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I am looking at buying a new rifle and have been admiring thr TC Encore's. Thinking of getting either a 220 Swift or 204 Ruger for groundhogs and coyotes. Anyone have any other suggestions, good or bad experiences with TC rifles?

I like the Encore's mainly because I can basically get a new barrel for a few hundred bucks instead of buying a whole new rifle.

Also how much approx. would it cost to get equipment to load my own ammo for the 220 or 204? What exactly would i need besides brass, bullets, anmd powder? Money is somewhat of an issue but I don't want to buy cheap equip either. Thanks very much in advance
 

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Encore

Have a Swift now in a bolt action Savage and burned the barrel out of a Ruger Swift PDing, a big fan of a 204 Savage and have had several Encore varmint caliber barrels in 222, 17 Rem 22-250, 6 mm BR. The Encore has lost it's luster for me though, I tired of the break open action and they don't rest on a rifle rest or shooting sticks like a heavy barreled bolt action for me. The cost of reloading, the 204 brass is half the price of the 220 Swift brass. The Swift will burn 50 percent more powder than the 204, both will send bullets down range at the same speed but the 204 bullet is lighter. I like the Swift but don't shoot is as much as a 204 on PD's as it gets hot fast. My new addiction is Savage or Stevens rifles and the barrel switching they make so easy.
 

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strictly economics

If you plan on high volume shooting; go with the .204. It is cheaper and wont heat up quite so fast. My dad's Savage can put 20 shots inside 3/4 inch at 135 yards. It sure blows up nice. The Swift shoots as well or better, but it is egg frying hot in just a few rounds. Takes quite a while to cool in the heat of summer. Just something to consider. Hope this helps.
 

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A note on cooling a hot barrel when you are in the heat of battle. I rotate rifles and if you set the hot barrel in the shade barrel pointed up, the heat from the barrel causes a "Chimney Effect" and the rising hot air in the barrel pulls cold air in from the bottom, cooling the barrel down about 3 time faster than if you just lay the rifle down somewhere to cool. Godsdog.
 

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I guess that would depend on the range...

The 204 w/ the 40 gn blts is the balistic twin of my 220 Swift shooting 55 V-max out to 500 yards+. Energy wise, the Swift has a proportanal edge, but either would be tough on GHs or yotes! Where the Swift stands out is when shooting the 60s at around 3900 over N560. Can we say ENERGY?

For prolonged shooting, I can only guess the 204 would be better. I have had several 220s and they are reserved for those few looooong shots or windy days, as the bbl does heat up "pdq"!

Reloading...Now THERE is an interesting topic...

As for equipment, RCBS (and others) have starter kits which provides all the essentials you would need to get started, and for about $200 you can be all set. (I would definately check out ebay for some real bargains on reloading stuff!!)

But before touching any equipment, I would highly recommend picking up several (at least 3) different loading manuals - even older ones have excellent info in them (new loading manuals are printed primarily to also include data for new bullets and calibers - all the info on loading is in there. And, Sinclair sells a precision reloading guide that is excellent.)

My favorite loading manual, from the standpoint of technical info, are the Sierra manuals. I also like the Nosler and the Hornandy manuals, and the Vihtavori manual does an excellent job on powder burn rates of any manual I've seen so far. Each will have the essential information in them. but each covers the info from independant writers - coming at the same topic from different angles richens the understanding.

As far as dies go, it all depends on budget and what you are trying to accomplish with the equipment. For example:

Most of us (myself included) got into it on a limited budget - eager to shoot, but couldn't afford the cost of factory ammo. Modest dies and equipment can make a huge difference in the cost of shooting, especially if you buy you components in bulk. And, when handloading a person can find exactly what an individual rifle prefers. So, not only is it cheaper, but many times you can exceed accuracy you might have been getting with factory ammo...Not always, but most of the time.

Shoot enough, or buy a heavy barreled varminter, and precision shooting will soon come into view. That is where handloading really come into its own. Not only is it a "given" that top accuracy comes from careful handloading, but from the selection, sorting and preparation of the various components, in all regards.

The accuracy axiom is: "Eliminate the variables!!"

To do that, precision shooters (making up most of the varminters (if not all) that I know) look to special dies and preparations: Again, Sinclair's book on precision handloading is an exellent place to start. AND, if I may add, after reading the Sinclair book, Glenn Newick's book, "The Ultimate in Rifle Accuracy" (ISBN 0-88317-159-7) really takes away much of the mystery of percision loading and equipment to buy.

Knowing what I do now, and for varminting and both formal and informal competitions, I wouldn't mess with the standard dies and would have moved directly to the Redding bushing dies and Wilson in-line seaters and saved me a lot of money on so-so ammo and replacing so-so dies.

Well, this is enough for now, I guess. I've been handloading for 41 years, have $1000s tied up in equipment, and I'm still adding to my "stuff" and still learning. Handloading becomes a sub hobby to shooting and is very rewarding in it's own right. You'll find out soon enough. (I only wish this board was around when I started. I could have saved a LOT of money and time!!)

Good luck!

P.
 

