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Encore Rifle or Handgun....

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Unread 10-19-2007, 08:07 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: FREE RUN, MS
Posts: 774
I coudla told ya bass pro is high....but will admit they nice to have around for clothes and treestands..... a few other odds in ends....the fact that you dont have to order it and can try on their clothes makes em worthwhile. Nothing like getting that new jacket and wishin youd ordered 2 sizes up!

Did you price a pro hunter barrel? wow add a $100.
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Unread 10-19-2007, 11:24 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: california
Posts: 362
you can turn a pistol into a rifle but you cant turn a rifle into a pistol unless you do what JJ said on my rifle butstock it says not to be used with a bbl shorter than 16 1/4 inch's . there is a P in front of my ser# on my pistol not sure if it means its a prohunter or a pistol
encore only works on encores and contenders only on contenders
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Unread 10-19-2007, 11:27 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
NYLES , when you buy and Encore pistol frame the same steps are taken with your "White sheet" as if you were to buy say a Glock. If your buying from say an online shop you will be treated just like if you were buying any other pistol when you get to your FFL to fill out the paper work.

I have an Encore pistol in 308 that I don't use very often and its the frame that I'm building up for my son , I have two barrels for it now one 22lr and one in 250 Ackley improved. both are 18" and both have the muzzel threaded 1/2"-28tpi so if the 250 needs a brake I can screw one on and the 22 is threaded for a suppressor so I can use it for animal control
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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Unread 02-02-2008, 09:14 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lake Brownwood,TX
Posts: 87
I read the above link to Bellum's site. Why does it have to be so complicated? What a bunch of political crap,wasted time and money! Can't we just have our guns and go play nice?:confused:
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Unread 03-08-2009, 01:26 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Re: Encore Rifle or Handgun....


Brand new member here with very first post.

Considering the date of your post, I assume your question has been answered or you have moved on.

However, my two cents to anyone else would be: The game warden/local law enforcement, are not going to find me in posession of a pistol length bbl attached to a shoulder stock.

I don't think anyone is going to run serial#s on a pistol to find out if it was originally designated as rifle/pistol as long as it appears legal in configuration.

Unless of course, someone to whom such equipment is registered, writes letters to tha ATF asking questions that might give away their position.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:51 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kodiak, Ak
Posts: 357
Re: Encore Rifle or Handgun....

Ruling straight from T/C


Notice Concerning Encore/Contender Pistols and Carbines

Thompson/Center Arms Co. went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to establish the lawfulness of the Contender pistol and Carbine (including the carbine kit), and won. The Supreme Court opinion also establishes the legality of the Encore system, which has similar interchangeable parts.

With these systems, a receiver may be assembled either with a pistol grip and pistol barrel, or with a shoulder stock and rifle barrel (minimum length 16 inches). A barrel under 16 inches in length must never be assembled onto the receiver when the shoulder stock is attached. Within that parameter, the consumer may use the parts to make a pistol or carbine, and may change the configuration at will.

In 1988, Thompson/Center filed suit against the United States alleging that the pistol and carbine kit used above do not constitute a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches in length, a weapon made from a rifle with overall length less than 26 inches, or a restricted “firearm” as otherwise defined in the National Firearms Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Thompson/Center. Their opinions are cited as United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co., 504 U.S. 505 (1992), affirming 924 F.2d 1041 (Fed. Cir. 1991).

In the trial court and in the Federal Circuit, the United States argued both that (1) the mere unassembled parts constituted a rifle with a barrel under 16 inches in length, and that (2) use of the receiver to assemble a pistol after a rifle had been assembled constituted making a weapon from a rifle with overall length less than 26 inches. The Federal Circuit rejected both arguments. See 924 F.2d at 1043, citing 26 U.S.C. § 5845 (a) (3) and (4). The United States abandoned the latter argument in the Supreme Court, which held generally for Thompson/Center. Accordingly, both issues (1) and (2) were decided in favor of Thompson/Center and are not now open to question.

Thus, the sale, possession, and use of the Contender or Encore pistol and carbine as described above are fully in accord with federal law. The use of these products in all of the States is likewise lawful, except that certain restrictions may apply in California.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 09:56 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Re: Encore Rifle or Handgun....

You may need to do a little more research:

From Bellmtcs.com

Thompson Center says you can freely swap handgun and rifle parts back and forth so long as you do not combine a buttstock and a barrel less than 16" or an overall length with a buttstock under the legal 26" limit.

