Subsonic Options with Thompson Contender Rifle

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  • Last Post 13 November 2011
Buhler50 posted this 04 October 2011

E Arthur Brown Company is making custom barrels for Thompson Contenders in barrel lenghts up to 26 inches.  Among all of the calibers they will chamber I'm considering 32H&R Magnum or 38 Special or 357 Magnum.  The 32 H&R Mag is chambered in a 308 caliber barrel with twists of 1:8, 1:10 or 1:12.  The 38 Special and 357 Magnum are chambered in 1:14 twist. 

Since I have reloading stuff for any of the calibers,  I'd like to primarily use the rifle for subsonic shooting.  What barrel length should I consider and which caliber?

Thanks,

Bruce Buhler

73 de K:dude:D6DRU

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Wayne S posted this 04 October 2011

Sub Sonic shooting at WHAT ??????, paper, tin cans ????? You need to be a lot more specific in your question and give  more details ;ie, molds on hand, alloy on hand,,intended use , 16 to 20 weeks wait :doooah: IF you are serious about a subsonic bbl., check Match Grade Machine, or SSK Inds. aka J.D.Jones for custom Contender bbl's.

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hunterspistol posted this 05 October 2011

:coffee   In a stock Contender barrel of 32 H&R Magnum, 10” length, I got subsonic accuracy at 1.4 grains of bullseye under the RCBS 32-098-SWC.  In a rifle, it would take less powder.  It got extremely accurate at 50 meters, the Contender went absolutely sweet! 

      Ron

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william iorg posted this 05 October 2011

We have a 24” Contender bull barrel in 32 H&R Magnum. We bought this barrel for hunting called critters and as a walking around rifle. We hoped the longer barrel would help avoid issues with the occasional shot fired without hearing protection.

When loaded as suggested with a light load of Bullseye it is quiet and reasonably comfortable for the occasional shot.

I have not chronographed many loads from this rifle. I have shot it quite a bit with both very light loads and loads as hot as I could dream up.

One of the best hot loads is a copy from Ross Seyfrieds article, 9.8 grains of Hodgdon 110 behind the Lyman 311008 (Seyfried used the RCBS bullet). This is a good one or two shot 1,500 fps load in my rifle but it does run out of lube.

Our TC barrel has a throat cut for .314” bullets and I shoot all lead bullets as cast to fill the throat.

The good thing about the long barrel for the TC is the “self opening” feature of the long barrel, trip the trigger guard and the barrel drops down. The rimmed cartridge is an advantage on cold days when you wear gloves.

When developing low velocity loads in the TC just keep a good wood dowel handy because you will stick a few bullet. I intend to find out what the minimum is when I start, its better to find out on the range.

Will a Williams Guide receiver sight this is a very light walking rifle. The 100- and the 115-grain lead bullets cast reasonably soft - 14 bhn or softer - will stay in a raccoon or porcupine if you take the shoulder and cross the body of it you hit them in the chest.

Slim

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6pt-sika posted this 05 October 2011

We have a friend that works out of our shop and has a Class III license so he can manufacture silencers . Another of our friends just bought a 10 or 12 inch 300 Blackout (same as a 300 Whisper) upper for his AR and is gonna have our friend with the Class III to install a can on it !

This guy hunts damage comtrol permits alot around housing developments and this shoudl be the ticket for what he does as he rarely gets a shot over 40 yards !

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william iorg posted this 05 October 2011

Our experience is the crack of the primers is something to consider. With the muzzle suppressed, the primer seems loud and has a metallic sound. We have a 24” 300 Whisper barrel and with the faster twist, it has the advantage when the bullet weights get heavier. The problem is the rimless cartridge in winter is not glove friendly. We have the ejector and this improves things a bit - as long as you remember to catch the case. Pigs become very smart about suppressed firearms. The cull shooters out here find they still need to have some distance on the critters if they want more than one shot.

