The Encore platform rifles all have one thing in common when it comes to accuracy or the lack thereof. Without question it is the hinge pin as mentioned by others. I've owned Encores since I could get my hands on one and just about every rifle that I've seen or owned, needed a replacement hinge pin. Its not uncommon to replace the standard hinge pin with a 1X and improve a 3" group to a 1" group.
In most cases, a 1X hinge pin will be sufficient. However, some rifles may need a 2x or, even a 3x. You should NEVER be able to move a hinge pin by hand. Hinge pins need to be tight, which tightens up the barrel to the frame and prevents movement. If you just tap your hinge pin and it comes out, you need a larger pin. Your pin should require force to install it. I'm not talking a 2# hammer but, it should require multipal taps and be tight. I DO NOT recommend the adjustable pins. I also recommend that the pin be lubed with anti-seize, which will keep it from seizing in the event of prolonged storage. My current Pro Hunter required a 2X hinge pin right out of the box.
The locking bolt can be another contributing factor to tightening up groups. I always recommend that the stock spring for the locking bolt be replaced with a heavy duty spring. In RARE cases, the locking bolt itself may require some attention. This is mostly noticed with centerfire shooters but, it can affect long range muzzleloader shooting. This issue has to do with spacing of no more than .0025" top and bottom of the bolt. It can be happen with any break open rifle. I spent days discussing this issue with senior engineers, matheamaticians, ballistics experts and the most knowledgable people in North America with Encore platform rifles, Bellmtc.
If the barrel moves just short of .002" at ignition and before the bullet leaves the barrel, it will make a 6" difference in POI at 200yds. In other words, the bullet will appear to shoot flatter than a ballistics software program indicates it can.
Encore platform rifles also appear to need at least one round fired to foul the barrel, then it will group. Its been my expierence with my rifles and those that shoot with me on my range. My current Pro Hunter will shoot the first shot out of a clean barrel, 3" high and 1.5" right EVERY TIME. However, every shot after continues to group perfectly, 1/4" @ 100, 3/4" at 150 and 2+" at 200yds. I never hunt without swabbing out the CLEAN barrel, firing two primers, then two full loads discharged before my hunting load goes into the barrel.
You DO NOT have to invest a lot of money in extras to make a great shooting rifle into an outstanding shooting rifle. If you have good mechanical ability, can follow directions and work with small parts, you can completely improve and customize your Encore or Pro Hunter for approximately $35
. This includes changing the trigger pull and eliminating any creep.
For about $35 my Pro Hunter has:
- replaced the stock hinge pin with a 2X
- replaced the stock locking bolt spring with a HD spring
- replaced the stock firing pin spring with a HD spring
- replaced the stock hammer spring with either the 44# or 51# (hunting/target)
- replaced the trigger spring with a 2# spring (actual 1.7#)
- honed and polished the sear
- installed a trigger over travel screw
All these parts, including FREE downloadable directions can be purchased from Bellmtc. If you own an Encore or Pro Hunter, I strongly recommend that you visit Mike's site and read each page
. Mike is without a doubt the most knowledgable man in North America when it comes to the Encore platform rifles. Mike Bellm TCs - Other Shops Supporting TCs & Trigger Work
I shoot 75grs by weight (107.1V) of BH209, CCI209M primers and Barnes 250gr. TMZ bullets. Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x50 scope.