Thompson Center Arms Contender 44 Mag

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Dewats, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Dewats

    Dewats New Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Low Serial #47XXX. good condition octogan barrel with the wad cutter for birdshot loads. What do you think it is worth?
  2. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    Reciever and barrel about 500.00 in good condition. Shoot it it is a great gun!!

  3. Welcome to TFF Dewats,

    I have not heard of a "wad cutter" on the end of a 44 Mag barrel. The barrels for 45 Long Colt can also chamber 410 shot shells, so they frequently (but not always) have a screw-in wad stripper at the muzzle. Perhaps what you have is a muzzle brake on a 44 Mag?

    Anyway, CHW2021's value is about right, though in the real world Contenders have lost value recently given that most folks prefer the Encore.
  4. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

    Mar 1, 2008
    I have one of the older ones also in 45 LC. It came at the time when the ATF was fighting the 45/410 being a illegal shotgun. Totally disreguarded it was a rifled barrel. So the company for a while, made the 45 LC barrel, but with a choke device with the idea a 45 LC with a shot capsule would be legal as it was a pistol cartridge shooting shot. That choke device took the spin out of the shot charge and choked the shot down before it left the barrel. Without the choke, very poor patterns, with the choke in, very tight out to fifty feet!
    Later the ATF changed their minds and decided because of the rifling it could be chambered for 45 LC and 410 Shot shell. I had tmy transition barrel chamber lengthed to fit the 410. It still retains accuracy for the 45 LC and very nice 410 patterns. Remember to remove the choke while shooting 45 LCs.
    I suspect the 44 with the screw in device is the same as the transitional barrel I have, and was made to enable 44 shot capsules out of it. There are no shotshells that would work as in the 45 LC. I suspect that THE JUDGE handgun shoots very poor shot patterns. Lacking the device found in the Contender, the spin on the shot collum continues right out the bore. Perhaps slugs, and large shot would do better,
  5. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    My first answer was rather curt, my apologies. I bought a contender new in about 1980, I have fired thousands of rounds in many cal. The .44 barrel is threaded inside the muzzle end for a "choke" to break the .44 shot capsule. The rather heavy plastic shot capsule could be loaded with and shot or bb's and was made to stay intact when fired and shatter at the muzzle .... it is possible to fire a bullet thru the choke; the cast lead round that I fired gave an interesting recoil.(this is NOT recommended!!!!!) The contender was built as a hunting/target gun and excells as both; chambering is changed to another cal. by switching the barrel; it will fire centerfire and rimfire rounds by rotating the firing pin (located on the hammer). Additional barrels are available e-bay ect.... at a cost of 100.00 to 200.00 each. The 45 long colt barrel was made with a chamber that will accept 21/2 and 3 inch .410 ga. shells; but is rifled, not smoothbore so it escapes the ATF restrictions just as the Taurus "Judge" does. I stand by my first statement; GO SHOOT IT ! it will fire .44 mag, special and any light reloads you can shove in the barrel.
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    Last week I ordered a .44 mag barrel for my contender and caught it on "sale" for $215. This was the newer round barrel and not the old type with the shot shell choke that screwed on the end of the barrel.

    contenderizer, I am pretty sure that he is talking about the choke that is on the end of the barrel that breaks up the plastic capsule on the .44 shot sells that Thompson used to sell.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  7. gdmoody: A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for the education.
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    They called that a "Hot Shot" cartridge. I sold my 357 one, years back, but still have a couple of boxes of the loaded shot capsules.
  9. Dawgface

    Dawgface New Member

    Oct 10, 2016
    Question for a newbie... I just recently acquired one of these .44. Barrels and was wondering is it possible to fire a .44 mag without the "capsule break" installed or would it destroy the threads?
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I had one of those years ago (about 30) and I do remember shooting .44 mag rounds through it. I seem to remember something that screwed or unscrewed at the muzzle end of the barrel to change from shot shells to bullets.
  11. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    I accidentally fired 1 or 2 cast 44 rounds thru the "choke", NOT recommended. the "hot shot choke" constricts to break the capsule and a solid bullet is ramming thru at full pressure against the choke and the threads at the muzzle crown, accuracy is not improved.
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