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What Caliber Contender Barrel for Young Shooter's First Deer Season?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Olympus, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Another vote for a .357 Max, that way the youngster could get used to gun in .38 spl, and try .357 158 grain HP and few .357 Max for final sight in. The progressive getting used to the gun will work well I promise. .357 Max is pretty loud and starts to recoil just a bit in a carbine BUT you have the option of it. .38 spl cheap practice loads can't be beat, the kid will love to shoot their gun ! A .357 mag 158 grain in a carbine is good for deer to 100 yards and the max get you another 50+ yards.
     
  2. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Can’t shoot that caliber in a Contender.
     
  3. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Grendel, spc2, pcc, .22-250 loaded with the Nosler 64
     
  4. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    Even the Grendel is considered a bit much for the contender frame.
     
  5. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Huh, I'd have thought it was watered down enough, forgive my ignorance gents!
     
  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    You can't shoot anything with a 308 bolt face. They all have to much bolt thrust for the frame to take. Max case size/pressure is about 30-30 or 444 marlin. A 22-250 has just as much bolt thrust as a 308. If you put to much pressure in them the frame will stretch. An Encore is needed for the 308's and magnums.

    The pressure limitation depend on the base diameter of the cartridge, not the power of the cartridge. For example at the base diameter of a 30-30 which is .422", they can take about 50,000 psi or so. However with the smaller base diameter of a 223 which is .376, they can take a full 60,000+ psi due to the smaller bolt area.

    This is why I recently switched from a 357 Herrett to a 357 maximum. The 357 Herrett is a 30-30 wildcat and all I was able to get out of mine before extraction became sticky was 1800 fps with a 180 xtp from a 14" barrel using 31 grains of 4198. However with my 13" 357 maximum I get 2000 fps with just 24 grains of H110, and still have another hundred or two fps left in it. The difference is the maximum is the same diameter as a 223 so it can be run at very high pressure. I have safely shot 158 grain bullets at over 2400 fps from a 13" barrel using 1680, though the recoil is stout in a handgun. That is nipping on the heals of 308 muzzle energy from a 13" handgun!

    And yet you reload it with carbide pistol dies and can just as easily load 38 special level loads that recoil like a 22 mag.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  7. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    If 357 max brass can be had, I would start there.
     
  8. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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  9. GAF

    GAF Member

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  10. wild willy

    wild willy Member

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  11. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    X39 is again generally considered a bit much for the Contender frame.
    The 6.8Spc seems about the largest based high intensity case that will work long term with no problems.
    I looked at this over, and over a few years ago when i REALLY wanted a 6.5 Grendel contender carbine.
     
  12. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    A 7.62x39 is right on the pressure edge but should be okay if you don't try to hot rod it. The 6.5 grendel is saami rated for a little more pressure than its parent so its a no go. The 6.8 spc is right on the edge as well, but should be okay if you stay within published data. MGM will chamber for both of them and they won't chamber anything that is over the recommended bolt thrust from Thompson Center.
     
  13. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    With thick woods, why not a red dot instead of a scope? I've tried both on my Marlin 1894 and ended up keeping the red dot on for deer season.

    Also my daughter, now 9, has a much easier time with red dots than scopes. She's been using iron sights and red dots for 4 years now without a problem, but she still struggles when shooting a gun with a scope.
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Guys, if .30-30 and 7-30 and similar cartridges are already deemed too much for this youngster, and the distances are going to be under 100 yards anyway, what's the point in suggesting all these bottle-neck rifle cartridges?

    There's not going to be an deer killing advantage to shooting Bambi with a 6.8 or .22-250 over that .357 Mag or Max. And the rimmed .357 Mag/Max is almost the perfect round for that break-action gun, great at the shorter barrel length desired, and gives the advantage of practicing with .38 Spc. plinkers without more recoil (or much more blast) than an air rifle.

    (And the same could be said about .44 Spc,/Mag, except I wouldn't even bother to put .44 Mags in the gun for hunting. A good .44 Spc. makes a DANDY white-tail round.)
     
  15. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    My first recommendation would be to echo the .357 magnum. Second would be .300 BLK. I have a 16" MGM barrel in .300 BLK for my Encore and it is very mild, even with super-sonic loads. It would be a fine deer cartridge out to 150 yards, plus you can play with subsonic loadings if you just want to plink.

    https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/2017/8/8/300-aac-blackout-for-deer/
     
  16. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Is 223 do-able in that gun? 22-250? 300 B-O?
     
  17. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    I guess I'll go against everyone here. :)

    You said the magic words...you RELOAD.

