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Old 03-09-2019, 06:37 PM
3six13
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T/C Encore Pistol Cartridge Question



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Having got my carry gun and home defense options well covered, I'm finally going to get a Encore!% I want to initially get it as a pistol, however, and add rifle stock & barrels later, so now I'm debating what to get it chambered in?

A 15" .223 pistol is something I've pondered before and is my leading choice now even despite wanting to also add a rifle barrel as well later.% I hear it has a harsh muzzle blast, however, and wonder if this would potentially be a problem for indoor ranges, which is where I shoot majority of the time?% I don't believe the felt recoil should be a problem or anything like that, but, having heard people refer to it as a flamethrower, it's kind of more a concern about potential damage to the range.

At some point, I do plan on having a .357 Magnum custom carbine barrel (possibly doubling as a slightly long, 16.5" pistol barrel depending which shop I go with) made as it's the main reason I grew interested in an Encore in order to pair with a revolver.% That would likely take a bit of time, however, and is on the backburner, but figured I'd mention it.%

I'd also really like to add a .44 Magnum at some point generally just to add the caliber to my collection, but it's not the most affordable or readily available cartridge and I want to start with something I can shoot a lot after waiting all this time to finally get an Encore.% Its 12" barrel would be slightly easier pack and therefore could tag along with other more plentiful calibers, however.% Similarly, I've been interested in a .460 S&W barrel to pair with my Ruger Blackhawk with .45 Colt, which shares the same cost/availability issues.

Of the stock T/C pistol barrels, the .223 seem like the most cost efficient to shoot, though another route I've pondered is a custom offset rimfire (likely .17 HMR to distance it from my Single Six Hunter) barrel, which I may add eventually simply for the target shooting conveniences of rimfire.

So, am I over thinking potential risks of a short barrel .223 indoors?% Also, I hear the .30-30 is a pretty good pistol barrel, though, that was more with hunting in mind than primarily target shooting.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:57 PM
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I have a Gen. 1 Contender with .223, .357 Max, .44 Mag, and .30-30 barrels, all Super 14, 14" Bull barrels. The .223 is not harsh at all with ear plugs in, it's low recoil and a good shooter. None of these other calibers are any worse than shooting the average .44 Cal. revolver, which is to say they are a bit stiff but very manageable. You can shoot .357 Mag. in the Max barrel, like shooting a .38 in a .357 barrel. I highly recommend barrels by MGM.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:44 AM
3six13
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Yeah, since I'd have to get a .357 barrel custom made anyway, I have been contemplating having it chambered for .357 Maximum, just to have the option of loading it in the future. MGM is also one of the companies I'm considering getting barrels from.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 3six13 View Post
Yeah, since I'd have to get a .357 barrel custom made anyway, I have been contemplating having it chambered for .357 Maximum, just to have the option of loading it in the future. MGM is also one of the companies I'm considering getting barrels from.
I have an MGM .357max barrel right now. I also have an 223 Rem barrel I just got a week ago from them. They do make nice barrels (pricey, but nice). If you decide to get a .357max barrel from them, don't let them talk you into getting a 1:20 twist. I've had several custom built guns over the years in .357mag and I've always used a 1:16 or a 1:14 twist on those guns and they shot unbelievably well. MGM kept bugging me to get a 1:20 twist and kept telling me their "experts" (people they knew but didn't work for them) were getting great results with their 1:20 barrels. I finally decided to try one and see how it worked. Big mistake. A 1:20 will not stabilize heavier bullets like the 180g and 200g bullets. It's just "OK" on the 158g and good on the lighter stuff. I see they are now advertising their barrels for 1:16 twist. I'm just giving you a heads up. I've been shooting .357mag in rifles and handguns for almost sixty years and I don't know anyone who shoots more of that cartridge than I do. My Low Wall in .357max would do five shots in 3" at 200 yards. It was a 1:16 and those groups were fired with Hornady 180g XTP bullets. Just make sure you get the right twist if and when you order a barrel. I think MGM finally figured out their "experts" weren't as good as they thought they were.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:49 AM
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I have two Gen 1 Contenders and barrels for .222, .223, .22 LR. I shoot them at 50 and 100 yards and they are a hoot. Pretty accurate, too. I'd say look at .222 for a milder, accurate rifle load in a pistol. Recoil is noticeably less than than a .223. It helps if you reload and can choose your own powder. Just my two cents.

