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Beartooth Regular
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Just curious, I know there are many answers and none of them wrong, as to why do you build or rechamber a rifle for a wildcat cartridge?

I figure for some, it will be just for the sake of trying it. For others it may be to get long action performance from a short action rifle. Others to get magnum performance from a standard, efficient cartridge. Are there any voids left to be filled by a non-commercial round?

For me, well, I guess mine was partly to fill a void and partly to do something different. What I wanted was a rifle to hunt deer and moose in areas that were heavily populated with the big coastal brown bears. I wanted to be able to shoot spitzer shaped bullets, but also wanted a fast repeater. The rifle I chose was the 1895 Winchester. I suppose I could have waited and ordered a 405 Winchester, really don't have any reason that I didn't. I didn't expect Ruger to pick up the chambering this year and figured that the brass availability would be limited after Winchester's limited run of the 405. I suppose I could have stocked up, but thought why not use the 30-06 case? The ultimate choice of going with the 411 Hawk was after contacting the folks up here that have used one on bear and moose. Their reports convinced me that is was a exceptional performer for the purposes I wanted to use it for. It would definitely work on moose on the far side 200 yards, and would definitely handle big bears at shoe shining distances. What more could you ask for?

At any rate, I've noticed a lot of discussions about different wildcats and wanted to get folks perspective.
 

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Hmmm good question

I wanted to use a common easily found case that I could put a big cast bullet on that would do a fair job of stomping most anything that walks this continent. The 375 Whelen filled that bill nicely.
When I got a Siamese Mauser converted to 45-70 I was wild catting back then. The Siamese took the old slow 45-70 and doubled the velocity, there about, close too.
Now I see that there's some interesting possibilities using the Winchester 95 and making another romper stomper of 40 caliber, using the easily found 30-06 case. I won't use this rifle in the field unless I make a trip to Africa. But I sure will enjoy finding the right molds, alloy, powder charge, for this combination. I see no need to ever put a jacketed bullet down that barrel.
Jim
 

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I have come up against action availability problems, and have not completed a wildcat yet, but my reason will be to stuff a relatively powerful round in the smallest possible rifle for ultra-portability.

Fireplug
 

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I cut my first wildcat (.270 Gibbs) to see if some gunwriters knew what they were talking about. I've cut 2 more Gibbs since then so I guess that you can't always believe what a gunwriter prints. Always believe or ever believe....Hhhmmm.
 

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I lost my fear of wildcats when I used to slam steel with T/C Contenders. At the ripe age of 18 started with the 7mm TC/U, a very simple wildcat to form and shoot accuratley if you pay attention to case sizing (as you would with anything). Since then, I just find something that looks interesting and go with it if it's practical. There are many wildcat rounds that don't wear a belt that shoot as hard as the mags and don't burn as much power or kick as hard, making them much easier to shoot for me, and much easier on your barrel also. It's going to be interesting to see what comes of the new WSM and WSSM cases. How about a sub 5lb rifle in a cartridge with a little more powder capacity than a 260/7-08/308/358? OK 6lb with a scope, sling and a mag of ammo. Maybe a walking varminter in the 61/2lb range with a stiff shorter barrel that shoots 1/4moa.? I know all these things are available now, but it will be something newer/faster/lighter, and possibly more accurate. How can you help yourself? If you're going to shell out the cash for a custom rifle, why not make the most of it, and get something that is really "custom" and tailored to your specific wants? The cost for a set of Redding Group "D" dies is nothing on top of a custom rifle/pistol.
 

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For me, the affliction is related to a quest for flexibility in a single rifle - the mice to moose question is more of a canary to Cape buffalo question. This was originally pursued using normal handloading tricks in factory cases, with moderate success until the propellant manufacturers discovered "self-sustaining" powders and were brave enough to test the market. AA came out with XMP5744 a few years back, and load density was no longer an issue. Soon I had even the 300 RUM driving tacks at '06 velocities with a 50% drop in free recoil.

Now we have the Short Mag cases, which turn out to be flexible in their own right, and they fit in a short action to boot. The 35 Whelen taught me the virtues of shooting reduced loads with .357 pistol bullets, so I'm building a 358 WSM to get closer to the elusive canary to Cape buff rifle.

