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  #1  
Old 03-30-2010, 11:12 AM
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.357 Maximum Contender


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I just purchased a 10 inch .357 Max Bbl for my Contender. I have been reading lots of confusing stuff about forcing cones and chamber dimensions etc. I'm confused as heck. Can anyone give me any information about this? Should I sell it before I use it?
Thanks,

Kudu40
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2010, 03:33 PM
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I think what you dug up were/are revolver issues. Forcing cone and top strap errosion seemed to be an issue with that caliber. Would guess the chamber concern was revolver as well. Since a Contender has neither a top strap or forcing cone, don't believe you wil have any problems. If your barrel is of good quality cut to SAAMI spec, you are fine. Always liked the .357 Maximum, it put up some good numbers back in the day.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2010, 04:52 PM
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Thanks Lumberjack. It is a T/C barrell originally chambered in Max. I read an article from someone who sounded like he makes barrells for single shot pistols which made me believe the problems were for some Contender barrells too.
Thanks,

Kudu40
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2010, 05:01 PM
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I can't come up with a problem for Contender barrels. A short chamber would cause loading issues like trying to put a .357 magnum in a 38 special chamber...it won't fit. A long chamber would be like the reverse, a 38 in a .357 chamber. If it's a T/C barrel and you like the caliber, shoot it.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2010, 08:06 PM
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I have a TC Maxi barrel and must say that it shoots quite well with no problems. I usually use the Hornady 200gr RN. Not quite a .35 Remington, but well beyond a .357.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2010, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kudu40 View Post
I just purchased a 10 inch .357 Max Bbl for my Contender. I have been reading lots of confusing stuff about forcing cones and chamber dimensions etc. I'm confused as heck. Can anyone give me any information about this? Should I sell it before I use it?
Thanks,

Kudu40
Kudu,

Did you buy this directly from T/C or was it a 357Mag barrel with the chamber bored out? The problem that many have been frustrated by is that SAAMI spec. on a 357Mag calls for a forcing cone, such as you would find in a revolver. This is not needed in a single-shot like the Contender and can lead to accuracy problems. If your barrel came directly from T/C, there is a possibility this will be the case with yours, but it will almost certainly shoot just fine. If you're really concerned about it, have a chamber cast done to see if you have a forcing cone or a more traditional rifle throat, in that barrel.

Here is a link that will explain the issue more precisely.

http://bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=120

The long and the short of it is: Even if your barrel DOES have a forcing cone arrangement, it's likely to shoot quite well and be a lot of fun, so use it for whatever reasons you bought it!
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2010, 01:49 PM
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pay no attention to the nay sayers. your 357 Max was made to be shot. go out and have fun!
..
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2010, 01:05 AM
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Personally I would find some cases load some rounds and have fun with it. You will probably find better accuracy with the heavier 180gr loads due to what you referred to on the longer throat and forcing cone.

Not sure if you had read the Bellum write up about it or not, but I think this is what your referring to,
http://bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=120

As a shooter and consumer I see this two ways, one, he has WAY more experience with TC's than I do and has valid points on most all of the issues, two, he is a custom barrel maker who has a good following and is working to keep a paycheck coming. Both are valid and I hold nothing against him for either. He has the credentials and what he says makes perfect sense.

However, like he mentions, you have one of two choices with the factory chambered barrel, either shoot it like it is and be happy or rechamber it to something longer to cut out the throat. Me personally I would lean toward the first and go on about my business. Load up the heavier bullets work up an accurate load and move on down the road.

I have wanted one for quite a long time. Something about that diameter just works with me. My only reserve has been, with all of the barrels for my TC, and the other handguns I already have, I don't get to shoot them as much as I would like already, so adding to them at this point in time would simply be a waste of funds which are already allocated to other things. I did purchase a 12" bull barrel in .357 Mag expressly for boring out to the MAX, but after accessing the other things mentioned, I have simply held off on it for now. The reason for going this route was simply I could not find the Max barrel I was looking for, and this seemed like a quicker route to the end result. I hunt with most of my handguns and as such, I mostly look for the velocity and accuracy of the longer barrels.

Good luck with yours, but I would give it a thorough work out before coming to any conclusion on how well or not it is going to work for you. Besides the Max really shows it's stuff with the heavier weight bullets anyway.