    45-70 Govt will grow with the hunter...an 18" 45-70 can lay low any animal in the lower 48.

    you can use mild charges of 3031 or full cases of trailboss and roll up to RL7 and 4198 for the harder hitting stuff later on. 300 grain jacketed for a nice long range hitter up to 500 gr cast for putting the hurt on hogs at short ranges.

    MGM has barrels but you can also look at SSK for some serious caliber/cartridge combos.

    Good luck!
    D
     
  18. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    One note for people reading interested in the 357 maximum in a full power loading. The Max was originally chambered in ruger revolvers and all the load data out there in loading books was developed for safe pressures in a revolver, with bullets seated at revolver length. Therefore all the published data makes it look really anemic. Most sources don't go above 35-40K in pressure, but in a single shot like a contender or handi rifle the cartridge is perfectly safe at 60K.

    For example hodgdon lists a max load of 21 grains of H110 with a 180 grain bullet and 1694 fps, which is barely more than a 357 magnum rifle can do. However my load for a 180 xtp seated long in the second canelure is 24 grains of H110 with a small rifle mag primer. I get right at 2000 fps with this and the brass falls out. Even 26 grains does not show any pressure signs in my gun but it gets a little punchy at that power level in a pistol.

    With a 20" barrel you can easily achieve 2500 fps with a 158 grain bullet and accurate 1680. It's an incredibly versatile cartridge, and very easy and economical to load. With 1680 it's virtually impossible to overload, though I find better accuracy with H110.
     
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  19. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

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    7-30 waters aaaaallll day:thumbup::thumbup:nooooo kick at all:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  20. Tiro Finale

    Tiro Finale Member

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    I would say 10mm. It's absolutely mellow to shoot out of a rifle, but still has plenty of energy for hunting (if you use a "true" load).

    Also, you can handload some rounds that are real bruisers out of a rifle. 10mm is no slouch from a handgun, but it becomes a whole different beast out of a rifle.
     
  21. Tiro Finale

    Tiro Finale Member

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    It is. I love my 14" .223 barrel, but the blast and noise are unreal. Recoil is very manageable, but the noise can be off-putting for some people, especially those who are new to shooting. It is definitely a "shooter's gun".
     
  22. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I own a Contender, but only because I got a killer deal on it, as I favor the Encore frame for the reason outlined above. The Contender is a great pistol, don't get me wrong in that, but it's limited in what it can manage.

    Uffda, that's none too good from such a long barrel with the Herrett. I've not owned a Herrett myself, but have played with one from a fellow sillhy shootist, and spent a lot of time talking with Herrett shooters over the period I was working up my 357/44 data. I get more out of a 7.5" Redhawk in 357/44 B&D Mag than that - with the 180XTP, my practice load is 23grn H110/W296, which runs 1785fps, I have to help the cylinder roll a bit when I get over 24grn under this bullet. When I really want to do work, I run a 180 Hotcor, lubed and swaged, and seated flush with the end of the cylinder - I'm tolerant of flattened primers, but can get this over 2,000fps from the 7.5". The Hotcor and the (trimmed) Hornady SSP run a LOT lower resistance than the XTP's, so these will take far more H110 than the 180XTP at lower pressure. The B&D case has a little more case capacity than the Maximum, so I can generally top my Max BH numbers with this 357/44, but either of them produce a hell of a fireball out front. I'd really like to rebarrel this revolver with a 12-15" tube and maybe have a free float shroud done (Chris Roads, Bayside Custom Gun Works) to see how much of that fireball I can capture as bullet velocity. Recoil in this revolver is remarkably mild. The muzzle flash, however, is not. Lots of lost potential.

    36070317030_4d65a62a1c_b.jpg
     
  24. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Yeah I was not too impressed with the 357 Herrett. I just didn't have the right powder for it. 296 would give decent velocity but the case fill was only about 60% so it was really erratic with huge extreme spreads and was position sensitive. IMR4198 would give 100% load density with decent accuracy but velocities were slow and its expensive. I think 1680 would have really made the Herrett a whole different cartridge but I could not find any at the time and didn't want to order 1 bottle to try.

    The 30 Herrett is a much more interesting cartridge. When I got my contender it came with 14" 357 and 30 herrett barrels both with 4x burris scopes. I sold the 30 herrett to my father in law. The 30 Herrett is about 30% shorter than the 357 so its the perfect case capacity for 296. He does not like recoil so I load a light load of 296 under a 125 grain nosler BT for him and its a joy to shoot with almost no recoil. We get about a 4" group at 200 yards with it and mabey 1-1/2 at 100. My MGM 357 max will do slightly better on accuracy but it comes down to the shooter.
     
  25. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    44 mag wouldn't be my first choice for a kid. Both my nieces started with a youth model NEF .223. recoil is low, very flat compared to handgun cartridge and no brake is needed. 357 would be cool and 38s in a rifle are quiet.
     

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