Received New Thompson Contender Barrel Today...22 Long Rifle Match.

Discussion in 'Guns, Knives, Tools, Etc.' started by watcherchris, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    My new Thompson Contender barrel arrived in the mail today in .22 Long Rifle Match calibration.

    It just made good sense to me to have a barrel for this in .22 Long rifle.

    So now I have barrels for this in ...

    .35 Remington

    .223 Remington

    7mm TCU caliber...this one I verily enjoy shooting

    and now .22 long rifle.

    I want to get one more barrel for this Contender in .41 get the most out of this without purchasing an expensive lever rifle.

    I do however want a lever gun in .38 Special/.357 Magnum. It makes good sense to have this particular rifle in getting the most out of this calibration. It seems also like a good go with my Ruger GP 100 in the same caliber. Also I roll my own ammunition in this calibration as well as others.

    I am thinking about a quick handling more portable 16 inch lever gun in this calibration....but will settle for a 20 inch if they are not available.

    Ystranc likes this.
    1. arctic bill
      very good collection, but you are missing a shot gun .
      arctic bill, Mar 14, 2018
  2. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    artic bill...

    I chose not to get the shotgun adaption for the Thompson Contender as I have already several shotguns...mostly pumps in 12 gauge.

    I also have a 20 gauge shotgun with a .22 long rifle barrel on top of the 20 gauge. I verily like this combination gun...and I know that they are no longer made by the Stevens company.

    Shotguns are not designed for the accuracy such as one gets in a rim fire or center fire type tool. No problem by me as long as one knows how to get the greatest advantage out of a shotgun.

    However...I also recognize that shotguns verily have their place in this kind of tool hierarchy....a definite usefulness.

    And shotguns are ideal for home addition to certain kinds of gathering. And in proper hands...they can be quite efficient.
    This has been relearned by our military going house to house in Iraq and Afghanistan....where the shotgun reigned supreme...even against the AK 47 close to to room.

    I have also been told this by veterans of WW2 in house to house fighting in France..wherein their M1 Rifles were not quite cutting it. These soldiers, many of them had been raised on shotgun hunting and knew what a shotgun would and could do. They wanted shotguns for house to house in these towns and villages. Many of them wound up turning in their M1 Rifles for what few shotguns they could get or use the Tommy Guns or the Grease guns...close in.

    I find it ironic that this history is being relearned by a new generation.

    The 12 gauge shotgun is my number 1 house gun...not a pistol...or rifle.

    It was some years before I realized that most of America was tamed by the shotgun...not the pistol or rifle.

    Firearms were expensive and if an individual could afford only would most likely be a shotgun. It was the most simple , affordable, and practical for most people. Hollywood and movies have altered this simplicity about American the minds of most of us.

    The shotgun will never be obsolete.

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    Ystranc likes this.
  3. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    I have a Winchester Trapper with the short barrel and love it. It is enough for whitetail deer and is amazingly quick in your hands. The 357 in a rifle doesn't have any real recoil and is a great gun for a kid to wet their feet into centerfire rifles. With 38 special wadcutter target loads it makes a great bunny killer without much meat damage. I match it up to a Ruger Security 6 and used to have a Blackhawk with a 7" barrel. My wife carries a Taurus 85 snub nose with HOT near 357 mag reloads. I've found that Unique works well in shorter barrels revolvers. In the Winchester I load 2400 and Hog. 110.

    Your TC with the right scope will be able to shoot groups at 100 yards that will embarrass a lot of riflemen. A friend had one in the super 14" I think it was and it out shot my bolt action rifle at 100 yards. If the barrels weren't so expensive I would at a 357 mag barrel or if you could find one a 357 max. Now THAT was a beast!! It was great in a TC but would flame cut the top strap on a revolver causing them to have limited life if you shot a lot. You could shoot 357s and 38s in the same barrel.
  4. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    I came to respect the TC Contender for what it was in single shots and also to appreciate it's finer qualities as a result of Black powder shooting. and reloading.

    The TC Contender has one of the finest trigger pulls and has become the standard by which I gauge other triggers. There is little to no mechanical take up...once the hammer is cocked. Then it is a light crisp release.....with almost no overtravel. Sweet.....Sweet..!!!

    It just made sense to me to have a .22 long rifle barrel for it. Hoping to get in some time at the 50 yard line to see how it groups and how the iron sights work. Glass will come later down the line.

