Thompson Center Renegade Upgrade

In upgrading a Thompson Center Renegade, here’s how I installed a Green Mountain barrel and Lyman receiver sight.

by Wendell Dwight Deaner

It’s no secret I like shooting black powder firearms. My father got me interested in the sixties. He had a collection of original shotguns garnered from who knows where that we enjoyed shooting on many Sunday afternoons. In those days there were many unregulated and impromptu places to shoot. The crazy boom in gobbling up farmland to build McMansions had not yet begun and we had an old quarry to play in. All that was needed was the guns, a box of clay pigeons, some way to get them in the air and happiness in the form of black powder smoke was ours for the day.

I learned from my dad and my uncle how to measure the powder, top it with a wad, measure and pour in the shot and top it with another wad before capping the piece to make it ready to fire. Popping birds with these kinds of arms took a little more lead but we hit with regularity with those old exposed-hammer double barrels. Dad hunted squirrels and rabbits and other small game with his guns. I usually stuck with my Stevens pump chambered in 16 gauge. The old guns were fun but obsolete as far as I was concerned and I wasn’t alone. Many of them were not safe to shoot due to advanced age and method of manufacture. If you could buy a new black powder rifle or shotgun back then it was built by a custom maker whose lag time was sometimes years instead of months.

Enter the early seventies and the dawn of black powder-only deer seasons. You had to have something to hunt with, not some old smokepole that wouldn’t go bang without a lot of mumbo-jumbo and incomprehensible, archaic preparations that were obsolete fifty years ago. Where to get a rifle?

Read more in our May 2013 issue. Back issues are available.

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