Contender vs. Encore in 357 Maximum?


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Peter M. Eick
August 31, 2010, 01:35 PM
I like shooting my 357 Maximum and I have been thinking about getting a contender or encore to test what I can really push the Max up to. I realize this will be a custom barrel and I found aftermarket I can get either frame with a max barrel.

I have never fired one of these but I figured it can't be much different then my DW40 or Ruger SBH in 357 Maximum.

I found a bunch of companies doing 357 Maximum but one caught my eye:

http://www.bullberry.com/TCbarrels.html

They seem to be able to make and set up the whole gun including the frame and grips. Any one with experience from them?

I am open to suggestions or advice. Your thoughts?

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steveno
August 31, 2010, 05:46 PM
get the contender frame and a 14 inch barrel. a 10 inch barrel is VERY LOUD and a 14 inch barrel is just LOUD. the 14 inch barrel also helps to tame the recoil because of the extra weight.

unspellable
August 31, 2010, 07:11 PM
I thought one or the other of those single shots was available standard in 357 Maximum as opposed to a custom job.

hoghunting
September 1, 2010, 12:26 AM
Bullberry does make very good barrels, but the frame is the standard T/C frame. Unless he has that barrel already made up and a canceled order for it, expect to wait many months for your order.

Gik-tal
September 1, 2010, 05:30 PM
I have one in ten inch that was made by T/C you might want to check out the site:

http://www.edstc.com/

I have had my best loads that were made with 35 cal 180 grain rifle bullets. But it is not too bad in 10 inch, does make a flash that gets attention.

Peter M. Eick
September 1, 2010, 07:15 PM
I went on gun broker and even found 357 maximums made up. I think I need to research more before I buy though.

I am leaning toward just getting a contender in 22 lr or 357 magnum (both of which seem common on gunbroker) and then order my barrel for the max. What I have learned from the search is that the contender is considered a nicer gun for the size and power level of the 357 max and you don't need the G2 for pistol rounds. I really have no desire for much more power then that so I don't think I need the G2 or encore.

I have read several times that 14" is important so 14" for the max it is.

Any other suggestions?

BullfrogKen
September 1, 2010, 10:45 PM
I prefer the Contender frame to an Encore, especially for a pistol set-up. It's lighter, thinner, and not as bulky. Unless you're interested in the higher pressure rifle loads, the Contender will do everything you ask of it, with a little more class.

I like the .357 Max. It has been used enough in silhouette competitions that finding one in the used market shouldn't be too tough. That round was popular because:


it shot relatively flat for a handgun caliber;
the components were easily available;
no extra fancy dies were needed - .357 Magnum dies backed out is what I and everyone else uses;
180 grain bullets were enough to reliably knock down the steel, but didn't terribly punish the shooter


I thought that the .357 Maximum could be ordered right through the T/C Custom Shop. I have a 20" stainless heavy barrel in .32-20 that I ordered right from the T/C shop. Did they change their business practices?

hoghunting
September 2, 2010, 12:48 AM
I thought that the .357 Maximum could be ordered right through the T/C Custom Shop. I have a 20" stainless heavy barrel in .32-20 that I ordered right from the T/C shop. Did they change their business practices?

T/C closed the custom shop. Something was going to take a hit when S&W bought T/C.

DWFan
September 2, 2010, 02:15 AM
The .223 has a case diameter of .375" above the extractor groove. The .357 Maximum has a case diameter of .379" above the rim. The T/C Contender will easily handle 51-52 kpsi .223 loads.
I'd recommend a 12"-14" barrel to get the most from the cartridge, but 1700-1800 can be reached in a 10" barrel with a 180gr bullet.

6Covered
September 2, 2010, 12:52 PM
I have a Contender with a couple of barrels. .357 is not one though.

Might want to try and find a .357 barrel. Agree on the 12"-14". Easier than
finding the Max. Then take it to your 'Smith and have him ream it to .357 Max.
Or if you're handy rent the reamer from 4D and do it yourself. Something to think of.

You will then be able to shoot .38 .357 and .357 Max from the same barrel with
no loss of accuracy just different POA.

Just my thoughts.

Jon

kludge
September 2, 2010, 05:49 PM
If you're serious about a custom .357 Max barrel, or reaming out a .357 Mag barrel, then go read the info on Bellm's site about having a correct rifle chamber in the max - not a revolver chamber made with a reamer that is designed with a forcing cone.

And the longer the barrel the better. The .357 Max can meet or exceed the .35 Remington with a long enough barrel and the right load.

Blown6L
September 2, 2010, 05:56 PM
As a couple have stated. T/C has made the .357 Max barrel. I have one in 10" for a Contender.

Great round and excellent platform to shoot it from.

farscott
September 3, 2010, 04:48 PM
Bullberry makes top notch barrels, but you will wait for the barrel to be built. My last order was six months from date of order to the date it shipped to me.

ironhead7544
September 4, 2010, 09:13 AM
I had a 10 inch 357 Max Contender. It would outshoot many rifles at 100 yards. I like the 10 incher on a Contender. After all, it is a pistol.

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