Organizing wildcat cartridges


#1

I have been accumulating wildcats for many years. I recently ran out of room in one cabinet and moved the wildcats to a new set of drawers. I have over 600 of them but about one third are unidentified. Most of them go back several years, I don’t really try to keep up with the more recent ones at the present time.

I would like some recommendations on how best to organize these things.
For now I have separated the rimmed, rimless, and belted cases. From there size seems to make sense but so does organizing by base case.

Case length, bullet size, base type, maker, all make sense for some parts of my cartridge collection. For 9mmx19 country and headstamps and loading make sense. Shotgun concentrators and spreaders, I organize by patent. For rimfire, maker and size, for rifle, company (ie, USC Co,Winchester, Hornady, RWS etc) but also by gun maker. On those cartridges that I don’t collect by headstamp, I usually organize by case type except military rounds which I sort by country. Perhaps it is just me that’s disorganized.

It also seems like it would be good to organize wildcats by developer but with so many unknown to developer, I am hesitant to try this method.

I know we each organize our collections differently so I am not expecting a definitive method, just recommendations to what may make some sense to some of you into wildcats.
Thanks for any recommendations.


#2

Gary,
I don’t know that it is any better but I do my wildcats two different ways. First I seperate the by family. Example would be all of the JDJ wildcats in a group. Then another group with all of the Whelens, another with all of the Hubels and yet another group with all of the Hawk wildcats. Then by caliber & case length inside these groups. Then everything else that does not belong to one of these groups are all sorted by caliber & case length.

Zac


#3

Thanks Zac, I forgot to put the JDJs in the wildcat drawer and I don’t know the Hubel family. Mine are mostly in the vintage of Lindahl and Lovell. I guess the Simmons book needs to be opened to find out more about the families of wildcats. What does distinguish a family in wildcats? Honestly I think I have a lot to learn about wildcats and don’t know where to begin.


#4

My wildcats are put in drawers, divided by bullet diameter.
Each drawer contains a specific bullet diameter, for example “less than .22” " 6 mm" " .257 and .264" and so on.


#5

Thanks Pivi, I can see some advantages to doing so for indexing these by size. This would correspond more closely with cartridge case types. However keeping some groups together such as the Whelen, Alton Jones, JDJ as Zac recommends also makes sense, but then so does case base types. I am still undecided. If and when I communicate with wildcat collectors about certain wildcats, what factors are most important? I am thinking out loud or silently but through this forum.


#6

I collected wildcats for years and years and, like Pivi, I always sorted and cataloged them by caliber. Whenever I communicated with other collectors it was almost exclusively by caliber, and then by name within a caliber. At one time I had a sub-sort of pre WW2 and post WW2 but that became unworkable with the proliferation of “new” ones and the re-introduction of old ones using new brass.

BTW, what are “Whelen” wildcats? I know of only a very few, not enough to be put into a dedicated catagory.

JMHO since I no longer collect them.

Ray