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Has anyone used the .225 Improved in there Contender's?
I have a spare .223 barrel and I am thinking about having it rechambered to something in a rimmed cartridge. I have heard that there have been some extraction problems with the standard .225 and the .226 JDJ is very similar but doesn't have the extraction concerns.
 

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225 Winchester

I noted with interest your statement about extraction problems with the 225 Winchester vs the JDJ versions of the improved cartridge.

I don't know where that information about the difficult extraction came from, but I question how that would be possible. The 225 Winchester has a reasonably significant case taper and is of rimmed design so there is no reason it should have any extraction problems stemming simply from design. Dirty chambers, overly tight chambers, rough chambers, etc. could be the culprit but the 225 Winchester case design to my knowledge has never been known to give extraction problems in Contenders, Encores or other firearms that I am aware of. The 225 Winchester case is the basic case used for all the smaller JDJ designed cartridges and if there is one person on this earth who would have discovered an extraction problem with any 225 Winchester-based case, it would be J.D. Jones - and - he would have told the world about it. J.D. Jones is not a bashful or reserved individual!

The JDJ designs generally reduce the case taper to some degree providing for less backthrust by a cartridge that in its original form might provide a dangerous amount of backthrust to a Contender or even an Encore (assuming the cartridge is of the type considered to be borderline pressure-appropriate and backthrust-appropriate for the Contender or Encore). It seems unreasonable to assume that there would be less of an extraction problem with a JDJ design which, if there were a problem with the factory case design, would be magnified even more by the JDJ design which decreases the case taper from the case head area to the shoulder.

Just my $.02 worth - hopefully this is food for thought.

Good and safe shooting to you.

Javelina
 

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I believe the extraction problems with the standard .225 Win would result from its being a case the size of the .30-30 but loaded to MUCH higher pressures, 50,000 CUP or more. The JDJ cartridges have greater volume and so yield lower pressures using his loading data. I believe if you feed a Contender a steady diet of standard .225 factory loads or equivalent handloads you are an accident on the way to happening, or at least a stretched frame.

RonF
 

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225 Winchester

RonF,

You're right about the 225 Winchester in its orignal form being too much for the Contender - it has too much pressure and too much backthrust.

The JDJ designs, are for all intents and purposes, "Improved" versions of the original case designs. They reduce the pressure somewhat and due to some straightening of the outside case wall, provide for a better grip against the inside of the chamber - both of these elements reduce backthrust which is the main enemy of Contenders and a primary safety concern. Some custom houses will chamber the 225 Winchester Improved in a Contender and some won't - it depends on who you talk to. Personally, I would rather use the Encore for a project like that. The Encore was beefed up in certain areas for just these very reasons, to overcome some of the Contenders limitations as to pressure and backthrust. I own both and feel each has its good and bad features - I use each type of gun for different aspects of shooting although I'm starting to prefer the Encore for its greater flexibilty.

Good and safe shooting to you.

Javelina
 

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Where does the 6.5JDJ fit in for pressures?

The 6.5JDJ is based on the 225 case so is it subject to potentially too high pressure? Seems like there are a lot of happy campers out there that own it.

bj
 

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.225 Winchester and the 6.5 JDJ

Hello BillJoe,

Every cartridge out there is subject to high pressure if someone either intentionally or unintentionally loads it improperly. Too much powder, the wrong powder, bad primer selection with a certain load, etc.; all these can play a part in the pressure equation just as certain factory case designs and pressures render some cartridges unsuitable for the Contender. The .225 Winchester was designed for much stronger firearms than the Contender. To make the .225 Winchester case suitable and safe for the Contender, its shape, configuration and the manner in which it is loaded must be changed to operate within the limits of the Contender. The Encore is chambered by most of the custom houses in .225 Winchester due to its increased strength. I would choose the Encore for a .225 Winchester in a New York second and it would be a great performer.

To answer your question, the 6.5 JDJ is not inherently a dangerous cartridge, no more than a 30-30 Winchester, the .44 Remington Magnum or any other cartridge is. It is a solid, proven performer and I personally have owned one since 1988 – it is wonderfully accurate, light on recoil and very safe – but if a person were foolhardy and loaded it improperly (just as any other case can be loaded improperly), they would be taking a big safety risk. Take my advice and don’t travel that path, it’s the wrong one to take if you value your eyesight, limbs and even your life.

