Thompson Center Dimension rifle


January 17, 2012, 02:03 PM
I've always been fascinated with rifles that can fire multiple cartridges, but to date have not been able to generate sufficient enthusiasm for single shots to actually lay the money down on a T/C Encore. Now it looks like I won't have to....

Thompson Center just came out with a modular switch barrel bolt gun that's likely to meet the multi-caliber needs of even the most dedicated gun-nerds (myself included). The new Dimension can be chambered in any of 10 cartridges ranging from .204 Ruger to 300 Win Mag and has an MOA guarantee. While I'll probably let early adopters do the guinea pig thing before I take the plunge, I think its safe to say a new rifle has just been added to my not-so-short list!

p.s.~ I think the list price is $650 ish.


Guns America review:

If you enjoyed reading about "Thompson Center Dimension rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 17, 2012, 02:10 PM
just glanced at it....not so sure im crazy about the way it looks but cool idea..i think

January 17, 2012, 02:46 PM
I'm not a big fan of the stock, but I'm very excited about how easy it is to change between calibers and that they're claiming 1 MOA.

One popular firearm blog (truth about guns?) mentioned that with the cost of a second caliber you can basically get 2 rifles for about $1000. They'll have a cantilever scope mount (I think that's not included) so that you don't have to worry about re-zeroing.

Since I don't have a lot of money to spend on a rifle, this could be just the rifle I'm looking for. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on how this rifle performs over the next year.

January 17, 2012, 02:53 PM
back in one of my safes i have a barely fired thompson center aristocrat...totally different animal but i always thought i was a handsome rifle

January 17, 2012, 08:53 PM
I don't think I'd heard of the Aristocrat before, but google image search leads me to believe it certainly is a good looking rifle.

I hope that in time they expand the caliber offerings for the dimension, with the four bolt face sizes they already have, they should be able to offer any of the major calibers. Also, perhaps the barrel aftermarket will take to the dimension like it did Thompson's single shot offerings.... a 257 Weatherby bolt gun that can be converted to a .243 or a 338 win mag in a couple minutes would make for a pretty sweet rifle.

January 17, 2012, 11:52 PM
CMP ... just picking a hole in your argument about the scope. There's no way I would believe you would be able to change a barrel and not have to re-zero the scope. You'd be likely anyhow, shooting differing calibers and and different weight bullets. With rare exception you don't even get different weight bullets in the same barrel to shoot to the same point. Only thing it's gonna save is multiple scopes, if, the calibers you chose to shoot are compatible with the same scope, use wise. Sorry to rain on the parade......

January 18, 2012, 08:55 AM
The cantilever mount on my shotgun seems to hold zero well after removing and replacing the barrel multiple times. Seeing as the torque wrench included with the rifle is set to make the torque the same every time, I would think that zero would stay pretty close, even with a cantilever mount.

Obviously, if you're just mounting the scope to receiver mounts you're going to have to re-zero the rifle with different calibers.

EDIT: Here's a video showing the removal and assembly with the cantilever mount on. It looked like the guy showing the process wasn't familiar with putting the barrel back on with the cantilever mount and he stumbled a bit.

January 18, 2012, 10:58 AM
T/C has really taken the the "Interchangeability Market" by storm. This being the first bolt action multiple shot, that I know of, in the market is quit the technological advance in the shooting world. I, unfortunately, believe that this first edition of the Dimension rifle may take a nose dive with in a few years and either T/C or another company will come out with a better, more refined model. Ever since the release of the Encore and other similar models that were one shot interchangeable rifles (muzzleloaders and shotguns) , owners said, "Wow this is great, one gun and I can shoot almost anything out of it, too bad I only have one shot though."

In respects to interchangeability, I think the main goal and focus for the Encore was this: here in New England (Where T/C originated in Rochester NH, but has recently been shutdown and shipped else where to manufacture >:/) Or largest game animal is moose followed by bear, dear, predator, turkey, goose, duck (other fowl) and varmint. With these types of game we have an archery, muzzleloader, rifle/shotgun/crossbow season. (A rifle tag is used for a rifle, shotgun, or crossbow on game).

T/C focused on the thought, "How can we appeal to or hunters at home while maintaining accuracy, costs, and durability." That thought was followed by the Encore. The Encore allows hunters a renowned technologically advanced muzzleloader (Which is "one shot" anyways) for muzzleloading deer season, a few hundred dollar barrel change to your favorite deer caliber (In some cases this can also be used on bear, moose and other game), and a turkey gun. The Encore provided the Tri-fecta of rifles with quality and affordability.