    I personally like the concept of having a tool which will handle both .38 Specials and also .357 Mags. And .38 Specials are one of the most commonly reloaded rounds in this country.

    As to the Taurus model 85...The woman I am seeing has one too...a Tarus...not sure of the model..but snub nose in .357.

    I too reasoned out that it would do her fine with .38 near .357 power levels. As an apartment manager....she needs concealed carry more than do I.

    For the monies I like the Taurus brand....though I also like Ruger and for some models am willing to pay more for them. It was so with the Ruger GP 100.

    And by the way..I believe the Ruger GP 100 is an adaptation, updating, or extension of the successful Security Six models.

    I am learning to like this Blackhawk for it's simplicity and accuracy with a 6 inch barrel.....41 magnum.

    I am downloading it as factory fodder is a bit hot for my tastes....but learning along the way.

    I learned about Squibb loads...using H110. I learned that this powder does not download well below a certain powder measure. H110 seems to like near max loads.

    I've not tried any 2400....but that is coming soon. A lot of people seem to like 2400....for reloading. It seems to have become a standard for many in rolling their own ammo. They swear by it.

    That is precisely in what I am interested with a .357/.38 Special in a lever rifle.....quick handling and capable of putting a variety of fodder in it....a certain versatility if you like.

  5. arctic bill

    arctic bill Master Survivalist

    Blog Posts:
    I have several guns but if i was allowed only one i would choose a shotgun. i can fire a slug,00 buck, and every thing from 7 1/2 to AA. good just about anything that comes my way . Yes it is way to light for moose but that is about the only restriction.
  6. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    The 41 mag was originally developed as sort of the ultimate police weapon. At the time the definitive choices were between the Colt 1911 45 ACP and the Model 28 S&W in 357 mag. Even though there was lots of debate they ended up being fairly equal in stopping power.

    The N framed S&W was actually rather massively overengineered for a 357 and eventually it was moved to the smaller lighter L and later the slightly more robust K frame. The 41 mag was perfect in the N frame in my opinion. It was a gun heavy enough to make the 41 mag comfortable and controllable enough to offer quick recovery for second shots. They also added the 44mag to the N frame and it was still plenty strong enough for even that level of power. The problem with it though was that the recoil while not really devastating was more than most enjoyed and was harsh enough to make recovery slow for second shots.

    In the end the 41 mag didn't make it because the K frame in 357 mag was just a lot more comfortable to carry and even though I never found the recoil of the 41 mag in an N frame to be a bother , some seemed to find it troublesome. I think that the truth though is that the heavy N frame was on the way out and the lighter K frame was just not heavy enough to handle the 41 mag.

    I actually knew a special forces guy that back in the 60s carried a Blackhawk in Vietnam. He loved it because it was a great stopper and in his hands was good easily out to 100 yards for a kill shot. He was a sniper mostly. This waback when Americans were in Vietnam as "advisors". Mostly when he wasn't raining South Vietnamese troops he was doing work as an anti sniper stalker. He went out at night and hunted down the snipers that harassed the bases during the day. He loved the 41 mag.

    Ruger made a little carbine at one time that shot the 44 mag. It didn't go over well in part because it was a little hard kicking beast. I always wished that instead of canceling it that they had offered it in 357 mag or 41 mag. It had a rotary magazine like the 10-22 and looked a lot like the 10-22 on steroids. If they had done the 357 in it I would have one today.
  7. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    I would agree with this statement of your could I only have one firearm.

    Moose....Wow!! Yes..that is definitely a big animal and requires some deep penetration and expansion....pure energy delivery.

    I am learning to like and respect the 41 magnum..but have not really had enough time at the range and reloading bench both to get the best out of it.

    .41 Mag in Vietnam...Wow!! Yeah...that would certainly penetrate a lot of that elephant grass close up. No problem.

    Yeah..I remember those carbines Ruger made in .44 magnum. Not for long..but they did indeed look like a 10-22 rifle.

    Yes..they did not stay around long and they are sought after today. They also do not stay on the marketplace for long when up for sale.
    I suspect that they have become a collectors item.

    I just was not particularly interested in the .44 magnum though it is very common lever guns as well as handguns.
    No question about the .44 Magnums ability to deliver energy close up.....and yes..even the .44 Special ...close up. can deliver some serious energy.

