August 21st, 2009

Thomson/Center Introduces ICON™ Precision Hunter with Accuracy Guarantee

Thompson/Center (TC) has started shipping its new, ICON™ Precision Hunter varmint/deer rifle. From what we’ve heard, these guns should be shooters. Five chamberings are offered: 204 Ruger, 223 Rem, 22-250, 243 Win, and 308 Win. TC’s Precision Hunter features a 22″ heavy-contour, fluted 5R button-rifled barrel. The action mates securely to the stock via a machined aluminum bedding block (see photo below). All models feature a 3+1 detachable magazine with single-shot adapter. Tom Manners of Manners Composite Stocks has tested some wood-stocked ICONs with 5R barrels, and he says they “shot really well”. The ICON™ Precision Hunter comes with a 1 MOA accuracy guarantee, and we’d expect it to shoot quite a bit better than that with quality handloads.

TC Icon Precision Hunter

The ICON Precision Hunter features a laminated hardwood stock with a beavertail fore-end incorporating vents on the underside. TC claims these vents allow better barrel cooling. Hmm… well those vents can’t hurt. The action, which has a 60° bolt lift, is very smooth to operate. The action comes standard with integral Picatinny-style bases for scope mounting. The trigger adjusts from 3.5 lbs to 5 lbs. On the prototype units we tried, the triggers broke clean and crisp, with very minimal creep. It’s a nice hunting trigger and we expect that with a spring swap you could lower the pull weight a bit.

TC Icon Precision Hunter

TC is now owned by Smith & Wesson. It appears both S&W and TC are committed to building a quality varmint rifle with serious accuracy. “Thompson/Center has continued to push the definition of accuracy in a production rifle with the new ICON Precision Hunter, which is certified to deliver sub-Minute of Angle (MOA) accuracy right out of the box,” said Tom Kelly, Vice President of Marketing for Smith & Wesson. “We have listened to the bench shooters and varmint hunters, heard their ideas on what a perfect gun for their style of hunting would be and have designed the ICON Precision Hunter to exceed their expectations.”

What’s the price? MSRP for the ICON Precision Hunter is $1,149.00, so we figure street price will settle around $950.00. For more information, visit

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