Thompson Center Venture and Pro-Hunter XT Weathershield

Thompson Center

As we reported in our article, Out of the Box MOA, in the last GunsAmerica Magazine, the TC Venture easily lives up to its claim of minute of angle accuracy in a factory rifle. Unfortunately though, most of us can’t shoot good enough to prove this out ourselves, so as a selling point, it may sound good, but it doesn’t apply to us. In North America most deer shots are well under 100 yards anyway, so being able to shoot in “a few minutes of basketball” in the field (as our contributor Ross Seyfried so wittingly noted), is fine.

That leaves you other things to consider when buying a deer rifle. For SHOT this year TC introduced a new coating for their rifles, coming out first in the Venture and the Pro-Hunter XT. It is a coating that is 50 times more weather resistant than stainless, and hard as nails. So not only is the gun not going to rust on you should you catch a wet first weekend in November, but you also have a great deal of protection against bumping the rifle against a stone wall (pesky New England stone walls are everywhere) or watching it slide down a barbed wire fence you leaned it against.

There are two videos here. The first one is the Venture, and the significance for that rifle is that it will enhance an already elegant deer rifle. I don’t know if I am partial since I am from New Hampshire (though the TC factory is leaving NH now sadly), but in it’s price range I don’t feel the Venture already has an equal in fit, finish, and just overall solid feel in a modern stainless/polymer deer rifle. It isn’t as nice as the Icon, but it is noticeably very nice, unlike many other competitors in its price range, and this coating should give it even more of a classiness edge.

The second video is the Pro-Hunter XT which I have not had the pleasure of owning or shooting. Thompson Center started with muzzleloaders of course, and this is one of their next-generation inline models that resemble their their interchangeable Encore centerfire rifles. The significance of Weathershield on these guns appears to be most significantly price. Stainless is expensive and this new coating can be hard baked onto regular carbon steel, giving you a reliable and durable finish for much less than you would pay for stainless. Hopefully TC will get us one of these guns for review so we can cover the finer points of a muzzleloading, and maybe get to abuse the finish a little to give you an idea what it really means for that extra week or two of deer season, and in many states, a second deer.

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