Talk:Wildcat cartridge

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6.8 SPC and .303/25[edit]

I added the 6.8 SPC entry to the "commercially accepted wildcats" article some time ago, but I now question whether or not it should be moved to the "commercially developed wildcats" segment of the entry. It was developed mainly by Remington engineers, and honestly it hasn't gotten a great deal of commercial acceptance - although it remains to be seen how much staying power the cartridge has. I may just move it myself within a few weeks, if nobody objects.

That sounds good--and it is getting wider acceptance, Ruger has come out with a Mini-6.8 rifle. scot 22:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Since the .303/25 cartridge is uncommon anywhere outside of Australia, and obsolete even there, I would definitely hesitate to call it 'commercially accepted.' It's nowhere near the level of the .22-250 or the .454 Casull, certainly. This segment of the entry should be moved to another part of the entry, or deleted. I will move it myself soon if nobody objects.

That doesn't change the fact that it presumably was accepted at one point. If a significant number of commercial firearms were manufactured in that caliber and/or a major ammunition maker manufactured ammunition in the caliber, the I'd say it was commercially accepted, albeit perhaps obsolete. Sounds a lot like the .25-06 Remington, which was a wildcat for many years until Remington accepted it, but it's never been a big caliber. scot 22:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

71.162.11.151 21:54, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Commercially developed wildcats[edit]

This section is a contradiction in terms as well as with the intro. I don't think it belongs here, it has nothing to do with wildcats, it has to do with cartridge design. Probably it belongs at Cartridge (firearms). Arthurrh 17:02, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Actually, that depends on whose definition you use. MidwayUSA's dictionary defines wildcat cartridges as Cartridges created by modifying the cartridge case of a standard commercial cartridge, while the SAAMI glossary defines them as Cartridges designed by individual inventors that have never been commercially manufactured. Under the SAAMI's definition, as soon as someone sells pre-loaded rounds, it's no longer a wildcat, while Midway's definition does allow for commercially developed "wildcats" like the .204 Ruger. I think the solution is to work on the definition and point out that commercially developed or adopted cartridges fit the more inclusive definition, but not the more restrictive. scot 17:42, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I feel the more restrictive definition for a wildcat is correct. I think it is important that if a cartridge is not adopted by a Governing Body (voting members of SAAMI or member states of CIP) than the cartridge is not standardized. As you can read on the SAAMI web site, they are an accredited ANSI organization. Also by there own publication, there glossary is only a “working draft” copy write 1999.
It is my never to be humble opinion if you are going to setup an organization that is to “standardize” something then that is the standard. If a cartridge design is not adopted and standardize than it is not a standard cartridge. Therefore that cartridge by definition and organizational standards must be a wildcat. Furthermore, Hornady has said that they have no immediate plans to submit the 6.5 mm Creedmoor for standardization. Hornady manufacturing company is a voting member of SAAMI.
Again by definition, if Hornady is not going to submit the 6.5 Creedmoor for standardization it must be a wildcat. Why? Because the 6.5 Creedmoor has no adopted, standardized chamber design.
Finally, it has been since the mid 20's (my recollection) that the definition for a wildcat and improved cartridge have been around. I know the more restrictive definitions, in one form or another have been in the glossary of many of my reloading manuals.
So I would support a definition of a wildcat as been something like, “a cartridge that has not been standardized by either SAAMI or CIP.”
By the way, which governing body do the Aussie look too or do they have there own governing body?Greg Glover (talk) 20:01, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I've always taken wildcat as "not commercially available", so the .204 Ruger or 6.5 Creedmoor wouldn't qualify. Defining it only as one that hasn't been standardized is contrary to the treatment of wildcats in (virtually) everything I've read (admittedly not exhaustive). Now, I'll acknowledge "not available in a commercial weapon" might also apply...but I know of no case (again, not expert) where loaded ammo is commercially available for a weapon that isn't. