Venture rifle, check out Greg Rodriguez's report that was published in the July 2009 issue of Shooting Times; it's also available online. Click Here.


SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer:Thompson/Center Arms, 603-332-2333; www.tcarms.com
Model:Venture Predator
Type:Bolt-action repeater
Calibers:.204, .223, .22-250, .308
Magazine Capacity:3 rounds
Barrel:22 in.; rifling: 5R 1:10- or 1:12-in. twist depending on caliber
Overall Length:41.5 in.
Weight, empty:6.75 lbs.
Stock:Composite with 3/4-in. rubber buttpad, sling swivel studs, and Hogue rubber inlays
Length of Pull:13.5 in.
Finish:Relatree Max-1 camo
Sights:None, drilled and tapped for scope mounts (factory installed)
Trigger:Adjustable
Safety:Two position
Price:$549-$599, depending on caliber

The newest version of the Venture is called the Predator, and its barrel, receiver, scope mount bases, and composite stock are finished in Realtree Max-1 camo. The only visible parts that aren't camo are the Hogue rubber inlays in the fore-end and the wrist of the stock, the rubber buttpad, the bolt and its handle and shroud, the safety button, the trigger, the detachable magazine, and the sling-swivel studs. By the way, the magazine is composite, and it holds three rounds.


The barrel is 22 inches long, fluted, and precision crowned. The buttpad is 3/4 inch thick. The trigger pull is externally adjustable (from 3.5 to 5 pounds), and the bolt wears T/C's "FatBolt" handle; bolt throw is 60 degrees. Available calibers in the Predator are .204 Ruger, .223 Remington, .22-250 Remington, and .308 Winchester. The rifle comes with T/C's lifetime warranty.


True To Its Word
I was able to put T/C to its word regarding the accuracy guarantee. The company claims that the 5R barrel of the Predator will put three shots in 1 inch at 100 yards. Well, the .204-chambered sample I test-fired did that and more. My shooting results chart shows all the details, but briefly, the Predator averaged 0.82 inch overall for three-shot groups with the factory loads that I fired. And in each of the three-shot groups, two of the shots were touching. The groups opened up with shots numbers four and five, sometimes doubling the measurement. That's not unusual for a rifle with a thin barrel like the Predator wears (it measures 0.66 inch at the muzzle), plus I was firing the shots just as fast as I could work the bolt and get the scope's reticle back on target. I was shooting from a sturdy benchrest, and wind conditions were quiet. The trigger pull was a measured 3.5 pounds according to my Lyman trigger pull gauge.

What more can I say?

The Venture Predator in .204 Ruger averaged less than an inch for three-shot groups at 100 yards, with two out of the three shots touching in each string.

Oh, yeah, I also shot the heck out of a bunch of Wyoming prairie dog towns with the new Venture Predator. The folks at T/C had invited me out to the Spur Ranch last June, and we spent three good days shooting all the Hornady and Federal ammunition we could get our hands on--and believe me, there were cases of the stuff! The rifle (mounted with a Burris Black Diamond 4-16X 50mm scope with Ballistic Plex reticle) functioned perfectly. Obviously, the camo finish wasn't necessary for "sneaking up on" prairie dogs, but I imagine it would be just right for hunting the sly coyote.

At a suggested retail price ranging from $549 to $599, depending on caliber, a dedicated rifle just for coyotes doesn't seem like such a

bad idea, especially when you get as much accuracy as the Venture Predator provides.

WARNING: The loads shown here are safe only in the guns for which they were developed. Neither the author nor InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. assumes any liability for accidents or injury resulting from the use or misuse of this data.

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