Trouble with first shot accuracy with T/C Prohunter 50 cal.

Discussion in 'Muzzleloader Hunting' started by 17Tactical, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. 17Tactical

    17Tactical Well-Known Member

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    I bought a new T/C Endeavor Prohunter Encore a couple months ago and I am having trouble with the first shot not grouping with the other shots. I started out with Pyrodex; started at 100gr and worked up to 120gr with average groups at 100 yards. This was with cleaning after every shot.
    The velecoity and accuracy were not where I wanted it to be so I read about BlackHorn 209. I bought their brand of Montana Xreteme cleaning solvent too. I read where it is not necessary to clean after every shot so, I decided to shot 5 shot groups.
    The Problem: I can clean the barrel with the solvent. After making sure the bore is completely dry. The first shot does not hit in the same spot twice. It is usually 2" to 3" high or low, left or right. The remaining shots will group in a 1" circle dead center at 100 yards. So, I decided that I just needed to shot it with a fouled barrel. Well, I tried that too. I put 3 shots through it and waited a couple of days. I wanted to test it with a fouled barrel. I decided to shoot a 3 shot group with the barrel fouled. The first shot was 3" low and to the right. The remaining two shots hit the center of the target at 100 yards.
    Does anybody have any advise about what I can try. I really like the idea of the Blackhorn 209 powder but I may need to go a different route.
     
  2. meatyrem

    meatyrem Well-Known Member

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    What bullets are you using? Are you seating the bullets the same every time? Since you say the first one is either high or low, left or right, then make sure every screw on the scope and bases are tight,( you didn't mention if you are using a scope, i'm just assuming ). How quick after your first shot are you shooting the rest of them? My first thought your shooting the first bullet out a clean bore and the rest are going out a fouled barrel but you also stated it does the same thing for the first round out of a fouled barrel too. I have heard that some guys are reloading quick enough that they are getting their barrels warm, (with blackhorn 209 ). It may be a possibility that although your first shot is from a cold barrel that IF your loading relatively fast the rest of your shots could be coming out a warm or hot barrel. That is just what i am thinking could be some possibilities. Meatyrem.
     

  3. 17Tactical

    17Tactical Well-Known Member

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    [Meatyrem; Thanks for the information. To answer some of your questions. I have tried PowerBelt 290gr BT, 305 BT and Hornaday 300gr and 350br FPB bullets with the same results. I have a Zeiss Conquest 4-12 scope of the encore prohunter. When I started using Blackhorn 209 I began with 100gr and worked up to 120gr. I have checked the mounts and they are tight. I also realized that the barrel could heat up so I tried letting cool; I tried cleaning between each shot; both with the same results. If I cleaned the barrel between shots I got a 6" average group at 100 yards. When I let the barrel cool (approx. 5 min. between shots) I still got the 6" group.
    The 3 shot groups get tighter when I do not clean between shots and I reload without delay. Barrel will get warm to the touch and I alway stop before the barrel heats up too much. This is confusing because I have shot centerfire rifles, flintlock and cap muzzleloaders for years. This is the first time I have tried a inline.
     
  4. meatyrem

    meatyrem Well-Known Member

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    That's a tough one. I started on blackhorn last year, I was using the 200gr shockwaves, win 209 primers and began at 100gr of powder. I was right about at 1 1/2 inches, then I moved up to 120gr and my group shrunk right down to 1/2 inch groups consistantly. Then the sabots changed and my groups opened up to about 2 1/2 inches. That was in my TC prohunter. That being said I know what they are capable of. But another thing that may be needed to try is switching bullets. How do those powerbelts and those hornady's load in the bore; do they have a snug fit or do they load easy? I know that the tighter the fit ( bullet and sabot combo ) the better my accuracy was for my rifle. Other than that I'm still stumped. I'm sure the other members will start to give some possible solutions.

    Meatyrem
     
  5. meatyrem

    meatyrem Well-Known Member

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    I'm having to lean towards the bullets being the culprit if you had the same thing happen while using two different powders.
     
  6. 17Tactical

    17Tactical Well-Known Member

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    I thought the powerbelts might me the problem because they did not fit tight in the bore. I am used to loading a 54 flintlock with patched round ball so I am familiar with the effort required to push the ball down the barrel. Those easy loading powerbelts just didn't seem right. So, I tried the Hornaday 300gr and 350br FPB bullets. The hornadays fit tighter in the bore but not as tight as a patched round ball. My line of thinking with the hornaday is they are designed like the old minie ball with the cupped base. I was hoping they would flare at the base enough to snug up into the rifling better.

    My goal with the T/C Prohunter is to get a load so I can hunt elk and deer and Colorado so I have stayed away from the sabots. Thats why I have tried the power belts and hornadays FPB bullets.

