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  #1  
Old 05-18-2018, 7:09 AM
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TexasJackKin TexasJackKin is offline
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Default Early model Thomson Center Contender

Iíve got an early model Thomson Center Contender. Itís hard to open after firing, back in the day Thomson Center, would fix them for free by moving the pivot point for the trigger guard. I never sent it in, because I didnít want to be without it (as I was shooting it regularly)

Itís probably been 35 or more years since Iíve shot it, but now that Iím retired, would like to start shooting it again. I know Smith & Wesson bought them, and when I contacted S & W, they seemed to have no idea what I was talking about.

So, my question is: Is there anyone else that can do this modification, or anyone that has a print relating to the modification, so I could do it myself? Or, any other old timers, that remember anything about this?

Thanks for any helpÖ.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2018, 7:19 AM
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Bullberry is one source for parts and service. They are pretty much experts on classic TC.

https://www.bullberry.com/gunsmithing-parts
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Old 05-18-2018, 8:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasJackKin View Post
I’ve got an early model Thomson Center Contender. It’s hard to open after firing, back in the day Thomson Center, would fix them for free by moving the pivot point for the trigger guard. I never sent it in, because I didn’t want to be without it (as I was shooting it regularly)

It’s probably been 35 or more years since I’ve shot it, but now that I’m retired, would like to start shooting it again. I know Smith & Wesson bought them, and when I contacted S & W, they seemed to have no idea what I was talking about.

So, my question is: Is there anyone else that can do this modification, or anyone that has a print relating to the modification, so I could do it myself? Or, any other old timers, that remember anything about this?

Thanks for any help….
I believe that the easy-open conversion requires new parts and that all the people who know how that works at TC have probably moved-on by now.
Even if the parts are still sitting around at TC, if there's probably not anybody left from the old TC that would do the work and you are probably not going to convince them to sell you the parts.

Smith bought TC for it's foundry and barrel making equipment.
It's only a matter of time until the much of the TC product line and support are gone.

Your best bet is to just buy an easy open frame and sell your old one.
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Old 05-18-2018, 9:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Barbarosa View Post
Bullberry is one source for parts and service. They are pretty much experts on classic TC.

https://www.bullberry.com/gunsmithing-parts
Very nice folks, but the short story is they can't help, thanks for the information.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2018, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
I believe that the easy-open conversion requires new parts and that all the people who know how that works at TC have probably moved-on by now.
Even if the parts are still sitting around at TC, if there's probably not anybody left from the old TC that would do the work and you are probably not going to convince them to sell you the parts.

Smith bought TC for it's foundry and barrel making equipment.
It's only a matter of time until the much of the TC product line and support are gone.

Your best bet is to just buy an easy open frame and sell your old one.
Yes, that appears to all be correct. I should have taken care of it 30 or so years ago. Heck, maybe it's collectable now.....
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:25 AM
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I have a Gen. 1 and five barrels for it. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
One trick I have learned is to hold the trigger guard with both hands and push the gun away and down ward from me quickly while pulling on the trigger guard. It usually opens right up.
Some of my barrels open easier than others, if I took the time to refine the lug lock-up on some I'm sure could do better.
I did change one barrel to the two lug system and fitted it, it is much easier to unlock than the single lug was. MGM and EABCO both sell the two lug kits, and they probably require fitting, mine did.
I don't know about the Contender going away anytime soon, T/C is still producing blued and SS Gen. 2's along with the more robust single shots.
There are a couple of fine aftermarket barrel makers for them.
I do agree that S&W's support for the product is pathetic.
Did you try contacting Mike Bellm's shop? They might be of some help to you. His son pretty much runs the store now, so Mike can concentrate on the machine shop, plus he's a lot more pleasant to deal with then Dad could be at times.

https://www.bellmtcs.com/
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:38 AM
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Heck, maybe it's collectable now.....
Not really, unless it's an early slabside with no etching.
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2018, 1:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Not really, unless it's an early slabside with no etching.
Yeah, no...Just my luck!
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2018, 1:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 'ol shooter View Post
I have a Gen. 1 and five barrels for it. I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I do agree that S&W's support for the product is pathetic.

Did you try contacting Mike Bellm's shop?

https://www.bellmtcs.com/
No, I'll give them a try, Thanks!
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