I'm about to buy a T/C Encore and I can't decide on a caliber. I'm going to buy a centerfire but I want versatility in my first barrel. I'm curious if those who already have one might share some guidance as to what was the first barrel you purchased, why did you pick it, would it still be your first choice.
My barrel is a 270win. i use it for my walk around ground hog gun loaded with sierra 90gr HP make a very nasty hit on ground hogs. This barrel is the only rifle barrel I have all the others are 15" pistol barrels and I have 3 frames.
I own and have owned quite a few barrels for my Encore. If you're looking for a versatile barrel to fulfill many needs, you can't go wrong with the "classics". .308, 30-06,270, etc. No different than choosing a repeating rifle. I also have the 50 cal in-line which I HIGHLY recommend! I have barrels chambered across the spectrum from 22-250 to 7mm Rem Mag and love each one of them!
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Glad you said your "first barrel" because if you buy an Encore, you'll "need" additional barrels. If I were buying 1 for just about anything in Pa. it would be a .243. I've shot the .243 for decades in various rifles and it is a very versatile cartridge with 80 gr - 100 gr factory loads that any store carries. It's even more versatile if you handload. The 25-06 others suggested is a good choice to. My favorites for my Encore are .17 Fireball (groundhogs/fox/coyote). 260 Remington (deer but also could be used for varmints), and .243. I also shoot .223 in Encore rifle and .22 hornet and .17 HMR in an Encore pistol.