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  #1  
Old 05-30-2009, 05:54 PM
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I have a sudden itch for a Contender in .223. Is it something worth pursuing? Any caveats? Any advice regarding other barrels that may provide entertainment? No .44 Mags, please, just looking for some fun.

TIA,
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:44 PM
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Getting rid of my TC Contender setup is one of my biggest regrets. I had two frames and eight barrels. I had the 14 .223 Hunter with 2x7 Burris and the 21" tapered barrel with 4x12 Weaver. Both barrels were sub MOA with hand loads.

I also had two .22lr barrels a 10" match with a Leupold 4x and an 18 Bullberry with a 40x Tasco Japan. The 18" Bullberry barrel with RWS R50 was a sleeper, that tiny little rifle with a harris bi-pod won many a match against against heavey target rifles on machine rests.


Though you may not want a boomer barrel like a .44 mag the boomers can be big fun. I had the .45-70 barrel and often loaded it up with Black Canyon just to smoke out the range. When it was loaded up near max a glove was a must or it would rip the skin off your knuckles.

To round out the selection of barrels I had a 12".45/.410 (busting clay with a pistol is a bit tricky a 21" .410 and a 10" .357

Edit:
If you get a 12 or 14" .223 barrel I can pretty much garantee you wil have the loudest gun on the range unless there is an Encore there with a 15" .30-06 or .308 and I highly reccomend you double up on hearing protection.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:44 PM
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I had one with a 10" .30-30 bbl with T/C scope and a 16" magnaported bbl in .45-70. Only fired the latter twice. That was enough for me. Ouch.

I don't know how one in .223 would be. Might be fun I suppose.
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GatorFarmer:
I had one with a 10" .30-30 bbl with T/C scope and a 16" magnaported bbl in .45-70. Only fired the latter twice. That was enough for me. Ouch.

I don't know how one in .223 would be. Might be fun I suppose.
Gator, what did you think of the .30-30? I've been *seriously* considering one as just about the perfect deer hunting pistol... Not that there's anything wrong with my 21-4, but a .30-30 is THE deer cartridge, right?
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:59 PM
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I had one with 30-30 years ago....it was accurate enough "for a pistol" but I never developed much of a knack for shooting it properly.

Had the 44 mag/410 set up; had a 22 10" bull which was the most FUN of the bunch at the time.

Somehow I let a buddy talk me out of it and he still holds on to it decades later.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:13 AM
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I used to shoot skeet with my .44 mag. The wooden grips were a non-starter so I put some rubbers on it. Pachmayer? Can't remember the name but they really helped.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:22 AM
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The problem with the contender is that you must have more then one. I currently have 4.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:52 AM
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I have a 10" barrel in .223 Rem. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I think a 12" Hunter or a 14" barrel would be a much better choice. The muzzle blast is ferocious, not to mention seriously loud, and accuracy has not been the best. On a good day I can get about 2-2.5" at 100 yards. Even the 12" 45-70 Hunter barrel will outperform that with 1-1.5" groups. The only bullet weight that has given me decent accuracy is 62-63 gr, but velocity is comparatively slow in a 10" barrel. Maybe I just haven't hit the right powder/bullet combo for lighter bullets in the 10" barrel. I've tried loads that folks report work well in a 14" barrel, but no go in the 10. I imagine it is highly powder dependent, with the excessive blast causing some bullet upsetting as it exits the muzzle.

My favorite Contender hunting barrel is either the 12" 45-70, you just *know* that one is gonna work, or the .357 Maximum with 180gr bullets for out to 150 yards.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:09 AM
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Depending on what you are using them for, Contenders can be great handguns. I started using them for metallic silhouette competition back in the '70's and have them in .30 Herrett, .30-30, .357 Max., and .222. They deliver top notch accuracy if the shooter does his part and can be a lot of fun. The .30-30 is a good hunting cartridge especially if you do not reload. If you are a reloader, there are better calibers IMHO. For hunting, you will probably want to add a scope or red dot type sight.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:46 AM
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Thanks, everyone! Looks like there's a project in my future. I like the idea of a 12 or 14 inch barrel in .223.

Thanks again,
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:23 AM
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Probably the most versatile gun ever built. Can be a pistol, a rifle, a shotgun, a match gun, a long range Prairie Dog gun, etc. I have a .222, 44 mag, .22 RF, 7X30 Waters, 7 TCU barrels. Very accurate and a test bed for developing loads.
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:40 AM
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I have 2 Contender frames,a blue one & a stainless one. They go with my blue barrels &/or plated/ss barrels. I once had a .223 14", but for me...I hated it. What I did not like was shell extraction. Unlike any of the barrels for rimmed cases, due to the .223 being rimless, it must snap in by springing the extractor to be able to extract. This is easy going in, but you must overcome that to get 'em out. With rimmed cases they extract like a single shot shotgun and thus almost fall out.
I sold it and the guy who bought it began using an old TV antenna close-pin thing to grab & jerk them out.

Since I still liked .224 centerfire, I opted to replace that barrel with an SSK .226 JDJ 14",which uses reformed .225 Winchester brass.
Now all of my barrels are of the rimmed case type....from .22rf,.22 Hornet, thru a few more JDJ wildcats, (309,6.5,375),both herrets,the normal pistol cals...357,.44,.45LC,30-30,7-30 waters, upto a pair of 45-70's.
All of my barrels are pistol length 10"/12"/14".
I also use mine for kinda-like a test bed, and use it in the Ransom-Rest for that.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:08 AM
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Contenders are great. I hunt with mine and also (like gig-a-hertz) use them to evaluate my reloads.

Let's see; I started out with a frame and a single 14" barrel chambered in 7-30 Waters...

