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TC Encore Pro Hunter 300 Win Mag thoughts

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Background:

I was about to invest in a higher end over the counter 20 gauge slug gun for deer a few years ago when my county lifted the restrictions on rifle hunting for deer. So instead, I put the money I had saved into new glass for an old Remington 760 game master .30-06 that I've had since college. It had an old Bushnell 3x9 scope on it. I replaced it with a high end Leopold with a CDS. I've used it for a few seasons now and it has done pretty much everything I've ask of it for deer hunting on my farm.

A few years before that, I was taking out a youngster who wanted to try muzzleloading. He was getting old enough that I felt comfortable putting him in a different stand from me. Up until that point, I had not carried a gun. I had just accompanied him letting him use my TC Omega. I figured it was time to buy a second muzzlelaoder so we could both hunt in different stands. I bought a TC Encore Pro Hunter. Again I put a Leupold scope on it, but a little lower end scope this time. It has been a great gun. I've found it very accurate, easy to clean, very reliable, and very nice fit and finish.

Right now, I hunt whitetail only (and they are not big here) with a rifle. However, I'm a couple years from retirement. After retirement, I may have an opportunity to hunt larger game (elk, moose, antelope, etc.). I'm thinking I might want to buy another firearm to give me some more flexibility during retirement. I don't think I've ever fired an immediate follow-up shot at a deer.

Considering Purchase:

I don't see the need to buy a new rifle if I can simply buy another barrel for my TC Encore Pro Hunter. This should allow me to put more money into good glass for it. I'm considering a 300 Win Mag barrel for it. I've looked at the ballistics and it looks like it will out perform my .30-06 somewhat in terms of ballistics and killing power for larger game. I'm current shooting 150 grain Winchester PowerMax Bonded. It looks like I can up to 180 grains and there are several factory loads that will still give me somewhat better ballistics at longer ranges.

I'm looking for thoughts on this. Does anyone have any experience with this combo? Thoughts on accuracy? Has anyone needed a muzzle-brake? Other thoughts? I would probably top it with another higher-end Leupold scope with CDS for longer ranges since I'm happy with the one on the .30-06.

Thanks,

Jack
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
Thats tough question,the 30.06 will kill anything in the US.I am partial to 7mag.Something you might consider is to either invest in a decent rifle in a bigger caliber say one of the savages or a remington if you end up going on an elk hunt and spend the money now on a really good pair of binos,not just a 300.00 pair of a name brand but a really good pair of glass it will pay off out west for sure and help in the midwest.I just got a pair of 10x42 slc
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Thats tough question,the 30.06 will kill anything in the US.I am partial to 7mag.Something you might consider is to either invest in a decent rifle in a bigger caliber say one of the savages or a remington if you end up going on an elk hunt and spend the money now on a really good pair of binos,not just a 300.00 pair of a name brand but a really good pair of glass it will pay off out west for sure and help in the midwest.I just got a pair of 10x42 slc

It will, but the Rem game master pump I have is not a high accuracy rifle. The .30-06 ballistics show degraded performance at longer ranges. The .30-06 has been a long-time favorite all around rifle for most. I'm thinking the TC has the potential for a bit higher accuracy than the old 760 game master at a much lower cost than a new rifle. I hear you can just use a couple rubber washers over the forearm screws to float the barrel. I could drop to a 150 grain or even less bullet for something like antelope or beef up to 220 for moose. I don't really have any particular plans to hunt other game in any specific location yet. I'm just thinking that I might want to make a modest investment now before I'm on a fixed income. Most of my use would probably be here on the farm where the Rem 760 .30-06 would be fine. It's accuracy and ballistics are fine for 95% of the shoots I would take here.

One thing that I didn't mention is that there some companies that offer much better discounts to HE instructors than other companies. So, it is not just a market price comparison. I can get a good deal on a Sako 85 bolt but the cost is a significant multiple of just the barrel for my TC. I also considered a "once in a lifetime" custom built rifle, but because of the good sized discount from several commercial off the shelf makers, the differential cost to custom is an even bigger difference that for most.

