Eventually, every avid Contender owner will
face this question: Should I get the standard or match chamber 22lr barrel? In the old .22LR match Vs .22 LR Contender barrels
question, here are some random thoughts:
Barrel length matters. Are you going to hunt Squirrel, or go with a heavier
long range setup? If you are going for Squirrel, then I recommend the 10" barrel in a standard chamber.
this will seem a bit surprising, but when considering the 10" barrel length, it has been my experience that with the **standard
chamber** 22lr Contenders, many of the 10" barrels chambered this way have actually been more accurate then the 14" **standard
chamber** barrels. So 10" in a **standard chamber** barrel is a most excellent choice for a medium range Squirrel pistol.
At 25yards (or typical Squirrel distances) one cannot really tell the difference between the accuracy of the two chamberings
in 10" barrels, as with either chambering in a 22lr the bullets would all go in the same hole if you shoot from a rest.
If the game being considered is a bit larger and a bit further out than Squirrel distances, and it were me and the
choice were instead a 14" barrel, then I'd advise the exact opposite and spend the extra few $$$ and get the match barrel.
I have no regrets about the various match 22's I have acquired and owned.
One must simply keep in mind that the tighter
tolerances of the match chamber **will** limit you so that you cannot shoot CCI Stingers without wrecking the chamber. Ammo
is a distinct factor when pondering either choice of chamber. Stingers (and some other hyper vel 22's) have a slightly LONGER
case, and the rim of the case will engrave the rifling of the slightly SHORTER & tighter T/C match chamber, subsequently
Stick to standard 22lr ammo if going for the match chamber, and an added benefit (because of that tight
match chamber) is that typical velocity is at least 100-150 fps faster than the standard dimension chamber anyway, and that
makes it a very near even performer with the hyper velocity stuff.
I even recall one fellow who posted on an
internet discussion board a year or so ago who stated his 10 inch 22 LR match T/C barrel when checked with a chronograph,
got within 20 fps of what his 20" barreled 10/22 would do.
NOTE: In my experience, the match chamber does NOT make
it more difficult to load and unload. Cases come out just as smoothly with either chamber dimension.
now that you have been given recommendations for BOTH chambers? ;)
The easy **Bottom Line** answer for me has been
this: if acquiring a 10," go with either choice and be happy (I have even used one of the old Octagonal 10" 22lr as my Squirrel
gun w/ 6x riflescope). If getting a 14" barrel then definitely go for the match chamber as it makes a distinct difference
in accuracy as well as velocity.
14" 22lr Match barrel w/10-40x50mm Tasco target scope,
VVCG Free-Float forend, Harris 6R bipod,
Western Gunstock Thumbhole Grip.
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