Now-a-days...in addition to the barrel mentioned above I have:

*.22 LR-10" Octagonal Barrel
*.22 LR-10" Bull Barrel w/scope
*.22 WMR-10" Octagonal Barrel
*.22 Jet-10" Octagonal Barrel
*.32 H&R Mag.-Bull Barrel
*.38 Spcl-8 3/4" Octagonal Barrel
*.357 Mag.-10" Octagonal Barrel
*.357 Max.-10" Bull Barrel
*.41 Mag.-10" Bull Barrel
*.44 Mag.-10" Octagonal Barrel
*.44 Mag.-10" Bull Barrel
*.45 ACP-10" Octagonal Barrel
*.45 Colt-10" Bull Barrel

They breed.

Bob
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:04 AM
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ALL I CAN SAY IS
DONT BUY ONE
YOU'LL END UP SPENDING A LOT OF $ WHEN YOU FIND OUT HOW GOOD THEY SHOOT .
I HAVE KILLED A LOT OF YOTES AND GROUNDHOGS WITH MY 22 HORNET 16" RIFLE BECAUSE IT'S SO HANDY THAT I KEEP IT IN MY TRUCK ALL THE TIME .
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:07 AM
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I have a Contender with several Super 14 barells.

The .223 is scoped and very accurate. Do not shoot NATO .556 in this. I made that mistake with Lake City .5.56 and the primer backed out. .223 Remington ammo is great.

I also have the following:
.44 Mag
45 Colt/.410
.22 LR
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:30 AM
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I had the old small frame Contender and it was a great gun. Contenders usually have one of the finest triggers you will find on a centerfire handgun, but I don't care for any handgun with over a 10" barrel. I might as well use a rifle, but the 10" .45/.410 barrel was the funnest barrel I had and it performed pretty well with 3" shells. The Encore pistols seem huge, but if you are a recoil junkie, and want to shoot big rifle rounds I guess they would work dinw. I just wish the Conterder came with 7 or 8" barrels and was lighter and easier to pack.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:41 AM
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I once had a 10" T/C .223 barrel, but the accuracy was inadequate, so I sold it.

Had a 10" .357 Herrett barrel as well. It was a lot of work (and fun) to make the cases from 30-30 brass, fire form them etc. But I dumped that one when a .35 Remington barrel came along. It offered better accuracy and less time on the loading bench which = more time at the range.

I have an old octagon barreled T/C in K- Hornet. So much fun to drop .22 Hornet ammo in the chamber, fire it and watch a K Hornet case come out. Very mild report and reasonable accuracy. Great fun for battling golf balls at 50 yards.

Also have a 14" ported 45/70. Used to enjoy punishing myself by shooting it - now not so much. This one has something wrong with the trigger group - it doesn't always fire when you drop the hammer. Great for enhancing your flinching. Often thought to send it off for repair, but never got around to it.

Other noteable T/C barrels in my vault -
.256 Winchester Magnum, 10" (talk about loud!)
7mm TCU, 10" (the blast drives people off the range)

So, yeah Contenders can be a lot of fun!
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:08 PM
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223 would probably be fun. Full house 30-30s hurt after a session at the range.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:27 PM
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Well, here's one vote for the 45/70 that thinks it's a great barrel and fun to shoot. Of course, the first thing I did was replace the torture device they called a grip with a Pachmayr "Decelerator" grip and a matching Pach forearm.

I traded for the TC years ago and it came with a 12" 7-30 Waters barrel and a 10" .22 LR match barrel. Having no earthly use what-so-ever for the .22 match barrel, I traded it for a 'Super 14' 45/70 barrel with the muzzle brake.

I'll be the first to admit, it's as much flame thrower as handgun, but with 300 grain JHP loads, its not the hand killer most make it out to be. And I can testify that at 40 to 60 yards on a 100 lb. white tail, it acts like a big fly swatter - boom ! down in their tracks . . .

One of my "when I get the time" projects is to really wring out that 7-30 Waters barrel and see just what it's potential is. Preliminary tests indicated a very accurate long range gun.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:45 PM
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A query right up my alley --- I have an older SS Contender frame and two barrels, a .223 Super 14 with the factory "muzzle tamer" brake, and another, similar, in .30-30. Both Super 14s wear Aimpoint 7000/9000 red dots, 2x/2MOA dots. Both shoot under 2MOA (@ 100 yards) with a 2 MOA dot. This is superb accuracy, for a "handgun" and even though the Super 14 rigs are fairly long, they still fit into an over-the-shoulder scabbard, and are much easier to carry than any carbine. I use the .223 for AZ's handgun javelina hunts, the .30-30 when calling mountain lions (if I'm gonna shoot another lion, there's gonna be some extra challenge involved, and the single-shot pistol introduces a bunch of extra challenge...) I'd say, try one, I'll bet you'll like it...
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:43 AM
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NFF,
My stock 7-30 Waters barrel shoots dime groups at 100 yards EVERY time I take it to the range. I has a T/C Muzzle Tamer so it's LOUD too! I wear electronic muffs when I hunt with it!!

It's shot dimes since I got it used in the late 80's.
Bob
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:38 AM
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They're a sickness in their own right. I own one frame and several barrels.

22 k-hornet
7mm TCU
30 Herrett
357 Herrett
357 mag
44 mag

And I'm still not satisfied.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:52 PM
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Ever owned a fish/ski boat? The Contenders are kind of like them. It is sort of a pistol, and sort of a rifle, minus the buttstock. They don't take the place of either very well. I haven't found any good use for one. However, if you do like them, the ones I've had were pretty accurate.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:08 PM
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I'll warn you now that if you get one and like it you can spend a fortune on frames, barrels, scopes, stocks, etc.
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