I'm surprised this forum doesn't have a lot of Contender threads. Afterall it is the correct venue, or is it that people get bored with single shots?:confused:
Anyway I bought recently a mint old 1973 made Contender from an estate that came with a .256 Winchester Magnum Octagon Barrel with a 2.8x Bushnell Phantom II scope, a .44 mag Vent Rib internal choked 10" barrel with a foreend , and an octagon 10" 45colt /.410 externally choke barrel.They came with .256 dies and 150 rounds of .256 ammo, I already have a 1978 Contender and a pile of barrels:D , but what the heck for $500!:D
I was interested in the .256 Winchester Magnum barrel, always wanted one but really didnt want to complicate my life. Well I fired 100 rounds of the factory ammo, keeping a box of the Winchester white box Super Speed ammo for posterity. The 60 grain bullet clocked 2370 fps at 15 feet at sea level. I got 3" groups off a sand bag at 50 yards, the Phantom 2 is OK, but not like a modern 1" scope. The gun was sighted EXACTLY dead center at 50 yards with a 6" hold on a 1" bullesye.I am leaving that barrel on the frame so I will shoot the next varmint that comes around the ranch!
I tried the .44mag Hot Shot barrel with a few of the 36 .44 Hot Shot rounds that were included. It throws an 18" pattern at 50 feet with the 1/2 oz. of #7.5 shot . I fired a couple .44mag 240 grain rounds after I removed the choke tube, won't be doing much of that as the bare threads will gets fouled up and the fixed flip up sights were not real close to aim.
I tried the old external choke .45 barrel with a few 2.5" 7.5 4.10 shells to see how they compared to the .44 Hot Shot. The pattern at 50 feet was a little larger , close to 2 feet around BUT the shot was more uniformly spread . I moved back to 25 yards and the 30" pattern was thin , but the quail outline had 5 hits in it!
I didn't have any shotgun barrels any more ,I traded my old .410 barrel for a .22 K hornet one many years ago. This old Contender has the very high gloss finish and is very well made like only the first series were when Warren Center was trying to make a name for himself and get the guns going. Anyway, a little Contender nostalgia in the venue where it's supposed to be at!:)
If you enjoyed reading about "Fooling with Contenders" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 27, 2006, 10:11 PM
T/C Contenders, especially the originals and the Super-14 are muy interesting in many circles. Awesome that you picked up a .256 barrel. That alone is worth a few hundred dollars. It will shoot very, very well, too, once you start handloading for it.
In the mid-80s I had a good friend who collected Contenders and their barrels, and happened to be an extremely talented reloader. Using his reloads from a 30 Herrett barrel I managed to put 9 shots from a bench into less than an inch at 100 yards and then, when that 10th shot was staring me in the face I crumbled and threw it wide enough to make the 10-shot group measure 1.1". :o I don't remember what brand/model scope Jerry had on the Herrett barrel but I'm sure it was the best available at the time.
I will likely buy the next Super-14 I can scrounge with a .22 Hornet barrel if the price is anywhere near reasonable. :)
October 27, 2006, 10:38 PM
Good find. I have an old external choke .410/.45 Colt also and I like the fact that the barrel is just 7" with the choke removed. 25 yards is pushing the limit for it on small game, but I've taken squirrel with it. As a hunter, I have uses for this barrel.
October 28, 2006, 06:41 PM
Fear not Gordon :) There is a hardcore of us enthusiasts around.
I got my fairly early Contender some while back from a THR member and love the thing, always have. It stays for most part in its .223 config' - my favorite. Tell you what that groups almost tighter at 100 yds than the Ruger 77 MkII does!!!!
The .44 mag barrel tho is another nice option and since taking pics a long time ago I got a .45/.410 barrel too. Of course the jump for the .45 slug is way too long really for hyper accuracy but - it's a ''fun'' barrel. I do want yet and probably finally with this, to get a ''thuddy-thuddy'' barrel.
One think I like a lot with mine is the Pacmeyr grips and forend - feels real nice.
I have been wanting a G2 with a 16.5" barrel in .22 Hornet that I can make into a rifle, something T/C doesn't make right now.
I will probably add a .22 LR 10" barrel and a .45 Colt/.410 super 14 just for fun.
October 29, 2006, 02:43 AM
I have a Contender Super 14 that I bought in .30-30. As was already stated, sub MOA accuracy is the norm with a 4X Leupold atop. I also have a Super 16 barrel in .45-70 that just plain hurts to shoot, especially with the 300 gr Remington loads, even after a trip to Magnaport International for a full rifle job.