The BATF says you can't!

Who are you going to believe?

I tend to believe the one carrying the big stick with the arrest powers and suggest you do the same!
Special Thanks to "GonHuntin" for his persistence in bringing these issues to our attention and for supplying his copy of the BATF's responses posted above. Below is a background letter from him:

First off, Mike, I'd like to thank you for the comments you have made regarding my efforts to determine the truth about what is and is not legal to do with the Encore and Contender.

First, a little background info so folks will know where I am coming from. I have been shooting as long as I can remember. I started loading my own shotgun ammo with a Lee Loader when I was about 10 years old. If it goes bang, I enjoy shooting it! I bought my first Contender about 16 years ago and have enjoyed collecting, shooting and hunting with them ever since that time.

Not long after buying my first Contender, I also became interested in Title 2 firearms (commonly known as "class 3 weapons" or NFA weapons). As I researched the laws pertaining to title 2 firearms, specifically the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968, I also learned of the TC Supreme Court case. I read everything I could find about the case. About this same time, I was a member of the old "TC List", an e-mail discussion group centered on the TC Contender. While participating on this list, the topic of converting Contenders between rifle and pistol configuration often came up, one member even publicly reported shooting his 14" 309 JDJ Contender with a buttstock attached! These discussions also were commonplace on the various handgun forums. As I participated in these discussions, I was often attacked for mentioning the laws that prohibit the conversion of rifles into pistols. I was told that the TC court case had somehow exempted the Contender from the law, I was also told that all TCs were legally handguns despite how they left the factory, and I was told that it didn't matter how they left the factory as long as the dealer listed the firearm as a pistol when the paperwork was done. I knew that all these "explanations" were simply not true. I had actully taken the time to read and research the TC court case, and I had actually read the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Years went by and the discussions continued. I was called a liar, stupid and many other things that weren't quite as complimentary. Finally, in 2003, I'd had enough of those people who either didn't want to listen or chose to ignore the facts, so I decided to settle the matter once and for all. I wrote a letter to the BATF Technology Branch in Washington DC. The Technology Branch is the division of the BATF who's job is to determine the legality of firearms. They are the folks you contact when you want an answer to a legal or technical question concerning firearms and they answer the question with reference to the specific laws that apply. If you don't like their answer, the next step is to file a court action.

The response I received from the Technology Branch confirmed what I had said all along (the original letter I wrote and the BATF response are posted on this forum and available for you to read).

1. A firearm that left TC in rifle configuration (equipped with a buttstock) *IS* legally a rifle and is subject to all rules and regulations pertaining to rifles.

2.It is NOT legal to convert a rifle into pistol configuration without first registering it with the BATF as a Title 2 weapon, (short barreled rifle).

3. The legal status of a TC, whether rifle or pistol, is based on the configuration of the firearm when it leaves the factory.

4. The legal status of a frame that left the factory with no other parts (bare frame without stock or grips) is determined by the way it is FIRST assembled. If it is first assembled as a rifle, it will always legally be a rifle, if first assembled as a pistol, it will always legally be a pistol.

5. A dealer cannot change the legal status of a firearm by listing a rifle as a handgun on the form 4473. Listing an Encore rifle as a pistol on the 4473 does not alter the fact that it is and will always legally be a rifle.

6. A person who buys a Contender or Encore that was illegally converted from a rifle to a pistol can be prosecuted for possession of an unregistered Title 2 weapon.....*EVEN IF THAT PERSON DID NOT KNOW THE WEAPON WAS ILLEGALLY CONVERTED*!!! (a call to TC with the serial number of the frame will determine whether it is legally a rifle or pistol)

When presented with irrefutable facts, antagonists then often ask me how many people have been prosecuted for illegally converting a Contender or Encore or how likely is it that a person would ever get caught. My response to those questions are, "I don't know".......and that is not really the point....is it? I'm not interested in discussing the moral issue of breaking the law or the risks of getting caught, I'm interested in getting the facts out to those who are potentially at risk of committing a federal felony due to ignorance of the law. The fact is, people commit serious crimes everyday and get away with it, however, most of those people know the risks of their action but many TC owners don't!

In the unlikely event you get caught and are prosecuted, the penalty for possession of an unregistered Title 2 weapon is up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Even if you aren't convicted, it would cost a small fortune to defend yourself in court.

Bottom line.......even if the chance of getting caught is remote, is it worth the risk when you can buy a $250 pistol frame and not worry about i
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