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The Thompson Center Compass II was somewhat of an impulse buy for me. I wanted a gun chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and it needed to come with a threaded barrel so I could suppress it.
The price tag on the TC Compass II was what really drew me to the gun. I figured what the heck right at $300 even if it’s not exactly what I want it should be a good value.
The look of the gun isn’t anything crazy unexpected or revolutionary, it’s what one might expect from a bolt gun.
Thompson Center doesn’t go above and beyond on looks but they do have an extremely functional rifle and it doesn’t look bad.
There is always something nice about a threaded barrel and a cover to me. So ever without a suppressor on the TC Compass 2, it does have an extremely nice barrel profile overall.
The stock does have some decent lines to it but it’s nothing like you would expect from a chassis system or a Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks stock.
One of the nice things about the Thompson Center Compass II is the fact that they cover almost every caliber you could possibly want.
The following is a comprehensive list of the available calibers the TC Compass II is made in:
- .243 Winchester
- .270 Winchester
- .300 Win Mag
- .308 Winchester
- 6.5 Creedmoor
- 7mm Remington Magnum
That is a lot of different chambers for a single rifle model! Obviously, I picked up the 6.5 Creedmoor version, and not many changes in the overall gun design and function from caliber to caliber.
Recoil profile and shooting performance will differ based on the round chosen.
Here is where the price of the gun starts to show. But I don’t want you to take that statement as this is a hunk of junk, because it’s actually a really good rifle.
I think it does more to explain what you’re paying for in a high-end rifle and the T/C Compass sets a fantastic baseline for bolt action rifles.
The stock is where I first want to talk about build quality. While there is nothing wrong with the physical stock itself there are some things about it you can tell that make it budget.
The overall design and the stock is nice the lines are clean and there are no rough edges.
When it comes to how the gun feels overall once the fire control group and barrel are mounted it doesn’t feel as solid as something like the Browning X-Bolt, but that comes in over $800 more.
The stock feels somewhat distant and loose from the barrel and fire control group and just doesn’t have the overall polished feel of a $1,000+ rifle.
I know it’s not supposed to make contact but the plastic that the stock is made from has a flex to it that just makes the rifle feel someone pliable and I don’t care for that.
BUT, with that being said it’s not a $1,000 rifle and for the price, it actually is impressive for what you get.
I think it’s extremely important to keep perspective on what you’ve bought and to manage expectations accordingly. There is a reason sub $500 rifles exist and a reason $1,000+ rifles exist.
For the price, I think the stock is great but if you’re looking for a high-end stock or chassis feel this isn’t going to be that gun as you get it stock from the factory.
Stay with me on this one and read the whole section before jumping to the comments to blast me!
Once again, this is a fantastic rifle for the money all the way around. However, I have to call a spade a spade.
The action is not smooth as butter. It’s not even remotely close to smooth as butter.
It has some play in it and the safety on this gun is probably my least favorite safety design in all firearms.
BUT, this action does function the handle is decent and it does open with relative ease. It does work and for the money, it’s not bad, not great, but definitely not bad.
I would still recommend this gun to anyone.
Using the Action
The action is a normal turn-pull bolt-action mechanism and has a standard-size bolt knob.
The knob is easy to grab and pull up and slide the bolt back to chamber a round from the magazine.
The action does sometimes have some grit and doesn’t always slide smoothly but fortunately, you can just yank on it and it’ll come back.
Obviously, yanking on your bolt gun isn’t ideal because if you have it braced or are using a tripod you’ll lose your center if you’re going to take a follow-up shot.
But as long as you aren’t too aggressive with the bolt you’ll be fine. It’s just not smooth like Tennessee whisky as our friend Chris Stapleton would say.
One of the really nice features of the T/C Compass II is its magazine feed. The magazine is a detachable box magazine and it works well.
Like everything on this gun, it’s a polymer magazine and clips in with relative ease.
The magazine isn’t involuntary but it does work well and I have had no issues with seating the magazine into the gun or loading the 6.5 Creedmoor rounds.
The trigger is very similar to the Savage Axis style triggers. The Savage Axis triggers are a bit more well done in my opinion but this trigger is great for the money.
The trigger has no take-up other than the middle safety portion of the trigger. The break is crisp and clean and surprises you with every pull.
I really like this trigger, especially considering the gun’s price point.
There aren’t a ton of accessories for the T/C Compass II. But there are a few namely a chassis system and the bolt knob.
Thompson Center Chassis
There aren’t many chassis systems for the Thompson Center Compass line but the one that comes to mind and is likely the best option is the Oryx Chassis by MDT.
The Oryx chassis is available from a number of retailers including Brownells.
The Oryx Chassis system falls into the budget category of chassis but has seen some really good reviews.
It’s available for a number of different guns including the T/C Compass II.
Optic and Optic Mounting
On this gun, I’m running the Bushnell Prime 6x18x50 and so far I really like this optic. It might be a bit overkill but I love the 50mm to let as much light in as possible.
I have it mounted to the included Picatinny mounts on the gun and didn’t do anything crazy special to install it other than follow the included instructions for mounting.
Shooting the T/C Compass II
The T/C Compass II is an extremely smooth shooting gun. The 6.5 Creedmoor round has almost no recoil.
When you shoot it with subsonic rounds it’s even less recoil than the supersonic counterpart.
It’s a very forgiving round that is extremely fun to shoot and could probably shoot it all day.
With subsonic rounds, the 6.5 is crazy quiet to shoot and I run the AAC SDN-762 suppressor on mine.
I find that even though the action isn’t crazy smooth it’s really easy to get back on target.
The Bushnell scope has been great for me and the optic overall has been extremely accurate.
This gun is probably one of the best values in the bolt action rifle market. The performance for the dollar is incredible.
I have mine zeroed at 100 yards and have shot it out to about 150 and it’s been dead on, however, 50 yards isn’t gonna change much.
I shoot mostly subsonic ammo through mine and I haven’t noticed a ton of difference in shooting.
However, I did sight it with American Whitetail which seems to be the best supersonic hunting 6.5 Creedmoor ammo for my particular Thompson Center Compass II.
It performs the best with that ammo. If you are looking for a fantastic rifle at a bargain price pick up a new T/C Compass II.
I wouldn’t buy used simply because the MSRP is already reasonable enough and availability is relatively high.