View Full Version : Product Report: MGM Contender Carbine Barrel 6.5TCU

06-13-2012, 06:56 PM
I ordered the barrel last spring (received it within three weeks!) but was was recovering from spine surgery and was unable to start working with it until this spring.

This is one of the more accurate barrels I have owned. It has a 1:8 twist and absolutely loves Sierra 140grGK's. It is an outstanding target barrel with jacketed bullets.

Unfortunately, I was on heavy pain meds when I ordered it and should have gone with 1:10 or 1:12. Why? I wanted a 200yd+ hunting barrel to use with 120/130gr bullets, as it just won't push the heavier ones fast enough to suit me. Sub MOA with 140's, 3-4MOA with 120's. It doesn't particularly like either of the two cast bullets (140RNGC and 170FNGC "Cruise Missiles") I tried, with about the same results as the 120j's. I have never in my life ever owned a barrel more difficult to get clean. I followed their break-in advice using jacketed bullets and had no trouble, then I shot 300 jacketed and then 300 cast bullets working up loads for it without bothering to clean between them. It didn't lead foul, but the regular powder fouling took me almost three hours to clean out, alternating bronze brushing with three different solvents and a hundred or so patches altogether. If I had known what I was getting into I would have done it overnight with the electronic cleaner.

I bought a set of Hornady dies to go with it. Big mistake. What a cluster **** they are. Needless parts, threaded decapping stem sticking up 4" above the die ripping my shirt, and a very small very sharp spring sticking out resulting in stitches in my hand. It is cheaper to go with a custom Lee 4die set (with a Collet and FC die) for what I paid for H's 2die set, not including ER fees, and I'd have ended up with a more versatile setup.

Two good lessons learned: pay attention to the twist rate when you order a custom barrel, and never buy another Hornady die set.