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I currently hunt with rifles; but I am considering getting a T/C Encore pistol in .270 Win. Has anyone got any experience with T/C pistols in the rifle calibers? Should I get a muzzle brake for this caliber?

Last edited by BigBrass; 09/09/04.
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I used to have a t/c contender, and tried maybe a dozen different chamberings. It is a very accurate and versatile action, and if I were to go back to single shot pistols, I'd go with the encore due to the ability to use larger cases.

One thing to consider with the chambering you use is how it will perform in a 15" barrel. If you querry encore shooters, and look at pistol data, you'll find the -06 size cases have almost no velocity advantage over those based on the .308. You'll burn more powder, get more recoil, but gain maybe 50 fps. I would personally recomend you looking at a .260 rem, 7-08 or 308 over the .270.

As far as muzzle breaks, that depends on your personal recoil tollerance. I've found I handle rifle recoil much better than pistol recoil, so just because you can handle rifle recoil, doesn't mean the same holds for handguns. I wouldn't brake a smallbore, ie 30 cal or under, as I don't like the increased muzzle blast. No disputing they are effective.

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458 Ltt: Thanks for your comments. That sounds like good advice. Maybe I will look harder at the 7-08 chambering.

Last edited by BigBrass; 09/09/04.
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I'm a long time Thompson shooter. Currently have 4 Contender frames and 13 scoped barrel sets. Don't own an Encore as yet but the concept is the same. I have five barrels that are chambered for rifle rounds, .223Rem, 7X30Waters, 30-30Win, .411JDJ (wildcat based on a full length .444Marlin), and a 45-70. These are all super 14 configuration with breaks except the .411JDJ, which is quad, Mag-Na-Ported. First and foremost you can�t push the same sized bullets at the same speed in a 14-15 inch T/C as even in a short 20-inch carbine. You can load it at the same loading but you will just make great, big, fireballs at the end of your barrel when all that unburned powder gets blown out. Where these calibers shine is when you load �different� from factory loadings. For instance, you can�t find a 30-30 commercial loading with any bullet but a round or flat nose. In my 30-30 I load a 130g Barnes X push it as fast as I can. I shoot close, real close, nothing longer than 30 yards, and always in the shoulders, and I want that bullet break bones, and to pass through. The Barnes will hold together at those close ranges and under those conditions of breaking bones, and always goes through. The 7X30Waters is an excellent rifle round for the Contender or Encore as it does lend itself to loading for the short barrels. I load a 120G Barnes X in this caliber for the same reasons as stated above about the 30-30. You must remember that by going with the Encore and its 15 inch barrel you will be giving up as much as 1000fps for same bullet loadings. At the typically short ranges (100-150 yards) that most handgun hunters limit themselves to the animal will never know it, BUT if you try to stretch that range you could run into trouble. Of all those shooters I know who shoot single shot pistols NONE shoot factory stuff except in 22lr and cheap, practice .223Rem stuff all their hunting ammo is hand loads. As for the breaks if I had to do it again I�d ditch the breaks.



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crawfish: Thanks, your information was helpful. I do handload for my rifles, and I would expect to do that for the Encore. I assume that I would be using faster powders for a 15" barrel than if I were loading for a 22"-24" rifle barrel. Lyman's 48th edition manual has loads for the Thompson Center handguns. It looks from that data as if I could get velocities in a .270 Win of about 2550 fps with a 130 grain bullet in a Thompson Center, as opposed to 3050 or so in a 24" inch rifle barrel. That may be good enough for 200-300 yard shots on game.

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BB, I have a 15" 30-06 encore pistol. It does have recoil, but it is not over powering. I would NOT have a brake on it. I shoot factory rounds in it for now since I have not done any load development. I did get the rynite grip and forearm for it since that does help control the recoil. The wallnut grip slipped too much for my taste. tom


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Consider your cartridge options from the ballistics stand-point before you decide which cartridge you want in a barrel that's significantly shorter than a typical rifle barrel.

