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TC Encore Pro Hunter 300 Win Mag thoughts

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Good News! I went back out to the range this morning. The vertical stringing was clearly due to the hot barrel. Groups got much tighter. Most of the error now is likely coming from my shooting ability. I made a couple small point of impact adjustments with the scope and I'm right on now. I've got much more confidence in the gun now. I don't see any need for a muzzle break. There is no more felt recoil with this firearm than there is with my 10 gauge turkey gun.

Thanks to everyone for there help and insights on this thread.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I thought I'd update this thread with a couple developments. First, I decided to buy a muzzle brake. I sent the barrel in to EAB for installation. They acknowledged receipt but I have not yet seen a shipping notice that they are returning the barrel with the new brake. I'll report on that once I get it to the range.

Earlier in this thread, one of the tangents we took was hearing protection. Thanks to the dialog with Telemark, I was stimulated to take a deeper dive into hearing protection. After looking at details and discussing it with my audiologist, I ended up with DefendEar Digital X1 - https://www.westone.com/store/defendear/defendear-digital/

You can see from the link they have 3 levels. All three have the same IPIL rating. The difference is that they higher end ones have different programs. The primary difference is what ambient sound they let in. The highest end model, the X5, has a hunting mode. The marketing is a bit deceptive. They use a different scale on the gain curve for the low end X1 and the higher end models. After normalizing those curves on the same scale, at the frequencies I'm interested in hearing for hunting (rustling in the leaves...) are pretty much the same between the high end hunting program and the base X1 model. My audiologist confirmed this so I went for the least expensive model.

The prices on that web site are lower than you will actually pay. With the audiologist and mold cost they come in about $100 over the price on the web site. The first step is to go to the audiologist and have them take custom molds of your ear. They then send these into Westone. They charge about $50 to take the molds. You can take those molds and send them to Westone yourself, and get the price on the web site, but when you figure in shipping cost and everything, there is little savings over having the audiologist do it. I also figured that if there was an issue, the audiologist would get a better response from the company than an individual so I went that route.

I picked them up on Thursday afternoon. The ear molds fit very precisely into my ear and go in deep. They are made of a soft somewhat pliable plastic, not a hard plastic like the old ear molded hearing aids. They seal to my ear perfectly. The plastic mold has a small hole though it that channels the sound from the digital part. It snaps into the mold. Unlike my rechargeable LI hearing aids, these use old fashion hearing aid batteries. The sound quality is not quite as good as my hearing aids but it is much better than any of the Walker Game Ear class devices. So far, I'm very happy with them. I was concerned that there is no place to attach a tether. I use one when hunting with my hearing aids. It is too easy to lose one when taking off a head-net or something in the field. As it turns out, with the custom mold, there is no way these can fall out of my ears accidentally.

I won't be able to test them until the next time I hunt or go to the range. For hunting, I'll just wear them. When on the range, I'll wear muffs over top of them for additional protection from repeated shooting.

Thanks,
Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I got the barrel back with the J B Howitzer muzzle brake installed. I got to shoot it this week.

First, the hearing protection update from the previous post. It worked GREAT! I understand that the Howitzer really increases the blast noise to the shooter, but you could not prove it by me. I had cheap muffs on over top of the in-ear protection described above and blast noise was minimal to me.

I love how the brake performed. It certainly was not 100% reduction as advertised, but it was very significant. The recoil was minor. I'm sure my wife could shoot the gun with no problem.

I did need to re-sight it in. The horizontal was pretty close, but the vertical was significantly different. I don't think it is the break causing this. It is more likely the act of removing the scope using the Leupold QR system before sending in the barrel and then reinstalling it after it came back.

I think I'm going to order another receiver so I don't need to remove and replace the barrel between muzzleloader and rifle season. My next step now is to chronograph it and then order my custom dial from Leupold. You get one free with the scope but you need to order it after deciding on the load you plan to shoot.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I decided it was too much of a PITA to swap barrels and verify sighting before each season, so I just ordered another receiver/stock/forearm so I have one for the muzzleloader and on for the .300 Win Mag. It came in today!
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I am waiting for when you realize buying a complete rifle would've been the better choice ... I have multiple rifles in different caliber for specific game and have them sighted in for specific bullet weight and powder weights for specific game and shooting distance.

