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Wildcat cartridges Empty Wildcat cartridges

Post by 12acrehome on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:06 am

As a point of defination, a wildcat cartridge for this discussion is a cartridge that is not and never has been a factory loaded cartridge. (not one for hunting / shooting wild or feral cats)

Through out the history of the metallic cartridge there have always been people who tinker with what the ammunition manufacturers offer, in hopes of finding some new ballistic advantage. Many of these have become adopted by the rifle and ammo factories, many more have not. The .25'06 was a wildcat but has been a factory standard for many years now. The .35 Whelen, though not as popular as it should be could be called a wildcat, but occasional production runs of rifles and ammo keep it in the kinda adopted catagory. The .22 Hornet, though nearly unheard of today enjoys an almost cult following, as does it's wildcat cousin the .22 K-Hornet. The K-Hornet being an "improved" Hornet with less taper, shorter neck and steeper shoulder angle. The K-Hornet can easily push a 40 grain bullet to 3,200 fps, while the Hornet is fully stressed at 3,000 fps. That is only maximum published loads will reach that velocity, and the chamber pressures involved will be hard on the brass. Some times though, there seems to be no discernable reason for a wildcat, unless you look really deep into why someone would want to build such a thing. A case in point is being discussed on another board, and since we are hunter gathers at heart also I thought I would bring part of the discussion here. Many of us are handloaders, or at least reloaders. I would guess that not many are wildcatters though. Some of us may live where bears are around, or hunt Moose or Elk. When I heard about a cartridge that could move a 500 grain bullet at 2400 feet per second, I had two thoughts. First, I was reminded of an old yarn that goes: " a 90 pound englishman shoots an elephant with a 10 pound rifle, the winner is determined by who is the first to stand up"

The second thought was "high dollar" custom rifle. While the jury is still out on the first thought, the second thought, as it turns out, is very off base. This cartridge has been designed to be safely used on a H&R Handi rifle!! It is called the .499 Hubel Express and a simple rechambering of a .500 S&W barrel will be the only alteration the rifle needs. The cartridge operates at 30kpsi, about 20k less than the factory chambering. It uses reformed 450 nitro express brass that, while expensive, should last a very long time. The .499 H.E. would be as versatile as a 45-70, but offer a lot more thump with top loads for times when you just can't have too much gun.

Being friendly to the H&R line of rifles would make it easily attainable for anyone who wanted a big gun at a budget price.
Does anyone else like to shoot the oddball calibers, or do you prefer to stick with factory and readily available stuff?

Keith

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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12acrehome
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Wildcat cartridges Empty Re: Wildcat cartridges

Post by Rohn on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:14 pm

I have never shot a wildcat load. Although I might sometime in the future if the opportunity presents itself, since I love adventure and guns. bom
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