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  #1  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:14 AM
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Default T.C. Contender

I'm in a huge dilemma here. I have the choice of one of my grandfathers guns and the one that I'd like the most is one of his Contenders. I remember him always talkn about it and how much he liked to shoot it. My dilemma is what caliber? He has 3 guns and 6 barrels. There's 223 Rem, 204 Ruger, 308 Bellm, 7mm Bellm, 45-70 Govt, and 7mm TCU. Any of these calibers rare to come by?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:47 AM
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The Bellm rounds are handload only with custom or handmade brass, but are designed for maximum performance from a Contender. Good stuff. The other four are all commercially loaded and available most anywhere.

As a 35 year fan of Contenders, I say,

"DUH!" What are you waiting for


Nothing shoots better, looks better, gets more attention on the range
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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I also got a *****LOAD of reloading stuff that was his too. I mean there's so much stuff its unbelievable. The Contenders ARE cool lookin guns. I'm really curious as to how they shoot and sound! Are these guns or calibers rare?
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:50 PM
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Hemiguy double up on the hearing (plugs&muffs) you can thank me later.
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Old 01-22-2013, 2:39 PM
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I had a Contender in .222, not .223. With a 10" barrel, it was a waste of powder but it felt good. It had a high-pitched, pretty good crack when it went off. Your .223 barrel will be the same if it's 10". You get into the 14-16" category, it's a different subject! I imagine the .45/70 barrel will hurt, so you are welcome to it. .204 Ruger should be ideal, even higher pitch crack. 7mm TCU should be the perfect round. None of the standard chamberings is hard to come by, particularly, I believe. 7mm TCU is possible exception.
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Old 01-22-2013, 3:13 PM
Capt.Dunsel Capt.Dunsel is offline
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Take it from somebody that has fired a Contender in 45/70 , it is a BLAST , it will hurt your wrist after half a box of ammo the first year you own it , then you get numb to it and get surgery.

It would be number one of the choices you have.

7mm TCU would be number 2 , great long range hand gun. Reload if you get her.

And why not get them all ? I have everything from 22lr up to 45/70 for my contenders , both rifle and pistol , except 45lc/410 which I would absolutely love to have ( but not in CA short barrel shotgun )

And Army got it right nothing better than shooting a handgun at 100 to 200 yards as good as or better than those long guns.
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Old 01-22-2013, 3:29 PM
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7mm tcu the others are easy to come by and the Belm aint all that great as far as coolness or resale. the 223 in a short barrel is worthless and super LOUD! the 45-70 looses to much performance but is still a cool round just for shooting but expensive for pinking with been shooting T/C's for 35 or so years.
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Old 01-22-2013, 4:24 PM
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The easiest to reload for and handle will probably be your .308 bellm. But you may want to get something with commercially available brass.

None of those strike me as exactly rare (and you can have almost all of them manufactured for a few hundred anyway).

Getting your own barrels used will cost you less than 200$ a piece if you want to add to your caliber selection. (250 factory new, or 300-400 for a custom made barrel.)

I have an encore (the heavy action alternative to the contender) and it's a blast to shoot. I'm contemplating getting a small caliber for it, just for plinking purposes... but I would probably come back and plink with my .460 anyway.
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Old 01-22-2013, 4:30 PM
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You will find the 7mmTCU the best of the barrels. .223 Rem and .204 Ruger and 45-70 are available, don't even know what the Bellm's are. I have been running a .35 Remington forever with the original Thompson 3x long eye relief glass.



The 'Original Single Shot Exemption' .45cal

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  #10  
Old 01-22-2013, 4:35 PM
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www.bellmtcs.com

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Old 01-22-2013, 4:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Dunsel View Post
Take it from somebody that has fired a Contender in 45/70 , it is a BLAST , it will hurt your wrist after half a box of ammo the first year you own it , then you get numb to it and get surgery.
I have to agree with the Capt. My friend has one in 45/70, and it is an experience! I only shot it twice, and that was enough on that trip. I couldn’t imagine firing off a whole box in a day.
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Old 01-22-2013, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemiguy55 View Post
I'm in a huge dilemma here. I have the choice of one of my grandfathers guns and the one that I'd like the most is one of his Contenders. I remember him always talkn about it and how much he liked to shoot it. My dilemma is what caliber? He has 3 guns and 6 barrels. There's 223 Rem, 204 Ruger, 308 Bellm, 7mm Bellm, 45-70 Govt, and 7mm TCU. Any of these calibers rare to come by?
The 223, 204 Ruger and 45/70 are standard stuff and easy to get. The Bellm stuff is custom, the TCU is somewhere in between. It sounds like he had a good cross section of calibers. They're all pleasant to shoot, even the 45/70 - unless you handload a 300 grain JHP to about 2,100 fps. Brisk.

