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Thread: Is Thompson Center dying?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Yeah I need to get one of those traditional TC‘s. I tried to trade a member here for my sporter 303 that I just finished up that looks like brand new but they didn’t have any interest.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I just had a knock in the door from FedEx. Thompson center just sent me a second box of 15, 300 grain shock waves and sabots! At that rate I’ll be good for about 30 years! One shot per deer each year.


    If they’re that easy to send me 30 bullets I guess my next step is to ask them to start making the old traditional muzzleloaders again.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Guess I'm old enough now to qualify as an official ol' grump anytime I want to. I grump today in offense to what most of our state game departments have allowed to contaminate the original "primitive weapons" deer seasons -there is nothing primitive about what the market has made of what was originally intended with our BP rifles.

    Christmas of 1978 my wife gave me the TC Renegade with double set trigger and a .54 cal barrel she knew I lusted for. I added TC's rugged Peep sight and found it deadly accurate and flat shooting to about 130 yards with a max charge of Pyrodex under a TC Maxi bullet; I love it.

    I would not have anything but a traditional BP rifle in my gun safe. Not only are the others ugly, their use insults the legitimate reasons for BP seasons. Ditto sabot bullets, scopes and powder pellets. IF I sat on a state wildlife commission those contraptions would be restricted to normal hunting seasons.

    Do wish I'd gotten a TC Cherokee .32 cal small game rifle when I still could have used it.
    Last edited by 1hole; 01-03-2020 at 09:29 PM.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Guess I'm old enough now to qualify as an official ol' grump anytime I want to. I grump today in offense to what most of our state game departments have allowed to contaminate the original "primitive weapons" deer seasons -there is nothing primitive about what the market has made of what was originally intended with our BP rifles.

    Christmas of 1978 my wife gave me the TC Renegade with double set trigger and a .54 cal barrel she knew I lusted for. I added TC's rugged Peep sight and found it deadly accurate and flat shooting to about 130 yards with a max charge of Pirodex under a TC Maxi bullet; I love it.

    I would not have an inline/scoped BP rifle in my gun safe. Not only are they ugly, their use insults the legitimate reasons for BP seasons. IF I sat on a state wildlife commission those contraptions would be restricted to normal hunting seasons.

    Do wish I'd gotten a TC Seneca .32 cal small game rifle when I still could have used it.
    I am curious what part of Pyrodex, Maxi balls, and a brand new TC Renegade is more primitive or historically correct than the TC encore with the same powder, and a sabot bullet?

    Everything you listed is of 20th century origin, same as a 209 primer inline rifle with plastic sabot. I am half heartedly yanking your chain, but that's the danger of nit picking the gear others use. Personally I think the Minnesota model, where any muzzleloading gun goes, is a much better way to be than the Wyoming model, where you are shoehorned into a narrow field. Suddenly, and unintentionally, your TC Renegade with Maxiballs (both 20th century inventions) are A OK, yet a SXS muzzleloading shotgun (18th century if flintlock) is a no-go. I only use that as an example, as some states require a single barreled gun.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    popcorn is cooking!

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy mike69's Avatar
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    I think if they keep the contender and encore going the TC name will stick around . Would like to see the traditional muzzleloader come back . I just picked up a TC Hawken 50 cal from member here that looks like a new one . Love my contender pistols and the encore I have .

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I have to admit a traditional style muzzle loader isn't going to match my in line scoped accuracy. I have shot 2.5" groups at 300 yards off the Bench with my inline. Years ago we couldn't use optics so I had a 1x Burris on mine. Deer looked like they were 300 yards away when looking through that Burris at 100 yards. I hated that thing. I would have been better off with a red dot.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I guess I split the difference in muzzleloader hunting. I shoot an NEF Huntsman .50 with 777, primers, a non-sabot lead slug that I make myself, and regular sights on the barrel. 70 yards or so is the max I can hit anything without a scope, so the only real advantage I have over a sidelock is more reliable ignition.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    A couple days ago I had one of my oldest Contender frames fail to open or eject then when pulling the barrel off, a part just fell out. Old schematics don't say much about how this part is oriented or how attached. I sent an email to T/C Customer service and they got right back to me in under an hour. They are sending a shipping label to send it their shop. That was quick. That frame is close to 40 years old and has seen a lot of use. If the shop can fix it and get it back to me in any reasonable amount of time, they will be heroes in my book. Apparently they are not dead yet and maybe even that lifetime warranty is still good 40+ years later.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master