Last edited by 41 Mag; 04-01-2010 at 01:08 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2010, 02:55 AM
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There is an excellent article on T/C .357max. in a '94 issue in Handloader mag, issue#168. I don't have the link but maybe someone on the forum does. Iam currently working up a load for my T/C G2 in .357mag. Also, the article mentioned in a previous post is excellent. Good luck with your barrel. So far, I have 2in. groups at 25yrds. at above 1500fps(no chrony). Still gotta tweak for smaller groups. Using a 180gr. WFNGC.
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2010, 03:44 AM
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I have that Handloader article in .pdf format and would be happy to e-mail to anyone who wants it.
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2010, 06:07 AM
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Old eyes, open sights, 100 yds., maybe not the best choice for bullets, factory 10 inch barrel. I don't see a problem.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2010, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kudu40 View Post
I just purchased a 10 inch .357 Max Bbl for my Contender. I have been reading lots of confusing stuff about forcing cones and chamber dimensions etc. I'm confused as heck. Can anyone give me any information about this? Should I sell it before I use it?
Thanks,

Kudu40
I have been shooting one for 12 years. No forcing cone issues with Contender single shot as in the revolvers. Mine is TC factory barrel and has no chamber problems. Yours may be different. Mine shoots great. It is a step up from the 357 mag and is very accurate at 100 yards off bench. Very versatile caliber. I like the 180 grain Hornady XTP for deer. Wear good ear protection. It has quite a muzzle blast. The only problem that I have is I occasionally wrinkle the case mouth when crimping on old brass. Better if I crimp separately from bullet seating.
Enjoy it!
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2010, 05:55 PM
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I have one (it's a 14" model) with about 1000 rounds through it. No problems.

My dad is very recoil sensitive and he seems to like shooting pipsqueak .38 loads out of it.
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2010, 05:00 AM
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I have both the 10" and the Super 14, Because this is a single shot, there is no forcing cone erosion as with a revolver. I shoot my 214 g cast bullets out of mine rather hot and both are accurate.

Jerry
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2010, 10:33 AM
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If you haven't picked a powder yet, I have been having good luck w/ IMR-4227 and Hornady 180 gr. XTP's seated to the lower crimp groove. I have had many groups around 1"@60 yrds. w/ a Super 14 and open sights. Good Luck.
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2010, 04:49 PM
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I have been shooting the 357 max since 1984. All the problems with it were strickly in the revolvers. That is why makers stopped making them, but TC was different. It is a great cartridge in the 10", and greater in a 22" carbine bbl. Just about matches the 35 Rem!!
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2010, 05:52 AM
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been using accu.1680 with 180gr. jhp. going over 1700fps and getting 11/2" groups at 50yds. in my 10" barrel t/c
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  #18  
Old 06-07-2010, 04:33 PM
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Much of an advantage to the 12" or 14" barrel over the 10"?

Appreciable fps?
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  #19  
Old 06-08-2010, 05:21 AM
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BugShooter,

Short answer is, "yes". Quite a few folks are having rifle barrels built for the 357Max. It is a tall, relatively skinny powder column that benefits from slower powders and longer barrels (than a traditional revolver cartridge). Personally, I'd prefer the 14" barrel. It's not like any of them can be shot accurately, off-hand, so you might as well get the best performance out of the round.

Jason
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  #20  
Old 06-08-2010, 06:27 AM
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Sounds like Mike Bellm's thoughts on the proper configuration of the chamber/forcing cone/throat for the 357 max have changed a tad over the years.

I'm no expert on these matters, so take this as "as near as I can tell"...

From the article below it looks like Mr Bellm started out reducing the degree of the forcing cone found in revolvers to a "tapered throat" in his reworking of the 357 mag barrels into 357 Max barrels...

but, if I understand his drawings on his web site...he currently says he uses a "true throat" (cylindrical) to support the bullet as it leaves the case and enters the barrel to engage the rifling.

If I understand this correctly, he used to put a tapered throat in his custom 357 Max T/C barrels, but this "true throat" has parallel sides to keep the bullet aligned properly with the barrel as it exits the case?

His argument for eliminating the forcing cone and going to the cylindrical throat sounds good to me...no time for the bullet to be "free floating" in the gap between the case and the rifling.

Would be nice to see documented evidence for the difference in accuracy between these two set-ups.

am thinking of getting one of his handgun length barrels for my Contender for deer in IL...but I don't "need" one for longer ranges in the deer woods I hunt as no shot has been farther than 50 yds. The trees/under story are dense enough that I can't see'em much farther away than that anyway!


From O'Renick, Handloader article

Because of the tapered throat in the Bellm .357 Maximum chamber, bullets (seated upside down) of slightly different diameter, (.358 inch on the left, .357 inch at center and .3565 inch to the right), can be seated at various depths to accommodate the throat design.

Mike Bellm's web page w/ a picture of this throat about 2/3's the way down the page...

http://www.bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=120
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