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  #1  
Old 12-18-2009, 01:31 PM
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What exactly classifies as a "wildcat cartrige"


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Sorry for the question that may be obvious to some but can anyone tell me what classifies a cartridge as a wildcat cartridge?

Jim
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by osprey572ci View Post
Sorry for the question that may be obvious to some but can anyone tell me what classifies a cartridge as a wildcat cartridge?

Jim
One that has not been standardized by SAAMI, or another body, with set dimensions and pressures. Typically a wildcat is also a round for which the major ammunition companies do not load.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:48 PM
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Thanks Broom.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:42 AM
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The term "wildcat" just like the cartridges it refers to is not standardized. The definition Ilike is as follows. If you can take a factory round and fire form it in your custom chamber then the round is most likely an "improved" cartridge and not a true wildcat. If you have to reform the brass in some way before you can load the cartridge then it is more likely a wildcat. Many improve and wildcats cartridges have SAAMI specs.
This definition is one that I came across and it seemed to make the most sense to me.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:07 AM
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Can you provide an example or two of wildcat cartridges for which SAAMI has published specifications? This conflicts with the definition I've always used for wildcat cartridges.
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2010, 02:07 PM
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Actually a great number of cartridges that we think of as everyday where called "wildcats" at one time or another. Like for example 25-06 is a wild cat but we not don't think of it as that. A 280 Rem improved has a SAAMI spec for it but it is not what most would call a common cartridge some might even call it a wildcat. The point is that some one will have there definition of a wildcat cartridge and others will have there's. So the original question as to just what is a wildcat cartridge is a good question as some call improved cartridges wildcats and some don't so it is not all about does it have a SAAMI spec.
And yes I am sure my definition of what is or is not a wildcat will conflict with some one else's , that does not make either right or wrong
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:40 PM
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Um, OK. So, what you're saying is you can list a bunch of cartridges that used to be wildcats, but you disagree with my definition. The 280 AI has been chambered in factory guns (Nosler rifle) and you can buy factory ammo for it, which disqualifies it as a wildcat. Now, the 6.5JDJ, 30 Herrett and 358GNR that I own and shoot....THOSE are wildcats. There are no SAAMI specs for them and you can't buy any factory ammo. If you can't quantify your definition, at least refrain from bashing the one commonly accepted by everyone else?

Notice that none of the other learned members of this forum thought to add their comments after I answered the original question. That's not because my answer was particularly thorough, it's just that the answer to the question is very simple...and I answered it correctly. If you prefer to think the definition of the term, "wildcat" is subjective, I'm OK with it, but for experienced gun guys, it's pretty much self-explanatory.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:01 PM
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Actually if you read my first post it deals mostly with the fact that a lot of people don't know the difference between an improved cartridge and a true wildcat. I guess you are one of those people. As for quantifying my definition, oh and that's not the best used of the word quantify as this is about definitions but close enough. Possibly it would have been better to say that many improved and wildcats end up with SAAMI specs but that was not my main point. My main point is that just because it does not have a SAAMI spec does not make it a wildcat.
If I can sum up your version of wildcat, you mainly say its a cartridge that does not have a SAAMI spec. That is a little too narrow in some ways and a little too broad in others. Improved cartridges are not wildcats, there are improved some older cartridges are "orphans" and while they are not wildcats if you wish to load them you pretty much have to treat them like a wildcat.
I was being nice and just letting it go as a difference of opinion but since you insist I will just have say it plan out , You are wrong.
The original question was a good one and a more thoughtful answer on your part could have been in order. The term wildcat get tossed around a lot these days.
AS for your answer being simple well maybe the answerer was the simple thing.
  #9  
Old 02-14-2010, 06:04 AM
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Welcome to ShootersForum, North of 53. Rules are simple, play nice and join in.

