Jim is a smart good guy that knows his products. Whatever he told you, I believe it.You are correct about its the receiver that makes it a 4473 gun . Back in 2004 or 2005 when I bought my 2 Magnums at Wildlife Taxidermy , I bought the camo version 1st . I had to do the 4473 form and was approved almost instantly , so I bought a scope at the same time and had them put it on the gun . I went out that afternoon and sighted it in . When I saw how accurate it was , I went in the next morning to buy another one for my son . I bought the black synthetic one for him . This time the 4473 back round check came back as delayed . So I would have to wait a few days to get it . This was the week before muzzle loader season . Jim at the store showed me another Encore with a wooden stock and called it the standard that was only a muzzle loader . I could buy that one for my son and not have to wait for the back round check . I decided to wait and had them put a Nikon scope on the Magnum so it would be ready to go . Kind of pissed me off that I can walk in one day and get approved instantly and walk in the next day and get delayed for the same gun .
A year or 2 after I bought those Encores they came out with the Encore Pro Hunter. . Like Muzzleloader mentioned , the only difference was some bells and whistles . Thicker recoil pad , some worthless rubber ribs on the side of the stock , and maybe the fluted barrel . But it was essentially the same gun . Didn't really pay much attention to them after that . Didn't need to buy the " Latest And Greatest " since my Encores were shooting perfect bulls eyes . If It Aint Broke You Dont Need To Fix It .