October 29, 2006, 08:51 AM
I have an older contender in very nice condition. The two barrels I have are
16" .223rem and super 16 35rem.
.223 for varmint and 35rem for deer.
Right now I have the .223 barrel on with rifle stock and a Nikon 3-9x40 scope.
Haven't seen Okiecruffler for a while but IIRC he has a large selection of Contender stuff - the details of which I forget right now.
October 30, 2006, 11:49 AM
'bout time......I have a super 14 in 35 Remington I'm happy with. Prints 3 inchers at 100. Will reload for it and try to find a sweet spot. Think it's capable of more, if I am. Have a 2-7 Burris on it. Nice rig. Bought used. Bargain price. Turns out it no go bang when fired. TC did a nice repair job at no charge. Intend to deer hunt with it soon.
October 30, 2006, 12:35 PM
Another Contenter lover here !!
I have a stainless steel frame with a 14" SS 7-30 Waters barrel and a 375 JDJ barrel from SKS Industries.
I would highly recommend their T'SOB mount for any of the heavier recoiling calibers.
I am thinking of getting another of the new Contenters or an Encore in a pistol length barrel.
October 30, 2006, 01:53 PM
My barrels are 12" Hunter .30-30 scoped with 2x, .22 10" scoped with 2x, 7mmTCU with IHMSA sights, and .45 colt/.410.
Ya'll got me wanting to shoot a family pic of my frames and barrels.
The two that I have the most fun with is the 17 HMR carbine and the 14" 30 WCF. My 7-30 is also a hoot to play with.
I am wavering on the need of a 14" 44 Mag with the other calibers I already have...'course I could always re-chamber to a 444 Marlin or 445 SM, but I have a punisher with the 45-70 16.25"...
Heck, anyone got a 14" TC/U that they are tired of looking at? :)
Harry Paget Flashman
October 30, 2006, 07:26 PM
I had a Contender in the 70's with a .222 Remington and .44 Mag barrel(screw-on choke for Hot Shot ammo), but I sold it. The .44 was too brutal.
I missed it and bought a G2 Contender a few years ago with the .223 and .45LC/.410 barrels. Later I picked a used .221 Fireball 10" octagon barrel. Fortunately (some would say "unfortunately") I have ~1000 rds of lacquered steel case Wolf .223 that didn't quite work out for my AR. The T/C is fun to shoot at the range and a real attention getter in .221 & .223.
I want to turn it into a carbine too but can't decide what caliber.
October 30, 2006, 08:09 PM
My Contender has been pared down over the years to the barrels I use the most. .22 Hornet (rechambered from .22 LR) and 30/30. I didn't use the .223, had no use for the .45/.410, and the .45/70, although deadly on deer, was just too brutal to be fun. My .22 LR barrel I had rechambered. I can reload the Hornet for everything the .22 used to do(small game) as well as varmints out to 150 yds. 30/30 is for deer.
October 30, 2006, 08:15 PM
I am working on two TC projects. I have a 10 inch 221 Fireball Rimmed and a 18 inch 300-221 Fireball Rimmed. I have formed 50 round each (the 221 FBR was a bear to form, but was still fun.)
The brass is made from 360 Dan Wesson Brass necked down.
October 30, 2006, 08:55 PM
Not too far out of the Contender family I have an Encore.
Single shot rifles and pistols are outstanding once you start reloading!
I have a 204 Ruger barrel and a short 450 Marlin barrel.
The fun part is buying a new gun for the cost of a barrel. I am looking to sell my 450 Katahdin barrel and get into reloading for the 22 Hornet.
I have hit shotgun shells at 300 yards with my 204 Ruger. That round is like a laser beam to shoot and the recoil is negligible.
Revolverman357 that short 223 is very cool! I love a short handy rifle for shooting in the field. Its the downfall of the Encore that I can not get shorter barrels without going to very expensive custom barrels.
October 30, 2006, 10:29 PM
Just last week end I added a 14" .22 match barrel. Tomorrow I will order a scope.
In the Contender I have a 7-30 Waters and a .22 match.
In the Encore a .223 and a 6mm RemBR.
The 6BR was a challenge at first, it was splitting necks. A slight die adjustment and it's all good now.
Yes, all of mine are "minute of praire dog" :)
October 31, 2006, 01:01 PM
I have both the 223 and 7-30 Waters in the 14 inch barrel. Both are accurate and I use them often because its easier to carry in the truck when I am out in the country. Steve 48
October 31, 2006, 02:23 PM
I've had a Super 14 .30-30 since 1978. Cool gun, fun to shoot. Anybody know where I might pick up a barrel in 7.62x39 for it? As far as I know, TC never made one.