You are certainly right on the glass. That is one thing I've learned. A buddy of mine from years back was pretty well off and put a lot of money into equipment. He had a pair of fairly high end Swarovski binoculars. They were way more than I need around here, but man were they nice on the eyes. Crystal clear.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Bill

Administrator
I’m a 7MM Remington Mag shooter. I’m not up on all the latest greatest rounds out there. I have the exact same 760 30-06 you have. Nice deer gun but I think you’re right to want more for bigger game and more importantly game further away. Again not up on all the new but I’d bet the 7mm rm would be hard to beat ballistically. Needs a muzzle break though. At least if I’m shooting it.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Bill,

Thanks. I took a look at the 7mm. It has very similar ballistics to the 300 win mag. The 300 win mag specs are slightly higher for pressure and there seems to be more bullet options for it. The 7mm seems to have a bit less recoil but that is not a big factor for me. Good to know about the muzzle break. Did it seem to have a positive impact on your accuracy once installed?

Thanks,

Jack
 

Telemark

5 year old buck +
What's the max range you are planning to shoot?
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
What's the max range you are planning to shoot?

I don't have one since I have no specific plans for a specific hunt with it. I'm just trying to add a bit of flexibility to my arsenal at a fairly low cost. I'll probably work the problem in the other direction. I'll try to find something with a bit more flexibility than my current whitetail firearm and mostly use it locally just to get used to it and practice on game inside a couple hundred yards where the gamemaster 760 .30-06 would be fine. Then, if I hunt out of state after retirement for either larger game or longer ranges or both, I'll plan a hunt to stay within the limitations of both the firearm and my shooting skill.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Bill

Administrator
Did it seem to have a positive impact on your accuracy once installed?

Yes but probably because there was that anticipation of a mule kick. I’ve unthreaded the muzzle break to compare with and with out. There is a serious difference. I had mine added. Back when I bought it very few production rifle came with them. Now most seem to.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
If I go the TC barrel route, I think I'll try it without first. I hear the noise to the blast is deafening to the shooter. I shoot a 10 gauge with a rhino choke and a heavy nitro load for turkey out of a browning lite semi for spring gobbler and don't have an issue with kick from that. I'm sure the TC is much lighter. They do have some recoil absorption built into the stock. TC doesn't sell a barrel with a built-in brake as far as I know so if I get one, it would be a gun smith job.

I was hoping someone on this forum actually had one in that caliber. I've been reading other forums but it is hard to evaluate opinions when I'm not on the forum regularly.

Thanks,

Jack
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
I heard som,ething on a pod cast about high end glass awhile back,he said if you can see that animal 20 minutes before the guy with cheap glass then your chances of being within shooting range before him increase.After trying to glass mule deer and elk with our cheaper glass for 2 weeks you could tell for sure.Anyone looking for binos or spotting scopes,cameras check out camera land of new york,great prices
 

WImuzz

A good 3 year old buck
I love my TC Pro Hunter. I have 50 cal muzzleloader, 243 and a 45-70 government for it. All 3 are super accurate and very reliable. If I wanted another caliber, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another barrel for it. There are a few resources online to order from and a couple that offer accurized custom barrels.
 

Bszweda

5 year old buck +
I shoot a Browning xbolt 300 wsm without a break. It's not a gun you shoot more than a few rounds through. I am getting getting a muzzle break installed on it this year if that says anything. I shot my buddies .280 Ackley kimber ascent with a break on it, and It was the cats pajamas. If your standing next to someone shooting with break without hearing protection there's a good chance you'll get permanent ringing in your ears. :(
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I love my TC Pro Hunter. I have 50 cal muzzleloader, 243 and a 45-70 government for it. All 3 are super accurate and very reliable. If I wanted another caliber, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another barrel for it. There are a few resources online to order from and a couple that offer accurized custom barrels.

Thanks! I can get a pretty good discount directly from TC, but I did take a look at some of the custom barrel makers. I did not see any that were chambered in 300 win mag though. They seemed to have everything else. The prices for other calibers did not seem too bad. If you have any links to custom barrels in 300 win mag, please let me know. I'd at least like to evaluate the price difference from my TC direct pricing.

THanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I shoot a Browning xbolt 300 wsm without a break. It's not a gun you shoot more than a few rounds through. I am getting getting a muzzle break installed on it this year if that says anything. I shot my buddies .280 Ackley kimber ascent with a break on it, and It was the cats pajamas. If your standing next to someone shooting with break without hearing protection there's a good chance you'll get permanent ringing in your ears. :(

Yes, I'm guessing your xbolt is a little heavier than the TC break action, so I'm anticipating more recoil that you are experiencing. I'm not much of a range shooter and I haven't done any long range hunting that requires long-range practice. So far, I'm pretty much the guy who shoots a box or two through it to break it in, sights it in, and hunts. After that, if I have time, I'll take at most one shot at the range before the season to make sure the scope has not been bumped. I may find I need a brake if I'm going to do a lot of long range practice for some specific hunting trip in the future.

I am concerned about the noise with a muzzle break. I already have hearing loss from shooting without hearing protection when I was a kid. We didn't know the long-term effects back then. I now wear hearing aids when I hunt. They are behind the ear digital models with a high db clip, but the rubber tip that holds the speaker in the middle of the canal is perforated and allows natural hearing as well. I've been experimenting with placing a cut-down foam ear plugs behind the speaker to help reduce natural hearing when hunting. That way 90% comes through the hearing aid microphones and muzzle blasts would be clipped. I'm still messing with this to get the foam to stay in place while hunting.

I don't mind wearing headphones on the range but I don't like wearing them when hunting.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I heard som,ething on a pod cast about high end glass awhile back,he said if you can see that animal 20 minutes before the guy with cheap glass then your chances of being within shooting range before him increase.After trying to glass mule deer and elk with our cheaper glass for 2 weeks you could tell for sure.Anyone looking for binos or spotting scopes,cameras check out camera land of new york,great prices

I find that I can't take an ethical shot much after sunset when hunting with my vertical bow under a canopy and over a field I might get an extra 10 minutes or so. When I use my crossbow with cheap class and a little magnification, I get an extra 10 minutes or so beyond the compound. When I switch to my muzzleloader or rifle with pretty good glass (Leupold VX-5 or VX-6) I could shoot well past quitting time some nights with a decent amount of moon light if it were legal.

I've done very little spot & stock type hunting were a lot of time is spent glassing. The one thing I did learn on those rare occasions was just how quickly my eyes get tired with low quality glass and how much easier on the eyes high quality glass is. I have to admit that I often put as much or money into the scope as I do into the firearm itself.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I would never buy a base stock looking to change out rifle barrel calibers with the expectation of an entire rifle/scope being sighted in to where I was absolutely confident of the entire rifle & scope's accuracy with several hundred rounds through it at the range I was planning to hunt at.

On my new 300 WINMAg I purchased 18 months ago, I put 200-300 rounds through it between 100-200 yards. Two months before my trip, I starting seeing a 1.5" - 3.0" variance out of every 6-10 shots from the normal. Drove me nuts as I could not isolate until i found one scope mount screw that was maybe a 1/16th turn off.

I have multiple rifles ... 30-06, 308, .50 cal TC muzzle, etc. All are very good. Can't believe how flat shooting my Ruger Hawkeye 300 WIN Mag is out to 200 yards. No ballistics guy here, just want a rifle that I can be very confident in challenging hunting enviroments. Plan on pushing out to 400 yards this winter.

For what you are talking about Jack ... you could do 2 rifles, a 270 & 300 WINMAG and cover north american and even Africa.

Have Leopold & Nikon scopes, consider Vortex ... former guys with Zeiss I belive, I know have 2 of them, very impressed.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I would never buy a base stock looking to change out rifle barrel calibers with the expectation of an entire rifle/scope being sighted in to where I was absolutely confident of the entire rifle & scope's accuracy with several hundred rounds through it at the range I was planning to hunt at.