I can't argue with you, for a variety of reasons, so let's take this in a different direction. How many wildcat and/or improved cartridges do you own and shoot? My favorite is the 6.5JDJ, which is a 225 Winchester case necked up and blown out to minimum body taper and 40 degree shoulder. It loves IMR-4320 and 120gr Nosler BTs for ~2400fps. I have shot more groups under 1", at 100 yards, than groups over an inch, with this gun. The recoil is very manageable and case life has been exceptional, thanks to the very strong 225 parent case.

The wildcat I've had the most trouble with has been the 30 Herrett. Forming cases for this round is the most laborious that I've dealt with, because you have to push the neck back on the 30/30 parent case, trim to length, deburr/chamfer, load a fairly heavy bullet into the lands, over a starting charge of powder, fire-form the case, and then be very careful about how you resize it. Most of what I have learned about what NOT to do, in reloading, I have learned from this cartridge! Accuracy was a real disappointment with this round, UNTIL...I read the following! http://www.bellmtcs.com/FAQ/Experiment.htm

The 7-30 Waters is not a wildcat (anymore) as it was standardized by SAAMI and factory guns/loads are available for it. It was a wildcat in 1976, when Ken Waters decided to neck down a 30/30 case to .284" bullets and change the shoulder by increasing the angle just enough to prevent accidentally loading the parent case into the 7-30 chamber. However, out of my 14" Contender barrel, it might as well be a wildcat, because it has never seen a single round of factory fodder. I used 30/30 brass, necked down in the sizing die, to fire-form the shoulder, so does that make it a wildcat, an improved cartridge, or is it still a factory chambering? Anyway, I have tried several bullets and it shot well with all of them, but I settled on the 120gr BT because I like the accuracy. The performance on game, at the lower pistol velocity, is exactly what I like to see: The bullets hit where I aim, don't blow up, create a nice wound channel and on the 2 deer I've shot with it, create a good exit hole to make for easy tracking.

Now, the latest cartridge I've been working with, the 358GNR...if this isn't a wildcat, neither one of us knows what is!!

It uses another obsolescent parent case (very popular for wildcat development, but that's another story), the 445 Super Mag. This 1.620" Elgin Gates creation is a real bruiser in a wheel-gun, but when you neck it down to shoot .358" bullets and modest charges of IMR-4198 or Ramshot X-Terminator, from a 22" H&R barrel, it's a pussy-cat! You may wonder why someone would choose such a small case to make a wildcat cartridge for a rifle? Well, in Indiana, where I live and hunt, they prohibit you from using cases longer than 1.625" or bullets smaller than .357...so this is a "legal" rifle cartridge, for this state. It pushes a 180gr Hornady SSP to ~2200fps, making it a 200-225 yard gun, at most. More importantly, to me, is that it looks and feels and CARRIES...like a rifle. I hate slug guns for their weight and recoil but I can't use my M70, .270Winchester, so this is my alternative. So far, I like it a lot, but didn't get it in time to hunt with, last fall. I'm really hoping I get a chance, this coming November.

Now, this forum is a bunch of nice guys, with many years of experience with guns and reloading. This is NOT one of those bash-everything gun forums that are so common on the 'net. I have refrained from disparaging you in any way, and will continue to do so. Your perception of what is, and what isn't, a wildcat does not agree with what is commonly accepted...and that is fine. We all have the right to see things our own way, even though some things are "defined" by such-and-such description. That's neither here nor there, if we can't be respectful of one another, while disagreeing about a certain gun/cartridge/powder/bullet/method or definition.

So, for the record, I respect your right to your opinion, even though I do not agree with it, in the least. Out of deference to good will and the light of Christ, I hope we can have a difference of opinion without any further character assassination.

Tell us about the wildcats and improved cartridges you've worked with and all the joys/frustrations they bring!
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:38 AM
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Definition of a wildcat

Many years ago I called a reamer maker. I then faxed a hand drawing with dimensions.

