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Wildcats = fun
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:42 am    Post subject: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

During the 50s and 60s a good case could be made for jumping into wildcat cartridges to fill some of the gaps in factory offerings. In the interim, almost every conceivable cartridge has been introduced and some of the most successful wildcats have been standardized. The need has diminished, but, the fun of working with modified or wildcat cartridges still has a certain allure.

The easiest "wildcat" is the Improved series and often is nothing more complex than rechambering an existing chamber, although, setting the barrel back is needed is some cases. Reaming the sizing die is is a good thing to do at the same time. At the other end of the scale is the full blown wildcat, one that shares, perhaps, only commonality in caliber. I've done both over the decades of reloading.

Several of my favorites include the 6mm/222, the 250 AI, the 257 AI and the 6mm AI. The latter is based on a M700 LA, 26" PacNor barrel, and a thumbhole stock. It likes the Sierra 85gr HPBT bullet and big doses of Reloder 19. It gives 3,612fps and, gives my 6-284 a challenge to keep up. And, it is wonderfully accurate. Average groups at 200 yds are .580 MOA. Fast and accurate, now that's a lot of fun!

This rifle has killed numerous coyotes, a few bobcats, and is accurate enough for some serious long range prairie dogging.

What wildcatters do we have on the forum? What is your favorite?
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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:16 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

I would agree, there is very little need for wildcats these days and would add there is no need at all for the RCMs, WSMs, the 30 TC, etc. That said, I have 3 wildcats. One is a 223 AI of which I would admit there is no need but it's very accurate. I also have a couple for which there is a legitimate need.

One is a 357 Herrett I shoot in a T/C Contender. It puts big game hunting within the capabilities of a handgun with a 10 inch barrel. Since it has a rim, it also works well in a break open single shot action. The other wildcat is a 375 JDJ which brings elephant hunting capability to the T/C Contender also in a rimmed case.
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K.W.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

Mayby of topic; there are "sickly" wildcats too. What are you thinking aboat .17-357RGI or 338/50 Talbot? ............... Shocked Sad Shocked
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:17 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

I have a 7mm-08 that was once considered a wildcat !!! It started out around 1960 and became very popular with metallic silhouette shooting in the 70’s. In 1980 Remington made it available as a factory offering.

I’ve been wanting to build a 250 Savage improved on a Model 7 action for some time now!!! One of these days I just might do it !!! It’s just hard to give my 7mm-08 the back seat.

I’m amazed at how the WSM’s have been put down by the 7 Rem mag and 300 Win guys!!!
I take this as their way of dealing with the competition. Hard to accept newer concepts and ideas.
If I decided I needed more oomph than my 7mm-08 or 30-06, I would buy the short mags without hesitation!!!

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

Wildcats are expensive to form and chamber for, dies are usually exorbitantly costly, the steps to form the cases can be tedious at best, altered firearms have little resale value unless you can find another sucker and no one in their right mind would own one. All perfect reasons for us "nuts" to experiment with at least one in our lives!

Several years ago a buddy decided that he had the idea for the perfect handgun-hunting cartridge for medium game. This cartridge was based on a shortened .30/40 Krag case necked for 180-grain .358” bullets and he envisioned it as an improvement on the .357 Maximum cartridge. Starting with a custom chambered 14” Thompson Contender barrel and loading dies cut to his specifications he was ready to go. This is the point where I got dragged into the search. Handing brass, bullets, carefully selected powders and dies over to me he asked that I work up loads. After working on the project off and on for several months I eventually came up with a variety of loads that shot accurately and were safe in his pistol. Running the final efforts through the chronograph and checking several resources, I called my friend up to let him know the work was over…and to congratulate him on re-inventing the .357 Herret! There wasn’t a nickel’s worth of difference between the best efforts of either cartridge; including accuracy. To add insult to injury, my friend had both a Herret and a .35 Remington barrel already, effectively duplicating or bettering his wildcat anyway.

Wildcats don't really have to have a purpose...they can just be plain old fun. And isn't that the point?

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

chambered221 wrote:
I’m amazed at how the WSM’s have been put down by the 7 Rem mag and 300 Win guys!!! I take this as their way of dealing with the competition. Hard to accept newer concepts and ideas.
If I decided I needed more oomph than my 7mm-08 or 30-06, I would buy the short mags without hesitation!!!

OK, tell me the advantage of the .308 and .284 caliber short mags over the 7mm Remington Magnum and the 300 Winchester Magnum. I'll all ears.

I think the only real advantage to them is that first one gun manufacturer having nothing better to do and wanting to do something proprietary and new and different came up with the first short mag. Hunters, believing all the hype bought guns. Then a couple of manufacturers, wanting in on the action, came up with additional unneeded short mags and sold more guns. Since brass wasn't available, people had to buy more profitable loaded ammo. The purported benefits were a shorter action (as if an inch or two of steel made that much difference in either weight, length or cost) and and alleged greater efficiency and accuracy.

Of course, if you have a short action, the round has to be short. If the round is short it means that heavy (or in other words long) bullets have to be seated deeply in the case thus subtracting from effective cartridge volume. Whether they're more accurate would also be highly debatable. What isn't debatable is that if you want brass or ammunition for them, it's going to be harder to find and more expensive.

