Cast loads TC Contender 7-30 Waters ?

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  • Last Post 13 July 2016
R. Dupraz posted this 10 January 2016

Any body shoot one of these? Have any accurate cast loads for the 7-30 Waters? Thought I'd try the easy way first.

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onondaga posted this 10 January 2016

http://castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=82>R. Dupraz

I think you have an easy project. H4895 is easily the ideal powder for cast bullets in a cartridge of that volume. There is plenty of faster powders that will do the job but H4895 gives the pressure curve that is best for cast bullets when it is appropriate for the cartridge. Second choice, Varget. If you don't have either of those, get some.

I'd expect 2-3” groups at 100 yards with a well fitted cast bullet shooting Deer hunting pistol.  I'd also recommend fitting a neck sling that holds your firearm at your scope eye relief distance if you want to hit Deer at 100 yards standing and shooting in the field without a rest..

A neck sling and chest holster works great with those pistols for Deer hunting. Neck slings are easy to make yourself with an old trouser belt and a shoelace. Loop the lace around the grip and behind the trigger and back, then attach it to the belt around your neck at scope eye relief distance. This arrangement instantly brings the pistol to correct scope use position and supported hold for a fast shot. Gary

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highstandard40 posted this 10 January 2016

I have worked extensively with Contender and XP100 handguns in 7MM but not specifically with the 7X30 even though I do have one in that chambering. I've concentrated on the 7TCU and 7BR. Gary's recommendation of H4895 is a good one. You may want to look at the NOE 7MM 150gr “Hunter". My accuracy load uses the RCBS 145 Sil bullet but this would not be my first choice for hunting. I've had good luck with AA2015 and H4895.

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joeb33050 posted this 10 January 2016

There are no accuracy loads for a Contender with a factory barrel. I know you don't believe that, but work on it for a few years and you will come around. Sell it to an unsuspecting dupe, buy an XP11 or Competitor or Striker or MOA or... Look on the specialty pistols forum. Contender barrels are 90% junk.

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onondaga posted this 11 January 2016

http://castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=82>R. Dupraz

You will do better by listening to shooters that encourage you who don't shoot poorly, break stuff all the time, blame the makers of tools and relentlessly insult people.

I think the TCs are nice handguns and the caliber you have works generally more accurately with the heaviest practical bullet mold you can fit. I'd be looking for one with a flat nose and gas check design for hunting, or consider the inexpensive Forster hollow point bit in a drill press for round nose gas checked bullets for hunting. Even the RCBS 145 SIL with it's tiny flat nose can be nicely hollow-pointed with the Forster bit on loaded ammunition and become a great Deer bullet in #2 alloy.

1/8": http://www.midwayusa.com/product/371968/forster-universal-hollow-pointer-1-8

1/16": http://www.midwayusa.com/product/635851/forster-universal-hollow-pointer-1-16

Gary

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mtngun posted this 11 January 2016

joeb33050 wrote: There are no accuracy loads for a Contender with a factory barrel. I know you don't believe that, but work on it for a few years and you will come around. Sell it to an unsuspecting dupe, buy an XP11 or Competitor or Striker or MOA or... Look on the specialty pistols forum. Contender barrels are 90% junk. My goodness Joe, you're getting cranky in your old age.  :D

Agree that many Contender barrels are junk, and the action itself is quirky.   The problems are well documented on Mike Bellm's website.   But it varies from caliber to caliber, and from barrel to barrel.

My TC 7-30 carbine barrel is a dandy.  Well, it is after I returned the original 7-30 barrel to the factory and demanded a replacement ! :D  :D  :D   Snug chamber, perfect throat, decent barrel, and generally friendly to cast bullets.

