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Discussion Starter #1
They seem like perfect (cheap/availible/strong) guns for wildcats. Just swap a barrel and the gun is ready to go.

They almost seem like that they would be better than a bolt for "testing" and "comparing" new rounds for the sheer ease of changing barrels.

Any thoughts on these two firearms?
 

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The Contender and the Encore are great rifles for trying out new ideas.
We have a number of barrels for each frame which started out as somthing else.
Beartooth forum member David White is a fine gunsmith with great skill with these barrels. David is an accuracy man and works hard for the best accuracy possible. David reamed a 17 Ackley Hornet for my wife and it may be our most accurate barre.

David post here regularly or you can look at his web site here.

http://www.dandtcustomgunworks.com/forum.html
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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You're right - the T/C configuration single shots do make great platforms for off-the-wall chamberings. Up until a few years ago, had an extensive collection of Contender frames and barrels in various wildcats and loved tweaking them all. 25-225, 7-30 Waters AI, 6mm Bullberry, 223 AI and several others, plus many of the standard chamberings.

Only problem - when you tire of them and have the lust for some other firearm, the resale value on wildcat chamberings (this applies equally to bolt and lever guns) is way down.
 

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There are other ways to approach this problem which has less cost and better field usage. Just get a Savage rifle and swap out the barrel. Barrels run anywhere from $40 for a take off to little more than what a regular Encore barrel costs. Recently bought a new 7x57 Mauser barrel for $140. Have a custom 8x57 Mauser on order for $324. Yesterday while shopping noticed new Encore barrels are retailing at $350. I also have an extensive Contender and Encore barrel collection but in current economic times T/C has priced themselves out of my future buying plans.

Another possibility is using NEF Handi-Rifles or Rossi single shots for custom rifles. Would require buying a rifle with correct bore diameter and twist rate then rechambering to the wildcat with extractor modification.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was actually thinking about doing that with my savage 12fv 22-250. I would like a 17 remington, the original, not the fireball. I have always been intrigued with that round. And new bolt heads (for the smaller, for that matter larger rim diameters) are easy enough to get at Midway.
 

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Lots of ways to go for wildcat cartridges, but as long as you're not looking at any of the 60,000psi rounds, with the large case heads, the Encore will handle most anything you can dream up. The Contender is limited to ~45,000psi and all of the standing breech actions do very well with rimmed cartridges. I have two wildcat cartridges on the Contender action and one on an H&R SB2 frame. With each of them, it's nice to be able to switch over to the other barrels I own for various types of shooting.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Right, but not with the larger case head sizes (ie. belted mags). Just the smaller .223 size heads and such.
 

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I'm not aware of any 60,000psi rounds chambered for the Contender. I am fairly certain using such a cartridge in the Contender frame would stretch it rather like silly putty. There is a combined limitation of case head size and pressure that even the Encore cannot exceed. Specifically, I was interested in a wildcat Encore barrel, using the 338 Marlin Express as the parent case. When I contacted the custom shop at T/C, they informed me that they will not chamber that cartridge, due to the large case head diameter. They can do a 358 Winchester, but not a 338ME, so clearly there is more to the equation than just PSI.

I believe one consideration is that the barrel diameter can only be so large, and still fit in the frame, so maybe the larger case heads simply don't leave enough barrel material surrounding the head to be safe?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
They have the 308 family listed, the 280 ackley improved, 350 rem mag (not quite sure if that's quite 60K but's it's got to be close), 6.5 -284, 7mm rem mag, and etc. They are all quite a bit larger that a .223. And they are all 60K plus PSI rounds.

All for the Encore, not the Contender. The Contender doesn't have any of these large rounds listed. My bad. But it does have the smaller ones listed.
 

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If we are looking at the H&R and NEF rifles, ASSASIN stubs barrels on the NEF and H&R rifles and he chambers them to just about any cartridge. David has so many interesting options your head will swim. Look for the pictures of his H&R 30-30AI, a very pretty little rifle.
If you are a .35 caliber guy he does a very interesting 35 Whelen AI. I shoot a Whelen but his little rifle sure looks nice.

http://dandtcustomgunworks.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3324049

When we are discussing wildcats I always assume the shooter is a handloader and will remain focused on the cartridge for awhile. If you have focus you will get your monies worth from any barrel simply by exploring all of the powder and bullet combinations. An in-depth load program with cost far more in components that it will to buy the gun or barrel.
 

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They have the 308 family listed, the 280 ackley improved, 350 rem mag (not quite sure if that's quite 60K but's it's got to be close), 6.5 -284, 7mm rem mag, and etc. They are all quite a bit larger that a .223. And they are all 60K plus PSI rounds.

All for the Encore, not the Contender. The Contender doesn't have any of these large rounds listed. My bad. But it does have the smaller ones listed.
Yes, the Encore can handle anything with a .473" head diameter and 60,000psi. When you exceed either of those numbers, it can only do so with the larger barrel diameters, and even then, only in certain combinations. The exact capabilities are a bit confusing, when you consider it can be chambered in 460 S&W (heavy barrel only) but not in a 338 Marlin Express. That's a .520" head size, at 65,000psi, versus a .553" at 60,000psi...which you might think would offset and make both safe. However, there are some gunsmiths out there who do not feel the Encore is really a wise choice for rounds like the 460, 500 S&W, or any of the belted magnums derived from the 300/375 H&H family. This would include hot little numbers like the 350 RM. Frankly, I am surprised the Encore is available in this caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well, I'm not an engineer. But I would suspect that Thomson/Center knows what their guns can and can't handle. Why it can handle the 350 rem mag and not the 338 marlin.....I have no idea, I believe that it's a lower pressure round. My guess is that they just didn't want the marlin altogether....
 

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I was told years ago by the T/C custom shop (before the days of the Encore) that the limits of cartridges that can be chambered has to do with chamber bore,cartridge pressure,and case head thrust against the breech face with the latter being the most critical. Just my .02 cents
 

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Yep, it's all inter-related, with case head diameter playing a big part in how much thrust the standing breech is subjected to.
 

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T/c

Interested in wildcats and T/Cs.....go check out Bullberry Barrel Works and SSK Industries for an amazing list of widcat chamberings for both the Encore and the Contender. There are cartridges by Elgin Gates. J.D. Jones, and many others.
Pete
edited that J.D, error
 

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I'm sure you meant J.D. Jones. His list of wildcat cartridges is extensive...possibly the most of any single gunsmith since P.O. Ackley. The entire line of JDJ cartridges are quite useful, while many of JD's creations are just strange, in my mind.
 

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strange

Fixed that J.D. Jones typo, thanks.

while many of JD's creations are just strange, in my mind.
Ya mean like these:


Not wildcats in the stictest sense but two cases - the 50/70 and the .30 Luger - that have been "wildcatted" to a different use. Both for T/Cs.
Pete
 

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Yep, those certainly qualify! :D

He's also made some incredibly large rounds (that qualify as destructive devices) on 20mm cannon shells. The 6th Edition of Cartridges of the World has several of examples of some extreme wildcats!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, being that they have higher pressure rounds with larger and smaller rim diameters, I'm still sticking with my belief that T/C won't chamber a 338 Marlin because T/C sees Marlin as it's main competitor. The numbers simply don't add up. Both the 280 improved and the 350 remington magnums have more breech thrust than the 338 marlin.

In any case you could just get it for the 338 federal.
 
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