Wednesday, January 08, 2003


In response to a correspondent who thinks I am responsible for his new addiction to TC Contenders. A little research has corrected some errors, also corrected here.

Hello, my name is Hobie and I am a TCholic.

I can't help myself and although I don't quite know what has happened but I know how it started.

In 1968, Dad and I went to Hudson's, one of the local gun stores, and I saw my first Contender. At the same time I saw my first Ruger No. 1 and handled a cute little Remington .22 LR Rolling Block "musket". I told Dad then, this little break open would be a great little carbine (I'd already shot an H&R .22 Hornet and just knew this had to be better). Dad did get me my first TC gun in the form of a .36 cal. Seneca which he presented to me that Christmas 1972.

However, I couldn't do more than fondle the Contender and was distracted (fortunately) by circumstances until 1978 when a fellow named JDJ started a little thing called the Handgun Hunters International. As a "charter" member (#500 if I remember correctly) I eagerly looked forward to every issue of the news sheet (just as I did for all the gun magazines I subscribed to so that I could actually get them in the ROK). Although I let almost all my subscriptions lapse (except my NRA membership) I'd already seen the advertisements for the Texas carbine barrels and Choate's extension to convert the 14" barrels to carbine capable. Still, I was able to avoid becoming involved in the Contender sub-culture, at least for the time being.

In what I see now as a desperate attempt to maintain my sanity after my divorce, I bought a pre-forward assist AR-15 carbine and devoted myself to the hi-cap, many round shooting scene. This worked for a couple of years until, well, I remarried.

While I accept responsibility for my actions, this woman has enabled my many addictions. Things are just out of control. She's even talked about hunting in AFRICA and Canada! It was nothing to her to watch me sell my AR-15 and keep the money to spend on GUNS!

That is exactly what I did. I thought I'd just get a single frame and a barrel in a good deer capable round (.35 Rem), varmint round (.223), small game round (.22 LR) and then in .410 ga for doves, etc. Well, first I still had a bunch of 30 round magazines that were suddenly more valuable due to the hi-cap ban and a friend offered to trade for my collection. Yes, more Contender barrels...

It snowballed after that. I got barrels chambered for cartridges "because" I had dies (.30-30, .44 Mag, .38-55), "because" they were on sale (.357 Max, 10mm Auto), "because" I had brass I could use (7mm
TCU, .30 Herrett). It goes on and on. Then I had to get another frame so that I could let my wife shoot one at the same time as I was shooting the other. Yeah right, she doesn't even know I have the second frame!

All this was just killing me. I was nearing retirement and I knew that my available funds would dry up. I'd sold my bayonet collection and I had to do something. Then it struck me. All I had to do was to bring others into my world. They'd spend THEIR money and tell me all about it. It wouldn't be quite the same but it would be close enough and get this... I could do it from my home, over the INTERNET! How good is that!?!

Well, I guess you see that I am indeed the cause of your addiction. However, I know that you can get this monkey off your back but it will take drastic measures. I hope you're up to it. All you have to do is send me all your Contender stuff. Be sure to send it all because if you have even one die, one cartridge, one screw, you'll fall off the wagon in short order.

I'll own up to one more thing.

I haunt the on-line auctions looking for that "deal" on a Contender barrel. I also go around to all the local yard sales. I've heard tales of the widow selling a box full of "old useless barrels my late husband wouldn't throw out", but, I've never met her... I drool when my friends pull out their barrels. No, it isn't subtle. I'm just a sad individual.

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