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Discussion Starter #1
The Indiana DNR has proposed a rule change to allow centerfire rifle cartridges firing bullets of at least .357 diameter with a maximum case length of 1.8 inches for deer hunting. Originally I had intended to buy a singleshot rifle chambered in 460 Smith&Wesson, but I would love to use a repeater like one of my favorite woods rifles the old 760 Remington pump. Now my questions are, if I trim enough off 35 Remington case necks ( .11 if my math is correct ) to make the maximum length, will There be enough neck left to hold the bullets under recoil? Also if the bullets are seated out to normal 35 Remington COL they should cycle OK, right? I do reload some but I am ignorant of the technical side of it. TIA, Tom
 

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IMHO you would be fine, if the only ammo you had in your possession was modified to meet the 1.8 rule;)

Same goes for 45-70 cases, which would be my go-to rifle:cool:

And yes, there would be plenty of neck left to hold the bullet--with the proper crimp applied.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've already checked with the state. It is legal as long as the case meets the maximum length requirements regardless of chamber length.
 

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How's this?

> From: [email protected]
> To: [email protected]
> Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 15:23:56 -0400
> Subject: FW: Legal Equipment - Deer Hunting
>
> Dear kludge,
>
> As long as the rifle cartridge (even a wildcat cartridge) meets the following specifications, it is legal to use for deer hunting: fire a bullet at least .357 inches in diameter, have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches, and have a maximum case length of 1.625 inches.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Linnea Petercheff
> Operations Staff Specialist
> Division of Fish and Wildlife
> 402 W. Washington Street, Room W273
> Indianapolis, IN 46204
> Phone: (317) 233-6527
> Fax: (317) 232-8150

emphasis added.
 

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That looks pretty definitive, Kludge! :D

The two 'cats I'm interested in with the increase from 1.625" to 1.800" are the old 35 IHMSA (based on a 300 Savage case) and a 338 Marlin Express with the neck opened up and trimmed .090". Maybe even go to an "improved" case configuration and call it the "358ME-Short". (trust me, I AM!)

If the shoulder angle was improved from 25 degrees to 40 degrees, it would mitigate the potential problems from the shortened neck. Since I would be chambering this in an Encore barrel, the minimal case taper and sharp shoulder would not create any problems with the round feeding through an action.

I would anticipate roughly 2500fps from a 200gr bullet and would probably go with the FTX, since it is designed for 35 Remington velocity and has a good ballistic shape.
 

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Shorten a few and load em up then check to see if they will cycle through the gun. Me I think it begs you to go out and buy a .357 Maximum Or .357 Herrett in a TC Carbine, excuse number 1.

A .357 Magnum levergun would be another excuse for a new gun.

I would also make sure they are not regulated to straight walled pistol cartridges as the minimum and maximum falls into the .357 Mag and .357 Max measurements.
 

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Well, since it's a single-shot, break action, I'm pretty sure it will cycle. :)

I've thought about the 357 Herrett but it doesn't offer any more performance than the 358GNR round I'm already shooting. If I go with something new, I want it to be a step up in performance. I'd really like to see what a slightly shortened 358ME would do, especially with the LVR powder they just released and the 200gr FTX bullets.

Indiana does not have any restrictions on the case wall being straight, like some states. The law states that the case must no shorter than 1.160", no longer than 1.625" (currently) and fire a bullet that is at least .357" in diameter...that's it.
 

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WRT .35 Rem shortened - I come up with ~.210" on neck length... in a .35 Rem I would be wary of having a neck that short and seating the bullets out at standard .35 REM COL and not to the cannelure with a crimp.

I have heard of people shortening the .357 Herret and even the .45-70 under the current 1.625" rule.

jm, I contemplated using the 200gr FTX at those velocities (2550fps in my case) and I decided against it. Factory LeveRevolution .35 Rem ammo claims 2225fps and an e-mail from Hornady says they are designed to work from 1600 to 2000 fps. The FTX would extend my range 50 yards, but I would then be worried about them blowing up at 50 yards.

I would love to see some actual hunting results of the FTX on deer at 2500fps at short range.