Ultimately, the quest will evolve to sabot rounds in the WSM or RUM case, going to the .338 caliber. The key is the 1 in 10 twist, which will stabilize .224, .243, .270 and .308 bullets well, and still give a 300 gr 338 at the top. Contrary to popular opinion, excellent accuracy can be had with sabots if you handload and know a few tricks.

Since the 338 sabots will have to be custom manufactured, this will be a true wildcat, even if the stock 338 RUM case is used. In the future, we will all be able to concoct our own sabots, using technology not much more complex than casting lead bullets today. I plan to own a piece of that business opportunity.

My guess is that wildcatters all have a bit of Edison in them: we like to use what we have learned to push the envelope, and have disdain for popular opinion. Not all that different from the hot rodders that taught Detroit how to build fast cars in the 50s.
 

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It's interesting...

I find it interesting to look at old threads and see how far we've come. The original poster made comment about the "new" WSM and WSSM cartridges. Those are now well-established rounds.

To answer his question, my first wildcat was to fill a need particular to me: To get a round that would feed in my long-action magnum and not burn out the barrel in 500 rounds. That round is the 300 Nevada Desert Magnum, or 300NDM. My second will be a 7mm magnum; I am doing that one to create a mid-length magnum (2.235-inch case length) that will fully seat the Berger VLD bullets while maintaining a sensible overall length in the popular 7mm caliber. I will use super-high quality components. I have selected the Bighorn Arms action, a Satern barrel and a McMillan stock. No date has been set to begin the project. I have to finish the first one first...
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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nvshooter - please lower the font on your posting. If you have a hard time viewing the posts, including your own, you have internal controls on your computer to make the print appear larger for your viewing.

Thank you.
 

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For me, just for the heck of it. On my .358 HDH it was mainly because I wanted a 300 yard deer legal rifle for use in Indiana and wanted to use it in an LR-308 platform. Now that they have gone from 1.625 to 1.800 I am having the reamer re-ground and new headspace gauges and use the .325 WSM as the parent case instead of the .25 WSSM, and QL says I will gain 300 fps. I'll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Another reason, ever try to find an elephant caliber semi-auto with a 9 round mag based on an AR (LR-308) style rifle? I have one because I wildcat. You sure cannot fine one of them on the shelf of your local gun pub.
 

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Why do I Wildcat

It is a hard question to explain.There are very few gaps in our factory lineup.Must be some other reason.
I started with a 25-06 a long time ago.I shot the barrel out of two before it was factory.Good cartridge but just lost interest in it.I have owned and loaded wildcats from the 22-284 thru 10.3mm.The 22-284 lasted around 300 rounds.I have shot the family of rounds built off the 284 case.
When I look for someone to blame for this illness, I blame Parker Ackley,I was friends with him when I lived in Utah.I am still shooting 3 of his rounds.
I think we like to build wildcats because the unknown is fun,even at my age I am still looking for something special.You will have to invest time and money,but never wasted.I am thinking right now about something new.
 

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I work with wildcat cartridges to be unique; to take the road-less-traveled. I like the idea of taking something old and making it new again, or just seeing it work a little better. Doing what other people are not comfortable doing, even if if doesn't make a bit of difference, is challenging and rewarding, all at the same time. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it and if there is one thing I'm sure of, it's that I do NOT want to be like everybody...especially in this day and age! :)
 

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I did it because I could not get my favorite bullet in the weight i wanted it with a standard magnum so I just necked one to fit my needs it was fun I now have somthing that only I or a few others have
 

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The Shadow
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+1 to big bore.
Because why not??
I like quarter-bores, I have a TON of 308 brass; Ergo I wilcat a souper.
 

