The Thompson Contender is a break open single shot pistol with unique barrel interchangeability.
The Contender is a uniquely designed single-shot, break-open pistol designed and manufactured by the Thompson/Center Arms Company founded in 1965 by the K.W. Thompson Tool Company and Warren Center. The company was ultimately bought out by Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation on January 4, 2007.
The Thompson Contender’s most immediate advantage is having the accuracy of a rifle in the form of a handgun, making it an extremely popular pistol for hunters and black powder gaming. Among some of the other unique design advantages, the Contender’s barrel is attached to the frame and can therefore be easily removed with a flat head screwdriver and interchanged to fit a number of cartridges and their appropriate barrel lenghts. In addition, the pre-aligned sights made the changes very easy, and the shooter is further allowed to choose between centerfire or rimfire firing pins.
Barrel lengths come in 8, 10, 14, 16 and 21 inches and are interchangeable with currently available G2 (Second Generation). This flexibility is what makes the Contender such a popular break-open pistol. Its interchangeability, ease and ultimately its inexpense makes it a very attractive firearm. Even its trigger system is adjustable allowing a user to accurize for long range target shooting hair triggers up to heavy trigger pulls suitable for hunting.
When it comes to calibers for the Contender, available cartridges for the Contender include the wildcat cartridges such as the 7-30 Waters, several TCU cartrdges, .357 Herrett, .30-30 Winchester, and .223 Remington cases as seen on this page’s video. It can even fire larger cartridges such as .410 bore shotgun shells through a .45 Colt barrel, and can be fitted with a .44 Magnum barrel for .44 Magnum cartridges.
The Thompson Contender is certainly a unique firearm which is definitely suitable for hunting, and also very interesting for target shooting. In this video, I am seen connecting several shots into my target with very good precision, though it took me some time to level my weapon. The .223 Remington casings were an ideal choice for this pistol and its projected direction is in immediate response to the movement of the person taking aim. A highly thrilling experience offering rifle precision and almost infinite flexibility, the Contender is an ideal firearm in any hunter’s arsenal.