Pistol Build Question

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Pistol Build Question

Post by Daywalker on Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:02 pm

For those that routinly do barrel swaps for a thompson center handgun. First, is the Thompson Center Contender that is being used for the reciever? What all is involved with the barrel swaps as in, new pistol grip? new forend? If a person was to get a barrel that was blank, with riflings, and was going to ream his own chamber, would it have to be from a blank thompson center barrel meant for the frame you have?

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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by RemMan700 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:06 pm

If you buy a T/C handgun the Encore is the better/only option you have if you want to shoot high pressure rifle rounds. If you get one you need to get it as a pistol so you can convert to a rifle, and if you buy it used you need to make sure what configuration it was originally bought as. If you buy one that was originally a rifle and convert to a pistol that is a big no no. Now when it comes to a barrel swap you just pull the forend off and switch the barrel to the new caliber then put the forend back on. There are different forends for the pistols and rifles. The only thing you would be able to do if the caliber is not offered by T/C is by an existing barrel and rechamber it for whatever caliber you wanted. There may be some aftermarket company that sells barrels for contenders/encores that could custom chamber a barrel for you if you were not able to rechamber yourself. The barrels are frame specific aswell.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by scorge30 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:46 pm

RemMan is correct. As someone who suffers from T/C addiction, it is a very expensive habit.

A lot of guys are switching to the H&R Handi Rifles because you can buy the whole rifle for less than one barrel costs for either an Encore or Contender.

I really like the Contender more than the Encore, as the trigger is much better, but the caliber choice for the big stuff is in the Encore's favor.

I have four Contender frames and two Encore frames, and not enough barrels to go around.

There are several custom barrel manufacturers like Match Grade Machine (former Virgin Valley) who make some of the best custom barrels. EA Brown is another custom maker who just took over the old Fox Custom shop.

My favorite Contender pistol barrels are .32-20, .357 Rem Max, .35 Rem, .444 Marlin and .45-70.

In the Encore pistol fav barrels are .460 S&W, .500 S&W, .375 JDJ, .309 JDJ, and .22 LR match.

I do not have any Contender rifle barrels at present, and only a few in the Encore.

One of the cheapest ways to get new calibers and what I have been doing for years is haunt the auction web sites and look for used barrels for a decent price.

I found a Super 14" .357 Rem Mag barrel that I had Mike Bellm bore out to .357 Rem Max. I am in the process of having MGM make me a new SS 12" .32-20 with 1-10 twist.

My Encore .309 JDJ started out as a factory .308 Win that I had SSK (another awsome custom manufacturer) bore to .309 JDJ.

When my .309 JDJ barrel was completed I sold my .30 Bower Alaskan barrel that was originally a Super 14 .30-30.

The Encore really shines as a rifle and I leave one set as a rifle and one as a pistol.

I have a heavy varmit fluted SS 24" 22-243 AI that started life as a 28" .22-250 Pro barrel. We found some inconsistancy in the rifling so the garbage was cut off and the barrel rechambered by Mike Bellm.

I have a heavy varmit SS 24" .225 Win AI that started life as a .223 with 1-14 twist. Mike rechambered it for me and I had MGM flute it.

My only other Encore rifle barrel is a blue 24" 6.5x284 from EA Brown.

The only two 'smiths I trust to rechamber my T/Cs are Mike Bellm in Grants Pass, OR and David White in OK. MGM comes in a close third with SSK about tied.

I prefer to buy barrels chambered for something smaller from either MGM, EA Brown or SSK and than having either David or Mike rechamber it into something different.

MGM is the only company that I am familiar with that will sell a blank unchambered barrel. I have had MGM drop ship a blank Encore barrel to Mike Bellm and when completed will be a 14" .378 GNR.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by Daywalker on Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:14 pm

What I am wanting to do, is is save up for a pistol reciever. I have access to a 6.5 Grendel chamber reamers and all the other reamers that I would need to rechamber the barrel. My lathe isnt the biggest in the world, however, I am told that there isn't a reason, if I know what I am doing and have the rpms set right and take my time, that I could not do this myself in the basement. I do not expect (even tho I am going to try my hardest) to have professional style quality on my first attempt.


Last edited by Daywalker on Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by kcatto on Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:02 am

tommy you should have no problem with a lathe just take your time.... I watched a guy ream a new chamber on a rifle with a hand drill once... sad thing was his job was as good as I could do on a lathe.... he was a really old smith that had done it this way for years...


Last edited by kcatto on Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by Reload3006 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:19 am

I have to kick in with KC if you get your barrel indicated in true. And you have a set of head space gauges to go by. The first rule of machine shop is that a drill or reamer (with the exception of an end mill or jig bore reamer) will follow the same hole. Which means if you are running true. the reamer will try to follow the hole thats there. Thats why the old gunsmith could use a hand drill and chamber ream a barrel
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by tcvpar on Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:40 pm

t/c useses a floating reamer w/ fluid from the muzzle.

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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by scorge30 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:50 am

yes T/C does use a floating reamer and if you are in search of the best accuracy your are not going to get it that way.

Check out Mike Bellm's chamber cast library to see some of the horrid chambers the T/C folks have shipped.

http://www.bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=169

If you follow KC & 30-06's suggestion you will do a pretty decent job.

