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Old 03-02-2016, 12:15 PM
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T/c pistolcan't open



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I'm not sure what model but it has the cat on the side plate. It was my father's and hasn't been shot in many years. Yesterday I got it out of the safe, checking to make sure it was safe I broke it open, chamber was clear so i closed it and dry fired it.

Now there is no way I can break the action open. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Gregg
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:43 PM
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Some can be a real bear. Hold the gun with both hands tightly, and as you pull the trigger guard, shake the gun in a downward motion, that is what I have to do with mine to unlock it. Had a friend that had a new one way back when, and his was the same, had to do that firm shake to unlock it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traderdell View Post
I'm not sure what model but it has the cat on the side plate. It was my father's and hasn't been shot in many years. Yesterday I got it out of the safe, checking to make sure it was safe I broke it open, chamber was clear so i closed it and dry fired it.

Now there is no way I can break the action open. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Gregg
This frequently happens when there is a locking lug issue with the particular frame and/or barrel used.

While Contender barrels are intended to be interchangeable, depending on the particular frame and/or barrel, this can happen especially if they are of different vintages.

Another thing that will cause this is IF someone has adjusted the trigger over travel to a minimum, then it could be the over travel screw is preventing the trigger from moving back far enough to unlock the barrel lugs as the sear resets the striker.

Per Mike Bellm (website listed below); A number of things happen when you squeeze the trigger guard spur besides unlocking the barrel, one of which is resetting the striker. The striker is pushed up against the forward arm of the sear. The striker must have room enough to travel downward if the cams on the trigger housing are to move up far enough to cam the locking bolts forward. To move downward, it must push forward on the top end of the trigger, moving the lower portion of the trigger to the rear. Thus if the over travel stops the trigger from moving back before the trigger housing cams the locking bolts all the way forward, you won't be able to unlock the barrel.

When it's happened to me, I've resorted to removing the fore-end and grip, driving out the hinge pin, then removing the trigger group. That will allow you to separate the barrel from the frame.

At this point, you can either send them off to a REPUTABLE T/C gunsmith such as the folks at http://bellmtcs.com/store/ (NOT your typical local 'smith), or you can attempt to remedy the lock-up issue yourself using the resources at the above website.... Lots of resources there, just be sure to read everything regarding a Contender as they also have Encore info on there (Encores look the same at a glance, but they are a different Thompson product).

-Tim

Last edited by CowboySilhouette; 03-02-2016 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'ol shooter View Post
Some can be a real bear. Hold the gun with both hands tightly, and as you pull the trigger guard, shake the gun in a downward motion, that is what I have to do with mine to unlock it. Had a friend that had a new one way back when, and his was the same, had to do that firm shake to unlock it.
That did it. Thanks to all that responded!
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:57 AM
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Glad it worked for you. The T/C is a different animal than other guns. Here's mine in .357 Maximum, also have three other barrels. It's a Gen 1, built 1979.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:37 PM
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Some frame/bbl combos can be a real PITA.
The shake n squeeze might get most.

Bonk on end of wood table has gotten those that ignored the shake.
Actually, a carpeted wooden bench top, or curved laminate kitchen counter type of top works well (doesn't damage gun or table).
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:16 PM
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Sometimes it is brains over brawn. Mine is a worst case with non easy open receiver with late model barrel lock up I have watch good sized full grown men pull as hard as they can with two hands and not open it.

When handed back to me I open it with one FINGER 2 at the most.

Hand it back to Mr. Strongarm and he can not open. Bad language inserted here.

Back to me and no more than two fingers. LOTS of bad language inserted HERE!!

It has more to do with ANGLE than force. If you pull straight back you may never get it open. It is hard to describe but if you pull kind of like a 45 degree from the tang back to the back at the trigger guard it pops right open. More a matter of feel but that is the best I can do unless I can get someone to photograph me doing it. Even then it may be hard to do even with a video.

Just experiment use the end of the tang and try different angles until it works. Also try it with the pistols on it's side rather than upright.
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Old 03-13-2016, 01:45 PM
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Sound advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
Sometimes it is brains over brawn. Mine is a worst case with non easy open receiver with late model barrel lock up I have watch good sized full grown men pull as hard as they can with two hands and not open it.

When handed back to me I open it with one FINGER 2 at the most.

Hand it back to Mr. Strongarm and he can not open. Bad language inserted here.

Back to me and no more than two fingers. LOTS of bad language inserted HERE!!

It has more to do with ANGLE than force. If you pull straight back you may never get it open. It is hard to describe but if you pull kind of like a 45 degree from the tang back to the back at the trigger guard it pops right open. More a matter of feel but that is the best I can do unless I can get someone to photograph me doing it. Even then it may be hard to do even with a video.

Just experiment use the end of the tang and try different angles until it works. Also try it with the pistols on it's side rather than upright.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2016, 08:33 AM
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last year i pickup a newer (1990) split locking lugs barrel to mount on a first gen hard open front mounted pin model frame from the 60/70's. i mounted the barrel and close it up. well at this point it was locked. the only way to open was to hit the trigger guard with a rubber hammer. this worked well, but will not work during silhouettes matches. did a search on how to fix the problem. at one time t/c would fix the problem for free. they moved the front pin to the center of the frame, this made it a easy open model. but s&w owns t/c and they do not do anything for t/c's. other information found stated you can take some off the top of the locking lugs. so i took a small amount off the top of the lugs with very fine sand paper, checking the lock and fit. it did not take much and now it works. also the barrel still works with other frames, because you don't have to remove much. i also clean up the frame were the locking lugs go. it is more a clean up on both to make it work.
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