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I am interested in 444 wildcats too. The modern ones from Dennis Bellum and JD Jones are great.
When I was a kid I remember reading about the '50's vintage "Benchrest Series" of cartridges that were blown out .30-40 Krag's, necked every which-a-way.
Then in the June 1964 issue of Guns magazine (I still have it) John Prescott wrote about Fred Wade and E. B. Van Houten and the "Lever Power" cartridges. These were the .30-40 blown out straight with Ackley Improved shoulders. They were trimmed to 2".
In the October 1964 issue of Guns & Ammo Robert Hutton wrote about wildcating the new .444 Marlin. Hutton pictured the .35-444, .30-444, 7mm-444 and the 6.5mm-444. Hutton compared them to the Lever Powers. These were trimmed to 2.750" and were straight walled and sharp shouldered. They were tested in a 26" barreled Model '98 Mauser. He held them to an estimated 41,000PSI.
6.5=2404 fps with 42.8gr of IMR 4831 & 160 PN Hornady blt.
7mm=2556 fps with 48.0gr of IMR 4831 & 154 RN Hornady blt.
30=2640 fps with 47.0gr of IMR 4320 & 150 Speer RN blt.
30=2387 fps with 41.0gr of IMR 4320 & 170 Speer FN Blt.
35=2400 fps with 48.0gr of IMR 4320 & 200 Remington RN Blt.
Hutton said these figures may be a little to good to be true because of the bolt action and long barrel. These figures are very close to what we get today from the .307 and .356 Winchester!
In the American Reloading Association Bullitan from July 1968 H. A. McCallum (Does anyone know him?) accuratly predicted the current .307 and .356 Winchester preformance figures. McCallum stumped for a .375-444 wildcat.
The "big breakthrough" came in the 1979 issue of Guns Digest. Myron Rockett (a Canadian?) wrote about his 308/444 wildcat and the conversion of a Winchester Model 94. Rockett's performance of 2410fps from 40.0gr of IMR 4064 with a 170gr Hornady FN bullet just slightly exceeds what I get today with the same combination in the .307! Remember this was with a regular reciever! I was working in Germany at the time and really wanted to come home and build a 308/444!
I am sure that someone was wildcatting the .303 British at the same time but I have read very little about it. Can you shed any light on that?
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