I was sighting in last summer for my deer hunt in northern Alberta with a new 300 WIN MAG. After 200 rounds I found at 200 yards i was grouping well on 3", but every 8th to 9th shot I had one that went 3"-4" out of the circle.

As it was a new gun, went through another 50-70 rounds to finally locate 1 set screw on the scope mount (out of 8) after checking everything else, that was 1/32 nd loose.

Once I corrected and made sure everything else was secure, tight 3" groups moving forward.

As I said, can't imagine assembling a weapon prior to a hunt where I have not put several 100s rounds through it fully assembled knowing that it is ready.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I am waiting for when you realize buying a complete rifle would've been the better choice ... I have multiple rifles in different caliber for specific game and have them sighted in for specific bullet weight and powder weights for specific game and shooting distance.

I was sighting in last summer for my deer hunt in northern Alberta with a new 300 WIN MAG. After 200 rounds I found at 200 yards i was grouping well on 3", but every 8th to 9th shot I had one that went 3"-4" out of the circle.

As it was a new gun, went through another 50-70 rounds to finally locate 1 set screw on the scope mount (out of 8) after checking everything else, that was 1/32 nd loose.

Once I corrected and made sure everything else was secure, tight 3" groups moving forward.

As I said, can't imagine assembling a weapon prior to a hunt where I have not put several 100s rounds through it fully assembled knowing that it is ready.

That is exactly what I did. I decided I wanted to try a .300 Win Mag last year. I already had a TC Encore Muzzleloader. I purchased a .300 Win Mag barrel for it. Since our muzzleloader season was over, I disassembled the muzzleloader and put on the .300 Win Mag barrel and sighted it in. After some barrel heating issues, I got it to shoot ok groups and when my 760 Gamemaster in .30-06 failed, I was able to use it to finish out the tail end of firearm season. After the season, I chronographed it so I can order a yardage dial for the Leupold Scope.

While the disassembly/reassembly of this simple single shot (scope is mounted to the barrel) doesn't have much that could effect impact point, as you say, it doesn't take much cause a problem. I was not moving scopes between barrels. Each barrel has its own scope mounted. I don't remove the scopes from my rifles without resighting-in even though they have quick release return to zero mounts. When I have removed them and reinstalled them, I've only had to do a bit of fine-tuning when resighting-in.

So, this spring I decided to order another receiver/forearm from TC so I don't have to swap the barrels between muzzleloader season and rifle season. COVID came into play and it significantly slowed the process. It just came in today.

Of course a new problem has presented itself. When I was picking up the new receiver from my buddy who has the FFL, he told me folks are making smokeless powder barrels for the Encore now. Thus a new thread that I'll reference back here.

Thanks,

Jack

So, now I have two independent firearms, one muzzleloader and one .300 Win Mag.
 

Turkish

5 year old buck +
Accurate rifles are a dime a dozen these days. I’ve never understood the appeal of the Encore rifle system, aside from muzzleloading. They caught on when every “dude” on The Outdoor Channel was being paid to use them. They really have no major “pros” and way too many “cons.”
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Accurate rifles are a dime a dozen these days. I’ve never understood the appeal of the Encore rifle system, aside from muzzleloading. They caught on when every “dude” on The Outdoor Channel was being paid to use them. They really have no major “pros” and way too many “cons.”

I went the .300 win mag route because it was a relatively inexpensive entry since I only needed the barrel. Of course, after I decided I like it enough, I ended up buying the rest of the gun.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I now have two complete TC Encore Pro Hunters, one with a .50 cal muzzleloader barrel and one with the .300 win mag. I recently began looking into a .45 smokeless muzzleloader barrel to replace the muzzleloader barrel: http://www.habitat-talk.com/index.php?threads/smokeless-powder-muzzleloader.12587/

Based on recommendations from that thread, I'm converging on a barrel from Jeff Hankins. I had an email conversation with him. He is out of .45 cal barrels for this calendar year, so if I do this it will be next year.

