Anyone actually design their own wildcat cartridge out there? I made a 6 X 60MM and improved the 6.5 X 55. Fun hobby but by the time one has reamers and custom dies made it adds up to an expensive one.
My wildcat was the "10-45", a 10mm wildcat on a .45 ACP cartridge I designed and built in 1992. This was before the .400 Cor Bon, but my 10-45 was very similar. It had a longer neck and slighlty less powder capacity with an Ackley Imrpoved type shoulder.
Years before I had read about the .41 Avenger, which was a .45 ACP necked down to take .41 caliber pistol bullets. SSK made conversion kits for the 1911 and the round was written up here and there, but did not achieve much popularity. I was publishing a gun book at the time and thought it would be interesting to do a 10mm-45 ACP, the 10mm craze was just then getting going and many good 10 mm auto pistol bullets were available. I discovered that the idea had already been executed by a custom barrel maker, Centaur and it was called the 10mm Centaur. I met a custom pistolsmith, Dave Sample, who sent me one of his super guns for testing & evaluation in that caliber. He was a big fan of the round and had used it successfully in IPSC competition. He said he got better scores with it than with his old standby .45 ACP. The 10 mm Centaur had a comparativley long neck and a gentle shoulder kind of like the 30-06. Even though it was written up in a couple of articles and was available in match and drop in 1911 barrels sold with Redding dies, it never took off.
Around the same time, a gun writer for Gun World magazine, Eric Kincel, necked down the 45 Win Magnum to 10 mm but with a very sharp shoulder, kind of like an Ackley Improved. He shot it in an AMT auto pistol. I knew Eric personally and he was very enthusiastic about the possibilities of a whole bunch of wildcat auto pistol cartridges in the AMT autoloader based on the .45 Winchester Magnum case, especially in .22 and .25 calibers. Kind of like a .223 or a 250 Savage in an auto pistol. I have to admit that I got pretty carried away by some of those ideas too. The problem is, where do you get the custom .22 and .25 caliber barrels for the AMT pistol? Even apart from that, is there really any point to a .223 or a .250 Savage auto pistol? Well, there may be some point, but some one else will have to find it because I lost interest and I don't think AMT is even in business any more.
In any case, I got the bright idea that the magnum length reamer used for Kincel's 10mm wildcat could be used to chamber a barrel to the shorter .45 ACP length in a Bar Sto Barrel and it would make a neat wildcat 10mm round in the 1911 auto pistol. I contaced Al Sraitiff of the Competitor Pistol company in Mass, who had done the work for Eric Kincel and he agreed that it would work. I provided the Bar Sto Barrel (10 mm barrel with a .45 hood) and he sent it back to me complete with reloading dies as well for no charge because I was going to mention him and give him a page of advertising in my book.
It worked very well, giving better accuracy than any .45 ACP I've ever used and providing me with lots of fun. It has a different kind of sensation than the .45 ACP. Hard to explain, but just different. The slide velocity is greater with the 10mm and the lighter bullets. I think the enhanced accuracy may be related to the fact that you can adjust for precise headspacing, just like a bottlenecked rifle cartridge.
Ballistics are about like the .357 S&W in most loadings. I never got too carried away with trying to make a "magnum" because I did not want to pound my gun to death and the moderate loads were great for general shooting. With a scope, this gun was a lot of fun. This was before the .400 Cor Bon and the pistol always attracted a lot of attention whenever I shot it. The brass was very unusual for the time and people invariably asked "What caliber is that thing?" Then they asked to try it. It seemed as accurate for everyone else as for me and people commented on the way it shot, "Kind of different from the .45."
One more thing: With this cartridge I always got my brass back!
I have a bunch of other wildcatting ideas, but will save them for another time.
I've always liked the idea of wildcatting, but they're almost always done in bolt action rifles (which I find terminally boring).
I own a .303 Canadian Epps Belted Magnum ( a .308 Norma opened up to a .311 bore) that I inherited from my father, but I've often wondered if someone who built a lever actioned rifle that preferred rimmed cartridges (like Winchester or Marlin) would like a round that would produce 30-06+ velocities. My candidate would be what I call a 30 ET (.30 Epps-Teal). A .303 Epps necked down to .308 bore size. This should give velocities in the 2800 FPS range with a 180 gr bullet (if those actions could handle tha pressure).
Nothing really new, but I own a CZ 550 mag in .450 Ackley mag (orginal caliber of my CZ was .458 Win mag).
