Just admitted to SwFC...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by nvshooter, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. nvshooter

    nvshooter
    Nevada
    Well-Known Member

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    Just admitted to the Community. I live near Reno NV but to the east, where the desert goes on forever and there are no restrictions for shooting as long as you do it intelligently. I have designed and brought to fruition two original mildcat rounds. One is a .300-caliber magnum; the other is a .358-caliber magnum. The .300 Nevada Desert Magnum is a target round; the .358 Sierra Stomper is a hunting round. Both are a blast to shoot. The Desert Magnum's best five-shot group from 100 yards is .135 inches, center-to-center. The Stomper can repeatedly produce 3/4-moa groups at 100 yards if the nut behind the wheel doesn't spoil it three shots in...

    I don't get out much to shoot because my employment precludes it so very often. I drive for a FedEx Ground contractor. President Trump's economy keeps me running more than I'd actually like to be. I have no wife, no ex-wife, no kids, no ex-kids and no debts. Life is pretty good for me. Would just like to be able to drive the four miles out to the empty desert, set-up and let the bullets fly more often than I presently do. three-mildcatss.JPG
     
  2. azblazor

    azblazor
    Litchfield Park AZ
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    Quite the wildcat work. Wish I had the focus to do something like that. Amazing accuracy.
     
  3. nvshooter

    nvshooter
    Nevada
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    I learned a lot about mildcatting during the process. The whole thing can be boiled-down to .473" head or .532" head, case length, shoulder angle and neck length. I advise using case lengths for which Lee Precision has trimming mandrels, not-too-sharp shoulder angles, and neck lengths of at least 1X the diameter of the bullet. The .300-caliber shell uses the 1.25X of the '06; the .358-caliber shell uses the .462" (if I remember correctly) neck length of the .35 Whelen. Shoulder angles on both are the same as are found on an '06 and the Whelen at 17 degrees 30 minutes. If I had them to do over again, I'd raise the shoulder angles to 24 degrees. They're at 17-some degrees for easy feeding, but going a touch higher increases the powder capacity. This is why people do the 40-degree Ackley designs. A .30-06 Ackley Improved only gives you about 3-4 grains more powder space over the standard '06, but it costs you around $200 for the reamer. The reamer can be rented, so maybe not all of that $200. My reamers were customs by Dave Manson; they were around $220 delivered.

    Just about every wildcat has been done over the decades, but my two had never been done. Nobody had ever done a .30-06 Springfield Magnum. There was no reason because the .300 WinMag was already in existence. But I didn't want to use a belted case, and I didn't want powder consumption in the upper eighties in grains per charge. Replacing a barrel after 800 rounds is not my idea of a cheap thrill. My .300 Nevada Desert Magnum sends a 180-grain bullet at 3000 fps on 68 grains of H-4831SC powder; delivers 3600 foot-pounds of muzzle energy at that velocity. The .358 Sierra Stomper is what a .35 Whelen would be if the Whelen was on a .532" case. I can get a 250-grainer up to almost 2700 fps on something like 66 grains of H-4350. I get 4,000 foot-pounds of muzzle energy at 2,684 fps when using that 250-grain bullet. The bullet is still moving at 2035 fps and still has 2300 foot-pounds of kinetic energy at 300 yards. That amount of "stomp" will flatten anything that roams the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which is why I named it the .358 Sierra Stomper. The recoil is so brutal, I'm good with it for only about a dozen rounds. After that, it's no fun at all to get my assets kicked every time I fire it.

    I am now thinking about a 6.5mm that's pretty much an extended 6.5mm Creedmoor with a 32-degree shoulder angle. It has a case capacity of 57.6 grains o' water with the bullet seated .264" into the case mouth. It's pretty close to a .260 Remington, so there's really no reason to do it other than to create something different. The case length is 2.1 inches, so it can be made from '06 cases. I am willing to spend the money to have dedicated forming dies made as opposed to using existing dies that will probably fall just a little short in getting to a case that doesn't need a false shoulder against which to headspace the case in the rifle.

    Hornady makes wildcat dies for about $90 apiece. My designs require three forming dies before the cases go into the resizing die. I have the forming dies (Hornady), reloading sets (both Hornady; $150 per set), neck-only dies and Lee Precision Factory Crimp Dies (both by Lee). I have dedicated trimming mandrels (Lee Precision) to trim the cases as they make their way through the forming process. By the time I've gone through the twelve or so steps to form a .375 Ruger into either one of my mildcats I've trimmed it several times, formed it four or five times, chamfered the inside of the flash hole, chamfered the primer pocket, and chamfered the inside and outside of the mouth. Then the cases are annealed.

    It takes about twenty minutes (sans the annealing) to complete one case. I did step-by-step it once; that was enough. I make the cases in a batch-processing mode: I do all of one step before going on toward the next step. Saves a lot of time and resetting of the dies that way. There was a learning curve at first but after almost five years of making them, my pre-annealed cases look really, really good. I have learned where to set the dies above the shell-holder (0.004") to get just the tiniest crush fit when the bolt closes on a never-before-fired case...

    stomper-358.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    azblazor likes this.

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