Input and feedback requested on a new 6.5 wildcat

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by scottl0000@hotmail.com, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. scottl0000@hotmail.com

    scottl0000@hotmail.com Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Hey there folks,

    I have spent some time working the numbers and am thinking of the design outlined below for a new (as far as I know) wild cat. From my preliminary numbers, it looks like the cartridge may fill a nitch for 1k shooters, as well as hunters like myself and possibly (though I'm not sure of the feed implications of such a design and am looking for input here too) for the AR shooters.

    I focused on 4 major design constraints:

    1)Case capacity approximately half way or slightly more, between the .260 Rem and 6.5x.284 Winchester

    2)Has to be able to function through a short action repeater, using most 139 to 142 grain bullets seated as close as possible to the junction of the neck and shoulder. If any bullet types needed to encroach on the powder space, this was to be minimized as much as possible.

    3)Needs to be formable from a case that was readily available, and of very good quality

    4)Utilizes a long neck to allow for greater variety of bullet weights and configurations in the 123 to 142 range if desired, while still maintaining at least .25 grip on the bullet with all desired bullets (also potential minor benefits on minimizing throat erosion)

    Here are the rough numbers I come up with on paper. Any feedback would be extremely appreciated as I suspect most all up here have more experience than myself on this sort of thing plus I'm doing on-paper calculations as my copy of Load From a Disk won't arrive for several days from Texas. I'm referring to it as the 6.5 SLiC (Slick Little Cartrige) and it's based on a shortened WSM case, necks turned and reamed. I plan on using the same WSM body taper as well.

    6.5 SLiC
    Neck vol. 4.8503 gr.
    Shld vol. 4.8053 gr.
    Base vol. 52.1996 gr.
    Total vol. 61.8552 gr.
    Neck length 0.350
    Shoulder Angle 35 degrees
    Base length excl. web 1.115
    Length to neck/shldr 1.475
    Case OAL 1.825
    Est. Cartridge OAL 2.800 (appx. according to limited # of sample bullet measurements and depending on throating depth)
    ** 6.5 SLiC Usable vol. 57.00 gr.
    (** Usable volume was calculated as the sum of the base volume plus the shoulder volume)

    This should come out about right for my case capacity goal - my figures show the "Usable volume" (capacity up to the neck/shoulder junction) of comparable cartridges as follows:

    6.5 WSSM Usable vol. 49.07 gr.
    .260 Rem Usable vol. 49.64 gr.
    6.5x.284 W. Usable vol. 62.84 gr.
    .270 WSM Usable vol. 73.34 gr.

    ... so the usable volume would be 5.8 grains less than the ever-popular 6.5x.284 Winchester, with the hopes it will tread quite closely on the velocities as the case is shorter, fatter, & hopefully more efficient; it's also anticipated that having a capacity of about 6 less grains will improve the barrel life 200 to 500 rounds. Unlike the 6.5x.284, it should function well through a short action even with the longer bullets not being seated down into the boiler room. Lastly, it should give noticeably better velocities than the .260 Rem or even the .260 Rem Ackley Improved.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated - I'm thinking of ordering up reamers in the next couple of days so suggestions on improvements would be great! Thanks everyone for your time.

    I just remembered one last thing... was considering a outside neck diameter of .293 similar to the 6.5x.284 Winchester and substantially neck turning&reaming accordingly - any feedback on that dimension also would be great -thanks again!


    Scott L.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  2. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Not trying to burst your bubble, cause I love tinkering with stuff to make it perform better. But IMHO that is a lot of work, custom reamer (no problem) custom dies, 200-300 bucks plus the wait to get them made, forming, trimming, and turning brass and after all is said and done you are still playing second fiddle to what is arguably one of the most inherantly accurate rounds out there and with absolutely top notch brass, (Lapua) the 6.5x284.
    But if your are like me you won't listen to anybody else anyway, so go for it and keep us posted as to how it goes.
    Dave
     

  3. scottl0000@hotmail.com

    scottl0000@hotmail.com Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Definitely understand Dave, not looking for something to replace the 6.5x.284... just a cartridge that will do better velocity-wise with 140-class bullets than the 260 Rem Ackley Improved when that cartridge is set up to operate in a short action (which requires the bullet to be seated down into the powder space.) Make sense?

    I'm looking for something beltless that will get somewhere approaching the 6.5x.284 velocity-wise when using 140s (though undoubtedly lower, hopefully lowever velocity by less than 70 to 80 fps), and to do so in in a package that must function through a short action repeater. This is my primary driving force - how do do this with 140s in a short action repeater. Thoughts?
     
  4. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,248
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Here's a picture(hopefully) of what you're doin:
    [​IMG]

    It's good that you've decided -up front, to turn the necks. This will be needed as forming down the WSM case will greatly thicken the brass. A WSSM case is basically a formed down WSM case. That's why the WSSM brass is ungodly thick, and a total failure in Winchester's form. Maybe they really don't know what they're doing..

    Also, I cannot stress enough, that you must have the brass in-hand to properly fill out a reamer sheet. In the pic I added my 6.5WSSM, and you might notice it is actually a different diameter(.551) than it's shown in any available drawing. If I had chosen .557(based on .555) for my reamer, .200 from the base, I would not get 5 firings from my brass. I went .553 and have well over 20reloads so far.

