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Looks like Layne Simpson already beat us to the necked down 307W levergun wildcat...7mmSTE. I always wanted one of these, but I don’t think you are going to get 4-500 yards out of it. The same thing in .25 would be fun, but still not 500 yards.
The 7mm STE
 

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I don’t want to sound negative as I like the idea. You may find your cartridge will not extract at higher pressure leveles due to the rifle not having adequate primary extraction.
Seatleroadwr (Eric) found this out as he reamed hi Marlin to .30-30AI (which worked well) and the rebarreled to .307 Winchester. Up to 75% or so of maximum loads the Marlin 336 would extract cartridges well. Above this load level he began to have some initial extraction problems. The rifle would not break the case loose from the chamber wall.
With the help of Gunsmith Nonneman they developed a shortened .307 with a slightly straighter case. This eleiminated the extraction problem and gave good performance to the .30 Lever Maximum wildcat.
This thread.
https://www.shootersforum.com/leverguns-their-cartridges-general/69457-30-lever-maximum.html

Years ago Marlin made up a Model 336 in .250 Savage. The rifle handled the pressure just fine but had extraction trouble with factory ammunition.The tapered case sticking to the chamber walls and perhaps a bit of set back.

This thread
https://www.shootersforum.com/marlin-336-lever-guns/47139-marlin-336-250-savage.html

As you begin to neck the case down you will steepen the shoulder from 25 degrees to about 37 degrees. You could get around this but it is an advantage. Without blowing out the shoulder you have approximately 58.8 grains of water in the full case.
With a bullet seated .257 you have 55,4 grains of water – approximately.
This leave you room for a rough
51.6 grains of Hodgdon 414
or
50.33 grains of IMR 4320 (which is where I would start).

You are not too far off from the .25WSSM at 56.2 grains of water – 52.8 grains of water with the bullet seated .257” deep. This would help with estimating intial loads and in selecting propellant.
You would be a bit better off straightening the case to ease backthrust and assist in extraction. You don’t need the powder capacity.
The drawing I attached shows a long flat point bullet which is not available but a custom bullet maker could come up with it.
Drawing


A color drawing for fun
 

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Before I saw you were looking for a 25 cal, I was going to suggest the 450 Alaskan, based on the 348 Win. :D

When I was 17, a "friend" of mine let me shoot his 450 Alaskan. It was summer time, I was wearing a T-shirt, and the Winchester lever action was wearing a crescent metal buttplate.:eek: I think it took at least a week for my shoulder to loosen up.
 

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Hate to be a downer............

Browning Lever Guns are available in calibers from 222 Remington to 450 Marlin, and possess the ability to use Spire Pointed bullets.
I am all about innovation and like off the wall cartridges if I can get a reasonable trade-off for set up cost versus real world performance.

Please let us know what you eventually end up doing, and what your results are. Genuinely curious.
 

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You've already been told this a few times, however, repetition is a good thing some times. The head space, etc, of a lever gun is usually the accuracy factor and, the case usually plays only a small part. In the case of Henry, they use a relatively short head space and the rifles are very accuracy, for a lever gun. Bolt guns are made to be accurate.

That being said either of those makes a good wildcat and will be ample for deer, white tail, or mule. In the field if placement and the right bullet are used, no doubt the animal will go down humanely and quickly, not having to trail it at all.

If you are looking to make a bear load out of it however, minimal necking is good to avoid any possible feed jams and, you might want to consider a wildcat made from a popular cartridge, just in case you have to move quickly and lose your ammo, as a friend of mine did. He was shooting a 375 Scovill which, can be made from either a 30-06 or a 9.2x63 case and, the die is available at rcbs and was easily loaded. It was also in a marlin lever gun although, custom rifle. I have one in a bolt however, i liked his lever better for hunting...out to 300 yards it would shoot very well. Newer doesn't always mean better and for way out hunting and dangerous game, having a cartridge readily found, 45-70, 458 Win, etc...is increasingly important.
 

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This is another round attempts to improve on the 30-30. Why? This seems to be a desire of lots of knowledgeable gun people. We have been at it for years. John Browning got it right the first time.
 
