It really depends one what you plan on shooting? I have a couple 30/06's that are great guns but for elk and long range shots I like the 300 Win Mag. I really like the T/C but I have so many guns it really makes no sense to buy that gun even though I like it allot.
Jeff, don't discount the 270 short mag, I know a group of guys who hunt the white mountains in AZ for elk and they are shooting and killing them at over 700 yards. Something to think about. Good luck with the search, like BuckHunter was saying the 30/06 is a great choice as well.
A Thompson Contender is a great accurate gun but it has some limitations it is very light weight, short and it does not have the steady well constructed characteristics of for instance a Remington 700 that can be used for very long shots, specially when using a bull barrel. I have couple Contenders and Encores because I love those dammed guns..... If you are not planning to hunt African buffalo or moose I will strongly recommend you to avoid large cartridges like the 300 Mag they were suggesting on some of the reply's as TC is a Kicker and to shoot at more than 400 yards you need to be able set set yourself in a comfort zone and set your mind to make a great shot and with such a light configuration chances for you to perform well are not really good. Specially on a standing position, size does matter. Having said that I will suggest you to get either a .308 or a .30-06, those baby's are lower recoil and travel at speeds of minimum 1500 fps specially, both are great cartridges that perform well at short and long distances. The .308 will typically give you about 6% less energy than a comparable 30-06 cartridge but will also have approximately 20% less recoil. Depending on the bullet you choose to compare you will notice the .308 will have approximately 1 to 1.5 inch greater bullet drop than a similar 30-06 at 300 yards with both bullets sighted for a 200yrd zero. In reference to the .308 and large game I would have no problem taking it hunting with confidence in its abilities. If you should buy into the belief that deer sized game should be hit with at least 1000ft/lbs at impact and Elk sized game 1500ft/lbs you could easily use this cartridge out past 400yrds. As far as the barrel I will tray to get a fluted bull barrel to make your baby a little heavier and more accurate, then my friend welcome to the Thomson Contender Fan Club.... good hunting.
Santiago Cohen..... Adding some Mexican spice to the Forum.....
Although I have not taken it on a hunt yet, I just picked up a used 7mm mag and shot a few rounds to try it out. Its a beast and acording to a little research, if I can aim straight, been told with the right scope can be deadly accurate up to 4-5 miles... ouch.
It would have to be an amazing buck to hike that far to find my kill, lol
But 1 can dream right? ;D
This is a down range trajectory chart for the 7mm Rem Mag cartridge with the scope mounted 1.5 inches above the bore center line and this loads effective hunting bullet energy range with well placed shots on the following wild game.
Varmint & Predator Size Game: Bobcat, Cougar & Coyote.
Deer Size Game: Antelope, Black Bear, Black-Tailed Deer, Hogs, Javelina,
Mule Deer & White-Tailed Deer.
Elk Size Game: Caribou, Elk & Sheep.
Moose Size Game: Brown Bear, Grizzly Bear & Moose.
7mm Rem Mag, Remington Core-Lokt Factory Ammunition:
Bullet Diameter: .284 Inches.
Bullet Weight: 150 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coeffecient: .346.
Bullet Muzzle Velocity: 3,110 Feet Per Second.
Bullet Muzzle Energy: 3,221 Foot Pounds.
Range 100 yds. 200 yds. 300 yds. 400 yds. 500 yds. +
Bullet Drop + 1.4 0 - 6.7 - 19.9 - 41.1 Inches
Bullet Energy 2667 2198 1792 1448 1160 Ft. Lbs.
Note: The above ballistics chart depicts the Remington factory ammunition loading using just a simple core-lokt bullet that weighs 150 grains, while the ballistics don't look very impressive, this ammunition when used in 7mm Rem Mag barrels with a 1 in 9 1/2" twist carries a very high game shock value out to about 200 yards, which means if you shoot a deer within that range it will most likely drop right there on the spot it was shot and not move. Very good choice of 7mm Remington Magnum ammunition where hunting pressure is high, the woods are crowded with other hunters and you need to anchor your deer quick.
The 7mm Remington Magnum, Winchester Super X, 150 grain, Power Point bullet loading will react the same way as well.
Very cool info JYD, Thanks. Also Welcome to SCH I hope you find a home here to enjoy. You can go to the Nikon Ballistic on line chart I have on the front of the site to find more info on proper sighting in of your new gun. When you get a chance sign up for the new Huntbook and create an account for yourself. You can also upload your favorite pictures, videos and lost of other cool things, Enjoy.
I will strongly recommend you to talk with Contender Owners, this is not a regular bolt action rifle.... 4.5 miles shot may be done from an Apache helicopter.... A Canadian sniper in Afghanistan has been confirmed as hitting an enemy soldier at a range of 2,310 meters, the longest recorded and confirmed sniper shot in history with a partner with scouting scope... .....The Canadian snipers fire special .50-calibre McMillan tactical rifles, which are bolt-action weapons with five-round magazines. dream on!!! 7mm is a nice cartridge but not very popular for long range shooting and is far from perfect specially in a Contender for distance around 400 yards.
Any way the barrel is only $290.00 you can by plenty to play and try.... but if you don't have a lot of money I will suggest 30-06 or .308 for your type of gun... its about the gun capabilities not the cartridge in my personal opinion.
OK Jeff, where the heck do I start? First off, if you are shooting beyond 350- 400 yards you had better spend some time at the range - allot of time. To competently shoot beyond those ranges you need to be very confident, very consistent and very disciplined. I do not recommend shooting big game beyond your consistent skill level. There are not many folks that are truly that good. Yes some folks get lucky and some folks get lucky more than once. Don't let that be mistaken for just that - luck. To skillfully, consistently and humanely harvest large mammals takes precise shots.
You have named off some very capable calibers; all of which can do the job at extreme ranges. That's if the guy behind the trigger can do the job! IMHO, if I was hell bent on shooting those ranges I would shoot the 300 Win mag. for a number of reasons:
It is more capable of driving heavier bullets at a higher velocity (resulting in less wind drift at long range).
The 300WSM is an awesome cartridge but its true advantage is that it can be chambered in a short action. That means nothing regarding the Contender due to it being a break barrel style action. The WSM is a slight bit more accurate than the Win mag (in theory) but the Win Mag's advantage in your gun wins hands down.
The 7mm Rem mag - Awesome cartridge and can do the job giving up little edge to the 300's. Its advantage is that it can be chambered in a standard action (again no advantage taken when chambered in the break action type rifles) and it does produce a little less recoil than the other two as well.
All three calibers have high ballistic coefficient values in the heavier bullets. All three drive their best bullets in the 3000 fps range and all three are accurate.
I own a contender rifle and I have multiple barrels. They are awesome guns and very accurate. But I must admit, when hunting big game, its not the first rig I pull out of the quiver.