In my conversation I told the reamer maker that I was going to use a specific case and gave him the wall thickness of that specific case.
For two weeks he an I spoke and e-mailed blue prints back and forth until one day he and I agreed. When I received the approved print and signed off on it, I then sent that print to a die maker. AT a point in the future I received a reamer and the die for the new chamber.
A chamber was cut in a barrel blank. The chamber is completely different from the parent case and resemble nothing made today or any day. Cases were kind of made. I loaded the case with 20 grains of Unique and filled the case with cream of wheat,stopping at the case neck. I then stuffed toilet paper in the neck to keep the cream of wheat in place.

I then took my pre-partially formed cases and gun with new chamber to the range where I proceeded to fire form the case in the new chamber.

Load data: Mathematically determine the case volume and compared that volume with cartridges of similer volume. Began working up loads (started at minimum safe load) until pressure signs appeared. Backed down and took a 3 piece (case) sample and started reloading the same three cases and firing time after time to determine case life.

In the purest sense of the word- this qualifies as a wildcat!

Neal
  #11  
Old 02-14-2010, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 338 Hammertyme View Post
Many years ago I called a reamer maker. I then faxed a hand drawing with dimensions.

In my conversation I told the reamer maker that I was going to use a specific case and gave him the wall thickness of that specific case.
For two weeks he an I spoke and e-mailed blue prints back and forth until one day he and I agreed. When I received the approved print and signed off on it, I then sent that print to a die maker. AT a point in the future I received a reamer and the die for the new chamber.
A chamber was cut in a barrel blank. The chamber is completely different from the parent case and resemble nothing made today or any day. Cases were kind of made. I loaded the case with 20 grains of Unique and filled the case with cream of wheat,stopping at the case neck. I then stuffed toilet paper in the neck to keep the cream of wheat in place.

I then took my pre-partially formed cases and gun with new chamber to the range where I proceeded to fire form the case in the new chamber.

Load data: Mathematically determine the case volume and compared that volume with cartridges of similer volume. Began working up loads (started at minimum safe load) until pressure signs appeared. Backed down and took a 3 piece (case) sample and started reloading the same three cases and firing time after time to determine case life.

In the purest sense of the word- this qualifies as a wildcat!

Neal
Yep, that is a wildcat by any measure! But...but...WHAT IS IT?! Tell us! You can't give the quintessential description of an absolute wildcat w/o divulging what the end result is! We need pictures and names and group sizes...c'mon!
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2010, 12:22 PM
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What classify's as a wildcat

338 - I deleted the 'partial' double post.

Last edited by Shawn Crea; 02-15-2010 at 01:54 PM. Reason: double post
  #13  
Old 02-15-2010, 12:39 PM
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What classify's as a wildcat

I must be feeling agreeable today.

A very long time ago I was using a 30 and 338 Gibbs and having problems with case life with the current disposable brass manufactured in this country. A wildcatter like myself and commercial case maker turned me onto the RWS cases. I bought 20 and liked what I found so bought a thousand. I have never lost a case period. In other words, short mag pressures before the short mags became popular. For my Alaska hunting needs I only wanted to achieve 06 ballistics from a 24 inch rifle out of my 16" handgun barrels. The 338R Cooper Express is based on the RWS 7X65R and the 280 Remington which has NO rim. Then someone said," Neal what about a 30CE", what about a 7 CE and finally the 6.5 CE. The 6.5 CE caused me to have to go back to the drawing board and redesign the shoulder to 30 degrees. I was getting to much pressure before the case was full. SInce I am a handgunner only I did not want to go to a too slow of powder so when the new reamer was being made for the 6.5 CE I also had the reamer maker make me a 6.5 minicoop reamer based on the 7X57R Mauser case. AT the same time I calculated and thought a 224 minicoop should be the fastest handgun cartridge ever made. It filled the bill at 3700fps with a 53grain Barnes from a Savage Striker. ABout 100fps slower from a 16" Encore barrel.