Cartridges that depend heavily on the velocity of a light, small-diameter bullet for their effectiveness on game also depend heavily on barrel length to develop their velocities.

Shorter barrels favor cartridges that depend more heavily on bullet diameter and weight and less on velocity.

In a 15- to 20-inch barrel, I'd look first for something like a .45-70, .444 Marlin, .405 Winchester, or .358 Winchester long before I'd consider a smaller-caliber cartridge.

If I were determined to have a .270, I'd make sure to give it enough barrel length to do it justice � ideally not less than 24 inches, not less than 22 inches in a compromise.

Whatever the cartridge, I'd get the barrel from Bullberry, not from T/C or (shudder!) Virgin Valley.


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I've found that generally, a rifle looses ~30 fps per inch from 24" down to 20", and then 50 fps an inch when going shorter. So a 24" .270 will loose say 400 fps, which would have your 130 gr loads in the ballpark of 2600 fps.

If you look at Hodgdon's data http://www.hodgdon.com/data/pistol/308win.php
a 15" .308 will push a 130 gr bullet 2700-2800 fps. With Barnes 130 gr triple shock, you'll get terminal performance on par with a 150-165 gr cup/core bullet. I would certainly consider the bullet capable of 300 yd shots on deer. That said, it takes alot of practice to be able to make such shots in the field with a scoped pistol. It is much harder to shoot a scoped pistol as accurately as a rifle in the field.

I agree with Ken, the .270 is a fine rifle round, but a poor choice in a short barrel. Look at what cases perform well in shorter barrels, and it will be those with larger bores. The .308 performs very well in shorter barrels.

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pumpgun and Dr. Howell: Thanks for your very helpful comments.

I was hoping to be able to take game such as deer or wild hogs with a scoped Thompson Center pistol with 15" barrel at ranges of over 200 yards. Are 250 to 300-yard shots feasible with , say, a .308 from a 15" barrel? Would they be feasible with the .444 Marlin or a (handloaded) 45-70, from that gun?

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.458 Lott: Thanks; your post answered at least one of my questions.

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I have the encore in .06 w/15" barrel. Shoot factory 165 grn and have loved it. Taken deer and caribou to 100yds with no complaints, other than one time i had the breach open on me at discharge and send the casing into my eye. Little snow/ice in the action I suppose. No problems since. But I will second the comment about the grips being slippery....

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BigBrass, I think the point of handgun hunting is to learn to get close enough to use a handgun. The issue isn't whether a .444 will kill a deer at 300 yards, the issue is how many you're willing to miss or maim before you bag one.

There is only about a 2.5 lb difference between an Encore rifle and pistol. I wouldn't take a chance (in my case a high probability) of gut-shooting a game animal to avoid carrying 2.5 lbs.

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carlos111: With my hunting rifles, I only take shots that I think I can comfortably make under field conditions. I have not yet shot a Thompson/Center handgun at the range or in the field; so I don't know what accuracy I will be capable of with such a handgun, with a scope, after a considerable amount of practice at the range. If, after a lot of practice with the gun, it appears that I could not confidently and reliably take game at 200 yards or 300 yards without crippling it, then I will not be taking shots like that. I would be interested in knowing, though, what it is feasible to do with these T/C handguns, in terms of longer range shots.

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There certainly seems to be some ignorance of what a scoped single shot pistol is capable of accuracy wise. From a good rest, it will be nearly as accurate as the best rifles, and more accurate than many rifles. My 218 mashburn bee, which wasn't my most accurate barrel, would with boring regularity hit the head of a 150 yd turkey silouette. My 6.5 GR would print 3 shot 1/2" groups at 100 yds, when I did my part.

The thing I did mention was praciticing from field positions, because it is more difficult to get a solid field position with the single shot pistols, and sometimes if you have a hard rest under the pistol grip, you will throw shots.

