We gather inspiration for our bi-annual theme guns from a variety of places. It is our goal to make them surprising and interesting. Some are character driven, some are imitations of moments in history, or others are renditions of previously popular gun designs. True, there really is nothing new under the sun, but our goal is still originality, and our motivation is to spark creativity in the minds and hands of the shooters we serve.
The December 2018 HausOfArms project gun is hopefully a little bit of “all of the above”. One my most favorite of the most interesting standouts of all T/C pistols to me has been the “super short” barrel jobs. I’ve enjoyed browsing them in all calibers from ridiculous .44 Mag all the way down to miniscule 22 Shorts and 17 Mach 2s. So the goal was to create a highly desirable hat tip to these that would also act as a suppressor host and plinking companion. I think we’ve achieved exactly that with the help of our friends.
As always the foundation for our project is a frame any shooter would be proud of, and in this case it’s the blue G2 jeweled by Ken Kelly at Mag-Na-Port. Maybe you’ve seen the stainless jeweled frames before, but guys, I’m telling you, the blue jeweled frames are the kind of bling the dark knight would be proud of. That’s right, it’s the Batman of T/C frames. The dark-as-sin combo of matte and gloss is a theme we would continue with a heavy gloss blue MGM 22 Long Rifle Match barrel 7” in length and threaded to rimfire specs wearing a shortened picatinny scope base. The compact nature of this pistola lends itself perfectly to being topped with a Leupold Delta Point Pro and silenced with my Silencerco Spectre II muffler. The grip set is our ambi G2 from Revolution Stocks in the Purple Haze custom colorway. To soup things up even further the folks over there were very gracious to do a special fit on forend length right up to the shoulder of the threads on the muzzle. It is a striking piece.
Believe me when I say it is startlingly quiet. Laughable even both with subsonic and supersonic ammunition. But the Hush Puppy is no more silent than it is accurate thanks to the combo of the MGM barrel and a 1lb 15oz enhanced trigger. Zeroed at 25 yards the impact of CCI Quiet 22 (750fps) is just ¼” off from the Wolf Match .22. And even with the unmagnified reflex optic it is boringly simple to stack one round on top of another.
There really is no limit to what any of us can achieve when it comes to the versatility of these T/C platforms. Well, maybe one... Funding.
A First Look at the T/C LRR
Originally when T/C announced their entry into the autoloading .22 and Long Range Precision line of firearms I experienced a sort of knee jerk reflex as my eyes rolled to the back of my head, and I muttered something about “just another ‘me too’” gun from T/C. BUT... But, that’s not really fair though is it? T/C entered into the auto-loading .22 arena years and years ago with the Classic R-55 which was an outstanding rifle save for its price point both for the unit itself and aftermarket magazines. Had it been easier to get into the hands of recreational .22 shooters maybe it would’ve taken off and been around longer. And you know what? The T/CR22 is fantastic. It just is. The little 10/22 clone is feature-rich especially for factory 10/22 style offerings and the price-to-value ratio is way up there. Tons of high points and I can’t sing its praises enough. Mine is several hundred rounds in suppressed and loud and I have yet to clean it with my only beef being the sloppy trigger. But I just treat it like a dirty 2-stage and am on my way. Enough, we’re not even talking about the T/CR22 right now!
When it comes to bolt guns, it’s not like T/C hasn’t been trying to gain more foothold in this area for over a decade with the introduction of the Icon, the more affordable Venture, the interchangeable Dimension (my personal favorite) and the wildly popular Compass. So it only makes sense, if we’re moving in this direction at least in part, why NOT enlist the expertise of the S&W Performance Center to launch the LRR.
*By the way, LRR stands for “LONG-RANGE-RIFLE” if you’re into keeping track of the “name it what it is” acronym labeling mantra over at T/C these days.
So just real quick, as at the time of writing this piece I’ve only had one range trip to begin getting acquainted with the LRR, let’s take a brief walk through the standout points of the rifle itself. The T/C LRR is an interesting combination of simple and complex both in appearance and features. But even at that, it just is what it is. A straightforward shooter built solid and with proven accuracy offerings from the factory. The 2-way adjustable stock feels more like a 6-way stock, the bolt locks tight but smooth and the 20 MOA integrated picatinny rail gives you the framework for mounting a solid optic/ring combo to dial it in from deep.
There are a few “not reinventing the wheel” features on this (much like the T/CR22) that I like such as the M-LOK slots on the front of the chassis which both saves weight and allows for seamless integration of accessories, the included Caldwell adjustable bipod (remember S&W owns Battenfeld Tech which came with existing names like Caldwell) and integration of Accuracy International magazines to feed the beast. For the record I would’ve preferred DPMS style AR-10 mags but it’s sort of a potato/potahto choice in the accuracy world and the AI mags give it the feel of a pro “boutique” quality firearm… so does the price point of additional AI magazines.
