New From Thompson/Center Arms: T/C Venture Compact in .223


Want to reduce the number of calibers you keep on hand? Know someone who’s smaller-framed or maybe a little recoil sensitive? Thompson/Center Arms has just what you’ve been looking for. They’ve expanded their Venture rifle line, adding a compact model that fires .223 ammo from a 20″ free-floated barrel. MSRP is $537. Press release after the jump . . .

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 27, 2014) — Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced that Thompson/Center Arms™ has expanded its award winning T/C® Venture™ series with a new Venture Compact model chambered in .223 Rem. Designed to address the needs of smaller statured shooters, including youth and women, the new bolt-action rifle is now available in the popular centerfire caliber.

The newest addition to the T/C Venture Compact lineup offers reduced recoil for beginning shooters while aiding hunters in preparation for predator season. Engineered with a shortened barrel, the T/C Venture Compact offers improved handling in the field and on the range. Lightweight, well-balanced and guaranteed MOA (Minute of Angle) accurate, the new bolt-action rifle is sure to be frequently sighted in hunting camps this fall.

At the heart of the rifle is the T/C Venture Compact’s roller-burnished receiver and nitrate-coated fat bolt design with 60-degree lift that helps ensure a solid, smooth action. A user-adjustable trigger enables hunters of all skill levels to pre-set their preferred pull rate while the rifle’s 20-inch free floating blued barrel complete with 5R rifling and target crown provide consistent, reliable accuracy. The standard 5R rifling in each T/C Venture Compact also helps reduce copper fouling, delivering unmatched repeatability in high-use shooting situations and significantly less cleaning time. For improved handling in cold environments when extra layers are needed and to assist with growing shooters, the T/C Venture Compact rifle features an overall length of 40 ¾ inches and is standard with a one-inch adjustable spacer included in the stock.

“Thompson/Center understands that while no two shooters are exactly alike, each one expects the highest levels of quality and dependability in their hunting rifle,” said Danielle Sanville, Brand Manager for Thompson/Center Arms. “The latest addition to the T/C Venture Compact family pairs the versatile .223 cartridge with an innovative rifle platform that delivers premium features, value and performance. Perfect for new shooters as well as for youth and female hunters, the T/C Venture Compact has been expertly engineered to meet the requirements of any owner.”

The T/C Venture Compact is standard with a classic styled composite stock featuring traction grip panels that give the rifle a striking look and positive feel in adverse weather conditions. For easy installation of optics, the rifle comes standard with Weaver-style scope bases installed. The T/C Venture Compact is packaged with the QD sling swivel studs, a single stack 3+1 detachable nylon magazine and features a reduced weight of 6 ¾ pounds. Like all bolt-action rifles from Thompson/Center, the new Venture Compact is backed by a lifetime warranty delivering added peace of mind to hunters everywhere.


  1. avatar Rad Man says:

    I don’t see the point. Why do I need this again? I’ve never understood the folks who worship at the altar of cartridge commonality. What will this do that my AR won’t?

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      It might be more accurate for cute little furry pests on a farm at a given price and maintenance point.

      1. avatar Publius says:

        Plus, some people just really like bolt action rifles.

      2. avatar Diamondback says:

        I would challenge anyone to find a more accurate rifle than my Bushmaster Varminter which is an AR15 platform fitted with a 6-18 Leupold with TMR reticle.

        My DDM4v7 is very accurate too and that with only a 1.25-4 VXR-Patrol Fire-Dot scope!

        ARs have become increasingly accurate over the last couple of decades.

    2. avatar Rambeast says:

      It will be a more stable platform than the AR. You won’t have a magazine and grip hanging off of the bottom to catch on a stand, branch, or brush when moving into position for a kill shot. It will also be arguably lighter than an AR with the same optic mounted. It will require less maintenance. Finally, for the accuracy at longer ranges (300-400yds) the AR will cost 3 times of what this rifle MSRP is.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my ARs, but you cannot beat the solid performance of a good bolt action rifle.

    3. avatar Gunr says:

      “What will this do my AR wont”,
      It wont make you wallet as thin!

    4. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      You can use it without worry, for now, in a commie state.

  2. avatar blackspike2710 says:


    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      True. No new ground here, but they will sell some of these.

  3. avatar Mark N. says:

    What’s wrong with .243 for smaller statured shooters and women? Not only is it appropriate for the recoil sensitive, it is a better all around cartridge for hunting.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      If you’d bother to go the TC Arms website, you’d see that is available in ..243 as well as .22-250, .308 and 7mm-08…sometimes it pays to do a little research on your own, instead of relying on others to do it for you…

      1. avatar KnowWhatIamTalkingAbout says:

        Wow – thank you for saving me the time and energy by doing the research for me so now I don’t have to.


