Do you have a good quality base and scope? Sometimes the scope can be a problem. Are the screws tight and did you use some type of thread lock ( locktite ). Where did you rest the barrel when shooting.
What size groups were you shooting? Distance? Power and make of scope? It is best you measure the twist in your barrel - anyone can do it. Most T/C barrels shoot very well - mine shoot less than 1/2" with quality ammunition - don't shoot the junk military.
While I don't have an Encore, I do have a .223 barrel for my Contender. I've shot very little factory ammo through it as I bought it mostly because I wanted something easy to handload for.
Like these folks said, check your scope. Make sure the base is good and tight, make sure the rings are good and secure on the base, and make sure the ring caps are not allowing the scope to slip. Once you're sure the scope is not the culprit, try a little better ammo. The UMC and Winchester white box (i assume this is the Winchester ammo you used) stuff is good brass, usually, but not the best factory ammo as far as accuracy goes.
When you get around to reloading, try H322 and Sierra 55gr. bullets.
I havn't found any factory ammo that would shoot much better than that in either of my 223 contenders. It took me a long time to come up with a load that will shoot good from my 14". My custom shop 20" is not as picky but it still doesn't like some bullets. Winchester especially. If your not going to reload then I wont be any help, but if you are then try 25gr of H335 with a 52gr Speer HPBT or a 50-55gr Sierra blitz king, or a Sierra 55gr spitzer. I have had very good luck with any of these combinations. Also done very well with the Nosler Balistic tips. Hope this helps. KN
V-Hunter I have been getting the same results from my 26" Encore 223 Heavy Barrel. About 2 inches is the best it will do at 100yds. My Van Horn 15" 7 TCU will do under an inch at the same distance. Every thing is tight on the barrel and the scope is a good one. Reloading so far hasn't been much better but in all fairness I have only tried a couple of reloads. T/C barrels are ok but I think most custom barrels have an accuracy advantage.
Ok, so the 45 gr. stuff did reasonably well for a few shots. That tells you that the barrel is capable of accuracy. Some things to try...:
Take 3 or 5 shots (I prefer 5 shot groups, some folks like 3) then let the barrel cool. That's one group. Let the barrel cool for a little while, then shoot another group. Let the barrel cool before shooting another. If the 4th and/or 5th shots are consistently fliers, try letting the barrel cool between shots.
If everything after the first group is all over, clean the bore and shoot a group. If that settles it back down, you may need to clean between groups. If this is the case, get some bore paste and use a little of it for your major cleanings (not in between groups, but after the range session). Bore paste, unlike solvent, actually has some mild abrasives in it. While it's not recommended for regular cleaning, the mild abrasives can smooth out machining spots, tool marks, and small burrs.
If none of this does it, have a compotent gun smith check the crown of the barrel.
This sounds similiar to a problem I just had. Just for kicks, make sure the buttstock is tight on the frame. I fought my 209x50 for two days last weekend until it loosened up enough I found the problem.
My experience with the TC factory barrel has not been good.
I purchased a .223 SS 26" factory barrel for my Encore (stainless, synthetic), and although I have gotten sub MOA groups on occasion, mostly, my groups are greater than 1.5 inches.
Initially, I broke it in by cleaning after each shot for the 1st 10, every 5 shots for 20 rounds. The cleaning products I use are Shooter's Choice, JB Compound and Barne's copper solvent.
I have a 3x9 Leupold Vari-X II scope on it; I have tried both Weaver rings and bases, and the Leupold QR rings and bases. Used lock-tite on base and scope screws.
I have a Bellm 1X oversize hinge pin in it.
Have tried the flat washer trick in a effort to relieve pressure on the barrel caused by the forearm.
I have tried several different handloads using: 52 gr. BTHP match bullets (Sierra and Hornady), 50 gr. V-Max, 40 gr. V-max, 52 gr. A-MAX, and 50 gr. Speer TNT. Powders I've tried include: BL-C(2), IMR 3031, and Accurate 2230.
Have tried factory ammo ranging in quality from S&B to Federal Safari Match grade hpbts.
Did all my shooting at a public range (Rio Salado, east of Phoenix) off of a concrete shooting bench, using a rabbit-ear sandbag under the stock and sandbags under the forearm.
Have never wrote down everything I tried before. This is kind of depressing. Anyway, I plan to box this baby up and send her back to TC and see if there is anything they can do for me.
One thing I havn't seen mentioned yet is , how are you shooting your rifle? Most TCs prefer it if you sand bag them just ahead of the trigger guard. If your varying your rest at different places on the forarm for each shot your gun may print all over the place. Conssistency is the main key to getting good groups especially with a TC. Also I would try another scope if you have one. I have looked at those scopes at the shows and wasn't too impressed. Hope this helps, KN
:idea: :idea: i'll take a guess here and say it's the forearm bedding. you need to float the barrel off the forearm. fold some black electrical tape and stick between the two at the screw points. this should tell you if thats the problem and you can decide if you want to do a more permanent bedding job.