I have had Mike Bellm retouch all of my T/C barrels and the improved accuracy has been tremendous.

Worse barrel I have gotten from T/C was a Pro Hunter SS 28" .22-250 that was badly misaligned. At about the 25" mark the bore wallowed out - it looked like the cutter did not remain true.

Bellm cut the barrel to 24.5" recrowned it and rebored the chamber to .22 Cheetah Mk1. I use .243 Win brass with the large rifle primer and I can shoot half inch groups all day.

Bellm's web site has lots of good info if you are interested in making your T/C work the best.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by tcvpar on Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:54 pm

sorry i am so un informed . i had factory service for 18 yrs. .have been to the factory several times ,am still friends w/ the man that ran the custom shop.and i have several barrels that were made that way. they make one hole @ 100 yds.
too i know mike and that is all i will say.he knows me.
one should be sure of what you say . i was the contender vendor for 28 yrs. i have only sent one barrel back that was bad. i have seen many barrel's and chamber's foueld up by supper t/c expert's.
i sold my business to edd;s contender's in 2002 due to family illness.i still am up on most of what t/c is doing.they have always been a good co.and take care of thier problems.all one has to do is send the problem back, or ask for the part and it is fixed i bought my first t/c in 1976 and am still shooting them [factory barrels]that is
.quinn


Last edited by tcvpar on Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add to)

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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by scorge30 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:39 pm

Well there is more than one way to skin the cat - I was only offering a better way to chamber a barrel.

While I am not a machinest it makes sense to me that allowing a reamer to float around with a pilot does not make the most accurate barrel.

Chamber casts have proven several misaligned barrels sold by T/C. Chamber casts of my own barrels have proven misaligned throats and chamber, no throats, super long throat, and a host of other issues.

Sent one particularly nasty .35 Rem barrel back and was told it meets T/C specs. Which to some degree I understand they are trying to make barrels as quickly and as cheaply as possible, to work in most frames.

T/C also has to worry about lawyers, and making sure the barrels are safe from accident prone or the idiot who blows himself up and then sues.

I have several factory barrels that T/C did a fine job on and I shoot those too. But sometimes one comes along, that could have been done better. Granted some of the ones I have had issues with are 7mm TCU, and a few .35 most notable a .357 Rem Max and a .35 Rem.

My .22-250 barrel was badly jacked up and rather than go through T/C and get another "well it meets our criteria" response I just went ahead and had Mike rechamber it to something else, and lop off the excess barrel length.

I am not saying T/C makes a bad product, far from it. Altough I will admit a bias towards the Contenders, rather than the G2 or Encore. I shoot Contenders the most of all the guns I own.

Not everyone gets along with or agrees with Mike Bellm or David White. I offer their sites for information and consideration. The reader can make their own decisions.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by Hughie on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:19 pm

I had an Encore in a 7mm08 gun shot true as one could ask killed 2 deer with it first year I had it . Dart killed his first deer with it about 150 yard shot . But dont even think about a follow up shot brass would stick in the chamber and you had to dig them out only shot factory ammo thru it to . problem got worse . Im not going to get into what i had to go thru to get it fixed so I sold it. Had a contender pistol in .222 now it was sweet wish i still had it.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by scorge30 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:27 pm

Hughie, I had similar problems with my Encore 7mm08 barrel.

I'm waiting for it to come back as a .280 AI from Bellm.

Its hit and miss with the barrels because I have a .223 pistol barrel that is one of the most accurate, and a .357 Rem that I shoot all the time.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by Reload3006 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:37 pm

OK a machinist perspective. If you have a true hole to start with a floating reamer is the only way to go because it will follow the hole that is there. no ifs ands or buts. If you have a misaligned hole a floating reamer set up will only make matters the same or worse. That is 35 years machining Tool n Die experience talking. If you have a misaligned hole you have to bore it oversize back on location using a boring bar, Jig bore reamer, an End mill or some such similar machining method or you will just have a bigger misaligned hole.
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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by billarrington on Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:48 pm

ive owned only two receivers over the years, i have one left... i have 3 barrels for it 7mm-tcu, 240 raptor,44 mag they all shoot good for me, i dont know the details about chambering one though good luck with it tommy.....bill

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Re: Pistol Build Question

Post by scorge30 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:09 am

If you want to have a barrel either made by T/C or one of the other folks, there are plenty for sale on the auction sites.

If you haunt the auction sites you can occasionally find a barrel that someone has screwed up for cheap.

I got my 7mm TCU barrel for under a c-note because someone that did not know what they were doing attempted to rechamber it. I had it bored to 7mm International Rimmed which is pretty much a slightly shorter 7-30 Waters.

There are a host of different calibers out there, and I am amazed at some of the variety that people will choose for a barrel.

One good thing is that if you do bugger up the barrel there is a good chance you can sell it to one of the folks doing custom work. Some of the guys go as far as to have the barrel hogged out and then have it either sleeved or cut rifled.

Another insteresting thing White has been doing is taking a Contender barrel and cutting the barrel off just past the lug. He then bores the stub out and shoves a stub from a Encore barrel in it.

Makes an interesting critter but reports say they shoot well.

I leave the chambering to the folks with the skill and tools. I appreciate the end work. When I can, I make small holes in paper or vaporize small pests.
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