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Range report ... with pics

elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
I've been shooting the Encore 209x50 Prohunter all summer but today I finally put it all together in an organized range session. I've settled into a load of 100 grains of 777 pushing a 338 grain platinum Power Belt. I switched from the Winchester 777 primer to a standard CCI 209 after a misfire last week.

First, I'm amazed with the accuracy. It is as accurate as any hunting rifle I've ever shot. Even with open sights I was able to print some great groups (2 and 3 inches center to center)even at 100 yds. The fiber optic sights that come on this barrel sure don't look like anything special but they work just fine.

I had heard so many rumors about Power Belts especially about how they do (or don't) mushroom. Although not a scientific test, the slugs I recovered mushroomed very well and very consistently. I have to find a scale and figure the weight retention but I bet it is at least 80%. Very similar to the center fire hunting bullets I have shot into this particular dirt bank over the years.

I am also very excited about the flat trajectory. Point of impact difference between 50 and 100 yards is right at 4 inches.

The CCI primers did create a heavier "crud" ring compared to the Winchester 777 primers. Nothing that an extra stroke or two between shots couldn't take care of.

Recoil with this load is mild. I do have an after market recoil pad but this is a load I could shoot all day without developing a flinch.

I'll see if I can get some pics up later.

Comments

  • tsavo303tsavo303 Member Posts: 8,656 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    sounds like a good setup
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Did switching primers change point of impact any?
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    Not that I could tell. Given the accuracy I've seen I think I'm going to put a scope on it just so I can experiment with components a little more. That will have to wait until after my hunt this fall.
    quote:Originally posted by Odawgp
    Did switching primers change point of impact any?
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    Encore 209x50 Prohunter
    img6785gg5.jpg

    50 yard target
    img6779vc1.jpg

    100 yard target
    img6780re0.jpg

    1.10" diameter top view
    img6776xp3.jpg

    back view
    img6777et8.jpg

    side view
    img6778ql2.jpg
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    those sure are good looking groups.

    quote:Given the accuracy I've seen I think I'm going to put a scope on it just so I can experiment with components a little more.

    I had a plain old $50 red dot, that i used on mine prior to moving to CO. it was hard to go back to open sights after I saw the groups that my gun was capable of with even the simplest of optics.


    You have mail.
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Odawgp
    those sure are good looking groups.

    quote:Given the accuracy I've seen I think I'm going to put a scope on it just so I can experiment with components a little more.

    I had a plain old $50 red dot, that i used on mine prior to moving to CO. it was hard to go back to open sights after I saw the groups that my gun was capable of with even the simplest of optics.


    You have mail.


    I was thinking about putting a peep on it but with these results I'm not going to worry about it. I hope to chase a TX white tail with it in December. I might move a 2-7 Burris onto this just for grins.

    Replied.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I thought the same thing about the peep sight, like you the factory sights surprised the hell out of me.
  • CubsloverCubslover Member Posts: 18,601 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Nice report. Super nice gun.

    You'll love it with a set of lenses on it. I shoot with a 3-9x40 Nikon on top of a CVA Optima. I love it. Prints 1.5" groups all day witih 300gr SST's. Switching to Barnes MZ's this year, shooting those along with a new rest(used to shoot off a box), hopefully I'll be able to bring it down to an inch!
    Half of the lives they tell about me aren't true.
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by cubslover
    Nice report. Super nice gun.

    You'll love it with a set of lenses on it. I shoot with a 3-9x40 Nikon on top of a CVA Optima. I love it. Prints 1.5" groups all day witih 300gr SST's. Switching to Barnes MZ's this year, shooting those along with a new rest(used to shoot off a box), hopefully I'll be able to bring it down to an inch!


    Thanks cubs...I've been thinking about switching to the Encore for all of my hunting. It needs a little work on the trigger but I might have to bite the bullet and pick up a few more barrels.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by elkoholic
    quote:Originally posted by cubslover
    Nice report. Super nice gun.

    You'll love it with a set of lenses on it. I shoot with a 3-9x40 Nikon on top of a CVA Optima. I love it. Prints 1.5" groups all day witih 300gr SST's. Switching to Barnes MZ's this year, shooting those along with a new rest(used to shoot off a box), hopefully I'll be able to bring it down to an inch!


    Thanks cubs...I've been thinking about switching to the Encore for all of my hunting. It needs a little work on the trigger but I might have to bite the bullet and pick up a few more barrels.


    shhhh!!! don't say that aloud, then people will have to have one and the prices will sky rocket[;)]
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Odawgp
    quote:Originally posted by elkoholic
    quote:Originally posted by cubslover
    Nice report. Super nice gun.

    You'll love it with a set of lenses on it. I shoot with a 3-9x40 Nikon on top of a CVA Optima. I love it. Prints 1.5" groups all day witih 300gr SST's. Switching to Barnes MZ's this year, shooting those along with a new rest(used to shoot off a box), hopefully I'll be able to bring it down to an inch!


    Thanks cubs...I've been thinking about switching to the Encore for all of my hunting. It needs a little work on the trigger but I might have to bite the bullet and pick up a few more barrels.


    shhhh!!! don't say that aloud, then people will have to have one and the prices will sky rocket[;)]


    They sure are pretty proud of these things already.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,344 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Good deal, elkoholic.
    That is a very powerful load. I have heard bad news about the smaller Powerbelts but you should do ok with one that large. I haven't heard of the Platinum series.
    Good luck!
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by allen griggs
    Good deal, elkoholic.
    That is a very powerful load. I have heard bad news about the smaller Powerbelts but you should do ok with one that large. I haven't heard of the Platinum series.
    Good luck!