The 6.5 mincooper duplicates the 6.5 X 284 and the 6.5CE beats the 6.5 X 284 by roughly 200fps in all bullet weights with equal length barrels. The standard go to hunting laod for the 6.5RCE and 16 inch barrel drives a 130 grain Accubond at 2950! My standard load for the 338R CE from a 16" encore barrel is 60 grains of Varget and the 180 grain Accubond for a shade over 2800fps. In rifle length barrels its as Rocky Gibbs said. They will match or beat their belted Mag counter parts in velocity. as in 264 win mag, 300 mag,338 win mag. I have found this true with the lighter bullets and not true with the heavier bullets.



In the picture the minicoop cases on the left are compared to the Cooper Express on the right.

Current project is an improved 7mm/300WSM stretch. I have the reamer for the stretched version of my wildcat 338 WSM making it have the case capacity of the 338 Win Mag. Difference in my handguns is the short fat cases in a handgun length barrel are giving me near perfect efficiency and 99+% burn rates in 17-19" handgun barrels.
Two weeks ago a couple guys asked me about a 6.5 version of the stretch so I should have the reamer shortly.

Neal

Last edited by 338 Hammertyme; 02-15-2010 at 12:47 PM.
  #14  
Old 02-15-2010, 01:52 PM
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That is some very cool stuff, Neal...I am humbled! I am also somewhat inspired, given your obvious experience.

If you were restricted to a 1.625" case length and .357 bullets, or larger, what wildcat would you dream up? A lot of guys have done the 357Max and the 358WSSM, but is there anything else you'd run with? 50 Alaskan, trimmed and necked down?
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by osprey572ci View Post
Sorry for the question that may be obvious to some but can anyone tell me what classifies a cartridge as a wildcat cartridge?

Jim
Perhaps this might help, it's a quote from an article on useful Wildcat Cartridges by Chuck Hawks:


By Chuck Hawks



A "wildcat" is a cartridge that is not standardized by the American SAAMI or European CIP associations and is not produced by one of the major loading companies that belong to either of those organizations. Wildcats are typically based on a modified existing cartridge case and seek to fulfill some special purpose or fill a niche that the wildcat's creator feels is inadequately addressed by existing standard cartridges. A wildcat cartridge is typically created by taking an existing cartridge case and necking it up or down to accept a different diameter bullet, shortening it, blowing it out to decrease body taper, changing the shoulder angle and shortening or lengthening the neck. Decreasing the body taper, moving the shoulder forward and increasing its angle, and shortening the neck are all methods commonly used to increase powder capacity and therefore performance.

There are thousands of wildcat rifle cartridges, most of which are virtually unknown except to their creators and possibly a few friends. Most are superfluous and have no practical advantage over comparable standardized cartridges. Many wildcats achieve improved performance, compared to a similar standard cartridge, simply because they are being loaded to a much higher, sometimes dangerously high, maximum average pressure (MAP). Often their creators have no idea at what pressure their offspring is operating and assume it to be safe merely because they haven't (yet) blown up their rifle........END OF QUOTE



Sounds as good as any definition I've heard given.....
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:11 PM
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Sounds like an expanded version of what I offered originally, and what most people commonly accept as the loose definition of a wildcat. Interesting that this particular opinion, by an albeit questionable authority, defines even "improved" cartridges as wildcats, which they most assuredly are, until they are standardized by SAAMI and/or adopted as a commercial cartridge by a major arms manufacturer. Maybe SAAMI will even draw up specifications for that 300 Whelen wildcat that's been seen around these pages.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:00 PM
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Since the horse is still moving I will add my .02 cents worth. Tnhunter's quote from Chuck Hawks hit the nail on the head!
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:35 PM
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Below is just a little quote from an article by Layne Sipson taken from "Shooting times. Now like I said the term wildcat is just like the cartridges it describes. It is none standard and as you can see its meaning does vary a little. Some people might say they are all wild cats an others break them down into sub groups. One things is for sure some "wildcats are much wilder than others both in performance and in how easy they are to procure brass for. I am sure if I looked hard enough other definitions of what is a "wildcat" might be found. When I said Jim was wrong I did not mean his definition was wrong but he was wrong when he tried to sound like his was the only definition. Even if his may be a very common one its not the only one. That gest back to why the original question was a good one.

