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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking about how I have built most of my wildcats on either Contender, Encore or H&R frames, because it allows you to switch barrels instead of having to (more or less) permanently remove one and set it aside, as you would with a bolt action rifle. I know you can swap barrels fairly easily with a Savage rifle, thanks to their barrel nut that allows amateur gunsmiths to securely attach the barrel AND get the headspace right. But, even that is not as easy and convenient as swapping barrels on the single-shot, break-action designs.

So, I was wondering if anyone is playing around with the new T/C Dimension platform, to determine whether or not they would be conducive to wildcat cartridges? If you haven't seen this rifle, it allows you to work with four different families of cartridges, based on the case head used and the cartridge length. You can go from a 204 Ruger, to 7-08, to 30-'06 to 300WM, all with the same rifle action, but switching out barrels and bolts. (I'm not sure if you switch the entire bolt or just the bolt head?)

Since you can shoot rounds like 243, 7-08 and 308, there doesn't seem to be any reason you couldn't also shoot a 358 from this rifle. That means you "should" be able to chamber it in 358 Winchester, with the neck trimmed way back, or the 358 Hoosier, which is a slightly shortened 358 Win. You could also build a rimless 357 Super Maximum but using a blown out .378" head (like the 204 Ruger) and a straight case design. It would just have to headspace on the mouth, which may or may not be a good idea, with that much pressure.

There is a whole range of belted magnum wildcats you could build on this rifle, as well, making it incredibly versatile. Up until now, if you wanted this kind of flexibility in a rifle, you basically went with an Encore or H&R, and lived with the fact that they're single-shot designs. Now, with the Dimension, there is the potential to have build a wildcat bolt-action rifle without setting aside the barrel it came with and probably never using it again. You could hunt Indiana with your 358 Hoosier wildcat, hunt Montana elk with your 300WM, and then go hunt coyotes with a 204 or 223.

I guess time will tell if this approach works out to be as flexible as T/C claims, or if it's realistic to build wildcat rounds on this design, but if it is, I think it could be a deal-changer for a lot of folks considering a wildcat build.
 

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Broom I have not seen this rifle in the UK yet, but it sounds interesting even if you don't go actual 'wildcat'. I once had a superb custom made mauser based rifle with switch barrels 458 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag. A gentleman in Warren, Michigan made it for me with a super piece of Australian walnut as a stock. You could change barrels very easily, simply unlocking the locking ring to the action and screw one barrel out and the other one in. There was a mark for each barrel for perfect headspace but the fit was so good it was at the point the barrel stopped on the thread anyway and the bolt was the same for both cartridges. We have all been there ...:(:mad: .. I sold it to a friend and now wish I still had it. If you read my piece on the angry Texas boar, then that is the rifle I was using that day.
These switch barrels appear to be the big thing at the moment.
I started with the Encore because I thought it a good idea to be able to change barrels. Now I have two actions and would like another, so that I can keep two maybe three calibres up and ready. We are a fickle bunch aren't we??:)
 

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These are pretty neat guns. There's an article in the Sep/Oct issue of Rifle Shooter and they tested the 243 and 30-06 barrels. You do switch the bolts and the magazines also, 4 different mags. Out of the 5 groups with each barrel and switching back and forth between groups to see if the results were repeatable only 3 groups were above 1 inch ( 1.12, 1.12, and 1.25 ). $162 for additional bolts and there is a left hand receiver for $329.
 

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Something for us lefties?

...there is a left-hand receiver for $329.
WOW!! How do I see this thing? What a concept! I'm foaming at the mouth...

$295 from these folks: http://www.sportsmans-depot.com/products/THOMPSON-CENTER-Dimension-Interchangeable-Receiver-Assembly-Black-Composite-Left-Hand.html

Picture, here: http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/thompson-center-universal-receiverstock-left-hand-8201-p-130498.html

Able Ammo wants $330. Picture looks like the barrel is entirely free-floated. Great start in a search for accuracy...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I have since learned that you do, indeed, swap the entire bolt assembly. It's not like with the Savage design, where you swap a floating bolt head. I was also wondering about the magazine situation, so thanks for clearing that up.

I have talked this over a little with David White, a rifle smith that I hold in pretty high esteem. He's had his hands on one of these rifles and says it's about as pretty as the south end of a north-bound mule. Based on what I've seen in pictures and video, I can't argue with that assessment! He is also reserving judgement on the action, and the very premise behind it, until it's been on the market a while. In short, he's of the opinion that it's not that much harder to swap barrels on a Savage rifle, which has a proven track record. Given how damaging to a reputation just 1 or 2 bad results can be for a gunsmith, I understand his reluctance to jump on this latest gun development right away.

