35 Remington Contender

Welderboy250

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14” contender barrel currently using 200 gn interlock RN with Remington 9-1/2 primer and H4198 powder. Pushed in to the cannelure and a little bit of crimp and it’s an acceptable OAL.
Book says min 27 gn max 30.5 gn. 27 was a joke. Incremented to 30. Still a joke. Outside of neck was carboned and primer was round and possibly still protruding on some. Highest velocity I saw from the Caldwell ballistic precision was 1814. Tried to get a reference from some factory leverevolutions but couldn’t get anything but erroneous readings from the FTX bullets. Don’t know if it’s the bullet or a powder/ debris problem with those shells but any suggestions that don’t require buying a new speedometer right now would be greatly appreciated. Also suggestions on what to do with the load.
 

yorke-1

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What exactly are you looking to change with that load? Your velocity is right where it should be for a 14” 35 Rem and a 200gr bullet. The 35 Rem is a low pressure round and the contender is a low pressure gun. If you start seeing traditional pressure signs in a Contender, you’ve already gone way too far.
 

del2les

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I agree. The 200 grain @ 1814 is not bad. IF you can find a box of the old Hornady 180SSP's, they work very well in my 357 Herretts and 357 Mag/Max.
As for those erroneous readings from your chrono, try moving your chrono another 5 feet or so away. Sometimes, shorter barrels with heavy blast can cause bad readings, and usually, this can be solved by extending the chrono to 20 feet or so.

35 Remington
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Muddyboots

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Or the Speer 180 Hot Core shot extremely well for me as well. Here is some load data from Hodgdon and Speer for the .35 Rem Pistol that may help. H322 powder was my go to with the 180 Speer and it shot easy MOA even out to 200 yards with 14" barrel.
 

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Welderboy250

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the corresponding data. Part of what I’m looking for is to get rid of the soot on the outside of the brass if possible. Factory leverevolution shells come out very clean. I was hoping it would be reasonable to find a hand load that would do the same. I guess I was asking for the opinions of potentially more experienced reloaders.
Another indicator was the comparison of the primers. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures to share but for now hopefully it suffices to say that with my loads the primers appeared to have experienced FAR less pressure than with the Hornady loads.
The other thing I noticed was less recoil and noise with my loads. I don’t put a lot of faith in that alone as human interpretation is easily skewed. Thanks for the suggestion with the chronograph I’ll try that next chance I get. Should I be concerned that the leverevolutions are too hot for a contender? Looking forward to any more suggestions or help. Thanks
 

yorke-1

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Hornady loads all their stuff pretty hot, but it's still safe.

You could switch to a different powder to help with the soot on the necks or possibly try annealing the cases. I wouldn't worry about it if they're shooting well. Just throw the cases in a tumbler or wipe them off with rubbing alcohol on a rag to clean them up.

The backed out primers could be a result of improper case sizing in the Contender. Break action pistols are very sensitive to headspace issues and excessive headspace could cause your backed out primers.

If you're not familiar with Mike Bellm, his site has a lot of great information about single-shot pistols. This is just one of the many articles he wrote about headspace in TCs. Granted, he's explaining a problem which he's also selling a solution for.
 

Welderboy250

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Thanks for that. I’ve read some of Bellm’s information before but forgot about it. Good refresher.
is it reasonably possible to match Hornadys performance with handloads without going over pressure or is there formula too proprietary for a humble reloaded to keep up with?
 

Muddyboots

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I always neck sized for my Contender and only pushed shoulder back if the action was showing pressure to close it. You get a feel for it after a while and know when you need to bump shoulder and probably trim. Break action firearms are pretty picky on how the brass is worked and each one is different! I have an Encore that is no different for brass work.
 

del2les

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Oct 24, 2007
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South Central, CO
Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the corresponding data. Part of what I’m looking for is to get rid of the soot on the outside of the brass if possible. Factory leverevolution shells come out very clean. I was hoping it would be reasonable to find a hand load that would do the same. I guess I was asking for the opinions of potentially more experienced reloaders.
Another indicator was the comparison of the primers. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures to share but for now hopefully it suffices to say that with my loads the primers appeared to have experienced FAR less pressure than with the Hornady loads.
The other thing I noticed was less recoil and noise with my loads. I don’t put a lot of faith in that alone as human interpretation is easily skewed. Thanks for the suggestion with the chronograph I’ll try that next chance I get. Should I be concerned that the leverevolutions are too hot for a contender? Looking forward to any more suggestions or help. Thanks