Slim

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Ed Harris posted this 06 October 2011

A 14 inch twist .32 H&R Mag. will handle up to 150-gr. FN bullets and should approach .32-40 ballistics with full loads. A bit light for deer, but would work on head or neck shots.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 06 October 2011

If you want to use the subsonic rifle on deer sized game, a larger caliber than the .32 H&R is called for. The .38 Special shooting wadcutter ammo in a 26 inch barrel has a mild report and will shoot clear through small deer at garden ranges and anchor them cleanly if shots are well placed. A soft cast (8BHN) hollowpoint bullet of 180 grs. or more with large meplat is better. I like NEI#161A cast 1:25, hollowpointed by www.hollowpointmold.com with a charge of 4 grs. of Bullseye, seated out to 1.55” OAL in .38 Special, or 4.3 grs. of Bullseye seated to 1.60” in .357 Magnum brass. You are looking for 1050+/-30 fps. Bullet penetrates 30+ inches of water and expands to .50"+

In a .44 Magnum or .45 Colt you could have a quiet deer whacker getting similar velocity with a 300-gr. bullet using 6 grs. of Bullseye.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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6pt-sika posted this 06 October 2011

william iorg wrote: Our experience is the crack of the primers is something to consider. With the muzzle suppressed, the primer seems loud and has a metallic sound. We have a 24” 300 Whisper barrel and with the faster twist, it has the advantage when the bullet weights get heavier. The problem is the rimless cartridge in winter is not glove friendly. We have the ejector and this improves things a bit - as long as you remember to catch the case. Pigs become very smart about suppressed firearms. The cull shooters out here find they still need to have some distance on the critters if they want more than one shot.

My friend thats building this thing is doing it to be quiet around the housing develpoments he has DCP's for because of the residents not the deer !

The residents want the deer killed but they kinda don't wanna know when you're doing it ;)

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Clod Hopper posted this 07 October 2011

To extract .30-06 brass from my TC Encore, I use a paint can opener. It has a hook on one end and a bottle opener handle on the other. I get mine free from ACE when I buy paint.

In this 06, I am getting decent accuracy from a load of 4 grains of Trail Boss behind a Lee 200 grain cast bullet made from WW plus some tin. I wondered why it sounded like a “tink” instead of a bang. Now I know. I will have to test it more to see if the accuracy holds up.

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william iorg posted this 10 October 2011

 

Ed, I had a few of the NEI 161A and the Lyman 358430 cast soft - 8 bhn on my Lee tester - and I loaded them in R-P 357 Magnum cases over 4.3 grains of Alliant Bullseye.

I seated the NEI bullets to 1.598” COAL, unfortunately, I got careless when setting the seating die and I seated the Lyman bullet a bit deep - 1.595” COAL.

I loaded 30 of each and this week I'll hollow point a few of each on the Forster trimmer and then shoot them over the chronograph and into water from the 18” Winchester Trapper. The only other rifle barrel I have in hand is the 21” 357 Maximum barrel and I don't think that will give us a fair comparison.

I have never hollow pointed these bullets so it will make an interesting test. I cannot remember where you discussed having this mold hollow pointed so I don't know how deep your cavity is.

If the neighborhood has their windows closed, they will never know your friend is shooting.

I'll have to look at the paint can opener. Gloves are the one serious drawback to using the TC rifle in cold weather.

Slim

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william iorg posted this 11 October 2011

Found the article, Fouling Shot #198.

 

"My intent was a flat-nosed bullet for tubular magazine use which would expand in quiet, subsonic field loads when fired from a cowboy rifle.....

Slim

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w-d-s posted this 11 October 2011

I just got a 45 acp barrel for a 95 mauser. the kit with a adapter to use 1911 mags so it is even a repeater. 95 actions are cheap to buy. they also make the barrels for 98s. 45s are prety cheap to load for. but the actions are cheap to get into and the case fits right. wds

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Clod Hopper posted this 17 October 2011

Forgot to mention that you may need to grind the tip of the paint can opener to a sharp edge so you can get into the groove.

