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G2 contender vs. bullberry custom

2810 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  DOGMAN
Considering a singleshot, really attracted the TC contender. Im thinking about ordering a fully custom Bullberry rifle which I priced out at about $1K. Comparing ordering a G2 with a custom TC 18" .17hmr barrel still comes in under $600. Im looking for accuracy and good looks, I have no doubt the bullberry rifle would be a work of art, just wondering from a performance perspective if there are huge tremendous differences between the two. I think I'll get my moneys worth spending under $600 on a G2 and in looks and attention to detail alone, I see the value in the bullberry. Wondering if the Bullberry will perform $500 better... Any thoughts?

Is the rifling twist the same in bullberry and TC hmr barrels?

Are there any classic problems to look out for with a G2 in HMR? Been reading up, seems like once you go TC, you are a fan for life, haha. Looking for accuracy for target and occasional prarie dogs.
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I have one of the 19" Bullberry 17 HMR barrels, and it is a very good shooting barrel. It is more capable than my own shooting skills allow.

You can always get just a G2 frame, and then have a TC Custom Shop or Bullberry barrel made. I have several barrels in other calibers from both sources, and prefer the Bullberry barrels when I want a little more accuracy or quality. The biggest downside is the wait time from either source, with Bullberry taking longer. If you are willing to wait, you may want to check out OTT which makes some incredible barrels and you can have them make it with a blank that you choose.

Another method would be to purchase a factory 17 HMR 23" barrel, and have it cut and recrowned to the 18" size you mention. It would be far quicker to have this done than ordering a custom barrel.

I am not sure what the twist rate is on my Bullberry barrel, since it isn't stamped on the lug or mentioned anywhere else on the barrel. I believe the TC factory barrels are 1:10" twist, or at least according to the production description that I have.

The Bullberry stock and forends are very nice, and whether you want to spend that extra $$$ is a matter of choice. I rarely put on my set since they are just too darn nice to risk a possible scratch. You can always have a set made up later for your G2 if you like. Gunstocks, Inc. makes some nice furniture as well, and you can apply the finish that you like. The factory TC wood can be fixed up pretty nice as well. I refinished an Encore set a few years ago, and came out much better than the original looked.

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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
whats the story with the bullberry forearm hangar system, they claim it to be more accurate. Im sure they would best answer that question, but already have a million questions for them. I contacted eabco about cutting down a stock barrel and that was even a 4-6 week wait.

has anyone actually compared accuracy between a stock t/c hmr barrel and a bullberry? The bullberry is soooo appealing for so many different reasons but want to make sure Im giving the stock t/c a chance before spending a big amount of $$$ if I dont need to. I think I ultimately really want a gun I can be really proud of from a craftmanship standpoint, obviously the bullberry provides for that. I have a marlin 917vs which shoots great, I like it alot, but its just not "special" if you know what I mean.

I just looked on the ott page, the double barrel rimfire JKL is probably checking out if you guys havent seen pictures of it.

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220 Posts
Bullberry & TC experiences


First let me say that companies go through problems in manufacturing. Second, both Bullberry and TC stand behind their products, in my experience.

I had a TC 44 barrel that was so rough that it looked like it had been rifled with a rat-tail file. After shooting cast bullets at low velocities, I would clean a 12" strip of lead out of the barrel. TC replaced it.

I had a TC frame from a bad manufacturing run. The frame actually stretched. TC replaced it.

I have five Bullberry barrels, sweet shooters all. They are 17 CCM, 17 short Hornet, 17 AH, 17 Mach IV & 17 HMR.

I have at least that many TC barrels, sweet shooters all.

A close friend got a 17 Mach IV barrel from Bullberry. He exchanged that barrel four times. Every one was a lemon. Fred gave my friend his money back and they swore not to do business again. But, Fred refunded the money after making a heck of an effort to produce a good barrel.

I just got a TC 17 HM2 barrel and it shoots a half inch or smaller while sitting on a 20 year old frame.

Well, there is a summary of thirty years experience in the Contender world. Now, you still have to make the decision about where to spend your money. ;) Obviously I think that everyone needs a 17 Cal Contender in their arsenal. :D Actually, I think they need two, a pistol and a carbine.



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1,392 Posts
All in all I would say the question is this "Do you want a Custom Gun or do you want a Factory Gun". and then what are you capable of spending and more importantly what you are willing to spend.

I for one have read of the horror stories for years and years about how poorly T/C Barrels are Chambered. I have read that their chambers are out of round, off center with the bore and their throats are horrible.

Well since 1982 when I started huhnting with T/C Contender Handguns I have had more than my fare share of Factory T/C Barrels. I have also had Custom Contender Barrels from SSK Industries, Bullberry Barrel Works, Virgin Valley Custom Guns and On Target Technologies. I have worked with chamberings from .22 LR (Match), .223 Remington, 6mm-223, 6mm T/CU, .250 Savage, 7-30 Waters, .30-30 Winchester, .30-30 Ackley Improved and even a .44 Magnum. With the exception of the .250 Savage, 7-30 Waters, .30-30 Ackley Improved and .44 Magnum I have had several different barrels in each of these chamberings over the years.

When all the smoke clears I have found there is a SLIGHT accuracy advantage with the Custom Barrels, but remember I said slight. In each and every one of these chamberings I have been able to come up with the ammo (either Factory Ammo or Handloads) that produced accuracy I was satisfied with. Granted some barrels took more experimenting to find the just right load or ammo, but none the less it was found and I was satisfied with the outcome.

As per the Bullberry Hanger Bar Bedding System for attaching the forned to the barrel. This is not really a new idea (nor Bullberry's either as far as I know). When using a Pachmayr Rubber Grip and Forend on a Contender Handgun the ONLY way to attach the forend to the barrel is via a Hanger Bar. The Hanger Bar is nothing more than a block of alluminum that attaches to the barrel and the forend attaches to the hanger bar.

In the case of the Bullberry Hanger Bar they modify their forends to attach to the hanger bar rather than bolting the forend directly to the barrel as would be the case in a Factory Gun. Then the forend can be Free Floated so the only thing the forend contacts is the hanger bar.

I have achieved this on Factory Forends by using a couple different. #1 you can simple sand away the wood from the forend that touches the barrel except for the portion where the forend attaching screws go through the forend to the barrel. Another method is to hot glue washers into the recess cut in the forend for the extrusions on the barrel to sit against spacing the forend off of the barrel so this is the only contact area. I have also done a combination of both of the above on a couple Contenders also.

As you may or may not know, Free Floating the forend away from the Barrel will let the barrel vibrate and do it's thing and be the same from shot to shot. With the Contender Handguns I have shot I have noticed differences in group sizes before and after free floating that varied from NO DIFFERENCE to a difference that indeed made the conversion worthwhile.

As per the Bullberry Wood itself. For me the biggest thing would be to get a STYLE of Wood that would be preferred over what is available from the Factory, ie different shape or style of buttstock, different length of pull, different comb height, and of course forend style also, going from a Sporter Style to a full blown Wide Flat Bench Rest Style of Forend.

As per buying a Factory Barrel and having it shortened to your desired length. This is something your local gunsmith should be able to do (if there is one in your area). This is not a huge job, and can be easily accomplished with the proper tools. Generally cutting and recrowning a barrel should set you back about $35.00 to $40.00, and take a matter of less than an hour.

IF it were me, and $$$ was no object I would opt fo the custom route and end up with something I absolutely wanted. With the T/C System you will more than likely be adding more barrels in the future. Thus the beauty of the T/C Contender / Encore, the possibilities are endless.

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