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Discussion Starter #1
What a great resource you guys are. Glad I found you.

My dad and I have happened upon a 25-06 wildcat that we cannot identify. It is mounted in a Mauser action, but is not the original barrel. Though the barrel is labeled as a 25-06, the post fire dimensions are all wrong. Started with a standard 25-06 factory load. I am hoping someone can help identify this critter.
  • Base dia = 0.465
  • Body blows out to 0.496
  • Shoulder = 0.442
  • Neck = 0.291
  • Overal cartridge length = 2.472
  • Length to shoulder is 1.959
  • Neck length = 0.254
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks
 

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Not much fits that case head dim and the body. I appears to have a rebated rim? The only case head close is the 6.X Jape. Lots of unique wildcats based on that in the S when they were liberated Arisaka actions ; but yours is a Mauser action. Also the body is too large.

In the 1950-60 every gunsmith had his own wildcat to sell in converted Mauser actions. this one really is "unusual" to me.

I'll keep thinking
 

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Sounds like a chamber-cast is in order. If you're so-inclined, you can actually have dies made to match your chamber, but that is very much the tail wagging the dog. Sounds to me like you've got something pretty unusual on your hands. Be careful and let us know what you find out...I'm curious to know if this is a standard wildcat.

Sounds like a 25x284 -- except it is WAY too long to be that. Probably some kind of one-off.
 

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Prior to seeing the dimensions, my first thought was .25-06 Ackley Improved.

Does the fired case look deformed, or does it look like a normal case, though different from the .25-06? Did you notice any problems when firing or during extraction?

Are there any letters after the .25-06 that is stamped on the barrel?

Remove the stock and see if there is any info stamped under the stock line.
 

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Pistol Packin Pa

Could you give a little better description of which Mauser rifle this mystery cartridge is in? If I understood you correctly, a 25-06 factory cartridge chambered and fired? But what came out couldn't possibly be reloaded as a 25-06?

I once owned a Mark X custom in the wildcat 25-284 win. If I had to redo it for a factory cartridge, the only one would have been the 257 Wea. Magnum.

My real concern is whether your base measurement is of the extraction rim in a rimless case, or is it the actual solid case head? So, could you mic a loaded round the same as you did your fired one? Only this time, mic the extraction rims, and also the solid case heads of both fired and unfired cases. Subtract the factory round's measurements from the fired mystery chambered round, and this should become clearer to everyone.

There is a possibility that someone buggered up a chambering job, with egging or chatter marks, and then went back in with a slightly larger reamer to duplicate the maximum SAAMI chamber, meant for something like a Rem. 740 Woodsman auto loader.

I once had a Jap Arisaka which had a quickie 30-06 chamber reamed into it. Those G. I. cases all bulged out to one side, away from the claw extractor. After dumping it, I shot up some orphaned reloads, bulges and all, in my dad's Remington 740 Woodsman. They not only fired, they cycled the action O.K. Go figure! I knew that this brass had stretched way too much, so I trashed all of those fired cases.

In an Arisaka meant for a 7.7mm x 58 mm long case, or a stock German 8mm Mauser, the 30-06 is a bit long. Trimming off .020 inch would help in getting the seated spitzer bullets to feed from it's magazine. I've seen one of these which you had to look at twice to see that it wasn't a real German Mauser. The big knob safety on the back of the bolt was the giveaway.

The reason that I'm a little worried, is that someone might have taken a page out of Maj. George Note Ret.'s book and made up a magnumized 25-06, by cutting brass bushings on a lathe and fitting them over the case heads of regular 25-06's. Then he might indeed have made full 2.5 inch long 284 diameter custom cases, with the original extraction rims of the 25-06.

So, last but not least, could you fill your fired case with water, scrape off the meniscus, and weigh it? This won't help I.D. it, but it might point out what the original owner was trying to accomplish. Just remember to get your dry weight first, and then subtract it from the wet case and water in your scale's pan. The 257 Ack. Imp., the 25-284, and the factory 25-06 are only a grain or two apart. This gun crank may have wanted 25-06 Ackley Imp. volumes, but with the conventional 25-06 case profiles.
 

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A picture would be nice. I've heard just one is worth a thousand words...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the feedback. The action is a Mauser 98 and the barrel is stamped as a 25-06 with no other markings. I just remounted it in a synthetic stock and was test firing for comfort. I used a factory 25-06 Remington load for the test fire. Noticing the deformation of the casing, we measured it and found it blown out to the specs above.

I will try and get time for a picture tomorrow.
 

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You'll need to host the picture. You don't have enough time or posts to attach picture direct to the post.
 

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.031 is too much

Pistol Pakin Pa, if you are miking from the solid case head, then .031 expansion to the case body is just too much. If you measured just from the ext. rim, then it's probably O.K. George Nonte's "Cartridge Case Conversions" does speak to this, but he was showing how to make obsolete cases, out of readily obtainable ones. To use this trick to soup up an already high intensity 25-06 would be fool hardy.

OTOH, I did use something similar to create a handful of try cases for Hornady's custom desk to make my custom case forming die set.($500+). These cases bulged out to the same dimension as their 375 H&H belts. It looked like a double extraction groove. This five die set takes the 375 Ruger Basic down to a 8mm Mag., which is a knock off of the 8 x 68 S Schuler.

