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Old September 21, 2011, 08:45 PM   #1
UtahGrouse
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TC Venture - Barrel, safety, etc. problems

I bought a Thompson Center Venture about a month ago. After I got it home, I went to clean it before heading to the range, and while looking at the 5R riffling they brag about, I noticed that the barrel was discolored and had rough spots. I called TC and they told me to send it back to them.

Three weeks later (after having to borrow a rifle for the hunting trip I bought the rifle for), I got the rifle back with a broken trigger guard, and it looked like they had just gone at the barrel with some lapping compound (it was all over the stock). So I guess I now have a half worn out barrel. I called TC again and they said they are sending me a replacement stock.

After getting off the phone with them, I noticed that the safety is now almost unusable it is so stiff, and the bolt is extremely stiff as well (I went back by the shop and compared it the Ventures on their shelf).

So, they want me to send it back to them again and will not just trade me for a new rifle, is it worth it? Do you think I will just get it back with more broken parts? Anybody else bought such a worthless rifle from TC?
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Old September 21, 2011, 09:34 PM   #2
Cowboy_mo
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I think I would send it back again with the complete laundry of things that are wrong with it.

I say that because I love mine (purchased last October) but I think that was before S & W bought them out. That may be why they no longer offer a "trade out" option.
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Old September 21, 2011, 10:32 PM   #3
taylorce1
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Quote:
I bought a Thompson Center Venture about a month ago. After I got it home, I went to clean it before heading to the range, and while looking at the 5R riffling they brag about, I noticed that the barrel was discolored and had rough spots. I called TC and they told me to send it back to them.
Did you clean the barrel or just look down it? Most barrels are fouled when they come from the factory from test firing. And unless something is seriously screwed up when making the barrel it is hard to tell it is rough without running a bore scope down it. Plus a rough barrel doesn't mean it will not shoot accurately.

Quote:
Three weeks later (after having to borrow a rifle for the hunting trip I bought the rifle for), I got the rifle back with a broken trigger guard, and it looked like they had just gone at the barrel with some lapping compound (it was all over the stock). So I guess I now have a half worn out barrel. I called TC again and they said they are sending me a replacement stock.
Sorry they didn't package it properly, and they should replace the stock. I doubt your barrel is half worn out from a little lapping compound. Did they shoot it again and supply a test target? Ventures have a sub-moa guarantee, so I would think they would at least test fire it again to make sure it will hold up to their guarantee.

Quote:
After getting off the phone with them, I noticed that the safety is now almost unusable it is so stiff, and the bolt is extremely stiff as well
Have you taken it out of the stock and cleaned it? I'll bet that if there is a lot of compound on the stock some of it got down in the safety and bolt race ways. A good thorough cleaning might fix both of the problems.

My Venture rifle has functioned flawlessly and shot very well for the 20 rounds I've put down mine even though I wasn't capable of shooting sub-moa that day. I'm surprised to hear all of your issues. I'd really think T/C would want to fix it.
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Old September 21, 2011, 10:34 PM   #4
twins
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Utah,

Did you buy it brand new from a local store? The reason I asked is I would have brought it back to the store where I bought it and exchange it for another (after inspecting the new one) instead of the back/forth with T/C.

My venture is about 1 year old and it is my best shooting rifle. Nothing but praise for it and this thread is the first truly bad review of it (or T/C customer service) that I've seen. There are some mediocre reviews of the rifle but nothing this bad. I've yet to try T/C customer service, but it sounds like something is definitely amiss here.

Sorry you're not getting good service from them because this out of norm for T/C.
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Old September 22, 2011, 09:26 AM   #5
UtahGrouse
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Quote:
Did you clean the barrel or just look down it?
I cleaned it pretty thoroughly (but just with Hopes) after I noticed the unusual color and texture but it really didn't make much of a difference. I was just looking down it though, I don't have a bore scope.

Quote:
Did they shoot it again and supply a test target?
Not as far as I can tell. Not the least bit of copper fouling in the barrel, no test target, and no note saying what was wrong or what was done.

Quote:
Did you buy it brand new from a local store?
I did, but just gave TC a call to see what they thought and they asked me to send it back. At this point it is too late to bring it back to the store (I did ask).