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 20:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree with the "Not commercially available" standard for Wildcats. If you can't buy a gun chambered in that cartridge off the shelf, then it's a wildcat cartridge, IMHO. Ditto if none of the major ammunition manufacturers produce the cartridge either. Greg, I'm not sure what you're asking by "Which Governing Body do Aussies look to" in regards to this sort of thing; everyone I know here uses the "Can you buy it in a gunshop?" test. Commander Zulu (talk) 23:40, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Can you by a .50 BMG at you local gun shop in Los Angeles, California, USA? Can you buy a .408 CheyTac at your local gun shop or over the Internet in Sidney, Australia? Can you buy a .416 Barrett at your local gun shop or over the Internet in Stuttgart, Germany?The answer to all three of those questions is no. Are all three of those rifles and there ammunition commercially available? The answer is yes. So, I'm confused. How does your definition for “...commercially available” or “Can you buy it at a gun shop” have anything to do with a wildcat cartridge?
My information is not found in magazines. It is found in the dozens of books and manuals I have owned and read over these past 35 years. The Midway USA definition is correct. The word “standard” found in that definition is not the adjective meaning “normal”. The word “standard” found in that definition is a noun and means “criterion”.
SAAMI and CIP are not individual non-governmental organizations. Both SAAMI and CIP are made of members. These members are the arms manufactures themselves. Both SAAMI and CIP where conceived in 1914 and 1926 respectively to bring “standards” to the sporting arms industry. Here in the United States SAAMI also dictates the “standards” to the U.S. Military. Another way to look at SAAMI is that it is fox guarding the hen house. SAAMI dictates the “standards” to the fire arms and ammunition manufactures. However, it is the 23 voting members of the fire arms and ammunition manufactures that are SAAMI (SAAMI also has a vote).
So when SAAMI says, “...individual inventor...” they are speaking about any person, company, conglomerate or country that dose not belong to the currant 24 voting members of SAAMI. To SAAMI anyone other than themselves that manufactures fire arms and ammunition is manufacturing wildcats.
Here is what I'm trying to say. A standard cartridge, whether bought at a store or formed from another cartridge (.300 H&H Magnum fired in a .300 Weatherby Magnum chamber) is still a registered cartridge that is governed by nationally recognized standards and adopted by the 24 voting members of SAAMI. A wildcat cartridge, is any other cartridge (including the commercial available 6.5 mm Creedmoor) that has not been adopted by any of the 24 voting members of SAAMI; including the 13 member states of CIP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Greg Glover (talkcontribs) Greg Glover (talk) 01:40, 29 November 2008 (UTC)Greg Glover (talk) 01:40, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, if the cartridges are commercially manufactured and available for sale in commercial quantity (ie not some guy in Omaha making limited run batches in his shed and selling them on the net) somewhere in the world, then they're not a Wildcat, are they? The "Can you get it at the local gunshop" is simply a rule of thumb, you know. And incidentally, it's "Sydney", not "Sidney". Commander Zulu (talk) 01:48, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
First let me say, I'm sorry about misspelling Sydney. I am very dyslexic and if spell-check doesn't pick it up I'll most definitely miss it.
So I guess we'll have to agree-to-disagree. If you can think of any middle ground we can meet on as for a definition for “wildcat cartridge” let me know and I'll do the same.
In parting I would like to say this: my understanding of the term wildcat, is that it was coined by the gunsmiths of early last century. This was to differentiate between an experimental cartridge and a standard cartridge. And why would they do that? In a word, SAFTY.
The cartridge drawings you can buy from SAAMI are for machinist's. These machinist's are known as reamer makers. The most important tool in a machinist, barrel maker or gunsmith tool box is the headspace gauge. Reamer makers make headspace gauges (Go, No-Go and Field gauges). For the purposes of safety withing the sporting arms and military world, a chamber design is standardized so that all machinists, barrel makers and gunsmiths produce a chamber of same internal dimensions. This is so any ammunition used with the same headstamp that appears on the barrel will fire safely. Without the use of a headspace gauge during assembly, no firearm is safe.
The word wildcat was no coincidences. Wildcats bit. You will get hurt. Using the wrong ammunition also bits!!! When I here wildcat I double check my ammunition.Greg Glover (talk) 04:19, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