The major question with the .225 Winchester relevant to the Thompson Center Contender is the following: Is this cartridge at factory load levels too much for the Contender? The answer is, without question, YES! – DON’T CHAMBER A CONTENDER FOR IT. Don't even chamber a Contender for .225 Winchester with the intent of loading it down from factory performance levels - BAD IDEA! Due to pressure considerations and the SAAMI case specifications, the .225 Winchester is not suitable for Contenders. . .BUT. . .change the case to JDJ design and using any of the bullet diameters that JDJ cartridges based on the .225 Winchester case are designed in (including .224” diameter bullets), load appropriately and you have a horse of a completely different color (or a Contender with greatly increased utility). I can heartily recommend any of the JDJ calibers including those using .224” diameter bullets. Call SSK Industries and talk to anyone there and get the story straight from them. What they don’t know about Contenders and Encores doesn’t need to be known by those of us who are mere mortals. Confirm what I say, call SSK and ask J.D. Jones himself and see what he tells you about the .225 Winchester, it will be exactly what I have said here.

Thanks for bringing up the good, hard questions and generating the dialog. Many others will benefit from seeing the discussion!

Good and safe shooting to you.

Javelina
 

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Javelina,

I took the above advise and called J.D. in regard to this .225 win chambering. May I suggest you follow your own advise and give him a call. You might be suprise to find his views are a bit different than you think. Be sure to ask him about his very own .225 win chambered in a contender. (3600 fps with a 40 gr bt) and the many thousands of athers he has in the field so chambered and used by customers.

Personally I have been shooting one for a looooooong time with none of the above mentioned problems. I have never shot factory stuff in it so I can't relate any pressure problems in that regard, but I easily get 2970 fps with 50 gr sp's and J.D. thinks I am running them a mite slow as he gets 3100 from the .223 case with the same bullet.

The premise that one can overload any cartridge in any gun is correct and he related several instances where he has recieved guns that were blown up by small cases like the Hornet and wasp and 218 bee etc.

His view of internet experts is the same as his view of arm chair quarterbacks....if they knew as much as they thought they knew they would be in the business and would not have time to spend on the internet.
You are correct in that J.D. is opinionated and not the least bit bashful about saying what he thinks.....I think he's right and I'll get my correct information from people like him anyday and take what I hear on the net with moderation.

shortgun (F.K. JONES)
 

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225 Winchester

Hello Shortgun,

Internet expert and armchair quarterback, hmmmm, if that’s the worst thing I get called today it will be a personal victory and a good day! :grin: Just a point of information, there are many folks, myself included, that have done well in life, have retired from business, and choose to frequent the internet because we like to. I know J.D. Jones says publicly (and that he also told you) that if a person was an expert and really knew something, he/she would be in business making money from all their knowledge. J.D. is an acknowledged capitalist and I applaud him for his continued success, but since I have not needed the money or the aggravation of business, I now do what I choose to (since I have complete dominion over my life) and like to involve myself with things of interest, like hunting, shooting, reloading, learning new things, talking to and with others, etc. My personal view is the complete opposite of J.D. Jones’ view, I say that I have won the game of life because I was successful and made my money at a VERY early age, definitely through very hard and stressful work, so now I can enjoy doing whatever it is I want to for the rest of my life – including learning new and useful things every day! There are those who, due to personal jealousy, begrudge me my status in life – but I will not apologize for my hard-earned success, I earned it and I’m going to enjoy it! I take personal issue with and dispute the fact that if someone is not working, they are not relevant to a certain pursuit. A wise and thoughtful man might want to consider that there are those who very likely have forgotten more than he will ever know about certain things in life.

I'm glad you took the time to call SSK to ask about the 225 Winchester in the Contender and to talk to J.D. Jones about it – thanks for taking my advice to do so. J.D. knows Contenders as well as anyone alive in my opinion and please note that he DOES validate exactly what I said about the 225 Winchester in the Contender.

