Alzada, MT—Thompson/Center’s first headstamped cartridge—the .30 TC—is hardly new. In fact, it was announced several years ago, along with T/C’s first repeater, the Icon. I had the opportunity to play with the cartridge a little but not really delve into it. I still haven’t gotten into it too deeply, but yesterday afternoon I did shoot a nice mule deer buck with it in T/C’s dolled up Encore called the Pro Hunter. I have asked T/C’s Craig Cushman to let me keep this rifle for a while, along with an extra barrel in 6.5 Creedmoor—with which I took a pronghorn buck this morning—and let me get more familiar with them, and develop some handloads.
Some initial impressions: The .30 TC delivers .30-06 performance in a cartridge that is about an inch shorter when utilizing Hornady’s Superformance ammo. In the Pro Hunter platform with the Flex Tech stock—which claims to reduce felt recoil as much as 41 percent—it feels more like a .243 Winchester. Its performance on a mature mule deer buck at 117 yards was devastating. The heart-lung pocket was pretty much pureed, and the buck took but two steps before expiring.
I know that the .30-06 is pretty much blasé in today’s world of short mags, Ultra Mags and such, but think about a beginning hunter—say a youngster or slightly built woman. Wouldn’t it be great for them to get superior performance across the board without getting the heck beat out of them in the process? Plenty more to come, both on the hunt, as well as these two cartridges.