Photos by Michael Anschuetz

Adventure meets budget with T/C’s award-winning Compass.

Adventure meets budget with T/C’s award-winning Compass.

“Best Bang for the buck” was the phrase most often tossed around Guns & Ammo’s office when editors were trying to best describe the 2016 Rifle of the Year award winner. And the Thompson/Center Compass still stands as one of the best values and lowest barriers to entry if you’ve been considering the hot 6.5 Creedmoor. Even after two years on the market, the Compass retails for only a dollar less than $400, which means most dealers have them tagged between $350 and $375 new.

Of course, being affordable doesn’t always mean that something has value. We all know that there’s a difference between a rifle that’s affordable and another rifle that’s cheap. But T/C didn’t skimp when designing the Compass.

Everything You Need Above all other details, the Compass has earned a reputation for being quite accurate among consumers during these last two years in the field. T/C has enough confidence in the Compass to back it up with a minute-of-­angle (MOA) guarantee. Best-selling of the 11 calibers offered? The 6.5 Creedmoor! What I’ve found with it chambered in 6.5 is that it can deliver sub-­minute, three-­shot groups with any premium load. T/C can credit its 5R rifling and the fact that their barrels are button rifled for this accuracy. Inside the bore, the lands are opposed to the grooves, and the lands are gently sloped rather than a normal barrel’s squared edges that scrape and claw on a bullet’s jacket as it passes through. The 5R rifling translates to less bullet deformation, consistent results downrange and less fouling. And when it’s time to clean the bore, you’re going to notice that you have to use fewer patches, too.

The Compass’ single-stage trigger measured a clean 31/2 pounds on Lyman’s Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. However, it is user-adjustable once the stock has been removed.

The Compass’ single-stage

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