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Contender Bug

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by oremike, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. oremike

    oremike Creswell, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else got it? This is my 3rd frame. This one came with a 10" bull in 45 Colt not chambered for 410 shotgun. Not being able to stop there I bought a 15" bull Barrel in 357/44 Bain and Davis. Anyone have a pet load for that caliber? Other calibers I've had were .222, .223, 7-TCU, 30 herrett, 357 herrett, and 45/70.
     
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  2. Alderman

    Alderman New Member

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    I've only got two frames. Current lineup includes 22lr, 2-223s, 22 Hornet, 357 Maximum, 44 Mag, 30-30, 45/70, 410/45 Colt. I wouldn't mind picking up a scoped 357 Mag at some point.
    The June Handloader magazine had an article on the 357/44.
    Looks like it would be a fun one to shoot.
     
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  3. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Decided I wanted a Contender in .256 Win. Mag. Shopping around I found a frame with an 8" .22 Hornet barrel for a good price so I bought that. Then I bought a 10" .256 barrel. Liked it and got the "bright" idea to try making a .256 from .357 Maximum brass. Bought another .256 10" barrel and rechambered it for the longer cartridge. In shopping for .357 Maximum brass I found a guy with LOTS of brass and a 10" .357 Maximum barrel. Bought the whole lot from him. Liked my Maximum conversion enough that I bought a custom 14" Bullberry barrel in what I call .257 Win. Max. Somewhere along the way a .256 Win. Mag. 10" bull barrel found it's way home with me and I'm not even sure where from. Along the way I have accumulated two other grips and four different forearms, but so far only one frame.
     
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  4. Hybrid Slave

    Hybrid Slave Medford Member

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    There is something about single shots in general that has a hook in me.

    I was given a Contender, years ago, as a gift. I have since acquired a second frame in stainless, and one serves as a carbine and the other, a pistol.

    As I have rather small hands, I have always been partial to the carbine, but the barrels are so much more expensive, especially in the more popular calibers.

    I've bought and sold a variety of used barrels, some of which I wish I'd kept. A ported 16" CS in 44 Mag, for one. Had no back up sights though. And even with the brake, it was hazardous to my eyeball with a scope when using +P loads, due to its light weight. I would have much more preferred a scout style mount and a longer barrel (say 18" or 20") as I was going to be using in the carbine configuration rather than as a pistol.

    CS (custom shop) is really the only way to go in order to get everything you want, but ouch!! the price!

    At present, I am down to a 21 inch tapered stainless .22Lr that I will likely never give up, and a 10" stainless Bull match .22 with Robar sights which I'm debating on trading for something else. And I still have a stainless Super 14 in 44 Mag (did I mention I like stainless).

    With the scope, I find the Super 14 to be rather bulky for a 44 (and I feel more comfortable with my lever action trapper). Although I love shooting it at the range with open sights. But being a single shot, I'd like to get as much accuracy as possible out of it, so a scope is the answer.

    I'm considering having it cut down to 11-1/4" to off set the nose weight and overall length a bit. In this way, it is still not as ight as the 12" tapered, and not as short (and light) as the 10" tapered, but still almost a full 3"s more compact than the 14", and due to the bull profile, it still retains some weight to absorb recoil (not really that much of an issue as much as the overall length and weight of the 14") as well as that extra inch for another 50 or so FPS over the 10".

    Any thoughts on this? Keep in mind I have small hands.
     
  5. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Been a Contender fan for along time: got into the accuracy of the single shot pistol in IHMSA competition A .357 max conversion by Mike Bellm (bellmtcs.com) and .375 win/Hy by EABCO are my fav' calibers. The .375 has the slower 18" twist of a .38-55 rather than the faster 12" twist of the Win lever actions. (Accuracy is much better for shorter pistol weight bullets.) Accuracy of the .223 in the scoped 14in T/C bbl is amazing; equal to a bolt rifle in most cases. Latest in the single shot collection is a .308 win in a 15in Encore pistol: wow, single shots do a job. Be sure to check out the Bellm website to see what is still happening in repair, maintenance, and upgrades for your T/C! (I am not associated with him, but respect his training by P.O. Ackley himself!) Next up, I'm having a 14in .41 mag bbl rechambered to .414 super mag.....can't wait.
     
  6. Twodogs

    Twodogs portland Or Active Member

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    I've had contenders sense the mid 70's mostly a .44 mag with 14" barrel, great deer gun for hunting blacktails in the thick stuff.
    My currant setup is a 12" .44 mag with a factory brake and a reddot sight.
    Would like to pick up a 6.8 mm barrel at some time.
     
  7. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

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    Back in the '80s I had a 10" 22 Hornet barrel that would shoot one hole groups at 50 yards using a Burris 2.5x scope, routinely popped Minnesota woodchucks out to as far as you could see them. I've owned rifles that couldn't shoot as well as Contender barrels.
     
