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Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Rick1967, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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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.
     

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  2. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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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.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  4. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Vely intelesting, I am sure. :cool:
     
  5. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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
     
  6. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    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.
    http://www.buffaloarms.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=158005

    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.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/970636/quality-cartridge-reloading-brass-357-herrett-box-of-20
    I think I will keep altering the 30-30 stuff. I have a bunch that I have scavenged from the range.
     
  7. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    Yea...It's kind of Gethro looking.

    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.
     

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  8. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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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.
     

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  9. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong, but I thought it was illegal to make a pistol into a rifle?
     
  10. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    I was wondering the same thing. I was under the impression that it was a no no to put a stock on a pistol, period. At the very least, not without turning it into an SBR, with the proper paperwork……

    What denotes whether you buy a Contender as a pistol, or rifle?
     
  12. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    Mine was a fully assembled pistol with a scope on it then I bought it. The background check was done for a pistol. It was definitely sold as a pistol.
     
  13. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    As long as the barrel is 16 inches or longer it is not a SBR. However, if I were to assemble the buttstock with one of my 14 inch pistol barrels, that would be illegal. That would indeed be an SBR.
     
  14. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I am really impressed with the .357 Herrett round. I just fired 20 rounds of full powered stuff. I thought I was shooting at about 100 yards. I took a couple shots. I saw that I was hitting low. So I adjusted the scope. After about 10 rounds I was hitting pretty consistantly. It took a lot more adjustment than I thought it would. When I went to see what it was I found out why. I thought it was a lot closer than it really was. It was about the size of a roll of paper towels. I was shocked when I paced it out. It was around 140 yards! I couldn't get all the way to it because it was muddy and up a hill. I only got to within about 20 yards of it. I think it looked like a piece of pvc pipe. But it was thicker walled. It was white. I am not sure what it was. But I was hitting it!

    At over 2000 fps that 158 grain bullet is really impressive coming out of a handgun.
     
  15. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I took the Contender out the other day with the 7mm TCU pistol barrel on it. It has a pretty decent scope on it. I was amazed at how it shot. I was shooting at 100 yards at an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper to zero the scope. I shot 3 rounds and had a good group right from the start. So I decided to shoot a little further. I was able to hit a 28 oz Gatoraide bottle. It took three tries. But I did it...from a 140 yards! I really like this round!