- Thoughts and Ramblings -
Rifle Scopes on Pistols

Factory Vs Custom Contender & Encore Barrels
Varmint Hunting
Rifle Scopes on Pistols
22LR Contender barrels: Standard or Match chamber?


I use Rifle scopes on several of my T/C Contender pistols. It is a method that it seems few outside of Silhouette competitors use, and very few in the exact configuration I employ, mostly I believe because it does have its limitations concerning off-hand shooting (makes a fast offhand shot very difficult). This type of configuration lends itself well to Varmint hunting and also long range larger game hunting **depending upon caliber choice and animal** You do reach a certain point of recoil with the larger calibers where this quickly becomes a very bad idea, and I have not yet formulated and exhaustive list of cartridges which are at the threshhold of usable in this configuration.

Why the rifle scope?

Well, mostly because I am doing this to see just what kind of accuracy can be squeezed out of a T/C rimfire/small centerfire & handgun setup :) I use these configurations of caliber & riflescope for some very tiny varmints at the same ranges as I have used rifles, and at least in my case, I have proven the simple axium that the more scope magnification and wider field of view I have, the more accurately I tend to shoot.

Why put it on a handgun instead of a carbine? I like the compactness and short stiff barrel of the T/C handgun for ease of setup & carrying, stiffness for accuracy, and mostly I just plain like the looks of these configurations :)

Also a bullet traveling down a shorter barrel has less muzzle rise before exiting than is the case from a longer barrel, and given all recoil variation factors (how firmly you grip something from shot to shot affecting varying levels of muzzle rise etc) a shorter barrel contributes to accuracy both by being stiffer (better more consistant harmonics) as well as experiencing less virtical movement and less variation of this movement (better more consistant movement).

On most of my T/C Varmint handgun/riflescope adaptations, I use free-floated heavy beavertail handguards with a Harris bipod mounted underneath, High magnification target rifle scope, a Bellm oversized hinge pin, and shoot from prone positions with the bipod extended, or from solid rested positions in the field, such as a fence post, stump, the hood of my Jeep etc.

The heaviest recoiling caliber I have tried in a Handgun configuration with a riflescope is the .223 Rem. It does well with a riflescope setup and heavy forend, but if anyone is wanting to try this on something stronger I urge extreme caution as no one likes a black eye ;-)


There is the traditional Taco-Hold of metallic IHMSA Silhouette, which is very effective in those competitions I might add, and then there is my modified Taco-Hold, both of which may be employed when using rifle scopes on pistols. A true long time IHMSA Silhouette shooter could describe this better than I, but I'll describe it here as best as I can:

A normal Taco hold is formal and ridged i.e. standing a certain way with your feet the same way (body at maybe a 45degree angle to the target) and holding the gun the same way as much as possible every time (like you are eating a Taco - with left hand holding gun and scope togather usually with the thumb underneath and fingers on scope above. Different hights of Kenlite mounts change this alot. This is a good consistant stable shooting technique, but not possible in its strictest forms for me in field positions all the time.

My modified Taco hold is more of an upper body supported position, not as dependant upon lower leg stance (so long as whatever stance you are using is stable) with my arms/elbows gripped into the torso as much as possible and scrunched in alot more than Silhouette shooters use (illegal for Silhouette shooters) **and in rimfire ONLY** I sometimes have my right hand somewhat rested and braced against my chin.

No matter what position my lower body is in, whether I am standing, sitting, leaning against a fence or tree, etc I can be quite stable using this method. I still grip the scope and barrel the same with my offhand as competition Taco Hold users, but the rest of my body does different things as the situation requires, and again I sometimes use my chin as a brace against my shooting hand **with the Rimfire only.***

Probably more than you wanted to know, but I do enjoy informally discussing the Contender and the almost limitless possibilities that exist for those who will utilize it and approach it with an open mind :)

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