Unknown wildcat round

This cartridge has been in my cupboard for some time. I cannot find any information about this cartridge. All sizes are in “mm”. All information is welcome.


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Nobody? Does anyone have any information about this cartridge? An idea in which direction to look further can also help me.
(wildcat, military, etc, etc.)

Well, “triangle within a circle” is a symbol of Alcoholics Anonymous. I intuitively think one needs to stay away from “military” direction. It seems like a rifle round and the majority of wild cats are rifle calibre. The soft nose points in the hunting wild cat direction. And, again, I may be totally wrong.

Sksvlad thanks for your response. I will now first orient myself in the direction of wildcat cartridges.
The symbol of the “Alcoholics Anonymous” had not occurred to me, but a double, manual?, stamp seems to me to be a possible indication to continue searching too.

Greetings, Richard

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If I were you, I’d change your post’s name into “Unknown wildcat round”. This may attract attention of somebody who (unlike me) knows the subject. And if I am wrong, just change the name when this round gets identified.

Sksvlad thanks for your advice.
Greetings, Richard

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It would appear to be based on a 38 Special case. It may be a wildcat, or it may simply be the result of someone playing around at their reloading bench. Truth be told, there are a half dozen or so similar ‘dingbats’ floating around my workbench and desk – the result of idly looking at an empty case on one hand and a set of dies on the other and pondering, “what if?”.

Although this is far from anything I am competent to comment on, I would classify it as probably a wildcat. But, with some real reservations.

There appears to be a knurl on the case just where the shoulder is. That is what makes me think it is a wildcat since that knurl would weaken the case and encourage a case failure at the shoulder, particularly after multiple reloading.I can’t believe that a serious manufacturer would ever put a knurl at the case shoulder.

I have leafed through the 400+ pages of Otto Witt’s book on 38Spl/357 headstamps and didn’t notice a single case with a single knurl that far back on the case. I did see a Peters case from about WWII with two knurls, with the rear one is roughly the position of the neck knurl on this cartridge. Others may be able to give an example of a 38 Spl with a single knurl this close to the head.

I just checked the dimensions against a 38 Special case (Nationalist Chinese FMJ military from 1981-closest round at hand), The case length is basically identical. The rim diameter and case diameter at the head are also basically identical. No question in my mind that this case began as a 38 Special.

The strange aspect to me is the headstamp. There is nothing even similar to this headstamp in Ottos book. The headstamp itself is strange. The “333” is not centered under the primer, and the two “circle/triangle” symbols are misaligned from each other. the tip one is centered over the primer but the second appears to be randomly positioned relative to the top symbol. I do no recall ever seeing this symbol on a headstamp before. It also appears there may be two dots at 3 & 9 O’clock. Overall, the headstamp appears to be stamped by hand on an unheadstamped case. There is no indication that I can make out that a previous headstamp was removed.Otto illustrates a number of unheadstamped cases, but none with a rounded primer. All the ones pictured have flat primers.

The red primer seal is also strange. I would expect this more often on a military load.

This is a long way of telling you that I can be of no help in identifying this round.

If this is somebody playing around with a 38 Special case, I sure would like to know where he got this particular 38 Special case!


CANNON500 and Lew thanks for your input !!

I am convinced that it is indeed a modified .38 Special. As long as I don’t receive any further convincing information regarding this cartridge, this curious cartridge will go back in my drawer with a sticker “presumably home made”.

Greetings, Richard

I would like to hear opinions on the headstamp!

Has anyone seen a 38 Special unheadstamped case that matches this round???


Looks like a .38 Special ran part way into a .30 Carbine sizing die with a 110gr .30 Carbine soft point bullet. 7.77mm ~ .306 inches, so very close to .308 - especially if measured at the beginning of the ogive taper. H/S looks hand-done for sure.

Morris type ammo???
Maybe 297/230 long?


Here is something similar; not exact - but “proof of concept close”.

Could it be a pre fire-forming round for something?

Looks like you followed your own theory and ran a 38 Spl case partway into a 30 Carbine die. I think you are on track,
I still want to know the case used on R308s round!

Well done!


Lew - actually the .30 Carbine has too much taper to work, so I used a .30 Luger sizing die instead. This .38/.30 Special is wearing a 110 gr .308 bullet.

Cheers! R.J.

This exercise got me thinking…

I have a Ruger New Model Blackhawk in .30 Carbine. If I could find an extra cylinder, I’d consider having it reamed to .357/.30.

Run .357 Mag brass into a .30 Luger die just enough to make a .31" long neck. Should have significant powder capacity increase over .30 Carbine and work fine in the battleship-tough Blackhawk. (The .30 Carbine and .357 Mag are identical case lengths). HMMM…

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While it’s not in the same caliber range, a Blackhawk in .357 Magnum could be rechambered for the .357/.44 Bain & Davis. This proprietory cartridge was originally designed for use in Smith & Wesson Model 27’s and 28’s. I don’t know if B & D exists anymore or not. If they do, they’d be glad to rechamber one for you. If not, reamers are certainly available.

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