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Like the others said, the .204 is cheaper and shoots cooler. I've never owned a swift, but the more I shoot my .204, the more impresssed I am. Can't wait till June and turn it loose on those pd's.
 

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Both are good, you need both....
 

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Shooting The Encore

I am in the process of writing an article on the Encore and will be testing two barrels; a Tactical 20 and a 6.5x47 Lapua. I had a load specialist develop loads for the Tac 20 and his 3-shot group sizes were less than 1/4". When I shot the rifle (using his loads) my 5-shot group sizes were around an inch... a friend tried the Encore and shot a 2" group. Bottom line is that you have to learn how to shoot a break-open rifle, and it's not as simple as it sounds. I am having a special flat forearm made to help me keep the rifle the same from shot to shot. Another concern with the Encore is that you either have a scope for each barrel, or go through the process of swapping scopes and re-sighting. I am going to try the Warne Quick Detach rings with only one scope, and switching. Don't know how it will work as I only have one barrel at this point.

I guess my major point is that, to get the best accuracy from a break-open rifle, you must have the rifle positioned EXACTLY the same in the bags from shot to shot... and that's hard to do.

Glenn
 

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For your application go with the swift

For coyotes and chucks I would quickly opt for the swift over the 204. I have shot many chucks with a 204 and hundereds with a 220 swift. Without question the swift outshoots the 204 on chucks when the range exceeds 250 yards. I realize on paper it should not but in the field it most definately does. You could ask DAA about his opinion on this too.

I think the swift makes for a much better coyote rifle also.

You did not mention high volume pdog or squr'l shooting so in my mind it would be a very easy choice.

Mike.
 

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Before you spend money on TC you should visit bellmtcs.com and read up on the problems he fixes. I don't doubt his judgement, but know many, many shooters ("shoots good, goes bang") who wouldn't spend the money. Your bucks, your call.

Swift by all accounts (starting in approx. 1935) is overbore and hard on barrels and... but it is fun. Really reaches. Now if there is wind, the heavier bullets in .243 etc. will take over... But for the occassional shot at yote of 'hog... Decent barrel life and "long reach" and classic name. .204 is the "new kid" on the block. Similar preformance. No better wind resistance. How far you plan to reach? How much wind?

As said, get many used manuals. One brand will "say things" more to your ease of understanding. Then buy a new one for the new data. Many powders have disappeared over the years, regrettably.

Lee is a cheap way to start. Like buying a used car. Gets the job done. Teaches you the basics. THEN if you really want to go "hi class" there are the old, respected brands that do things a tiny bit better, faster... but you will pay for it. With a bolt action, if you are not going to "hot rod" (ha, ha, ha) you could live with a Lee Loader. But for max. preformance, you will want a scale, dies, etc. so you can do max loads. Through Lee from the discounters who advertise here, you could start for about $100.-.

And don't forget, there are dozens of other rifles, calibers that have been doing this work for about a century now... Starting with, maybe, .250 Savage around WW I. Look in the books. It has not been improved on by alot. AND If you get addicted, you will want to explore... ENJOY. luck
 

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You have already received some very good advice. If you go to the 20 caliber then you will need a smaller cleaning rod and powder funnel as well. I have been very happy with my Forster dies for my 204. The Satern powder funnel is top notch. The 204 us just a fun caliber, fast, accurate and mild recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks

Thank you all for your replies. I am still looking and trying to make a decision probably after New Years. Thanks a bunch
 

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For PDs I like the 204. If it will shoot the 40 gr V-max you have an excellent 500 yard PD riffle and they shoot well in the wind. You will also be ale to see some of your hits depending on the weight of the riffle.

I’d go for at least a 26” SS barrel no lighter weight than a rem varmint contour. (The SS seem to be a little bit better for heat in a PD town).



I shoot a customized Rem 700 20 BR, a CZ 204 that has been rechambered to a 20 Habu Shrew (20-221) and a 5mm mag centerfire conversion
in the PD towns along with a dozen (or so) different 17 caliber chamberings so swapping out riffles is no problem for me! (Cleaning when I return home is though LOL)



About the T/C I use a bipod with mine and it does well. This has the 17 Mach IV rimmed barrel on it in the photo. A couple years ago my 12 year old had 9 hits out of 14 in the 280-314 yard range shooting my 17 AH contender with a 10X MD scope in a nice cross wind with the 20 gr V-max in just a matter of minutes….

Good luck, No bad choice just one might be better than the other???
 

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Go with the Encore in .204 . I just won a T/C and got the .204 last week from my hunting club, the Southern Arizona Wildlife Callers. I slammed a Pentex 3x9 40 on it, zeroed it in with Hornady with less than half a box by the way, and I find it out performs either of my .223. The T/C Encore is a dead nuts on the button rifle.
 

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I have a Swift Barrel

I got a T/C Custom Shop 26" medium heavy barrel for the Encore. I really liked it and it sold me on the caliber. I took some reloaders advice on this board and loaded it up with 55 and 60 gr bullets and it really reaches out there. I've made over 400 yard shots with it.

I just received a Remington 700 BDL Varmint 220 Swift to replace it. I'll be putting the Encore Swift up for sale after the first of the year.
 
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