It is very easy to made, just take a .375 H&H brass and use my 2 customs forming dies and after that you have a brass formed in .450 Ackley. Nearly no shoulder angle, it's look like a .458 Win mag brass but with a lenght of 0.350" more.
Rick, I just looked at your post again. I'm still a little confused. The 303 Epps belted, I understand. But where does the 303 Epps rimmed come from? If it is the 303 Brit., then I can tell JDJ of SSK Ind. has done some work with the 303 rimmed. A'95' will handle higher pressures, but a 30-180-2800, is asking a bit much I think. But then I don't always know as much as I think I know!!! O.
The .303 Epps is different from the wildcat I own. Mine is based on the .308 Norma case, while the .303 Epps is a blown out and squared up .303 British case. Ellwood Epps would only chamber this wildcat in P14 rifles, but I know that John Y Cannuck has a Ross (which is about the same strength as the P14) chambered in the .303 Epps as well.
Epps experimentation with the improved cartridge produced 2820 fps with powders available in the late '60's. I based my estimate on this number allowing for the natural drop in velocity when reducing bore size. Most guys loading the Epps seem to keep their velocities in the 2750 fps range.
I know the old 1895 was a very strong action, and I assume that the BLR and Winchester 88 (if it were long enough) could handle the pressure, but my comment was mainly directed at the Winchester 94's and Marlin levers where I understand there may be an upper end pressure limit (and length of action) that may prevent the use of this cartridge.
I do find single shot rifles marginally interesting, but I'm a hunting-oriented gun nut, and where I hunt in the thick stuff in Ontario, bolts and single shots are far from the best tools available.
Onesonek reminds me of me! I started my wildcat experience with a 280 Rem. A.I. Wonderful shooter! Then I had a 6MM Rem. A.I. made. Havn't got that yet. My next project...something to do with the 348 case. Also got me a 50 BMG. The ultimate "Take your buddies out & thrill um machine" :shock:
Thanks for filling me in on the Epps. A 180 at 2750 is quite respectable. But I'm "almost" positive, it would be generating pressures that are too much for the marlin and winchester "94". And even those actions maybe on the short side, for the 303. I like levers also in certain situations. My favorite, is the savage 99 in a 358 win. Thanks for the input. O.
Sometimes a wildcat isn't for any other reason than necessity. My brother bought a TCR in 6mm TCU. He had troubles with primers blowing and bits of the anvil getting into the firing pin area through the hole. The loads that TC provided were better but after having the gun back to TC three times he decided that there was no place for this weapon, in this caliber in his arsenal. He came to me to assist in finding a cartridge that would provide at least 2800 FPS with an 85 grain bullet and work well in the break open action of the TCR. The parent case had to be readily available and cheap. I did some quick searches on rimmed cases (this would improve the odds of accuracy in the break open action) that were large enough to allow the room for powder. There are a lot of cases but we settled on trying the 30-30 first. If that didn't work we could go to the Russian or Krag if we needed to have more room for powder. My calc's suggested that we could get at least 2800 fps with the 30-30 but I have been wrong before. We got the reamers made to do a simple neck-down of 30-30 to 6mm and did the work in my shop. The chamber was recut - the extracto was milled - and we even managed to neck down a couple of cases to fire-form to have dies made. Well to finish this novel he now has a 6mmx30-30 TCR that shoots 1/2 MOA at 100 yards with a MV of 3000 fps. He is happy and has had no problems with the weapon since.
You and I think along the same lines. I necked down the 45 acp to 40 caliber, or 10mm in 1978 and used the thing to hunt with and to shoot metallic silhouette. The only bullets available at the time were some old stocks of the 38/40 180 grain 3/4 jacketted soft point and whatever you could cast out from 3 different Lyman molds and an RCBS mold. My favorite is still the 170 grain Keith style SWC.
Yeah, I got the looks too, and the disdain from some of the guys who preferred the 41 Automag or its larger brother for silhouette but ya know, my scores at the 200 yard mark weren't any less than theirs, so I considered it a success.
I got my barrel from Irv Stone at Bar-Sto Barrels and later authorized him to cut another barrel for a fella named Bob Loveless, a knifemaker in California. Loveless and I had corresponded about my cartridge and design and I wound up shipping him a box of my reloads, which he promptly reported as having busted up his bullet trap. He also sent a cartridge and my reloading specs to Dean Grennel who said the cartridge was too hot for the 1911 frame - Grennel later worked with Peter Pi at CorBon to design the 400 CorBon cartridge, but if you listen to the CorBon people, it was a dinner conversation and a diagram on a table napkin that started the whole idea. Right!
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