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Old February 24, 2018, 06:59 AM   #1
T_PRO_Z
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Tc contender a dead platform??

Hello all. I have recently gotten into the contender line of pistols or sillouete shooting. But is the tc contender line of firearms dead or are they still going strong ( as in selling and no plans on stopping production). I love these pistols and I hope that it will be a viable platform until my kids get old enough to purchase some of their own
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Old February 24, 2018, 07:26 AM   #2
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_PRO_Z View Post
Hello all. I have recently gotten into the contender line of pistols or sillouete shooting. But is the tc contender line of firearms dead or are they still going strong ( as in selling and no plans on stopping production). I love these pistols and I hope that it will be a viable platform until my kids get old enough to purchase some of their own
I doubt if silhouette shooting will ever die, nor do I think TC Contender/Encore type pistols will ever be dead. It's just that with the emergence of new revolver/pistol calibers that are more traditional without the rainbow trajectories, and platforms that are very accurate within silhouette shooting distances, there is just more to choose from than there was just a few years ago.

If you love your TC, it doesn't matter who else does. The platform is still readily available and there are a ton of them out there already in the hands of shooters. I doubt very much of they are going anywhere soon.
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Old February 24, 2018, 07:52 AM   #3
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They are fun hunters, too.
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Old February 24, 2018, 09:14 AM   #4
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I Don't shoot competion or hunt with my contender but I have lots of fun plinking. I have several barrels and plan on picking up a few more.

But I dont know the answer to the OP's question, I dont see many around here, I can just can speak for my self.
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Old February 24, 2018, 10:17 AM   #5
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We had to build a clear scatter shield around a piece of equipment were I work. We used some 1" Lexan and some of the engineers took a smaller piece to the range and tried to punch a hole in it with various handgun calibers:
9mm, both SP and FMJ
40S&W
45ACP
38spl
357mag, 158 SP
All jacketed expanding type bullets, except 1.
I told them I had a pistol that would probably penetrate that piece of Lexan, a single shot 10" 357 Maximum. .
Out of about 10 people only 1 knew what a Contender was.
Oh, and by the way, 1 180gr Speer Hot Core .358 Flat Soft Point had no problem penetrating this material.
More confusion followed.
And I think T/C's have a loyal but increasingly smaller following.
Barrel prices are still pretty high depending on the caliber.
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Old February 24, 2018, 11:31 AM   #6
Pahoo
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TC/Smith, is not doing us any favors

Quote:
But I dont know the answer to the OP's question, I dont see many around here, I can just can speak for my self.
TC/Smith, is not doing us any favors so it must be about the bottom line. I suspect that Smith, will stop supporting these as well. As mentioned, you don't see many or any, at Gun-Shows. The Contender is all but extinct but the G-2's are still going strong. There are literally tons of barrels available. ....

Quote:
I hope that it will be a viable platform until my kids get old enough to purchase some of their own
I hope so and if not, give them yours. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old February 24, 2018, 11:52 AM   #7
Nathan
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I love it. Wish I had more!

The original Contender is a great gun.

I have an SSK Contender 375 JDJ. What a powerhouse! Wish I had money for a 22 lr, 6.5 JDJ, etc!
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Old February 24, 2018, 12:19 PM   #8
Guv
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Plenty of grips, forearms, barrels and other parts on eBay! Bought my octagon 25-35 and 44 Mag Hot Shot barrels on there.
I have a early style grip and matching snap on forearm set waiting on an older frame with a Hornet barrel!
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Old February 24, 2018, 07:21 PM   #9
johnwilliamson062
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I would be very surprised if they discontinue the G2. The used market is probably saturated to the point where new ones don't sell well.
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Old February 24, 2018, 09:18 PM   #10
Steve in PA
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Love my T/C’s!

I have two frames; blued and stainless along with several barrels,

14” .223
14” .44 Magnum
14” 7-30 Waters
10” .22 Hornet
10” .22lr

Lots of barrels for sale on Gun Broker. I’m hoping to give IHMSA a try. Right now, I use mine for hunting.
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Old February 25, 2018, 06:16 AM   #11
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The original T/C Contender is out of production. It's replacement in the product line is the G2 Contender. I don't have any personal experience with the G2, but have heard it will take original Contender barrels, but the reverse is not true.

Have also heard the G2 is easier to open than the original, and can be recocked without opening the action, though why this particular feature is a plus is a mystery to me...

have also heard G2's don't have quite as good triggers as original Contenders, but cannot say if its true, or not from personal experience.

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

Everything was bought used, at gun shows, over quite a few years...
The Contender is a large handgun, but it is a light handgun, a 10" .44 Mag weighs less than a 6" revolver in the same caliber. Even though its only one shot, the difference in recoil is rather noticeable. (as in hell for stout, noticeable )

optics mount on the barrel, and stay there, so when changing barrels there is no need to resight in the gun (normally). Also using the exactly the same grip and trigger means each shot is the same, until after the hammer falls, no matter what barrel you're shooting.

