Thinking about handgun hunting...with rifle cartridge

rosewood

Senior Member
I have a pretty good collection of Encores and Contenders with various barrels. I have the .270 15" in the Encore and it is a handful for sure, extremely loud and you need ear pros to hunt with it. I do recommend some lighter bullets in that .308, maybe one of the 125 lite recoil loads?? I really like the 7-30 waters in the Contender but, you don't handload. You might want to go with a 44mag barrel in that Encore frame. That was the first one that I bought and it shoots about 1.25 MOA with the 12" barrel. I tried a 44 mag contender and it was too much recoil, that weight difference makes a difference. The 357 max and or 357 magnum is a real good cartridge in the contender/G2 platform.

Just a note, if you were to buy a 357 max barrel, you can shoot 357 mag and 38 spcl through it. Not necessary to handload.

The Contender was the original TC pistol. It is sized and rated for basically pistol cartridges and lower pressure rifle cartridges. Later, they came out with the Encore which was built to handle rifle cartridges. Then TC came out with the G2 (contender) which looks dang near identical to the Encore to the untrained eye, but it is size and weight of the original Contender. It functions just like the Encore and you can decock it without having to reset the trigger like you have to do with Contender. The G2 and Contender barrels are interchangeable but sometimes require fitting of the locking bolts. The Encore and Contender barrels are NOT interchangeable. The contender has a better trigger than the G2 and I prefer contender at the range and the G2 for woods.

As for using 3 scope rings, I don't think that is necessary on most cartridges and you are probably fine with 2 with the .308. Where I found it necessary was with sharp/heavy recoiling cartridges. I.E. 460 magnum, 454 casull and the like.

Found a seller on ebay that has shoulder holster for the Encore and Contender. The one I use has a single sling that goes across my chest and a flap that covers the grip of the gun.

Not the one I have, but very similar.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/350832889693?epid=1263577596&hash=item51af450f5d:g:PiwAAOSw0HVWFDad

If you were to order a set of Pachmayr grips and foregrip, they have sling swivel studs built in. I prefer just using the holster myself.

Yes, you remove the rear sight to mount a scope base. Remove the elevation screw and flip up the site, (don't lose the spring). Baggies are ideal for storing the site and screws. There are 4 mounting holes on the barrel for the scope base. Several companies make bases from Weaver to Nikon. I prefer the more solid built base over the weavers, they are flat on top instead of having the channel the weavers have. Hard to describe, but there is a noticeable difference in the amount of material. They do tend to cost more.

Rosewood
 
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I dont have a ML handgun. I do have a Remington 700ML and a CVA ML. The best suggestion I have for whatever you decide is to get a good scope. Save if you have to. I have Leupold ML scopes on the ML’s. Deep woods or reaching out now that ML can go a good distance these days the scope is critical imho. Good luck with your decision.
 
Thread starter #44
I got a .44 Mag barrel. I am gonna try it out. I have a couple different optics to try. I will keep you posted. I have not shot the 44 yet... later this week. 5D562472-C90D-4977-B690-96F332550F6F.jpeg
 
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rosewood

Senior Member
I got a .44 Mag barrel. I am gonna try it out. I have a couple different optics to try. I will keep you posted. I have shot the 44 yet... later this week. View attachment 1083238
240 grain with a healthy dose of h110/296 will give u great accuracy.
 

GregoryB.

Senior Member
I need to find some 240gr JSP bullets so I can load up my 44 Mag Contender. Just got a fresh can of H110. I use a small red dot sight on mine.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
Low Leupold rings. With a Burris Scout Scope. Gonna shoot it Monday. I am pretty sure from my summit climber I will like it better than the 308. View attachment 1083619
I suspect you will and the 44 mag will be more than sufficient for handgun hunting ranges. I may shoot from 200-500 yards at the range with the rifle cartridges in the TC, but sure ain't gonna shoot no critter with it.

Rosewood
 
Thread starter #49
I suspect you will and the 44 mag will be more than sufficient for handgun hunting ranges. I may shoot from 200-500 yards at the range with the rifle cartridges in the TC, but sure ain't gonna shoot no critter with it.

Rosewood
Thanks Rosewood. I am not gonna take the Encore in areas where I will have long shots. My club is putting limits to where we can drive motorized vehicles, which means for me - some long hikes, or possibly bike rides. I really want the pistol to easily/safely, carry during dark bike rides or long fast walks into the deep bottoms. I plan on short shots well within 100 yards (Due to terrain and vegetation). That was the motivation to get into pistols. I have a bullberry 10” barrel on order in 30-30, but he could not guarantee a deer season ready, so I found this factory .44 mag barrel to give me an option.

i really want to shoot the Encore a lot in the next few months. I have a lot of .44 mag in my cave, so that is not a problem. I want to get the familiarization over with well before the season.

but who knows, I might really like it and hang my rifles up permanently?
 

rosewood

Senior Member
Thread starter #52
Harry, is there room for your thumb to cock/uncock the hammer with those low rings? With gloves on?
No not really. I have not been wearing gloves... should I be?

I can do it without gloves, but I need to get one of the extension things. I found one specifically made for TC Encore but it was over $30 bucks... does anyone know of a cheaper option that will fit the wide hammer on the encore?

I shot the pistol today and the 44 is much easier to control than the 308 (no surprise there). I did pretty well, the range I was on was only 65 yards. I still need to practice. I am wondering how you guys are shooting the pistol? Are you wearing two gloves? Where is your support hand?
 

rosewood

Senior Member
I think he meant cold weather gloves in winter.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
Hammer extensions sometimes cause misfires. The extra weight may slow down the hammer. May not be an issue, but something to consider. Also, it will likely leave a mark on the hammer if u ever take it off.
 
Thread starter #55
Hammer extensions sometimes cause misfires. The extra weight may slow down the hammer. May not be an issue, but something to consider. Also, it will likely leave a mark on the hammer if u ever take it off.
I really didn’t have a problem cocking it. But I could see a potential problem lowering the hammer in a hunting situation. My thumb does get in the way of the scope when lowering.
 
Thread starter #56
Another issue I noticed was that the trigger is a little heavy for my liking. Does anyone have experience with lightening the trigger#?
 

rosewood

Senior Member
Another issue I noticed was that the trigger is a little heavy for my liking. Does anyone have experience with lightening the trigger#?
There is a kit with instructions made my Mike bellm. Does make a difference. Do a search for encore trigger kit. Installing it can be challenging. If u are good with your hands go for it. If u have 2 left thumbs, might better let gunsmith do it. You have to hold your mouth just right to get everything back in the frame.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
I will try it
looks like just replace the springs?
Yes and some light polishing. Bellm has some pretty good instruction sheets with pictures to help and there is probably a youtube video on it somewhere. Only thing is, if you were to ever send it to TC/S&W for warranty work, they put the factory springs back in, ask me how I know..

Rosewood
 
Thread starter #60
Ok - another thing... after I installed the 44barrel I notice that the forearm was a little loose even after I ensured screws where properly torqued. After 40 rounds of 44mag the forearm is noticeably looser. Do I have the wrong forearm? Is there a difference between a 308 and 44 forearm. My research says they are the same. Am I supposed to us different screws?
 
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