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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going on a hunt in Iowa this weekend. I drew a Muzzleloader tag and have a friends 50 cal TC Encore that I am taking with me. I have never hunted with a Muzzleloader or shot one for that matter....I can already see the look of disgust on some of your faces after reading that...

I understand the general principal behind the gun but would like some knowledge before going into the field with it. What is the best bullet and powder mixture I should shoot and where can I find ballistics info on the gun. Someone suggested that I try 3 of the 50 grain powder cylinders in the gun for the hunt becasue I may be shooting lontger distances.

Any and all info would be greatly appreciated and I will post some pictures of the hunt when I get back.
 

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First thing I would do is ask the friend what load he worked up for the rifle. He should be able to tell you what he discovered shoots the best out of his Encore. If you are totally in the dark, your going to need some range time as well. For someone to say, load this and it will shoot good... well they might get lucky, but normally you have to learn the rifle.

If you have no clue as to what to shoot and your shots are going to be long... get some Pyrodex RS pellets. Also get some 250 grain Shockwaves (black sabots). They do not have to be the bonded, although not knowing the bore on that rifle, you might want to pick up a pack of the EZ glide Shockwaves (yellow sabots) as well.

After you prepare the rifle for shooting... swabbing all the oil out of the bore with a patch and some isopropyl alcohol on it. Then popping off a couple primers... start with two of the Pyrodex pellets and then a shockwave. See how that shoots at say 50 yards. swab the bore between shots with a damp patch and then two dry patches. If the 100 grains shoots good (and it might) try three pellets (hold on to your hat) and see how they shoot.

Another projectile that should shoot well out of that rifle is a 250 Barnes Expander and two or three pellets. Sounds like your work is cut out for you. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks very much. The bullets I currently have are 300 grain. I am assuming it would make sense to switch to a 250 grain for longer distances and a flatter trajectory? Which has the better grouping or does it matter?
 

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If your friend was shooting the 300 grain bullets and that's where you got them, just follow up with him and find out how many pellets he was using, or how many grains of powder, if he wasn't using pellets. The difference in trajectory between those two isn't going to matter a great deal so just focus on figuring out which one will shoot a good group and then sight in about 2" high, at 100 yards. While hunting, if you can restrict yourself to 150 yards or less, that would be ideal, since you won't have time to figure out how this gun will shoot, at longer ranges.

Congrats on getting the Iowa ML tag...be sure to report back with your results! :)
 

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The 300 grain will work just fine. A little more drop to it, but the rifle is sighted in with them, and they have more energy down range. I would just stick with what was working... like already said.
 

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Are you talking about 50 grain powder pellets? If you are, I would go no more than two 50 grain pellets. Many people over load their smoke poles which only punish both the shooter and the rifle. After a certain point one loses effective accuracy with too heavy a charge. We are talking hunting deer, not elephants!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I shot a bit last night and went with 2 of the 50 grain pellet loads and a 250 grain bullet. My accuracy seems decent at about a 3" group or less at 100 yards. I am going to try to get it to a 2" group before I leave this weekend. I shot at an indoor range and it's a bit tough to concentrate when you have several magnum firearms going off right beside you in closed quarters....but the wind was non existent.

Little different than a rifle. I'm learning as I go but seem to be on the right track. I won't make the mistake of not cleaning between shots again...

I appreciate everyopne's input and it has been very helpful. I may have a few more questions before heading North. Be looking for some pictures of a big buck next week...or tag soup.
 

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FYI - There is absolutely no reason not to use 3 of the 50gr pellets, if you so choose. The T/C Encore action is capable of handling that amount of pressure with no concerns whatsoever...except the recoil, of course! ;)

If you like the groups you're getting with 2 pellets and you're going to stick to ~125 or less, then no need to load it any hotter.
 

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FYI - There is absolutely no reason not to use 3 of the 50gr pellets, if you so choose. The T/C Encore action is capable of handling that amount of pressure with no concerns whatsoever...except the recoil, of course! ;)

If you like the groups you're getting with 2 pellets and you're going to stick to ~125 or less, then no need to load it any hotter.
I agree about the rifle being able to handle heavy charges, most modern steel barrels can do so easily, but I go for accuracy first over loads that can dislocate your shoulder. I have experimented with heavy loads in my .58 caliber percussion using up to 170 gr of FFg and a Minie ball. I found that accuracy suffered greatly and what was the point of knocking my eyeballs out of their sockets if I could not hit what I was aiming at. When I use this rifle, I load it with 105 gr FFg or 80 gr FFFg. When I load my .62 flintlock I use 115 gr FFg or 85 gr FFFg. More than enough to bring down a deer. I have never ever seen the advantage of using he-man loads.

Note that I only use real black powder and know nothing about black powder substitutes.
 

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In all defense of the Encore, all the "TV Hunters" that use them always seem to use three pellets and a 250 grain Shockwave. Although I heard Jim Shockey uses a Nosler. So the Encore can do it, but I agree... what ever is most accurate.

Hope to see buck pictures rather then tag soup. Good luck to you.
 
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