Thompson/Contender Lucite Cartridge Block

A lucite cartridge display by Thompson/Center from 1985. It holds the 17 different chamberings available that year.

This one has a factory error…notice the second round under the pistol. It SHOULD be marked 7mm T.C.U. The decimal point is in front of the 7.

There are other versions of this type display. Anyone have the one in an octagon for sale?

Sorry…not for sale (it doesn

WOW! Those are really cool! I remember seeing the round one when I was a kid. The local indoor gun store / gun range had it on the wall.

The ones you guys have are in such amazing condition especially since they are from the 80’s. They look brand new :-) Very cool! Do artifacts like this have a name? Are they still considered “Bullet Boards”, or something else?Chunks of lucite with embedded bullets are awesome.


Those are nice Pepper! Is your round one a different year, or a corrected one from 1985?

My ones look like Peppers, I dont know what year my round one is but it has different cartridges on it from the one belonging to IHMSA80x80.
The 7mm is correct but the cartridge is the closest to the pistol.

Not sure how to date this critters ? (obviousy from any marketing info folks might have, but I don’t have any)

Gentlemen - I will try to start some sort of accounting for the Thompson Center Lucite Blocks. Perhaps someone who started saving gun catalogs before I did can fill in.

My earliest catalog is c. 1984. It is Catalog Number 12. this is the only catalog I have that shows the Lucite Block with only the representation of the Thompson Contender Pistol in it, which was T.C. Product Number 9603 and sold for $15.00 in that catalog. It does not appear in my catalog 20 (1993 or any catalog thereafter)

Also in that catalog is a round Lucite Cartridge Display, unnumbered both on the display and in the catalog, Product Number 9600, which sold for $55.00. The one pictured is round, and has 20 cartridges on it. I cannot read the captions identifying these cartridges.

IHMSA80x80 shows a block that he has identified as being from 1985, which is also round but only has 17 cartridges on it.

My next catalog is Number 20, from 1993. Both it and Catalog Number 21 from 1994 show an Octagonal Wheel #6, Product code 9602, $95.00, which has 19 cartridges on it. The wheel appears to be numbered right below the TC Trademark in the center of the display. That would square with my own Display #5, which is also octagonal, and appears to be indentical to Display #6. I assume there is some difference, but mine also has 19 cartridges on it and they appear to be the same. Unfortunately, the pictures are small and I can’t tell

From Catalog 21 thru 29, 1995 thru 2002, an octagonal lucite cartridge display #7 is shown, It has 18 cartridges on it and is marked with the Issue Number. Product code was 9602, the same as for Wheel #6. It sold in the 1995 catalog for $95.00 but by 2002 in catalog number 29, it was $105.10, not really a terrible price increase over a seven year span. By that catalog, the product code number had changed to 9607 (catalog 24, 1997. is the last to show the product code of 9602, with catalog number 25 of 1998 beginning the new product code of 9607 for the same product).

The lucite displays are dropped from the catalog number 30, 2003, and do not appear again.

That is the best I can do between my own, single display #5, and the catalogs I have. It is not complete, but we do what we can with what we have. If anyone has any duplicate TC catalogs before Number 12, and from 13 to 19, or the catalog number 34 (?) for 2007) to give away, I sure would like to get them. They help me to help others. Missing the SHOT Show in 2007 was a disaster for my catalog file - I have only 5 or 6 catalogs from all firms for that year, instead of the more than 100 I usually bring from the SHOT Show. I will be going there this year!

A classic example of a John Moss answer…not his opinions…just facts, backed by his little library…his style

If it were not for this “odd thread”…I would have not learned these things…and the fact my Octagonal block is plainly labeled “Edition #7” (I never looked at it)

It has 18 rounds from .22 LR to .45-70

(wonder if they ever made a block with a .600 Nitro round ? the video clip of the gun recoiling out of the shooter

I was going out to lunch today, and had a guest at the house before lunch, so had to kind of hurry up my answer. I see now why my Thompson Center Display #5 seemed to be the same as #6. The Catalog 20 offers block #6 but on very close examination with a 8x magnifier, the block picture is #5. The same picture seems to have been used also in catalog 21, except that particular catalog, or my copy of it, is a pocket size, and the picture is too small to read anything off of it.

I guess we will have to wait to see what #6 was like for someone to submit a picture of it. I will try scanning my #5. I have not tried scanning anything that is basically transparent. I don’t have a digital camera, so it is my only way to get a picture. If it comes out, I will have Joe post it, and I will scan a couple fo outher lucite items I have, although admittedly, they are pobably endless. I don’t actually collect them - accumlate would be a better word - so I don’t have a lot of them, but I have seen literally dozens and dozens of different ones in my 45 years of collecting - factory ones I am talking about.

Thompson Center Arms Cartridge Display Number 5. I mentioned I might post other displays, but the scans were so poor as to be totally unacceptable. I guess this is one item where a camera is better, unless you are a lighting wizard and have perfect lighting in the room for making such scans. I am not and do not have such lighting.

John Moss

Perhaps I can add to the reply by John Moss. Up thru catalogue #7, there is no cartridge display blocks shown. I am missing #8 & #9. Catologues 10, 11, and 12 show the same lucite wheel with the same catalogue number and price. This wheel had (counter clock wise from the pistol) 22LR, 45 ACP, 22 Win Mag, etc. If your wheel has this arrangement, it is 1983 or ealier.

(Missing #13 and #14) Catalogues #15 (1988) and #16 and the corresponding dealer price lists do not have any collectible merchandise. Instead, the catalogues mention the Thompson/Center Association, an independent group ‘dedicated to the collecting of … memorabilia’. I think that the wheels were availible from them.

(Missing #17) Catalogues #18 (1991), 19, and 20 all list the octagonal wheel #5 with the same price. Catalogue #21 (1994) introduces wheel #6 with the new chambering by T/C of the 375 Winchester with the same product number and list price. The dealer price was $66.50. Wheel #7 has the 300 Whisper cartridge.

Back to the round wheels - In catalogue #10 (1983), T/C added the 6.5 TCU chambering. In cat. #11, they dropped the 221 Fireball, and in cat. 12, they dropped the 256 Win Mag. Maybe this might help you to date your wheel.