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Thompson/Center failures to fire

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I finally got to take my Thompson-Center Contender to the range today! Unfortunately, it started out delivering extremely light strikes, then went to non-strikes.

I found if I held back the trigger, then pulled back and released the hammer, it would deliver moderately good strikes, but of course, there's no accuracy in that approach.

Ideas, anyone? I don't even know where to start with this pistol.
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Did you buy it new or used? Reason I ask is because if it's used, someone may have messed with the trigger or springs. Also, what one of the gunsmiths at T/C told me once was Pachmayr grips will weaken the mainspring to the point where the gun won't fire. I had bought a used Contender with Pachmayr grips that wouldn't fire. Had to send it to T/C for an overhaul, and they did an excellent job in record time. Might want to call 'em.
 

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This will also happen with a Contender that is not closed all the way. It may look like it is closed but it is not. This happens alot with ammo that is reloaded bottleneck round that have not been sized enough. Make sure your sizeing dies are correctly adjusted. Bottleneck rounds should be sizes so that the action just closes on them but this is a fine line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, the same gunsmith who made a wretched mess of my High Standard Trophy and a model 41 worked on this Contender.

It has a 1.5-pound trigger, which is what I wanted. If I have to send it back to Thompson/Center, I'm most probably going to end up with a lawyer's trigger, which definitely is not what I want.

The barrel is in .22 long rifle, and the pistol at least seems to close all the way.
 

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After shooting Contenders for over 25 years I got to know some of their quirks. Just thought of another one. On some if you adjust the overtravel screw too close it will let the hammer down but it won't fire. Try backing the trigger mounted overtravel screw a half turn or more and see what happens.

I've done triggers on 4 or 5 of them and it is not hard to get 1.5 lbs....at least on the older ones.
 
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