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Thompson Center Arms:
America's Master Gunmaker

Thompson Center Rifle Hunter with Deer

T/C Arms Company History

Thompson/Center Arms, often abbreviated T/C Firearms or simply T/C, is an American firearms and accessories manufacturer originally based out of Rochester, New Hampshire. In addition to producing a robust line of long guns and pistols, T/C makes and markets interchangeable barrels; custom muzzleloading ammunition; scopes, sights, and mounts; cleaning products and tools; cases and slings; and a popular line of apparel. Suffice to say, the company is well-known on a variety of fronts and takes great pride in having served the needs of millions of hunters, competitive shooters, and muzzleloading enthusiasts for over 50 years.

The T/C story starts back during the mid-1960s when a private gunmaker, by the name of Warren Center, joined forces with the K. W. Thompson Tool Company. Center had developed an innovative new type of break-action pistol, that was popular among different circles of shooters, but couldn't produce or deliver the handgun on a major scale. K. W. Thompson, coincidentally, wanted to break into the firearms market. The two began manufacturing and selling Center's Contender pistol and renamed their new venture the Thompson/Center Arms Company in 1967. Over the years, T/C expanded its production line to include various types of rifles and muzzleloaders, which were well-received by hunters and competitive shooters alike. Today, Thompson/Center is owned by Smith & Wesson, which acquired T/C in 2007 and relocated the company to its present-day headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Photo Source: Thompson/Center Arms Facebook


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Popular Thompson Center Rifles

As mentioned above, the T/C Contender break-action handgun was the firearm that initially placed Thompson/Center on the map. But the pistol was much more than just a popular product. With its interchangeable barrel configuration, the Contender was capable of using a vast variety of cartridges. It could handle muzzleloading duty but also fire rimfire and centerfire ammunition as well. Five decades of innovation have culminated in a near-endless combination of options, with modern Contenders available in various pistol, carbine, rifle, shotgun, and muzzleloading configurations.

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T/C Encore

The T/C Encore was the second break-action weapon system offered by Thompson/Center and originally released in 1983. Like the Contender, the Encore can be configured as a pistol, muzzleloader, shotgun, or centerfire rifle. According to T/C, "You're only two minutes and two screws from adapting to nature's challenges and opportunities." Today, the Encore is available as the T/C Encore Pro Hunter, which includes several cosmetic and functional upgrades. It's an impressive and versatile firearm, capable of firing nearly 90 different types of ammunition.

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T/C Contender

The Generation 2 T/C Contender is the current production model of T/C's flagship platform. From a stylistic standpoint, it's an obvious successor to the original T/C Contender. Functionally, however, the G2 incorporates features from both the original G1 Contender and the Encore. Specifically, the G2 is built around an Encore-style trigger group, which is stronger and more user-friendly than the G1 Contender's mechanism. Due to these design changes, the G2 uses different pistol grips and buttstocks than the G1. Many of the G1's barrels and forends have been retained, however, which makes those accessories interchangeable between the two generations of T/C Contenders (with a few minor exceptions).

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T/C Compass

The T/C Compass is a dedicated bolt-action rifle designed with entry-level hunters in mind. The Compass is not the first conventional long gun offered by T/C - previous less popular entries included the Dimension, Venture and Icon. The Compass is arguably one of the more well-received designs produced by T/C in recent years, even receiving a Guns and Ammo Rifle of the Year Award in 2016. Since it's a rifle designed for those with smaller budgets, the Compass is mostly a barebones affair; it features a blue-steeled receiver and fully synthetic stock. Nevertheless, experts and consumers agree that it can perform well in the field.

Hardwood Stocks for T/C Rifles

Although a diverse company, offering multiple different types of firearms, Thompson/Center’s cornerstone products are T/C Encore and G2 T/C Contender modular platforms. That’s why we here at Boyds offer an awesome variety of custom hardwood stocks for both firearms. Our top seller is the TCA Encore Rifle Stock in a walnut finish. We also offer this stock in a variety of finishes and applications to match the varied configurations of the T/C Encore. In addition to our long list of Encore products, we also sell a variety of Contender products, such as the TCA Contender Rifle Forend.

We invite you to search our website for hundreds of great custom stocks and forends for other Thompson/Center firearms, such as the Compass, Icon, Omega, and Venture long guns. With over 60 top-selling accessories in stock, you’re bound to find the right upgrade for your Thompson/Center weapon. Whether a muzzleloading enthusiast, a long-range pistol hunter, or bolt-action novice, we guarantee that Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks will improve the look, feel, and performance of your favorite T/C firearm.

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