What would the case capacity of the .358 ME Short be?
 

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I'm wondering if a shortened .375 Win might work using longer pointed bullets to achieve near typical OAL. Of course most bullets are built tougher for .375 H&H velocities, but would merely work almost as solids or simply open just a bit. Speer makes a 235gr bullet that might still acheive near 2,000FPS and could be loaded with one in the chamber and one in the magazine in my Marlin.... Well, :confused:
 

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If your bullets are conventional cup and core bullets you may have a problem with them staying crimped. If there is sufficient bullet shank just get a cannelure tool from Dave Corbin. It can be used to place a cannelure anywhere on the bullet you need, within reason. Just an idea. I would offer to help if you lived close by. Bandito
 

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Kludge,

Did you go with the 225 Accubond, 200gr CL PSP, or another bullet? I'm not sure what the capacity would be on the 358ME-Short, but it would not be appreciably different than the parent case, really. If/when I do make this wildcat, it will be in a single-shot action where a .200" neck is not a significant liability.
 

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I don't know why you want to make this project so hard, especially given your limited handloading experience. I have about 8-9yrs. experience, and would not even contemplate this. The spirit of this law is to allow relatively short-range cartridges, presumeably because of the human population.
to that end, several excellent big game-capable cartridges are commercially available in all manner of actions. .357 mag., .357max., .44mag., 45colt, 454 Casull easily come to mind....single-shot, lever pump, self loader...even bolt(Ruger). For my money, a .357max. lever action loaded with 180gr. WFNGC sounds like pretty serious medicine out to 125yrds, and is easily reloadable.
It is hard enough to find the "sweet spot load" for any given firearm, "making" components just puts that sweet spot farther out of reach..........sorry, my $.02
 

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I don't know why you want to make this project so hard, especially given your limited handloading experience. I have about 8-9yrs. experience, and would not even contemplate this. The spirit of this law is to allow relatively short-range cartridges, presumeably because of the human population.
to that end, several excellent big game-capable cartridges are commercially available in all manner of actions. .357 mag., .357max., .44mag., 45colt, 454 Casull easily come to mind....single-shot, lever pump, self loader...even bolt(Ruger). For my money, a .357max. lever action loaded with 180gr. WFNGC sounds like pretty serious medicine out to 125yrds, and is easily reloadable.
It is hard enough to find the "sweet spot load" for any given firearm, "making" components just puts that sweet spot farther out of reach..........sorry, my $.02
Terry,

I'm not sure who your comments are directed to, but I've been handloading rifle, pistol and shotgun rounds for more than 20 years. I enjoy working with wildcat cartridges and respectfully submit that I know more than enough about the subject to decide for myself whether or not it's difficult. If it sounds too challenging for you, then I certainly would not recommend you try it. Frankly, if you can make quality handloads for a standard cartridge, it's not much of a leap to get into wildcats, as long as ya got the deep pockets. ;)

The cartridges you list are capable of shooting deer as far as 150 yards away but in the areas I hunt, 300 yard shots are a very real possibility. I grew up shooting a 270 and consider such shots within my capabilities, so long as the cartridge has a flat enough trajectory and sufficient energy to make a clean kill at that range. I don't like watching a mature doe or nice buck walk by at 250 yards and not be able to do a thing about it. Would you?

Furthermore, aside from forming cases, nobody is "making" any components and there is little about wild-catting that makes it harder to find accurate loads. The principles of high-quality hand loads remain the same, so if you know what you're doing, it isn't difficult at all. If you have a hard time finding the "sweet spot" for your standard cartridges, you'd have no more, or less trouble, with a wildcat.

I've loaded for literally dozens of metallic cartridges; pretty much all of the standard rounds, plus a bunch of obsolete stuff, so I like the added challenge of wildcat cartridges. If you're not interested in such, that's fine, but please refrain from questioning the abilities or motivations of someone else. :)
 

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jm, I contemplated using the 200gr FTX at those velocities (2550fps in my case) and I decided against it. Factory LeveRevolution .35 Rem ammo claims 2225fps and an e-mail from Hornady says they are designed to work from 1600 to 2000 fps. The FTX would extend my range 50 yards, but I would then be worried about them blowing up at 50 yards.

