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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some input from guys that know.

What is a good caliber for deer/groundhogs in a contender pistol? Range on groundhog a max of 200, deer 100-150 max.

I don't want an obnoxious loud barking kick like a mule caliber. Not sure what the 30-30 or 35 Rem would be like in a handgun.

Any thoughts on the 7mm TCU? Or 300 Whisper with 125's?

I don't want any big rifle calibers, because I don't want the firebreathers in a short barrel. It would be nice if it was somewhat quiter than a revolver. Would pistol calibers be quiter in a 10 - 14" barrel as compared to a revolver?
 

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No experience with the 300 Whisper, but I think for it to be quiet (subsonic) you'd have to shoot heavy bullets. Also, no experience with the 35 Rem.

Any 10-14" barrel (bigger than rimfire of course) is gonna be loud because of the short barrel and the amount of powder you're burning. When you look at a 44 mag burning 10-12 gr powder vs. a 223 burning 23-25 grains, I think you get the point. I got rid of a 223 barrel that I got for groundhogs. It was a killer on the ears, even with muffs, although the fireball out the barrel was pretty neat in the evenings!

For deer/groundhogs, I have a 10" 7TCU and a 14" wildcat similar to the 7-30 waters. It's a 7mm International Rimmed (30-30 necked down). In both, I shoot 120 grain bullets. Full power loads with H322 are pretty snappy and loud. The 10' TCU barrel is similar to a 357, but not quite 44 mag. The 14" not so bad.

For fireforming and plinker loads (and maybe groundhogs too) I use IMR SR4759 powder. It's a bulky powder that works well for reduced loads. It makes my pistols very pleasant to shoot and they are VERY accurate with this powder. I was ringing a 500 yd gong with the 7IR and it's only got a 2x scope!

I haven't shot the 7TCU at distance, but it keeps about an inch and a half group at 100. With 120's, it should be good for deer to 100 yards, but the kinetic energy drops after that.

I took the 7IR antelope hunting last year. I was shooting 120 Ballistic Tips at about 1950 fps and holding 3" groups at 200 yards. It gives slightly better velocity than the TCU. I got my antelope doe at 225 yards. The 7-30 would be slightly better yet.

Good luck!

bownut
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wanted to keep the whisper faster than subsonic. I don't want to mess with bullets that won't expand or count on one tumbling to create enough damage to kill.
 

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My first pick would be a 309JDJ
But unless you want to reload and mess around fireforming brass, this may not be for you. This can be a little bit of a hand full with some loads also.

The good ol' 30-30 is hard to beat.
Ammo is everywhere, and it is a very accurate round in the contender. Very capable deer round.

Take a look at the 7-30 Waters
Never owned one, but I think it would ba a good little caliber to try. Will push that 120 grain bullet around 2400-2500 fps according to the Hornady reload manual.
 

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I have a Contender 14" in 7-30 Waters that is just the "Bees Knees." Less than 1" at 100 yards. I load 38.8gr of H-414 and my average fps across my chronograph is 2,300fps.

I have a 2.5 to 8X Leupold EER on this set up as well as a shoulder strap. When I use the strap in conjunction with a Stoney Point shooting stick, the set up is as solid as a rock.

I hit a groundhog at 125 yards with this load\gun. The recoil is like a [censored] cat and no where near that of a 44 magnum.

Get one. You will like it.

Dave
 

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For a 1 barrel only the 15" 7mm-08 reload it with the 100 gr for whistle pigs and the 139 or 154 SST's for deer. I have shot deer with the .35 Rem and it works wonderfully but it lacks the distrance that you are after. If you are looking at the old frames the 7-30 Waters would work but you have to reload for it.
 

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get your self two barrels... if you want a nice wissle pig gun get a 223 or 204 ruger and for deer get a 30-30 these are choices i would go with if you dont reload....
7tcu are great i have a 14 in it love it alot 300 whisper i had and sold it off it was nice but a pain in the but to set up the brass for and 221 ft brass is expensive and if u have a 223 your usen your brass from that to make the 300 and its nice but not a whisle pig kinda round good for deer though...

but for the cost of shells these days and the ability to go shoot all day and no recoil/ bark 223, an the 30-30 are the best way to go.. toss in a 22 LR barrel and you have the makings of easy time for shooting and ability to get factory ammo and shoot all day cheap
 

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7-30 Waters. Buy preformed brass from Eabco.com and load up some Seirra 120grn pills.
 

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duckman76 said:
For a 1 barrel only the 15" 7mm-08 reload it with the 100 gr for whistle pigs and the 139 or 154 SST's for deer. I have shot deer with the .35 Rem and it works wonderfully but it lacks the distrance that you are after. If you are looking at the old frames the 7-30 Waters would work but you have to reload for it.
15" 7-08 is an Encore barrel, not Contender. And you CAN buy loaded 7-30 ammo. Federal makes it, for one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What is the muzzle blast like on a 7-30, 30-30, 7 TCU, or a 300 Whisper?

