View Full Version : Contender .44 ideal Boolit weight?

05-24-2010, 07:26 PM
Hi folks, I recently picked up a nice unmolested T/C Contender in .44mag with the factory 10" barrel.

I've been shooting Lee 240gr T/L boolits through her to decent effect and am now wondering if there is an "Ideal" boolit weight per caliber by rate of twist. All I'm interested in is accuracy.

Anyone here own a Contender and ever had a problem with light boolits?

05-24-2010, 09:29 PM
I have a TC in 44mag, only problem I've had with light boolits is the recoil. I find that the heavier boolits are not as sharp a recoil as the big heavy ones.

I like 260-280gr boolits in my TC.

If you're interested only in accuracy, may I suggest you get a round nose, or a trun cone style. I've found them to be more accurate than several of my SWC style boolits.

05-24-2010, 11:41 PM
I like 240 gr SWcs in mine. Very accurate!

Bass Ackward
05-25-2010, 04:08 AM
Anyone here own a Contender and ever had a problem with light boolits?

I did back in the late 70s.

My throat consisted of a long reamer that went forward enough to cut a .... well I guess that you would call it a throat. It seemed like it went forward about 1/4" and then hit a jagged, 80 degree wall. Actually it looked as if it had been chambered with an end mill.

Best accuracy with cast came after I got an LBT design of a 280 gr LFN that would reach across this expanse. The olgival sort of performed the task of a forcing cone.

So my question to you is, what does yours look like? That's going to answer your question better than asking us. It will save you money on a lot of molds trying to answer it for yourself I can tell ya.

05-25-2010, 07:42 AM
As BA suggested, some of the T/C chamberings have a very long, half-arsed throat to them. In lue of a chamber cast, seat a flat based bullet/boolit backwards and leave it out long. Decrease the OAL until the action will just snap shut on it. Then you'll know what to look for in a boolit. Unless you can get a boolit seated into the lands, your accuracy will only be mediocre. A hard boolit and moderate velocity will likely be the best you can do here if your forced to fling the boolit well off of engagement. A boolit with a healthy, full diameter front band will help mitigate the stripping and skidding that will likely occur. Assuming that this is the case, look for a 300 gr+ boolit with a full ogival nose and plenty of bearing length. You'll likely be seated out past the crimp groove, so look for a boolit with a long driving band below the CG as you will be seated somewhere around there. Use a Redding Profile crimp die or taper crimp die on it. Regardless of the groove diameter, I would size a boolit so it fills the throat and will just slip fit into a fired case. This will also increase boolit pull which will help compensate for the lack of a good roll crimp.

My shooting buddy has a 14" 357 Herrett bbl where the throat is 0.400" long. So far, the only boolit that will touch anything is my 358627 seated to the lower crimp groove. Accuracy and velocity is just below his best jacketed load.

05-25-2010, 07:44 AM
I have found that an air cooled bullet on the lite side to shoot better than a hard one. Even if properly sized. I have ran the lee310 and it shoots very well. Performs like my 357 and heavies. The harder I pushed them the better it liked it.
FYI, very few if any factory TC barrels have a throat, but they will have forcing cones, if that makes sense. I know of deal that went on a couple of years ago. A bunch of folks ordered 38 special match barrels, to ream out to 357 max, in order to get a correct and true throat. The max reamer would not even correct that chambering.
I had a factory 357 max a few years back. The forcing cone/throat was crazy long. I could not get a 250 grain FLGC to touch the rifling, nor a 235 CB either. Never fired a shot in it, so down the road it went. I may have screwed up by not shooting it first. But the chamber cast of cerrosafe I did, showed very little promise of it ever being any kind of tack driver.

05-25-2010, 08:00 AM
I wonder if having it rechambered to .445 Supermag or 430 JDJ would help. I had a Dan Wesson 7445 in .445 Supermag, wonderfully accurate if you can handle the recoil.

Ed K
05-25-2010, 08:05 AM
445 might help but an unbraked 10" 44 Contender barrel isn't much fun.

05-25-2010, 02:36 PM
I do understand that, I had a 10" 357max, the max loads with 125gr j-words were...snappy

05-25-2010, 05:32 PM
I had a Super 14” a dozen and a half years ago and it had the same chamber mentioned by Bass Ackward…

BABore indicates a method to get the distance to the rifling. All well and good, but it is unlikely you will be able to find a boolit long enough to seat to the rifling—I know I couldn’t and I tried a 429650 that weighs in at around 320 grains. The chamber was just too long. I actually could almost chamber a 445 SM case!!!

I sent it to Bellm and had it rechambered to a 445 SM as I completely gave up on getting the 44 Magnum barrel to shoot. NOTHING, jacketed or cast would work. 2+ inches at 100 yards was the norm, and many times bigger…

The 445 SM chamber did shoot a bit better, but it never gave me the type of accuracy I have gotten from other 14” Contender barrels in various calibers…

Didn’t mean to discourage, but facts is facts. The 445 SM barrel receives a good coat of oil from time to time and it remains in my gun safe. Maybe, I’ll try it again someday…

By the way, recoil is very noticable with the 320 grainers!!!...


05-26-2010, 09:53 PM
Some good advise here for sure..
The 240gr Lee Boolits I'm using are a truncated nose design with a sharp/flat cornered edge into the body.
On seating the boolit further out- it will stick out about halfway before stalling and not closing the action.
I have not fired any like this just yet for concerns of incomplete ignition, but reading the above posts I'm seeing the merit of a heavier design.

05-27-2010, 12:57 AM
My 15" Encore is very accurate with a handloaded 180gr JHP over WC820 powder.

05-27-2010, 08:08 AM
My 15" Encore is very accurate with a handloaded 180gr JHP over WC820 powder.

Most T/C's with a long freebore are very accurate when T/C sees fit to cutting the chamber concentric with the bore. Jacketed bullets are hard enough to resist skidding better when launched from a distance. They will also straighten out better if they hit the rifling canted due to a big throat diameter. Both of these issues can be devastating to a cast boolit which is why most strive for engagement and a boolit that fills the throat. Give it only one direction to go and it will shoot.