Any Thompson Center Contender Pistol Fans?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Master Blaster, Feb 9, 2022.

  1. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Recently I did a cleanout and reorganization of my reloading room and mancave.
    I came across my Thompson center contender pistol frame. Back around 2000 I was shooting silhouette weekly with .22lr at our indoor club. I had bought a super 14 barrel .22lr barrel and used a red dot at 25 yards which was perfect. I had a .17 HMR barrel, and a .30-.30 barrel both rifle length and a rifle stock for the contender as well.

    A few years down the road 2008 or so I sold the barrels ( the 14" was too big and unwieldy) never use it as a rifle either.

    Since then the Contender has been gathering dust.

    So I decided to get a 10" .22lr barrel, and a 10" .44 magnum barrel for it. I would like to use the .44 for handgun deer season in my state next year.

    It seems that these days the best place to find barrels mounts and scopes is on ebay.
    I was able to find a very nice 10" .22lr bull barrel with a 10" forend and Skinner peep sight for $300.

    I also won an auction for a 10" .44 magnum bull barrel with a Leupold mount and rings.

    I think the 10" is the perfect length for a contender.
    I am going to mount Leupold EER pistol scopes on both barrels. That is the way to go.

    So are there any enthusiasts here who can recommend a good .44 magnum load for hunting and practice?


    Any recommendations for accessories scopes mounts etc??

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
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  2. lightman

    lightman Member

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    My frame dates back to the 80's. I have barrels in 22LR, 22 Hornet, 357 Herrett and 45 Colt. I like the Leupold 2X scopes better than the TC Scope that came with one of my barrels. I put Pachmayr grips and forearm on mine along with a spring kit from Bullseye.
     
  3. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I am a fan but do not yet have one myself. I’m waiting to see if SSK will finally release the ssk-50 frame. They bought the rights to the contender from smith and Wesson and are trying to produce a new frame that will work for g1 and g2 parts. They have had some delays over the past 2 years but it looks like they are supposed to be ready at the end of this month. We will see.
     
  4. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    My first Contender was bought in 1978 with a 10" octagon .222 Remington barrel. Since then I have a 10" bull barreled 30-30, a 10" bull barrel .357SM, a 10" bull barrel 44 mag,a 12 " bull barrel .375 Win-Hy and a 10" bull barrel .22LR. I have two other frames set up for carbine use. One has a 18" straight contour barrel in 445SM, and the other has a 18" bull barrel .256 Win Mag. This frame also sometimes carries a bull barrel 20" .22 Win Mag barrel. I bought the gun for interchangeability so I didn't have the expense of having several guns. I could pack one frame and several barrels into hunting camp. I have also got a T/C Encore frame that I switch between a 12 gauge rifled slug barrel, a .338-06 barrel and a .222 Rem barrel.
     
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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Had 22lr, 222, 223, 30-30, 7mmTCU, 45/410.

    The 44 mag, 240 gr cast, with 10 grs Uniqque or 23 grs W296, work well.

    Used the 22lr as a ISU Free Pistol in the 70s. Had a 9 oz trigger. Shot silhouette with it 1 time. 20220209_095441.jpg

    The 30-30 with a 150 gr jacketed bullet clocked at almost 2000 fps. 10" bbl.

    Shot skeet singles with the 410. 15/25 best.

    Got bored with it, sold all. Buy new toys, more fun.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
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  6. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Yes for me it is a new old toy, If I get bored with it I can sell the barrels for what I paid or more.
    I have other .44 magnums, Ruger and Smith & Wesson that I could use to hunt.

    I have the very Bullets and Powder you are suggesting already, I also have some Hornady XTP bullets on my shelf.
     
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  7. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    I’m a fan I just need to start buying them
     
  8. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Yup, im a fan. 22LR, 22 mag, 22 hornet, 221 FB, 222, 223 (10 and 14") 30 Herrett (10 and 14") 357 Herrett, 357/44 Bain and Davis, and 44 mag Hotshot. Some with scopes, some not. Ed's TC parts is a good place for barrels, as are auctions.

    SSK, Match Grade Machine, and Bulberry all make aftermarket barrels in about any caliber and length you could want
     
  9. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    love the Contender... 45/70,30-30 ,22lr and a .209x45 14" then 357x2 and a .44 mag in 10 inch Would like a rifle barrel in 22 hornet and 357 max and anything else I find a steal of a deal on :p had a .357 herret I let go because I did not want to deal with brass- kinda kick myself over that but figure a 357 max will do anything it would have... I forgot I got a 14" .223 complete a bud gave me when he could not open it anymore. That makes 3 frames to go with the herd
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
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  10. robhof

    robhof Member

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    DSCN1123.JPG T/C oh yeah, 223, 357SM, 3030, rifle and pistol barrels, the 3030 pistol combo has been my #1 deer killer over the yrs.
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Just remembered, shot a guys 460 S&W Magnum. May have been an Encore 15"?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2022
  12. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Currently 4 barrels, 2 frames. In order of acquisition…
    44 mag 16” with first frame. Sold barrel due to recoil.
    7-30 waters 10 inch. Love the thing.
    223 AI 14” haven’t shot yet
    30-30 14” with stainless frame. Set up with a brace until the brace mess. Shoots OK, but needs tinkered with.
    357 Herrett 10” haven’t shot yet.

