Thompson/Center is renown in the realm of single-shots, known for their durability, flexibility and accuracy.
What’s not to like about a Thompson/Center platform? These rugged multi-caliber, multi-configuration firearms provide the ultimate in flexibility by using barrels chambered in pistol to rifle calibers, muzzleloading configurations and now shotguns. Inherently simple in design and so solid upon lockup that they are considered precision rifles, they are cherished by small woodlot hunters to bean-field marksmen, alike.
T/C’s venture into the turkey market was highly anticipated by me and, I’m sure, other T/C aficionados, but I have to admit to mixed emotions. I received a T/C Encore ProHunter Turkey in 20 gauge last spring. Upon opening the box, I was thrilled with the design, weight and ergonomics. It is sized just right for moving on turkeys through the woods without hanging the barrel on low limbs and is light enough to carry all day. Coming only in Realtree AP HD, however, it might not match your Mossy Oak clothing, but it blends well with most terrain, especially in the Southeast.
My initial sighting/patterning session was somewhat disappointing, but there was an upside. While a new gun straight from the box rarely impacts at the point of aim, this particular shotgun shot feet over the paper at 20 yards using multiple brands and types of ammunition. I bottomed out the adjustments on the integrated adjustable fiber-optic sight and was still nearly 10 inches high. Another friend who received one for testing had the same problem with sighting it in, so this may be a wider-spread issue rather than an individual fluke.
I killed two turkeys with it at the beautiful Hooray Ranch in Kansas but compensated and aimed at the beard to hit the neck on both birds. The patterns, however, were excellent out to 40 yards with the factory turkey choke, so I knew if I could put an optical sight on it, I’d be able to dial it in.
Back at my home workbench, I installed a Sig Romeo5 red dot and headed to the range to zero it in. Six shots later and it was dead-on out to 40 yards. This season, a gobbler in Florida and one in Nebraska fell to this combination.
The Thompson/Center Encore ProHunter Turkey 20 gauge is a formidable turkey gun and one that is a pleasure to carry and shoot. My only complaint is that they should provide a rear sight with more adjustment or spend a little more time on quality assessment before shipping them out. Adding a red dot sight was a quick fix for me, but a sight might not be in everyone’s budget.