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    Here we can't use sabots or pellets nor optic sights. I saw one of the old double barreled muzzleloaders, where you shoot one, then rotate the other barrel into place to shoot, but didn't buy it as can't use them here either.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    AS one who used ML's before they decided to modernize so you could hunt "without all the fuss" and being from MN I think the Minnesota laws are a travesty. The "modern muzzleloader" did not come about until hunting seasons were developed as the result of people that wanted a special season to hunt with their HISTORICAL weapons. Get away from the primitive argument. I built ML's and they were built copying original designs. Historical weapons. Also MN gave us the ML hunting season at a very bad time of year. Around Thanksgiving, which in MN is often a very cold time. I quit hunting the ML season when I got the flu and darn near did not make it in wading through knee deep snow. TC had excellent ML's for a time, but as mentioned by others they lost ground to the modern ML's. CVA did the same thing. You can still get similar rifles from outfits like Dixie or MidwayUSA. Traditional ML's were originally hand fitted and do not lend themselves to mass production. In lines are cheaply made rifles that fit into the buying habits of those that want to hunt in ML seasons "without the fuss" which is what ML hunting was all about. Lots of the traditional users used their ML's in the regular season anyway as often deer hunting is a family affair. I still look at going out with my flintlock after squirrels and other small game.
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    A couple of smoothbores I built a 12 and 20 gauge and I also have a 25 cal flintlock rifle I built. TC could make them but would have to shortcut somewhere in looks and manufacturing techniques. Very limited market for these. Basically I agree with what is said about the bean counters running things for a subsidiary.

    DEP

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Have to acknowledge the various schools of thought above. The hand-made's vs the T/C side-lock type's vs the in-line star war's types. If I had the money, I'd probably get a real traditional smoke pole. I don't, so I started with the traditional~light T/C side hammers. Love 'em. I also have a few in-lines. Love them, too. I'd like to be able to say I don't have a dog in this fight, but I do. I want to see them all out there pushing forward the hunting tradition and shooting sports. In case you haven't noticed, the average age of hunters is gaining like my waist line. If anything promotes hunting / shooting, I'm for it. Our future will reflect our community. Keep 'em (all of them) warm, boys.

  13. #33
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    The fire sort of put TC out of the side lock game and it came when sales were down so in comes S&W with funds and the deal is made. The side lock crowd already had the firearms they wanted or thought they wanted and so S&W slowly moved into the inline world which is what they bought the TC company for anyway. Now today if someone could get the right to manufacture and sell the Seneca and Cherokee in cap lock and flint lock at a reasonable price it could keep a small business going as maybe a sideline or just a hobby. I miss the old TC line but interest and money dictate what sells and side locks just weren't selling when TC sold to S&W plain and simple. I really wonder if new TC side locks were made if anyone would buy as I think they would be on the pricey side these days.
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  14. #34
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shdwlkr View Post
    The fire sort of put TC out of the side lock game and it came when sales were down so in comes S&W with funds and the deal is made. The side lock crowd already had the firearms they wanted or thought they wanted and so S&W slowly moved into the inline world which is what they bought the TC company for anyway. Now today if someone could get the right to manufacture and sell the Seneca and Cherokee in cap lock and flint lock at a reasonable price it could keep a small business going as maybe a sideline or just a hobby. I miss the old TC line but interest and money dictate what sells and side locks just weren't selling when TC sold to S&W plain and simple.[B] I really wonder if new TC side locks were made if anyone would buy as I think they would be on the pricey side these days.
    That is what I feel. Sidelocks are expensive to make. Sidelock shotguns got replaced by box locks, the Sharps rifles lost out to rifles like the Rolling Block. The locks on the guns I made now cost over $150. In lines are just cheaper to make, Other companies still make TC Hawken style rifles but they are not quite as good. If one looks they are available but generally mail order. Often white wood stocks. If I remember TC did make a run of their Hawkens, but they were about $7-800 I saw more than one TC stock replaced due to splitting out at the lock mortise. Production systems took out a lot of wood at that area for the locks to fit. Hand made custom ML's are still sold as are the "kits" which have stocks CNS inletted. They are too expensive for the average shooter as mentioned. Inlines make ridiculous claims as to advantages over traditional. That's another topic.

