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T/C Contender Handgun to Carbine?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by The Heretic, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    For a while T/C sold a carbine kit for their handguns.

    There was a lot of controversy about this, even a court case where T/C sued the gov. and won on appeal (it went all the way to SCOTUS). The ATF has posted a ruling on the issue:


    The executive summary is that if the "frame", i.e., the firearm was purchased as a handgun, it can be converted to a rifle with a 16" or longer barrel and buttstock, and back to a handgun, as long as the original assembly was a handgun and not a rifle.

    You cannot go from an original rifle firearm to a handgun configuration.

    The ATF argued that "once a rifle, always a rifle" even if it was originally a handgun, but the appellate court and SCOTUS did not agree. Now it is 'if originally a rifle from the manufacturer, then always a rifle' (paraphrased - read the PDF above for yourself).

    I didn't say all this to get into a debate on it - that is NOT the purpose of this thread and I would prefer that posters NOT devolve it into a debate over the legalities therein. This has been discussed at length elsewhere, the SCOTUS ruled on it, and the ATF has posted an official ruling allowing it.

    No, my purpose is to ask a simple mechanical question from those who have (or have disassembled) both T/C Contender/Encore rifle and handgun:

    T/C no longer offers the carbine kit, they offer the full rifle sold as a rifle, and the pistol sold as a pistol.

    Have they changed the frames of the handguns such that they will not accept the rifle buttstock, forend and barrel?

    Or are they essentially the same and a person can still swap the parts around?

    I say this because I would like to get a single shot firearm that takes multiple caliber barrels, that can be switched from pistol to rifle and back again.
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would think an email to Thompson Center would be the best place to get a correct answer.
  3. Greenbug

    Greenbug Bend Well-Known Member

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    You can in fact still swap buttstocks and pistol grips on all the T/C frames. Encore frames are the same wether they are handguns or rifles, and contender or G2 frames are still the same wether they are handguns or rifles. It sounds like you have a good grasp on the laws, but I'll go ahead and state the obvious here...

    Just make sure your barrel is 16" or longer if you have a rifle buttstock attached to the frame, otherwise you end up with an NFA short barreled rifle situation.
    The Heretic and (deleted member) like this.
  4. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that is what I wanted to know.

    Yes, I started exploring the legal issues some days ago with regards to the carbine kits you can get for a Glock or 1911 frame, not that I was interested in buying one (unless they made one for a .22 LR conversion, which they do not - that I know of - they should though), and then got to thinking about the T/C because I like them and that was what the court case was about.

    Basically, if you are careful (never assemble the butstock with the pistol barrel attached to the frame), then you will be okay.

    Now I would like to find a carbon fiber wrapped barrel supplier for about the cost of what you can get them for a 10/22 - but the only ones I have found have been custom ordered one off that will probably cost $500 or more.

    The idea would be to have a lightweight multi-caliber rifle/handgun system that is accurate and easy to shoot.

    It is sad that our laws ban certain configurations with the mistaken idea that a shoulder stock on a handgun is something only criminals use in crimes - *sigh*.
    Hybrid Slave likes this.