Re: THOMPSON CENTER ENCORE
Great assessment of the Encore. One thing a person cannot do with them is tweaking - to the extent you can a boltgun. The trigger is simple but not user-friendly for fine adjusting, not sure what if anything you can do re bedding. The stock is nice fitting but not really the most comfortable with kicking calibers, as you mentioned. Basically this is a handgun frame that has been used as the basis for a very reliable single shot rifle.
I have standard, varmint and bull-barrel weight .308 barrels and they are good shooters, maybe in the 3/4 minute range or slightly better with good ammo. Each wieght of barrel gets more accurate, the standard is about a 2 - 3 inch shooter, the varmint right near 1" and the bull barrel will easily beat 1" for five at 100.
T/C now makes steel bases rather than the original aluminum bases, a definite improvement.
I had my trigger reduced to about 2 lb for a while (by a guy who knows Encores) but after a lot of shooting it seemed to get even lighter and I could push the hammer forward with my thumb and it would fire. Got some new parts and went back to 4.5 pounds.
Just got the T/C custom shop bull barrel and it is very accurate - makes for a very handy, light, carrying rifle. I have shot it out to five hundred on a fairly large gong and had no problem keeping center hits - at least 1 moa. We smacked a rock at 785 with it also, rock was not very large, good challenge and we got on it pretty quick. Have the prototype Nikon 2.5-10 tactical on it.
I just hunted in Montana on the Milk River with it and took a 20" wide 4x4 whitetail for a tv show.