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I need some expert Contender advice. I have an opportunity to buy a Contender sn102xxx, 14in, 35 Rem, Bushnell 1.3, with the original box. The whole deal is $400. Can you experienced people out there fill me in or give me a better understanding of the pluses and minuses of this setup? Would I have any trouble finding barrels and accessories for such an old Contender?

I have wanted to get into handgun hunting for several years so this seems like a good way to start. Since I hunt bear and elk a lot, the 35 Rem seems like a good idea. Thanks for the help, I need it. ???
 

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Dont walk run this is a very good deal,wait till you see what a contender is capabale of,handgun very nice and small carbine that even the big boys cannot out shoot very often.You cant go wrong with an old comtender the best triggers in the world.Have fun be safe Mtn Jack
 

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I dont necessarily know that the price is all that great. There have also been improvments from the older pistols like making them easier to open. Contenders are fantastic pistols and I really enjoy mine. But I would check it out carefully. And maybe it is worth much more than the asking price.

Long
 

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I think what you have here is an average to better than average deal, provided the gun is in good shape, i.e. lots of finish left and no rust, with a bright shiny bore. One thing to look out for is frame stretching, which is possible with the .35 Remington if a reloader gets overzealous. You can do a quick check for this to give you an indication. Turn the gun on its side with a good strong light in front of you and rock it back and forth front to back, studying the reflection in the side of the frame. If you see an irregularity looking like maybe a small indentation running down the frame side, or partway down the side, in line with the standing breech, then you may have frame stretching. If you detect this, I would try to get it in the hands of a qualified Contender gunsmith before purchasing to be sure all was well.

It is true that it would be nicer if this were an easy open frame. It is possible this frame has been factory modified for that. If it has, then the trigger guard hinge pin will be just ahead of the trigger. If it has not, then it will pivot at the front of the frame. If it has been modified and there is no frame stretching then this is a very good deal. If it has not, then I stand by my original statement above. I have several non-easy open frames and they are fine. Easy open frames are better, though. You will not have any problems finding barrels to fit this gun.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.

RonF
 

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The price is not great but not really horrible. The scope is old and likely not worth bothering with so it adds little real value. The frame is older than desireable except as a collector. Unless it has been sent back already for the easy open mod you'd want to do so if they are still even offering that. The .35 Rem can be a great choice but it can also be a horrible choice. If you can shoot it before buying it then do so. Many of the .35 Rem barrels are bad about failure to fire. I think I've owned 5 of them and all but two failed to fire as often as they fired and only one of them fired every time.

Personally I'd pass on the deal and look for a better one. First decide what you want and buy only what you want. Ed's TCs a sponsor here sells both new and used TC frames, barrels and complete guns as well as accesories. Both MGM and SSK are also sponsors here and specialize in TCs.
 

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Used TC frame, pre-easy open is worth $175 at best, barrel maybe $175, scope maybe $40. No sweet deal by a long shot. Offer $300, if he bites buy it, come back and we'll fix you up. All .35 Remington barrels can be made to shoot but it can be a big PITA. You have to handload for them and if you are using new brass you have to re-establish the shoulder before you attempt to fire a round.
 

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Centennial,
I hunt elk every year with a specialty pistol. Usually tag out each year (not this year-just moved). The Contender will take elk, no doubt about that. But if elk is one of your primary critters ( I don't hunt bear) I believe the Encore, XP, Striker or MOA would be a much better choice since they can handle cartridges better suited for elk.
 

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate all of the help. I went ahead and bought it. My wife is as excited as I am, she has been looking for years for a Contender for me. How lucky am I! In the end I felt the price was fair and the caliber was what I think I need. It looks unfired and is old…which appeals to me as well. I will have to trade up the old Bushnell Magnum Phantom scope but that is okay. I will be back I am sure, looking for additional guidance. Thanks again. Centennial
 

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What are your typical distances for elk in the area where you hunt?
 

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XP, what I am hunting with dictates how I hunt. Given that, 90% of all of my elk kills have come under 150 yards with most of them 75 or less. I usually hunt with open sights either muzzleloading or with antique rifles/cartridges.
 

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I have remove ALL posts and all parts of posts not directly pertinent to the original question asked.

It would seem that on this forum I cannot allow ANY off topic discussion without it getting totally out of hand. So in the future I'm just not going to allow this forum to drift off topic. Keep it to the subject of the original question or at least very close to it or myself or the Moderator will remove either entire posts or the parts of them not pertinent to the topic of discussion.

Folks making personal attacks will be banned first time no exceptions here as I can usually allow elsewhere.
 

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Congrats on your new purchase. I am sure you made a good deal for the price. A couple of responses to your original questions.

Any contender barrel should fit on your frame. Encore barrels will not, but any contender barrel will.

New contenders have two locking lugs on the barrel. Older contender barrels have a single locking lug. When you break the action open, the locking lug is the thingybopper sticking out under the chamber and rubbing against the face of your frame. If it is a two piece lug, you should be able to see the line between the two pieces at the apex of the "U" in the lug.

This next question, for me, is a no brainer. For someone new to contenders, it may be a tough decision. If your frame is one of the older models, you can send it into T/C and they can upgrade it for you. If you send the barrel in with it, they will fit that barrel to your frame so it fits perfectly. If this were my gun, and it was the older model, and it had a single locking lug on the barrel, and I really really wanted to hunt elk with it next year, I would be sending it off to T/C for the upgrade and to check it out. When you get the gun back, per some purists, you gun will have less "collector" $$ value because it is no longer an original T/C. Per the hunters in the group, you will have a more reliable and likely more accurate hunting machine.

If you are hunting with open sights, go shoot a few silhouette matches and see where that gun is hitting at 50, 100, 150, and 200 meters. Then when time to go hunting, it only takes a second to set your sight based upon the shot distance in the area you are hunting.

Good luck and enjoy that new T/C.

Steve :)
 

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Good thread! After reading this I went to my fun shop to check out a TC I knew he had. Didn't know the model or caliber. It's an old Contender Ser#101xxx with a .357 barrel in fair at best shape (no rust, 75% bluing, clean bore, some scratches, and a 1/2" chunk out of the walnut grip) for $395. He wouldn't budge on the price since it was on consignment..... He still has it.

Thanks to you guys I didn't consider buying it at that price ;D
 
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