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Thread: TC Contender in .44 Mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    TC Contender in .44 Mag

    I have been thinking of adding a 14 inch .44Mag Bbl. to use with cast boolits. I am looking for comments on accuracy, factory vs. custom, etc. Come on you Contender junkies, help me spend a few bucks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    This subject was covered not too long ago. I have a ten in 44 Mag. Get good grips. Guy a shooting glove.
    The 44 Mag heavy load will rock you.
    Leadmelter
    MI

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysespresso View Post
    I have been thinking of adding a 14 inch .44Mag Bbl. to use with cast boolits. I am looking for comments on accuracy, factory vs. custom, etc. Come on you Contender junkies, help me spend a few bucks.
    The 14" .44mag is great...excellent barrel...accurate and reduces recoil significantly over a 10". I would recommend that you give one a try...you will LIKE it.

    Mine is a factory barrel and I have only shot cast in it...I shoot 429421 in it...it shoots them lights out...it will definitely put them where you point it.

    And, while your at it...get a 14" 30/30...it is excellent, also.
    Last edited by shoot-n-lead; 03-13-2017 at 09:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Picked one up last week here- https://www.walmart.com/ip/Thompson-...-Mag./23246862
    Their giving them away. I measured the throat and it is ok for cast. Crown is crisp. Only 4 left.
    Enjoy
    Couper

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 couper View Post
    Picked one up last week here- https://www.walmart.com/ip/Thompson-...-Mag./23246862
    Their giving them away. I measured the throat and it is ok for cast. Crown is crisp. Only 4 left.
    Enjoy
    Couper
    That certainly is a DEAL.

  6. #6
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    curator's Avatar
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    Check out Mike Belim and MGM barrels before spring for a T/C factory .44 Mag. barrel. While it is possible to get a good one from Thompson Center, most of the newer ones are made with a very long chamber and a conical "throat." I shoot cast in mine and needed to find .445 Super-Magnum cases to get the boolit close to the rifling. Accuracy with factory-length brass was lackluster. A cerosafe chamber cast showed the dimensions of my chamber and rifling's leade so I could cut the .445 Super-Mag brass to fit. Accuracy improved remarkably doing this. Both Belim and MGM barrels are correctly chambered and throated but will cost a bit more.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by curator View Post
    Check out Mike Belim and MGM barrels before spring for a T/C factory .44 Mag. barrel. While it is possible to get a good one from Thompson Center, most of the newer ones are made with a very long chamber and a conical "throat." I shoot cast in mine and needed to find .445 Super-Magnum cases to get the boolit close to the rifling. Accuracy with factory-length brass was lackluster. A cerosafe chamber cast showed the dimensions of my chamber and rifling's leade so I could cut the .445 Super-Mag brass to fit. Accuracy improved remarkably doing this. Both Belim and MGM barrels are correctly chambered and throated but will cost a bit more.
    When you say "markedly"...how much was that?

    Are you shooting bullseye with it or hunting with it?

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoot-n-lead View Post
    The 14" .44mag is great...excellent barrel...accurate and reduces recoil significantly over a 10". I would recommend that you give one a try...you will LIKE it.

    Mine is a factory barrel and I have only shot cast in it...I shoot 429421 in it...it shoots them lights out...it will definitely put them where you point it.

    And, while your at it...get a 14" 30/30...it is excellent, also.
    You also mention the 14" 30/30. I was also considering that but I don't have dies or brass for that cartridge. On the factory .44Mag, I have read other sites that the throats on the new bbls. is long and not conducive to good accuracy. That's why I'm asking about it. Haven't read anything good or bad about new 30/30 barrels. That question is next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysespresso View Post
    You also mention the 14" 30/30. I was also considering that but I don't have dies or brass for that cartridge. On the factory .44Mag, I have read other sites that the throats on the new bbls. is long and not conducive to good accuracy. That's why I'm asking about it. Haven't read anything good or bad about new 30/30 barrels. That question is next.
    Are you looking for bullseye competition accuracy out of a 44mag?

    The only thing that I can say is that with the ones that I have had experience with...if a deer was not dead at 100yds, the shooter had not done his job. Never shot one farther...so, can't comment about that.

    Honestly, your accuracy will depend more on YOU than on the barrel...most of these barrels will shoot as well as you can.
    Last edited by shoot-n-lead; 03-14-2017 at 12:51 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoot-n-lead View Post
    When you say "markedly"...how much was that?