I mentioned previously that the 225 Winchester is unsuitable for the Contender and please note that I also mentioned in particular FACTORY LOADING which definitely is too much pressure for the Contender (you said yourself that you had not used factory loads – my advice is to continue that practice). Although you indicated that J.D. Jones thought you could go higher on your personal handloads for the 225 Winchester, I would doubt very much that J.D. Jones advised you to shoot factory loads in your Contender or that he advised using loads that even remotely approached the pressures of factory loads. I’m also hoping for the sake of others that you may be shooting near, that you’re not in any way approaching factory load pressure levels – PLEASE, IF YOU ARE DOING THAT, PARTICULARLY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS, DO IT BY YOURSELF WHERE YOU WON’T TAKE A CHANCE OF INJURING SOMEONE ELSE! I’m also very curious who it was who chambered your Contender barrel for the 225 Winchester? Could you please let me know? I’m also curious what their advice was to you both on Handloading for your barrel and also on using factory ammunition which generates very high pressure. Significant legal and liability issues being what they are today (and you can take this to the bank of your choice – I understand legal and liability issues VERY, VERY well), it is my opinion that most folks in a position of shooting industry responsibility, to include highly experienced custom houses like Bullberry and Virgin Valley Custom Guns, will not chamber the 225 Winchester in the Contender because of the extreme risk of a factory load being used by someone which could cause a deadly result. I will agree with you, and again please note what I have said above regarding loaded down 225 Winchester cartridges, that a handloaded 225 Winchester which has been loaded to significantly LOWER levels than the factory version COULD (note that this does not mean SHOULD) be used in a Contender, but for the general population, I maintain that it is not a good idea because there are many, many shooters who simply do not understand the cartridge pressure/backthrust equation and/or will not take good advice to keep themselves safe. Factory load pressure levels or anything even close to them (delineated by SAAMI specifications) whether from actual factory-loaded ammunition or from handloaded ammunition should ALWAYS be avoided when using the 225 Winchester in a Thompson Center Contender.

It is well known that many cartridges can be loaded down to reduced performance levels, including the 225 Winchester, but there is a significant risk involved with doing so. Certainly there are knowledgeable individuals as well as some not-so-knowledgeable individuals who will push the safety envelope for one reason or another, ignorance being one of them, with sometimes tragic results. Is it worth the risk to loose a finger, hand, eye, or your life? Is it worth the risk to expose yourself to a high level of liability risk if you injure someone else? I don’t really think so, and I also think that it is irresponsible to promote that type of risk to those who are much better served by remaining within a well-defined and reasonable safety envelope. I’m sure it will be said that by staying within the safety envelope that we, as responsible folks are less than REAL men, but I would never want to think that advice I gave to someone regarding safety was that of ignoring it – that to me, would be tragic.

It is certainly possible to take the comments of experts out of context (you can always hear what you want to hear) as it appears you have done with J.D. Jones to bolster your position versus my position – this is not surprising and is a questionable tactic that is used by some to promote their views. I certainly have no quarrel with you having, loading for, shooting and enjoying your 225 Winchester Contender – it is your right to do so and I will whole-heartedly support that right. Although. . .I implore you to do the right thing, if not for yourself, at least for others around you including your family – DON’T TAKE NEEDLESS SHOOTING RISKS! If you are shooting a cartridge that is may be producing too much pressure, specifically the 225 Winchester in a Thompson Center Contender with factory loads or handloads that are too hot, please do it by yourself! If you are a highly-knowledgeable handloading expert and have the skills and tools to know exactly what you are doing with absolute certainty and are willing to take responsibility for yourself and your actions, please feel free to act accordingly and know that you have my full support as long as you take the appropriate responsibility and don’t do it anywhere near me or those I care about. Know that none of us, including me, want to read in the newspaper about you, one of your friends, or one of your family having had a terrible accident because you were shooting a cartridge that had more pressure than a Contender could withstand – AND YOU DIDN’T REALLY REALIZE IT AT THE TIME! Be safe, my friend, we don’t want to have anyone get hurt here! I’d much rather have you complain about what I say, than to have you complain about what I DIDN’T say!

Good and SAFE shooting to you.

Javelina
 

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225 Winchester

To those who saw posts between Shortgun and myself:

I want to clarify what many of you may have seen as two guys butting heads in the conversation and postings between us. Shortgun will also provide a posting to clarify the issues.

First of all, Shortgun and I have corresponded privately at some length on the issue of the 225 Winchester and its applicability to the Thompson Center Contender. I will say that he is definitely a gentleman and a man who has personal experience with the 225 Winchester in the Contender that I highly respect. He has also indicated to me that he understands my position and I feel that we are both on the same page here (I believe previous statements by both of us are two different forms of the same thing). We have privately exchanged apologies, and I will publicly repeat my apology here to him since he and I had some misunderstanding of what the other was saying. I should have taken into consideration that the possibility existed of an expert out there actually having a Contender in 225 Winchester, I’m sure he felt aggrieved when I mentioned that it was a bad idea to have that chambering in a Contender and I really can’t blame him – again, he certainly has my apology if anything I said offended him – it certainly was not meant to be personal.

