Thompson Center Contender question

Discussion in 'Non-XD Handguns' started by vicstrick73, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. vicstrick73

    vicstrick73 XDTalk Member

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    I recently traded with a guy for a Thompson Center Contender with the TC scope and a 14 inch bull barrel. The top of the barrel is marked 44 remington magnum. On the side of the barrel, someone punched .444. The previous owner never shot the gun and bought it from a guy who had it for years and I can't find him. The gun was sold to me as a 44 magnum. What is the easiest way for me to tell if the barrel was rechambered for the .444 marlin round? Is it safe to shoot 44 magnum rounds in it if it has been rechambered. You would think I should know this but I am not that familiar with 44 magnums or 444 marlins so you will have to forgive my ignorance.

     
  2. Brickboy240

    Brickboy240 XDTalk 25K Member

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    Well, the easiest way would to take a 444 Marlin round and try to chamber it. It if does not go in all way...its probably still a 44 mag.

    Safest thing to do is have a gunsmith slug the barrel. This is not very expensive and will tell you exactly what caliber it is.

    Good thing about Contenders is that you can buy extra barrels online or for cheap (sometimes) at gun shows.

    My Dad has two Contenders and several barrels. Some are very accurate. 444 marlin out of a 14 inch barrel would be a handful. The 35 Rem my Dad has is not something you want to run more than maybe 5 rounds through in a session!

    - Brickboy240
     
  3. vicstrick73

    vicstrick73 XDTalk Member

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    Well, that would be the quickest way but I am a wee bit strapped for cash and I really didn't want to have to buy a box of 444 just to see if it fit. I have a depth gauge at the house and thought about checking it with that. I have a ton of 44 magnum ammo that I got in a different trade ( I prefer horse trading to flat out buying. Hacen't actually "bought" a gun in a while. The gun stores seem to frown on you shooting their new guns) Anyways, I tried a 44 magnum and it fit fine (duh, the 444 is longer). Would it hurt to shoot the 44 magnum in it? The 44 seems to index in the chamber on the extractor and fits nice and snug. Big question is, if it is a 444 and I shoot a 44 magnum through it, do you think it'll go BOOM instead of BANG? Worst case senario, I'll have to fork out the cash to buy a box of 444. If it doesn't fit, anybody wanna box with one slightly used round?????
     
  4. RobFMJ

    RobFMJ XDTalk 2K Member

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    Haha... I'm sure you can find a board member who'd be willing to send you a .444 Marlin round.

    But, theres an easy way to check. Take a toothpick (or some other small, long, relatively flat object). Slide it along the chamber until it hits the throat (beginning of the rifling). When this happens, stop and measure how far in the toothpick is. If its almost exactly 1-3/8", you got yerself a 44 mag chamber. If its over 2", its a .444 marlin chamber.

    Ordinarily I would say get a smith to slug the chamber, but since you know its one or the other, this is easy as pie.
     
  5. Barbarossa

    Barbarossa XDTalk 500 Member

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    Go get a 7-30 waters barrel :cool:

    Only winchester makes the cartridge, right now as far as I know.
     
  6. RobFMJ

    RobFMJ XDTalk 2K Member

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    Bah, handload!
     
  7. Mike in VA

    Mike in VA XDTalk 100 Member

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    The rim diameter for both cartridges is 0.514". The case diameters just ahead of the rim are different. The .444 is 0.470", while the .44 Mag is 0.457". This means that shooting a .44 Mag case in a .444 chamber is risky. You might get away with it once, but your're likely to get head separations after just a few firings, if you reload, due to excessive case expansion.

    Plus, the accuracy is going to be bad with the .44 Mag, because of the long bullet jump to the rifling.
     
  8. vafish

    vafish XDTalk 1K Member

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    .444 Marlin

    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd444marlin.jpg

    [​IMG]

    .44 Magnum:

    http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd44remingtonmagnum.jpg

    [​IMG]

    Easiest way to ell if it has been rechambered it to measure how far the rifling is away from the Breech face. If it's an 1 1/4" or so it's still a .44 mag, if it's 2 1/4" or so it's a .444 Marlin, as marked.

    You should be able to just look in the chamber and see what it is.

    And finally, I wouldn't recommend firing a .44 mag in a .444 Marlin.
     
  9. vicstrick73

    vicstrick73 XDTalk Member

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    Ok, first off, thanks for all the help, you guys are a wealth of information. Secondly, it is still a 44 magnum (can't figure out for the life of me why it is marked .444), thirdly.........I LOVE this pistol!! This thing is a tack driver and fun to shoot. Thanks for all the help. Next up, gotta find something else to trade for a new barrel. Anybody in the market for a two year old Shizu (wifes dog hee hee).........
     
  10. bigun

    bigun XDTalk 4K Member

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    My Super 14 Contender loved the 300 grain Hornady XTP with a max load of H110, Its a flame throwing bucking bastard but extremely accurate. With the contender you can reach velocities only attainable in carbines and man does it put a smack down on a deer. As with all guns start at the bottom and work your way up looking for signs of pressure but mine showed nothing at max.
     
  11. RobFMJ

    RobFMJ XDTalk 2K Member

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    Lyman's loads for the Contender seem to have about 300 fps over my 8" Dan Wesson... I'm jealous. If i could launch these 180 gr. JHP's at 2100 fps I'd be a happy man.
     
  12. vafish

    vafish XDTalk 1K Member

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    I have used a TC Contender Super 14 in .44 mag to shoot most of my deer over the last 25 years. Never bothered with the 300 gr bullets, the 240's smack down the deer just fine. I haven't lost one that I've hit yet.

     

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