Loads for a Thompson Center Encore Pro hunter

KeithBarkerHuntingFishingKeithBarkerHuntingFishing Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
I just bought a new Encore 209 / 50 Pro Hunter and retired my Lancaster pattern flintlock. I'm wondering if anyone has worked up a particularily accurate load for the Pro Hunter? I used to compete in the N-SSA with Civil War Muskets. I have several that will shoot one hole groups if the operator can see the sights. I retired from competition when my eyes could no longer see the sights well enough.

I plan to put a scope on the Pro Hunter to compensate for my aging eyes. I am sure the gun is capable of one hole groups if fed the proper diet. I'm just hoping to shorten the learning curve. Thanks in advance for your help.


  • wallypedalwallypedal Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm just working up load for myself, so am hesitant to give load advice. Part of what I have learned is there is plenty of web advice from others to be found, and that means some of it is not well founded. A couple things - not all .50 caliber barrels from all manufacturers have the same dimensions. The main sabot maker, MMP, has sabots for 'tight' barrels vs. loose, etc. Everyone says to wet patch/dry patch after each shot when working up loads and shooting for accuracy. A good measure of a tight sabot combo is how difficult is it to load and ram the sabot combo TO THE SAME depth without cleaning - just like hunting. If it takes all you've got and the ramrod wants to go new directions - then that's my standard for too tight. If you use pellets, keep in mind they come in sizes smaller now than the previous standard 50 gr. - and many rifles shoot best with something other than exactly 100 gr. and definitely less than the often quoted 150 gr.
  • KeithBarkerHuntingFishingKeithBarkerHuntingFishing Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks. I understand the need to seperate the BS from the real information.

    Barrel dimensions vary because the boring and rifling tools wear as they are used. This results in slight differences in bore diameter and rifling depth throughout the production run. In a round ball gun we use different thickness of patches to compensate.

    I'm glad to hear the sabot manufacturers are making a range of sizes. Do you know where to get them?

    Please pass along any good results you get from your research and I will do the same. I'm hearing that about 120 to 125 grains of 777 with a Shock Wave bullet (don't know the bullet weight) gives a near one hole group.
  • mwd571mwd571 Member Posts: 29 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sabots are obtained from MMP sabots

    Work up your loads, I weigh my triple 7 FFg or FFFg powder when hunting, you can start with a volumn measure set at 90 grains and shoot the Hornady 250 gr. HP/XTP as the bullet, The MMP standard short black sabot is a great range sabot with the hornady bullet. When you find a measure that shoots good for you 90-110 grains, weigh that load and that will be the target load.

    I hunt with the Barnes tipped 250 grain MZ bullet, I have taken deer with this round and 90 grains weighed Triple 7 FFFg(about 120 grains by volumn) at 189 yards, no problem, they did not take a step.
    The key is range time and work up your load, another great read is this page by Randy Wakeman, the whole site is about muzzle loaders


    There is a new powder substitute on the market called BlackMag 3 from MagKor and the makers of Triple 7 are coming out with a powder called white hot shot soon. The problem with Triple seven is the crud ring, you will have to spit patch between shots, BlackMag has no crud ring and you can shoot all day without patching. but this stuff is very hard to find
    BlackMag web site http://www.magkor.com/index.html
    Good shootin, this is a start
  • ahanksterahankster Member Posts: 253 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This works in my gun, can't speak to yours. Also, my barrel is not the pro hunter barrel, which is I think 2 inches shorter and the QLA on my barrel has been removed.

    I shoot a 250 grain shockwave with 110 grains of loose 777 and a standard Winchester primer. I have run it over a chrony, but am not confident in the velocities I saw. They were several hundred fps higher than what I have seen published.

    Mine is sighted in 3 inches high at 100 yards, it is pretty much on at 150 and is 6 inches low at 200. Cool thing is that on my Nikon scope the distance from the crosshairs to where the line gets thick again is exactly 3 inches at 14 power and 100 yards, and from the cross hair to where it gets thick on the bottom is 6 inches at 14 power and 200 yards. So, it acts like a BDC for this gun and this load. I shot 4 rounds on a measured 200 yard range last weekend, a fairly windy day, and had three shots in about a 3 inch group and one flyer that was an inch low and to the right of the group.

    Just a suggestion, but what I would do would be to pick one of the higher quality sabots and start around 95 grains of 777 loose and work my way up by 5 grain increments until I found the sweet spot on that gun. Just keep the shots spaced so the barrel doesn't get hot and be very consistant with your between shots regimen of swabbing (that is a whole other topic).
    Good luck w/ your new Encore.
  • KeithBarkerHuntingFishingKeithBarkerHuntingFishing Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to mwd571 and ahankster for both your comments and good information.

    Mwd571, the links are an awesome source if information. Thanks a bunch for that info.

  • nanny802nanny802 Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi I get the best groups using the old style TC break away sabots with 240 gr hard cast or plated over size 44 cal projectiles with pyro select 100grs bye volume, or 2 50 gr pellets is hard to beat. I weigh my bullets as there can be a quite a variation in the cheep stuff!!!!
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