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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working on a 30 caliber wild cat for my 336 for several months now. The gun smith informed me that he is almost complete with the work and I should receive it in a week or so. The new cartridge is based on a 308 shell casing with the shoulder set back .1" with an AI body and shoulder profile. I've never sized a new cartridge case from an existing commercial case. Should I be able to run an unmodified 308 case into the wild cat sizing die or do I need to size the new casing incrementally?
 

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You should be able to use the new custom die, but the neck will have to be cut back, as it will extend a bit. After shooting , you case should be perfect for the rifle. You need to watch for neck expansion and cut it back once in a while.
 

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In the perfect world, when forming, new cases are used.

About your wildcat, you are necking up a 308 to 338, this will shorten the neck, the advantage is the .100 shoulder set back, most wildcats are formed when fired, setting the shoulder back .100 thousands will form most of the shoulder.

Necking a case down causes most of the failures to form as in folds and wrinkles in the shoulder, when forming the 338 there is less shoulder to form making it easy for the brass to make the turn if a good lube is used.

And as has been said check the length of the case and trim as required.

'incrementally' there are times when as many as 3 dies are used to form a case, if you have one die I would suggest raising and lowering the ram to check progress, I do not have a forming die shorter than the 308 W, after using the forming die cases are required to be sized in the sizer die of the final caliber. If you only have the full length sizer die you have no choice.

Again I wopuld suggest new cases.

F. GUffey
 

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I've been working on a 30 caliber wild cat for my 336 for several months now. The gun smith informed me that he is almost complete with the work and I should receive it in a week or so. The new cartridge is based on a 308 shell casing with the shoulder set back .1" with an AI body and shoulder profile. I've never sized a new cartridge case from an existing commercial case. Should I be able to run an unmodified 308 case into the wild cat sizing die or do I need to size the new casing incrementally?
Sounds like an interesting project and based on what you described, you will be able to run new 308 cases into your custom sizing die, which will push the shoulder back. Just lube the cases as you normally would and it might take a little more elbow-grease to operate the lever on the press, but probably not enough that you'll even notice.

I'm not sure that it will form the angle of the shoulder perfectly but the first firing will do so, either way. As for trimming the neck shorter, I don't think that will be necessary, particularly if the chamber was not cut for a shortened case. I would confirm the trim-to length with your gunsmith before trimming any cases.

What is this particular 'cat called? I have to admit, it seems a bit odd to me, creating a rimless wildcat specifically for a lever-action gun, but that's what is so cool about the shooting world: If you've got the money, you can build just about anything you can imagine! :)
 

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Maybe I missed something...but, where does he say he's necking this up to shoot a .338 bullet? He's using a 336 action, but from what I read, still shooting .308 bullets. Basically a 308 AI?
 

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http://www.chuckhawks.com/marlin_336_444_1895.htm

No excuses, I filled in some blanks that were not there, I take nothing and put something together, the ideal of taking something and making it into something else never occurs to me.

I would suggest purchasing a cheap used 308 W die and have someone remove .095 thousands from the base of the die, my opinion the best method for shortening the die would be butt grinding, the modified die would allow for moving the shoulder back without the 40 degree shoulder, the modified die would serve as a forming die before final sizing.

And we all know the shoulder is not moved back, part of the case body becomes part of the shoulder and part of the shoulder becomes part of the neck.

Sorry about that.

F. Guffey
 

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Eric,

The first thing I would do is lightly lube my 308 Winchester case from the point of the shoulder down toward the base and then run it through your size die. This should work without lube dents on the shoulder.
I am posting the drawing or your case. I believe this picture is approximately the one you settled on. If so, you are only pushing the point of the shoulder back .1198”, but the bottom of the neck is pushed back .2052” which is a substantial amount to push it back without a form die. Also the shoulder angle is steepened up quite a bit and there is a possibility of lightly collapsing the neck at the shoulder junction or bulging the case just below the point of the shoulder.

If one of the above happens pull the stem from you bullet seater and run your lubed case up into the seater die. You may have to back the die off the shell holder ⅛” or so and maybe half that distance.

When will you receive your dies?
 

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Maybe I missed something...but, where does he say he's necking this up to shoot a .338 bullet? He's using a 336 action, but from what I read, still shooting .308 bullets. Basically a 308 AI?
yes, that is what I thought, he is setting back the shoulder and will need to then, shorten the neck a bit. I try to figure out the goal or reason for the change; here it seems he might be wanting to get the 308 to fit in his Marlin. I use the regular 358 and have no problems with 200 grain bullets, but a bit with the 220. I guess I could have done what he is doing to get around the problem?
 

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The Marlin 336 action will not take full power loads with the 307 Winchester case.
I have always felt the Improved case shape would solve the problem.
This wildcat will be able to se its full case capacity with the pointed Hornady bullets and due to the Improved case should avoid extraction problems with higher pressure loads.

I see my drawing did not attach for some reason.

I think this is a very interesting cartridge and that it should bring to Marlin 336 performance up to the 307 Winchester.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Slim's explanations for the cartridge are correct. I've spent a lot of time experimenting with the 307W cartridge in the 336 and the first limiting factor in the 336 action is the bolt thrust. Slim designed the cartridge and Regan Nonneman is building the rifle. I'm calling it the "30 lever maximum" which might be a presumptive name. Time will tell.

