Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thompson/Center Venture + Hornady Superformance = Bad Day For Deer

As my 2010-2011 deer hunting season draws to a close, I would be remiss if I didn't rave a bit about the setup that I've used this fall. 

Back in September, I received a Thompson/Center Venture in .270 caliber.  Anyone who knows me understands that I appreciate a nicely-grained walnut stock, so this gun was a bit off-putting with its black plastic furnishings.  It was all solid, and the grip panels were effective, if not elegant.

But that's about the only quibble I can make with this firearm.

T/C raves about their 1 MOA accuracy out of the box, which I assumed was a bit of puffery from the marketing department.  I was wrong.  Fitted with Nikon ProStaff glass, this is the most accurate deer gun I have in my safe.  The 12-point drop-tined buck that I took dropped in his tracks at 150 yards, and the doe my son shot never knew what hit her.  And at an MSRP of around $500, it's a gun (American made, no less) that's within almost any hunter's reach.  I know I'll be reaching for this gun again next fall.

I'm convinced that part of what makes the Venture so deadly accurate is what I've been feeding it: Hornady Superformance SST loads.  Every year it seems the ammo manufacturers come out with some new load that promises to be the ultimate whitetail medicine.  Few deliver, but the Superformance does.

I don't entirely understand it, but Hornady claims they achieve a muzzle velocity that's 100 or 200 fps greater than a conventional load.  And man, is it hard hitting.  Jack's doe had a fist-sized hole where her heart used to be.  No one - me, Jack, or the rest of the guys in deer camp -- had seen a deer hit that hard. 

And best of all, it's not a hard-shooting load.  I was a bit apprehensive about letting my son use a .270 on his first deer, especially with these hot loads.  But there truly was no appreciable difference in recoil between the Superformance and a conventional load.

It's a deadly combo -- and one that's given us a full-to-the-brim deep freeze this winter.