    Are you shooting bullseye with it or hunting with it?
    i hunt with my MGM barrels.

    these are all encore
    20 vartarg goes .2 - .4" at 100 yards( 5 shots) 16 1/4" barrel
    6.5 creedmoor goes .3 - .5" at 100 yards( 5 shots) 16 1/4" barrel
    444 marlin goes .5 - .6" at 100 yards( 5 shots) 23" barrel

    the 444 uses cast boolits and the 20vt and the 6.5cm like noslers. i am just tickled pink that any one of them can do a sub-minute group. the 20vt can do target but i just like to shoot and hunt with it. the 20vt coming off my bench does .2" at 100 yards when i do my part. a .4" at 100 yards is more realistic, i use either the 3 legged bog pod or a primos bipod. i use them because it helps me to stabilize the gun( i have to use it because i had a stroke that left me one hand/leg).

    Thompson Center Contender Barrels | Thompson Center Contender

  11. #11
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    I had one of these 14" barrels in .44 Magnum back when the TC Contender first came out, it was accurate with just about anything i tried in it, but i hated the old Contender Frame! A huge gunshop I regularly frequented refused to sell the TC Contenders back then due to them not fitting well, According to the shop owner they were DEFINITELY NOT all a simple swap the barrel and go like TC claimed them to be, you needed to have each barrel properly fitted to your reciever. Again this is back when they first came out. I dont think i shot any cast in mine? It was very accurate with factory jacketed stuff, and it wasn't picky which brand.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    I agree with shoot-n-lead. The 44 has lots of options for cast that are easy to load for. Great cartridge for short range practice and woods hunting. Kills um dead. If you can shoot the 44 well in a contender, you can shoot any of the calabers really.
    Couper

  13. #13
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    I have used my Contender .44Mag for hog hunting from tree stands. Shot distance 20-30 yards. The chambering issue came about due to degrading accuracy after 2 or 3 shots. Shooting targets from a bench rest showed the first 2 or 3 shots were in a tight group but subsequent shots were all over the place, even off the paper! The issue was always leading of the "throat." A good bore-scrubbing with bronze wool would restore accuracy for another couple of shots. I am no beginner in the world of cast boolits. Neither hardness nor size fixed the problem. LBT Wide-flat-nose boolit designs are well known for accuracy. I have a Ruger SBH that would shoot one ragged hole groups all day long with the same load. A chamber cast revealed the problem. I had expected an "off-center" chamber which was not unheard of on early Contender barrels. The long-chamber, cone-throat works fine for J-word slugs but not that well for cast lead.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I bought one from Wally World, should be here this weekend. Thanks for the tip!
    Leadmelter
    MI

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    Your welcome. You would like a load of Unique 8gr over any cast in 240ish range. Should be fairly mild.
    Check back in
    Couper

  16. #16
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    x 2 on what 68 couper said...8grs would be very mild. My hunting load is 10grs of Unique under 250gr 429421 and it is very easy on the shooter...and shoots lights out, too.

    This is what the hunting load will do at 40 odd yds... starting with a cold barrel...5 shot group of .860" (1.29" widest diameter minus .430" bore= .860").

    I don't shoot at deer beyond 100yds...but out to there, it is good to go.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by shoot-n-lead; 03-14-2017 at 11:46 PM.

  17. #17
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    Another option is to buy a 357 mag barrel and have Bellm ream it out to Max. I shoot mine in IHSMA out to 200 yds with 225grn cast boolits, and it's lighter recoiling and shoots much flatter than a 44. (I use a Pride-Fowler scope with a 44 mag calibrated reticle, and I always find myself holding way under the appropriate yardage hash marks).
    I shoot so that I can handload.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoot-n-lead View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's your 100 yard target? That is amazing!!! Now I'll be looking for another mold.

    What power scope are you using?
    Last edited by Half Dog; 03-15-2017 at 09:04 AM. Reason: Needed to ask a question
    The sooner I fall behind...the more time I have to catch up with

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    If you read closely, I believe he said it is "40 odd yards"


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I shoot so that I can handload.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Half Dog View Post
    That's your 100 yard target? That is amazing!!! Now I'll be looking for another mold.

    What power scope are you using?
    NOT 100yds...regardless of how the gun would do...the shooter AIN'T capable of shooting that group at 100yds, with a handgun. Heck I can barely shoot a 1" group with a rifle, at 100yds. I really don't know what the gun will do at 100yds...I can hit those 4.5" computer discs every shot at 100yds...never made a bad shot on deer at that range, but that is MY limit.
    Last edited by shoot-n-lead; 03-15-2017 at 10:16 AM.

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