Even if S&W (the current owner) decides to stop all production of G2s and Encores, there are enough made anything other than a destroyed frame can be fixed. Original Contenders are still around to be had, though not all that common anymore. Few people actually shoot one enough to wear it out. You can damage /destroy them with too heavy loads, but its tough to wear one out with normal shooting.
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Old February 25, 2018, 03:07 PM   #12
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I prefer the Contenders

Quote:
have also heard G2's don't have quite as good triggers as original Contenders, but cannot say if its true, or not from personal experience.
I agree and know by personal experience. Every time a manufacturer issues a new generation, there are always trade-off that one has to measure. I personally prefer the Contenders, over the G-2's. ......

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Old February 25, 2018, 03:18 PM   #13
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The contender has been out of production for a while, and, as noted above, was replaced by the Contender G2 soon after the Encore was introduced

The original contender had a better trigger than the G2. old barrels fit new frames.

I eventually sold my contender for an encore and its a heck of a nice hunting pistol. In my area rifles are not allowed, so an encore in a rifle cartridge is a nice substitute.
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Old February 26, 2018, 12:55 AM   #14
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With the Encore and it's stronger, heavier frame and ability to shoot more powerful rounds through it, I wonder myself if the contender is gonna be around much longer. The Contender pistols aren't chambered in anything I want to shoot, but the Encore is.

If one was looking at using the Contender for .22 LR, .223, .45-70... lower power stuff, then I can see the saving in size/weight during pistol season, but if I wanted a .223 pistol, I'd get an AR with a 12 inch barrel and pistol brace. Probably costs about the same and we know the AR is adaptable to shoot other calibers.

Idk, maybe the Contender is dead. It certainly won't disappear, there are barrels and frames everywhere and with the ease of their interchangeability, they'll still be popular for decades to come.

Can't say the same for the H&R Handi Rifle. Given that the barrels had to be custom fitted to frames at the factory, spare barrels are meaningless.
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Old February 27, 2018, 06:07 AM   #15
Nathan
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IMO, the Encore is what killed the Contender. It offered the promise of higher performance, but never could deliver. With 15" or shorter barrels, cases over 308 size don't make sense. It was so heavy and inefficient, I think many sold them off for something else, with a bad taste in their mouth.

The real beauty of the gun is something like an improved 30-30 with pointed bullets in a 12-15" barrel. I think JDJ had the right caliber ideas and t/c Contender was the right platform...i for one would like to see a reintroduction.

I am bias.....have a 375 JDJ built by SSK.
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Old February 27, 2018, 12:30 PM   #16
johnwilliamson062
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Someone told me the G2 barrels are not backwards compatible with all original contenders b/c the G2 is designed to handle some higher pressure or larger diameter cartridges. A little extra meat on the frame, a different alloy, maybe different heat treat.

I can't find a reliable source for that info.

I know people were putting custom barrels on original contenders that were not suitable.
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Old February 27, 2018, 10:20 PM   #17
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Not certain if they will be around for your kids. I think Smith and Wesson owns them now, so they've got a good company behind them. The TC Contender was always the handgun hunters pistol. Many of the serious silhouette shooters used the Remington or Wichita platform if I remember correctly. The primary advantage [to the hunter] was the ability to change barrels and the ease of reloading for hunting. They are amazingly accurate firearms as you know. The big disadvantage was, due to their original design, they couldn't handle the larger cartridges the other pistols could. JD Jones capitalized on it by designing calibers/barrels that would exploit all the platform could offer - then went out an proved it hunting. He and Larry Kelly really pushed handgun hunting.

I think some of the novelty wore off with the Encore. Though a much more robust gun, the trigger was not as refined and the mystique of the single shot sort of went out the window, as you could now chamber anything.

I love mine and all the barrels. They are still among the most accurate firearms I own. I haven't hunted with a rifle in 20 years.
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Old March 1, 2018, 10:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Can't say the same for the H&R Handi Rifle. Given that the barrels had to be custom fitted to frames at the factory, spare barrels are meaningless.
Truthteller extra barrels can be fitted. There is/was a website called graybeardoutdoors that had a tutorial on fitting barrels.

Here ya go. You will have to do your own search.

http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php#12

I would like a Contender or G2 but the ones I have looked at are super expensive. More than i wanted to spend for a single shot. Plus I never could make up my mind on a chambering. Most likely a 22 mag and 357 both with 10" barrels. I have shot a 30-30 and a 223. WOW what a blast. Both ways.
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Old March 1, 2018, 11:32 PM   #19
saleen322
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..Many of the serious silhouette shooters used the Remington or Wichita platform if I remember correctly...
You could only shoot the XP-100 and similar in Unlimited Class. The Contender could be shot in production (22 and big bore both), standing class, and hunter class. The contenders pretty much owned production when I was competing.
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