Which load for t/c contender .45-70 Gvt.


April 20, 2007, 01:20 PM
Hi everybody,

I have a 16" contender barrel chambered for .45-70 Gvt. I use it with a big compensator / muzzle tamer on and old style contender (not G2 that is) and normally shoot 350 grain softpoints using Vihta Vuori N133 powder which seems to work quite well...

However :

What can the contender handle for load ? Trapdoors loads , or stronger ?
( T/C said to stick with trapdoor loads, but i guess most shooters are using stronger loads... )

Has anybody used accurate arms 2230 powder (comparible to VV N133) ?

Has anybody used accurate arms 8700 powder ( i just got two bottles ) ?

I also got some 500 grainers : Hornady FMJ Are these real frame stretchers or is it safe to shoot with the slower powder like the 8700 ?

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April 20, 2007, 06:48 PM
Well I shoot 500 grainers in mine. As far as I can tell your contender is limited only to what you can handle.

April 20, 2007, 09:02 PM
I use IMR 4198 with sierra 300's in an Encore. It will shoot what ever your shoulder can handle.

April 21, 2007, 08:02 AM
How many grains of powder do you use and do you use magnum primers ?

April 21, 2007, 11:10 AM
I reload 300 gr. Remington JHP's with 60 grs. of H322 in a Marlin guide gun...I think this would be a good load for your pistol, maybe start out at 58 grs. and work up with 300 grainers...

April 21, 2007, 11:22 AM
Take TC's advice and stick with the trapdoor loading. The Contender wasn't really ment to be more than a strong pistol.

April 21, 2007, 12:51 PM
Second re: T/C advice. I wouldn't load anything stronger than a factory-equivalent in a Contender .45-70. I've seen data posted to the Internet as "Contender-safe" that is borderline nuts.

If you want a hot-rod, do like I did and get an Encore. There are companies rechambering the Encore .45-70s to .458 Win Mag, so strength is a non-issue with these. But the Contender is a little light for such things IMO.

April 22, 2007, 04:07 PM
Hmm i normally use vihta vuori N133 and they have only one load table in their reloading guide, for .45-70 it says :

These loads are to be used only in modern rifles like Ruger #1 or .45-70's chambered on
Mauser type bolt actions. They must NOT be used in old rifles with weaker actions like
Trapdoor and old Marlin mod. 1895. The listed maximum loads do not exceed 195 MPa. (whatever that means in CUP)

I normally load 58 gr. of N133 (comparible with H335 and AA2460 ) with Sierra 300 HP bullets pushing it around 2100 ft/s which should be max for trapdoors as listed in the hodgdon guide, so i guess i'm still safe.

Anyway i see small powder increments have huge effects on pressure :

type grs fps cup
H322 54 1850 18100
H322 57 2002 21400
N133 57,7 2057
H322 60 2142 28000 (max for trapdoors !)
N133 60 2188
H322 63 2252 32600

10 grains of extra H322 would nearly double the pressure !

Still want to know if someone tried AA2230 and AA8700 ....

@ Wanderinwalker you mean the barrel of the contender is not that strong or the frame ? (if the frame, how do the newer G2's compare ? , then maybe i get a new frame so i can keep my barrels ) (Sure i would just buy an encore extra but by law i'm only allowed 5 firearms on my license in the Netherlands and i like my other guns and rifles to much to sell)

Also : what's the effect of using magnum rifle primers ( some say you have to reduce load by 10% ) ?

April 22, 2007, 05:15 PM
The T/C Contenders are strong enough for the 45-70 commercial or reloads unless you are going into maybe the Buffalo Bore or Garrett heavyweights and their +P ammo and then I would look at an Encore....some of the reloading manuals have pistol loadings for the 45-70 and they are safe enough.....

April 23, 2007, 07:22 AM

As I have said a few times on the reloading forum, I substitute mag primers in all my rifle loads...easier for me to keep one type of primer...and you are correct that you should always use starting load data and work up from there.

Now...I own the same barrel combo you are using right now. I have managed to destroy one cheap red-dot and two other lesser scopes with that monster using 500 gr. jacketed bullets. I don't even have that load data anymore as I use 400 gr. and lower bullets and stick with load ranges that fall between the Trapdoor and Marlin load data. Its set up as a carbine with the Rynite furniture so the little bassid only weighs about 6 lbs and that makes for a handful with damn near any load except Trailboss. :)

I think the 8700 is way too slow for the application you have there so I would stick with the 2230.

Good luck and keep an eye on your shoulder/wrist...if you shoot it pistol style, get a wrist brace. I am serious.


April 23, 2007, 12:58 PM

The barrel and frame of the Contender and G2 are not up to the same strength levels as the Encore. I recall reading somewhere that the Encore is considered stout enough for anything based on the .375 H&H case and smaller. Also, T/C is making a .416 Rigby for the Encore in the ProHunter series now.

As for the size and weight of the firearm, my Encore is set up with a 20" Katahdin barrel, ProHunter frame and Flex-Tech stock. It weighs about 6 to 6 1/4 pounds. Lighting off factory-type 300s and 405s is bearable, but I'm too timid to touch off any of those monster Garrett and Buffalo Bore type rounds! :o

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