Owners purchased the Encore either as their sole muzzleloader (which, IMO, it does best at) or to change calibers for the season and game. In New England you usually do not get more than on shot chances at game, and if you do you usually have time to brake the barrel open and reload (or reset your muzzleloader charge). The NEED for bolt action capabilities just wasn't there, and I believe that it still wont be there.

We first have to look at the market of bolt action shooters. Most bolt action shooters are hunters (large, medium, and small game), benchrest shooters, target/plinkers. For hunters, a bolt action rifle allows both accuracy and relatively quick follow up shots. Benchrest and plinkers do it for accuracy and consistency. So, I would think that plinkers and bench rest shooters are off the map when it comes to the Dimension. One reason is that it offers mainly hunting calibers, with some bench rest calibers added in. Plinkers may be turned on to the rifle with the idea that they don't have to spend thousands of dollars to shoot different calibers at the range. From this, I believe that once they have to change their barrel a few times and possibly re-zero the firearm then they will be turned off by it.

So who does this rifle appeal to? This rifle appeals to the hunter who has multiple sized game in their area and does not want to have to buy an entire (sometimes expensive to receive quality) rifle for each purpose. Doesn't this sound a lot like the Encore? Well it is, except it is a bolt action rifle and I don't think they fully thought out the scope mount.

On the Encore the barrel is tapped and drilled for the scope and is secured to the barrel as if it were the receiver of the Encore. These scoped barrels hold their zero extremely well. The Dimension has the ability to both mount on the receiver (Which I think renders it useless if you change your barrel from your .204 Ruger for varmint, and then switch to your deer/bear/moose caliber). Or you have the option to have the ugly shotgun style bridge mounted on the barrel. This, although adding to the already unattractiveness of the rifle, is the lesser of the two evils. Where T/C did do it right is that I'm pretty sure that the back of the bridge is secured to the receiver even when changing barrels.

In total, I think T/C jumped the gun on this project. IMO there is no need for and interchangeable bolt action rifle for most of north America, let alone New England. In New England if you want a long and short range bolt action moose, bear, deer, etc you have something to the degree of a .30-06 Springfield.

Though a cool concept, technologically advanced, and the first of it's kind (to my knowledge) I really don't see the need to have an interchangeable bolt action rifle when you can just have two or three guns at your ready in the safe. It will definitely appeal to economy hunters who really desire different calibers and I think that that was T/C's main target. I wish the best to the T/C corporation (and S&W the new owners of T/C as of a couple of years ago) and I hope that the rifle lives up to it's claimed ease of interchangeability and MOA accuracy with each change out.

Good luck T/C and to whomever purchases the rifle! I can't wait to see some more pictures, videos, reviews, and range reports of the rifle(s).


January 18, 2012, 01:09 PM
I don't think for a minute that TC looked at the New England hunting environment all that much when deciding to build this rifle. Market research indicated a market for this gun and they are going to address it. Seems like a natural evolution of the Encore concept.

Personally, the rifles design isn't to my taste but I'm not the targeted audience anymore. I like rifles well enough to want a bunch of them. However, one "do it all" receiver is a great concept for those who hunt varmints and big game on the same hunt. A .223 and .270 would have been a useful combo on the last antelope and prairie dog hunt I went on. I hope this does well.

January 18, 2012, 01:20 PM
What a great idea. Too bad it looks like...that.

I just don't understand why every new arm released these days has to look like it came out of a science fiction movie.

January 18, 2012, 01:23 PM
The TC Dimension is a very innovative design. Too bad it has such a butt-ugly stock.

January 21, 2012, 12:48 PM
I will have to agree that I find the stock unsightly, but if I know TC then I am certain we will see a thumbhole stock in the near future. I am an avid Encore user and the only downfall I have found is that it is a single shot. I am an Ohio resident so we are limted to shotguns or Muzzleloaders only for deer. I use the T/C muzzleloaders over any of the shotguns. I also have several calibers of rifles barrels that range from varmit to big game. Throw in the mix of the pistol calibers/configurations and there is not much that the encore wont do. The only thing it wont allow is a quick follow up shot. I will be buying one of the new dimensions just as soon as I can. I think this is a well thought out gun and can see it being purchased by people as myself that have children that hunt. A gun that you son or daughter can shoot in a 243 caliber and then be switch over for dad to use in a 270,30-06, or 300 win mag sounds like a good idea to me. I think it also is a great deal when you can change a caliber for around $200. Good job TC. Please help us out with a better looking stock.:)

January 21, 2012, 12:57 PM
Four comments about the dimension. First, I don't doubt you will be able to change barrels without rezeroing. This has been pioneered before. Second, I really like cartridge interchangeability. I had one of the first Contenders in the 1960's. Third, it is ugly as hell. I won't buy one that looks like this. Fourth, as is, the rifle is good for varmints through elk. Barrels should be offered in calibers like .338 WM and .416 RM to make one rifle suitable for hunting anything, anywhere.