Well, after 50+ reloading years, 6 years running a Class VI Ammo reman business and now personally at 51 calibers/cartridges, maybe I have a little experience? If you are not happy with your load, then change it. Load it hotter, change powders, live with it, etc. That is why I included the load data above for some reference. Too many unknown factors with your load, pistol, brass etc to give specific details on a forum. Experiment and enjoy.

Safe shooting
 

bengineer

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Sep 10, 2011
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N WY
If you have protruding primers in your TC Contender, you have too much headspace. Almost always. Always in my experiences. Bellm TCs has correct info and fixes. Adjust your dies to allow brass to be headspaced correctly FOR THE GUN.
Sooty necks is usually an indication of pressure too low to obturate/swell the cases in the chamber. Suppressor users will recognize soot in a different context: brass has sprung back while lower pressure dwells in barrel, suppressor and chamber which allows gases to flow around said shrunken brass.
Qualifications: I have been handloading/reloading/loading for over 30 years. I load 72 different calibers of metallic cartridge from 17 Hornet to 50 BMG. I have an ammo manufacturing business, as well as an FFL and SOT for NFA item sales. I am an engineer. I like to experiment in scientific ways and I don't take uncalculated risks.
 

Welderboy250

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Now that’s what I’m talking about. I bet the neck wasn’t black on that brass. I’m not familiar with rl12. Do u have a suggestion on what Hodgdon extreme powder may be the best to simulate your experience? I’m trying to find a serious hunting load that will stretch a contenders legs as close as possible to “long range”
 

Lefty7mmstw

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Now that’s what I’m talking about. I bet the neck wasn’t black on that brass. I’m not familiar with rl12. Do u have a suggestion on what Hodgdon extreme powder may be the best to simulate your experience? I’m trying to find a serious hunting load that will stretch a contenders legs as close as possible to “long range”
It was only really a 100 yard load with the 200 hdy. It was under moa at 100 but pooped out by the 200 yard line; typical of a stubby rn pill I suppose. rl12 is discontinued. Alliant is of no help to me as they only show rl7 (too fast burning). Accurate 2015 was good to us in the past for contenders in 30-30 and shows well for 200 gr pills in the 35rem. The Hodgdon site shows a number of powders that will take a 200 past 2100 fps from a 35 rem in a shorter barrel. Varget, ww748, I 3031, h4895, lvr... I would start with Varget, 3031, or h4895 and work up with a warmer primer like a wlr. You need to get things going rather quickly in the short barrels so I've always gravitated to warmer primers for less vel. loss. I was able to work up a load in my 243 with a 100 that was over 2750 fps safely with a 215. The same pistol would top out at 2600 fps with a standard primer.
The contender is a finicky weapon; you size your cases a bit too far and you will get backed out primers and poor case life. too little, and you will wear the heck out of the hingepin, have closing difficulty, and possibly poor accuracy as the round may not square up in the chamber. Turn your die down just past easily closing and lock it down. A contender isn't that weak but can only tolerate a certain amount of back-thrust before the lock gives way. That's why the 223 is acceptable but you need to get an encore to run a 30-06. Don't get too froggy with your pistol or you will loosen her up.
As to vel. in the 35 remington; you will see around 200 fps drop going from a 20-24" rifle barrel to a 14" pistol barrel. This is not an overbore round and doesn't really drop a heck of a lot from what I've seen. By comparison I've lost 300-400 fps in my 243 and 7-08 strikers I've had and 500 fps drop from my 22-250 striker barrel. My pops is running a 300wsm pistol that is dropping to the 2700's with a 165; he should be closer to 3200 fps. We ran a bunch of 30-30 barrels too many moons ago; the 10" pipes had trouble getting 2K fps from a 125; the 14" pipes were better but we quickly went over to Strikers.
 
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