View Full Version : T/C Whitetails

January 4, 2006, 10:46 PM
Since my youth I have wanted to hunt whitetails with a Thompson Contender. I see my chance to justify the purchase of one. My son killed his first whitetail with my Remington 30-06 Woodsman. I was the 3rd generation to own this gun and I killed my first deer with it. I think it would be good to give the Remington to him next year and I'll buy the T/C.

Which T/C do I want?

When I was studying them 25 years ago there was just the Contender. Now there are other choices.

I have a maximum of 100 yd clear shot from my stand (usually kill between 25-50 yd).

Which calibers should I consider?

Big Yac
January 4, 2006, 11:23 PM
I'm assuming this will be the Contender rifle so how about a 45/70? It has plenty of knockdown power for deer and recoil is relatively light depending on what load you use. Ever thought of using the Thompson Center Contender or Encore pistols? There are many calibers in those to choose from which would be good for your conditions including the 45/70 and .444 Marlin.

January 9, 2006, 08:19 PM
45/70 for white-tails? Well maybe if you want to kill about 3 of them at the same time. A 44Mag would be nice and won't have as much recoil as something like a 45/70. I don't know that the 45/70 has ever been recognized as having light recoil. I don't see the point in putting up with such heavy recoil to kill 150lb deer. Why would you limit yourself on a round with such short trajectory when compared to flatter shooting rifle cartridges available in the T/C models? A 30-06 or maybe 270 would be good choices. I thought that was the whole point of the T/C, to get better accuracy and range. Now if you want to hunt grizzles, then yes go with a 45/70.

Big Yac
January 9, 2006, 10:17 PM
I should have made myself more clear. I meant to say that the 45-70 would be good if you reload your ammo. A downloaded 45-70 round still has plenty of knockdown power for a deer out to 100 yards and the recoil isnt bad at all. Id rather have the big heavy bullet going slow than a high powered rifle like a 30-06 at distances under 100 yards. The 45-70 and .444 Marlin are both great brush calibers.

January 9, 2006, 10:32 PM
don't know about deer but a medium weight cast bullet in a contender knocks down steel rams at 200 yds with authority in 444 marlin cal.


January 17, 2006, 09:28 AM
Sorry I lost track of this post. Getting older I guess.

It is the Thompson pistols I am interested in for whitetails. I didn't know if one is more desirable/versitile than the other?

Is there any reason I woulnt want either the Encore or the Center Contender?

I had considered either 30-30 Win. or 44 mag., I see alot of 30-30 barrels for sale. I am wondering if they are undesirable (too much recoil or something).

I have never shot a Thompson pistol. I read numerous articles in my younger years (1970's) in Petersons Hunting, this is when I devloped the desire to own one.

January 17, 2006, 10:03 AM
I shoot a Contender Super 14" in 30-30 Win and it is a really good deer-getter. Recoil is not at all bad (probably less than my Riger Bisley SS Hunter in .44 mag-another good choice BTW). I use handloaded (relatively moderate loads of IMR 4198 powder) under 125 gr Nosler BT's. It will put 3 shots at 100 yds in considerably less than 1" all day long.

I have taken several deer (all broadside shots-all complete pass-throughs) at ranges from 10 to 175 yds. MOST (not all!) were dead right there or within 30 yds.

Shoot one. I think you will like it. You WILL have fun. Good luck.

Wild Bill Bucks
January 17, 2006, 01:20 PM
Can't say anything knowledgable about their pistols, but I CAN vouche for the quality of the Thompson Company. Either of the pistols would be a great choice. As far as caliber and a yardage of 100 yds and in , the 30-30 is as good a choice as any. Not many people re-load for the 30-30 round so you are limited as to what ammo you can shoot, but there is lots of factory ammo to choose from.Other choices might be .308 or 44 Mag. All of these will have about the same recoil and should do well at that range.

January 28, 2006, 09:27 PM
The .44 magnum and the .357 maximum are great rounds for distances under 100 yard on whitetail. I have been hunting with the contender for over 10 years now and love it. I have taken deer from as close as 15 yards and out to 100 yards without any problems. If you are not planning on reloading. The .44 magnum might be the better choice. You will have plenty of options for bullet size right off the store shelf. The .357 maximum on the other hand is not a round that can be found in the store very easily. If you do find it, the bullet selection is not much to speak of. So if you choose the .357 maximum you better be ready to reload for it.

I have scopes on all my barrels. Thompson Center at one time sold what they called the hunter package. I’m not sure if they still do or not. It came with the pistol that was scoped and a suede carry case. That was my original contender pistol. Some people like scopes on their pistols and other don’t. That is something that you will have to try out for yourself.

Good luck and enjoy your new contender.

February 1, 2006, 02:07 PM
I have owned T/C pistols for years. They are well made and very versatile. my preference would be to go with an encore over a contender. Stainless for hunting would be a good idea too.

I have a 15" .308 barrel with a factory muzzle tamer brake on it. In the field I can consistently drop a whitetail with 150 gr Ballistic tips out beyond 250 yds. On the range i can get under 1" groups at 100 yards.

That being said, it has a very healthy kick and the blast is obnoxious. At the range the other shooters always stop what they are doing to watch and try it out for themselves.

My father has a 15" .243 and the deer drop just as quickly with 95 gr ballistic tips as they do with my .308. Plus, we can shoot his all day long without fatigue.

I think you would do very well with an encore in any of the .308 based calibers : .243, .260, 7mm-08, or .308.

If you like handgun calibers try the .454 or .480, they are manageable in the heavy encore.

Buy good glass, Burris, leupold, or Bushnell 3200 series.

practice, practice, practice...and have a great time.

February 3, 2006, 03:01 PM
Larry Weisheun (Mister Whitetail) used a Thompson Pistol in the 30-30 caliber to take a South Texas Whitetail in a video I watched this week. He is unquestionably an authority in whitetail caliber choice.
He also used a pair of shooting sticks. He also chose the pistol and caliber based on his own personal limitations.

A man has got to know his limitations.

I don't know much. I am soaking it all in like a sponge though. I would copy success. He has plenty of it.