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  8. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    Finally got around to shooting the Thompson Contender 14 inch barrel in .22 long rifle.

    This is a shooting barrel. It is very accurate even with the iron sights.

    Now I shot it two handed standing up and could tell that it was very capable. It has a target type crown on the end of it.

    I had to remember to turn the firing pin arrangement 180 degrees in the Hammer to get it to fire the rim fire striker...but once that was figured out ..all was fine.

    No hang ups and it was obvious just shooting free hand that it was a shooter.

    I know that from a bench and with a rest that it is much more capable.

    So far ...quite satisfied with this barrel.

    Now the Beretta Model 75 Jaguar pistol was interesting. It too shot fine ...but not in league with this Thompson Contender.

    The sights are not that to which I am in my Ruger Government Mk II Target Pistol ...but understand it is an older design from the 1960s or so. My instinct was to paint a white or international orange line on the back of the front sight but decided against I have done on my Ruger GP 100 in .357 Magnum.

    I have cleaned it and put it away in the original box...having put a very fine light coat of silicon O ring grease on it to act as a moisture barrier...and before reassembly.

    I do not plan on shooting it much now. More of a keep sake.

    Emptied out my Ruger GP 100 of the .357 Magnums and loaded some .38 Special reloads for target shooting after finishing up with the Contender and Jaguar pistols.

    Shot about 150 rounds of .38 Special.

    All tools have been cleaned and back on the ready line. I have some reloading of .38 Specials to do but will take my time on this.

    And for now that is my range report.

  9. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

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    That is an awful lot of iron & ammo to have to carry! I can think of a lot of stuff I would rather carry than a stack of barrels & a variety of ammunition.
  10. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

    Blog Posts:

    Oh...goodness no. I won't be carrying around a stack of barrels. I usually just rig it up with the barrel I am choosing to use that day and make do. I bring it back home for cleaning and then put the gun away in it's holster.

    To date...the 7mm TCU barrel is my favorite. I make my own ammo for this as it is no longer carried in the local stores...or even manufactured. I use a .223 Remington Case and full size it in a die while necking it open to accept a .284 bullet in 120 to 139 grains of weight...either one ...usually spire points.

    I find this to be a comfortable round to shoot and there certainly is no shortage of .223 brass across this country.

    In 7mm instead of .223 it is capable of delivering much more energy. Also this kind of thing taught me that blinding high velocity light speed in a bullet is not necessary...if one knows the limits of what it is with which one is working.

    Herein I began to realize what it is about black powder guns. Not blinding light speed.but ability to deliver great energy in impact. And this taught me new respect for the shooting and reloading arts. A new and different perspective.

    From that time I began to move away from high velocity/high more accurate tools.

    Or as the olde timer stated...."only accurate rifles are interesting."

    Now..I will grant you that it is a large pistol...and a single shot.

    This one feature ..a single shot....between that an black powder..and also reloading on my bench out in my garage ...has paid dividends.....though the average shooter would not so think.

    What this has taught me to do over the to take my time and make my shots count. Loading carefully a batch of ammunition on the bench has taught me not to go out , as in my younger and more impulsive days, to make a bunch of noise and shooting a lot...but instead to concentrate on making my shots count.

    It was the same with my Hawkin .50 caliber....make your shots count because you will not be making many rapid follow up shots. Take your time ..aim, breath, and squeeze...don't jerk the trigger.

    Make your shots count.

    This Thompson Contender has one of the nicest triggers from the factory I have ever experienced. Once he hammer is cocked back....the trigger falls cleanly , crisp, and with little mechanical take up...and after it falls and fires...there is little to no mechanical over travel. It has become the standard by which I judge many trigger pulls.

    At the same time I have also learned to appreciate the olde design of a set trigger as is on my Hawkin Rifle.
    It too sets up the firing trigger for a light crisp clean break.

    I also have my Fathers WW2 Mauser sporterized to an American 30.06 calibration but fitted with double set triggers. This too has a very nice ...but light trigger pull when the set trigger is activated. A very nice shooting trigger set up.

    Once one experiences a very nice can easily become spoiled so to speak.

    I will also say that I have of recent picked up a surplus heavy duty shipping container into which I have mounted/fitted into foam rubber... these various Thompson Contender barrels. as well as the receiver portion of this pistol. I got to thinking it would be better to store this set up and barrels thusly.
    I left one empty slot also fitted and cut into the foam for the next barrel I plan in .41 Magnum.