Personally I just never found myself carrying the contender in the field, I'd rather have a scoped rifle, or an iron sighted six gun. Still, a scoped 10" contender is a very comact package, and can be had in chambering that will be quite capable of accurately placing their shots, and having enough terminal balisitics for 200 yd or a touch more on deer. The 15" encore adds enough speed to make it an honest 300 yd, and change proposition, to those capable of making the shots.

Plenty of folks take shots with rifles they aren't capable of making, so don't think scoped pistols create poor shots.

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As far as accuracy with a T/C gun goes. I have my own range on my farm and I like to shoot steel with my hand guns. Rams are hit routeinly out to 300 yards and more., have a 12 inch gong at 500 yards that I ring so often that it has gotten boring. My sons and I shoot 20 oz plastic soda bottles out to 200 yards and 1lt sized to 500 yards as a game for hunting season tune up. We don't just shoot at them we hit them more times than miss. The guns are capable of great accuracy. I just don't now nor have I ever shot game at those ranges. I'm always saying that I get very annoyed at the gun/hunting nabobs who want to tell me that my way of hunting is wrong because it doesn't fit into there idea of what it correct. SO I'll close by saying that if it is legal in your state have at it and more power to you.



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Quote
Are 250 to 300-yard shots feasible with ... the .444 Marlin or a (handloaded) 45-70, from that gun?
They can handle it if you can.

In my long-ago prime, I've hit clods of dirt about the size of a man's head at over 300 yards with some regularity using handguns with iron sights. I've seen the late Bob Milek out-shoot capable riflemen with his Contenders, and I've seen my friend Russ in South Dakota make life downright risky for prairie dogs at 1,500 yards from one of his Contenders.


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Thought I'd throw my .02 cents worth in even if a bit late... I have both contenders and encores, in both pistol and rifle configurations which is of course the beauty of the Thompson set up.

I agree with the idea of the 308 based case thru a 15" encore. I think you'll get all the performance you need with a little better recoil characteristics.

I think the Thompsons deliver recoil very well, and are very comfortable to shoot but as they say your mileage may vary.
I don't believe mine is at all unpleasant in 7mm-08 and would liken it to my 44 Mag Super Red Hawk with stout loads.

I just received a replacement 7mm-08 barrel from Thompson as my first had a problem with the crown. I haven't even fired it yet as I have too many other barrels.

I would be comfortable shooting out to about 150 yards but feel the gun is quite capable of shots considerably further. I won't take a shot I'm not comfortable with and consider 150 yards to be my effective limit not the gun's. With a 7MM-08 I think this gun is quite capable of 300 to 350 yard shots if not further.

You might want to talk to some dedicated shooters and builders. Give Fred Smith a call at Bullberry and he'll help you figure out what you need.

Another great contact is Ed's Contenders outa OK. Ed can help you get hooked up with Frames, Barrels and just about anything else you might need to get started and the prices are a lot better than you'll find elsewhere.

Also take a look at Mike Bellm's forum and you'll run into guys who regularly and consistently shoot these guns and can talk more accurately about what they're capable of.

Then when it's all said and done, buy a 7mm-08 and if you aren't happy sell it and try another... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


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been shooting T/C s for about 35 yrs. I've killed deer at 300 plus yds. with wild cat loads. A few that we like best are from the 307 case. John & Don Bower came up with a few wild cat's back early 80's. we liked the 6.5 Bower and the 6.5 JDJ #2 also on the 307 case both had a 40 degree shoulder and were just a little different from one nother. Both were a lot like the 260 rem. Don't let anyone fool you these little single will whole their own at long shots. We shot a match at 500 meters just outside Denver, Co and the smallest group you could cover up with a 25 cent piece. We talked To Don few years later and they were shooting a 1000 meters. We found out about Don in a Guns & Ammo in the early 80's.
I would go with the 260, 7-08,or 308 or maybe some of JDJ's rounds. any larger case and you'll be blowing unburned powder out the end of your barrel with very little gain


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