handgunning in illinois...


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brian923
December 27, 2008, 06:09 PM
hey guys, i am looking to start handgun hunting in illinois for whitetail. i was lookinging into the thompson center contender. i wanted to know what you thompson owners thought about them, and how you like, or dislike them. also, wheres the best place to get barrels, and does anyone make other caliber barrels than the ones offeredby thompson cente arms? like the .460. this one sounds good as i think you can shoot 45 colt, and 454 casull out of it also.

correct me if im wrong...

thanks guys, brian.

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Shawnee
December 27, 2008, 06:25 PM
I like my Contender G2 a LOT, but it is not the gun for the hunter who moves around. From a stand, it's GREAT if you can get a good support position for it. Don't "over-scope" it.... too much magnification can just about disable it.

Here is a great guy to deal with:

http://www.edstc.com/

HTH
:cool:

redneck2
December 27, 2008, 06:38 PM
I have no idea what the caliber restrictions are in IL. Here in IN, we can use any caliber .243 and larger in center fire. I use a Contender in .357 Herrett. There are quite a few rifle calibers that work well (.35 Remington is very popular here)

I have a 2.5x8 Weaver on mine. Works better than Leupold or Burris.

brian923
December 27, 2008, 11:48 PM
caliber restrictions are as follows for us hunters over in illinois:

a handgun cartridge of .30 caliber or higher, that produces more than 500 Ft lbs of muzzle energy, offered in factory loadings, and pistol must have a barrel length of longer than 4". a bottle neck cartridge may be used as long as its .30 caliber or larger, and has a case length of LESS than 1.4 inches.

this is the problem.... where they get us.... i cant find a cartridge that is .30 caliber with a case lenght of 1.4" or less. much less any bottleneck cartridge of 1.4" despite the caliber. maybe the 22 hornet....

and we CAN NOT use rifles.

muzzleloaders of .45 cal or larger, and shotguns with ONLY slugs. no buckshot.

one thing we have going for the handgun caliber is that there is no lenght restiction on the straight walled cartridge.

i would love to get a contender in .458 lott just to spyt the DNR! could you imagine showing him the brass you just shot that buck with!!!:evil:

Birdhunter1
December 27, 2008, 11:58 PM
It amounts to a .357 mag being the smallest numerical cartridge allowed and also restrics .45 Colt cowboy loads.

dakotasin
December 28, 2008, 12:08 AM
i know it is not what you were asking, but here goes, anyway...

a few years ago i decided to try handgun hunting. i picked up a ruger redhawk in 480 ruger, scoped it, and had a great time w/ it. always on the look out for a new challenge, i then picked up a ruger blackhawk in 41 rem mag, and left it unscoped. again, went out and had a ball. these guns were picked out for the express purpose of hunting in thick cover, where i prefer to be highly mobile. while i'm sure i could have success w/ them on the open prairie and river breaks, there's no way i'd take them there because i really enjoy rifles in those scenarios.

just wanted to say to not discount the 5 and 6-shooters... they are effective, and they are fun.

Shawnee
December 28, 2008, 08:45 AM
I don't know about a .480 barrel but I think .454 Casull barrels are fairly common. Obviously either the Casull or the .45 Colt (loaded to Contender levels) will be plenty for deer. I haven't handloaded for either one but I have heard the Casull can be tricky to load for and is pretty hard on brass. That's heresay though.

I have one of the .45/.410 barrels with a rib and basic iron sights. Shooting .410s with it is an absolute riot. Its' pattern with my everyday Skeet loads is much more effective than I had anticipated. Any barn pigeon within 30 yds. is in a heap of trouble, and it isn't even too difficult to bag them on the wing if they haven't already gone into overdrive.

Already have a .44 SBH to hunt with so I'm not planning any serious use of the .45 Colt but the .410s are just way too much fun to pass up.

Good Luck !
:cool:

john1911
December 28, 2008, 10:27 AM
Used to deer hunt with a 14" .44 mag Contender G2. That gun was accurate, but a pain to carry.

I've since switched to 4" revolvers to carry when hunting. They sit on the hip much easier.

I carry both muzzleloader and handgun while deer hunting. The T/C isn't really good for my type of hunting.

a handgun cartridge of .30 caliber or higher, that produces more than 500 Ft lbs of muzzle energy, offered in factory loadings, and pistol must have a barrel length of longer than 4". a bottle neck cartridge may be used as long as its .30 caliber or larger, and has a case length of LESS than 1.4 inches.


The 1.4" rule only applies to bottle neck cartridges, not straight wall rounds. I don't think there are any bottle neck cartridges that would meet these requirements.