Now, for left-handed shooters, who historically struggle to find quality bolt-action rifles, this could be a way for them to get several rifles at once, all in a package that fits them properly. Along the same lines, I like the idea of having the "fit and feel" of a single rifle, for various types of shooting and hunting. I mean, we all know how important it is to be comfortable when shooting your gun. For the longest time, folks have gone out of their way to find and shoot 22 rifles that are based on the same action as their big-game rigs, to help build and maintain that familiarity. Well, this single platform idea would allow you to shoot light-recoil 223 rounds for fun and varmints, then use the "same" rifle for bigger game, while maintaining the exact same feel. It's a thought, anyway. :)
 

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WOW!! How do I see this thing? What a concept! I'm foaming at the mouth...

$295 from these folks: THOMPSON CENTER Dimension Interchangeable Receiver Assembly Black Composite Left Hand - Only $294.44 - Free Shipping, No Tax! Thompson Center Arms AS-8201T

Picture, here: Thompson Center Universal LOC Receiver/Stock Left-Hand (8201) - Able Ammo

Able Ammo wants $330. Picture looks like the barrel is entirely free-floated. Great start in a search for accuracy...
They are fully free floated, single stage adj, 22" and 24" barrels, cold hammer forged 5R rifling. There will also be a bull barrel version, not sure when. There's two 1/2 inch spacers for LOP adjustments. The barrel/receiver is held in place by two captive screws, one threads into the rear of the receiver and one into the rear extension of the barrel itself and is pulled down into an aluminum wedge that's molded into the stock and that keeps the receiver /barrel assembly from rotational or lateral shifting.
 

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OK, I have since learned that you do, indeed, swap the entire bolt assembly. It's not like with the Savage design, where you swap a floating bolt head. I was also wondering about the magazine situation, so thanks for clearing that up.

I have talked this over a little with David White, a rifle smith that I hold in pretty high esteem. He's had his hands on one of these rifles and says it's about as pretty as the south end of a north-bound mule. Based on what I've seen in pictures and video, I can't argue with that assessment! He is also reserving judgement on the action, and the very premise behind it, until it's been on the market a while. In short, he's of the opinion that it's not that much harder to swap barrels on a Savage rifle, which has a proven track record. Given how damaging to a reputation just 1 or 2 bad results can be for a gunsmith, I understand his reluctance to jump on this latest gun development right away.

Now, for left-handed shooters, who historically struggle to find quality bolt-action rifles, this could be a way for them to get several rifles at once, all in a package that fits them properly. Along the same lines, I like the idea of having the "fit and feel" of a single rifle, for various types of shooting and hunting. I mean, we all know how important it is to be comfortable when shooting your gun. For the longest time, folks have gone out of their way to find and shoot 22 rifles that are based on the same action as their big-game rigs, to help build and maintain that familiarity. Well, this single platform idea would allow you to shoot light-recoil 223 rounds for fun and varmints, then use the "same" rifle for bigger game, while maintaining the exact same feel. It's a thought, anyway. :)
It's a good thought, plink with your 22mag, then do a little long range varmint hunting with the 243 and then the next day go after some Elk with the 300 Win mag barrel.
 

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The barrel/receiver is held in place by two captive screws. One threads into the rear of the receiver and one into the rear extension of the barrel itself, and is pulled down into an aluminum wedge that's molded into the stock and that keeps the receiver/barrel assembly from rotational or lateral shifting.
I like the aluminum wedge idea. Simple and self-centering. This concept has me wondering when barrel blanks will be available for wildcats or for those desiring a high degree of accuracy. Yes, it might be ugly. So is an M-1 Abrams battle tank. But it gets the job done...
 

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HI All,
I am wondering if anyone has had any experiences at making other than standard factory issue barrel calibers out of the T/C Dimension. Also curious if you have any contacts to purchase Chamber Blocks & Tourque nuts in the US, as I can't get them here in Australia and that's what I need to get custom barrels made and fitted.

Thanks in advance

ShaneBroomy
 

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All -

I am wondering about whether and how case extractors and ejectors get swappped; specifically ?


Regards,
357Mag
 

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I am wondering about whether and how case extractors and ejectors get swappped; specifically ?


Regards,
357Mag
Hi 357,
Not sure if it will answer your question. The Dimension comes with 4 different bolts, handling the following. Each bolt has its extractor on it the same as most bolts.

A 204 Ruger & 223, they have the same/simmilar case head and the extractor is built onto the bolt. Ejector must be on the receiver, I haven't paid much attention.

B 22-250, 243, 7mm08, 308, and now 6.5 Creedmoor, though not the same case on each, its sufficient for the bolt to grab on chamber and manage the extraction.

C (I don't have any of these yet) 30-06 & 270, from what I understand the same parent case or similar so that again the bolt can handle the bolt chambering and extracting.

D (I don't have any of these yet either) but 7mm Rem Mag, and 300 Win Mag, assuming the same or similar parent case.

Do a google of Thompson Dimension and there are a lot of videos showing the barrel change and bolt change.

The bolts are a little different in the size of the external head, as well, so a B bolt will not chamber in a A barrel, and I guess the same with the C & D.

I hope that this helps.

Cheers

ShaneBroomy
 
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