Talk to me about Wildcats

camodave7

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I bought a 243 seating die from the LE Wilson shop in Washington in the mid 70's. We Wilsons stick together, eh. Sam was a very good benchrest shooter setting records even late in life.
 

RMS12746

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Fairport, NY
I’m looking to start working on my first wildcat. I’ve been reloading for about 10 years now so I have quite a bit of experience there. I’ve just never done a wildcat. Any advice on what I should look out for and potential dangers that differ from loading a standard SAAMI spec case? My game plan is to make a 25 wssm ackley with 40* shoulders shooting the 133 Berger’s. I’ve heard the Winchester brass is pretty thick, I know I’ll have to turn the necks. I’ve gotten pretty good at reading pressure signs so I’m not to worried about working up a load when my brass is fully preped. I’ve also never had to fireform anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
If your going to do a Ackley time to go and purchase his book on the how's to do it. It's a 2 volume set and it's well worth the read.
 

camodave7

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I had a wildcat in an Unlimited Bench Rest rifle developed with help from Jim Stekl at Remington. When my brass wore out I had it rechambered. In the eighties a set of forming dies was 250CAD
 

camodave7

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I had a wildcat in an Unlimited Bench Rest rifle developed with help from Jim Stekl at Remington. When my brass wore out I had it rechambered. In the eighties a set of forming dies was 250CAD
Put that wildcat from 1973 beside a current 6 Dasher and they are almost identical in every aspect.
 

Mikecr

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Honestly I’m starting second guess doing this lol. PTG makes a reamer for it but it doesn’t seem like anyone makes the dies or headspace gauges. Redding makes 243 wssm ackley dies so I was going to just buy the correct bushings and seating stem. After doing some more research it looks like there are some small variations between the 243 and 25 wssm. I rather not pay $400 and wait 16 weeks for whidden to make me some. Any other ideas? Maybe a 243-25 wssm ackley lol
I believe you'll need dies made with Ackley improvement of this case, regardless of cal chosen.
You have some good suggestions here about dies.
Stick to your original idea (it's a good one).

I started my WSSM venture with a 26WSSM IMP of my own design.
I bought a bag of Win reloading brass, carefully measured the lot, run all the numbers in QuickLoad, and designed the cartridge with RCBS.load 'Cartridge Designer' to produce what I wanted for results with 140gr bullets.
Then I filled out PTG reamer reamer prints for sizing and finish reamers. I went 'fitted chamber'.
The full set I ordered included a roughing reamer, but neither my barrel finisher nor die maker used it. I believe they drill before reaming, as apparently it works better. I also bought PTG's reamer guide bushing set for 26cal.
Then I ordered Wilson seater die blank & neck sizer blank, and a Redding Body die for WSSM (I don't remember which wssm)
Then I ordered a custom BAT magnum action for it, and found a gun builder to finish 3 identical Border barrels and the seating/neck dies.
By this time I had picked up ~5,000 WSSM cases, 6,000 LAPUA 139s, Plenty of I4350 powder, and primers. Enough for 3 barrel lives.
Way later, after fully fire forming the cases, I had JLC Precision finish the body die from fired cases in-hand.
Three stage sizing for me, body, neck, mandrel expansion. But You can combine them.

Of the brass, I had picked out ~120 that matched in thickness & thickness variance as new. After fire forming, I carefully measured case capacities and culled out ~40 for 80 remaining that exactly matched in H20 capacity. Of that I used 50 cases (with 30 in spare). After burning through 2 1/2 barrels with those 50 cases at 1850sht barrel lives, it was clear that with this system, including my reloading plan, the brass will last forever.
There were many people in need of WSSM brass by then, so I sold off at profit to pay for the entire venture.
I also ran across a huge lot of 25WSSM brass, which I picked up to hold for the future (purely investment).

I had gone 35deg shoulders. With my next barrel batch, I'll go with 45 or 60deg shoulders (haven't decided yet) -Just for the learning.
That's really all this ever is
 

camodave7

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May 12, 2021
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Canada
I know 45 will work but I really doubt 60 will. Feeding issues big time due to the sharp shoulder. And for good feeding in a repeated 35 is about the limit.
 

Gstew1930

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Jun 3, 2020
Messages
177
Location
Mont Belvieu
I believe you'll need dies made with Ackley improvement of this case, regardless of cal chosen.
You have some good suggestions here about dies.
Stick to your original idea (it's a good one).

I started my WSSM venture with a 26WSSM IMP of my own design.
I bought a bag of Win reloading brass, carefully measured the lot, run all the numbers in QuickLoad, and designed the cartridge with RCBS.load 'Cartridge Designer' to produce what I wanted for results with 140gr bullets.
Then I filled out PTG reamer reamer prints for sizing and finish reamers. I went 'fitted chamber'.
The full set I ordered included a roughing reamer, but neither my barrel finisher nor die maker used it. I believe they drill before reaming, as apparently it works better. I also bought PTG's reamer guide bushing set for 26cal.
Then I ordered Wilson seater die blank & neck sizer blank, and a Redding Body die for WSSM (I don't remember which wssm)
Then I ordered a custom BAT magnum action for it, and found a gun builder to finish 3 identical Border barrels and the seating/neck dies.
By this time I had picked up ~5,000 WSSM cases, 6,000 LAPUA 139s, Plenty of I4350 powder, and primers. Enough for 3 barrel lives.
Way later, after fully fire forming the cases, I had JLC Precision finish the body die from fired cases in-hand.
Three stage sizing for me, body, neck, mandrel expansion. But You can combine them.

Of the brass, I had picked out ~120 that matched in thickness & thickness variance as new. After fire forming, I carefully measured case capacities and culled out ~40 for 80 remaining that exactly matched in H20 capacity. Of that I used 50 cases (with 30 in spare). After burning through 2 1/2 barrels with those 50 cases at 1850sht barrel lives, it was clear that with this system, including my reloading plan, the brass will last forever.
There were many people in need of WSSM brass by then, so I sold off at profit to pay for the entire venture.
I also ran across a huge lot of 25WSSM brass, which I picked up to hold for the future (purely investment).

I had gone 35deg shoulders. With my next barrel batch, I'll go with 45 or 60deg shoulders (haven't decided yet) -Just for the learning.
That's really all this ever is
Man I really appreciate all your advice. It’s been so helpful. It also makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that thinks this would be a cool little cartridge. I have a thing for the wssm, saum & wsm cartridges, I also really like the ackley 40* cases. I thought about going with one of Sherman’s but I honestly don’t need that much horsepower
 

camodave7

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May 12, 2021
Messages
117
Location
Canada
The WSSM case is already an improved one. Winchester might have an idea about how to build improved cartridges.
 

camodave7

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Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
117
Location
Canada
Man I really appreciate all your advice. It’s been so helpful. It also makes me feel better that I’m not the only one that thinks this would be a cool little cartridge. I have a thing for the wssm, saum & wsm cartridges, I also really like the ackley 40* cases. I thought about going with one of Sherman’s but I honestly don’t need that much horsepower
My project will be a 7SAUM a proprietary cartridge with quite available brass. Never was a wildcat, only a short Ultra Mag. I want to have it built by the end of June, including the 6 weeks from now to make the barrel. Gonna use a Schultz and Larsen long action because I can.
 
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