Thompson Center arms Encore.......


Mar 6, 2002
Central Minnesota
I bought an Encore 209X50 this year for muzzleloading deer here in MN. Now I am looking on buying a centerfire barrel for it to do some longe range hunting and target shooting. I am looking at a .300 Win. Mag. with a 26" barrel that I will have a muzzle brake put on. Question is- I have heard that because they are mass produced, TC Arms barrels lack accuracy as compared to Aftermarket companies' barrels (Shilen, etc.). Anybody know if this holds true? Anybody ever do any long range shooting with an Encore? I love the gun and like the fact that I can buy about any caliber barrel for it. Any help would be appreciated!!


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2007
Wilmington NC
Savage Shooter

You will find that the TC Custom shop heavy barrels from Fox Ridge outfitters are extremely accurate and cost under $250. I have the 209x50, 22-250, 12 gauge slug, and 7mm Rem Mag. My 7mm will go under 3/4" with the first load I worked up for it. My 22-250 is about 5/8", same thing first load. As I never shoot them past 500, I never went any further with either, but I have seen plenty that with work will go .5 MOA. Mine is primarily used as a "suitcase travel gun" and does not get heavy use each year in the 7mm mag in particular.

Bullberry and virgin valley both make custom match grade barrels in SS for around $300-325 I think.

Good Luck



Feb 21, 2003
I am no expert by any means, but I have been pretty satisfied with my Encore. I shoot the 270 Winchester cartridge in the 15" pistol with a 4x scope. I have shot mainly factory ammo and Varmint type reloads. My one major complaint is the trigger (little heavy for my taste).

With the factory Federl 150 gr ammo I could get about an inch and a half to 2 inches at 100 yards (five shot groups) fairly regularly.

Right now, I am shooting a Speer 100 gr. Hollow point and getting right around 1 inch with five shot groups.

This is the first batch of ammo I have reloaded so I haven't tried any variations on bullet seating or powder charge, which should only improve things.

One thing I have noticed (and this may only apply to the handguns, and my abilities) is that depending on how well you control the recoil, you get some vertical stringing. I am not interested in using a muzzle break, and would just rather learn to deal with it.

Overall, I think that the barrel is pretty good, however, if I were looking to use it for long range/accuracy work, I would invest in an aftermarket barrel. But for me, and the ranges I shoot with the pistol, mine is plenty accurate.


Ian M

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001
Sask. Canada
I was told by a very senior manager at T/C that they do not support or agree with the mounting of any after-market barrel on the Encore. He mentioned some pretty nasty incidents that happened fairly recently, people got hurt when the lug failed, naturally T/C takes it on the chin when that happens, even tho they have no control over what aftermarket builders might put together.
I have shot a custom shop bull barrel out to 700 yards with very nice deer killing accuracy. That same barrel has also shot a few sub 0.5" groups for five shots at 100.
Bottom line is that you need to put a really good scope on the rifle to extract the most accuracy out of it, most Encores get a hunting type 3-9 on them.
I have also seen some Encore muzzleloader barrels that would consistently shoot three shots into 1 inch at 100 yards. Watch for a new T/C long range muzzleloader jacketed bullet soon to come out. We shot it out to 250 yds with lethal sized groups, excellent penetration and expansion on a Texas wild hog. Bullet has a pointed plastic tip, weighs 250gr. and is very accurate.


Well-Known Member
May 10, 2009
I am also an Encore fan, and a long range shooter. I am currently looking into making my 7mm Rem Mag barrel into a long range shooter. I am going to have the trigger pull lightened to roughly 2 1/2 pounds, the factory pull is too much for long range shooting. I am going to attemp keeping the factory barrel, I don't advise jumping straight to the custom route. Sometimes the factory barrel can be quite nice when broke in properly, but i am looking into free floating or pillar bedding. I would recommend a higher powered scope. I plan on using something in the 5-20 range. To feed this beast I plan on loading 168 gr Berger VLD's. It's going to take a few months to complete this project but I will keep ya'll informed.


Well-Known Member
May 27, 2006
I've been shooting T/C guns for years mainly as handguns for silhouette competition. I would recommend looking into MGM Match Grade Machine formally Virgin Valley Guns barrels as far as a quality product and a faster turn around time then others. Bullberry, OTT and McGowen ( although Mc Gowen doesn't install the lug themselves yet) are all going to give you something you will be very happy with.
What I"ve found is that the factory barrels can be more picky as far as what powder and bullets shoot well in them as custom barrels need less testing to get a good load.
If you want convince yourself you want a custom barrel go to Mike Bellm's site Bellm TCs, Inc. - Accuracy Trouble Shooting he really dislikes factory barrels and has some stories to tell.
I've had very good luck with all the factory barrels. The T/C Custom shop does an outstanding bluing job, they almost look more like a polished silver.
You may want to check with Ed's Contenders and see if he has something on hand if you want a factory barrel, nice guy to do business with.


New Member
Feb 17, 2012
I know this thread is a bit old, but still wondered if anyone has had this issue:

This is a T/C Prohunter barrel 28" Stainless in 7mm Rem Mag. I was really anticipating the barrel's arrival (took over 2 months). I cleaned it, and checked it w/ a bore scope and this is what I found. The tool marks in the barrel are horrible. Anyone else had this problem? The barrel was shipped back to TC today, but I'm afraid the next one they send will be the same way.


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