      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        And you miss my point entirely….separate and apart from the fact that the entire post was about the .223 version. And if indeed they offer this rifle in .243, then my point is even more pointed; with a .243, this caliber is superfluous.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          The. .223 is much easier to buy cheaply / bulk / steel cased / cheapo ammo. Sure, the .243 has better terminal ballistics, but the .223 is still sufficient for deer out to around 150-200 yards given the right load, and much further for predators and varmints.

        2. avatar Diamondback says:

          .243 ammo will not be as readily available in a SHTF situation as 223/556.

          Buy one in .223 and .308 and you should be able to resupply you ammo stores off dead bodies if necessary.

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Agree with the sentiment but a Barnes TSX in the 60-70 grain range or any bonded softpoint in 60+ grain range with kill whitetails and hogs as dead as you would ever need them to be… full stop

      I agree the 243 is an admirable first rifle that honestly you would never even need to replace unless you wanted to. 100grain softpoints from a 243 will kill damn near any non dangerous game in North America as long as you keep it to ethical ranges, and its flat shooting trajectory ensures the best chance of clean kills.

      223 with well made expanding bullets is more than enough for medium game (whitetail, antelope, and hogs), again within normal hunting ranges. What I mean by that is, I was talking long range hunting with a good friend/ shooting mentor of mine and he threw out some statistic that over 75% of game is harvested inside of 200yards. So yeah, 223 will make em plenty dead inside that range.

      Bad shooting is bad shooting regardless of how many grains or fps you hit em with so I dont buy the whole “margin of error” argument used by so many as an excuse to cart their tricked out 300WM into the field to kill something like Whitetails.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        I like my 300WM because I can handload the same bullets I use to top off my .308MBR ammo supply. Great gun/round but not for the recoil shy.

        1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

          Your last point says it perfectly… not for the recoil shy.

          The biggest argument you hear for shooting a bigger rifle is that it gives you “margin of error” for a poorly placed shot. My response to that is, get a rifle that you can shoot more consistently and you dont have to worry as much about poor shot placement. Most of my friends who hunt with magnum rifles flinch worse than tourettes kid doing lines of speedball. Over the several years I have hunted with them, they have spent a lot of late, cold nights looking for wounded animals.

          A deer shot directly in the heart can and will often run for several seconds regardless of how big or small or how fast the bullet that you shot it with was. But Hydrostatic shock! you say, again a 223 is traveling at more than enough speed to create hydrostatic shock, that is primarily a function of velocity, as long as the bullet expands its going to be lights out for that deer. But but you need to break bones to stop a deer!… A properly constructed 223/556 projectile has more than enough energy to at least break a nearside shoulder and lots of the guys shooting Barnes TSX bullets have more than sufficient documentary evidence that it can break both shoulders. We are talking whitetails here, not terminator robots after all.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          @Tex 300,

          But some of us shoot heavier calibers just fine. One of the detriments of the excellent .30 Cal .30-30 / .308 / .30-06 calibers is that they don’t always immediately anchor deer even with heart shots. A .45-70 LeverEvolution round – a .458 cal 325 grain slug at around 2000 FPS – knocks deer over with heart shots, and they stay down.

          Caliber wars take on some significant meaning when you don’t want a deer to hop a fence and expire in the neighbor’s field.

          But since I’m not hunting the fence line, I’m probably going .308. My buddy Josh, a very experienced hunter, passed a 170 yard shot with a 5.56 AR because he figured he was stretching the ballistics of his 62 grain Mk 318 round in the cold air through a 14.7″ POF Armory AR. A .308 / .30-06 or a .45-70 LeverEvolution would have carried a whole lot more energy, bullet diameter, and momentum at that distance. A .223 60-77 grain round through a 20″ barrel would be marginal against that 6-8 point buck under those conditions.

          Our neighbors to the west have a couple of very capable guys with 300 Mags and shots can easily be 300-400 yards. They don’t want deer hopping our fence.

          Anyways, YMMV.

    3. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Sometimes people use smaller cartridges for what they will not do versus what it does. People in rural areas shoot .223 with very frangible bullets on animal pests on farms in semi-built up areas.

    4. avatar tdiinva says:

      Thank you for posting what I was going to post. The 243 is superior to 223 in every respect.

      1. avatar Wut says:

        But, no, it isn’t. You probably think .338 lapua mag is better than .22lr in every respect, too.

  4. avatar Rambeast says:

    Hopefully they will offer a 1:7 twist, or this will be a waste of a rifle. If you’re shooting .223 from a bolt rifle, you will want 75gr+ pills going down range. I would prefer 80-90gr, but I’m a picky customer.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      I can think of a lot more people wanting to shoot a 55 grain bullet with this type of rifle.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        Looks like it is in 1:12 twist for lighter bullets to use on varmints.

