Thompson/Center who is renowned for its Contender handgun and multi-gun Encore system, and undisputed leader in the field of muzzleloaders, has brought out a boltaction aptly named Icon.
AFTER ALL THE budgetary boltguns I’ve been testing, of late, it was a refreshing change to get a high-quality bolt-action to review. The Thompson/Center Icon is a premium rifle with a distinctive appearance that lives up to its name. If we forget the religious connotations of something that’s “iconic”, then the term describes “something executed according to a convention or tradition.” And the classic T/C Icon is all of that and a handsome looking rifle to boot.
The first thing that catches the eye is the stock, a handsome classic design, correctly proportioned out of highly figured dense walnut with a soft satin finish that glows like an Alpine tarn. It’s a true Icon because it is a product of long evolution, and many skilled craftsmen have contributed to its final form. The overall appearance of this classic sporter shows the influence of fine custom rifles turned out in America by such talented stockmakers as Alvin Linden, Tom Shelhamer, John Dubiel, Al Biesen and numerous others who contributed to the refinement and perfection of the modern classic stock, especially for scope use.
For this purpose, the Icon’s stock is ideal having clean, flowing lines which combine beauty with utility. The comb has been made thick and straight and has the same amount of drop at heel as at comb to lessen the recoil effect. There’s no cheekpiece since it would be superfluous and serve no useful purpose. The forend is rounded in cross-section, slightly tapered and shaped to be comfortably grasped by the hand. The pistol grip, some 130mm in circumference, not only feels good but affords good control of the trigger.