An improved cartridge is not the same animal as a wildcat cartridge. When chambered properly, a rifle in an improved chambering has the same headspace dimension as the parent cartridge from which it originated. Creators of improved cartridges did this intentionally in order to produce cases by fireforming factory-loaded ammo of the original chambering in a rifle now chambered for the improved case. During fireforming, the elasticity of the brass case allows its body to expand to take on the dimensions of the chamber without rupturing. As a rule, when a factory cartridge is fired in an improved chamber, its velocity will be anywhere from 50 to 100 fps slower than when fired in a standard chamber.

On the other hand, a rifle chambered for a wildcat cartridge can use only that particular cartridge.
http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammunit...e_200810/#cont
I hope I did not break any rules by posting the link to the Article.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:07 PM
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In post #8 you stated, and I quote:

"I was being nice and just letting it go as a difference of opinion but since you insist I will just have say it plan out , You are wrong."

Turns out, I'm not wrong. Also, the olive branch I extended was ignored and my request for you to relate your specific experience working with a wildcat, was also ignored. Layne Simpson is a creditable guy and I guess we can split hairs, discussing whether or not an improved cartridge is a wildcat. The way most people look at it really is a LOT simpler: If you can buy over-the-counter ammo for it, AND/OR a factory rifle for it, it's not a wildcat. If you can do neither of those things, the commonly accepted terminology used to describe or define such a cartridge is the word, "wildcat". A 30-'06 AI, by that logic, is a wildcat. That is how I see it and that is how most gun nuts see it. If it will finally close this thread, I'm fine anyone who wants to make a distinction between a wildcat and an improved cartridge.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:32 PM
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Jim
Look at what you posted as my quote. It says you are wrong, not your definition is wrong. Layne Simpson slit the hair very nicely and very simply.
I have a 22-250 A.I. that shoots factory ammo actually very well. I have a 6.5 x55 improved being built as we speak and it should shoot factory ammo also. They may not shoot factory ammo as well as they shoot improved ammo but they will shoot it. In the case of my 22-250A.I. it will shoot some factory ammo close to 1 MOA.So by your last post I thank you for confirming what I have been saying along as the do shoot factory ammo.
So hypothetically speaking if the person who started this thread had a fun shoot at his local club and it had a class "factory ammo only" He probably could shoot his 22-250 A.I. if he used factory ammo, maybe not shoot that well but then again maybe better than some guys shooting there factory guns with factory ammo. Then if they had a class that said "wildcats only" he probably would be allowed to take the same gun and shoot in that class as well. The definition can kind of change a little at times and yes then his "improved" would get him into a wildcat class.
There are of guys shooting that have what they think are "standard" chambers but yet other shooters shooting factory guns for the same cartridge would not be able to chamber the rounds that were hand loaded by the first shooter for his gun. I guess you could say then he was shooting a wildcat and he didn't even know it. That one I have come across myself. So if your out shooting with a friend and you both shoot your own reloads you may not be able to shoot each others ammo even if your both shooting the same cartridge. Under some definitions that could mean one or maybe even both are shooting "wildcats".
When I re-barreled my 300 rum I had loaded and left over rounds from my first barrel that would not chamber in my new one. Does that make either chambering and improved or a "wildcat" or was the ammo a "wildcat" I didn't think so.
So Jim , your original answer was not wrong it just was not the only right one. so please let a little air out of your ego and I will do the same and we can agree to disagree on this one.
If I was reading your posts right I think you said you have 6.5x 55 improved. As i said above I am having one built as we speak, maybe not the same configuration as yours, now that would be a better topic we could spend some time on.
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