So, I decided to take the next step. I ordered spring kits for both actions from M-Carbo today. They are supposed to cut the trigger pull weight in half. This will be the first time I've tried my hand at any gunsmithing (if you can call it that). At least I should get a good understanding of the internals of the action on the TC Encore. I watched a detailed video put out by M-Carbo and I think I can follow it. If anyone else has tried this, I'd love to hear your experience.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Gravel Road

5 year old buck +
Have you been on the Belm T/C site? If not, he has some very informative info on how to install triggers, check and adjust headspace, etc. https://www.bellmtcs.com/blog
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Well, I tried my hand and doing the upgrade today. It was a little challenging for me, but I got all the trigger work done and it really improved the trigger weight.

Then, the problem hit! The last step was to punch out a pin in the barrel to replace that spring. Well, the pin was tight but it popped out. Unfortunately, the punch got stuck in the hole. Not sure if I used the wrong punch or what. I tried all kinds of things to remove it with no luck. Eventually it broke off. I did have some slight success moving it a bit by putting pressure on the latch and using another smaller diameter punch to pound it out, but the smaller diameter punch quickly bent.

I bought this punch set on amazon I'm guessing they are low quality and soft given how easily the bend. I'm not sure what to do now.

- Gunsmith?
- Try getting another better quality punch and pound it back out?
- Use a drill press to try drilling it out?

I was 99% done and somehow screwed up the last step!

Thanks,

Jack
 

Bill

Administrator
Know anyone with an arbor press? Get a good punch or hard rod and press it out.
In my experience a drill never improves things in situation like this.

check with the auto/speed shops. They may have a hydraulic press
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Know anyone with an arbor press? Get a good punch or hard rod and press it out.
In my experience a drill never improves things in situation like this.

check with the auto/speed shops. They may have a hydraulic press

Now there is an idea. I don't know anyone with one, but Harbor Freight has a 1 ton manual one for $50. I wonder if that would work. I'm sure I'll find other uses for it.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Well, I considered all the options and in the end, I chickened out. I did not want to make a bad situation worse, so I took the barrel into the gunsmith and explained what happened. He was kind enough to knock it out for me on the spot and didn't even charge me!

Ok, I decided to order some high carbon steel punches that have the size clearly marked on them (unlike the soft metal punch set I have), so this doesn't happen again. They are supposed to be in tomorrow. So, I hope to change out the spring kit on the action of the other Encore that I have on my muzzleloader. I'm very happy with the lightened trigger pull on the Win Mag with this new spring kit installed. I'd estimate it cut the pull weight in half.

I had to pull the scope off the .300 Win Mag because of the stuck pin, so I'll have to take that back to the range. It will be a good opportunity to test the lighter trigger pull in action.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
The punches had arrived when I got home from work today, so this evening I tried my hand at the second action. This one has the muzzleloader barrel on it. With the experience under my belt from the first on, this one went much faster and more smoothly. Again, I'm impressed with the improved trigger pull. It will be ready if I eventually get that smokeless barrel.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I'm IMPRESSED. With both firearms, I ended up removing the scopes during the trigger work. They both have Leupold quick-release rings and bases. I went to the range today. I was shocked. I was on target at 100 yards with both firearms. The .300 Win Mag was about 8" right and low. The muzzleloader was about 6" right and dead on vertically. I rotated between guns and cleaned the muzzleloader between shots. This gives the .300 Win Mag barrel time to cool down between shots.

The accuracy of both improved significantly after the trigger work. I'm sure the improvement was in my ability to shoot them rather than the underlying accuracy of the gun. I'm very happy with the results of the spring kit now that I've used the guns!

Thanks,

Jack
 

goatman

5 year old buck +
Jack you didn't say but I assume you have a wood forearm? I had a .338 win mag barrel that melted a synthetic forearm. I let it cool between shots but not long enough. It would walk up on target.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Jack you didn't say but I assume you have a wood forearm? I had a .338 win mag barrel that melted a synthetic forearm. I let it cool between shots but not long enough. It would walk up on target.

No, I've got the factory synthetic forearm. No indication of melting so far. When I first sighted it in when I got it, I had a vertical stringing problem. I think I talked about it earlier in the thread. The issue was barrel heating. As long as I let it cool between shots, I get a nice group. I had the forearm off when I did the trigger work and there were no signs of damage. The forearm actually doesn't touch the barrel, I don't think in the TC. The screws go into standoffs on the bottom of the barrel. I think they are long enough that they are the only actual contact with the forearm.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
The custom CDS dial came in today. I think I'm gonna like this gun!
 
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