RM, wildcatters as a group are the cutting edge of cartridge development. Most of the commercial cartridges we enjoy today were developed by wildcatters. Even some factory cases...
I most certainly do not take any unnecessary risks in the development or modification of loads. Saying that I do is pretty presumptive.
Believe, my procedures are more structured then most loaders and I know to the tenth where my rifles are, even in cases that digest 100grs of powder. Yes, I don't have pressure gear but rely on other methods to keep me from that big loud noise.
You are most certainly right that the realm that I and some others play in IS NOT FOR THE AVERAGE RELOADER. You can get very hurt if you don't know what you are doing.
However, knowledge is what we seek and the only way to learn is to try what is not the norm. In short, that is R&D in a nutshell.
GG, good luck with your quest. There are optimized case/cals/bullet design for every powder and task. And as powders change, there will be new perfect combos.
I don't think I would get too excited about lasers. In fact, they are pretty darn boring. Unless, they are the aiming device for some falling object that makes a really big bang on impact.
The 338 Mystic uses the 300RUM brass as its base. The design involves using off the shelf reamers and components as much as possible. The throat is extended to fit the 300gr MK. In long barrels, the performance should be in the 3000 to 3100fps range.
An affordable LR cannon. Barreled action completed still waiting for barrel block to complete.
The 7 Mystic is about to begin. My version of the 280AI and based on the simple fact that custom dies are a real pain and expensive. This wildcat came about as an experiment with '06 brass and 7RM dies. I expect performance in the same realm as the 280AI, 7JRS and other similar wildcats.
I just don't need expensive dies...
The 22Mystic was another experiment based on a barrel and action that was collecting dust. My first endeavor and well, let's just say a design only the designer would love.
Ends as a long necked 221 Fireball (think of it as a 222Rem short). At least I was thinking outside the box.
The design that has really tickled my fancy is the 6.5 Mystic. This one is for 1000yd BR in concept and the design was built around a bullet and its performance at 1000yds/m, a powder, and a case. All wrapped up to get 100% EFFECIENCY, at least load density.
The goal was to develop a 6.5 case that would launch high BC 140/142gr match bullets at 2900fps without using expensive components, excessive throat wear, or more powder then necessary to reduce barrel heat. The rifle would be designed around Williamsport 17lbs rifle rules.
The case had to have 100% or slightly compressed load density, low velocity variations, be consistent and of course accurate. Plus it couldn't use expensive or limited supply brass or dies (you can use 260Rem dies to load).
The reigning 1000yd champ is the 6.5-284. However, the case is not optimized and load density is lower then I would like. Also, I felt that it was consuming more powder then was needed. Most were throttling back to 2900fps to 2950fps anyways so the case was too big.
The 260Rem is the next modern case but is too small to work. Certainly not at sane pressures. I skipped the Mauser since I too wanted a more compact design and brass is not as readily available as my final choice.
After reviewing load charts and using that rule of thumb, I decided that the 308 case would be ideal IF I could make it bigger.
The standard AI's were already tried with limited improvement over the base case. The solution, move that shoulder forward. Far enough to increase capacity but not compromise neck tension and grip. This design maxes out the 308 case in every conceivable dimension.
To my knowledge, no one has done this yet. In essense, you have a 6.5Gibbs short (yes, I had played with the Gibbs before and was very impressed) throated so you have the boatail just below the neck to maximize neck contact and capacity. You would adjust the throat to suit the bullet used.
The shoulder was chosen to be 35deg as I have had success with that before. The parent case is the 308 for obvious reasons. Best part, you would have plenty of neck thickness to turn (working with 243 to 7-08 doesn't leave enough neck thickness) after necking down. Actually, I neck turn to 12 thou while it is a 308, neck down in a 7BR die and fireform. At present, I am using Win brass but have used Fed GM, Norma with similar good results.
The powder was and is H4831SC. I have used it in many cartridges including a few 6.5's and it just rocks. Many are using this in the 6.5-284 with excellent results. It thrives at elevated pressures where these BR cases tend to live. In my prototype 6.5 Mystic, it used 48gr of powder and the bullet seated with just a hint of crunch (a drop tube solves that). The new lot I have is faster so the crunch will be avoided immediately (expect to use around 46/47gr of powder).
Primer is the CCI BR2. The Fed 210M can also work but doesn't hold up to the pressure as well.
Bullet is the 140gr SST moly coated (I like moly for what it is worth). Yep, a hunting bullet but with a BC that exceeds the 142gr MK, at least in the rifles I have shot. Will shoot in the 1's and wonderful at 1000m.
Of course, any match bullet from the Berger to Lapua to MK to Wildcats can be used as long as they are under 142gr in mass. Someday heavier bullets with higher BC's will come and this case is a bit too small.
I built a test rifle and it met my goals to a T. The only thing I couldn't confirm was the muzzle velocity. This rifle only had a 25" barrel. Pressures were most definitely sane, just above the standard 308 levels.
I am in the midst of finishing up the 17lbs 1000yd spec BR rifle using a 30" Gaillard barrel. I am sure it will meet my velocity and accuracy goals.
Recently, there has been several 1000yd BR shooters who have played with the 6.5 WSSM wildcat. Case capacity is identical to the Mystic and results are similar. The only thing I don't like about the WSSM is the limited options for brass. This will be made way worse if Win/Browning pulls the plug on these cartridges. Then there is the need for custom dies.
So yes, I do know how to go from concept, research, and ground up development to a useable and functional wildcat. Costs a few pennies too. It does serve a purpose that is unique and optimises components available today.
As I don't compete in any competitions, the chances of exposures are slim but for those willing to try, it does work. Surprisingly, a shooter from the Scottish F class team might just be trying this one out. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
The 308 is the case on the right.