That's understandable. When I hear "Wildcat" in reference to a cartridge I automatically think "Weird homemade calibre that someone has custom-made themselves and taken an existing gun and modified for this cartridge"- ie, a cartridge I can't buy in a gunstore, that you can't buy a gun chambered in that cartridge, and that basically you have to make yourself. Commander Zulu (talk) 11:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Development of a Wildcat[edit]

I find this section completely wrong. The most glaring error is that the “most difficult to manufacture part of a wildcat is the barrel”. This is completely erroneous. Barrel making is a separate part of the firearm manufacturing processes than chambering. I can get any number of barrels made in: 2 types of alloy; alloy sleeved aluminum, carbon fiber rapped; in over 20 different calibers; in twist rates of 1:5 to 42:1, smooth bore, 3 grooved to 9 grooved, polygonal to gain twist; round, half round to full octagonal, from more that a dozen major barrel makes. This does not include the manufactures themselves or the small custom shops. Need I go back to the second sentence or on to the fourth sentence of the first paragraph? Also to go back up to the last topic “Commercially developed wildcats”, the second and last paragraph is in conflict with what the community feels is a definition for the wildcat (personally I think wrongly).

I purpose to delete this section of the article or integrate the correct information into the section of “Wildcat goals and methods”. I feel wildcats are not developed. Wildcats are the improvement of an existing, developed cartridge.Greg Glover (talk) 16:32, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Have to disagree "wildcats are not developed". The best of them take a lot of work to get to the common, publicly-known form. Take a look at the development of the .41 Special, just for instance, or a lot of Harvey's work. Yeah, they start from commercial rounds, but they don't just appear, fully formed & perfect. That takes development. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 01:36, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think you missed my point. But your response is well received. If you believe wildcats are “developed” then what the section should talk about is; goals, case forming, load development, computer diagnostic equipment, trial and error, hypothesis, outcome etc… This section reads like a how-to for shooters that want to buy a firearm chambered in a wildcat from a custom gun builder. What do you think?Greg Glover (talk) 18:12, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I may have. As written, it's a bit "kit car"-ish, "how to assemble the pieces", not "how to do the work". If (as your post to my talk suggests) you mean it should be more specific to the technical issues, including selecting cases, measuring pressures, judging what's too much pressure, powder, load, & slug selection, casting/swaging slugs, & so on, I'd completely agree. When I think of "development", that is what I think of, which (I think) is what you meant (but maybe not what I understood you to mean to begin with...). TREKphiler hit me ♠ 21:40, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

A berral is simplie reemed thats the easy part. to change the head diameter or O.C.L you use a differant gun or modiffy the existing one. for example boring out the bolt face. oh ya the .454 cassul dosnt have a parent case so it was developed. Reshaping the case is also quite simple.Its called fire forming. this can be achived by using a regular load or by necksizing the brass put in about 10-15 grains of pistol powder fill the remaining space with cream of wheat and pach tightly with a tissue paper ball to prevent mixing between the powder and cream of wheat or from spilling the load. verry simple.So in the end all cartriges are develloped nomatter how slow, fast or obsolete they are. Also cartriges like the Ackly line or .204 ruger are fast becoming sandard.so in my oppinion if you can go buy a gun and box of loaded ammo at your local outfitter its not a wildcat thoughs you make yourself. Earle Garrett Bradford 7-14-2014

Wildcat cartridges in Australia[edit]

To say that Wildcat cartridges are common in Australia seems a little absurd as guns are not common. We have very strict gun laws and hunting as a sport is not common. Also no one here would refer to a kangaroo as a "varmint", that's not a term used in Australia. 121.44.212.152 (talk) 11:57, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Wildcat cartridges are common as a proportion of legally owned guns. There are a lot of .303/25 rifles out there, and whilst hunting here is not as big a pastime as it is in the US, there are still significant numbers of farmers and hunters in Australia. You're right about Kangaroos not being "varmints", though. Commander Zulu (talk) 12:24, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

There are actually millions of guns in Australia. Hunting in rural Australia is very common. One of the miconceptions about Australia (& also true of major Australian city residents) is that the guns laws vastly reduced the number of guns. Actually the opposite is true. Many of the good contition banned guns went underground, but with those handed in, since the govt paid market price for them (& since they lacked the time to indivually consult experts, a worn out or dangerous to use weapon was fetching new prices - if you could find a barrel & successfuly screw it to an action - even if it couldn't fire - go for it), everyone spent their money buying replacements. Many of these replacements cost less (eg you paid a premium for a pump action or semi auto - or bought it originally second hand) so cashed up gun owners bought more legal guns than they handed in. A quick check of import numbers before & after is readily available (there is only one remaining Australian firearms manufacturer - the same one responsible for the many of the 303/25 conversions (the other was Sportco)- LSA).

As to if the 303/25 is actually a wildcat is somewhat debatable. The 303/25 cartridge was manufactured by a number of Australian ammunition manufacturers for decades. The reason for its popularity was a huge supply of new & barely used military 303 battle rifles produced by Lithgow Small Arms for use during WWII (Australia produced over a million 303 MK III battle rifles for WWII). As at the time, 303 rifles were banned (esp in NSW) as being military, it was found that by shortning the forstock (sporterising)& fitting a 257 barrel & knecking down the 303 cartridge (of which Australia had massive capacity to produce - again due to WWII), you ended up with something akin to the modern 243w round (itself a knecked down 308w (commercial equivalent to 7.62 military round)). So relatively cheap rifle (better than throwing them down disused mine shafts as the govt originally started doing) & manufacturers geared up for a cartridge they could readily adapt for. It is no accident that the 243w is still popular in Australia (its the nearest equivalent readily availabe from multiple makers to the 303/25). The only reason it (303/25) eventually died (you can still buy brass), is because the supply of Lee-Enfields for cheap conversion ran out (WWII ended in 1945) & the 303 itself became delisted (ie the govt no longer resticted it - we had shifted to the 7.62). As far as I know, no-one actually ever built a from scratch 303/25, they were all conversions (military grade weapons are expensve in comparison to most commercial weapons). I have used both the 243w & 303/25 - to me they were very compareable - except I have never seen a 243w with a 10 round magazine. It is only in the last few years that Lithow Small Arms is again producing civilian firearms (rather than just for the military), but alas nothing based on Lee-Enfield (could have sold them to Canada if we had). 144.139.103.173 (talk) 10:21, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

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