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Lately I've been kicking around some ideas for a pair of wildcats for Marlin Lever Action rifles quite a bit. The idea is to use the .338 Marlin Express as a the basis for a larger cartridge that just surpasses the .348 Winchester and a smaller cartridge that's more focused on the kind of deer hunting that I think is done throughout most of the country.

I'm going to start with the smaller cartridge, which for lack of a better name I've dubbed the .250 Marlin Express. The basic idea is to make a cartridge that fits a handy Marlin lever action that is capable of killing deer out to 4 or 500 yards. I'm basing a lot of my ideas for what loads would look like on both the .250 Savage and the .338 Marlin Express. Loaded with a 200 grain bullet, the .338 Marlin Express uses 47.5 grains of Leverevolution powder to get a velocity around 2500 fps. This results in a pressure of around 46,000 PSI. The .250 Savage uses a 35 grain dose of CFE 223 to push a 100 grain bullet to about 2900 FPS at 44,400 CUP. So that comes out to a 12.5 grain difference using similarly rated powders. In fact the two powders are so similar that they are listed as #105 and #106 on Hodgdon's list of powders by burn rate.

My idea for this cartridge is to use a similar shaped bullet to the one used by the .308 or .338 Marlin Express cartridges that weighs 110 grains, and push it with a 40ish grain charge of either of the powders listed above. Without quickload, my guess is that this would allow for a muzzle velocity that's similar to that of the 100 grain load for the .250 Savage, but with a much higher BC and more weight than is available for the .250 Savage.
************************************************************************************
I see your idea is mostly to put a smaller bullet in the case, but how about if you put a larger bullet in the case? My suggestion would be to take pistol bullets in 41 caliber and make it a 338-41.
 

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I have a friend and master gunsmith that came up with a dandy the. 357fugget it's a .454casull necked down to a .357 it shoots 158gn bullets at around 3,000fps Barnes bullets are the best for this cartridge because they will hold together there may be other bullets that won't vaporize. You can get dies from rcbs. Makes a heck of a little levergun but not 400 yards.
 

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The problem with using the same barrel and moving from a longer thinner cartridge to a shorter fatter cartridge is that one is backing bullet away from the leade . One can not shorten barrel from breech end as that would change over all bullet travel.
 

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I wish someone would make a 30-357 based on the .357 mag case in a 92 winchester.......
Or maybe a .357/.44 mag in a Winchester or Rossi 92. If I had a Rossi in .357 I think it might get reamed...just can't bring myself to do that to my 1894 Marlin .357.
 

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Yes, a wildcat lever action, great idea for fun, but probably expensive like building a new flathead Ford rat rod. I had the idea, then switched the cartridge to a bolt action platform, as cheaper and more practical. Shown below are the development prototypes for the .35 -348 Winchester Ackley improved:



LEFT is a Winchester factory .348 Winchester 200 grain Silvertip load; MIDDLE is a .348 Winchester case necked up to .358" with a 180 Grain Remington Core-Lokt over a fire forming load; RIGHT is the fire formed final version with a 250 grain bullet.

This version being necked up to .358 caliber allows a wider selection of bullets than the .348 Winchester, as would necking it down to smaller calibers, but it is still going to be limited to actions capable of handling the .45-70. In this case a Winchester or Browning Model 71, or 1886. While I have both, I went with building it on the Siamese Mauser action I had on hand.

Completed rifle:



In truth, i lost interest in the whole thing as impractical, offering nothing that many other cartridges will do without the fuss. It took decades, but I finally learned to discipline myself to reject ideas that looked interesting, but sketchy when it came to putting the money on the line. So now this rifle resides in my safe like King Tut, waiting for some archaeologist to discover it and try to solve the mystery of what it represents.
 

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Or maybe a .357/.44 mag in a Winchester or Rossi 92. If I had a Rossi in .357 I think it might get reamed...just can't bring myself to do that to my 1894 Marlin .357.
Insofar as nature abhors a vacuum, if something doesn't exist, there is probably a very good reason. Along the same lines, if you have a truly great idea, it's probably already been done.

See the 357 Bain and Davis.
 

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Or maybe a .357/.44 mag in a Winchester or Rossi 92. If I had a Rossi in .357 I think it might get reamed...just can't bring myself to do that to my 1894 Marlin .357.
Do like I did, used my oldest .44 mag 894 Marlin, and bought a new .357 mg barrel. Reamed it to .357 B&D, and rebarreled with the new barrel. Had to modify the barrel bands and shorten the mag tube..