In summary, there is nothing wrong with the short mags but I sure wouldn't buy one over one of the older more classic chamberings unless it was pretty cheap and then I'd reconsider.

I do have a confession to make. I have an Encore barrel chambered for a pretty ill-conceived and unneeded round; the 308 Marlin Express. Why? Because I have trouble passing up a good deal on an Encore barrel.
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

This is exactly what I mean !!! How dare those SOB’s come up with something new that works and is appealing to some !!! Why should free enterprise try to evolve into the future. For Gods sake why does anyone offer change ??? I don’t like change !!!


First off I like the idea of choices. The more choices the better. Has a tendency to keep the competition on their toes.
One of those choices I like is to have magnum performance without the unneeded belted case
As far as an advantage, I don’t think there is one. If I wanted an advantage I’ll get something like a 30-378 !!! You guys are the ones that seem to think they have an advantage. Those issues were debunked early on but for some strange reason short mags are still on the market.
As with anything new, parts and accessories have a tendency to be slow in coming. When the 7mm-o8 became a factory round Remington was slow with it’s components also but eventually got them out there.
Which brings be to the availability of WSM brass, Cabelas and Sinclair both have them in stock and Midway is expecting some in at any time. Price on them is about the same as any standard mag brass.


In summary there is nothing wrong with the “classics” (old stuff) but I wouldn’t buy one over one of the short mag chambering unless it was pretty cheap and then I’d reconsider.

I do have a confession to make also !!! I have a Weatherby 7mm mag !!!

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

I like the newly introduced cartridges because they offer good basic brass to modify into new wildcats. Winchester's folly with the WSSMs could have been avoided if they had but chambered the WSM in .257! Now, there would have been a true hot rod. I am intrigued enough with the possibility that it may be my next project.

I've guided elk and deer hunters and have personally hunted for several decades. In the 50's one could make a case for magnum velocities and heavy bullets. With the advent of today's technologically advanced bullets, that need has been greatly diminished. There are lighter .257 bullets fully capable of full body penetration on big bull elk at modest Roberts velocities. The old thinking about heavy bullets being required for big game changes and with it, the need for rifles shooting those big heavy bullets at magnum velocities. What then is the role of the magnum?

Residual energy is one reason magnum owners cite, along with flat trajectory, to justify the magnum choice. Yet, in order for either to be an advantage, the distance to the animal has to be significantly greater than the distance at which the vast majority of game is taken. Too, there are those that would suggest that anything beyond a 300 yard shot is neither sporting nor wise. But, in the final analysis, we have choices, more choices than every in the history of firearms. And, choices are a good thing.

Another wildcat I've been pondering is based on a .308 Win necked down to 6mm. Nah -- that would never work.
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

I had the cash set aside and waited impatiently for Winchester to finally announce the 257. I was fumed to say the least when it finally arrived as a WSSM. (at the time I was going through “the need for speed stage”)

You hit the nail on the head with bullet technology !!! It’s a large factor as to why I haven’t gotten a 7 or 300 WSM and have been wanting to do the 250AI.

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

300 Whisper (221 necked up to .308 with 220gn pellet).
uses 1in8 twist MAB barrel

I plan to make up a couple more,
a 30 Mauser and a 9mm Para necked down to 311
Both will be using second hand 303 barrel.
I will roll my own barrel chambering and loading dies.
They will take ALOT of my free time.
I will love every second I spend on them.

Those who only shoot "classic chambering" may want to learn on the fact
that every single "classic chambering" were a widcat to start with.
E v e r y s i n g l e o n e o f t h e m.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

I've been thinking of a 7.62x25mm necked down to .243/6mm, for use in a Contender...

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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

Pumps, you may like to try the 6mm BR.
pretty close size that..

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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

gelandangan wrote:
300 Whisper (221 necked up to .308 with 220gn pellet).
uses 1in8 twist MAB barrel That on occasions goes PPHHHHTTTTTTTTT wtf Embarassed Mad Mad Laughing (Sorry mate....couldn't help myself)

I plan to make up a couple more,
a 30 Mauser and a 9mm Para necked down to 311
Both will be using second hand 303 barrel.
I will roll my own barrel chambering and loading dies.
They will take ALOT of my free time.
I will love every second I spend on them.

Those who only shoot "classic chambering" may want to learn on the fact
that every single "classic chambering" were a widcat to start with.
E v e r y s i n g l e o n e o f t h e m.

Your last point is exactly true mate...every, with exception, chambering started of as a wildcat...that is how they were developed.

I will add only one thing to this thread...a wise man once said:

"All change is not progress, as all movement is not forward."

Cheers, Vince

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fnuser
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

I like 250 a.i. too the 6.5 x47 looked like something neat cause I'm fond of heavy bullets in small calibers then they started putting 120's in them why bother.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Wildcats = fun Reply with quote

Doesn’t mean you have to use them !!!
Lapua sells them loaded with 139 grain bullets or seat your own heavyweight Bergers !!! Very Happy
Either way though I don’t think you can call it a wildcat anymore. Confused

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