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Anyone shooting a Thompson Center T/C R22?

I got mine about a week ago and put about 700 rounds through it shooting Steel Challenge stages. So far I'm very impressed. I bought it for around $285 from lockedloaded.com, plus tax and transfer fees. It was the bundle that included a soft case, sling, and red dot. I regret buying my budget 10/22 first and not jumping straight to this gun instead; the 10/22 will be a loaner or backup gun from now on. The upgrades and "polish" of the T/CR22 make it well worth the added cost.

The receiver and stock are what I like most about the gun. The stock is super light, and even lighter after removing the insert/liner in the forearm of the stock. I find that it points well for me and the cheek height is adequate when using a Holosun HS507C red dot. With the red dot and the insert removed, the rifle is around 4.1 lbs without a magazine. I plan to upgrade to a Wiland LLW barrel and that will put it at around 3.1 lbs.

The receiver seems to be anodized, and not painted/powder coated like the Ruger receivers, so the action is super smooth and glassy when pulling back the bolt - not at all like the grinding you'll feel on a stock 10/22 bolt/receiver. The bolt itself, while not polished, is bead-blasted smooth on all surfaces, and has none of the rough machine marks typical of a factory 10/22 bolt. The firing pin channel is also roll pinned just behind the bolt face to limit upward travel of the firing pin.

The trigger housing is fitted very well into the receiver, and the receiver/trigger housing pins need to be tapped free rather than pushing loose as in most 10/22 trigger groups. Unfortunately, though the BX trigger/sear and hammer do function with the T/CR22 trigger housing, the safety does not work when these parts are installed, so that is a no-go for me. I did buy a set of springs from mcarbo.com that should get the trigger pull down to 2.5 lbs, and while a bit expensive for springs (around $19 shipped) they are still cheaper than most 10/22 trigger jobs. Right now I've dropped in the whole BX trigger group into the T/CR receiver, and this works fine, though I did have to trim the flashing near the BX trigger group's receiver pin holes in order to get the trigger group to fit inside the receiver. It's still very snug and with the tight fit of the receiver pins, there's no movement at all. While the Ruger trigger group works fine in the T/CR22, the opposite is not true; the T/CR trigger group will not work in a standard 10/22 due to the T/CR's receiver having been relieved for the extra components involved in its last round bolt hold open feature.

Ironically, the only thing I don't like about the T/CR22 is the new magazine. It's finicky to load and it doesn't seem as reliable as my standard BX-25 mags or my DoubleKross mags (with standard Ruger guts). The few stovepipes I had seemed to occur mostly with this magazine. I don't particularly care for LRBHO and I have plenty of other mags, so this one will probably end up shelved or sold. The 10/22 mags, while a little loose in the receiver, do seem to feed just fine, and unlike my standard 10/22, this rifle feeds CCI Blazer bulk reliably enough for both practice and competition (I had maybe one or two stovepipes over 700 rds, as opposed to 2-3 every 100 rds with the 10/22). I had more malfunctions due to the magazines (probably because I lube my ammo and it builds up inside the mags) than I did with stovepiping/ejection issues on the T/CR, which is rare for me - and that is with the stock T/CR bolt.

I did swap my polished Ruger bolt (upgraded with a TK extractor) in for the T/CR bolt and the action feels even better than it did with the stock bolt. I'll run that for a while and see how well it performs. The T/CR charging handle is also pretty nice, though it's not quite as broken in as my 10/22 charging handle (whose guide rod I polished). The oversized handle is a definite plus over the short handle of the 10/22.

So here's my breakdown:

Super smooth, glassy action
Excellent build quality and tight fitting parts/pins
Upgraded bolt/charging handle
Not as ammo sensitive as my 10/22
Automatic bolt release standard
Ergonomic, lightweight stock
Threaded barrel standard
Rear receiver cleaning rod hole standard
Peep sights/FO front (though this doesn't matter to me)

Finicky magazine/LRBHO feature
Safety may not work with other 10/22 drop-in sears (if the BX FCG is indicative)
Trigger group cannot be used in a standard 10/22 without permanent modification of the TG (removing the LRBHO parts)
Built-in picatinny rail precludes lower profile sight mounting options (such as direct mounts that do not require the added height of picatinny rails)
Around $100-150 more expensive than a basic 10/22

All in all, I'd say it's definitely worth the extra cost, and this will be a good platform in building my RFRO gun in steel challenge going forward.