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  8. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yesterday's shooting. 100 yards, 14" Bullberry barrel in .257 Win. Max with Bushnell 2-6X. Sierra 75 gr. HP #1600, WSR primer, 25.5 gr. H335. Off sandbags of course. Two other groups only slightly larger. An excellent bit of hardware!:D WP_20150906_001.jpg
     
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  9. oremike

    oremike Creswell, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Kind of a fun scavenger hunt to get the 357.44 B&D to shoot. Found Hornady dies at Graf and Sons, new 44 mag brass at Brass by Bill and 180 XTP's at Calbelas. Looking through my mounts and rings I found the correct Weaver mount, then some 1" low profile rings so I mounted a 2x Nikon scope. Looking at the data available on line I couldn't find any for the 180 gr bullets so did a best guess and started with 20 grs of AA#9 and a CCI #350 primer. The load shot very well with no smoke on the case neck or over flattened primers, not only that but it grouped very well at 25 yds. I wanted to zero at 50 yds but the benches there were full of hunters sighting in. Guess I'll have to got back another day......
     
  10. Huston

    Huston Vancouver, Wash. Member

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    I too have the Contender/Encore bug. Three Contender frames and 1 Encore. 10-12 Contender barrels and 3-4 Encore. Lots of fun!!
     
  11. oremike

    oremike Creswell, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I talked with the Bain and Davis guns shop and they sent me 6 pages of reloading data. 20 grs of AA#9 under a 180 XTP is listed as just under a max load(max is 20.3 grs). Any 180 gr .357-358 bullets are hard to find, particularly in a pointed rifle bullet so digging through the data I found a load for the 200 gr RN. Load is 20 grs of W-296 and shoots into the 1" group at 50 yds if I do my part.
     
  12. gemihur

    gemihur Ridgelines of Virginia, Roanoke Valley Member

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    Lilhigbee,
    Is that .257 Max anything like a 257 TCU but with a rim? The shooting looks phenomenal.
    The closest contender barrel to that that I have would be my stubbed 250 Savage (16").
     
  13. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm not familiar with the .257 TCU. My.257 is just a 357 Maximum case necked down. Or a lengthened .256 Win. Mag, however you want to look at it. Sort of my own creation but certainly nothing revolutionary. So far it has been much more accurate than anything I have been able to do with the .256 Win. Mag.
     
  14. gemihur

    gemihur Ridgelines of Virginia, Roanoke Valley Member

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    Sounds alot like Gary Reeder's 256GNR
    He says: 256 GNR..this is a cartridge we developed for use in the Ruger Maximum stretch frame revolver. We have had large 450 pound wild hogs taken with this along with large deer. A great little cartridge and no recoil. Basically a 357 Maximum case necked to 25 caliber. Loading dies and data are available. (first one on left) 256%20-610GNR.jpg

    You can view his wildcats at GNR Wildcat Cartridges
    The TCU family uses .223 Rem. as parent case expands neck to suit bore and has Ackley shoulder
    They come in 6mm, .257, 6.5, but most popular is 7mm. (Thompson Center Ugalde)
    Wes Ugalde was the designer. You've got a dang sweet shooter, that's for sure!
     
  15. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I have a Contender Carbine in stainless (the cat is pretty ugly if you ask me) and barrels in .22LR and .357 Max and 7-30 Waters. Only really use the .22LR though. Kind of a knock-around gun.

    I do have a 6.5 TCU gun but it is a rebarrelled Winchester 1885 Low Wall. It may be my favorite gun.
     
  16. gemihur

    gemihur Ridgelines of Virginia, Roanoke Valley Member

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    Sounds like your stainless frame has the 'Angry cougar' etching on it. Your chamber selection of your barrel collection is representative of the specialty calibers available in the contender. The pistol that thinks it's a rifle. The 357 maximum is one of my personal favorites for all around use.
    Thanks, Paul, I'm certain that your Winchester is a real peach! If not one of a kind ...
     
  17. Automag68

    Automag68 Florence New Member

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    long time contender fan i have 2 G2 frames one has the 45/70 short carbine barrel the other is ysed as pistol super 14 hunter 45/70 10 222rem 30-30 45-410 lots of fun to shoot as you can see I like the 45/70 worked alot of loads for it
     
  18. gemihur

    gemihur Ridgelines of Virginia, Roanoke Valley Member

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    Love the big bores ... but the bug has bit hard! Can't seem to find one I don't like!
    Cabinet inventory.jpg
     
  19. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    I had the bug for a while years ago, my favorite was a ten inch octagonal in 39/30. The ball of flame and noise was exceptional.
     
  20. gemihur

    gemihur Ridgelines of Virginia, Roanoke Valley Member

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    That's wasted energy. Steve Herrett and Bob Milek saw the same and came up with the
    30 Herrett. More efficient in the shorter barrels.