Advice on T/C encore/contender.
I am thinking about getting a T/C Encore Pro Hunter or Contender G2. I think I would like to get a 30/30AI for my first barrel. I am planning to learn to reload with this rifle/cartridge and am trying to squeeze a little extra performance out of the round. The improved version of the round adds a little extra case capacity, I plan to get a slightly longer (26") barrel which will add a little more burn time behind the bullet, and I will be loading spitzers, for better energy retention at range. I am well aware that I am not going to hit 308 performance, but will have some fun seeing what I am able to do with it. Most of my shooting will be at paper, but I would like to take it hunting, definitely whitetail, maybe a wild pig hunting trip. I have a Leupold 2-7x scope that I plan to put on the rifle.
I have two questions and would appreciate any input you may have:
1. Encore or Contender? I originally figured, just go with an Encore, then you can put anything on the frame, if you want to, like maybe a 270 down the line. But there is something to be said for a lighter package in a Contender. I also have read that the Contenders have nicer triggers. Is this something only a very experience shooter that can really appreciate a trigger would notice, and are they still noticeably different after having trigger work done on them? If the Contender has FAR better trigger, then I might consider it, but if they are pretty close, maybe still the Encore for more barrel options.
2. When I am configuring a 30-30AI barrel on the Match Grade Machine website, it lists the 1-12 twist rate as being for 115-168 grain bullets, and 1-10 being for 175-210 grain. Now I know 30-30s are out there with both twist rates, and people are using all kinds of bullets in both with out ever being bothered by such nonsense as twist rates. But if I am getting a custom AI barrel and have the option, it seems like a question to consider. It seems to me like I probably would be doing a lot more loading with 150, 160, and 165 grain spitzers and seeing how fast I can push them safely and accurately, and I think there would be enough velocity to get good expansion at reasonable ranges with these weights of bullets. Would 170-180 grain spitzers really be an option? Would they gain enough velocity from a 30-30 to have good expansion? Based on my very limited knowledge, it seems like a 1-12 twist might be better for my application, but I would appreciate any input you may have.
If the founders gave us the right to bear arms so we can hunt, why didn't they also give us the right to bear water buckets, so we can drink?