It's pet cast bullet load was an NEI 170 round nose made for the Mauser's oversize dimensions.    The Mauser bullet's nose was too fat for the TC bore so I had to seat it deep, which conventional wisdom says is a bad thing but I've never had a bit of problem with deep seating.    About 14 gr. of 2400 gave 1450 fps and sub MOA 3-shot groups, nice for small game or plinking.   I never tried speeding it up for deer, but did use the 1450 fps load once to finish off a wounded elk after I ran out of jacketed bullets.   The slow cast bullet penetrated through and stopped against the hide on the far side.

For max loads I've gotten best accuracy with WW760 / H414, though it may not burn well in your pistol barrel.

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

mtngun wrote: joeb33050 wrote: There are no accuracy loads for a Contender with a factory barrel. I know you don't believe that, but work on it for a few years and you will come around. Sell it to an unsuspecting dupe, buy an XP11 or Competitor or Striker or MOA or... Look on the specialty pistols forum. Contender barrels are 90% junk. My goodness Joe, you're getting cranky in your old age.  :D

I spent maybe 3 years trying to get Contenders to shoot, mainly lead. I had 30-20 = 32-20 with .30 bbl, 30-30, 7TU, 6.5TCU, 22RF, ... barrels. Carbine stocks and 30-30, 7TCU and other carbine barrels. Eventually I surrendered, many action problems, many calls to TC for help, much reading on forums. It seems clear that TC barrels were junk, chambered in a drill press, won't shoot mostly. The after market for TC barrels etc is large, the JDJ business was built around dissatisfied TC owners. Bellm still sends me emails. Arthur Brown made barrels-I don't know who's around, I'm out of touch. Anyhow, I sent the whole megillah down the road, bought a Striker in 308, and even with the poor trigger, i shot better than any contender I owned. Bought a Competitor in 30BR from the maker in Jaffrey NH, talked t him a lot. The Competitor shot very well. Got bored, sold the pistols, went back on the 22cf crusade. I shoot with a man who claims to own 26 contenders/encores, he certainly shows up with a lot of different guns. We talk, he says he doesn't own an original TC barrel. If you want a light compared to rifle hunting gun, get a big revolver. If you want a target/cast bullet pistol, for bench work, get a savage rifle with accu-trigger, cut the stock, put on a hand grip, and put the “pistol” stock on the rifle. Now you've got a BATF legal rifle, OAL>26", bbl length >16", that has a great trigger, shoots better than most pistols, and accepts bbls that cost ~$50 second hand. The whole thing can be done for <$500. Cut the barrel down to 16.5” if you wish. Shoot 223, 30-0 WM, 7-08, 22-250, and on and on. I'm giving advice, which is seldom taken. Ya can do it the hard way, or ya can do it the easy way. 

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

I use a pistol grip like this

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/615714/dpms-pistol-grip-ar-15-lr-308-a2-synthetic-black

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

An ace hardware bracket like this

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

fiddling gets me here

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

pistol stock

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

Rifle stock and “pistol” assembled The dollar bill show ho much abrrel can be legally cut off

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joeb33050 posted this 11 January 2016

I'm frequently changing the pistol stock, I'd like to have it set up so that the butt stock comes off, hand grip goes on, back and forth. I'm working to get the hand grip in the right place for my huge manly hand.

A person can make the 2nd barrel  change in 30 minutes, the 10th in 15 minutes.

If you're concerned about looks, and many are, do something about your hair, and that basketball in the front of your pants.

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R. Dupraz posted this 11 January 2016

