Not long ago, a gentleman brought in a T/C Venture, wanting the trigger pull reduced to 2 pounds. I had not seen a Venture before, but discovered that upon disassembling the trigger mechanism and reducing the spring inside by one coil that a solid, reliable two-pound trigger was easily obtained.
Well, it wasn't all easy... Reassembling the trigger mechanism was a three-handed job, so to speak, but I have an apprentice on hand so the job went smoothly.
While the Venture was in the shop, I had an opportunity to look it over, work the action and I must say that I was favorably impressed. The action is smooth but without any tendency to wobble or bind. There was what I can best describe as a sense of competency about the Venture that was undeniable. I also liked the look of the action, the feel of the bolt knob, and all aspects of the flush-fit detachable plastic magazine.
I used to look askance at plastic magazines, but with modern plastics they are just as durable as metal magazines, less likely to be damaged if dropped in fact. They also lead to smoother loading and do not scratch up the brass so bad.
Having sold my favorite hunting rifle last year to somebody who kept waving money at me, I have been in the market for a new deer gun and started to seriously consider a Venture, or perhaps the discontinued Icon if I could find one. (The Icon is essentially a deluxe Venture.)
The customer showed up to pick up his gun, and was happy with the trigger work. He had a rifle case with him and said, "I'd like the same thing done on this one, the two are just the same and this one needs a lighter trigger too."
What he pulled out of the case was a Tikka T3, another firearm that I have not had occasion to work on before.
He was right... There are many more similarities than there are differences between the two guns. Closing my eyes and working the action of the T3 from my shoulder, the only difference that I can detect is that the Tikka was a bit lighter than the Venture - but not by much. One's action and bolt throw was amazingly similar in feel to the other.
In full nit-pick mode, I'd say that the Tikka was slightly smoother, and the Venture showed just a bit less slop. - But these were not large differences, not at all.
The stronger points on the Venture were that its action looked a bit better, at least to my eyes. The magazine does not protrude, and the feel of the synthetic stock with its Hogue rubber-like grip panels was better. The Venture has 5R rifling, which some prefer these days.
The Tikka was slightly smoother, a feature that this firearm is famous for. It also sports an 11 degree crown, which I superstitiously believe to be superior. Last of all, the Tikka was a bit lighter.
The two gun's prices are similar, and in most respects the two guns compare very closely with each other in both quality and feel. I developed a slight preference for the T/C Venture, but it is a very slight preference, largely based upon the stock and the slightly higher weight, which would be nice for the cartridges I am considering for my next big-game gun. - Either 30-06 or 270 Winchester.
If a sportsman is looking at one of these rifles, I would recommend that they take a look at the other one too. The differences are subtle, but they are there and one may find, like I have, that they will develop a preference - or perhaps find a better price on one over the other.
I would lean toward the Tikka T3 for lighter-recoiling cartridges, or for hunts that require a long carry or difficult terrain. For more powerful rounds and increased shooting comfort, I would lean toward the T/C Venture.
Both are tack-drivers, similar in price, quality and overall feel.
I never would have imagined that, before I had an opportunity to compare the two.
Kind regards, charlesb