This is pertinent because it is so highly tapered, like the Schuler. Yours may have close to this taper between your case body measurement and your shoulder measurement. ALA, .050" for the two inch long case body.

This is pretty radical, as my wildcats, the Schulers, and the 458 American are about the only ones with this much. This is why I suspect that someone used a second reamer to clean up chatter marks or egging in his first try at the 25-06 chamber.

My own G.S. will not chamber a barrel already screwed into a receiver for this reason. he always removes it to prevent egging his chambers..
 

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The dims you provided are not that far off from the 25-06 case. It appears to me that it is a sloppily cut chamber and nothing else. The chamber was cut too deep, and you got it to fire because of the claw extractor holding it in place?


  • Base dia = 0.465 >>>>25-06 is 0.4710
  • Body blows out to 0.496 >>>>the sloppiness part
  • Shoulder = 0.442 >>>>25-06 is 0.4410
  • Neck = 0.291 >>>>25-06 is 0.2900
  • Overal cartridge length = 2.472 >>>>25-06 is 2.4940
  • Length to shoulder is 1.959 >>>>25-06 is 1.9480
  • Neck length = 0.254 >>>>25-06 is 0.3082
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The dims you provided are not that far off from the 25-06 case. It appears to me that it is a sloppily cut chamber and nothing else. The chamber was cut too deep, and you got it to fire because of the claw extractor holding it in place?


  • Base dia = 0.465 >>>>25-06 is 0.4710
  • Body blows out to 0.496 >>>>the sloppiness part
  • Shoulder = 0.442 >>>>25-06 is 0.4410
  • Neck = 0.291 >>>>25-06 is 0.2900
  • Overal cartridge length = 2.472 >>>>25-06 is 2.4940
  • Length to shoulder is 1.959 >>>>25-06 is 1.9480
  • Neck length = 0.254 >>>>25-06 is 0.3082
Shawn, I haven't been able to find anything that is akin to the dimensions on the spent casing. We are going to cast the chamber and get an accurate picture of what's going on. Knowing how widely the 25-06 has been used for wildcats, I was hoping that it was just someone doing an AI or similar, but the numbers don't work.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Keep in mind that this may never have been a .25-06 Remington, but an earlier version of the now commercialized cartridge.

"Body blows out to 0.496", could this be a typo ...with 0.469 the correct measurement?
 

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Like Shawn Crea says, it could be just a very poorly done chamber. This seems to me the most likely scenario.

Could this be possible from perhaps using .284 basic brass - if such a thing exists? Body blown out to .496" makes sense that way, so does a taper down to .442". Just a thought.
 

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Might want to slug the barrel while making a chambe cast. I figure the dim yoou listed pretty well define the chamber.

If it is a 25 cal barrel; I'd be setting the barrel back 3-4 threads and rechambering.
 

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Shawn, I haven't been able to find anything that is akin to the dimensions on the spent casing.
I think you misunderstood my opinion. I think it was INTENDED to be a 25-06, but the chambering job was botched up. The chamber was cut too deep obviously, which partially explains the larger 0.496 body blowout due to reamer/case taper, and your longer base-to-shoulder dimension.

Firing the 25-06 cartridge set the case back against the bolt face, expanded the case in the chamber and sealed it, but the thicker base of the case behind the chamber did not expand to the chamber diameter. That case expansion to the chamber shortened your OAL and neck.

Just curious, is there a serial number on the bolt that matches (or doesn't) the action serial number? Mauser put the bolt S/N's on the bolt handle, so that may have been cut off with a 'bent-down' bolt installed.

I really don't think you have a wildcat, just a bad chamber. As has been mentioned, you will have to set the barrel back and have the chamber recut with proper headspace for the bolt that's in it.

Is the 0.496 part of the fired case 'round', or is it slightly oval?
 

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Thx for the pic, pistol. I don't think you should shoot that rifle anymore! You notice the dimpling around the 0.496 to the base...failure is not far off.

IMO, you have a bubba'd 25-06 barrel with the chamber cut by a very loose lathe, bad reamer, or... a very unsteady cordless drill.:eek: Or - and - by someone that didn't know what the term 'headspace' means.

Take it to a gunsmith.

EDIT: Note that the right side of the case in the pic is not bulged out as much as the left side, so you have an unconcentric chamber cut.
 

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Spend the money, take the time and just put a short-chambered barrel on it. You can get one from Brownells and your 'smith can fix it up in a jiffy. Use the buggered one for a tomato stake...
 

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you can't reload these

This is what we were all afraid of. This is a disaster, just waiting to happen. There were fatalities in WWI with Tsarist Mosin Nagants, re-chambered to 30-06 G. Yours is even worse than those were. It's just that your factory brass is of a higher quality today.

That chambering job should never have left that so called, "Gunsmith's", shop. The only commercial fall back cartridge is the 257 Wea. Magnum, or a wildcatted 25 x 264 Win. Mag. And you would need to have the Mauser's heat treating checked over, before you did either of those. Otherwise, it might not hold it's head spacing, with either of these.

Just make sure it's checked over, and the barrel is removed for chambering with a new belted magnum cartridge. AND re-stamped from the present 25-06. Your G.S. will earn his money by getting the belted mag to feed properly.

On a positive note, I bet it hasn't been fired more than a few times. So your barrel is still brand new, unless it has already been abortively re-chambered from a smaller cartridge.
 
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