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Old February 27, 2023, 04:05 AM   #1
TruthTellers
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Thompson Center and CVA single shot questions

Since Taurus can't or won't keep up with supply/demand of the revolvers that I want and other stuff on my list isn't available, I'm getting itchy for other guns that interest me and I've long had a single shot pistol on my list. I'm starting to look again, I've nailed down the calibers I'd would accept.

Now the questions I have are...

1. Does CVA still make the .357 pistol? It seems they did at one point and whe I look the only thing I can find is a .243.

2. What's the current going price for a T/C Contender in either .357 or .45 Colt? How are prices for them now compared to say 5 years ago?

3. Why is it I can't find complete T/C pistols brand new? I look online and all I can ever find are used ones.
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Old February 27, 2023, 04:48 AM   #2
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6-7 hundred for receiver ,300FOR BARREL plus grips and forearm fOR T/C
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Old February 27, 2023, 08:28 AM   #3
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T/C Contender and Encoré are out of production.

Good frames run $400-$600.

Barrels run $200-$600.

A good gun ban be found for $600 - $1800 depending on caliber and stocks.
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Old February 27, 2023, 10:27 AM   #4
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I carelessly sold my Contenders back around 1990, to pursue other firearms. Decided I wanted another one about 2 years ago and couldn’t believe how much they had increased in price. I started following auctions to get an idea of what they were bringing and what would be a good deal. In common calibers like 357, 44 Mag, 45 Colt, 30-30, you can often get a complete gun for $600. I ended up with a 10 inch 44 Magnum with the TC pistol scope for $450. It was a Florida gun and had some rust on the sharp edges and internals, but that cleaned up. I also was getting misfires so I installed a stronger hammer spring. I have since obtained a 22 LR, 223 Super 14, and 375 JDJ barrels. A lot of gun shows will have a Contender guy who has a handful of frames and dozens of barrels.
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Old February 27, 2023, 02:13 PM   #5
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I wasted decades ignoring the Contender because it was "only" a single shot. Then I handled one at a shop one day, and I realized that it had an absolutely GREAT trigger pull. Better than most of the deer rifles on the rack!

So I decided to get one, and like the old potato chip slogan, its really tough to stop at just one...

Its a teaching tool par excellence, all about putting ONE single precise shot where you want it to go. I think its FUN to shoot.

The Contender was phased out of production quite a while ago, T/C replaced it with the Contender G2, which corrected the only real issues the Contender had (which were never issues to me. )

The big quirks of the Contender are it is very stiff to open. It basically requires full adult hand strength and some people have a problem with that. The G2 model opens very easily.

The other quirk is that if you cock the hammer, and then lower it, you cannot recock it without opening and closing the action. THis is also corrected in the G2 model.

There were at least two different versions of the Contender. might be 3 I don't know. I have seen two different versions of the selector switch hammer and have been told ALL barrels do not fit all model frames. The G2 is supposed to take all earlier barrels.

Be aware, the Contender doesn't not have an ejector. It extracts, then you pick out the empty by hand.

For me, the Contender takes me back to the era before revolvers, and semi autos, but in a modern way.

Another point is the barrels, since the "standard" barrel is 10", you get a sight radius and velocity advantage over most revolvers and semi autos.

Contenders are large, but until you get into longer barrels or bull barrels they aren't really heavy. A 10" Contender .44Mag is a little longer but much lighter than a 6" S&W.

Scoping a Contender is easy, if you want, many folks do. Some of the barrels (and many of the custom one) don't come with iron sights at all

You can, if you want set up a Contender so you have essentially anything from a .22LR to a .45 magnum with the same sights, barrel length, grip and trigger.

I have a couple of frames, and barrels in .22LR, .22 Hornet, .222 Rem, 9mm Luger, .357 Mag, .44Mag .45 Colt and .45Colt/410. Also have barrels in .30-30 and .45-70.

If you think you'are a good pistol shot, the Contender will open you up to a whole different level. One where its not about how many hits you can put in the A zone how fast, but about doing one shot "right" and then doing it again, after you reload.

Zen for handgun shooters
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Old February 27, 2023, 03:18 PM   #6
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i sold my contender and encore pistol barrels, but kept two contender G2 frames and put a 7-30 waters rifle barrel on one and a .375 JDJ rifle barrel on the other one, i have 3 encore rifles, a.308 and two 45-70,s. i have killed deer with all but the 7.30 waters and i may take care of that this deer season.
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Old February 27, 2023, 11:44 PM   #7
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For the CVA, they seem to be imported in batches. At any given time, "new" CVA guns are only available a very small selection of calibers.

CVA barrels are not made to be interchangeable. However, the cost of a CVA gun is in the same ballpark as the cost of a Contender barrel.

The CVA guns get high marks for good shooting and good triggers. They are typically stainless, plastic stocks, and set up for a scope. A good combination for an all weather hunting gun.
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Old February 28, 2023, 05:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. Seems like the G2 is the way to go then for the calibers I want that aren't available for the CVA. While .357 and .45 Colt are my focus now, in the future I could see .30-30, maybe even .45-70 as possibilities.
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Old February 28, 2023, 05:29 AM   #9
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I would question that the G2 is what you want. It is stronger from a frame perspective. I would bet fewer G2 frames have been stretched.

That said, the Contender is strong enough. The trigger can be much better. With only spring tuning and adjusting sear engagement, I can adjust the trigger from 12oz to 4lbs., if I remember right.

I’m pretty sure the real driver for the G2 was to make a more profitable gun…..
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Old April 6, 2023, 08:36 PM   #10
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I agree with Nathan about the triggers. I have two older Contenders and the triggers don't get much better.

As for the G2, no thanks.
On the surface they look like they would be stronger, but they still never offered any harder hitting chambering for them, so I kind of doubt that they are.
Again as Nathan said, probably just more profitable to produce.