I cleaned the bolt and raceways, but it is still has a very stiff action (I can't lift the bolt handle with the rifle shouldered). I'll try and clean the trigger group and see if it helps with the safety.
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Old September 22, 2011, 10:36 AM   #6
JSJ127
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I hate to hear you're having trouble. I've had great luck with the two ventures we have. I did have a problem with the first one I bought. The bolt was extremely hard to cycle on a fresh round. I carried it back to my dealer they handled sending it to Thompson for me. Had great service. Got the gun back in about 3 weeks. The note they sent back said they changed the firing pin. It's been great since then. That was last year and I'd had the gun for a year before that just took me awhile to get around to getting it sent back. I'd send it back. Keep us updated with how it goes. If you keep having trouble get your dealer to talk to his sales rep that he deals with. Alot of times the sales rep can get things done for his dealers that the company don't want to do for individuals.
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Old September 22, 2011, 11:29 AM   #7
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Hate to hear you are having problems with your rifle. I had to send a brand new Icon back to the factory last August. TC sent me a brand new rifle in a little less than 3 weeks. The replacement rifle was flawless. I hope S&W has not screwed this company up.
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Old October 15, 2011, 02:50 PM   #8
UtahGrouse
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Well, I finally got my rifle back... again. I was hoping for the best, it had a new stock, the action was workable, barrel looked good, safety was still overly stiff but was good enough for me to live with.

Today I finally got to shoot it. First shot - click. The primer was dented but not enough to fire. The second round went off but I had another failure to fire after about 6 rounds for 2 failures in 13 rounds of Federal Power Shok 150 gr.

Ammo problem? Nope. I changed to Remington Core Lokt 165 gr. and got 2 failures in 4 rounds. That was enough for me and I packed up and came home.

Back it goes to Thompson Center (which means I will have to take a morning off work to send it off and to wait around for fedex when it comes back). It is probably just too much grease in the bolt, but it does not look like an easy bolt to disassemble, and the instructions that came with the gun say not too. But they probably wont fix it, they have had two chances to get it right and have failed. They didn't even bother to test fire it when it was sent in. Hopefully I can get them to give me a new one.
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Old October 15, 2011, 04:09 PM   #9
L_Killkenny
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This is obviously not a TC or gun issue. I've owned a Venture and can vouch and your posts are pretty self explanitory.

LK
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Old October 15, 2011, 04:42 PM   #10
Elkins45
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LK you seem be implying that he is being untruthful. Surely you understand that just because you had a good experience with your TC rifle that all of them must be just the same?

I have one in 223 that works great, but that doesn't mean I doubt Utah's story.
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Old October 15, 2011, 05:27 PM   #11
UtahGrouse
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Quote:
obviously not a TC or gun issue
Well I'll admit some of the problems were due to poor packaging on Smith and Wesson's part, but otherwise what type of issue is it? I'm pretty sure it is a lemon of a gun, I don't think they are all junk, that is why I bought it in the first place.
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Old October 15, 2011, 06:19 PM   #12
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While I'm not very familiar with the Icon, I have had some experience with the Encores. TC since being absorbed by S&W, has undoubtedly grown in sales. This isn't always a good thing in the beginning.

The encore barrels were button rifled, made one at a time, almost hand made. There have been issues with their barrels in the past, but Thompson took care of them at once. Now they have added much more complex design to their inventory, and may be having some toothing pains.

S&W offered a bolt action rifle in the past, actually a Howa in a different dress and they were excellent rifles. The Howa rifle barrels are heavy industry, hammer forged barrels, like Sako, FN, Mauser, Sig, ect. In Europe they consider button rifled barrels a Mom and Pop operation.

It would not surprise me to see Thompson, S&W go back to a major maker for barrels in the future, simply because at the increased volume of sales QC will be much more difficult. Manufacturing Button rifled barrels in volume would have to be a real headache, because of all the extra steps involved. Destressing, lapping, ect. None of these apply to a hammer forged barrel.

I own and have confidence in S&W products and believe they will iron out these problems, if for no other reason than to protect the product reputation.

I think Thompson may have tried to grow too much too fast, and are sweating over details that didn't apply to a smaller operation. All I can say is keep after them and try to talk to someone with real authority, that can authorize new parts.
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Old October 15, 2011, 06:30 PM   #13
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I bought a new Ikon this year and I had a problem with the bolt not picking up a round from the magazine when cycling the bolt. I called there customer service number and they told me to send the gun back on my dime, but they would pay return shipping. I did and had the gun back in less than a week fixed. I did like there fast service, but I feel like they should have paid for the shipping and also the person on the phone knew exactly the problem I was having and even told me it was a known issue.