October 31, 2006, 06:18 PM
:Heck, anyone got a 14" TC/U that they are tired of looking at?
I've got a 10" I bought for IHMSA shooting, but don't shoot it anymore. I have dies and fire formed brass/ammo for it. But, I don't know what else I'd want. Perhaps a .45-70 would be fun, but I'd need a really good scope to handle that beast's pounding if I got one. I think I could be convinced to trade the 7mmTCU for a .22 hornet or perhaps a .223 barrel. Kinda fun loading a wildcat round, though. freaks out some new shooters who wonder how you could possibly shoot something they don't even make brass for. :D
Heck, maybe I'll just take the IHMSA sight off that barrel and sell it, use the proceeds for scope mounts and put a scope on it. That thing would be a decent deer gitter or I could try zingin' light bullets at high velocity for something to do. LOL It uses .223 brass, just necked up and fire formed to take some of the taper out of the case.
October 31, 2006, 10:54 PM
2 contenders, 1 encore and 7 barrels total. my wife says i'm cheating on her
because i spend more time with my t/c's than her.........
October 31, 2006, 11:28 PM
Had two contenders. Down to one and several barrels.
The first was a 10" .357 Mag. Bought the entire gun/barrel for $125 new!
That barrel sports a Leupold 2x EER scope and Leupold mount/rings.
Sold this TC w/ a 10" .22lr barrel to a friend that wanted a TC. I don't miss it.
The second, I won a Contender w/ 14" 7mm TC/u at a silhouette match. This will never be sold.
Traded a 10" 7mm TC/u barrel for a 14" .22 lr Match barrel. :)
One of the guys at the club bought a TC w/ several barrels. He had arthritis in his hands and asked me if I wanted a .30 Herrett barrel and 200 rounds of ammo. Cost. . . FREE. Yup! I'll take it. Wow!! Love this caliber!!
Had a 10" .44 magnum barrel. Had a hammer extension on the TC and broke my thumb, from recoil. Sold the .44 mag barrel for $50. It never shot well, except when using Federal 180 gr JHP or 240 gr. JHP. Handloads never shot well. That barrel would make a good fireplace poker!
Had a 14" 7mm International Rimmed barrel. (Similar to 7x30 Waters.) Smoking hot performance. 7mm TC/u does the same thing with less problems and recoil when shooting steel.
I'd like to get a .45/70 barrel (rifle length) and a stock. Or, maybe a .223 barrel (rifle length.)
Contenders are incredible pieces of machinery.
October 31, 2006, 11:38 PM
Another addiction. I have 21 barrels and 2 frames (and 5 stocks). I'm not a big collector either. Not by a "long shot". I know of one fellow that had, at least at one time, 143 barrels and many frames (the number escapes me).
Then there are the Encores...
November 1, 2006, 09:39 AM
16.5" barrel in .22 Hornet that I can make into a rifle, something T/C doesn't make right now
You would be amazed at what they will make. And they don't really cost as much as you would think, especially if you are comparing to ebay prices. Click on the link below:
Ya, I'm hooked too. I have been a long time 30 Herrett fan, 10" barrel. I have been recently playing with a 357 Herrett, 10", and find it is no problem to get a 200 grain bullet going 2000fps. I also have a 219 AI Zipper 15" and it can get a 50 grain bullet over 3000fps easily.
I was working with a 256 Win Mag this summer and am amazed at how easy it is to form brass from 357 mag.
My latest passion has been the 12" octagon TCA barrels. I do not know what all calibers they made them in or how many of each, but the numbers are low (under 100 for most). At present I have 6 of them:
22LR No Sights
22 Hornet No Sights
22 Hornet W/Sights
6mm TCU No Sights
7-30 Waters No Sights
32 H&R Mag No Sights
I have picked up 5 of the old 3/4" tube Burris Mikro Pistol scopes, 3 in 3x and 2 in 2X, to put on them. That small tube scope looks great on them with the Burris 3/4" rings and Burris base. The only one I have worked with so far is the 6mm TCU and it seems to be a honey. I am using the 90 grain Nosler Ballistic tip and hope to take a deer with it. The 32 H&R will probably be next (for small game and plinking) as I bought the brass and have bullets. I have a 32-20 10" bull that I just picked up brass for too, so I will work on them together for small game, one with scope and the other with irons. The 32-20 should be just shy of the 300-221 (a barrel I sold a few years back and would like to get in a 16" carbine barrel) in top end performance.
