View Full Version : New .223 Contender Carbine Barrel

05-28-2007, 01:56 PM
Last December I ordered a Contender Carbine barrel in .223. Not realizing at the time that I had to get a new forend (the barrel contour was changed in the G2 upgrade), I ordered one and got it last week. Into my parts stash I dove and came up with a Leopold Contender scope base & rings assembly, and an older but still servicable Tasco 3-9 scope. Then, I dug into my stash of .224 bullets and came up with some Hornady 50gr XS and some Win 55gr FMJHP's. I charged a bunch of cases with some surp 4895, topped them with the above bullets, and headed off to the range. While the results today were not stellar, the barrel does show some promise. 26.8gr (a compressed load at book max) with the 50gr Hdy gave me 3/4" 5shot groups @ 50yds, and 26.0 with the 55gr Win gave me 5/8".

While neither was the one ragged hole group I was looking for at 50yds, I figure it is a good start. There are a lot of bullets and powders to go, and I think with some patience I can find a subMOA load for it, though it may take a while. I was looking for a varmint barrel good out to 200yds, as I already have a .22-250 that hits golf balls @ 400. My almost-ten-year-old daughter likes the Contender Carbine for size (I won't even think about letting her shoot the .30-30 version yet), and I think it will be a good choice for her first centerfire experience.

After I check these two loads out at 100yds, I'll start testing with some real Sierra 50 & 55gr bullets and an assortment of powders starting with IMR & surp 4198, always a good combo in the past for mini14's and bolt rifles. Other suggestions are welcome.