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  #1  
Old 07-15-2010, 10:03 AM
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358 WSSM has arrived


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Fed Ex came to my house today. Can't wait to get home!

Here are the specs:

Savage 11FNCS donor rifle in 7mm WSM.
McGowen Barrel - Chrome Moly steel
22" length, 1:14 twist
Chamber Reamer - Dave Manson to Redding's specifications
Dies - Redding "Custom" series, off-the-shelf 358/25 WSSM

http://www.redding-reloading.com/ima...8-25prshot.jpg

(I did not get the "Deluxe" die set)

Now I gotta get loading!

My buddy's rifle hasn't come yet. McGowen didn't like how it turned out so they started over.

Last edited by kludge; 07-16-2010 at 11:34 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2010, 05:10 PM
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Do you live in Indiana? There aren't many folks who are interested in that gun unless they live under "PCR" regulations.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2010, 07:56 AM
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Check your e-mail.

Yes, I'm in IN.

Last night I got bases and rings and Gander Mountain; overpaid, but I knew they would be in stock. Now I'm working on getting the barrel inletted into the stock - quite a bit thicker than the 7WSM barrel that it came with. It got too late last night but I'm almost there.

The 22" barrel length looks just right. A bit on the heavy side ~7lb or so without the scope, but balances nicely and it's is going to be a stiff barrel, I got the Savage Magnum taper.

I wanted to get to the range tomorrow, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Last edited by kludge; 07-17-2010 at 08:46 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-16-2010, 10:08 AM
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I live near Indiana, and though I had no particular plans to hunt there, I'll be doing a .358 WSSM project. Mostly, I am doing it because I just find the concept appealing. I had been thinking about a .358 Winchester anyway. However, I may very well make a trip to Indiana as a means of justification once I have the rifle ready.
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  #5  
Old 07-16-2010, 11:37 AM
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Build the rifle...and you will come to hunt deer in Indiana? Given how silly I think our regs are, I almost can't imagine someone building a gun to hunt here, when they live somewhere else. Although, we really do have some nice bucks sneaking around the Hoosier state, these days.

Check out www.campkayoutfitters.com, if you are interested in a guided hunt. I hunted with them last year and they did a very good job for my family and me.
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  #6  
Old 07-16-2010, 06:07 PM
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And now they go and change the regs (maybe) to 1.8 inches. New reamer, HS gauges, and cases so I guess IF that change goes through we will keep Dave Manson and Dave Davidson busy for a while!
Playing by the rules gets really interesting when they keep changing the rules, but I'm not complaining, not really.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2010, 08:44 PM
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Now with pictures!

...




oh, what the heck, here'a a family photo... top to bottom...

.358 WSSM Savage 11FCNS 22"
.308 Win Savage 110FP 24"
.22LR Savage Mark II BV 21"


Last edited by kludge; 07-17-2010 at 08:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2010, 07:03 AM
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Nice trio....Are they to hunt with, or is hunting the excuse to get pretty toys? ..... Either way...nice trio...

Last edited by GMFWoodchuck; 07-18-2010 at 07:13 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2010, 06:17 AM
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.358 is for hunting. .308 is my "target" rifle. The .22 is used for silhouette and benchrest matches.

The .308 shoots 3/4" groups with FGMM, and my FGMM repoduction load has shot just over 1/2" groups. I'm working up a load to try to cut that in half. My rifle seems to like it about 100fps slower than FGMM.

I have shot 0.32" 5-shot groups with the .22 at 50 yards. I shot a 3 shot sighter group at a benchrest match that was under 0.2", it's really hard to tell what the actual group size is. Now if I were only that consistent. I also need to try a box of some good ammo, so far the only thing I can bring myself to buy in bricks is Federal Champion Match and Aquila Match. I think it has potential to be a 0.25" rifle... the trigger adjustment bottoms out at 3.0 lbs. Grrrrr. I need ounces.
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2010, 08:23 PM
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Almost ready to load!

Getting there!

I've been prepping brass this week after the kids are in bed. My measurements told me I should probably turn another hair off the neck thickness. I borrowed some pin gauges from work tonight to measure the exact chamber neck diameter to make the final determination. I'm going about this very methodically.

Then I'll load a few dummys to get the seating length right on a few different bullets, since this is a hunting gun I'm just going to go with a generic 0.015" to 0.020" off the lands and see where that gets me on seating depth.

From the reamer print I suspected I'd have enough freebore to seat "light" spitzer bullets out further than would be a good idea. What it also means is that I have enough room for 225gr bullets if I want (and I do).

Picture number one shows three dummy rounds next to a .357 Magnum case.

Left to right: 180gr Hornady Interlock SSP (Single Shot Pistol), 200gr Hornady FTX, 225gr Sierra GameKing SPBT.



The GameKing is seated more or less to the base of the neck. I did not adjust the seating plug for each bullet, instead I set the FTX into the lands, and then adjusted the seater plug 1/8 of a turn at a time until I was between 0.015" to 0.020" off the lands, and then seated the other bullets without any adjustment.

All of the rounds feed and chamber fine from the factory two round box magazine without any modification. I can't tell you how relieved I am that no modifications are needed for efficient feeding. FWIW, the WSM action is a center feed action instead of the typical Savage push feed.

Based on a visual comparison the the bullet ogives, I should really re-do the seating depth of the 225gr GameKing as it's ogive appears to have a slightly larger radius.

Picture number two is a small batch of brass for my first range outing.



With the pin gauges from work I determined that my chamber neck is 0.390" just like the bullet seating die. so I went ahead a turned a touch more off the neck thickness. The three dummy rounds average 0.386" at the neck.

