Wildcats are me


#1

The IAA DIRECTORY lists 16 members who specialize in Wildcat Cartridges and I’m sure there are others (like me) whose name isn’t on the list. So, how come we see so little about wildcats on the Forum? Are the guys bashful, don’t have a computer, or simply nothing to say?

So, let’s see and hear from some of you. I’ll get it started with a short blurb that I recently posted on one of the shooting forums. If shooters are interested then so too should be collectors.

Ray

You are absolutely correct. There is a long list of cartridges that can be traced back to the 7 x 57 Mauser of 1892. Just as an example - in the early 1900s Ned Roberts necked the 7mm case down to 25 caliber with a 15 degree shoulder and long neck. He called it the 25 Roberts. In 1934 Remington changed his case to a 20 degree shoulder, shortened the neck, and introduced it as the 257 Remington Roberts. In the 1940s Fred Huntington (RCBS) necked the 257 Roberts case to 6mm with a 32 degree shoulder and called it the 243 Rockchucker. Then in 1955 Remington closed the loop by taking Huntington’s case , changed the shoulder to 26 degrees and so was born the 244 Remington.


#2

Ray,
I need to dig out my ziplock bags of ‘aint what the headstamp says’ cartridges that I have been unable to identify using my old copy of Barne’s Cartridges of the World. I suspect most of us have at least a few of these sitting around awaiting a name so they can be officially added to the collection.


#3

Great idea. Most(many?) collectors have traditionally considered “wildcats” to be uncollectable or even damage to regular cartridges. There are far more types available today and more information about them which certainly spurs on collecting. I am from the “I don’t collect wildcats” faction of collecting BUT I do collect experimentals which may be wildcats under some rubric. I don’t want to own ammunition which is of so little value that someone would consider shooting it except for my home defense cannon that is.

The shooter may be the natural antithesis of the collector.

Maybe you should establish a definition for your wildcat universe.


#4

Yes, I too would like to see a definition of a wildcat cartridge. To me, once a factory makes brass for a wildcat cartridge, of the identical dimensions (that is, the same cartridge, not a factory version of it) with the correct headstamp, it is no longer a wildcat cartridge. Or, if a recognized factory starts making ammunition in that caliber, again with the correct headstamp even if they have renamed it, ala the .22-250, it is no longer a wildcat. that is just an opinion of course.

I have a number of wildcat auto pistol cartridges, including a couple made by a former customer of mine. He was a machinist and made, out of a long .22 pistol bull barrel, barrels for his Colt pocket Model .25 auto and for his 1910 Browning .32 auto, made on the respective cartridges necked down to .22. The little one is reminiscent of the .22 Pokey, but not identical. When he was showing me the tooling he made to load the cartridges, I asked him for one each of the cartridges, which he brought me. Cute. There are many others, like the 9mm Super Cooper, the .38/45 (some of the recent ones like the .38 JWH from Australia and the .38 Casull Auto are pretty close, but no cigar!). They are kind of fun even though I don’t value them highly (not talking about money - talking about their educational value to my collection).


#5

Some random comments by Ray.

I’ll be the first to admit that defining a wildcat cartridge is not easy. I don’t collect the new wildcats otherwise I’d have to buy a bigger house to store them and most are one night stands anyway. I collect only those from the period before 1965 (an arbitrary date to be sure) that are loaded in period brass with correct bullets.

I’m of an opposite opinion from CSAEOD - if it wasn’t for shooters there would be no cartridges.

As to educational value - the two wildcats that I pictured above tell a story of far more interest than changing a bunter or crimp (no offense intended). Most shooters and collectors will say that the 244 Remington is the 7 x 57 necked down but there’s far more to it than that, as you can see.

It would be hard to find an existing cartridge without a wildcat in the closet somewhere.

Value? Look at what some of the single wildcat cartridges are fetching on the various auctions. Scary.

Wildcat collecting for me is only one part of my interest and is really an outgrowth of shooting and collecting competition cartridges. They are closely related since comp cartridges are mostly wildcats themselves and many overlap my definition.

Over on the Auto Forums guys are talking much as we are here, only it’s about Ford vs Chevy. And I understand there are Forums that discuss blondes vs brunettes. To each his own.

Ray


#6

Ray…Did you get my snail mail on 303 Brit “wildcatted” from .30-40 Krag ?..Randy


#7

"I’m of an opposite opinion from CSAEOD - if it wasn’t for shooters there would be no cartridges. "

No argument there - I LOVE shooters- especially the ones who shoot up RARE ammo. I suggest that they chamber their rifle for the 8 and 11 mm Muratas and see how well the old ones shoot and don’t forget those GATLINGS. BANG<BANG<BANG = ,,$.

Some years ago in Knoxville Tenn. I bought a box of Winchester 11mm Comblains with the raised headstamps. Of the ten original rounds the owner had fired 9 in his rifle-leaving 1 unfired for me. expensive shooting- yes sir!

"Over on the Auto Forums guys are talking much as we are here, only it’s about Ford vs Chevy. And I understand there are Forums that discuss blondes vs brunettes. To each his own. "

AGAIN NO ARGUMENT; I have collected both blondes and brunettes with equal enthusiasm but had to leave the Chevy group after long experience and become a Ford van man.

ANOTHER AGREEMENT : " As to educational value - the two wildcats that I pictured above tell a story of far more interest than changing a bunter or crimp (no offense intended)." (SMOOOOTH)

INTERESTING - OK ( a very personal distinction ) - BUT- IMPORTANT TO THE HISTORY OF AMMUNITION - NEGATIVE ( fact).

MOST ammunition collectors are more interested in the history of ammunition than in the noise they make and the little holes in targets.

HEADSTAMPS( BUNTER CHANGES) are usually step 2 in becoming a serious collector of ammunition. Case types usually - step 1.

CRIMPING variations is certainly an interest of ADVANCED ammunition scholars and collectors as well as manufacturers who spend considerable time and money in the application of the same.

"Value? Look at what some of the single wildcat cartridges are fetching on the various auctions. Scary. "

EXAMPLES PLEASE.

As usual John Moss comes in with some serious info. CAN WE GET AN AGREEMENT ON HIS DEFINITION ?

“To each his own.” ANOTHER AGREEMENT (WOW- A PERSONAL BEST) . THE GREAT SECRET OF THE SUCCESS OF THE UNITED STATES IS THE FREEDOM IMPLIED IN THIS SIMPLE STATEMENT.

WE DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE - BUT - WE DO HAVE TO SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF ALL TO BE HEARD.

AMERICANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG (OR RIGHT) - RUN THAT BY YOUR TOTALITARIANS WHO FEAR FREE MEN WITH GUNS AND AMMO AND FREE SPEECH !

I think I hear the foot steps of the FFPP at the door.


#8

WILDCATS ??

WOODIN LAB PHOTO


#9

Randy, yes I got it. Interesting that someone would go to all that effort to ID his cartridges. It’s filed with my 30-40 and 303 info. Maybe some day I’ll find one.

Thanks

Ray


#10

Hi, Ray…I’ll keep my eyes peeled…


#11

CSAEOD - What calibres are those rounds the photo shows?


#12

TOP TO BOTTOM;7.9Polish,7.9Polish, 7.9German,7.9German,7.9German,.303British, .30US,.30US.


#13

Isn’t the first one a Czech design?


#14

You need to check with Bill Woodin about that.