    I really like the wooden grip with the rubber backstrap (that everybody else in the whole world hates).

    I have adapters for 22lr and 22 mag for the 223 but I haven’t tried them. Got all of that shortly before I moved and I’m still unpacking. I need some trigger time like nobody’s business.
     
  13. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Bought my first Contender, a .30 Herrett, in 1976. I’ve owned two dozen barrels and three frames since, still have over a dozen barrels and all the frames. I’ve shot a lot of deer with various barrels and found the 4x Leupold worked best for my hunting.

    The OP asked for loads, the 10.0 grains of Unique load (10.3 is max according to Alliant) works well as a powerful practice/plinking load with 200-240 grain bullets, relatively low recoil and often good accuracy. But what kind of hunting does the OP do? The Unique load works well for shorter range deer, but for bigger game or longer ranges I like 19.5 grains of AA-9 and a 240 XTP. Not a maximum performance load, it has “moderate” recoil and fine accuracy. But, there are plenty of published loads using Lil’gun and H110 which are more powerful.



    .
     
  14. dannyd

    dannyd Member

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    Load 44 special for target shooting it's a lot more fun.
     
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  15. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    I load plinking .44 mag with Trailboss and a 240 lswc for my revolvers.
     
  16. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    I have two T/C Contender frames; blued and stainless steel.
    Along with several barrels;
    Blued;
    14” 7-30 Waters
    10” .22lr

    Stainless;
    14” .223
    14” .44 Magnum
    10” .22 Hornet
    10” .22lr Match

    I bought a few barrels via gunbroker at decent prices before the madness of Covid caused gun prices to go through the roof.
     
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  17. P Flados

    P Flados Member

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    I bought a used 10" 357 mag contender in the late 1970s as my first handgun. I now have lots of barrels (all handgun) and one additional frame. Shot both frames today. Standing practice at an indoor range with a 32 and a 7 TCU.
     
  18. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Count me as a fan. Started back in the late 80s. Have had several frames and barrels over the years, still have 2 Encore frames, several big bore barrels. Hoping someone steps in to fill the void and buys T/C and resumes production. I’d like to pick up a few more frames.
     
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  19. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I’ve had many contenders and barrels. I’m currently down to just one. Hard to beat a 240 grain xtp over H110
     
  20. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    I had one when I was 16 (41 years ago). One of the most memorable hunts I have ever had was sitting in the loft of an abandoned barn and calling a coyote within range of my 22 Hornet barrel. It was a snowy day and totally silent except for the wind in the trees and the creaking of the barn. It was a simple hunt but I have always cherished the memory. Shortly thereafter I sold that pistol to my ag teacher. In little towns you could do stuff like that. :D
     
  21. clutch
    • Contributing Member

    clutch Contributing Member

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    I have one blued frame. 10" octagon .30/30 barrel, 10" .357 Herrett barrel, 10" .22 LR barrel, 10" .22 LR Match chamber barrel.

    I bought my first .22 lr barrel used, had a ding, didn't shoot so great. Wanting something that shot better, I bought a new barrel with a match chamber that I shoot scoped, it gave me what I wanted.

    The dinged one tightened up a bunch once I re-cut the crown.

    Kinda wish I had bought a .22H or .222 Rem barrel but I got enough stuff to play with for now.
     
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  22. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    X5ixIrvh.jpg
     
  23. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Member

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    No love for the 35 Rem Contender? That's odd. I have it in super 14 and a 21" rifle barrel. Killed several deer with the Super 14. Also 22RF and 223 in 14" and 21" as well as 10" 44Mag.

    Always used some Bob Milek load from a Sierra Manual using compressed H322 behind a 200gr RN Hornady in the 35. Kicked hard but accurate...and deadly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2022
  24. DS-10-SPEED

    DS-10-SPEED Member

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    I had one in the mid 70's, .357, 30-30 and .22LR. I had a Redfield scope on the 30-30 and they were all octagon 10" barrels. I wish I'd never sold them because the octagon barrels seem to be more rare now.
     
  25. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    They all seem to have faded into obscurity. It’s been years since I’ve seen any T/C stuff at gun shows. Makes me wonder how many barrels are in closets and drawers all across the country. Maybe they will resurface in estate sales or something.
     
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