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william iorg posted this 18 October 2011

I need to try this with the rimless cartridges.

I am a poor photographer but i got them drilled and ready to shoot.

i had some difficulty keeping the drill on the bullet center for some reason. The Fortster drills the .44's well.

Slim

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william iorg posted this 23 October 2011

 

Ed thanks for the heads-up e-mail, if you had not warned me I would have shot out the back of the box again. After the bullets went out the back of my box, I figured I would add another 18” of water length. After reading your e-mail, I added an additional 4 feet of water in trash sacks lining the trough.

I shot the Lyman 358430 and the NEI 161A bullets from the 18” Winchester trapper into water from 60 feet. The load is the same 4.2 grains of Alliant Bullseye in 357 Magnum cases. This distance is about my average shooting at raccoons in trees, skunks at the water tank or sitting rabbits.

My cardboard closer and the trash sack provide almost zero resistance to the bullet.

The NEI 161A penetrated 72”.

The Lyman 358430 penetrated 63”.

Neither bullet gave any indication of expansion with the 1/8” Forster hollow point hole.

I have a counter sink and will drill a bigger hole!

Slim

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Ed Harris posted this 23 October 2011

Your HP cavity isn't large enough in diameter or shaped properly to give useful results. Use a No. 2 center drill run in deep enough that the major diameter of the conical shoulder is at least 0.6 of meplat diameter. From 8-10 BHN alloy this will expand very well at 1000 fps.

Upper photo test of 12BHN “backstop lead” loaded in .357 Magnum with 11 grs. of #2400 fired from 2-3/4 inch barrel.

Lower samples 1:25 tin/lead firing 4 grs. of Bullseye, fired from same Ruger 2-3/4 inch revolver, plus 18-1/2 inch and 24 inch Marlin 1894s.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Buhler50 posted this 13 November 2011

Thanks for the responses.  You have all given me things to think about.  I decided to look at 357 Mag chambering.  I want the extra weight and bullet diameter the 357 offers over the 32HRM and  I have 358311, 358156HP, 358429 and a Saeco mold that looks like the #393 but without gas check.  My main use will be to enjoy shooting without a lot of noise and teaching the grand children how to shoot using my inventory of wheel weights and kegs of Herco and Red Dot.

The Contender barrels are available in lengths up to 26 inches which really appeals to me, but for about 1/4 the price I can get an additional barrel from H&R that will fit my SB1 framed 12 gauge New England Firearms single shot, however its length is limited to 22 inches for their 357 and 44 optional barrels.  I could get both the 357 and 44 barrels for about half the price of the Thompson contenderbarrel, but they would be 4 inches shorter.  

What are the pros and cons between 22 and 26 inch barrels in these calibers?

Thanks,

Bruce, KD6DRU   

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william iorg posted this 13 November 2011

The reduced muzzle blast is something we like on a walk around rifle. Until she got her 17 AI Hornet barrel my wife thought our 21” 357 Maximum barrel was our best - most fun - TC barrel. The 357 Max barrel load with 200-grain bullets on down was not a bother for her to shoot. She has to concentrate to shoot the louder/heavy recoiling barrels well. The good thing about the longer barrels - 24” and longer - in the Thompson Contender is the “self opening” feature of the long barrels. Trip the lever and the long barrel Contender falls open. The lighter barrels can be trying for the young shooter to open. I would hold off on the 44 Magnum barrel unless you have the disipline to not load it too warm for the children. There is a tendency to want to warm up the 44 Magnum rifle barrels and they will push you around a good bit. The Thompson Contender weighs less than 6 pounds with iron sights and the little rifle has enough recoil for any one. In the 44 Magnum my wife likes the 240-grain SWC bullets ahead of 6.0 grains of Bullseye, this one gives us 985 fps and she shoots this load very well. I have not shot the NEF rifles very much, I have loaded for a 22 Hornet and had quite a bit of fun with it.

Slim

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