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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have alot of experience with the contender. I have had mine for about 8 months now. I have 6 barrels for it, with the largest being the 35 Remingtion. I am trying to find a larger caliber, say maybe a 45-70 or 375 JDJ or something along those lines. My question is for you guys who have shot these bigger calibers. Is it worth it to get a big caliber as far as recoil and wear and tear on your gun? I have a 45-70 lever gun, and I think it would be a handful in the contender. On the other hand, I have always been the guy who has to have the biggest baddest there is!!:) Just looking for advice from you seasoned contender guys. Thanks in advance!
 

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45-70 is the biggest and baddest for the contender.
I would check, but I think it will handle some pretty stout loads also. I wouldn't think it would be too bad in a 14" barrel, but the great thing about the 45-70 is that it's easy to load it to your taste!
You can get some great custom rounds from SSK industries, but for a standard barrel, the 45-70 is top dog. As far as I'm concerned you would have a hard time picking a better thumper round inside of handgun range anyhow.
Never shot it in a contender though, so not sure of the recoil. I know in the much heavier Encore, the 30-06 is easy to shoot for the first 20 or 30 rounds with the 15" barrel. Gets attention at the range, and from deer or whatever you point it at. Lots of fun to shoot.
If recoil was a little more than you like, you could get a good shooting glove.
 

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According to Sierra, when commenting on 45/70 loads in a Contender, "...nowhere in these reloading data is recoil not objectionable". (I love that quote...)

If you got a 375JDJ, without a brake, you would not shoot it many times before sending it back to SSK or another smith, to have one installed. However, these cartridges were designed before the Encore became available. If it were me, I would avoid even the possibility of stretching the frame on your G1 Contender and get the larger option. Then you could go with a 460 S&W, or some other bruiser. :)
 

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I think I made a trade for my 10mm barrel for a 45-70 barrel!!! Can't wait to get it and pull the magic button and make it go "BOOM"!!
I think you'll be happy with it. I don't think it will be to much with full house loads, but like I said the 45-70 is a cameleon and can be tailored to what you want it to be. Figure out the load that you are comfortable with then start working between that point and the black powder velocity range and find what shoots well for you.
I would go with 405 grain cast bullets if it were me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a bunch for the info guys!!! This kind of stuff is what makes these types of forums worth their weight in gold!! I figured that a guy with 45-70 in his user name would have some sound advice on my question.
 

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I have a 15 inch Contender in .45-70 and with normal off the shelf (1895 TD) loads it is not all that bad, just about like a hot .44 magnum heavy bullet load. But when you throw out a 300 gr. X bullet at 1890 fps, it gets your attention. As the bullet weight goes up and the powder charges get heavy, the recoil can get quite fierce, but the muzzle tamer does do a good job of keeping the pistol manageable. You will love how it drops a deer in its tracks with nothing but a heart/lung shot. You would swear it was a CNS shot the way they drop. Even the hottest loads in the Contender are not as bad as the mid loads in the .50 Alaskan Encore, but it is apples and oranges.
I am working on a 12 inch .470 Nitro Express barrel for my Encore. I'll let you know how that one does in a year or so.
 

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I had an orginal Contender 45-70 barrel without a brake, then I sent it out for have one installed on it. A blow back style. Now I own another 45-70 T/C barrel that came with the brake on it.

Normally I hunt and shoot with maybe the 35 Remy as the largest factory barrel in bottle necked cartridges. I have 357 Max, 44 Mag, 45 Win Mag. and a few others. I have a 444 Marlin SSK custom barrel, it will rattle your teeth. Some of these larger calibers are painful to shoot just for the fun of it. I have been thinking about buying a 375 JDJ barrel, but JD is about an hour away from me, some day I will go and visit his shop.

If you have a real use for the power of some of these cartridges, then buy them, but if you want to just show off, then don't do it. Owning T/C Contenders and their evolutions can be expensive.

My 444 Marlin and 45-70 barrels are for Moose hunting in northern Canada. Otherwise they they just blow big holes in coyotes and ground hogs.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finally found some 45-70 ammo! I can't believe how short they are on ammo everywhere here in Montana. But I did shoot it yesterday, and I was pleasantly suprised! The recoil is way less than I expected, and my son even shot it a few times and he thought it was not so bad. Now I need to get on the bench and work up some loads for myself!
 