(Note) the mag tube for the .357 is too small in diameter for the .44 mag case, and the bolt face would have to be opened or else a .44 mag bolt would be required. Better to start with the .44 mag as a base to start with. Also the receiver would have to have the mag tube opening enlarged to take the larger diameter tube.

( note 2) the conversion with the 16” barrel is a dandy little woods rifle and the balance is perfect.


Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
I don’t want to sound negative as I like the idea. You may find your cartridge will not extract at higher pressure leveles due to the rifle not having adequate primary extraction.
Seatleroadwr (Eric) found this out as he reamed hi Marlin to .30-30AI (which worked well) and the rebarreled to .307 Winchester. Up to 75% or so of maximum loads the Marlin 336 would extract cartridges well. Above this load level he began to have some initial extraction problems. The rifle would not break the case loose from the chamber wall.
With the help of Gunsmith Nonneman they developed a shortened .307 with a slightly straighter case. This eleiminated the extraction problem and gave good performance to the .30 Lever Maximum wildcat.
This thread.
https://www.shootersforum.com/leverguns-their-cartridges-general/69457-30-lever-maximum.html

Years ago Marlin made up a Model 336 in .250 Savage. The rifle handled the pressure just fine but had extraction trouble with factory ammunition.The tapered case sticking to the chamber walls and perhaps a bit of set back.

This thread
https://www.shootersforum.com/marlin-336-lever-guns/47139-marlin-336-250-savage.html

As you begin to neck the case down you will steepen the shoulder from 25 degrees to about 37 degrees. You could get around this but it is an advantage. Without blowing out the shoulder you have approximately 58.8 grains of water in the full case.
With a bullet seated .257 you have 55,4 grains of water – approximately.
This leave you room for a rough
51.6 grains of Hodgdon 414
or
50.33 grains of IMR 4320 (which is where I would start).

You are not too far off from the .25WSSM at 56.2 grains of water – 52.8 grains of water with the bullet seated .257” deep. This would help with estimating intial loads and in selecting propellant.
You would be a bit better off straightening the case to ease backthrust and assist in extraction. You don’t need the powder capacity.
The drawing I attached shows a long flat point bullet which is not available but a custom bullet maker could come up with it.
Thank you for this info. You put a lot of effort into something that was as much a passing fancy as it was a real plan and it's given me a lot of interesting info to work with. Interestingly, this gives you the same powder capacity that Nosler lists with the 110 accubond for a 257 roberts. Pretty interesting stuff and I think would be worth working on.
Yes, a wildcat lever action, great idea for fun, but probably expensive like building a new flathead Ford rat rod. I had the idea, then switched the cartridge to a bolt action platform, as cheaper and more practical. Shown below are the development prototypes for the .35 -348 Winchester Ackley improved:

LEFT is a Winchester factory .348 Winchester 200 grain Silvertip load; MIDDLE is a .348 Winchester case necked up to .358" with a 180 Grain Remington Core-Lokt over a fire forming load; RIGHT is the fire formed final version with a 250 grain bullet.
In truth, i lost interest in the whole thing as impractical, offering nothing that many other cartridges will do without the fuss. It took decades, but I finally learned to discipline myself to reject ideas that looked interesting, but sketchy when it came to putting the money on the line. So now this rifle resides in my safe like King Tut, waiting for some archaeologist to discover it and try to solve the mystery of what it represents.
I've always been curious why I always see these 358-348 guns in bolt action? Wouldn't you think a 71 model lever would have a big advantage since you wouldn't be trying to fit that .610 rim into a standard bolt action?
 

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There is NO accuracy advantage in case shape, only disadvantages from a headspacing and feeding point of view.
Capacity equals performance. Headspace, feeding and extraction are the only other parameters to consider....and maybe extra work sorting out the VERY BEST 30-30 brass, which Steve Herrett did for years.
Your undoubtly one of the more intelligent people on this forum but your dead wrong on this one, case in point the 6ppc and 6mm br, the most accurate cartridges known to man, short fat powder columns burn more consistent than long slender ones, short cases and short chambers are less effected by lateral inconsistencies in manufactuerering resulting in bullets entering the bore centered and less canted.
As to velocities short fat cartridges produce slightly more velocity with the same case capacity as elongated cartridges.
Cartridges with lots of body taper extract easier from actions that don't have a lot of mechanical advantage like lever actions but also produce more bolt thrust hence the lower pressures set for many lever guns.
And I could go on and on.