The LRR trigger is a 2 stage in the sense it has the internal spring-loaded plunger a la Savage AccuTrigger style and claims adjustability from 2.5-3.5 pounds pull weight. While I wish on the bottom side we saw something more like 1-1.5lb minimum, the trigger is crisp, clean, short and is very satisfactory for what it is: An end user customizable trigger designed for a balance of optimum usability and accuracy.
I know what you’re thinking: “How does the 11.5 pound rifle shoot? HOW. DOES. IT. SHOOT?!?!?!?!” We ordered the 6.5 Creedmoor model sporting the FDE colored chassis with the 24” 5R button rifled and generously fluted barrel (25.5” with the installed brake). I topped it with a 30mm one piece mount from American Defense Manufacturing combined with a Leupold VX-3i CDS 20x optic. The goal was to set it up in a way in which the periphery equipment would not be blamed for any potential malfeasance at the range.
I used some existing 6.5 Creed handloads to get it on paper after bore sighting shooting 2 rounds at each setting to ensure adjustment coming properly. Each of these pairs running a 140 grain Hornady ELD-X projectile would be nearly touching which proved to be an early encouragement. With spitting rain, heavy gusting horizontal winds, an antsy 6 year old and dusk threatening my shooting light, I managed to print a single sub-MOA 5 shot group using factory Hornady 140 Grain ELD-X ammunition claiming 2700fps on the box. If we were to be generous to the shooter and removed a 5th shot flyer we’d be looking at a 4 shot lucky clover measuring 11/16” diameter from opposite centers. Not bad for the first time out. I’ve got some fresh boxes of Hornady Match 147 grain ELD-X rounds begging for some attention and can’t wait to test accuracy at 200 meters and beyond. And all this with factory ammo as we haven’t even begun to consider dialing in hand loads yet.
Overall it’s important to understand the value of this rifle especially for what it is. You’re looking at a $1200 MSRP entry level precision rifle in a market that routinely sees competitor rifles falling in at 2x-4x the cost of this setup. It has a very smooth and mild recoil response making it comfortable to shoot all day, a bolt that glides easily and feeds and ejects rounds with gusto, and a comfortable chassis and platform you can customize to your personal frame. Wanna hunt with it? Sure, if you’re in a stationary spot and don’t have to lug it over mountains. Want to compete with it? By all means. Want to punch paper and ring steel by yourself at the range? I think you’d be tickled with the capabilities.
Maybe it is possible after all for T/C to continue looking to the future while staying faithful to the platforms that got us here? I know this curmudgeon wouldn’t complain if we began seeing some S&W Performance Center influence start to creep into the Encore and Contender world.
A guy can dream can’t he?
Speaking Of T/CR22s…
We have T/CR22s in stock that are ready to ship! We also have custom Revolution laminate stock sets and barrels that will fit both the T/CR22 and the Ruger 10/22. This is a fun round to shoot, and it is 100% customizable to your taste. T/C is also offering a rebate on the T/CR22s through the end of the year!
In the Spring we joked about the 50th Anniversary Contenders being 51st Anniversary Contenders. It seemed funny at the time. Much to our dismay, this may be our reality. We have been told that the stocksets had to be returned to the manufacturer twice because they didn’t meet specifications. We appreciate the attention to detail and the commitment to quality, but we know that this is not the news that many of you were hoping for.
Now time for the good news…Danielle Sanville from Thompson Center has let us know that the first shipment of 10 is expected to ship by the close of 2018. We are hopeful that this will happen!
Our partnership with Match Grade Machine continues to flourish, and in turn, our customers get to reap the benefits. In addition to the MGM barrels that we have stocked for the last year, we added many new calibers in 2018. These calibers include the highly anticipated .410 and 28 gauge shotgun barrels in all platforms, and the 45 cal muzzleloader barrels in both rifle and pistol for all platforms.
Each month, we continue to sell out of the popular calibers, and we appreciate Match Grade Machine working hard to keep our shelves stocked. The 357 Rem Max, 300 Blackout, 450 Bushmaster, and 444 Marlin tend to fly off the shelves faster than we can get them in. We are also now offering the 460 S&W and the 300 Win Mag with built in brakes.
While many distributors have stopped stocking the Dimension platform, we are committed to continuing to offer as much as possible for as long as possible. We are happy to report that we have secured all the remaining 6.5 Creedmoor barrels for the Dimension platform. If you’ve wanted to add to your Dimension lineup or start your Dimension collection, don’t wait!
A Note From Marty
As you are reading this, I am on a hog hunt in Texas with Eric and James. This is our second year going on this hunt at Pavur Outdoors in Seymour, TX, and it has been another fantastic trip. We’ve all three had success sleighing beasts and filling the freezer. You can’t beat that!
Shoot Straight and Be Safe,
Marty and the HausOfArms Crew