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Oh great
Now I want one.
I don't even hunt
I just like dramatic handcannons...
I can see filling a case with trailboss and a big ole handcast 30 yard sledgehammer
And knockin the bejabbers out of a pumpkin or something. ;)
 

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375JDJ was designed by J.D.J to shoot in the Contender. I remember being in Houston back in 1986 and handling one of the first to come off the production line. Did not get to shoot it at that time. However eventually purchased an Encore and a must have barrel was a 375JDJ. Mine is 16 1/2 inches with no brake and full house it kicks like a mule on steroids. I have shot a number of 45-70s and they were ***** cats in comparison. I add that here in the UK we cannot have a hand gun so mine is set up as a short barrel rifle.
billzz ... it is a "Must Have" but cannot see any reasoning in buying a Contender frame when the Encore frame is available. There is not much out there in the bush that the 375JDJ will not deal with, but get a grip or it will bite you.
By the way , welcome aboard, even though the thread is 4 yrs old it is still well worth pulling up for new members to read as in 4 yrs there are those out there who have now had further experience with both cartridges.
 

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Thanks for the welcome
I am a new owner of a five digit serial number contender without the easy open or the slider rim/center fire selector
I have the original octagonal.357mag bbl
A new tc 22lr bull barrel 14"
And a MGM .223 rem bull 16 1/4" bbl
And maybe some day I will get a encore
But right now I am enjoying what I have. ;)
 

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Thanks for the welcome
I am a new owner of a five digit serial number contender without the easy open or the slider rim/center fire selector
I have the original octagonal.357mag bbl
A new tc 22lr bull barrel 14"
And a MGM .223 rem bull 16 1/4" bbl
And maybe some day I will get a encore
But right now I am enjoying what I have. ;)
If you haven't already discovered, an old frame and a new barrel don't go together real well. You'll have a heckuva time getting the action to open up, due to the changes in the action/locking lug arrangement. Since you have two newer barrels, I'd recommend sending the action and 357Mag barrel to T/C for the update. I was glad I did.
 

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If you haven't already discovered, an old frame and a new barrel don't go together real well. You'll have a heckuva time getting the action to open up, due to the changes in the action/locking lug arrangement. Since you have two newer barrels, I'd recommend sending the action and 357Mag barrel to T/C for the update. I was glad I did.
Mine open ok
On the MGM I had to sand the locking lug with 600 then 1500 grit sandpaper with a straight edge backing.
The. 22 worked fine from the get go.
With tc being sold to s&w I have heard nothing but horror stories about the customer service.
I am not sending anything to them.
 

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An old thread but I thought I'd throw in a thought to compare the 45-70 against. I have an Encore barrel in 460 S&W Mag 15" that I've been playing with. It's not subtle in any way, and by far the highest pressure I've shot in my hand-helds. (I haven't tried the JDJ...) Looking at loading data for Contender in Lyman's 49th, comparing 300Gr loads, the .460 pushes max at 1900+ fps and the 45-70 at a bit over 1680 fps. the .460 is definitely a two-handed grip when you pull it off, far beyond my .44 Mag with 300 gr loads. I'm still shooting factories in it now, collecting brass and already have my dies ready to go. If you have a chance to pull off a couple of .460 S&W rounds you'll enjoy that also... :)
 

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Bang!

but get a grip or it will bite you
Love that....very true.
I picked up a 45-70 barrel for my Contender maybe 25 years ago. I had never shot anything like it before. I was hand loading cartridges (notice the difference between "cartridges" and "calibers".....cartridges are what you put in the gun, calibers are bullet/barrel diameters).
It was a flat based Lee bullet at 340 grains over about 40 grains of Re7.
The first shot spun the entire gun vertical and sent it back toward my head. Luckily no contact but my wrist was darn near sprained.
Lyman's note about Contender loads is "not a cartridge for handgunners of faint heart. Recoil is very severe....."
Anecdote: some time later I was at the range with the gun shooting at bowling pins at 100 yards. Near dusk. A fellow on the line asked me what I was shooting. I told him. He thought for a moment and then said "why don't you just hit yourself with a hammer?"
Pete
 

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.

I owned/shot/hunted with a Contender .45-70 Super 14 (14" bbl) Hunter (with T/C's Muzzle Tamer/brake & cushion grip) when the chambering/model was 1st introduced, many years ago.


IME, anyone who buys or makes a Contender (Encores weigh MUCH more) in .45-70, with or w/o a muzzle brake, should seriously consider swapping out whatever grip it came with for a Pachmayr rubber bumper.....................................

I say this because, firing factory 300gr JSP's and utilizing the issue walnut grip with a rubber cushion on it's rear face (which T/C then claimed mitigated recoil), the .45-70 Contender Hunter Model recoiled so fiercely (I had a LOT of experience with hard-recoiling handguns) that the trigger stop screw adjustment nut (then part of the rear face of the triggerguard) flat tore a chunk of skin from the back of the middle of the finger immediately to the rear (while it was gripping the grip very hard).

An hour later, after I installed the Pachmayr's = NP.


.
 
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