I was just thinking that 30-35 grains of powder is pointless in a 14" barrel. Could be wrong.

I am a reloader, not concerned with forming cases. Reasoning behind the 7mm TCU was I thought it would be cheap to get brass, and they don't make TCU barrels anymore so they seem slightly cheaper.

I am looking at the used market.

Definately not interested in 308 based calibers in a handgun.

Realistically all deer hunting will be done within 100 yards. Groundhog hunting would just be occassional and I'm thinking about just getting a hornet barrel for that.
 

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muzzle blast is noticeably louder in 10" barrels than 14, and varies in each with the type of powder you're using, based on my observations. Powders like 748 and H322 at top end throw a big fireball with lots of blast, while other powders are noticeably quieter. That's why I like SR4759 with reduced loadings for plinking, but honestly, those loads would be quite capable for deer, keeping your shots under 100 yards and with the right bullets.
 

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I have 4 barrels. You are correct High..66, the larger cases all have lots of muzzle blast, regardless what people say. Short barrels (less than 20 inches just can't burn tha extra powder of a 308 size case.

If I had to recomend only one the 7 TCU would be the best, nost of the reasons you know.

The 70-30 waters is ok, I shoot one but it isn't a quiet gun (still too much powder).

I use a 30 herret for groundhogs, it was designed for deer in the contender and has reduced powder capacity. Same with all the TCU cartridges.

You might want to check out some of the pistol cartrdges also, they are more balanced powder charges. That 200 yard ground hog is the tough criteria, for a deer also gun. I never hit a hog at 200 yds with my contenders, but I've killed deer at 150 yds with heart shots.
Best g'hog was a double with the Herret, first hog was at 45 yards, second was at 82 yards; I just crept behind some round bails till they lined up and when the far guy stood up squeezed (130 grain pill).

Whatever you get you will enjoy.
 

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I have and have played with a number of the calibers listed
I have taken a number of deer and antelope with the 7-30,I have also taken deer with the 300 Whisper but am not a big fan of it for deer. I believe the 7TCU will work fine and a friend does use it for his deer hunting. My suggestions would be 1) don't go with longer than a 14" for balance , I actually prefer the 12" 2) a muzzle break will help with manageability and another benifit I have found first hand is with the sound dispersion at the shot, often a miss will be followed with a second shot due to the deer not being able to pin down the origin of the sound. I have used the 7TCU for silhouette and will take down rams at 200 meters and they weigh approx 65 pounds so energy and penetration on deer should not be an issue. I personally would favor the 139gr for the TCU , but I do use the 120gr single shot bullet for the 7-30 waters. No matter what your greatest potential will be realized with handloading your ammunition
As far as accuracy is concerned i think you will find the TCU will typically fall under a minute of angle, which is better than a lot of deer rifles out there
 

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Hey....seriously, if you can get your hands on each of these barrels to try 'em that's the best thing to do.

It's very difficult to 'splain to someone what a cartridge is going to do in any given situation. Especially when the proposed shooter (that would be you) has a specific intent in mind.

You stated that you wanted to load 30 to 35 grains of powder. I load 38.8 of H-414. You didn't say what powder you wanted to load. That's kind of confusing.

Of course, you could just buy all three, try 'em out, then sell the two you don't like.

Hey...it's an option.

Dave
 

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Sorry, I forgot to mention, all the odd cartridges we have mentioned are readily available from The T/C custom shop; It is Fox Ridge Outfitters. http://www.tcarms.com/customShop/chart_contender_pistol.php

I've bought most of my barrels from them, you pick the barrel length you want, no extra charge. For about $275 you get exactly what you want. They are very nice to deal with. I bought a 7-30 waters barrel last year and they also have the 7 TCU. Might want to consider the 6.5 TCU also.

If you are serious,you might want to buy the yellow spiral "LoadBooks Inc" reloading manual for the T/C contender. It list bullet and powder loads for most every Contender made, even the JDJ cartridges. And it gives you load data and general cartridge info in about 300 pages...all for $18.
 

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6mmx30/30. 6.5x30/30. 6.5jdj to name three more for the contnder that won't break the wrist
 

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Not a contender owner but it seems that the .221 fireball in a 12" barrel would do nicely for varmints and such. Just thinking.IMHO
 

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for only one barrel - I would go with a 30-30. You could handload some pointed 125 grain bullets for groundhogs and then switch to 150 or 170's for deer.

I once owned a 30-30 barrel for mine - shot it some, sold it off. It was fun to shoot - I can never get over the small group you can shoot with a gun of that size.
 

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I just shot a doe this morning with the 7mm TCU and I was very impressed. The bullet didn't exit but thats because it hit the opposite shoulder and destroyed it. The bullet definatly did it's job and the deer only ran a few yards before going down. I was using the 120grn v-max with h322 powder. awsome caliber
 
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