Reloading for Contenders


November 23, 2010, 05:06 PM
Hi from Montana. Does anyone know of a website or two that specializes in reloading info and data for single shot pistols? Just bought a Super 14 with .30-30 and .223 bbls., getting the itch to start hunting deer and antelope with this rig. Thanks in advance!

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November 23, 2010, 05:27 PM
My horandy manual has a section just for the contender.

November 23, 2010, 05:32 PM
As does the Lyman #49.

As does the Hodgdon "magazine" manual in the pistol data section.


November 23, 2010, 06:03 PM has both pistol and rifle data at the site. You make the selection of type of firearm and caliber. It has a lot of up to date data.

I have a 14" 223 and 10" 357 Maximum for my Contender.


November 23, 2010, 07:16 PM
You can always ask Mr Google. I found loads for my Contender in .357 Herrett. That pistol defines the term "hand cannon"

As noted, the Lyman book has good stuff.

November 23, 2010, 07:36 PM
Might find something here:

November 23, 2010, 11:34 PM
MidwayUSA sells the Loadbooks USA series, which includes books on loading the Thompson Center Contender, Vol 1 and Vol 2.

These would be my choice.

November 24, 2010, 08:58 AM
Back in the '80's Dupont (remember when they made IMR powders?) modified some Contender barrels for pressure testing. The results were in 2 issues of TAR. I have the old photocopied pages but they don't show what issue I got them out of. They show 30-30 data but not 223.
I think Hodgdon used the data (at least from the 357 Herrett) in their reloading site.

November 24, 2010, 09:32 AM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information. 10" bbl. IMR 4895-35.5gr. start low, work up the powder charge. Sierra 150gr. spitzer #2130, 9 1/2 Rem primer. COL 66.5mm Federal Brass,1960fps. This was a target load, not hunting. For hunting, work up a load using Sierra 150 gr #2000, or 125gr. #2020, these are 30-30 bullets that will expand at T/C velocity.(I have not loaded them, except in the M94) At one time Sierra made bullet just for Contender/velocities, but i dont see them on the website now??:confused: The Hodgdon website has loads under "pistol 30-30"

November 24, 2010, 09:43 AM
Using Sierra bullets 50 to 55gr, IMR 4198 gave some groups under 1" @100 yds. 3X scope 14" bbl. for me. You have a very wide range of loads in this caliber. The barrels twist rate will work best with 55gr or lighter bullets. Don't overlook IMR 4895 with some 55 gr bullet. :)

November 24, 2010, 09:45 AM
Check out this site on loading for single shot pistols, especially the article called "headspace, how to get it right". Very important info!

November 24, 2010, 10:01 AM
Great info, thank you all!

November 24, 2010, 11:43 AM

Great resource for all things TC Contender and Encore.

November 24, 2010, 12:32 PM
Might find something here:
Graybeard's has become a real PITA lately, the pop up ads are just too much and viewership is dwindling.

Hondo 60
November 24, 2010, 09:44 PM
Not trying to pick a fight, but I certainly wouldn't feel safe asking Mr Google.
Any crack pot with a dollar or two can have a website & publish load data.
Stay with info published by bullet & powder manufacturers.
Just my $.02

November 25, 2010, 10:36 AM
One thing I learned, after being told of it, but had to form my own opinion. For bottle neck rimmed rifle cases in a Contender; size to head space on the shoulder, not the rim. Accuracy will be better and your cases will last several more loadings. I used a lot of 30-30 and 30 Herrett over the years and found this to be very helpful

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