    I do not know the market for the single shot pistols like the Encore. I don't see a lot of them around and the LGS quit stocking them due ot lack of sales. I had a couple, they were fun but I sold them and do not want another. The 410 sold a while but produced a lot of feathers and no grouse for road hunters unless very close. I borrowed a TC bolt action once when I forgot to bring ammo for my own rifle and fired one shot out of it to get a deer. Ok rifle. I was not so impressed that I had to rush out and get one.

    DEP

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Head about 150 miles south. It seems every other hunter south of I-94 uses an Encore pistol in 308 Winchester or similar. The "shotgun" zone is a joke.

    The muzzleloader season isn't a travesty. I like the late season. You want to hunt with your hand made guns? You are perfectly clear to do so. If the next guy only has $300, he can hunt too. I wish there weren't so many who buy these fancy long range dork rifles and then complain about the difficulty. That's an attitude problem, not a law problem. If we followed the west's example, you wouldn't be hunting with your shotguns.

    There is only a single problem with MN's muzzleloader season, and that is that it's too short. It should end on the end of the month, the same day as bow hunting. If you think the season is a travesty now, you would puke if we moved the season to October. Every jerk and is brother would be out.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    T/c got sick in the mid 90's when the fire occurred it was a slight stroke but it did cause them to discontinue all the small bore muzzle loaders.Then they threw out there back when they tried to keep up with the companies making in line muzzleloaders and started getting rid of the set triggers in there sidehammer guns. Then they got well and started making an expensive but quality .22 auto rifle but then they had a slight heart attack with the introduction of the encore and the remodeling of the contender to look like the encore. Then they had a major life threatening stroke when they sold out to going down the tubes S & W. Who blinded them by getting rid of the custom shop, all the sidehammers except the Hawken which they almost doubled the price on,and flushed the best customer service in the industry muting them. I think T/c died when the last Hawken rifle and real T/c employee left the plant. Say what you like but I think S & W killed T/c.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Why don't you guys like the Encore? I bought a Contender to try it, and I'm just not seeing it. The Encore is just all around better in every way. You can shoot an Encore two handed, it doesn't have this stupid (what were they thinking?) safety that keeps you from firing if you lower the hammer and try to cock it again. You can use just about anything on an Encore, where a contender you are limited to handgun cartridges and very few rifle cartridges. I've never seen a shotgun of any kind for a contender.

    My contender is going down the road soon. I even sought out an original version because they are heralded for their trigger and quality. I had to send mine back to the factory to have a barrel fitted. The trigger is crisp, but 5.5 pounds. In a flash of ignorance I bought a 309 JDJ barrel for mine. 308 winchester is strong in an Encore with a proper two hand grip. The 309 JDJ in the contender with one hand is just outrageous.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    I have six Encore and Contender frames (majority Contender vintage 1974 forward) and enjoy both styles. They are just different for different purposes. The Encore is designed primarily for high pressure, bottleneck cases while the Contender was mostly for lower pressure often old fashion calibers in both the carbine and pistol variations. The big change in the last couple decades was the demise of Fox Ridge Outfitters and its T/C Custom Shop. The endless opportunities for affordable barrels in the Contender just isn't there today so Contenders and Encores aren't as addictive as they were 20+ years ago. Example; I have a 9mm Luger T/C Contender carbine that is an absolute delight walking around rifle from the Custom Shop after only a three week wait. Would I order the same today - probably not. Times change. BTW - If memory serves that T/C fire occurred in the late 80's and took not only their gorgeous muzzleloaders (Seneca and Cherokee etc) but also ended production of the TCR's which I still think were superior to the Encore in elegance and accuracy (at least mine is).
    Last edited by quilbilly; 01-13-2020 at 06:32 PM.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    Have 2 Contenders, both early 1976 and before. I had an Encore for a few months. The Contender does everything I want a single shot pistol to do without the unnecessary weight and bulk of the Encore. I just donít hanker for the power that an Encore is capable of. Different strokes for different folks. Where I am in my life, I probably would not buy the Contender. The ones I have, and their various barrels, give me pleasure and remind me of the good times hunting and competing. I too, think the TCR83 was a really nice rifle, bought mine when they were announced.
    ďYou donít practice until you get it right. You practice until you canít get it wrong.Ē Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know if they're dying or just really sick. All I do know is I won't miss them. I don't wish them ill or any hardship for those who own their firearms. It's that I don't own one..and frankly, don't want any of them. They simply aren't my cup of Ovaltine.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check