Anyway, its an addiction. I am not a collector and shoot everything I own. I have bought entire collections (most recently 6 frames, 7 stocks, 9 carbine barrels, 11 pistol barrels in one collection) and sold all but a barrel or two cause they were the only ones I wanted. They seem to be cheaper to buy that way cause not too many guys will spend that much on a Contender and not too many Contender owners will part them out!
Magnum Wheel Man
November 1, 2006, 11:10 AM
count me in too... my father in law had an extensive collection of Contender actions & barrels... all the old TCU / Herret, & a few odd ball exotic cartridges etc ( also had all the loading dies / data )... after I inherited the collection, I continued to add to it every chance I got... probably the biggest expense for me was scopes, as I couldn't see having a barrel of a long range cartridge without a scope, & ny father in law only had 6-8 of them scoped up ( I think one year I bought over 40 different scopes )... now most of the odd barrels are "put away"... but I still shoot the 45-70, with the Pacmeyer grips & forend as my regular deer gun, but my custom Faigen camo laminated thumbhole stock on a 16" vent rib 410 barrel is my "MOST OFTEN SHOT" Contender, as it sits always ready to thin the farms rabbit population...
BTW... one of my other "old" favorites is my 10" octigon 22 Hornet barrel... I have 4 different ( older ) actions, & the 22 Hornet, 7-30 Waters, 45-70, & 410 barrels are usually the ones on the actions...I also have a 10mm barrel I rechambered to 10 mm magnum that throws some interesting groups...
BTW #2... any collectors interested in the old TC single power scopes ??? I used to have a grociery bag full of them I used to take to the gun shows... probably still have a few left...;)
November 1, 2006, 01:55 PM
Do you know if the Pachmyers like yours are still available as retail items or only as "used" buys? I have a problem with the Contender grips (mostly the newer ones) because they are "too much" to fit my somewhat beefy hand well. :( But the ones like on your gun do fit. I think the ones on McGunner's gun are Pachmyers too but do not fit me well.
Anyone - what kind of groups do you get from your 30-30s with factory ammo?
Many thanks, All :)
November 1, 2006, 04:13 PM
Pachmyer sells them still as far as I know.
Might be a bit diffrent for a G2, but the previous generation they are still around.
Ebay has them all the time...
November 1, 2006, 06:55 PM
They have them at Mid South Shooters Supply. Many of their items are cheaper than Ebay and they are super quick on shipping...same day most of the time. If you have a business address they can ship to, the shipping is super low. The last order I did with them was for rings, base, two boxes of bullets and the shipping was under $6.00. Below is a link for the Pach's.
I don't have hardly any barrels, tho I've owned most. I only keep the ones I really like. I've got a 14" 223 that has shot more than a few groups under .30", it ain't going anywhere. Just bought a 10 inch 357 barrel for shooting steel with, was going to bore it out to 357max, but the bore is long enough it chambered 360DW without messing with it. Shooting 1 inch groups at 50 yrds with it using my cast bullets, open sights and bad eyes. And then there's my 14 inch 30 Herrett that will be wandering around the woods with me in a few weeks. You can't ignore a barrel that does this.
November 1, 2006, 09:51 PM
Well lets see: in the grey plastic T/C case I have a 1978 Contender with a .35Rem super 14 Barrel with TSOB mounts and a Leupold 2x Ler with Pachmeyer Gripper Decelerators. This is my favorite barrel as it puts 200 grain Remington Coreloktd factory ammo into 3" at 150 yards(where it's sighted in to) from sandbags. I have taken half a dozen blacktails with it over the years. When I move up to 45-70 with the super 16" barrel , I put on a custom WesternGunstock Claro thumbhole stock to cushion my favorite 450 grain cast lead bullet load!
In smaller bores, my favorite is prolly the .22 K hornet with a 4x Redfield Frontier scope. I have shot umpty um ground squirrels up to 150 yards with that one. I tried .22 Jet for a while, but the .22K is better and more accurate. I have a Bulberry .17 Ackley Hornet 20" barrel that I put on with the Claro thumbhole stock with an old 8x Unertl Vulture scope that will extend the range, and is quieter, to 200 yards.