Slim, I should receive both the rifle and the dies within a week or so. Regan had trouble modifying the dies and had to buy another set. He received them about a week ago and is working on making some brass to test the rifle. I grew a little concerned because it sounded as though he was having trouble forming the cartridge so I posed the question above.
 

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I am pretty exited about this cartridge. I believe you have a better idea than I did. I have crunched the numbers quite a bit and I believe your plan is better than mine.
This should make a very fine rifle and I want to urge to you to write this up for a “Readers Research” submission to handloader. I believe this cartridge is going to a better solution to the pressure – power balance problem of the Marlin 336 action than the 7mm STE.

If it is any help I fully understand about troubles modifying dies. Back when the 300 Whisper was “proprietary” my Dad made dies for his TC barrels. We heated the dies to anneal them and he recut them. This proved to be a challenging task and we should have bought die blanks. You just can’t believe all the little difficulties you encounter.
 

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The Marlin 336 action will not take full power loads with the 307 Winchester case.
I have always felt the Improved case shape would solve the problem.
This wildcat will be able to se its full case capacity with the pointed Hornady bullets and due to the Improved case should avoid extraction problems with higher pressure loads.

I see my drawing did not attach for some reason.

I think this is a very interesting cartridge and that it should bring to Marlin 336 performance up to the 307 Winchester.
Slim, in the attached drawing, I don't see any kind of rim on the case. Is this 'cat a slightly shortened, Improved 307, or is it based on a 308 case?
 

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Again, sizing and forming is not the same, if it was easy RCBS would not be selling special forming die sets for $300.00, in the first post the shoulder is to be moved back 100 thousands, when forming a shoulder by establishing it .100 back through a die with a 40 degree shoulder the person operating the press shoulder expect the case at the shoulder/neck juncture to wad up as it makes the turn, something like making a high speed turn on a flat track, I would expect a do-nut that would require a reamer, then I would wonder if the case neck was going to stay on during firing, and again, I would take a a 308 W (or a 307 die) sizer die and grind the die in my in-line/butt/angle grinder and remove .095 thousands. forming the shoulder in a die with a 20 degree shoulder is more practical than trying to get the shoulder formed with a 40 degree shoulder AND the extra effort required when sizing compresses the case.

Forming cases with a sizer ball installed, if the do-nut appears, expect the neck sizer ball/stem Assembly to brake off inside the case.

After forming a few cases with the modified die and it is found the cases require too much effort when sized, the modified die can be shorten again,

F. Guffey
 

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Maybe, maybe not

Many moons ago, I had a Rem 722 in 300 sav.. I wondered about first, redoing it to 308 Win., second, to 30-284, and lastly, to have the neck cut in the chamber extended, and reform 308's into 300 Savage, but with a longer neck. RCBS dies in 300 Sav. would give the extended necks as is, and 300 Savage ammo would still function. But it wasn't worth the expense. I just made do with what I already had. I stuck to reloading 180 gr. bullets. You will run into a wall with a different case mouth length, as you have to crimp your bullets, to use them in the tube magazine rifle. The 30-30 has a 53mm Length case vs. the 51mm length of the 308. I was thinking of going the other way with the box magazine 300 Sav.. When you are up and running, will you get back to this thread and advise which bullets work?? One reloading manual says to use regular 30-30 bullets in a 307BB reload. I don't know if you can score the real 180 gr. 307BB bullets, as components. Note that I had a twenty four inch bbl. on the old Remmie.
 

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“I don't see any kind of rim on the case”

Yes, he based it on the 308 Winchester case because the Marlin handles rimless cases so well and he could get high quality brass from a variety of vendors to add to the accuracy trials.

With 20º to 35º shoulders you can push them back quite easily. As the shoulder becomes steeper it becomes slightly more difficult. There are a few tricks which make it easier. Often a simple anneal of the case neck and shoulder will make the job easier.

I don’t anticipate a doughnut at the bottom of the neck as he is not reducing neck diameter. If a small bump is formed it is an easy matter to ream it out. I form 308 Marlin 307 and 356 Winchester cases along with 25-35 and 25-35AI and ream all of them.

You are right in that the easiest way to form cases is to shorten a size die to set the shoulder back and then fire form them to shape, with or without a bullet. This is not a very exotic wildcat case and the initial case forming is not anything to be concerned about.

Eric,
I would start off with Hodgdon or IMR 4895. I’ll send you some thoughts on starting loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There are a lot of good ideas there guys. Thanks

Regarding neck reaming: Is there any real benefit of neck reaming over neck turning? I have a Sinclair neck turner that does a great job and it seems to me if I allow it to carve into the shoulder slightly, I should be able to eliminate a donut should one form. I have reamer but have never used it.

Regarding crimping: I was planing on grinding the bottom of a Lee factory crimp die until it crimps at the correct neck mouth opening length. I've looked inside my 308 LFCs and they don't appear to be closely fit to the 308 case body.

I'm going to experiment some to find the best case length. The distance from the bolt face to the rifling is supposed to be about .20050 so I thought I'd shorten the neck until I have adequate clearance but still can position the bullet shoulder close to the rifling.
 

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I'm going to experiment some to find the best case length. The distance from the bolt face to the rifling is supposed to be about .20050 so I thought I'd shorten the neck until I have adequate clearance but still can position the bullet shoulder close to the rifling.
Wow, that is a very short case! :eek: I wouldn't expect much velocity :D

(I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist...)
 
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