Shortgun owns a Contender chambered for 225 Winchester which I have advocated is not a good idea. My reasoning behind my position is that many folks, who do not have a good grasp of reloading pressure and backthrust issues, could get into some dangerous territory if using either factory ammunition (with pressure that is too high for the Contender) or handloads that duplicate those unacceptable pressures. Shortgun is a highly experienced and knowledgeable competitive shooter who has knowingly gone down the 225 Winchester path with the benefit of years of experience to draw on when handloading for that caliber. I believe most of you have heard the phrase “These people are trained professionals acting under controlled conditions - don’t try this at home!”? Shortgun is one of those trained professionals who know how to: 1) be safe when handloading and shooting, 2) determine proper and safe load levels for the Contender, 3) constantly use good logic and common sense in how and where he shoots, and 4) is open to a good, meaningful and constructive dialogue when faced with issues he doesn’t always agree with. Shortgun agreed that he does not undertake needless risk and that his handloads are of safe pressure levels in the Contender, I applaud his skills and good judgment in knowing how NOT to use loads that are far too high in pressure for the Contender. This may not be the case for many others, and I stand by my original assertion that it is not a good idea to have a Contender in 225 Winchester unless you really have a really good idea of what you are doing, like Shortgun does.

I don’t want to detract from the 225 Winchester, particularly in light of Shortgun’s fondness for it. :grin: It is a wonderful and very effective cartridge with tremendous potential when used properly. There are, however some other cartridges known to be safe within prescribed limits that have a wealth of developed information for them within the Contender community which also have great merit relevant to cartridge performance, particularly with when using the new powders available like Hodgdon Benchrest, and bullet coatings like moly and Fastex. If you would like to get a 225 Winchester, and I can certainly see why one would be interested in the cartridge (I certainly am), the Encore platform may be a better choice for many for the following reasons: 1) the Encore is slightly larger and definitely much stronger and more forgiving than the Contender where higher pressures are concerned, 2) the small increase in the weight of the Encore over the Contender would be of benefit since the 225 Winchester has somewhat more recoil than other cartridges such as the 223 Remington and other smaller diameter cases, 3) a 15” barrel on an Encore would allow a little more powder burning efficiency for better usage of the fairly large capacity of the 225 Winchester case, and 4) you can shoot the higher pressure factory ammunition safely in the Encore if you don’t handload – if you do handload, you still have the flexibility to use the full potential of the 225 Winchester. Don’t believe everything you hear about the Encores not being able to have good trigger pulls! If any of you need the information, I can put you in touch with one of the most highly skilled, yet reasonably priced gunsmiths in the T/C world. All my Contenders and Encores have this gentleman's trigger jobs and the Encores are actually my favorite triggers now. You haven't lived until you've tried an Encore with a good, crisp, reasonably light yet safe trigger pull - you may buy out all the Encores in your local gun store once you get hooked!

Good luck to all of you with your caliber choices, the 225 Winchester is certainly one of the great ones. Let us know about your choices and please be generous in telling us about your handloading experiences and results in shooting your Contenders and Encores! That’s why we’re here, we want to learn with you.

Good and safe shooting to you, and a wave of the hand to my excellent new friend Shortgun! :D

Javelina
 

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Javelina

My friend you sure can type! It would take me all day to say that much onna keyboard.
I am glad we had our disscusions...I enjoy getting to know you in this manner. Some day maybe we'll do some shootin together. Maybe I'll even get ya to shoot the .225.

I went the .225 direction because I like rimmed cases better in the contender as they are more user friendly and I was not seeking lightining speeds from a 22 centerfire and was not fond of the .223 in that format.
My levels of performance required for this caliber were well with in acceptable peramiters for this case and I find it useful for my needs.
Lots of research and careful load work-up went into developing that level of performance.

I also like oddball chamberings that are a little different from the norm and that is part of what intrigued me about the .225. It is interesting and different and was fun and challenging to work with. I have several other chamberings that fit that discription. I have actually had less problems with the .225 than I had with the .223...but that is a different story.

I may some day invest in an Encore frame and barrel in .225 just to see what level of performance is offered in that format....another interisting project....trust the MRS. does not read that statement!

Whew..that's a lotta typing for me at one sitting..ouch my fingers hurt.

For what it is worth my .225 loads are at a lower pressure than published data for the .257 and 6.5 offerings on this case.

I have been to the mountain and I have seen and I have talk to Javy and I have learned..life is good...only in America could thoughts be expressed in this manner..we are lucky people!

Thanks pard
Best to all
Shortgun
 
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