    I just got tired of having all these barrels lying about this home.

    If I can figure out how to do it on here ....I will post some photos of this box....with the set up in foam rubber.

    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  11. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

    Blog Posts:
    Let me see if I can post these photos of this storage box I obtained for $20 at a surplus store.

    I wanted it for the purpose of containing my Thompson Contender pistol and the various barrels for it.

    I just tired of having them all about this location and decided this was the way to go and this container seems to be a heavy duty military type shipping/transporting container with good locking or securing clasps on it and a gasket as well.


    The scoped barrel is too long to put in and fit as are the standard barrels
    You can see an empty slot cut out for my next barrel in .41 Magnum.


    I realized I could fit it in, The Scoped 7mm TCU Barrel, by placing it diagonal on top a layer of foam and the lid also has in it another layer of it should be thusly alright. We shall see.


    And in it's closed configuration..


    Hope this helps clarify the conditions here with this single shot pistol.

    Oh....and by the way...I was a bit astonished to learn on line what are the costs for a good storage container for this type of gear. Quite pricey. I am learning to improvise and make do in this case.

    This is a good heavy duty case I got at that surplus store down the street.

  12. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    Very nice. I used to use hardside briefcases but they weren't waterproof.
  13. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist

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    An M14 rifle isn't exactly light and a battle pack of 7.62 NATO was 200 rnds. Guys lugged that around all the time ... plus a whole lot more.

    Few decades back, I'd head out to the range with multiple weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammo. Now even at my age, I have to lift my tiller over and over. This tiller of mine does not have a reverse. Some stuff is just bulky. I was issued an M14 and a 13 lb. target rifle as a sophomore in high school. I've a Mauser with an older laminated stock; it's in no way light, yet it is no bother either. Flack jackets ain't light.

    When it hits the fan, a man's gonna have to have a real rifle and full bore ammo with him; stuff that shoots through masonry, shoots through vehicles, shoots through truck bodies and blows holes in engine blocks. Life is a bother.
  14. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

    Blog Posts:
    The M14/M1A is a very nice rifle...a full sized rifle but a nice one.

    I purchased this Thompson Contender many years back and it came with a .223 barrel in 14 inch length. Having back then a lever rifle in .35 Remington, I thought I should get a 14 inch barrel in the same caliber. That turned out to be a mistake as this handgun is a big mule in that calibration. I seldom shoot it in .35 Remington now days.

    Thinking more logically I ran across a 7mm TCU barrel at a gun show and purchased that one. I had been learning more and more about reloading and sizing one parent case into another calibration and this barrel just made sense.
    7mmTCU is sized upward to .284 from a .223 case and loaded with various weights of 7mm/,284 bullets....and to me a .223 is marginal in usage in the small .224 bullet size. 7mm just seemed a more reasonable caliber.

    7mm TCU puts this pistol into similar utility as is the .300 popular today.

    And Over time ...I just realized it did not make good sense to have all these barrels and not have a .22 Long Rifle barrel.

    I verily like this pistol....and it's versatility ...but do not necessarily have it in mind for a survival tool.

    My go to long gun will be a Mossberg Patrol bolt action rifle in .308...and it uses M14 magazines or in my case I purchased Pro mag magazines in 10 and 20 round capacities.

    As in many things..I have taught myself to roll my own in .308, .223, 7mmTCU, .38 Special, .357 magnum and some other calibrations...pistol and rifle both.

    And of course I decided a decent box would be a good idea by which to store all these barrels for this Thompson Contender handgun.

    Versatility is the key for which I like and appreciate in the Thompson Contender pistol design.

    Keith H's position about the weight of iron and ammo is noted. I am not as young as once I was ..but am not making plans to haul all of this around....but only to more efficiently store it rather than separate parts all about this location.

    When I take it to the range ...I choose the barrel/barrels I will be shooting and then mount them on the lower frame and carry on.

    Then they will be removed and cleaned ...and put back on the ready line in this box for the next time I go to the gun club.

    Oh...and while I am at it... this is a very long range pistol...and it takes a bit different thinking and handling to get good accuracy out of it.

    But nonetheless....I can appreciate it's qualities, simplicity , and ability to reach out there.

    My thanks to all for their posts,

    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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