To the OP I would at this point demand nothing less than a brand new gun and I would even tell them that you are going to contact your state attorney general for consumer fraud if they don't give you a brand new rifle!!!
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Old October 15, 2011, 10:24 PM   #14
UtahGrouse
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The poor warranty service probably is related to TC merging into S&W. The first time they had it they were very backlogged from moving the TC operations. I am wondering if they just have overworked gunsmiths who are not able to give the time needed to do a good job, and are not yet familiar with the TC line.

But I will certainly demand a new gun, it is getting a little ridiculous at this point.
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Old October 15, 2011, 10:34 PM   #15
JustinNC
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Hate to hear that. I'm in the market for a new rifle and the Venture was one I was looking towards.
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Old October 15, 2011, 11:48 PM   #16
UtahGrouse
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I think most of them are still very good rifles for the money, just look it over like you are buying a used gun. When I bought mine I was looking at one in a different caliber than I wanted. They had to grab the 30-06 from the back and I took it without really looking it over, so I didn't notice the problems until I was home and it was too late.
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Old October 16, 2011, 07:40 AM   #17
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Dang,, is this the biggest gathering of discusted rifle owners??? Next time buy Savage and you'll be ready for the upcoming season instead of sending rifles BACK to the shop they where built in! Actually sounds like Remington problems, that we've heard of on this forum lately! sorry fellas I calls em like I see's em!
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Old October 16, 2011, 11:19 AM   #18
JSJ127
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I hate to hear they still don't have you up and shooting. I'm extremely pleased with the 2 I have.
Is there anyway the bolt could be cleaned up without taking it apart? I'll take a look at mine when I get home. Good luck
Jeff
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Old October 17, 2011, 11:54 AM   #19
Fullboar
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I think TC owe you nothing less then a brand new rifle (even an upgrade from the Venture to an Icon). You shouldnt have to pull the rifle apart after a warranty repair just to get it to work. This kind of thing really gives me the pox, every time a big company take over a good little company they stuff the whole show.
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Old October 17, 2011, 09:27 PM   #20
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Utah,
Let's see some pics of dented primer and boltface. Just curious of what you're talking about.
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Old November 3, 2011, 02:12 PM   #21
UtahGrouse
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Well this is getting comical. I sent the rifle back 2 weeks ago, got a call the day after it got there about replacing it and was told they would call me back the following week (last week). Didn't get called back so I called last Friday, and was told the person I needed to talk to was gone for the day. Now I called them again (first time this week I was able to get enough time to sit through being on hold). They put me on hold again for about 10 min and when they got back on the phone they and they were not sure who had the rifle (ie. they lost it!), and of course will call me back next week. Yeah right. Seems like a bad joke at this point, can't do much but laugh (and maybe get a little POed on the phone).


Twins, I'll put some pics up of the dented primers this evening.
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Old November 3, 2011, 05:05 PM   #22
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I would write a letter completely documenting every flaw, every time you sent it back, time for each return, the condition it came back in and how you will NOW settle for nothing less then a new rifle or a complete refund of your money. Make multiple copies of this letter addressed to the manager of quality, the company president, the CEO, and mail copies of this letter every other day until you get results. The only way to get results is to harrass them. It works. Oh yeah. And send these letters registered mail.
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Old November 3, 2011, 06:23 PM   #23
UtahGrouse
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Here is a picture of some of the misfires. Top row is Federal, bottom row is Remington. The two on the right of each row are misfires. The next two to the left are rounds that fired, same rifle, incredibly inconsistent.



Warbird, I think you are right. I am going to have to start a letter writing campaign if they don't get it straightened out tomorrow.
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File Type: jpg Venture Dents.jpg (151.6 KB, 368 views)
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Old November 3, 2011, 08:35 PM   #24
Aiko
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Dispute with your CC. I bought the Venture in .308 a few weeks ago and I have to admit I was blown away by the quality and accuracy. Have fired 120 rounds of various ammo no issues.
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Old November 3, 2011, 10:17 PM   #25
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This is the kind of customer service that runs companies into the ground no matter how good a product is.
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