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Thread: Where do all of the wildcat rifles go when owner die ?

  1. #41
    Boolit Buddy
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    Since the thread seems to have turned into a "what ya got" kind of thing instead of what happens to them, let me add that I have three. Two were by design and one by accident.

    The ones by design are a .416 Taylor and a .458 American (aka .428x2). Both because I always wanted one although I have no practical use of either. Some claim the American has been standardized by the .450 Marlin but I don't agree. American brass can be made from just about any belted case (I used 7mm Rem Mag mostly) while the Marlin requires specific brass. I bet 20 years from now you won't be able to find brass to feed the Marlin but feeding the American will never be a problem. No fancy dies required for the Taylor or the Marlin.

    My by accident is a .257 Roberts AI. Bought a Sears version of the Win Mod 70 and it had a bulged barrel. Saw a Mod 70 257 Rob barrel on Evilbay. When it arrived it was clearly marked and rechambered as an AI round. Screwed it on and wha-la another wildcat.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    The best reason for wildcatting has always been having a more entertaining cast boolit cartridge.

  3. #43
    Boolit Buddy BigEyeBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    The .303s aren't that rare and brass is available now (PPU). After that, it loads just like anything else.

    I highly doubt I'd ever build a wildcat rifle. I might buy one if it was a really cool rifle and the price was right, but I have to go along with the mind set that no wildcat could do anything a factory chambering can't do just as well.
    Many wildcat cartridges built on the 303 British csse in Australia after WWII ,due to stupid laws that prevented civilians owning military caliber rifles , 22/303 (( many versions of this), 25/303 ,243/303 , 270/303 ,35/303 .I have a 25/303 ,and a 270/303 ,both built on mauser actions ,both perform well . I have the parts to build a 7.7 x 54R on a No1 MkIII which will be happening soon .I gave my Son the M70 Winchester in 243 I owned for over 40 years because I like my 25/303 so much better.Plenty of MkIII ,P14/M17, and no4 Enfields still on the market here ,that have been converted to 303 based wildcats . There is a nostalgic resurgence going on here at the moment with these Aussie wildcats , even some brand new rifles being built in the 303 based cartridges .A lot of these converted rifles come onto the market ,with the resurgence in popularity a lot are being picked up by younger shooters and being restored and used .They want to shoot the rifles that thier Uncles , Grand dads or fathers used during the 40's and 50's .
    Last edited by BigEyeBob; 12-17-2019 at 07:40 PM.

  4. #44
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Cheer View Post
    The best reason for wildcatting has always been having a more entertaining cast boolit cartridge.
    I don't have one but... I have on a number of occasions gone to the effort and expense to make "just what I wanted". The value was strictly a one man market. Now it is possible that someone else might appreciate something I have done or made but it is also likely that they don't let that person out in public around people all that often so they won't be found to purchase my work for what it is "really" worth. So my heirs will be stuck with market value.

    I think people have said what happens to a lot of the wildcat guns, if the firearm is a good one the process gets reversed. Chambered in some more common cartridge and is a wildcat no more. it sounds like some probably do end up as dust collectors, or safe queens. Kept because a family member or friend gave or left it to them along with a couple of boxes of ammo that will be all the ammo they are likely to see for it unless they get the same wild hair in their backside that caused someone to make it a wildcat in the first place. In which case they may decide while nice the way uncle Charlie had it if it was chambered in my own wild idea of best cartridge ever it would be perfect.

    Like I said re-chambered by the next owner seems like the overwhelming fate.

    Don't have that itch myself, figure folks that do provide lots of interesting information. Just as long as they are not doing a Bubba number to Enfield stocks I say go for it if it makes you happy and doesn't blow up. If it does blow up hopefully no one is hurt and you will post pictures.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    I did have a wildcat rifle that I built with a 303 British barrel then later reamed it back to be a 303 British.
    It was a handi rifle and now the barrel alone is worth much more than I had in the whole project.

    Jedman

  6. #46
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    retread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Found this one poking around on gunbroker. Have to admit the .219 Wasp always intrigued me from a historical perspective, but I don't have the masochist tendencies to take it on.
    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/848629479
    What an ugly stock!!

  7. #47
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    What an ugly stock!!
    Very specialized bench rest rifle, not meant to look pretty.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    My guess is when the get sold or traded off and they’r rebarreled to common caliber again.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 12-20-2019 at 10:54 AM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich/WIS View Post
    I avoid the wildcats, most don't do anything that a standard caliber won't do and not interested in forming cases. Would rather spend my time shooting and casting. That said I do have a Ruger #3 in 30/40 that a previous owner converted to AI and restocked to look like a stalking rifle. Only reason I bought it was I liked the looks and making cases was simple (helped I had lots of 30/40 brass on hand). I reload and cast and didn't need the extra case capacity but it doesn't keep me from making it do what I want to do with it.

