If your FIL used the original Contender, you might want to go to Gunbroker or similar places and find another original. The G2 is different - fatter, different trigger, a bit heavier. The "good" thing it has over the G1 is that if you pull back the hammer and don't shoot (let hammer back down), you don't have to break the action open like you do on the original. The G2 uses a different bolt angle on the buttstock, so they take different stocks, but both use the same forend, as well as barrels.
I have had the original and the Encore, which is a beefier version of the G2. I prefer the flat sides and smaller size of the G1. Just something to consider.