So now I have 2 early frames and these barrels:
.17 Ackley hornet 20" Bullberry with 8x scope
.22Lr 10" Octagon with 1.3 Phantom
.22Mag Rimfire 10" Octagon with 2.6 Phantom
.22 Jet 10" Octagon with a Redfield Frontier 2x
.22 K hornet Oct. 10" with 4x Frontier
.223 super 16" with 4x Leupold
.256 Octagon with 2.8 Phantom II
6.5TCU super 14" IMSA sights
7mm Waters super 16" with 2-7 Burris
.30 Carbine 10 " Octagon
.30-30 super 14 with 3x Burris Mikro
.357 Maximum 10" Imsa sights
.35Rem Super 14 2x Leupold
.375 Winchester 12" Bulberry with 2-7x Burris
.44mag 10" internal choke ribbed Hotshot
.45Colt/.410 Octagon external choke
.45-70 super 16" with an older aimpoint
November 1, 2006, 10:07 PM
Well, geez, I feel kind of inadequate because I only have three barrels for mine. :uhoh: All 10" heavy bbl: 22lr, 357mag, and 223. Used to shoot IHMSA silhouette back in the day too. The TC is an awesome gun. Regards,
November 1, 2006, 10:31 PM
Hi Nail Shooter...
YOU feel inadequete???
Geez. I don't even own a T/C at all. :(
Thanks Jet and Tanker - I found them in a couple other placers on the 'Net too.
Gordon - do you have a "favorite" among the several Contender pistol frames?
November 2, 2006, 07:30 AM
My 10" 357 is also a fun barrel to play with.
Neat thing is, you can get the 180 and 200 gr. bullets that are for the 35 Remington and load them up. Mind you, they aren't good for expansion velocities, but by God they will knock down some iron. :)
I haven't tried to use my new lee crimper on those rounds...might be interesting to run them over a chrony to see exactly what velocities I AM getting both with and without a crimp.
Another project to put on the white board. :(
February 1, 2009, 09:34 PM
i love resurrecting these old threads :)
contenders the way to go, espcially the older frames. you have to remeber, the t/c contender was built first and foremost with accuracy in mind, and man did they do the job in that department. the t/c's have been referred to as the most accurate firearms money can buy. i dont know about all of that, BUT i can say that every single one of my barrels is dead-nuttz on the money. the ajority of them shoot 5 shot 1 hole 100 yard groups all day, and my custom shop 24" 221 fireball barrel will, from a bench put as many rounds in a single hole as you want to shoot . that isnt a joke or exaggeration either..LOL...
ive got 3 frames. my oldest one is a really early 5 digit serial blued model. that, believe it or not i bought from a guy brand new a few months ago. he bought it brand new in like 1970 or '71 to get into pistol comp shooting, and he never even put a shell in it. ive gt one of the later "easy open" frames, and also a G2 frame. lots and lots of barrels. my favorite setup ive got is a 16" custom shop high polished blued heavy barrel 223 on the easy-open style "puma" frame. the whole buch is sitting in an absolutely gorgeous bullberry high gloss exhibition grade black walnut high figure stock ( which i received as a gift from september,jean and fred at bullberry barrel works..if you bought it retail from them id bet it would push $700+ bucks)...i had a guy sometime back at the range try his best to buy the setup from me. he even went as far as to offer me $1500 cash and i had to turn him down ( id have sold the gun, but what he really waned was the stock,but i dont part with gifts). he really wanted it after he saw me shoot 5 shot 1 hole,200 yard groups with it with my handloads ( 50gr speer TNT HP,remington brass and H322 powder)
you know what it says when you hunt with a contender?...it says "i can shoot so well i dont need more than one shot!"
February 1, 2009, 09:54 PM
I would love to have an older frame with a 10" 357 barrel.
February 2, 2009, 06:57 PM
You cannot buy 10 in barrells any more at tc now 12 inch or 14 inch .for gen 2 or older tc.
March 4, 2010, 03:42 AM
I have two contender frames, one is a black powder rifle, 50x209, plus a 30-30 rifle barrel,
and the other frame , i have the ten inch 45/410 and a .44 mag, and then the 7mmTCU/super 14''
i've owend many many contender barrel's, buy n' sell n' trade. but the 7mmTCU will ALWAYS, stay with me.
my 7tcu, is used for everything, squirrels, groundhogs, varmints, deer, plinking, target shooting, heck ? it does everything well, and super eazy to load for, more accurate than i can hold it.
March 4, 2010, 11:42 PM
I only have one Contender and one barrel. It is a 14" .223 with a 2X7 T/C scope. When I traded for the scope about 15 years ago I remember thinking how clear and bright it was and how well I could see the fine cross hairs. My eye sight has deteriated to the point I'm going to have to get a scope with coarser cross hairs. From sandbags, I have shot many .5" groups at 100 yrds. I had a .45-70 barrel but sold it .It was breaking me trying to feed it. Shooting bowling balls at 100 yards was a hoot.
March 5, 2010, 02:58 AM
Super 14 in 7tcu,and odd man out ie 10in .218 Bee,and now we have Lilgun to load with.
If you enjoyed reading about "Fooling with Contenders" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!