I had a feeling when S&W bought Thompson Center Arms that the Contender would be phased out. It's a real shame too, but few care for single shots anymore. Its all about lots of rounds and being able to dump them as fast as possible.
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Old April 7, 2023, 10:41 AM   #11
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Great to own and fun to shoot !!!

Quote:
I would question that the G2 is what you want. It is stronger from a frame perspective. I would bet fewer G2 frames have been stretched.
Nathan has a good feel for the Contender and GS's. I would add that you may not have any options as both are getting harder to find and when you do, will pay a premium. I never intended to get hooked on these and that's exactly what happened. By my measure, they are worth every penny. The last barrel I bought, as a 10", blue barrel, in.22LR for $150.00. ....

Quote:
The big quirks of the Contender are it is very stiff to open.
Some are but that can be easily remedied. The problem is not the frame but the barrel lugs. I have worked on some that I had to disassemble in order to open them, to make the fix. Another problem area, is in the back-"skirts" of the forend. They will rub on the sides of the frame and mar the finish. There is a fix for that, as well.

Be Safe !!!
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Old April 7, 2023, 11:41 AM   #12
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With Contenders, or some variation thereof, appearing the latest John Wick movie prices might be going up even more.
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Old April 8, 2023, 06:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
With Contenders, or some variation thereof, appearing the latest John Wick movie prices might be going up even more.
I hope not. They are great guns, but part of the fun was that for a reasonable price you could assemble your own kit, per se. For example, I have 1 frame, 2 scopes, two sets of stocks and barrels in 17 HMR, 7-30 Waters, 30 Herrett, and 375 JDJ! Now if I could just find some nicer wood and a short 22LR, I’d be set….well until I need another!
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Old April 9, 2023, 08:54 AM   #14
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Nice wood is even harder to find than a good easy open frame but be patient. They are out there.
It took me almost two years to find this forearm for my 14 inch barrels

https://thefiringline.com/forums/att...1&d=1681048017
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Old April 9, 2023, 11:21 AM   #15
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Very nice !!!

Quote:
It took me almost two years to find this forearm for my 14 inch barrels
Only two years??? This one is exceptional and don't have any hopes of running into one. By my experience, TC never made a hard sort on when and if you might get this kind of exceptional wood. When they made special run of select models, you would see fancy wood but no guarantees. Out of all the Seneca's I own, there is only one that has fancy wood. You made an excellent find!! ..

Be Safe !!!
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Old April 9, 2023, 02:50 PM   #16
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My CVA Scout in 6.5 Creedmoor. It's stamped Dikar made in Spain on the bottom of the receiver; I think they manufacture BP handguns for Bergara. I think I paid $250 for it. BPF USA appears to be flopping about like a fish out of water,

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Old May 17, 2023, 12:30 AM   #17
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I had a CVA in .357 but just could not get used to shooting it. I sold it to BGS and then got the Traditions G2 Outfitter single shot rifle in .357. very fun to shoot and hunt with.

https://www.americanhunter.org/conte...-outfitter-g2/
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Old May 22, 2023, 09:19 AM   #18
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Wasted decades ignoring Contenders.
LOL.
Quote:
So I decided to get one, and like the old potato chip slogan, its really tough to stop at just one...
Quote:
I have a couple of frames, and barrels in .22LR, .22 Hornet, .222 Rem, 9mm Luger, .357 Mag, .44Mag .45 Colt and .45Colt/410. Also have barrels in .30-30 and .45-70.
Yep. That is just what happens. A classic case of BAD (Barrel Acquisition Disease). No known cure.
My last was a 14” in .30 Herrett.
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Old May 30, 2023, 12:58 AM   #19
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With T/C being shut down it looks like CVA is going to be the only game in town for single shot pistols for a long time.
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Old May 30, 2023, 11:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
With T/C being shut down it looks like CVA is going to be the only game in town for single shot pistols for a long time.
Only if you're the kind of person who has to buy "new".

There are a lot of Contenders out there, and will be for a long time to come, if you don't care about being the original owner. All my Contender stuff was bought used, works great and looks good, despite being decades old.
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Old June 4, 2023, 01:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Only if you're the kind of person who has to buy "new".

There are a lot of Contenders out there, and will be for a long time to come, if you don't care about being the original owner. All my Contender stuff was bought used, works great and looks good, despite being decades old.
The issue I have is the cost that sellers will be asking for knowing they're not being made anymore. Maybe someone like PSA could come along and start making their own frames that are compatible with T/C barrels, but $800 for a complete Contender or Encore is a bit much for me. I'm not looking for match accuracy, just something that is accurate, fun, and slows me down so 50 shots take an hour to burn thru compared to 15 minutes with my revolvers.
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Old June 4, 2023, 09:29 AM   #22
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@TT, I know what you mean. My Contender was built from a T/C frame by JDJones. It is a fun gun. That said, I can’t see paying more for a standard Contender frame and barrel.
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Old June 4, 2023, 08:04 PM   #23
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Someone making a new frame that uses Contender barrels would be great. If they could bring it to market for about $300 to $350 I think they could sell a bunch of them. An investment cast frame, a simple trigger, sear, hammer, maybe using some existing parts (1911?) to hold down cost. PSA, yes, or maybe the Phillipinos.
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Old June 4, 2023, 08:13 PM   #24
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TC

Contact Mike Bellm who is The Man for Contenders.

Instead of a 357 Mag consider 357 Maximum.
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Old June 4, 2023, 08:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammo.crafter View Post
Contact Mike Bellm who is The Man for Contenders.

Instead of a 357 Mag consider 357 Maximum.
.357 Mag is more common, my plan tho was to ream it out to accept .357 Max
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