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5mm Remington Rimfire - 23" Contender Carbine Barrel Report


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#1 Eric Mayer

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:32 PM

As most of you know, I finally purchased a 23" Thompson Contender Barrel in 5mm Remington Rimfire from Ed's Contenders. I put it in the factory Rynite stock:

remington5mmcontender5.jpg

The only scope I had that was not on a rifle, was a Centerpoint 4-16 power Mildot scope from Walmart. Now I know some folks just threw-up a little in their mouth when they read that, but I have used these scopes on a few of my air rifles and have found them to be more than decent.

I finally got a morning here in SoCal with no wind, so I headed up to the Central Valley area of California to sight-in and maybe kill something with it. The major issue I had was that I made the mistake of using high scope rings when I mounted the scope. With the Rynite stock having no comb what-so-ever for a decent cheek weld, I made do by laying my left hand on the buttstock.

After sighting-in, I shot my only group using the Centurion 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum 30 grain HP - "White Box" ammunition (as always, I shoot 3-shot groups at 75 yards, which is the typical distance that I shoot ground squirrels).

Centurion-5mm-Rimfire-30-grain-hollow-point.jpg target1sm.jpg

The group was a little less than 3/4" at 75 yards.

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My next group was shot using the Centurion 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum 30 grain JHP - "Varmint" ammunition (again, a 3-shot group at 75 yards).

Centurion-5mm-Rimfire-30-grain-jacketed-hollow-point.jpg target2sm.jpg

The first two shots were touching each-other, with the final shot hitting right next to them. Using the eyes of the target made it much easier to shoot than the first target with the large black dot for a bullseye.

After shooting my groups, I set-up the Chronograph and put a 5-shot string of the "White Box" ammunition through it to get an idea of the fps. Here are my results:

  • 2358
  • 2352
  • 2363
  • 2359
  • 2368

This was very impressive, but speaks more to the ammunition in this lot, than to the rifle. However, the speed was a slight-bit better than what I expected out of the Contender's 23" barrel.

After I put everything away, I spent a few minutes just shouldering the rifle and taking pot-shots at various rocks. The rifle has great balance, with the barrel being just the right weight for my style of shooting. I was still wishing for lower rings, but I was able to put part of my lower cheek on the buttstock while shooting off-hand, or with my mono-pod, so my shots were consistant. I had expected this to be a perfect walk-around rifle and was not disappointed. My only change in the near future will be to replace the scope on the rifle with a compact in the 4-12 power range.

I hurried over to some areas that I knew held ground squirrels, but unfortunately the wind started to pick-up just a little, keeping the temperature down. Ground squirrels like warm, sunny mornings so they can soak up some rays to take the chill off. As I drove to my areas, I passed this guy doing exactly what I was hoping they would be doing in my hunting spot:

californiagroundsquirrel1.jpg

When I got to my hunting spot, I parked my truck and grabbed the 5mm Contender, a handful of White Box ammo and my shooting stick (mono-pod). I walked towards the edge of a small orchard, towards a sun spot on the hill behind it. It was hard to see anything in the brown grass, but I could see something shining near a large series of holes. I shouldered the gun and cranked my scope up to 14 power. Sure enough, it was a large, lone ground squirrel soaking up the sun. I moved next to one of the trees and leaned my shooting stick against a sturdy branch, making it into an instant bi-pod. I estimated the ground squirrel to be at least 100 yards, but my range finder confirmed it to be 123. Just when I pulled the hammer back on my Contender, the ground squirrel stood up facing to my right. I tend to hate standing shots because I start feeling confident that I don't have to worry so much about bullet drop, but then I end up missing to the left or right! Not this time! I took my time and paid attention to the wind, holding along the edge of his body. Right when I pulled the trigger, I saw the squirrel drop it's head down into the chest. The faint "pop" and the roll down the hill told me I got him. My first shot while hunting with this rifle and the ground squirrel was DRT!!

The bullet had entered the squirrel's side and exited through its back on the opposite side. Not super-explosive like some of my past 5mm shots, but it left a decent sized exit hole, none-the-less!

5mm-Remington-Contender-2.jpg 5mm-Remington-Contender-3.jpg 5mm-Remington-Contender-4.jpg

I gathered up the ground squirrel and took some pictures just as the wind really started to pick-up. I wanted to hunt more, but I had a long drive and I had to be home by a certain time. I'll get out again soon and hopefully there will be plenty of targets to "test" my new rifle on!

5mm-Remington-Contender-1.jpg

Eric B)

#2 Glass37

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:02 PM

WOW,that is a fine first outing and succesful first blood. That varmint ammo is incredibly consistant.

#3 Gary W

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

Nice read, thanks! I been looking forward to a read about the contender barrel set up. I have a Bullberry stock on mine and he has to comb set up for scopes.
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#4 Glen

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:46 AM

Nice looking rig Eric!! Looks to be a real shooter for you too!! That's prolly what the remaining relatives of those ground squirrels are thinking too. :lol:

#5 wbyman

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:57 AM

Good Article. I have 2 5mm barrels from Ed. Mine shoot 1" to 1 1/2 " at 100 yards.

#6 Eric Mayer

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:20 PM

To make this more of a walk-around rifle (as light as possible), I made a scope change to my 5mm Contender Rifle today. I took the larger scope off and mounted a Weaver 2.5x7 rimfire scope on the rifle. This brings the weight way down, but still allows me to use it efficiently out to 75 yards, if I do my part. When I get a chance, I will sight it in at 50 yards with the new set-up. This has shaved about 1 pound of weight off the rifle and it is now a joy to handle with the little scope!

Here's a close-up of the rifle now:
5mmrimfire-weaverscope1.jpg

Full-shot:
5mmrimfire-weaverscope2.jpg

I know some will think I'm crazy for limiting myself, but I picture this rifle being carried while walking up and down hills and through trees where my shots will not be that far.

I'll report back!

Eric B)

#7 Arjay

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:46 PM

Liberty head dime......now your just showing off. Nice rig.

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#8 Ljay

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:03 PM

I,m still waiting for the new rifle?? If it does not come in a reasonable time I will go this route! Good job Eric,

#9 5mm Remington Mag Baby!

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:22 PM

Liberty head dime......now your just showing off. Nice rig.

Arjay


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