Which caliber Contender is the most accurate

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Jake, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Jake

    Jake Member

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    I am going to order a new G2 Contender but I can't make up my mind what caliber to get. It will be used for deer hunting and of course bullet wasting :). I wanted a .45 colt but have heard bad reports on the 45/410 and cant seem to find a reg. .45 barrel like I want. My boss has a 357 he target shoots with and seems to shoot it pretty well. I wanted the .45 because I have everything to reload it but the accuracy doesn't appear to be what I want. I just about have to have a straight wall case because of Illinois wonderful friggin laws. So what is the most accurate, straight wall cased, caliber out there? Here is the specs according to Illinois law.


    The only legal handguns are centerfire revolvers or centerfire single-shot
    handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a minimum barrel length of 4 inches. It shall be unlawful to take or attempt to take white-tailed deer by the
    use of semi-automatic handguns, muzzleloading handguns, or handguns altered to allow for shoulder firing.
    The only legal ammunition for a centerfire handgun is (1) a bottleneck
    centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger with a case length not exceeding 1.4 inches, or (2) a straightwalled centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber
    or larger, with no minimum case length; both of which must be available
    with the published ballistic tables of the manufacturer showing a capability of producing at least 500 foot pound of energy at the muzzle.

    What is a good option with these rules?
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  2. Jake

    Jake Member

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    After looking at reloading data and running ballistics on the computer, a .357 looks mighty impressive. Are they Pretty accurate?
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    357 is a very suitable round for handgun hunting. Out of a 12" barrel, you'll have more than enough delivered energy to exceed the requirements. ( somewhere in the 940-9750ft/lb range with 158gr bullets )
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The .45 colt will prove very accurate from the contender. Do not get the .410/45 colt if you are wanting accuracy, they ream the chamber to accept the fatter of the two and use a slower twist so the shot shells dont disperse so rapidly.

    Also, most major manuals have T/C specific data for most of the rounds they are chambered for, .45 colt atop that list. You can get some mighty impressive power from the old colt in a stout contender, power that far trumps the .357 mag from the same gun. My advice. get the .45 colt contender, develop a load it shoots well and practice practice practice. Go a little heavy on the bullet weight also, somewhere around the 275-300 gr range.
  5. Oldeyes

    Oldeyes Member

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    Ed's TC currently has a 10" .45 Colt (not .410) listed on his web site for $185.
    http://www.edstc.com/10bull.html Ed is a good guy, usually real busy, but good. A shorter chambered .45 Colt only barrel will indeed give you better and more consistent accuracy than the long chambered .45 Colt/.410 barrel. If that barrel that he has listed does not give you what you want, Ed can often come up with exactly what you want barrel wise in a couple of months. And FWIW just to confuse the issue, I have an older .45 Colt/.410 barrel that I still consider to be more than minute of deer heart/lung shot out to 75 yards, especially with hand loads. The other legal option that folks also use for .45 Colt deer hunting is the Ruger Blackhawk. The typical high adrenaline follow up shots with the Blackhawk are a lot quicker. :D
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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  7. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    I've used my contender for years to shoot IHMSA & I've loved it.

    I've used two barrels mostly, the 7mmTCU, the most accurate caliber I've used but you have to neck-up .223 cases to 7mm & it's undersize for your purpose. Also, I've used a barrel in good old 30-30 that's done real well but that case is too long. When loading .357 for hunting(we have the same 500foot pound rule here) it seems like I had to load pretty heavy to get to that level. I wouldn't forget the 44 magnum as a choice or the .357 maximum. Both are plenty accurate from the Contender. Also check out the "Supermag" calibers if you like recoil. The 445 supermag is sweet.
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have a .44 Magnum barrel that is very accurate. My favorite barrel is a custom 5.7X28 and it is a tack driver, but it doesn't fall into the rules you stipulated (but lots of fun). The third barrel I have is a .223.

    You might want to consider the .44 mag.
  9. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  10. Jake

    Jake Member

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    After much study and debate I'm gonna go with the 357 magnum. I have everything to reload .45 colts but the ballistics on a 357 look better to me. My bosses son has a 44 mag. contender and from what I've heard about it from both of them I think I'll pass on the hand cannon. On the third shot the rear sight came off and smacked him in the face. After the sights had been securely remounted he continued to shoot the beast. After the session he took off his shooting gloves and noticed his hand was bleeding from the grip cutting into his hand. Aint never heard of a 357 doin that to anyone. So I guess I'll get the more user friendly 357 and everything to reload it. Besides more reloading stuff is like another gun, there's always room for more!
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
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