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Thread: 5 Digit Contender , which bolts work?

  1. #1

    5 Digit Contender , which bolts work?

    I just got a 5 digit Contender frame (199xx serial #). In a trade. All my others are G2 frames. I've tried to read other threads to determine which bolts are compatible and have confused myself. It seems I may need the first series of of solid locking bolts and maybe the split bolts might work? Before I try a barrel and cause a problem I'd like to know specifically which bolts are supposed to be compatible. If I could find a smith specializing in Contenders I'd just send him the frame and barrels to fit for me.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you're talking about the pin that holds the barrel to the frame I'd use the solid pin!

  3. #3
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    Pretty sure the earlier (non G2) model has the solid blocking bolt, yes.

    https://www.bellmtcs.com/bellm/fflwork has barrel fitting at $50, unsure what total cost would be.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have two frames, an older five-digit frame and a newer "easy open" frame. I've never tried a G2.

    Split bolt barrels precede the G2, and work on both of my frames. Solid bolt barrels sometimes lock up and can't be opened. I've converted my barrels to split bolt, and they work on both frames.

  5. #5
    Tatume, thanks. I put my split bolt 22 barrel on it and it seems to fit. A little hard to open but I am going to use this frame for a rimfire platform where I doubt I will ever need a rapid follow-up shot for safety reasons.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The old original Contenders are all hard to open. For that reason T/C redesigned the action and changed the location of the pins to make opening easier. The new frame is still considered an original Contender (the G2 came much later). Except for a few special runs, they all have the Panther on the side. I have one of each, and it's hard to tell them apart until you open the action. The improvement in operation is very nice.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    If you're talking about the pin that holds the barrel to the frame I'd use the solid pin!
    He's talking about the bolt on the barrel under-lug, not the pivot pin. But I know what you mean. I have one of the aftermarket multi-part pivot pins. It has a screw on one end that expands the pin into the frame and under-lug holes. It was supposed to be an accuracy enhancer, but it doesn't do anything useful. However, it does work as a basic pin, and doesn't hurt anything. So I keep it in my box in case I ever need a spare pin.

  8. #8
    Tatume, if i cock it and let the hammer fall I can't squeeze it hard enough to open it with two hands. Had to tap it with a rubber mallet. I am going to send it to a smith that specializes in Contenders to have it checked out and the bolts on the 22 lr and 22 wmr barrels fit to the frame juzt to be on the safe side.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Give it a thorough cleaning followed by light lubrication. It might improve somewhat. Mine is hard to open, and I avoid using it except when I want to shoot two barrels on the same range day.

    I have a Gary Reeder 357 Maximum barrel that I picked up in a trade. It locked up and the only way to get it open was to tap the hinge pin out. Even though it was used and second hand, Gary Reeder took the barrel back and changed the locking bolt to one that works on both of my frames. I don't know what the difference is.

  10. #10
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    I think of it as a good hand strength exercise opportunity, but I have Yeti hands

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    I think of it as a good hand strength exercise opportunity, but I have Yeti hands
    Yeah, me too. But the arthritis in my right hand is starting to make a difference.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Groo's Avatar
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    Groo here
    JD Jones of SSK showed me way to open original Contenders with heavy lockups [as he uses in the "Hand Cannons"
    Place the fingers of the shooting hand OVER the spure of the trigger hand.
    Hit the fingers with the off hand palm.
    Use a "popping " hit , quick on and off.
    Once you get the hang of it, most any barrel opens with a quick "pop"

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check