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Rick1967 12-18-2013 10:20 PM

Smoking deals and awesome new project!
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I was in a pawn shop the other day looking for...well, something I don't already have. I am into a lot of different stuff. Then I saw them. Three Thompson Contender barrels. Two pistol and one rifle. Both pistol barrels had scopes. The rifle did not. I am really into Contender stuff. I asked to see them. They had $200 on each of the pistol barrels and $205 on the rifle. That is obviously $605 for all three. Which is not a bad price to begin with, especially since the scopes are both Burris. One is a variable power 1.5 - 4. The other is a fixed 7 power. Both are real nice. Pistol scopes are expensive. I saw that one was a 357 Herrett. The other pistol and the rifle are both 7mm TCU. I explained that I am a collector of odd things. He offer to go down to $550. I explained that the ammo for both pretty much doesn't exist unless you are into custom reloading. He wanted to stand firm on the price. I went and got my Contender to be sure they all fit. They did. I offered $400. He was insulted. He again countered with $500. I told him that if he hangs on to them he might see someone like me again in about 3 years. He sold them to me for $450.

The 357 Herrett is the one on my Contender.

Rick1967 12-18-2013 10:27 PM

When I got home I checked midwayusa for reloading dies...Holy Crap!!!!

RCBS has a set of Dies for the 357 Herrett for $145.00. There was another brand for $69.00. But of course they were out of stock.

There was a set of Redding dies for the 7mm TCU for $74.00.

I was shocked and wondered what I had gotten myself into.

Yesterday I went to a different pawn shop looking for dies. They had a whole wall of dies. I asked about the two I needed. They had both! He told me that they were both odd ball calibers. He was amazed that I actually had both. He sold them to me for $20 each! They actually turned out to be the $145 RCBS and the $74 Redding dies.

Rick1967 12-18-2013 10:36 PM

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I bought the barrels on Monday, the dies on Tuesday, and shot the 357 Herrett today. I am not messing around!

The 357 Herrett is made by expanding the neck on a 30-30 case to fit a .358 bullet. Then it is run through a full length sizing die. I use a plumbing pipe cutter to cut off the excess case. Then I used a deburring tool to trim them down to length. The 357 Herrett spaces off the shoulder instead of the rim. So I kept sizing until the case would almost let the gun action close but not quite. Then I lubed the case really good and used the gun chamber to gently do the last thousandth or so. I gently closed the action on the case to size it. Then I loaded up the 5 cases I had made. I used a large pistol primer and 4.3 grains of Titegroup with a 158 grain semi wadcutter to top it all off. That is a very lite load. That is the recommended load for 38 Special +P. The 357 Herrett is a higher pressure round than the 357 Maximum. I was just fire forming the brass. Later I will need to get some IMR powder.

I am going to try my hand at making a wooden rifle stock and forearm.

Gatoragn 12-18-2013 11:52 PM

Vely intelesting, I am sure. :cool:

Axxe55 12-19-2013 12:00 AM

very interesting Rick! a friend and co-worker really likes the Contender platform and he has a barrel in 357 Herritt and one in 7-30 Waters.

both of these i had heard of before, but knew very little about them. both sound very interesting and would like to hear more about it.

and congrats on the score! :D

Rick1967 12-19-2013 02:41 AM

I also have a 7-30 Waters barrel. That is a 30-30 case that is necked down to a 7mm. That is good for medium sized game like deer. I have heard of people using the 7-30 Waters for small Elk. But the 357 Herrett was actually designed for hunting elk.

The 7mm TCU on the other hand is a 223 case that is altered to take a 7mm bullet. That is next on the list of experiments.

It is a good thing that I enjoy reloading. I found that Buffalo Bore makes 357 Herrett ammo to sell.

$116 for 50 rounds! That seems pretty steep to me.

I could also order brass if I don't feel like making it from 30-30 cases. It is $35.49 for 20 empty cases.
I think I will keep altering the 30-30 stuff. I have a bunch that I have scavenged from the range.

Rick1967 01-11-2014 01:31 PM

Yea...It's kind of Gethro looking.
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I have never made a stock before. So I didn't want to waste a bunch of money on something I might mess up. Ok, Ok, I admit it. I am really fricking cheap!:D Anyway, I made a stock and forearm out of scrap wood I had laying around. I will probably make one out of Maple later. But this is for the rifle barrel for the 7mm TCU. I made 10 rounds of ammo. I was a little scared at first. I was not sure if the pine stock would hold up to recoil. I shot it 4 times holding it out at arms length. Then I shot 3 rounds while standing. The last three shots I fired while leaning on my bag at about 30 yards. 3 rounds through one ragged hole! I am pretty happy with it. Not bad for iron sights.

I thought I would post a pic while the lube is drying on my brass. I will post a pic of a 7MM TCU next to a .223 for comparison after I make a few more this morning.

Rick1967 01-11-2014 02:53 PM

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This is a pic of a 7mm TCU next to the parent case .223.

This is a 140 grain jacketed soft point. It is rated about 1750 fps from a pistol barrel. I am betting that with that 21 inch barrel I will be pushing 2000. That is getting close to 300 blackout performance.

Trez 01-11-2014 03:40 PM

I could be wrong, but I thought it was illegal to make a pistol into a rifle?

Rick1967 01-11-2014 04:13 PM


Originally Posted by Trez (Post 1480156)
I could be wrong, but I thought it was illegal to make a pistol into a rifle?

There are a few exceptions. The contender if purchased as a pistol can be converted to a rifle and back. However if it was purchased as a rifle it is illegal to convert to a pistol. It is illegal to put a buttstock on a pistol with a barrel less than 16 inches long.

I know it seems stupid. But I have to remove the stock first when converting to a pistol. And I have to remove the barrel first when converting to a rifle. I do obey the law, if anyone was wondering.

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