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Old February 26, 2020, 10:08 PM   #1
burrhead
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Contender problems?

I'm looking at a Contender (not a G2) in 7-30 Waters with a 14" barrel for deer hunting. It's a post 200K serial number. I've never owned one, and lack a depth of knowledge about them, but it looks like it would work for me. I hit the 'net and I'm seeing several posts about misfires and barrels locking up. I've also looked at Bellm's site and seen the fixes for these issues but I don't want hassles during a hunt.

So what's the verdict? Just the usual internet negativity or I'm a making a mistake?

TIA
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Old February 26, 2020, 10:46 PM   #2
NoSecondBest
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At one time I had three Contenders and shot them all extensively. I was shooting IHMSA Silhouette "back in the day", and each one of those Contenders had a problem when I added a different barrel to the frame. A trip back to TC and in a week or so they came back working just fine. They "mostly" worked good with new barrels, I just had some that didn't. Whatever magic TC performed on them corrected the problem permanently. If you get one with a failure to fire situation I'm sure you can get it fixed. I will say that I fired countless thousands of rounds out of those frames after getting them fixed and never had a problem with them beyond the initial problem. It's not they were chronic in acting up, they weren't. If you want it, go ahead and get it. If it comes with a barrel and someone was shooting it, it's highly unlikely that you'll ever have a problem with it.
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Old February 26, 2020, 10:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. It's at my LGS so there's no history. I just might since the asking price is pretty good and it would offset spending a little money to fix any initial problems. Still mulling it over. Thnx
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Old February 26, 2020, 11:02 PM   #4
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I haven't had any problems with my 'Tender. A couple notes, if you have a G2 frame you might have to change the locking bolts on older, one piece bolt barrels if you happen to buy one.
Second, you shouldn't have a problem with the rimmed 7-30 Waters. But with rimless bottle neck cases, always neck size only after you have shot new, factory ammo.
Third, buying barrels becomes habit forming....like potato chips!
A final note, to get all the best from a Contender, handloading is a must. You can shoot factory ammo OK, but get more with handloads you can taylor to your pistol length barrel.
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Old February 27, 2020, 11:21 AM   #5
Pahoo
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Go for it !!!

Quote:
I just might since the asking price is pretty good and it would offset spending a little money to fix any initial problems.
If the asking price for you, looks "pretty" good, then I would not hesitate to purchase it. The internet problem you are seeing, can be "easily" fixed, by anyone with minimal knowledge and tools. I own and have owned the two generations and these are my favorite shooters. ……

One of the problems you mentioned, is locked barrels. I have corrected this, in the barrels. The one you are looking at now, is not locked and doubt that it ever will. Then you buy a new barrel and that is when the problem "might" present itself. …..

These are so well made and if I can fix these, almost anyone else can to. …..

Be Safe !!!
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Last edited by Pahoo; February 27, 2020 at 03:20 PM.
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Old February 27, 2020, 11:12 PM   #6
burrhead
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Blue and walnut which is a positive to me. Metal finish has a small arc of light pitting on the right side of the receiver along the grip. Probably had a rubber grip at one point and some moisture got trapped in there. Not so bad it bothers me. The wood is fine. Leupold base and rings but no scope. Asking $475. Not a steal but not too bad best I can tell.

I'll go take another look this weekend and haggle a little. Thanks for all the help.
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Old February 28, 2020, 11:25 AM   #7
Pahoo
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Hind-sight is 20/20

Quote:
Blue and walnut which is a positive to me. Metal finish has a small arc of light pitting on the right side of the receiver along the grip. Probably had a rubber grip at one point and some moisture got trapped in there. Not so bad it bothers me.
That is an all too common problem with these. The rub comes from the skirts of the forend grip. Could have been prevented some time ago. I have had to open up these gaps on the walnuts and polymer grips. You can also apply a piece of clear tape, on the frame to protect this area, on both sides. …..

Be Safe !!!
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Old March 12, 2020, 09:51 AM   #8
jmohme
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I currently have two older Contenders. One easy open and the other not.
Neither has ever given any problems. No barrel lockup issues with any of the 7 barrels that I have at all.
I did have a few misfires with my 14inch 223, but I am 99% sure it was just the cheap ammo that I was using at that time. All the FTFs showed good primer strikes on inspection.

And to the OP.
If I were offered that Contender/barrel combo with scope mounts, I would not hesitate to fork over $475.

Last edited by jmohme; March 12, 2020 at 10:01 AM.
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