    I think you are right about the problem being the bullets. It appears I need to try another type. Do you know of another manufacturer of a bullet that is not a sabot?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. meatyrem

    meatyrem Well-Known Member

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    I'm not aware of another type of bullet out there that doesn't use sabots, other than the good o'l pure lead conicals ( tc maxi hunter-maxi ball ). I like you have problem with bullets, I just need to find the right ones and get out and shoot them. Tc changed sabots and the new ones don't fit nearly as tight as the old ones and therefore my groups opened wide. Other than that I'm really pleased with my set up and very pleased with blackhorn. For elk and deer both, I would use the 300gr shockwave or maybe the bonded version. Those can be pushed to 2000+ and would be very effective. But if you want to stay away from sabots the only ones I know of anymore is the Thompson center conicals. Good luck
     
  8. 17Tactical

    17Tactical Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input it has motivated me to get out and try something else. I am going to try the hornadays with 777 powder to see if I have the same issue. I understand. Everytime I get something to work the manufacturers change it or discontinue it. Good Shooting.
     
  9. mrbb

    mrbb Well-Known Member

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    I have a Tc encore, not the pro hunter, just a 26 inch bbl, it has been a nightmare, it shot like crap, been back to Tc 7 times, and they just keep rebarreling it, I now have had 8 different barrels, shot every powder , charge sizes, and bullets that are out there. had it to several private custom gun builders, and it is still tempermental.

    The best thing I found was blackhorn 209 powder, and hornady headss/sabots, in cold weather it will group an inch, in warm temps?? any thing is possible, 1 inch to 12 inch groups with flyers at when ever it wants, no matter the loads!

    some says I love this gun, and others I want to throw it way!

    I have little to no faith in it, I don't hunt with it unless shots are less than 50 yards due to how unknowing it is

    I am not alone, I know of several guys that have these issues with there Tc products( also know guys that never have an issue)

    Last time my gun was at TC factory, I spoke with the man Greg Ritz, and I tiold him, I don'ty care how long they keep it, just don't send it back till it shoots good!

    I got a target sent back with it of a 3 inch group at 50 yards

    3'' at 50 yards, and was told thats GOOD! as its a muzzleloader!!
    I called them back and told them that SUCKS, and they didn't care
    they sent me a new barrel, and told me to keep the old one!
    I sold the barrel,
    don't have the nerve to sell the gun to anyone, don't screw people like that!
    it is a gun I have, and thats about it!

    do like 209 blackhorn powder though!!

    will never buy a Tc product again
     
  10. 17Tactical

    17Tactical Well-Known Member

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    I hate to heard that you have had so much trouble with your encore muzzleloader, but I am not supprised. T/C has ready done a great job of marketing their products which are not the best. For the price T/C charges for the encores a 3" group at 50 yards is ridiculous. I am going to try the 777 powder with the powerbelts and hornady FPB's, but I don't think that it will do much better the others. If this does work I am getting rid of my prohunter and search for a better muzzleloader.
     
  11. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

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    17Tactical, may I ask why you don't want to use sabots? Just a curious question. I shoot an Remington 700ML in a .45 cal. Started out using the Powerbelts and didn't like them. Didn't know if they were being pushed down the barrel and seated straight. Also shooting them with 777 pellets. Switched to the Hornady SST. Did better but not what I was looking for. I know I was shooting at deer with these bullets but could not find any blood. So made a major switch and went to using Barnes Expanded MZ hollow point and switched to 777 granular powder. Glad I did. Started getting 1.5 groups at 100 yards.

    Switching to granular powder I noticed that there is no misfires and hangfires. But may try Buckhorn 209.

    Also, when at the range I clean between every shot and always go to the woods with a clean barrel.

    I hope you can get your TC figured out.

    Jason
     
  12. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

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    Sorry fellows!! It's Blackhorn 209.

    Jason
     
  13. mrbb

    mrbb Well-Known Member

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    I have my encore from back in 2000, and some days it will group onder an inch, and some days 12 inches
    so unpredictable
    I bought the gun because it had such high reviews, and how well i seen them shoot.
    I ws at the 2001 shot show( was a dealer) and talked to some inside guys that told me Tc had a bad batch of barrels, and if you didn't complian theye didn't fix your gun, I sent mine back and got 8 of them bad barrels, and the icing on the cake was them sending me that target with that 3 inch group at 50yrds and telling me that is what they call good!!
    I don't think anyone on this site would ever sau a 3inch group is good no matter the weapon! never mind there at the time top inline gun!

    bought a cheap CVA and it holds 1.5 inch groups all day , still love that 209 powder in that as well!! no smell no smoke, groups well, and hits hard ! Mt tc is just a gun I own!! not one I hunt with!
     
  14. 17Tactical

    17Tactical Well-Known Member

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    Jason,
    The reason I have not gone to sabots is my goal with this muzzleloader is to get a rig that I can hunt elk with in Colorado. Colorado does not allow the use of sabots. Here in Georgia we only have one week of muzzleloader season, but can use muzzleloaders during the remainder of the gun season. I normally use with my flintlock while deer hunting here at home. I bought the T/C encore because I thought it was the best muzzleloader for the rough hunting I plan to do in Colorado, but I have not been able to get good groups out of it yet.
    Brent
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011