View Full Version : Thompson Center Encore Rifle accuracy

July 10, 2007, 01:45 PM
I was lloking at one of these w/ a .223 barrel on it. How accurate are they generally?

July 10, 2007, 01:51 PM
I have three rifles in .223, a rem 700 varmint, a weatherby SVM and a TC encore stainless with a factory 26" heavy barrel. All shoot better than I can. I can consistently get .6" groups at 100 yard with it and have occasionally gotten better than .5" which if the best I can do with any rifle.

My encore, with all the barrels and stocks I have for it, would probably be one of the last rifles I would ever sell if I had to get rid of my guns. they are addicting and very well made for the money. TC puts their time and effort into good barrels and it shows. I have yet to find a TC encore ( or contender ) that did not shoot well.

That being said it does not have a one piece stock like a bolt gun, and the barrel is not free floated like most bolt guns. IMO the potential for accuracy goes to a similar priced bolt gun over an encore.

Charles S
July 10, 2007, 02:37 PM
I agree with Mike.

I love my Encore it would be one of the last guns to go.

I currently own 6 barrels and of them only one will not group less than MOA at 100 yards.

The Encore has a great factory barrel selection, after market barrels, and an enormous custom barrel market.

One of my barrels is a full custom 300 Win Mag made by the now defunct Virgin Valley arms on a Shilen stainless blank; it is incredibly accurate.

July 11, 2007, 06:34 PM
I bought my Encore with the intent of getting into the wildcat game. I now have a heavy....26" Bullberry barrel in the 243AI. Had some trouble getting things straight from Bullberry...but the rig is very....very accurate. I am now waiting on a Eabco Accruacy Barrel in the 30-06AI. Should get it any day now..........

July 11, 2007, 08:38 PM
I love my Encore. All of the barrels I have are good shooters. The .223 was my latest addition. While I am still warking up my loads, the two powders I like the best gave me under 1 1/2" at 200yds. It is also very addicting to get new calibers.

July 16, 2007, 06:51 PM
In the process of buying an Encore frame and have not decided which caliber will come first.
Is there an Encore forum any where? Good place to buy barrels and accessories? Thanks

Trapper L
July 16, 2007, 07:41 PM
I have a friend that collects these things......apparently, as he has over thirty barrels. I have no clue about which ones he has in detail but I have first hand experience with his 416 Rigby and 500 SW. The 500 is brutal enough but the Rigby is just painful. I'd like to tell you about the accuracy but usually after the first shot, I'm busy getting back up off the dirt and trying to find my better sense.

July 17, 2007, 11:35 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but does the scope sit on the reciever or the barrel? It would be sweet to swap out barrel and scope together. Sounds like even if that is not the case, guys that have them love them.

I was thinking of getting one so I could have a lot more calibers - "No, honey, I didn't get a new rifle - just got an extra barrel....":p

July 17, 2007, 11:43 AM
The scope stays with the barrel.

The are addicting and can lead you to the poor house quickly.

The wife WILL find out. Plan ahead and buy a comfortable couch as you will be sleeping it often.....LOL

try these links for fun:


July 19, 2007, 11:33 AM
MJ - my wife and I politely observe a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with regards to guns. As long as I don't wave it around hooping and hollaring, she doesn't ask what is in the case...As far as she cares, I have "A" rifle for hunting, "A" shotgun for birds, and "A" pistol just because. If I am carrying two long gun cases from my safe, it "must be" my rifle and shotgun - blissfully ignoring that they are really 2 double rifle cases....

July 19, 2007, 12:24 PM
Read this review just to be amazed at how accurate an Encore really can be.


Interesting in and of itself but there are also links in there to help you customize yours as well.

And follow that link that tells you where to send your frame for a trigger job! That's probably the best place to start. Isn't going to do you much good to have a super accurate barrel if your trigger pull won't let you take advantage of it.


July 19, 2007, 12:37 PM

So much for taking the family on vacation this summer.....

I need another barrel...NOW!!!!!!

one word of caution, there has been much discussion about the use of oversized hinge pins. IMO the fact that there are widely disputed claims from both camps lead me to decide against getting an oversized pin.

IIRC e arthur brown has a locking hinge pin that is standard sized but doesn't allow the barrel to shift side to side in the frame.