    Thanks Allen...This is certainly not the average whitetail load. I've got an elk hunt in a limited draw "trophy" unit here in CO in September. With any luck the terminal performance will be in the same class as the on paper accuracy.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,344 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    elkoholic: I just saw a tv show, really about a five minute ad, on these Powerbelts. They interviewed the President of the Powerbelt company. He said that these Platinum Powerbelts were specifically designed to give better penetration.
    I guarantee he is responding to the many complaints, and I have read some real horror stories, about the poor performance of the smaller Powerbelts, on big deer, and on elk. Well, that is the mark of a good company, if you realize that there is a problem you correct it.
    Over on greybeardoutdoors.com a couple guys have four or five nightmare stories about lost deer and elk with those 295 Powerbelts.
    Anyway, unless the President of Powerbelt is an utter bullshi**er, or else insane, you ought to have a great elk load there. Good luck and let us know how it works.
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    Thanks Allen. It was a difficult decision to go with Power Belts. So many conflicting reports and opinions in the market place. I've heard they blow apart on impact, they never expand at all, they are super accurate, they don't group at all...on and on and on... I plan on doing some more testing with PB and others but it will have to wait until after my hunt.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,344 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, many of those stories about bad performance are quite true.
    However, I believe you have a winner, and if I were in your shoes, I would use the Powerbelt Platinum. The President of Powerbelt specifically said that the big Platinum slug, what is it, 335?, is designed for elk.

    Good luck I bet you knock 'em dead.
  • gskyhawkgskyhawk Member Posts: 4,773
    edited November -1
    i used the 295 gr PB last fall in my Omega , shot right thru this nice 8 pt
    DSC00014.jpg
    he was about 75 yards out standing all most broad side to me when i shot him , he turned and went back the way he came and maybe went 30 yars before dropping
    I was using 2 pellets of 777 and the winchester primers
    worked great for me
    scope was a Nikon 1x20
    here is WI all we can use are open sights , 1x scope or a reddot
  • gskyhawkgskyhawk Member Posts: 4,773
    edited November -1
    oh all most forgot , if you want a big bore barrel for your Encore i have a stainless steel 375H&H mag barrel that i want to sale , still new in box, that would put the hurt on a elk
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by gskyhawk
    oh all most forgot , if you want a big bore barrel for your Encore i have a stainless steel 375H&H mag barrel that i want to sale , still new in box, that would put the hurt on a elk


    Thanks for the offer but the 375 is the only other barrel I have. I can't wait to shoot an elk with it.
    img6788xz6.jpg
  • gskyhawkgskyhawk Member Posts: 4,773
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the offer but the 375 is the only other barrel I have. I can't wait to shoot an elk with it.

    nice looking outfit , whats the recoil like in it ? how does she shoot?
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by gskyhawk
    Thanks for the offer but the 375 is the only other barrel I have. I can't wait to shoot an elk with it.

    nice looking outfit , whats the recoil like in it ? how does she shoot?


    The 375 kicks like a donkey. Rifle is not much more than 7 lbs. The Limb Saver recoil pad helps a bunch but I'm thinking about cutting a few inches off the barrel and adding a break. It shoots very well, sub 2" at 100 yards.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    that sure is a nice looking ram rod i wish they would of had those when i bought mine. i bought the additional "power tee" to put on mine, it looks a bite funny hanging out there.
    IMG_1102.jpg

    find your bull yet??

    i started scouting for one, this last weekend but didnt see anything. it was hot i figure they are still hold up high in the pines I still have 3 months to find one so no hurry.
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Odawgp

    find your bull yet??




    I put on 3 miles on Saturday and about 10 miles on Sunday hitting some spots I've already been into. The good news is there were elk within 50 yards of both hot spots on Sunday but I didn't see any big bulls. One 6x6 in the 280 class, 2 rag horn 5x5s, and 4 spikes. I was a little surprised to see that all of the bulls were still 100% velvet. No rut activity yet. Bulls and cows are still in separate bunches.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:I was a little surprised to see that all of the bulls were still 100% velvet. No rut activity yet. Bulls and cows are still in separate bunches.

    What is the elevation where you have been seening them at?
    I might have been to high @ 11,600 last yr i didn't start scouting until sept 1st

    I don't ussually see much rutin until the 2nd week of september.

    Here the antlers dropped really late this spring, maybe there too, might be why all the fuzz

    Good Luck
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Odawgp


    What is the elevation where you have been seening them at?

    Good Luck


    This one was at 8800 ft. I was wondering if the abundance of good grass might be leading to a longer antler growth period. The grass is knee high in most places.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,344 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When is elk season, elkoholic?
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by allen griggs
    When is elk season, elkoholic?


    9/8-9/16 Not much longer to wait.
  • OdawgpOdawgp Member Posts: 5,380 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    8,800 heck i live at almost 8 you'd think they would be eating the grass in the back yd. I have seen a small buck wandering town and have caught him eating the wifes flowers[8D]

    contractor just came into the office said he was @ 12,500 and saw 40 head of cows w/ what he thought was a 350 bull, 3-4 rags and a few spike's all herded up. they too where still in velvet. he didn't seem to think it was strange that they where in velvet. so maybe they are just slow around here.
  • elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Odawgp
    8,800 heck i live at almost 8 you'd think they would be eating the grass in the back yd. I have seen a small buck wandering town and have caught him eating the wifes flowers[8D]

    contractor just came into the office said he was @ 12,500 and saw 40 head of cows w/ what he thought was a 350 bull, 3-4 rags and a few spike's all herded up. they too where still in velvet. he didn't seem to think it was strange that they where in velvet. so maybe they are just slow around here.




    The highest elevation in the unit isn't much over 10K. I'm so used to hunting timberline that this feels very odd but the elk are everywhere. I ran into a good bull a couple of weeks ago at about 7600 ft.
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