January 21, 2012, 09:17 PM
I agree Gary, a heavier chambering would make this a more.....complete? system, id like to see a .338 and or the .375 ruger. I also dont like the way it looks, but a stock change could fix that.

January 21, 2012, 10:59 PM
I feel pretty confident that if the Dimension proves to be a popular rifle, the number of chamberings available will expand, either through Thompson, or through an aftermarket.

One thing i'm unclear on is why the series B and series c configurations have different bolts. Most of the series B chamberings are .308 based, and both of the series C chamberings are 30-06 based. Unless I'm mistaken, the case head size for both of these series should be .473, right? If that's true, it seems like the series B and C bolts should be interchangeable.... I would of course check with Thompson before testing that theory, but if its true, it could save the cost of a bolt going from say .243 to 30-06.

January 21, 2012, 11:11 PM
can I get on the TC payroll too?

January 21, 2012, 11:19 PM
FUGLY! I kinda like the idea. But lets be honest, how many people stop at just one gun? And of those people, don't you think they'd rather have a NICE looking rifle in an all around caliber? I sure as hell dont mind turning varmints inside out w/ a 7mm mag.

January 22, 2012, 12:28 AM
What is new about this that a savage long action can't do? In fact the savage design seems at advantage since you only need to replace the bolt head rather than the entire bolt. Both potentially need a new magazine setup for a change. Both can have barrels swapped at home. I'm not against this rifle but it's not as new and revolutionary as tc is marketing.

January 22, 2012, 12:46 AM
Both can have barrels swapped at home. I'm not against this rifle but it's not as new and revolutionary as tc is marketing.

The main difference is the marketing itself benzy. Savage doesn't really advertise the ease of cartridge changes as they would prefer you to buy a complete new rifle. As far as the magazine differences, it looks as if TC has simply made the different magazines for each cartridge selection with assorted spacers and such to make a proper stack. The same as you would have to do with a lot of cartridge changes. Outer dimensions of the mag are the same so no work on the receiver is needed.

Overall, I kind of like it myself. Even though I'm old, I still find myself liking new things while still loving my old school things as well. May have to give these a little looksie :D If for nothing else, pissing off the wife is always fun :D :D

January 22, 2012, 05:34 AM
If the Savage is available to do a simple bolt and barrel change then why is it not shown on the website. What process do you have to do to reset the headspace on the gun? Does it have to be clamped in a barrel vise to remove the barrel? I am sure I know all of the answers. The t/c dimension includes the tools to do the barrel change. I think it would be great to have a varmit barrel and scope along with a big game caliber and scope both of which would use the bridge mount. The bridge mount is almost the same as the cantilever mount that I have on my slug gun. I switch it out all the time with a choke barrel and it stays zerod enough for any hunting situation I need it to do. BTW I am not on T/C payroll. I appreciate a new concept when I see it.

January 22, 2012, 06:22 AM
CZ has the same barrel change in there 22 rimfire
22LR 22MAG 17HMR its nice that you dont have to
buy a new scope for each new barrel

January 22, 2012, 07:40 AM
What model of Savage has the replaceable barrels, is it a feature all of them share?
I've never even heard of a rifle they have that can do this.

matt 7mm
January 22, 2012, 09:05 AM
i think savage doesnt advertise how easy a barrel swap is because they only want competent gunsmiths setting the headspace on their guns for liabilty reasons.if someone doesnt put one together rite and has case ruptures or other probems it makes savage look bad due to someone elses mistake.

January 22, 2012, 11:25 AM
I've swapped barrels on savages a few times, and it was never as easy as the videos make the Dimension barrel change look. Also, you need headspace gauges and some trial and error time to get the savage headspace right... or at least I did. The dimension looks like it will be pretty easily changeable on the go, where as I would never try to swap a savage barrel when I wasn't at my house, preferably with a barrel vise present. The dimension also comes with the tools to properly torque your barrel and action screws so you get consistent barrel-action-stock interface each time.

The savage is not a bad rifle, but it is more of a rifle where you CAN switch barrels with some effort, whereas the Dimension is designed from the ground up as a switch barrel rifle... the difference is in the streamlining. Savages are not optimized for multi-barrel use, its just possible to use them in that manner.