Well, let's see here, where do I start?   For those who have the obvious need. This was my original question.   “Anybody have one of these? ” Have any accurate loads for the 7-30 Waters."   Gary: I believe that you have a genuine desire to help others. And your suggestion to use H4895 is something that I will try. I have never used anything but a fast burning fuel for my cast loads. Mainly because that's what was on hand when I started years back and it always has worked well for me. But your reminder has prompted me to try something slower for a change.   Back to my original question. Nothing more nothing less. All shooting that I do anymore is from the bench so have no need for slings and such. But then how would you know?     highstandard40:   Thanks for some useful info. What I was looking for.     Joe:   Reading your reply instantly reminded me of and old line that goes like this.    ” It is better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a ----- than to open it and remove all doubt” I'll leave you to fill in the blank.   I refer you back to my original question. Obviously you need to read it again! I am fully aware of the inconsistent quality of TC factory barrels as well as Belm etc,etc. However, the original barrel that came with this Contender frame is a .218B. And I dare say that when benchrested, that it would give any of your .223's a run for it's money at 100 yards.   And as to the strikers, etc, if I  want to use a rifle, I'll shoot one.    So, just stick to what you do know and keep the rest to yourself. I was once again not impressed.     mtngun:   Thanks for the info.     So, I was just reminded that 71 yrs. ago today I was given my first breath. Am thankful for that. Yall have a good one, I intend to.      

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gpidaho posted this 11 January 2016

Happy Birthday RD. A birthday is a very good time to give thanks for one more year, hope this one is good to you. Gp

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mtngun posted this 11 January 2016

joeb33050 wrote: I believe you.    That said, a FEW Contender chamberings were good, at least some of the time (depending on how careful the drill press operator was that day).    The 7-30 is one of them.

Knowing what I know today, I would not buy a Contender.   The one I have now is left over from IMHSA competition many decades ago, when Contenders ruled the production class.   At that time I shot a 7TCU, which did well with jacketed and OK with cast, despite having a very sloppy neck.   The throat was OK, though.   If I remember right I was able to score 38 out of 40 with it using cast.     

Aside from the drill press chambering jobs, the Contender action itself has issues.   It's not very strong and the hammer strike is weak and sensitive to headspace and bullet fit.   The open hammer collects water, snow, and pine needles when you're hunting.    The trigger on my old style frame will never be a benchrest quality trigger.     Having to break the action open between shots is not conducive to consistent benchrest technique.   No doubt a bolt gun is superior, and I am moving in that direction.   :)

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onondaga posted this 11 January 2016

I was betting on Joe. Because you guys didn't bet $1, you only owe me 50 cents. Hopefully someday Joe will be able to look back at his responses and have a good laugh. It is a hilarious word avalanche to me now. I knew this would happen if I unpicked the “ignore” option and read him.

It is times like this that I turn to Sicilian heritage and have an ethnic festival celebration called Cafe Bourboni.

..............g

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JSH posted this 12 January 2016

Wow. I have had my share of issues with TC barrels but always sorted through and found a good one. I have several now and no plans of them going anywhere.

I played with the 7-30 and cast. Used 4895 and VVN135. The 135 was my go to powder for jacketed and showed good promise with it and cast. It is an honest 1 1/2"@100 on demand gun with a Hornady 139 and VV 135. YMMV, my findings have been for the most part is to use a rifle powder. The old myth that you have to use pistol powders in a pistol barrel is just that, a myth. Yes, depending on powders and caliber you may get a fire all and blasty, I can deal with that. What it does on paper is what I look at. I burn a fair bit of 748 and H335. Both fireball and blasty, but hey, it shoots. Bellms thoughts on sizing are for the most part true in full tilt loads. One can have good success with partial or neck sizing target loads. However I usually FL size after 3-4 firings, depends on the gun and chambering. Yes you may have to tinker a bit to get there. One last thing. Anything you know about other actions as in bolt, auto and levers, none of it applies to a break action or very very little.

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mtngun posted this 12 January 2016

JSH wrote One last thing. Anything you know about other actions as in bolt, auto and levers, none of it applies to a break action or very very little.Totally agree on that point.   

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Paul Pollard posted this 12 January 2016

R. Dupraz,

Please look at the postal match results for 2015. In the Season Benchrest match #6, under the break action entries, Ray Alt is shooting exactly what you are looking for. It seems his TC barrel shoots quite well.

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R. Dupraz posted this 12 January 2016

Thanks Paul. Appreciate it.

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