Ian M, just wondering if you could share any more details with us since the news about the Icon has hit the major gun rags now. Just picked up the latest Guns and Ammo, with the Icon on the cover. great article and lots of good pictures of the rifle. I am curious about future versions of the gun such as heavy barrel varmint, or maybe a long range hunting version? Also, how soon will we see a synthetic version, and what features can we expect to see in the synthetic stock? I believe you also mentioned some very neat accessories for the Icon, and I am curious as to what those might be. Thanks for any information you can give us.
First, I believe that T/C will be swamped with orders for the ICON so the other styles of rifles may be slower in coming. Hope not, but time will tell. There is a tactical planned for sure, it will be a long range range in its own right.
As for info - the initial rifles will be push feed. They will have a bolt-lock that is released when the safety is pushed to the FIRE position. Blued steel and walnut, no idea when they will get to stainless and composites but they will happen. Tom Manners just announced a lightweight stock, plus a new tactical stock. GA Precision will have a Manners stocked ICON tactical rifle at their booth at SHOT, really looking forward to seeing it. George built it in .260 Rem. He says that "Friends don't let friends shoot .308's at 1000 yards..." - he is hooked on the smaller, faster bullets I think.
I hope to get my hands on an ICON when they start making them, have some projects planned including some hunting. The action is unique, simple, and smooth - it is considered to be a platform to be worked from. That means down the road maybe a CRF, maybe mountain rifles, tacticals, varminters, who knows. Longer action will come for sure, they will not stay with the .308 case only.
Accessories mentioned were for muzzleloaders, not aware of anything for the ICON yet. Hope that is of interest, any specific questions fire away, I can share any info I got.
Ian, thanks for the quick reply. I cant wait to get my hands on one of these Icons! My only concern is the .30 T/C cartridge. Can you give any background as to why Thompson Center decided to introduce yet another .30 caliber cartridge into the market? It seems like the market has about all the .30 calibers it can handle as it is. I love the idea of .30-06 ballistics from a .308 length case, and I really hope it catches on. What are your thoughts on the new cartridge? Also, since Greg Ritz is now the president of Smith and Wesson's new hunting division, do you have any insight on the rumored Smith and Wesson bolt action, or any other products they are planning? I have seen pictures of the new Smith and wesson over/under, side by side, and semi-auto shotguns, and I must say that they look good. I am impressed with Thompson Center/ Smith and Wesson, and I hope they keep bringing out innovative products. Thanks for your time Ian.
Good questions. I understand there will be a separate S&W bolt action rifle introduced at SHOT. Have no other info other than there is one and they are using good barrels. Believe there is one primary reason for the intro of the new .30 cartridge - marketing. Slightly shorter cartridge length, changed shoulder angle, new powder. If they can improve accuracy as well as get that velocity they will have a nasty deer cartridge for sure. Hornady is developing this baby, they will get it right.
Gregg Ritz does things right. Whatever venture he goes with he does very well, that is a good thing for both S&W and T/C.
There is some more info on Sniperhide, under the section called RIFLES, hopefully a picture of the new tactical ICON that GA Precision built for SHOT. I have not seen it yet but hope to shoot one in the future.
Believe several magazines will have features on the ICON this month, my biggest article will be in the next North American Hunter, will have lots of info on both the ICON and TRIUMPH. Extra length to get all the info into the story, about a half dozen images. My story will be different since it goes into the background of the development of the ICON, no other writer was there for some of that stuff. I got the pictures, they are interesting.