I have had Contenders for years. I had a friend do the trigger work on both waaaay back when. I had never disassembled one. They always worked, just wipe it off and put it back in the safe. A couple weeks ago I put the 22 LR barrel on the wife's Contender and had her shoot a few rounds at the range. I had it snap a couple times. I think probably old ammo that I have had stashed forever. Fast Forward to my last range trip when it was pretty cold out. I had the MGM 13" 357 Maximum barrel installed, and I was going to do some work with reduced loads with the 140 FTX and 158 XTP bullets.
I get the chronograph all set up and get everything all ready to go and SNAP. I try this a few more times with about 3 different shells. I get no dent to a lite dent on the primers.
When I get back home I fire up the computer and see what causes a Contender to not fire. I found no information that I found useful dealing with a Frame/Barrel combination that had been working previously. I did talk with a fellow at the gun shop who was hauling his Encore on a front gun rack on a 4 wheeler and had grass seed get in the action and cause it to not fire. OK, It has never been taken apart and cleaned. My best guess is it probably needs a good cleaning, or possibly a broken spring. Now I do a search on taking a Contender apart, and putting it back together. PITIFUL, Exploded diagrams were no help after blowing them up 400% so I could at least see the parts to some degree. Too small to be of any use. One video skipped showing how the parts went back in. Basically knock out the pins and it comes apart. Not much help.
I figure that I can handle this. No mention of slave pins or any other trick tools required. I start taking it apart starting from the bottom. After taking the second pin out for the Sear I turn it over and have parts fall out. The Safety w/Spring and the Sear Plunger w/Spring fell out. I found the parts, but had no idea exactly where they went. I then took out the Hammer Pin.
It was dirty! Armed with a can of Break Free Powder Blast, Q-Tips, Tooth Brush, Pipe Cleaners, and Paper Shop Towels I went to work on it. When I was satisfied it was clean I applied Dupont Teflon Non-Stick Dry-Film Lubricant to all moving parts,and contact surfaces, and let it dry.
Now for the fun part, putting it back together. I found a You-Tube video on installing a complete set of Springs that was about 45 minutes long. It was at least of some help getting it back together. I ended up watching the Sear Installation part about 3 times to figure out how it went back together. The Hammer Spring was another one that needed watched a couple times. The real head ache was getting the Trigger Guard Pin back in. One person does not have enough hands to get the tight fitting pin installed while maintaining perfect parts alignment.
I did not find any debris in the action. I suspect the issue was oil and crud build-up over the years that got stiff when it was cold and probably did not let the Safety operate fast enough to let it fire.
Someone with some You Tube Skills needs to put together a G1 Contender Video showing how to take one apart, and more importantly how it goes back together. Some explanation of what the parts do would be good also.
See You At The Range