Little did I know, in the late 1970s when I went to Camp Curtis Guild to a Handgun Metallic Silhouette shoot, I would meet Ken French and develop a lifelong friendship.
Kenny had a Contender in .357 Herrett loaded with 200-grain RN bullets and offered it to me to shoot. During the course of firing those 40 shots we discussed some interesting things about the particular gun and ammunition. I like to think that incident provided a tiny bit of the motivation for Kenny to vastly improve the accuracy of the Contender.
Shortly thereafter, I received a Contender barrel with an improved locking bolt. Early Contenders had some ignition problems with large rifle primers due to a weak hammer spring. Partly as an experiment and partly as a joke I wound some strong rubber bands behind the hammer and around the sight and ignition improved. About a week after sending a photo of this rig to Kenny I received a very nicely done package of rubber bands complete with official T/C logo and labeled appropriately. A month or so later a new hammer spring arrived. No doubt about it, Kenny was the man behind the astounding accuracy increase, startling popularity and success of the of the Contender pistol in competition and in the field.
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