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I do it because I can first of all, and I build my own rifles and am not paying someone else to do it for me, so the really only extra cost is buying or having a set of dies made for the wildcat of choice. Most any wild cat reamer amagninable can be rented or a combination of chamber reamers with a removable pilot and neck and throating reamerscan be used to come up with most all common wildcats. I tend to look for what brass is readily available to start with, and go from there. as mentioned above the 25 Souper is one that I am very interested in, but until I shoot out my 257 Ackley I'll probably hold off on that one. The 6.5-06 Ackley is another one I'm interested in and plan to build in the near future. I just finished a 416 Taylor and love it a lot. But until I start seeing RUM, RCM, WSM, WSSM brass laying around in quantities I think I'll hold off on playing around with any of those for now.
 

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I just finished a 416 Taylor and love it a lot. But until I start seeing RUM, RCM, WSM, WSSM brass laying around in quantities I think I'll hold off on playing around with any of those for now.
Here's how crazy wildcatters get ... I've been considering a 416Taylor ... but its simpler to do a 416/300WinMag, open a cheap set of Lee RGB dies, use a 300Winmag and 416cal neck/throaters, no need for 'special' dies and 300WinMag brass is plentiful! :D Matter of fact I'm surprised that the 300WinMag case has been over-looked by wildcatters with only the 425Express a legitimised derivative from this case. I may even rechamber a 338WinMag take-off barrel to 338/300WinMag just to see what it adds and throat it long for the 225gr TSX.

I primarily wildcat because its more fun than doing load development on an established round. My current play-thing is a 22-204Ruger ... an easy speed 'pick-up' over the common 223Rem and an easy rechamber. Sometime in 2012, I'll add a 17PeeWee to the safe ... then there's the spare Ruger stainless action with magnum bolt-face that I have to work out a purpose for.

By the way, in Australia we already have wildcats on the WSM cases, but the WSSMs are seeing interest with 338s/375s/44s and 458s done. All thanks to cheap WSSM donors as people got out of them for not much money. A friend's even shortened a 300RUM a tad and given the neck/shoulder WSM dimensions to allow fitting to a modified Ruger action with 3.5" COL and allow use of his WSM dies adjusted appropriately.
Cheers...
Con
 

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...My current play-thing is a 22-204Ruger ... an easy speed 'pick-up' over the common 223Rem and an easy rechamber.

Cheers...
Con
OK, don't blame me for pointing out that the Emperor is stark naked, but the 204 Ruger is little more than a 222 Remington Magnum, necked down. Are you saying you necked it back UP to essentially recreate the parent cartridge? :confused:
 

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Con; I primarily wildcat because its more fun than doing load development on an established round. My current play-thing is a 22-204Ruger ... an easy speed 'pick-up' over the common 223Rem and an easy rechamber. Sometime in 2012 said:
Good choice 22-204Ruger little more case capacity than the 222Rem mag.
I assume you just neck the 204 case up and kept the long case body.
 

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old roper,
Yep, just neck up. No fireforming like the 223AI, and greater case capacity. I have a 223AI which will also be converted soon. Dies are Lee 204Ruger dies with the necks opened and the internals from a 223Rem die put in.

Top loads seem to be 1gr clear of the 222Magnum and about 2.5gr clear of the 223Rem, which pretty much matches the case capacity differences.

In effect its closer to the 22PPC.

Its a nifty little wildcat ... definately not a '222RemMag' ... more correct would be a 222RemMagAI (30deg).
Cheers...
Con
 

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old roper,
Yep, just neck up. No fireforming like the 223AI, and greater case capacity. I have a 223AI which will also be converted soon. Dies are Lee 204Ruger dies with the necks opened and the internals from a 223Rem die put in.

Top loads seem to be 1gr clear of the 222Magnum and about 2.5gr clear of the 223Rem, which pretty much matches the case capacity differences.

In effect its closer to the 22PPC.

Its a nifty little wildcat ... definately not a '222RemMag' ... more correct would be a 222RemMagAI (30deg).
Cheers...
Con

I've got custom in 222,222AI,223,223AI,222Mag plus rem 722 in 222mag and I plan on doing the 222magAI??. Gunsmith got in a Manson 204 reamer and I was up today talking to him about the 204/22-204 and he's talking about maybe 22-204 with 40 degree shoulders he's got that reamer coming in. Also maybe 1/8 twist barrel.

I've got the the 22ppc plus 22Br. Lot of fun Well good luck
 
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