On my new 300 WINMAg I purchased 18 months ago, I put 200-300 rounds through it between 100-200 yards. Two months before my trip, I starting seeing a 1.5" - 3.0" variance out of every 6-10 shots from the normal. Drove me nuts as I could not isolate until i found one scope mount screw that was maybe a 1/16th turn off.

I have multiple rifles ... 30-06, 308, .50 cal TC muzzle, etc. All are very good. Can't believe how flat shooting my Ruger Hawkeye 300 WIN Mag is out to 200 yards. No ballistics guy here, just want a rifle that I can be very confident in challenging hunting enviroments. Plan on pushing out to 400 yards this winter.

For what you are talking about Jack ... you could do 2 rifles, a 270 & 300 WINMAG and cover north american and even Africa.

Have Leopold & Nikon scopes, consider Vortex ... former guys with Zeiss I belive, I know have 2 of them, very impressed.

Yep, Vortex are nice scopes. I don't think they have an HE instructor discount program like Leupold, or at least I'm not aware of it. Your are certainly right, buying two firearms gives on more flexibility options than trying to make one gun do a wider range of jobs, but at a cost. It is also easier to justify a single barrel to my wife (and myself) than two new firearms.

I have not had the issue with the Leupold scopes that I've mounted myself. I have had quite a few scope issues with less expensive scopes. I've had some where the internal mechanism failed and it seemed like the gun just sprayed. As long as the scope is mounted to the barrel (not the receiver with a removable barrel), I've had no issues removing the barrel when disassembling the firearm and reassembling it. In fact, most of my Leupold scopes use the quick release bases and rings. I rarely pull a scope from the barrel, but when I do and reassemble it, sight-in adjustments have been very slight.

Of course, I'm not a long-range shooter so far. Perhaps what you describe will become an issue at longer ranges. If I do find that is an issue, I guess I could always buy another TC stock and forearm to separate the muzzleloader from the 300 win mag.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Peplin Creek

5 year old buck +
I’m not sure if TC offers a gun in this round. I’ve hunted with 30-06 for a long time. The Last couple years I started hunted with a tikka 270 wsm and I honestly couldn’t be happier... It’s faster/flatter than the 30-06 and hits with pretty close to the same energy. Easily less recoil and just a very comfortable gun/round that you can hunt everything in North America with. The only downfall with it is the price of ammo being a speciality round.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Yep, Vortex are nice scopes. I don't think they have an HE instructor discount program like Leupold, or at least I'm not aware of it. Your are certainly right, buying two firearms gives on more flexibility options than trying to make one gun do a wider range of jobs, but at a cost. It is also easier to justify a single barrel to my wife (and myself) than two new firearms.

I have not had the issue with the Leupold scopes that I've mounted myself. I have had quite a few scope issues with less expensive scopes. I've had some where the internal mechanism failed and it seemed like the gun just sprayed. As long as the scope is mounted to the barrel (not the receiver with a removable barrel), I've had no issues removing the barrel when disassembling the firearm and reassembling it. In fact, most of my Leupold scopes use the quick release bases and rings. I rarely pull a scope from the barrel, but when I do and reassemble it, sight-in adjustments have been very slight.

Of course, I'm not a long-range shooter so far. Perhaps what you describe will become an issue at longer ranges. If I do find that is an issue, I guess I could always buy another TC stock and forearm to separate the muzzleloader from the 300 win mag.

Thanks,

Jack

Belay that first comment, Tree Spud. They do have a program. I will take another look at them.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I’m not sure if TC offers a gun in this round. I’ve hunted with 30-06 for a long time. The Last couple years I started hunted with a tikka 270 wsm and I honestly couldn’t be happier... It’s faster/flatter than the 30-06 and hits with pretty close to the same energy. Easily less recoil and just a very comfortable gun/round that you can hunt everything in North America with. The only downfall with it is the price of ammo being a speciality round.

Yes, I looked at 270 WSM. Pretty close to the 300 win mag. I bit higher average velocity and a bit lower energy but close. You are correct, as far as I know, TC doesn't sell a barrel for the Encore chambered for it. If I decided to go with a full rifle rather than another barrel, it will be a caliber I'll look at closer.

Thanks,

Jack
 
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