    I wonder if you would REALLY be able to use it in a short action. I suppose it depends on which action and the loading port length. I use a long action BAT with my 6.5WSSM, and there is not alot of extra room. Reason being, 140gr bullets a VERY long. You will end up 1/4" shorter than a 260. Is a 260 a short action cartridge?
    There is also the action diameter to consider. WSM/WSSM factory actions are larger in diameter, and I went with a magnum BAT action. They need to be larger diameter to have enough BARREL STEEL around the chamber. Otherwise the brass will grow like no tomorrow.

    You may or may not gain overall compared to going 6.5-284, as it will be alot of work.
    My 6.5WSSM is not better than any 260..
    On the otherhand, it's no worse, and your 6.5Slic will be a fine cartridge I'm sure.
    Just a matter of commiting to a larger boltface..
    Good luck to ya, & have fun with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  5. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,132
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Scott good luck with your cartrige. In my humble opinion, I think your trying to fill a gap that dosen't exist. My 26" barreled 260AI will push 140 grain bullets to 2925 fps. I've gotten 5 reloads on the brass I'm using and the pockets are still tight. I don't know what top velocities are out of the 6.5-284 with 140's but most book listings run between 2900 and 3000 fps. I'm feeding out of a factory savage box with no ill effects. Your cost to develop this cartrige may in the end prove fruitless.
     
  6. scottl0000@hotmail.com

    scottl0000@hotmail.com Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Cowboy and Mike! Big thanks goes to both of you. Cowboy - those numbers sounds very enticing - can you tell me if you are using a short or long action though? That would make a very big difference to me as I had assumed the 140s would be so deeply seated in the case on a short action that those types of velocity numbers would not be attainable. In a long action that sounds about what I'd expected though. Thanks!

    Mike, thanks a ton for the words of wisdom on the brass life and the time spent on the drawings! I will go study them entranced to see what epiphanies I get :)
     
  7. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,132
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Scott, I ran out to the shop to look up my load, 140gr a-max, 49.5gr H4831sc, cci200, OAL of 2.870". I could seat them longer but this is where they feed reliably and shoot well. Short action, 3 groove 8 twist.
     
  8. scottl0000@hotmail.com

    scottl0000@hotmail.com Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Thanks Cowboy! I appreciate the info... sounds like this might just fit the bill. Time to put up the diagrams for awhile and talk to the smith to see what his thoughts are on us going with the 260 AI... I had guestimated the velocities would be quite a bit below this, and what you are getting is right within the target velocities I was hoping for (2800 to 2850 with a 24" tube, 1-in-8 twist, using 140s.)

    Thanks again!
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,248
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  10. landcbeitner

    landcbeitner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    I think what you're trying to do is very cool, but I also agree with one of the above posts, in that there's not much of a gap between the 260 AI and the 6.5x284. The key is you want to use a short action, I totally understand, I don't even build 308's on short actions because I want to be able to seat 185gr VLD's at or into the lands and still mag feed. It sounds like the cartridge you're working on will fit the bill for your needs. My gunsmith bases most of his wildcats on the RUM and just varies the length according to his powder capacity/velocity needs (basically exactly what you're doing). Can't wait the hear how it all works out for you. Keep us posted!
     
  11. scottl0000@hotmail.com

    scottl0000@hotmail.com Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Thanks, landcbeitner, and that's really interesting on your gun smith. By chance do you know if he's had any feeding problems, and what make/model of actions he uses typically? I'd love to move forward with the 6.5 SLiC, but some of the prior comments lead me to believe it won't feed reliably...
     
  12. landcbeitner

    landcbeitner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Usually custom actions and he single feeds anyway (not a hunter).
     
  13. scottl0000@hotmail.com

    scottl0000@hotmail.com Active Member

    Messages:
    38
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Confession...

    Well, I have a confession. I slept on it several days and well, I just couldn't get that little cartridge off my mind... which I guess just goes to show, you can always tell a Scotsman, but you can't tell him much. So I ordered reamers today and dies will be ordered in the next few days.

    If nothing else, it will make for an interesting experiment. Both the gun smith and Dave at Pacific Tool, after seeing the case dimension drawing, said they actually don't expect to have any problems getting it to feed properly with a little tuning since I stuck with the 35 degree shoulder. Time will tell for sure but it looks like it will all be coming together in some time around a month as we're going to try to re-use the prior barrel (bore was great with only around 320 shots through it) and the stock apparently can be fixed too. Got very lucky and the smith had almost everything else he needed on hand or a short hop away except the HS Precision box -which we're still searching for.

    Will let you folks know how it turns out! Dave at Pacific is doing the throating to handle the 140 Partitions for hunting and the VLDs as well.

    I'm calling it the 6.5 SLiC (Slick Little Cartridge, bottom left in the drawing that MikeCR was nice enough to put together on the prior page) - we'll see if the name is justified over the next several months. It had just been too long since I put together a wild cat and that itch needed scratching, if only to just to have something a little different and to have a bit more "oomph" in a short action. I do know I'll be doing a lot of brass sorting and prep, but there are a lot worse things to be doing with one's time while passing time anxiously waiting for a hunting trip to come that you've been waiting a couple-3 years on.

    Have a good one, :)
    Scott
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  14. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    719
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    So how did this experiment work out.

    I know I am digging through some old posts but I am trying to determine what to do with a 243wssm I am picking up tonight.