I would love to see some actual hunting results of the FTX on deer at 2500fps at short range.
Kludge,

I knew when I first read the above comments that something wasn't right, but I figured it out. Hornady makes a 200gr FTX bullet that IS rated for 2500fps, but it's for the 338ME, so it's a smaller diameter bullet. Still, if you read the thread on the marlin owners forum where the guy tests every 35 caliber bullet under the sun, he shows the 200gr FTX to be pretty decent, even at high impact velocity. If I got enough velocity from it, I would probably step up to the 225gr AB or maybe even the 225 Partition. My first choice would be the FTX, though.
 

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I have reviewed the previous posts and have found myself in error, and I apologize. Somewhere along the line, I thought this task was being undertaken by a reloader with relatively few years experience, as I have. The very thought of "wildcatting" with my years of experience, much less with someone with fewer years than me is frightening.
Again, I have found myself in error, and I apologize.
 

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Terry,

Thanks for being gracious and man enough to apologize. You must be a pretty decent guy and a follower of the Word to do so, and I humbly accept. :)

Working with wildcat cartridges really isn't all that scary! I got my first one back around 1995, when I had only been reloading for about 7 or 8 years. They are still just a metallic case, with a primer in one end, bullet on the other, and powder in the middle! ;) For the vast majority of them, there is a ready availability of "known" loads, even if they don't come from a major bullet/powder supplier's handbook. In fact, unless you are spending a good deal of money to be the first person to create a certain wildcat, there is almost certainly going to be a lot of experience from other reloaders to help you with whatever you are playing with.

Also, there is software available these days that will get you "close" and then you just use the same logic and powers of observation that you always need to employ when handloading modern cartridges. What I mean is, as you work with various standard cartridges, you inspect your cases for flattened or ejected primers, incipient head separation and difficulties with extraction. You monitor how many loadings you get before brass shows signs of metal fatigue, such as loose primer pockets and case mouth splits. Well, guess what? You look for all the exact same stuff with wildcat cases! Nothing frightening about it; I promise! :)

If you ever get the itch for a wildcat, I would be honored to help you with any part of the process, from picking out what suits you to the various steps you take in making it happen. I love watching water pass under a bridge. Your friend in Christ.

Jason
 

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jm -- yes, this past season I went with the 225gr SGK (get skunked, oh well, wish I had a field report to share). I started with three bullets the 180gr SSP, the 200gr FTX, and the 225gr SGK. By the time I got loading and realized I'd probably be too fast for the SSP and FTX, I concentrated on the SGK, I was down to the wire time-wise. My buddy started and ended his load development with the 200gr Interlock SP, and I might go that route next season. The trajectories of all the bullets are freakishly similar, but the 225gr maintains more velocity and energy past 200-250yards.

I will check out the Marlin forum for sure. I have seen that test before but I didn't remember any specifics about the FTX. The SGK gets questionable at ~235 yards (falls below 1900fps) whereas the FTX would still be within its range per Hornady at 300 yards. Past 300 and the trajectory would become too difficult (for me) to estimate holdover. Regardless, I've never had access to a 300 yard range and I would most likely pass on a 300 yard shot. And if I could not get into a solid shooting position I would probably pass on a 250 yard shot.

I have noticed though that light loads with the 180 and 200gr bullets would be suitable youth loads, the recoil is quite mild. And very accurate. I might even try a Trail Boss load with handgun bullets.

My buddy has some of the Nosler Accubond and Partition, they are loooong bullets. The AB would probably work in my chamber and not reduce my capacity (the Barnes 200gr as well), the Partition, maybe not. I haven't decided if it's worth the cost to try a box. Seeing both bullets side by side though, I can't understand how the Partition has a higher BC.
 

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If the length rule is increased to 1.80" max, Some old black powder cartriges and some interesting wildcats will be legal that will fit lever action rifles that can use/opened to a case head rim diam. of about 0.650".
 
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