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      What you say would be correct if we were talking a 14.5″ – 16″ AR15. With the velocity produced with good handloading and a 20″ tube on a bolt gun 1:7 would be overkill even for the heaviest bullets. 1:7 twist, as has been stated ad nauseum here and just about anyhwere else, was developed primarily to shoot tracers out of M4 carbines which are way longer projectiles than just about any other bullet designed for the 223/556. The slower velocity generated in shorter barrels combined with the extra length of the projectile (significantly longer than even 77grain OTM) leads to marginal stability.

      Now that is in AR15’s, with the higher pressures and longer COAL afforded by a bolt action rifle you can generate more than enough velocity in a 20″ tube to stabilize the heaviest bullets you can reasonably shoot out of a 223/556 with 1:8 or maybe even a 1:9. A 16 barrel is almost long enough to generate the velocity needed to stabilize something super long like a Barnes 70grain TSX with a 1:8 twist and an 18 1:8 twist gets you there comfortably.

      Its pretty simple math to do the unit conversions to calculate the RPM of the bullet at the muzzle based on barrel length, muzzle velocity, and twist rate. Also, most ballistics calculators have a stability function where you can plug in weight, caliber, projectile length, twist rate, and muzzle velocity to see what twist is required for adequate stability of a given bullet.

      1. avatar Rambeast says:

        Thanks for the lesson. I am going by experience with other shooter’s results with my handloads. With 75gr OTBT I found that ~20″ 1:7 produced the best results. He literally put 9 of 10 shots through the same hole at 100yds. At ~400yds he produced a .4″ group. Granted this was a custom Remmy 700 varmint barreled rifle. I want to get into match shooting, and am pooling together all of the info I can to make an informed decision. I would love to have someone of Dyspeptic Gunsmith’s experience available for advice, but I am not so lucky.

        1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

          Yeah I was speaking from a pure “stability” standpoint, tons of other factors affect accuracy, as you aptly pointed out. According to the Miller Stability Formula you could go as slow as 1:10 twist and have more than adequate stability with the 75grain OTM you mentioned. Your luck with the 1:7 seems down to the fact that it is a “custom” (Im assuming this means professionally installed premium aftermarket barrel?) Remington 700 more than anything else. Also 100 yard groups tell you almost nothing about stability, unless it is just so insufficient that the bullet comes out tumbling.

  5. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    In .223 or .22-250, I see little point in this rifle.

    In .243, 7mm08 or .308, this could be a very handy little rifle. About the only addition I’d make is .260 Rem.

    In a small, handy rifle for the smaller shooter or a recoil-sensitive person, I think a 7mm08 could be ideal for hunting large(r) game.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      My son and I were just talking about a bolt gun in .223 this weekend while we were quail hunting. I bought a .243 bolt gun for my hunting rifle and he bought a .308. He was of the opinion that he should have bought a .223 instead.

      The stuff we shoot at here is simply not very big. The biggest blacktail buck I’ve seen so far was no more than 125 pounds, if that. The pigs we’ve seen are all under 100 pounds and the yotes are even smaller.

      In my .243 I shoot faqctory 80 grain loads that hit 3300 fps. Certainly good enough+ for my needs. I believe I got him around to the .243.

      Recoil sensitivety isn’t an issue for us. But a 165 grain .30 caliber bullet won’t kill a small deer any deader than an 80 grain .24 caliber. We hunt in condor country and the copper bullets are cheaper for the smaller rounds and it’s easier to carry the rifle and ammo up and down those hills

      If I have any regrets about my choosing a .243 it’s that I should have gotten a light weight single shot for my hunting.

  6. avatar KnowWhatIamTalkingAbout says:

    One of their Dimension rifles would probably be more versatile than this one. I am referring to the product that is also a bolt action rifle and allows you to change calibers in A, B, and C groupings.

  7. avatar ggrimes2 says:

    I was also thinking a Dimension rifle in one of the groups it would be perfect for a small easy carry rifle for a lot less than an AR plus you could then convert calibers for additional savings. Can you say Ruger American also pretty high quality and bottom dollar price. I’ve got 4 AR rifles in various combinations but none are very versatile or easy to convert and all carry the “black” rifle stigma. My original Colt AR has a very whippy barrel and a fast twist, the short H-bar is OK but leaves a lot in accuracy, my H-Bar shoots very well but… its starting to get heavy, finally my custom AR with a 22″ SS match barrel, free floated handguard, treated and shot peened bolt carrier and flat-topped upper will group less than 3/4″ at 100 yards with match ammo and a great scope. Problem is it now weighs more than a good bolt gun. I now have a Ruger varmint in .243, a Remington in .17, a BSA Monarch in .308 and a Browning single shot in 22-250 all are accurate (better than myself) and there is just something exotic about a bolt rifle that my AR’s just lack in feel. I’ll take the AR for SHTF day but for varmints, deer or prairie dogs and training too shoot gimme a bolt.

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