    I am not condemning the practice or denigrating those who do. Many of yesterday's wildcats are the ancestors of many popular commercial cartridges, think 25/06, 280 Rem, 338/06 and many of the belted magnums. For someone who enjoys the process I say life is short so do what makes you happy. Who knows, some of today's wildcats may inspire tomorrow's commercial calibers.
    I am pretty much of the same opinion. I used to crave having a couple until reality set in. Just not worth the effort or cost once you apply some logic and rationale to the subject. I went through a critical evaluation of my "needs" (not wants) a few years ago. From dozens of calibers and rifles I whittled it down to four... Everything I needed in a rifle could be done with the .223, .30/30, .308 and .300 WinMag. Now, 8-10 years later I am thinking about ditching the .300 WinMag. Have never used it and still waiting to draw an elk tag. Once I get my elk, I will have no use for it.

    But my needs are simple and I am getting older.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #50
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I agree. If I want another 100 FPS I’ll change calibers. Too much screwing around IMO.

  11. #51
    Boolit Buddy

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    A friend had a 243 Ackley built on a Mauser 98 he wanted to part with. Really nice piece of workmanship. I passed on it for all the reasons already given. Nobody expressed any interest. He finally sold it for $200 with dies. Unless it's something made by a famous gunsmith like Harry Pope, it's barely worth the price of it's parts.

  12. #52
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I donno, I'm enjoying my Encore 25 Krag AI 40degree quite a bit. I wanted a quarter bore, single shot, and a rimmed cartridge. I'm old enough that, since my boys aren't into reloading, I'll pass this one on to Arisaka99 since his wife loves the 45-70 barrel on it.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  13. #53
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Found this one poking around on gunbroker. Have to admit the .219 Wasp always intrigued me from a historical perspective, but I don't have the masochist tendencies to take it on.
    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/848629479
    Just picked up a chamber reamer for the 219 wasp. Had a little trouble with the neck size and called PTG. Found out there are 6 different 219 wasp chambers.

  14. #54
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    My LGS knows that I have a "soft spot" for rifles in weird and wonderful chamberings. I get them for a very good price BUT sometimes you fall. I bought a Martini 218 Mashburn Bee with a 4x Pecar scope for $AU180 and ordered a set of RCBS dies. They came in at $185! It has a 1:16" twist so bullet design is critical. Recently Speer were selling a little 35gn 'Armageddon' a perfect match. Accuracy is tops, velocity is over 3000fps and I'm a very happy camper!

    I have lots of other wildcats, 303 Epps Improved, again it was on the dealers shelf for near 2 years before I purchased, A Martini Cadet in 222/17Rimmed sat on the shelf for near 3 years. I bought it with dies and scope for just $400 as he said he was going to break it down to parts.

    There in lies, I believe, the fate of many wildcats, they are more saleable as gun parts and components no matter what action they are built upon.


    Forming 218 Mashburn from 32/20 cases



    303 Epps Improved (center)

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  15. #55
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad *** Wallace View Post
    My LGS knows that I have a "soft spot" for rifles in weird and wonderful chamberings. I get them for a very good price BUT sometimes you fall. I bought a Martini 218 Mashburn Bee with a 4x Pecar scope for $AU180 and ordered a set of RCBS dies. They came in at $185! It has a 1:16" twist so bullet design is critical. Recently Speer were selling a little 35gn 'Armageddon' a perfect match. Accuracy is tops, velocity is over 3000fps and I'm a very happy camper!

    I have lots of other wildcats, 303 Epps Improved, again it was on the dealers shelf for near 2 years before I purchased, A Martini Cadet in 222/17Rimmed sat on the shelf for near 3 years. I bought it with dies and scope for just $400 as he said he was going to break it down to parts.

    There in lies, I believe, the fate of many wildcats, they are more saleable as gun parts and components no matter what action they are built upon.


    Forming 218 Mashburn from 32/20 cases



    303 Epps Improved (center)

    There will always be people like us that want to try something different even though we know in our hearts that it is probably more trouble than it is worth, but it IS a lesson in experimentation after all. One of my long time friends and shooting buds recently passed away and they liquidated his estate by auction. He had some really nice guns and some were a work in progress. A few of his rifles were re barrelled but un marked. Those sold too but just didn't bring top dollar, so there was somebody out there that was willing to do a chamber cast and gamble on the caliber.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  16. #56
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    I have a 25/303 Sportco on a Lithgow SMLE action with a long skinny SMLE profile barrel. Amazingly accurate with a small muzzle blast suppressor mounted, with 87gr bullets. It was an 'official' production wildcat made by simply necking down a 303 Brit. That rifle and cartridge has more appeal to me than a modern 243 Winchester. Give me a 25/303 in a Handi rifle and I would over the moon!

    A wildcat that interests me is a 303/30-40. Or simply, a long necked 303 Brit using a 30-40 case - for cast boolits (in a Handi rifle). Actually, make that a 35-40 and I'll call it good.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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  17. #57
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Do you have a gunsmith in New Zealand that can rebore a barrel for you? If you found a 308 Win Handi Rifle it would be easy to rebore to 358 Win and load it down to 35-40 levels, plus brass is easier to come by.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  18. #58
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    I have an 8mm-06 that I like very much. The wife understands what it is if something happens to me. She worked in a gun shop so has contacts that will help her out.

  19. #59
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    That 25-07 looks interesting.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    I'd thought maybe to have a 45-70 Marlin lever gun rebarreled but nah, will just stick with the single shot.
    Click image for larger version. 

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