Hinge pin: http://www.eabco.com/EncorePin.html

This is what eabco.com has to say about oversized pins:


" Oversized Hinge Pins Void All Warrantees... Here's Why:
The center line position and alignment of the TC Encore and Contender barrel hinge is critical to the headspace of the chamber and lockup of the barrel to the frame. When we machine the underlugs for our barrels, they are clamped squarely on an extremely precise CNC Milling Machine. The hinge pin centerline is located to within 10ths of a 1/1000th of an inch. The hole is "peck" drilled at a computer programmed and consistent rate to insure that it does not wander and goes in straight and true. The hole is then CNC machine reamed to final dimension with the centerline at the same location while the part is still clamped squarely on the CNC machine. Each hinge pin hole is checked for tightness and alignment with pin gauges. We are sure that the Thompson Center Arms factory uses a similar if not equally precise system for locating the centerline of this hole, though they produce these in much higher mass quantities than we do. In order to get our barrels to headspace and lock up properly, we had to get our barrel lugs AT LEAST as precise as the TC factory and frankly, we were amazed at how close the TC Factory holds these dimensions. Our lug making system is certainly better than the mass production TC factory, but the factory is certainly better than any hand reamer.
The bottom line is this: Anybody who thinks they can improve on this level of precision by HAND REAMING the hinge pin holes to fit oversized hinge pins is making a serious and potentially dangerous error. At the least, such modifications may ruin your gun and take away the barrel interchange ability that is part of the reason you bought your TC Encore or Contender in the first place. At the worst, it could affect the barrel to frame lock-up and headspace to a degree that will make your gun dangerous to shoot. Don't be talked into messing around with oversized hinge pins.
We have instruments that can measure and detect whether the hinge pin hole has been modified to fit oversized hinge pins. There is no doubt about this. If you perform any modification to a barrel or frame it will void all warrantees but this one is especially bad because it is not repairable... barrels and/or frames that have been modified to fit oversized hinge pins may still work okay, but they are not improved over original condition. And if they don't work okay, they are very expensive garbage... not repairable and not replaceable because the warranty is void."

Thanks tulsamal for sharing that link to an excellent rifle!!!!

July 19, 2007, 01:35 PM
Thanks tulsamal for sharing that link to an excellent rifle!!!!

You're welcome!

I love the Rifle of the Week feature on that site. I can just sit there clicking on links and reading stuff for hours on end. I can't afford most of it but it is nice to read about it anyway!!



August 6, 2010, 08:07 PM
My T/C Encore .300 WM shoots the first shot from a cold clean barrel 5-6 inches above point of aim. As I continue to shoot a 5 shot group the point of impact decends until by the fourth shoot the rifle begins to group at point of aim under and inch. I've tried every thing I know with no results. Anybody have any ideas?


August 7, 2010, 04:07 AM
does the barrel have oil in it?

August 7, 2010, 04:08 AM
my encore .204 barrel is moa right now, but im working up some loads.

August 7, 2010, 08:23 AM
Leave the barrel fouled next trip to the range, and see if that does it. I'm inclined to say that this barrel likes to be fouled. Try it definetly before the season bares down on you..

And for what it's worth, my son uses the NEF Handi-Rifle, .270, .223,.45-70, it shoots same hole with factory ammo in the .270 barrel, it shoots nice tight groups with his .223 heavy barrel, and as far as the 45-70 goes he bought a box of shells and has only fired five rnds of that!!! ZERO hinge-pin problems!!!!:p
Thanks for coming!:cool:

August 7, 2010, 10:47 AM
I run a dry patch through the barrel to remove most of the oil before firing. I tried leaving the barrel dirty and firing again the next morning. While this reduced the vertical string the tendency was still there. This is my first T/C so I don't know how heat or the lack of effects bullet path. I reloaded a few rounds neck sizing only to see if fire forming would help. 150gr Sierra pro hunter over 72.8grs of IMR 4350. The first shot cut the X and the next 2 were 3 inches low and 1/2 inch apart. The windage on these vertical strings don't vary 1/4 inch. I may try lapping the barrel to see if that will change its characteristics. By the way I have also varied the seating depths from .020 to factory ammo oal. Thanks for the advice. Keep it coming.


August 7, 2010, 10:54 AM
If the rifles shoot anything like my old 14" Contender hunter barrels they're pretty awesome. Had more than a few rifles that couldn't match them for accuracy and consistency @ 100 yds.
May want to try a heavier bullet or powder charge, Marshall. I'd try both.

August 7, 2010, 01:07 PM

this guy has some good articles on the encore.

has a couple on vert stringing, i think he says it is bad headspace.

August 8, 2010, 09:25 AM
Thanks for the help. I will do the things you suggest. I am also going to try putting my barrel on my brothers Encore and his barrel on my frame and shoot them. I read the article on head space and vertical strings you gave me. What a web sight. If I had seen that web sight first I would have stuck with my bolt guns. I hope he never needs Thompson Center to do him a favor.:)