A while back, before I had dies, I made a couple prototype rounds to get an idea of case capacity. Now that I have actual cases from the actual dies I have redone the measurements. Before I mention the case capacity, I will mention that the once fired, factory loaded brass I had, had very thick necks, 0.020" thick. Necking up to .35 caliber from the .25 WSSM parent didn't reduce the thickness much, to around 0.018". I'm happy to report that this bag of Winchester component brass started with thinner necks, and I assume thinner case walls as well because my case capacity went up a small amount. Filled with water, the finished case holds 56.8 grains of H2O. To the bottom of the neck, the capacity is 48.6 grains of H2O.

The good news is that this is exactly the same measurement, 56.8gr, that I get from a .358 Winchester case (actually I necked up a .308 case). I'm not saying that I should use the same load data as the .358 Win, only that there will be fewer assumptions.

The other good news about the wall/neck thickness is that less material needs to be removed to get the neck thickness to 0.013" to 0.014".
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2010, 09:42 PM
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.358 Win is loaded to agnum pressures, if the capacity is the same (as it seems it is.) .358 starting loads is where I'd start.

I love the Savage action, I think your going to love that rifle.

Ron
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2010, 06:56 AM
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I think so too!

Depending on who you believe the .25 WSSM case is good for 65kpsi. But I am not going to tempt fate, going past 55kpsi would make me very nervous. I have purchased, at Big Bore's recommendation, a micrometer to keep tabs on case head expansion to the ten-thousandth of an inch, and will stop at any change in case head dimension.

To be honest I'm a bit surprised that the new Winchester brass measures *exactly* 0.5500".
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2010, 09:10 AM
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I have to say the .358 WSSM is a neat looking cartridge.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:44 PM
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358 WSSM "Improved"

So, since I put off getting my 358 WSSM, I wonder how to get someone interested in making the improved version to take advantage of the most recent Indiana change? Would that be an easy task for anyone already making the 358 WSSM, and how would someone get started in having one made? Thanks
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2010, 04:39 PM
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Don't spend your money yet. The recent change you speak of hasn't happened. Now is the comment phase. The new rule might allow 1.8" case length.

The .358/.25 WSSM can't benefit from the rule chage, if it ever happens, as the case is shorter than 1.8" to begin with, and the shoulder of the WSSM case is to far back to any take advantage of the rule change.

You would have to start with the WSM, RCM, UM or SAUM parent case if you wanted 1.8". You could also start with any of the belted magnums (although I don't know why you would want to).

Search for the .358 Grant, it shows the steps you would need to take if starting with the WSM case; it will be similar for the others too.

My rough calculation is that the 1.8" version would increase case capacity by 19%. I'm guessing that could put you in .35 Whelen territory.

I'd call it the .358 NSSM (Not So Short Magnum). Patent pending.

To get started, choose a parent case and a platform, find a case drawing of one of the magnum cases, and then start sketching. If you have a friend with CAD or have Google SketchUp, you can get some dimensions in short order. Then send your sketch to one of the reamer makers and talk to them about what the reamer and gauge dimensions should be. Get a reamer and gauge drawing approved and ordered. Then send the reamer drawing off to one of the custom die makers and order dies. Call a barrel maker or your favorite gunsmith to get a barrel on order. When the reamer shows up send it and your rifle/action to the gunsmith and get your new barrel installed. You'll also need to order all the other reloading tools that you'll need to trim, ream, neck turn, anneal, or whatever you need to do to the brass. Then comes the hard part... working up a load.

If you'd rather do a cartridge where someone else had already done the hard part, and has load data for you to use, then there are a few companies out there who do that too.

Last edited by kludge; 07-24-2010 at 05:08 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2010, 06:53 PM
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I already have reamer drawings for the 1.8" case. We did it back around the first of the year when this first came up. The only bad thing is if the new rules are a package and it passes we will lose a week of gun season. So be careful what you wish for.
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  #17  
Old 07-25-2010, 03:43 AM
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358 WSSM improved

Can't see the logic of reducing the herd by reducing gun season. We need to fight this one.

Thanks for the reamer info.
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2010, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptmclark View Post
So, since I put off getting my 358 WSSM, I wonder how to get someone interested in making the improved version to take advantage of the most recent Indiana change? Would that be an easy task for anyone already making the 358 WSSM, and how would someone get started in having one made? Thanks

what kludge said, don't rush this thing as it has to pass the INDR to be legal in Indiana. It is a very neat looking cartridge, but I am afraid that when some of the "Non-hunting" lawmakers, in Indiana, see the rifle they will associate it with a regular factory loaded high-powered rifles like a .30-30 or .30-06 and NOT allow it to be used for Deer Hunting. The original intent, regarding rifle used in Deer Hunting, circled around allowing ONLY traditional PISTOL cartridges like the .357 Mag, .44 Mag, & a few others.

Last edited by Davers; 07-25-2010 at 04:35 AM.
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  #19  
Old 07-25-2010, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptmclark View Post
Can't see the logic of reducing the herd by reducing gun season. We need to fight this one.
QFT.

Unless they think the early and late antlerless gun seasons are heard reduction.
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2010, 06:16 PM
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The proposed new regs are most often adopted, with little or no changes. They will be voted on early next year and the results made known, usually around March or April. My personal opinion is they should leave the 2-week deer firearms seasons (general and muzzle-loader) as-is, and implement limited antlerless only gun hunts, early and late, if they are indicated by population numbers. If they want to extend the cartridge case length any more, I say just do away with the dumb regulations, entirely. If the legal description is increased to allow cartridges with the capacity and power of the 460 S&W and wildcats that approach 35 Whelen numbers, you might as well just admit that the rules are nonsense to begin with. They would be far more intelligent to only impose cartridge restrictions in a handful of densely populated counties or areas and abandon the long held, but poorly considered "short-range" regulations.
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