If I was going to shoot a handgun CF cartridge for accuracy, I'd get a .357 barrel and shoot hollow-based wadcutters out of a .38 case. I do this with revolvers and the rounds are cheap to load for CF cartridges, and very, very accurate with their milder speeds.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:25 PM
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I honestly don't know what the twist in my MGM Max barrel is offhand, but it shoots good. I think the "expert" you refer to is likely Mike Bellm, who is the premier gunsmith on all things T/C single shots and is very much involved with MGM.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 'ol shooter View Post
I honestly don't know what the twist in my MGM Max barrel is offhand, but it shoots good. I think the "expert" you refer to is likely Mike Bellm, who is the premier gunsmith on all things T/C single shots and is very much involved with MGM.
I've spoken to Mike Bellm several times and he doesn't advocate 1:20 twist barrels. My personal opinion is that MGM got a great deal on barrels with that twist and promoted them as being acceptable for use. They put a chamber in barrels they buy, they don't produce the barrel itself. Now that their stash of 1:20 are gone they suddenly have a lot of 1:16 to sell. This only adds to my long time belief that most shooter/owners of these types of guns have a different expectation on what constitutes good accuracy. Also, most shooters of the max are using lighter bullets to begin with and simply give up on using heavier bullets when they find a load they like. It's usually a 158g or lighter bullet and they stop right there. Very, very few shooters really appreciate barrel twist and how it effects accuracy.
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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Thanks for the input. I have the tag for the barrel, will have to look at it.
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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I'm not upset with MGM for making me a 1:20 twist barrel. I didn't think it would stabilize a heavy bullet when I bought it. They kept saying they believed it would. I bought it "eyes wide open" to see for my self. It shoots great with bullets up to 158g and is more than adequate for deer hunting. I could have insisted on them using a 1:16 twist, but I wanted to see what they were talking about. I kind of knew better, but I like to load and shoot groups. It's a find deer gun as is. I just received another barrel from them, a .223 Rem, which they had to order for me in a 1:9 twist because I again wanted to shoot some heavier bullets. I waited for this one because I didn't want to play around with it trying to get it to shoot 55-69 grain bullets when I knew it probably wouldn't with a 1:12 twist. They make nice barrels, but know what you want before you order one.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:16 AM
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No need to go Encore with any of the cartridges discussed, so far, with the exception of the 460. The 460 is Encore, only. Any of those other cartridges can easily be handled with a Contender or G2 and used barrels will be plentiful and easy to obtain on that platform.
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:15 PM
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Agree with Rimfiregal, Contender is a better choice for a pistol....much lighter IN A PISTOL to shoot accurately without sandbags and bench.

I have 22 lr, 357, 44 mag, 30 Herret, 375 W. all great shooters. If getting one barrel the 357 mag is the way to go, shoots wadcutter 38 for accurate range shooting, and 357 mags for deer, etc.

I'd avoid the 357 Max, unless you are and advid reloader. the longer chanber will erode with using 38/357 cases, and will not be as accurate when using shorter cases. 357 max ammo is $$$ and difficult to find. IF you really want 357 Max, start by purchasing 300+ rounds or cases. then reload every thing from 38 target to 357mag loads in the longer cases.

My real kick butt cartridge/barrel is the 375 Win. good for deer/bear/metal at 200 yards.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:23 PM
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My real kick butt cartridge/barrel is the 375 Win. good for deer/bear/metal at 200 yards.
You don't see too many of those around. My .375 Winchester barrel is used for handgun silhouette and general range fun. It was also my wife's favorite plinking gun.

I have both Contenders and Encores and, personally, I prefer the Contenders. They just handle easier.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Rimfiregal View Post
No need to go Encore with any of the cartridges discussed, so far, with the exception of the 460. The 460 is Encore, only. Any of those other cartridges can easily be handled with a Contender or G2 and used barrels will be plentiful and easy to obtain on that platform.
I have considered doing a Contender pistol as well as Encore long gun as I do intend to add a 12ga barrel and .30-06 along with some other potential rifle cartridges not supported by the Contender. Had moved away from that idea due to the simplicity of having one platform do both, but guess the Contender would allow easier use of rimfire barrels, so I actually may reconsider it, especially since I also think a T/C barrel is offered for it in .357 Magnum while such isn't for the Encore.

I wouldn't use the bigger stuff nearly as often, so maybe I should go with the Contender after all.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimfiregal View Post
No need to go Encore with any of the cartridges discussed, so far, with the exception of the 460. The 460 is Encore, only. Any of those other cartridges can easily be handled with a Contender or G2 and used barrels will be plentiful and easy to obtain on that platform.
I have considered doing a Contender pistol as well as Encore long gun as I do intend to add a 12ga barrel and .30-06 along with some other potential rifle cartridges not supported by the Contender. Had moved away from that idea due to the simplicity of having one platform do both, but guess the Contender would allow easier use of rimfire barrels, so I actually may reconsider it, especially since I also think a T/C barrel is offered for it in .357 Magnum while such isn't for the Encore.

I wouldn't use the bigger stuff nearly as often, so maybe I should go with the Contender after all.


My favorite in the Contender is the 7mmTCU.
Used to have a MGM .357 max.. loved it..
But the love affair with the TCU , caused a messy divorce .. the Max and I still not speaking.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:32 AM
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I have a g2 contender and mgm barrels I love, but for the love of cats, don't get their built in muzzlebrake. I have a 12 inch 223 barrel with the muzzlebrake, and while it does negate recoil amazingly, its SO rowdy. Like teeth chattering, whattheheckwasthat? Rowdy. Silly accurate though.
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