I've always wanted a 6.5x30-30 slightly improved, shorter neck, 35 degree shoulder and less body taper.
A pre-warning 336A Marlin rifle with a 24" barrel and half mag with aperture sights would be nice.
I've had 3, two 30-30's and a 35 rem, one of the 30-30's was well used, should have kept it for the project.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/743314320
 

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Its not wasted effort if it gets me to thinking. A leveraction with performance close to 250 Savage or 257 Roberts with traditional tube magazine looks is worth dreaming about.
Shorten the case slightly and blow out the case a bit and it would be manageable. For extraction with high pressure loads. The problem is bullets.

The .35-348 has been around in the Model 71 long before WWII. Its close to a .35 Whelen.That keeps our attention. The .35's are easy to load with cast bullets and deliver good performance with heavy bullets.

This type of thing has never been cheap to play at but it is fun to look at.
 

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You're right of course, just exaggerate the mythical cases to prove it. A case of 30 grains in a 6mm column X inches long will NOT be as accurate as a 6mm PPC. BUT, if the cartridge was so short and fat to hold 30 grains in a half inch long (and REALLY fat) case with a ninety degree shoulder won't either. SO, what is "perfect"? That's my point, so-far the 6mm PPC says it is, but there are too many variables to say for sure. The 'general rule' is very rough with splinters and exceptions and always the very large variable of GUNS and SHOOTERS. How can anybody claim a 'caliber' makes that much difference? I remember when the 222 and 222 1/2 and 22 Tomcats swapped records back and forth and it was 'decided' the 219 Zipper was dead as a BR round and the 22-250 too.
 
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Your undoubtly one of the more intelligent people on this forum but your dead wrong on this one, case in point the 6ppc and 6mm br, the most accurate cartridges known to man, short fat powder columns burn more consistent than long slender ones, short cases and short chambers are less effected by lateral inconsistencies in manufactuerering resulting in bullets entering the bore centered and less canted.
As to velocities short fat cartridges produce slightly more velocity with the same case capacity as elongated cartridges.
Cartridges with lots of body taper extract easier from actions that don't have a lot of mechanical advantage like lever actions but also produce more bolt thrust hence the lower pressures set for many lever guns.
And I could go on and on.

I've always wanted a 6.5x30-30 slightly improved, shorter neck, 35 degree shoulder and less body taper.
A pre-warning 336A Marlin rifle with a 24" barrel and half mag with aperture sights would be nice.
I've had 3, two 30-30's and a 35 rem, one of the 30-30's was well used, should have kept it for the project.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/743314320
I've got one of those -- it's called a 6.5JDJ. The 225 Winchester case is just a beefed up 30/30 case, with a semi-rimmed design. Neck it up to .264", shorten the neck and sharpen the shoulder angle.

Some of the cartridges with an excellent reputation for accuracy got that way because they were designed for competition shooting, exclusively. As such, they were always chambered in the very best bolt-action rifles, with match-grade barrels, the most meticulously loaded ammunition and fired by world class shooters. Is the 6mm PPC really an inherently more accurate cartridge? What I mean is, can you chamber it in a lever-action rifle, hand it to Bubba and the Boys, and expect them to shoot measurably better groups with it than they could with a 30/30? I say the answer to that is a resounding "no".

I'm not saying some cartridge designs aren't more accurate than others, but on the list of things that are required to win at the highest levels of competition shooting, the cartridge has proven to be just one of many. To say it's the most important thing, or even top-5, is hard to quantify. When you look at all of the different cartridges that have held records, and how that continually changes, how can you unequivocally state that one is far superior to another. Frankly, outside of elite benchrest competition, the differences in accuracy potential between one cartridge and another are of no real consequence. Whether you're shooting the 300H&H or 300 WSM is not going to determine whether or not you get your bull.
 
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Reminds me of the old Phil Sharp article from the 1950's: "That 'Ol. thutty Thutty" A Winchester Hi Wall. The first .30 caliber rifle he shot sub inch groups with using factory components.
 
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