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#2723252 - 09/24/14 05:52 PM 6 months & 500 rounds with the T/C Venture review..pic heavy!
ghilliedup Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 06/18/13
Posts: 155
Loc: So IL
Hey everyone, ive read a lot of posts lately from people who are just getting into the predator hunting sport that are looking for a quality rifle to get started off or wanting to upgrade from what they currently have but want something that wont cost them an arm & a leg so I wanted to share my thoughts/experiences with a rifle that IMO is far too often overlooked.

I just happen to stumble across a deal on the T/C Venture late last winter while trying to help a friend find a new .223, The GS must have bought a truck load of these rifles in all sorts of different calibers & was selling them at a deal far too good to pass up: $349 for the rifle AND a $75 mail in rebate. So IIRC after tax it was $304 for a rifle that normally sells for $425-450 or so. I told my friend of the deal & I called the gun shop to make sure they had one in .243 for myself & .223 for my friend & then took off on the 3 hour drive to purchase them. Once I got there I quickly learned that the only .243's left were youth models so I was left with a decision: .223 .204 or 22-250. I went with a .204 because it had a 1:10 twist & could handle heavier bullets than the standard 1:12 twist 204's. (my friends bought the 223 & a 7mm08)

This was my first T/C but it didn't take long when comparing them side by side to notice that the bolt on the T/C was every bit as smooth if not better as the Tikka T3 I had been wanting & leaps & bounds smoother than the Savages or Marlin I own. Both the T/C Venture & Tikka come with a MOA guarantee that they will shoot 3 shots under a inch @ 100 yards with premium factory ammo. I figured any company that will put a guarantee like that on a off-the shelf sub-$500 gun has got to be doing something right and boy have i been correct!

The Venture is slightly heavier than most of the other competitors rifles in the same $ class (Axis, Marlin x7, ruger American etc)but part of that weight is due to a much more rigid polymer stock, it has cross braces all the way down the forearm that makes it very sturdy for a plastic stock & I have no problem sliding a dollar bill all the way to the receiver when checking to see if it was free-floated.

The barrel is also a slightly different contour than my other sporter weight rifles. It is just a tad heavier profile than my Savage or Marlin & has a very nice recessed muzzle. Also of note is that the barrel is not the standard 6 groove rifling found on most hunting rifles but a 5R system that uses 5 grooves instead of 6. Im not going to get too technical on the benefits of this but it does seem to work & I have noticed very little copper fouling when cleaning this barrel as well.

It comes with a 3 round magazine that is mainly built of plastic but has a metal hinge, ive had no problems with the mag. The feeding has been flawless so far with the only issue being trying to single feed some of my handloads, if you don't push the bolt forward fast enough they will occasionally hang up but that's a pretty minor complaint.

The trigger is an adjustable non-accutrigger type, it adjusts by removing the bolt & using the smallest allen wrench I have ever seen. Its a very nice trigger but I don't think its quite as good as the accutrigger styles of the Savage or my Marlin. Although for hunting purposes its absolutely more than fine. It has just a little bit of creep to it but breaks very clean, so if I were only target shooting & used to benchrest quality triggers I may look into upgrading it but its good enough that I cant imagine a hunter not being happy with it.

One small complaint is that the shape of the forearm is a little narrow & does not sit on certain bipods well. I've only tried it on the cheap Caldwell bipods and there is just a little wiggle between the rifle/bipod, like I said I've only tried with the el-cheapo Caldwell ones but the nicer bipods may not have this issue.

I mounted a Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x40 with Dead-Hold BDC reticle on it using Low Leupold Rifleman rigs, it fit very well & this combination has held up extremely well so far. The Vortex Crossfire II scopes are probably the best dollar for dollar/bang for your buck optic options out there in my opinion and I now own 3 of them. They have the resettable turrets & adjustments have proven to be accurate and repeatable. I've hunted in rain, snow, fog and heat with this setup and have never once wished I bought something else. I paid around $175 for the scope and under $20 for the rings.

Now for the pics!
















The first 2 pics is the very first few shots out of this rifle, it was a 35 degree day & I was using a sandbag rest. All the group target pics are done from a cold barrel & all but the first two are from a X-sandbag on either my pickup tailgate using a bucket as a seat lol or from a picnic table. All the distances are laser measured.

