The T/C Contender G2 Muzzleloading Rifle

By Randy Wakeman

T/C G-2
Illustration courtesy of Thompson/Center.

My Thompson/Center Contender G2 .45 caliber muzzleloader came blued with a walnut stock. Though T/C lists the gun at 5-1/2 pounds, this example tips the scales at 6 pounds seven ounces.

Though billed as a 24" barrel, the effective length sans QLA is right at 22". It features the traditional Thompson painful ramrod, too short to be of much use in swabbing, and no palm saving end. Warne Maxima steel bases and quick release rings were added along with a Sightron SII 2.5-10x32mm scope, completing the package at 7 pounds 11 ounces.

The Thompson Contender G2 is the first .45 caliber muzzleloader that truly delivers on the promise of a lighter, better handling muzzleloader that compliments the caliber. Though no toothpick, the 2 pounds or so that you actually do save make it a svelte, stylish, functional option compared to the rest of the pack.

Thompson usually has the best instruction manuals in the industry, and the G2 manuals supplied were no exception. The top of the hammer has a "rimfire-neutral-centerfire" selector. With a rebounding hammer on the G2 similar to the Encore, the selector was set to center-fire then forgotten about. It is no issue on the G2 that I can see; apparently it is on the old style Contender that does not have the newer action style. Consult your manual for more information.

The trigger initially broke at about 4-1/4 pounds. After a few shots, it lightened up to an average of 3 pounds 5 ounces, and stayed there. Like my Encore, the trigger had no creep, grit, or initial take-up at all and consequently feels much lighter than it really is.

The Thompson / Center G2 Contender is a wonderful muzzleloader. It is by far the most accurate .45 caliber muzzleloader I've ever tested, and handles like a dream. This example is every bit as accurate as my Encore, and it may well be the only .45 caliber inline sabot shooter worth owning, delivering on the promise of lighter weight with little, if any, performance penalty.

Note: A complete review of the T/C G2 rifle can be found on the Product Review Page.

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Copyright 2004 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.