Forget the cheap ammo. Cheap bullets are not uniform enough for anything but plinking. A cheap bullet is not balanced well and goes out the barrel like a tire out of balance on a car. Also, start reloading if you really want good accuracy and affordable quality. Then go from there.
I gotta say your shots flaring like that sounds eerily like the trouble I had with one of my guns. I got a new Remington .243, not T/C I don't have an Encore yet, and put leupold base and rings on there and topped it off with a new scope and it would usually group around 3 shots just great then it would flare one and then fling another and come back and flare again! Needless to say I was getting pretty ticked so I changed base and rings and tried it again, same thing. I thought naw it couldn't be the scope it's new! Well, it was the scope. I changed scopes and that Rem. BDL is a shooter for sure! If you have iron sights on your barrel try shooting it that way and see what she does. You might be surprised. lol If I missed something and you tried this I apologize, it's getting late haha. :shock: Regards,
I have only shot Winchester 50 gr. ballistic silvertips through my encore. It is blued/walnut with a leopould vari-x II 3x9 and the typical cheap weaver aluminum bases and rings. I have only shot at 50 yards and at that distance I can almost always cover my groups up with a dime. I haven't measured them, but I would say they are around 1/4" (unless I blatantly flinch.) I'm not bragging; I'm not a great shot and I don't shoot that much. I let my friend shoot the gun and he got the same results with his first three shot group. The ammo is pricey, and cheaper stuff might shoot as well, but this stuff shoots well out of my gun and I'm sticking with it...Good luck!!!
KN is right on the money in bench technique with the Encores, and Contenders, also that butt has to be nice and tight in the shoulder, as the rifles are so light, the least movement will open up your groups. I use JB Bore polish on all my TC barrels, and have been known to use fine valve grinding compound on the stubborn ones. All my barrels will shoot moa out to 250 yards if I do my part, and one hole groups at 100 yards is not unusual. My 1:12 twist .223 barrels like the 52 grn. boat tail hollow point with IMR4198, my 1:10 .223 barrel likes the heavier bullets best, eespecially the ballistic tips in I believe 65 grains. Ya have to experiment some to get the ultimate accuracy. RR
My 223 barrel really likes the Federal Premium load with the 50gr Speer TNT. It will shoot (when I do my part) 1/2" at a hundred yards and sometimes a little tighter when I am having a good day. My barrel is a 15" Encore.
The more I play with T/C's, and every other rifle/pistol for that matter, the more I am amazed at how much the stock bedding makes a difference. My Contender carbine 209x50 shot 6" groups until I free floated the forend. Groups went around an inch...for 3 shots with a saboted 44 magnum bullet and 100 gr Pyrodex. Yes, this was a custom Bullberry barrel. His forend was just touching the barrel in one area 1/8" long. 2 minutes with sandpaper, sealed the wood back with a bit of superglue, and I was one happy shooter!
My Knight ML shot 9" groups until I rebedded the stock. Shoots under 2" now.
My H&R Sportster 22 shot like crud with the forend...tried it without the forend resting the gun on the receiver bottom...groups cut in half. Need to figure out how to float that forend.
If everything else is confirmed okay absolutely try floating the forend in some way. This board has had several strings on how to do this. You may be amazed. I am convinced that a good portion of the accuracy gains people see in custom barrels is really tied to the free floated forends care of Bullberry, Virgin Valley, etc. Forends alone sure cost less than trading all your barrels in for custom. Yes, I like custom anyway...but...
I have the 24inch sportier 223-barrel on my Encore I did a trigger job and beaded the forearm floating the barrel past the screws. I also had to clean the crown of the barrel up some. I had found a load by luck before doing this that would shoot ¾ inch and how can shoot 3 shoot cloverleaf groups. As every one has posted a lite clean trigger pull the floating the forearm will help a lot but also you may wish to check the crown on the barrel. You can check the crown by running a q-tip around the muzzle just in side the bore of the barrel if some of the cotton comes off the q-tip you have a bur in the crown. Also check to see that all the lands come up to the end of the bore and come smooth at the crown.
I have read multiple sites on the web where guys complained about the 223 caliber for Thompson Center. . . I mean a lot of guys. I never saw it much with the other calibers, but the 223 seems so really be a problem. Most guys went to other manufacturers to get that barrel made. I really liked my Contender and I really like my 209x50. So I too am looking to get another barrel. Just not sure which one and for what purpose I would use it. Good luck.
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