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Discussion Starter #1
We are starting to get more response on developing and shooting wildcat cartridges and that is very good! Many of today's favorite factory cartridges began as wildcats. However, there are some points I wish to make:
(1) Many, many wildcats have the same volume in the case and therefore produce the same results under severe teat. Powder capacity vs bullet weight vs Sectional Density is where the results come from.
(2) There is a trend today to believe that a short fat powder column is better than a long slim powder column.
(3) The shoulder angles should always intersect inside the case neck instead of in the leades. This reduces throat erosion.
(4) The straighter the sidewalls the less bolt thrust.....all else being equal.
(5) The smaller the area of the base of the case, the less the bolt thrust
(6) The case neck should be long enough for the bullet not to protrude below the into the powder.
(7)The Expansion Ratio of the barrel...volume of the case vs volume of the barrel is most important!!!!
(8) The lower the pressure at the muzzle, the more uniform the release of the bullet.
If one really looks at the various wildcats over the years you find that they really duplicate the perfoemance.
If you are serious about wildcats, you should purchase Homer Powley's Computer (slide rule)!!!
Just some thoughts from an old wildcatter....Best Regards, James
Boy.....We need spell check on this forum!!

(Edited by James Gates at 6:33 am on June 13, 2001)
 

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All of these things are true. The statement addressing the issue of "if one really looks at the various wildcats over the years you find that they really duplicate the performance", is somewhat confusing. I would have to assume that you mean that they actually duplicate the performance of other wildcat cartridges, that were disigned previousely. That might well be true, however with the variety of new cases available now, there are certainly some new variations to experiment with. I know, nearly all of them are just modified from existing cartridges. It must be noted that with the availability of slower and slower powders, that we see on the market today, cartridges that were considered over-bore capacity a decade ago, are now effecient. This leads to wildcatting becoming more and more popular. This, in my oppinion is a positive thing. The idea, for instance, of necking down a case the size of an Ultramag case to, lets say 6mm, wouldn't have worked with the available propellants of a century or two ago, much less several centuries ago. With the availability of these new, slow burning powders, cartridges such as the one I just mentioned are certainly a possibility. The reason that many of us experiment with wildcats isn't to produce something new, it's to produce something different. Shooters are people, and people like to explore. Wildcats are our way of exploring, and above that, it's just plain fun.
 

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WILDCATS, WILDCATS, WILDCATS!!!

After building rifles and hunting handguns for 20 years now, I have chambered for exactly 18 "factory cartridges", everything else has been WILDCATS!!!

Even my last two military contracts were for wildcat cartridges....

Wildcat cartridges are always more fun and exciting, especially when you design and develope your own....

Some of my most favorite and popular are the 6mmX30-30 Improved, 6mmX284, 6mmX444 Improved, my line of cartridges that are based on the 348 Win. case as well as the 9.3X74R.... and on and on and on and on.......

DAVID
 

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JAMES GATES, GILAMONSTER,DAVID WHITE..........

Gentlemen, couldn't agree with you more.....Wildcats are fun!

My only addition to words you have written is................

"LOAD FROM A DISC" software program follows the basics that Homer Powley gave us with his observations and his "slipstick" but it carries it a few steps further. Powley limited use to only the IMR powders and we had to do our best guess in using a different brand of powder. "LFAD" gives us 5 or 6 other powders to begin development plus a cartridge designer which gives us all sorts of info such as:full case capacity, net case capacity, effective barrel length,barrel/case volume ratio, etc.---------.

This little software program sure speeds up the process of what your little "home brew" might be capable of..........

Best regards,

Ol' John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do want to point out, as I have done before, that I knew Homer Powley well. The reason that Homer worked only with IMR powders is because no other type powder had (has) the same basics. All IMR powders produce to same amount of pressure per grain weight in the enclosed bomb. Their burning rate to produce this pressure is slower (or faster). Many people thought the .86% factor used by Homer was some kind of safety factor.......not so! It is the average density of IMR powders to water. By taking the water capacity on the case to the base of the bullet X's the .86.....gives a full case of IMR to the base of the bullet.
My statement still holds that there have been (and are) many wildcats that, due to equal case capacity, Expansion Ratio, and bullet SD......just give the same results, no matter the case design. Case design does have a great deal to do with bolt thrust, erosion of the leades, etc.....but very little, if any, changes in ballistics.
It is true that the slower powder now available give the past overbore cartridges an edge.....but don't be fooled by cartridges that look bigger. Many short neck designs have the base of the bullet pushed down into the case reducing its powder capacity.
The only wildcats (or factory cartridges) that are worth anything today are those that are designed for a specific purpose.
Most of the cartridges coming out today are designed to sell and fill the pipes! You will see little actual improvements in ballistics in the average hunting rifle.
Yes, the short fat powder columns may burn better than the long powder columns......but will the average hunting rifle show much change........I think not!
Remember....."Quality is as the Customer Perceives!" Does this mean to not work with wildcats......of course not. But keep focused on what you are trying to develop.
Best Regards, James
 

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I tried to get HOMER POWLEY"S COMPUTER slide rules.
I located HUTTON RIFLE RANCH and called them and they told me to send $29.95 to them . I sent it and never received anything.
I called and got a lady on the phone and she said he was in bad shape.I called a couple more times and gave up.
I never got the money back either.
This was over five years ago.
The man may have passed away by now

If I could locate an used set, I would love to get them.

I have tried Ebay and all over the internet, but no soap.

Plenty have heard of them, but there are none available.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Homer powley has been dead some 5 or 6 years ago. I talked to him before he died and we discussed some misunderstandings that people thought the .86 times the case weight of water.......some thought is was some kind of safety factor.......it was not! It is the average density of IMR powders related the water. When some of the computer reloading programs came out, the maistake was carried forward. I tried to discuss the problem with them.......but they assumed thay knew it all and I gave up.
I have no idea why you didn't get your computer, except it might have been when he was dying. Maybe your money got missplaced at that time. I do know that they still had the computors a few years ago, because I bought a new one. You might should call out there again.
Best Regards, James
 

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I got mine in 1970 and sorry, it's not for sale. Several computer programs are available now that do the same or more. Suggest a Load is linked to John Ross' site and allows the use of faster powders than Powley. It's DOS based and a bit clumsy, but useable and free.
http://john-ross.net/suggestload.htm

Loads from a Disk looks like a straight from Powley job. Inexpensive and there's a free demo.
http://www.loadammo.com/News.htm

QuickLoad is more advanced than Powley and quite expensive ($150).
http://www.neconos.com/details3.htm

I don't know much about this one.
http://www.shootingsoftware.com/ballistics3.htm

Go to this interesting ladies site and click on IMR Powders for the Powley equations
http://www.aeroballisticsonline.com/

The originals pictured below.

Bye
Jack
 

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