MCgunner
December 28, 2008, 11:30 AM
I've been a Contender guy for nearly 20 years now. I love the thing for hunting. Killing a deer with an open sighted revolver is sort of a stunt, fun, done it, but the Contender gives me CONFIDENCE. The things shoot better than a lot of rifles off a rest. I've taken 5 deer now, longest was 90 yards, a shot I wouldn't attempt with an iron sighted revolver and would be on the edge of range for a scoped one. This thing is effective right out to 200 yards on paper, but you have to have a solid rest, of course, when shooting over 50 yards. Mine is chambered for .30-30 and I shoot 150 Nosler BTs in it over a near max charge of IMR3031. It's 3" high at 100, dead on at 200 and still packing just under 1000 ft lbs. It kills like a rifle, too, and Nosler BTs really work at the lower velocities I'm getting, 2100 fps MV. I have a 12" compensated hunter barrel on it and recoil is VERY light though the noise will wake the dead. Hunting in box blinds, I take my muffs. Learned that the hard way.

I originally didn't much care for contenders, didn't look like handguns to me. But, they're as compact as any long barreled revolver, lighter and more compact than X frames. They fit in shoulder holsters, something one of those XP100 type things won't do. Yes, Virginia, it IS a pistol! LOL They are very well built quality hunting guns and with a variety of barrels in the system, I hunt everything from squirrel to hogs and deer with it. I even got into IHMSA for a while with the 7mm TCU barrel and a set of dies. That one's a 10" bull barrel to qualify for stock gun in IHMSA and has a TC IHMSA rear sight on it. It'd make a good hunting barrel, too, and I've thought about scoping it, but the .30-30 does a great job at killin' deer. Why fix what ain't broke?

I also have a .45 Colt/.410 barrel which is way fun to play with if sorta useless and a .22LR 10" bull match barrel which out shoots most .22 rifles that I like to hunt squirrel with, though I got this new Ruger Mk2 with a scope I think I'll start using that's pretty accurate, accurate enough, though not AS accurate as the TC. It shoots 1" 50 yard groups off the bags and the TC shoots sub half inch 50 yard groups. But, 1" is good for squirrel.

My contender rides in an UMs shoulder rig. I've even walked in stores with it under my hunting coat CCW. :D It's a LOT easier to carry than a rifle, yet just as accurate. I love it. I've given thought to a bandoleer holster for it, might do that sometime, but the UM's gets the job done.

BTW, regards to that 1.4" minimum case length thing, I just laid a .30-30 round on my multitool and it case length is slightly over 2". 7mm TCU looks like 1 5/8 or so inches. Seems STUPID to limit the case length. I'd go with the .45-70 barrel, probably, given those goofy rules, the 150 yard sledge hammer. :D Fortunately, we don't have to put up with such in Texas, can even hunt with rifles here, amazing, eh?

Shawnee
December 28, 2008, 11:52 AM
"Killing a deer with an open sighted revolver is sort of a stunt, "

Stunt ? :confused::confused::confused:

Gee Wiz. I've been doing it for years with a SBH.

Just got the .30/30 barrel for my G2 last summer and promptly bang-flopped a big doe with the irons at 130yds. And you are probably a much better Contender shot than I am!

C'mon. McG. - Ya just gotta Let The Force Be With You.

;)

MCgunner
December 28, 2008, 11:56 AM
It's a stunt for me, anymore, seeing as my eyes were never that great and when I went to bifocals, well, irons get fuzzy. I still shoot well at closer ranges with defensive handguns, but hunting requires even more precision. I've taken two with my Blackhawk in .357 and both were under 50 yards. I really prefer my scoped contender. Thing is like a death ray. LOL

Random Discharge
December 31, 2008, 01:51 AM
Be sure to check the grip before you buy. Trigger reach is a bit long on the original Contender - perhaps it has been shortened on the G2, don't know as I have the original. Swapping out to a Pachmayer Decelerator got the trigger just close enough for me. You will not be able to shoot a high power light weight Contender well if you can't hold it straight in your hand and reach the trigger.

Given your caliber constraints, I'd consider a 41 or 44 Mag. 45-70 is a bit much for deer.

Kingcreek
December 31, 2008, 10:44 AM
I had a contender with a 10" 44.mag and a 2x fixed scope. damn fine accurate but a pain to carry or shoot in some situations while stalking. I sold it after I bought a 5" S&W 629. wish I had kept it for hunting from the stand. I also kill enough Illinois deer with arrows that one more deer with a handgun is just kind of a novelty for me to end up the season after I've already put 4 or 5 in the freezer.

Shawnee
December 31, 2008, 12:06 PM
Random Discharge is definitely right about checking the grip. That's necessary on the Encore too. Of the three, the original and the G2 fit me well but the Encore is simply too large. What a bummer :( that is too - would love to have a handgun in .243. :)

:cool:

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