The Encore is designed to withstand much higher pressures than the Contender which is why it can be had in many centerfire rifle chamberings. I have fired both an Encore and a Contender in .223 Rem but as it is a rather mild recoiling cartridge they are pretty much the same. In either model yu will find the same tendencies; lighter cartridges kick less, heavier ones kick more, and some are just plain brutal. Grip is a component of percieved recoil also, one may fit you better than the other though I think they are both pretty similar. I have seen wood and synthetic versions of both in the store so a bit of looking can turn up a couple of examples.