Factory Hornady Custom 45gr Soft Point @ 100 yards:



Factory Hornady Superformance 40gr Vmax @ 100 yards, from my measurement this group is right at .13":




Handloads using a Sierra 39gr BK, Hornady brass, IMR 4895 & Rem 7 1/2 BR primers @ 2.348" COAL...this is now my standard load, it chronos at 3635fps Avg muzzle velocity in 60 degree weather, its about .5gr under max powder charge. This is not the best group I have shot with this load, I have got into the lower .2's quite a few times.



Same handloads as above but at 404 yards with a 10-12mph 9:00 wind, this group has been the most impressive to me thus far as it was shot off the tailgate of my pickup & Im quite sure the rifle could do better off a better rest:



Reticle view of the Vortex BDC scope, with a 100 yd zero the first hash is 252, then 412. I limit myself to 400 yds for hunting so the reticle has worked out nicely on my other rifles & im sure it will this one too once coyote season is in full swing again



And how would it be complete without a kill shot! This poor fella was facing me at 90 yards. I centered the crosshairs on his upper chest and just as I squeezed the trigger he hunkered down and met the 39gr Sierra just under the eye socket. Needless to say he was dead before hitting the dirt.



All in all I would absolutely recommend this rifle to any skill level of hunter/shooter and I truly think its one of the most overlooked options out there in terms of quality/accuracy/price. It has a super smooth operation, solid fit/finish & has proven to be sub moa or in several cases 1/4 to 1/2 Moa with multiple factory and handloads. Its hard to ask for much more than that in a entry level rifle.


Edited by ghilliedup (09/24/14 06:18 PM)

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#2723260 - 09/24/14 06:46 PM Re: 6 months & 500 rounds with the T/C Venture review..pic heavy! [Re: ghilliedup]
shankbone Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 960
Loc: OR
That $75 rebate is still good until the end of November, and your post just cost me some money. smile Thanks.

Now I just need to figure out if I get another .223, or add a .22-250 to the stable. Or a .204.









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#2723277 - 09/24/14 07:42 PM Re: 6 months & 500 rounds with the T/C Venture review..pic heavy! [Re: ghilliedup]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
It's good to see this, and thank you for doing this.

I got a 22-250 in the Predator Venture (the camo version) and I have had the same results. It shoots way better than i could hope for.
I have shot hand load groups of Varget and 50gr vmax that measured in at .31 at 100yrds and it wasn't a calm day. (it never is at Ben Avery)

It shot so well, that my dad got a 223 version and with factory Hornady 53vmax ammo and a 3x9 cheepy scope shot a .52moa group and he can't shoot groups to save his life normally. usually 1moa is a miracle for him.

I think the russian style 5r rifling makes all the difference 5 groove 45 degree grooves
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#2723339 - 09/24/14 10:04 PM Re: 6 months & 500 rounds with the T/C Venture review..pic heavy! [Re: shankbone]
ghilliedup Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 06/18/13
Posts: 155
Loc: So IL
Originally Posted By: shankbone
That $75 rebate is still good until the end of November, and your post just cost me some money. smile Thanks.

Now I just need to figure out if I get another .223, or add a .22-250 to the stable. Or a .204.










That was my exact dilemma once I couldn't get a 243. IIRC the 223 & 22-250 had slower twist rates that wouldn't work well with the heavier 22cal bullets like the 69SMK & so on.

I noticed they started up the rebate again. I am surprised how well I have liked the 204, at first I was thinking it was nothing more than a 223 shooting super light bullets but its more than that. The ease of reloading, super long brass life, accuracy/velocity & lack of recoil make it a standout IMO. If you're a reloader the efficiency of the 204 case is also a plus as its very easy on powder. Plus the T/C 204 has a fast enough twist to shoot 32-50gr bullets where as a lot of factory 204's will max out at 40 gr.


Edited by ghilliedup (09/24/14 10:08 PM)

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#2723482 - 09/25/14 11:10 AM Re: 6 months & 500 rounds with the T/C Venture review..pic heavy! [Re: ghilliedup]
WI3Der Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 277
Loc: WI
Very nice write up. I bought a Venture in 22-250 when they hit the market a few years ago and my experience with the rifle mirrors your review. I pulled the stock and adjusted my trigger to break at a very nice 2.5 lbs. IIRC the trigger is very similar to a Remington 700 trigger in that the creep can be eliminated by adjusting the sear engagement.

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#2723533 - 09/25/14 01:47 PM Re: 6 months & 500 rounds with the T/C Venture review..pic heavy! [Re: ghilliedup]
K-22hornet. Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 1632
Loc: Colorado
Very nice write up.

This mirrors my experience with the T-C's as well. I have the Icon in 243. My 'bad' groups are just over 1".
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