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Question by J4huntfish. Uploaded on January 23, 2010
I have an Encore, but I only have rifle barrels for it. IMO with the 'pistol' barrels it's so big it kinda gets away from being a pistol. It's really more of a one handed rifle/hand cannon. If you are going to get one I'd look at 7mm/08 or maybe even 30/30. You will find that even those will get your attention when you shoot them. You are talking about rifle cartridges loaded for 20-24" barrels and using them in a 12" or 15" one. There will be a sizable amount of muzzle blast going on with any of those, least of which the 30/30.
I have a Contender pistol which is a little lighter and more handy than the Encore in pistol form. My favorite calibers are 7/30 Waters and 45 Long Colt, which you can handload hot enough to take on some pretty tough things. I have shot the 45/70 and the 375 JDJ ones and they are bad to the bone but NOT fun to shoot very much.
I love both guns but my .02 cents opinion is use the Encore as a rifle and Contender as a pistol. Maybe look at .41 or .44 Mag as a caliber too.
I'd get an encore in 6mm BR if it was me. I think the .308 and the .270 are a little big for a handgun though.
The most energy you would ever want to manage would be a .243. It would still be lightning and thunder, and would be a good way to start flinching. I had a .22-250. It was the limit, as far as I'm concerned. It made a flash as big as a basketball, barked, and bucked. After adjusting the scope, I put all three of the next group well inside a 1" square. Easily a 1/2" group. But that round is illegal here. Shoulda kept is, but at the time, I didn't understand the versatility of the Encore. It wasn't in the same class appearance-wise as my stainless Contender.
It's all about the powder being burned within the barrel. I have a 22-250 barrel on my Encore rifle right now(a 26" heavy stainless) and it is a dream to shoot - very little recoil. Those extra inches let that powder burn more completely and you also get a lot more velocity:
22-250 from an Encore pistol(15") 55 grain load: 2700-3100fps (depending on load)
22-250 from the 26" rifle barrel, 55 grain load: 3300-3700fps (depending on load)
The 22-250 in an Encore pistol is knocking it back to basically .223 power....
For example, a .270 Winchester 130 grain in an Encore 15": 2100-2600 fps. depending on load.
That's 500 fps (or more) LESS than what you get from a rifle. You have just neutered the .270 into something less. It's no longer the stout rifle cartridge that it was.....Just a huge ball of flame at the end of the barrel.
Now check this out:
7/30 Waters out of a Contender 14" with a 120 grain Nosler ballistic tip(my handload) - 2400fps on 35 grains of powder. It shoots about like a hot +P .44 magnum in a revolver to me. It is a LOT more pleasant to shoot than the .270 (in a pistol barrel)ever would be and pretty much gets a similar amount of energy downrange with a lot less powder burned and a LOT less fuss.
I'm not saying in any way that the 7/30 Waters is the equal of the mighty .270, but when you take the .270 out of it's designed element it really loses ground.
Unless you already have the Encore, I must agree with the rest of the crew and recommend a Contender over the Encore for a beginner. Friend of mine has an Encore in .308 and from what I hear of him, it's a handful. Consider the Contender in the above mentioned 7-30 Waters or the good old .30-30 Winchester in rifle calibers or the old standbys, the .44 magnum or .45 Long Colt in revolver calibers. Starting out with the big stuff as a beginner is a good way to pick up some bad habits. My son and I hunt white tails with a Contender in .30 Herrett, .30-30 Winchester, and .35 Remington and one of our bear gang killed a 265# bear with his .30-30 Contender. Good shooting.
If you must pick one of the two, go with .308. A .270 in a short barrel is not a good combo. A lot of powder and not a lot of bore is a waste. The .308 burns less powder in more bore. Of common rifle calibers, the .35 Remington is the best performer in the short handgun barrels in my opinion. More modest powder charge and even more bore to work with.
my stepdad has a encore pistol in 7mm-08. I would get a 357 or a 44 if i was you. just depends on the range youll be shootin.
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