Sighting new rifle
I just got a new Thompson Center Pro Hunter in 300wm and i havn't had a hunting rifle in 20 years. I've been strickly a bow hunter. So my question is on breaking in a new rifle, whats the best breakin program. I am shooting Fed 180gr Tsx. Any advice would be greatly weclomed.
Clean the bore good to remove any factory oil or grease.I would then fire about ten rounds without worrying about sighting it in to much,cheap ammo works ok here.Clean the bore again and sight in with the ammo you will use.If this don't work for the accuracy you want you could try fire lapping the bore or try a different load if the one listed isn't a must work.
I clean the barrel then fire 3 rounds, clean it again, fire 5 rounds, clean it again, fire another 5 rounds, clean it again. I use reduced hand loads & the cheapest bullets I can find. I then use what loads I want & start to sight her in.
Breaking in a barrel is bascally smoothing out the "roughness" in it that strips copper from bullets and collects it in the bore. The best way to do this is to clean all the copper out after after each shot until the barrel stops, or almost stops copper fouling. Every barrel is dfferent and some will take more shots than others. Some peole don't break in their barrels and do fine. I broke in my last barrel after 13 shots and it became a lot easier to clean. It's basically like a lapping process.
There's a lot of opinions on this subject as well as cleaning or not cleaning, and several good threads on it.
Custom barrels need less break in and cleaning than factory.
A note about accuracy and the Encore Pro-Hunter:
I had a lot of problems with mine in 7mm Rem Mag. I tried 6 or 8 different factory loads and couldn't find anything that would shoot less than 3-4" groups.
Then I noticed that the sides of the forearm were "compressed" against the sides of the barrel. 10 minutes later with the aid of a dremmel and my forearm was free floated (except where the screws connect the forearm to the barrel). I also started resting the rifle on the sandbag farther back towards the action (to eliminate bounce between the forearm and the sandbags).
The groups shrunk to under 1.5" for just about everything I tried. I'm convinced that changing out the trigger spring to lighten the trigger pull (currently well off my gauge that goes to 5lbs.) would shrink the groups even more.
They seem to be finicky about the loads they like and how they are shot. Mine hates me to free recoil the rifle during shooting (not hanging onto the forearm with my left hand), but seems to behave just fine as long as I have a medium/light grip. Mine hates a Lead-Sled with a passion (might as well throw rocks at my target because I'm not going to hit it with a bullet), but how often do you have your Lead-Sled out hunting?
Don't get discouraged if it's not cloverleafing bullet holes right away. Mine will never be a prairie dog gun, but as a back-up gun for big game when I travel out of state with one of my "nice" rifles, it does just fine.
Good luck. I hope your Encore does shoot cloverleafs right out of the box!