January 23, 2012, 05:29 AM
No barrel vise or head space gauges needed to swap the dimension barrel.

January 23, 2012, 06:57 AM
can I get on the TC payroll too?

No Way! I don't need you cutting into the lucrative celebrity endorsement fees that I collect from Ruger, Glock, CZ, Tikka..... wait... no I guess those are just firearm brands that I own and like.... The T/C Dimension is a rifle that I would like to add to that list, nothing more.

Not that I wouldn't love to find an engineering job at a firearms or ammo manufacturer someday, I'd definitely be "doing what I love."

February 6, 2012, 09:47 AM
Here's a brief explanation of the new stock design on the Dimension Platform:

February 6, 2012, 11:24 PM
How does that stock ride a set of bags? Looks like about the single worst design to shoot from a rear bag. It may be a great field stock but it sure isn't a range friendly design.

February 7, 2012, 07:21 PM
It's an interesting rifle, but my Sig-Sauer 202 Safari is far easier to switch-out barrels: remove the fore end, loosen the receiver bolts, remove barrel and switch to new caliber). It also maintains the external aesthetics to boot. Then again, it costs two times more.


February 19, 2012, 11:03 AM
I was just looking at some of the on-line info on the new gun, at both the T/C website and others. I agree its an interesting concept and seems a natural progression from the Contender single-shot, change-barrel rifle.

I have to agree with some of the previous posters that as a first attempt, it has some flaws. The first main problem IMO is the stock, which seems to be almost universally disliked. Something closer to the Venture stock would have probably seen much more acceptance.

Second, the barrel selection is somewhat flawed, IMO. It seems to me that they cherry picked the most popular calibers rather than those which would provide the best selection of capabilities (which I suppose made sense from a marketing standpoint), but is still IMO a flaw. I see what I feel is too much overlap between some "series" and too many gaps within others. I would love to have seen a quarter-bore in the "B" series barrels (.257 Roberts, .25-06, even the .257 Wby or .25 WSSM), and something offering a significant step up from the .30-06 in the "D" barrels (.338 Mag, .35 Whelen, etc.).

I suppose I could live with the stock, and maybe they will add more barrel choices to the line if the gun really takes off (too bad the old Fox Hill(?) custom shop isn't around anymore, they could have offered a good alternative source for other, less popular, caliber choices.).

February 20, 2012, 10:37 PM
"I suppose I could live with the stock, and maybe they will add more barrel choices to the line if the gun really takes off (too bad the old Fox Hill(?) custom shop isn't around anymore, they could have offered a good alternative source for other, less popular, caliber choices.)."

[Fox Ridge Outfitters]

When S&W took over TC it was only a matter of time before the fired all of their labor employees and Fox Ridge Outfitters, and shipped operation elsewhere. The Fox Ridge Outfitter store is nothing but an office now I believe. In response to the shut down, some of the old staff members opened up a store similar to it 500ft down the road.

[Coyote Creek Outfitters]

They carry TC products but they are not an exclusive TC dealer nor do they have the barrel selection for the TC (encore/ contender) that Fox Ridge had.

February 21, 2012, 11:39 AM
I think that the hog back stock is more for recoil control even though what they are currently offering is not overly excessive in the recoil department. I am curious how they ensure head spacing on the barrels. I too would like to see a 4th option for something in the 338 win mag arena or a little larger.

March 14, 2012, 03:08 PM
OK 2 questions were asked that got me to thinking and these are my guesses

1. B-bolts and C-bolts
The thing that caught my eye and makes me believe they are not swappable all of the B calibers are short action taking a guess they have modified the bolt to only pull back far enough to act as a short action with the mags stacked to the front.

2. headspacing
now i am not a gunsmith so I may be wrong but someone told me that on a savage 110/10 that when you headspace it what you are doing is putting in the bolt and engaging the locking lugs that are on the reciever then screwing in the barell till it touches the gauge.
Guessing on the dimension the locking lugs are machined into the barell assembly making it preheadspaced

thats all a just my guess what does someone else think

March 20, 2012, 05:18 PM
Is this thing even available yet for purchase?? If it is out there, what are the owners reporting ????? Good or bad???

March 20, 2012, 06:05 PM
This concept is not new, seems to me that TC took a look at the Blaser 93/ R8 rifles and copied the idea in a less expensive way. 20 years now you could own a Blaser and by changing magazine, barrel and bolt head, you could change calibers and retain the same reciever. The Blaser is a straight pull bolt action, and the Dimension is not, still not a new idea by far.

If you enjoyed reading about "Thompson Center Dimension rifle" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!