I've been fiddling with the TCs for about 40 years and have handguns and rifles. I'm up to 4 frames and about 40 barrels, rifle and handgun.

Is the Contender an "old style" with a catamount (mountain lion) engraved on the side, or is it the newer plain "G2" style? Do you get to keep one frame and one barrel? One frame and all barrels?

The Bellm calibers are named after this fellow, he runs a "nuts for T/Cs" shop up in OR. Lots of info on his site, if you shoot him a question on his calibers he'll answer:http://www.bellmtcs.com/store/

Last edited by dfletcher; 01-22-2013 at 4:43 PM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 5:00 PM
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I know 2 of them are the "old style". I clearly remember seeing the lion on the sides. I thought it was pretty cool looking! I want to say I remember the 3rd being the same but cant remember for sure. Are 7mm tcu rounds hard to order or come by? How about 308 bellm brass?
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Old 01-22-2013, 7:08 PM
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7mm TCU is a necked up commercial .223 Rem case , military cases aren't recommended.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...41248874,d.cGE

Chances are if he shot that calibre he had/has the dies around. But pretty much the same for any of the non-standard rounds.
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Old 01-22-2013, 7:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Dunsel View Post
7mm TCU is a necked up commercial .223 Rem case , military cases aren't recommended.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...41248874,d.cGE

Chances are if he shot that calibre he had/has the dies around. But pretty much the same for any of the non-standard rounds.
That's a good point. With the TCU and the other unusual stuff you have to figure there's dies, brass and such laying about.
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Old 01-22-2013, 7:26 PM
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never understood the purpose of those....
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Old 01-22-2013, 7:38 PM
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I'd go for the .204 and 7mm TCU. Both are fun to shoot paper with and between the two, you can have fun shooting everything from ground squirels to deer.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2013, 7:41 PM
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Oh he has I think 2 sets of dies for each caliber he owned/made. Lol I've found countless 223 dies too. And I'm glad you told me about the 7mm tcu round because I saw some rounds that look IDENTICAL to 223 but were definately different. That may have solved some of mysteries!
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Old 01-22-2013, 8:34 PM
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7 TCU for the win. Very versatile cartridge, and easy to make from .223 brass.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystrike View Post
never understood the purpose of those....
The gun, or the 7mmTCU?

Contenders are accurate, handy, powerful for their size, and can accomodate cartridges that cannot perform the same in other firearms.

Want to make the most powerful .357 load you can stuff powder in? Only the Contender will handle it. Monster .44mag loads? Contender. 7mmTCU was developed expressly for the Contender, and makes the same power and performace as many full size rifle rounds. The Whisper family of cartridges are also Contender born. All in a package that can be carried by anyone, anywhere, for any shooting need.

If anything, firing one round at a time...and hitting what you aim at everytime...makes a box or brick of ammo last a long time.
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Old 01-24-2013, 6:04 PM
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I have 2. One in44 mag and a 12 inch bull barrel with a Burris scope in 41 mag. My problem is in California and the ranges near me will not let me shoot it at the rifle range. So that limits me to 25 yard pistol range... My 41 is sighted in at 200 meters. That's when we had a metallic silhouette range out to 200 meters. Of course that range no longer has a silhouette range. So for 18 years both have sat in my safe.

Last edited by Maddawg46; 01-24-2013 at 6:07 PM.. Reason: Fix grammar errors
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Old 01-24-2013, 8:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddawg46 View Post
I have 2. One in44 mag and a 12 inch bull barrel with a Burris scope in 41 mag. My problem is in California and the ranges near me will not let me shoot it at the rifle range. So that limits me to 25 yard pistol range... My 41 is sighted in at 200 meters. That's when we had a metallic silhouette range out to 200 meters. Of course that range no longer has a silhouette range. So for 18 years both have sat in my safe.
That seems so wrong. I've never been to a range with a rifle side that wouldn't let you go for distance with a pistol.

Try talking some sense into your local range, it's such a shame for a gun to be relegated to safe-queen status, just because of someone else's stupidity.
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