Contender vs encore - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default Contender vs encore

Which is better?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:13 PM
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Location: Michi-Braska
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Blonde, brunette, redhead, Chevy, Dodge, Ford? Make your choices!

Personally I have a pile of contenders and my encores have all left the premises, so I may be biased. I do not shoot many buttkicking rounds in single shots no more and the G1 Contender is my choice. I use bolt actions for them sort of rounds that will not work in the contender nowadays.

Simply put, Contender is the smaller package I prefer for the sensible hunting/plinking rounds I use. I don't care for the G2 baby encore either, but that is just another a personal decision just like the rest.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:36 PM
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I'm with Chuck.
Hold one of each.
You'll put the Encore down.

Think twice, shoot once...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:49 PM
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I went with Encore platform because I wanted an accurate muzzleloader and it made sense to do one that I could change barrels on and get more use out of it. I don't have many barrels for it though, only 204 and 7mm-08 pistol.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 05:54 PM
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Location: Bismarck, ND
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It depends on the individual, and their circumstances.

For instance, do you handload? If the answer is "No", then the Encore opens up many more opportunities compared to the Contender. If the answer is "Yes", then there are many very good wildcat rounds available that work on the Contender platform to help even out the playing field.

Just generally speaking now.

I have and prefer Contenders. But that's my preference. I also handload, and have several wildcat chamberings in Contender barrels.

There's nothing wrong with being a shooter that doesn't handload, or want to get into that. But for a shooter that must purchase their ammo off a store shelf, in "factory chamberings", the Encore offers many more barrel choices then the Contender.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 06:00 PM
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Well I been a Contender nut since 1972, addicted right from the start. God only knows(and he ain't told my wife) how many different barrels been through here, but the number is well into the hundreds. Like a lot of the older Contender fans, just don't care much for the G-2. My first Encore is a four digit serial number starting with the number "1", so it's been here from the start. Two more have eased into the fray somewhere along the way. Almost all my muzzle loading is with the Encore and it is the best out there in my book. Also use it with .243, .260, 30-06, .375 and 45-70 barrels. Hardly ever use the encore as a handgun, however I do have a .260REM short barrel for it. I guess most of my "fun gunning" is with the Contender, but when I seriously need to reach out and touch something the Encore gets the call. So...which is my favorite?...tough question...I think the Contender would win just because of the forever(almost all my adult life) relationship. They look a lot alike, but are two very different firearms and I would hate to be without either one. The pile of deer killed with each would be pretty close, mostly because of the muzzle loaders performance in the last 20 years. Oh well, I've rambled on for too long and haven't said much of anything, guess you just have to try'em on and see for yourself...Sorry!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 06:24 PM
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If you like heavy go Encore if you like a light fast handling go Contender it is what you prefer, ask a doz. owners you will get a doz. different answers. Been there done all of it.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 06:57 PM
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Location: South east CT
Posts: 78

I prefer the Contender, although I have an Encore that i shoot mostly 12 ga.slugs and a few rifle calibers. I have contender barrels in pistol and carbine form. Earlier posts mention using the Encore for muzzleloading. I have a 21" .50 caliber barrel for the Contender that is truly great. EABrown used to make the, and I think they still do. Uses 209 primers like the encore.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
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I bought my first Contender frame 35 years ago and probably have 20 barrels. Since I shoot metallic silhouette and it’s great for it. Trigger can be tuned done to under 1 lb. Bought my first Encore frame 10 years ago because I wanted a 6 BR barrel which the contender frame won’t handle. Went off the deep end buying big boomers from SSK like 35-06 & 375-06 JDJ. Son and I use Encore’s with 209x50’s for Ohio muzzle loader season.
Each frame has its place just depends on your needs
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Most of this has been covered above, but here goes. The Contender is much lighter and handier while the Encore is much stronger and in my opinion is clunky. I have shot several Encores but never bought one. My interest is in medium pressure cartridges that are suitable to the Contender frame. The original Contender has a better trigger than the G2, while the G2 is stronger and does not have to have the action to open to recheck after the hammer is let down without firing. The original can be dry fired without cocking the hammer. I have two original Contenders and one G2. I really like both. I think the G2 is better for a kid due to thinned to recheck the original. The G2 is also considerably stronger than the original. It is now like a mini Encore.
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