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New Wildcat

1019 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  medicine man
Got with Logan at Preferred Barrels in Hildale, UT, and came up with what I considered a worthwhile undertaking.
Ammunition Bullet Gun accessory Brass Metal
Ammunition Bullet Product Gun accessory Brass

I'm going the opposite direction from most other builders. While the vast majority are going for something bigger and faster or something shorter and more suited for special ops engagements, I am going totally classic and utilitarian. I'm seeking to improve upon current design and optimize practicality without going through 4 or 5 steps of case forming. I wanted to use readily available and affordable components that would allow the user to keep on shooting by altering components during shortages, which WILL be coming this winter. At the same time, I didn't want to skimp on accuracy potential or performance.

The cartridges you are looking at are dummy rounds around which the chamber will be designed. The brass is available from around 10 manufacturers currently at prices starting under $0.50/case, and allows the handloader to use either small or large primers in case of shortage (usually, large rifle primers are the first to dry up). The round is designed to be fired from a lightweight, classic-styled hunting rifle with a slim barrel profile finishing nominally at 25". Ballistically, this round is designed for optimum performance out to 500 yards on deer-sized game. While utilizing bullets of optimal weight with appropriate twist, it will tout low recoil without sacrificing performance. It is projected to shoot at least 4" flatter than the .270 Winchester with 130 grain bullets at 500 yards. Design will lend to performance, low recoil, and light weight. That is the plan, anyway. I will have a prototype in hand by August 1 (if all goes as planned). It will be ideal for young or new hunters that may be worried about developing bad habits due to recoil while wanting higher-end performance only available previously from harder recoiling cartridges. It will NOT have a brake. At least, the prototype won't. Shouldn't be any need for one. Looking at using some special bedding (think Melvin Forbes) to enhance accuracy of the thinner barrels. I may be able to shave even more weight off the package if the experiments pan out. When I say lightweight, I don't mean a 4 1/2-lb New Ultra Light Arms. I think most of us who hunt the woods of the southeastern US like enough weight to keep from wiggling before the shot, but not enough to hinder us from climbing trees, jumping streams, hiking the hill country, or negotiating swamp vegetation. The first prototype will weigh in at a hefty 7 1/4 lbs or so, but will have potential to easily lose 1/2 pound or better keeping the barrel length constant. If the prototype pans out, look for the Mod 2 to be in the 6 1/2 lb realm. Initially, I am testing to see if I can substantiate my claims for the cartridge in the field vs on paper. (Everything I've learned to this point says I can.) Recoil will be on par with that of a .257 Roberts, while I will attempt to reduce felt or perceived recoil to the level of a 6XC or slightly less. This will be slightly below the level of a .243, which every dad wants to start their kid on, but really wants them into something larger thinking they will "grow out" of it (as if the .243 isn't big enough...). And then some want to put them in the wondrous 6.5 Creedmoor, but fear the recoil with most factory bullets might be a slight bit much early on, and are not in love with the moderate ballistic performance of that cartridge at practical hunting ranges. This cartridge/rifle fixes all that. Both by cartridge and rifle design.

Far too few are the times we stop to take the entire picture into consideration when choosing a platform from which to launch projectiles at deer and hogs (or whatever else for that matter). A cartridge can be designed perfectly for the job at hand, but performance and/or shootability suffers due to poor rifle design (think 6mm Remington). Conversely, a rifle may be designed flawlessly for the shooter and application, but the experience may be muted by cartridge limitations (insert whatever rifle you've had that felt and shot amazing, but you kept muttering under your breath, "Man if this were only chambered in _ _ _ _"). - Maybe your custom 6mm BR and you're on an elk or bear hunt or 1-mile competition.

The point is that the projectile and projector must be designed in unison to synergize the effects desired in terminal performance. Finally, this is the optimal cartridge/bullet weight for the most accurate, highest energy powder known to me in 40 years of shooting. The design actually perfectly lends itself to several high-energy propellants, which make the lofty claims of performance possible. Every cartridge designer/company has fudged the ballistics in the press. Many may have been tested at 12,000 ft. elevations, and/or under controlled conditions with barrel lengths longer than would be supplied on the production guns. I'm actually quoting what I firmly believe will be on the low side of the maximum performance spectrum (the least I think is potentially possible). The same barrel length and design will be used for all future builds, while testing will occur between 150' and 400' elevation in humid air and pressure generally over 30.00" of mercury.

Short action, high performance, readily available brass, dual primer size capability, light weight, accurate, weapon of choice between ages 8 - 80 (male and female) for deer-sized game (including mule deer, caribou and hogs).

Introducing the .270 SDC (Southern Deer Cartridge)! Performance of the 270 Winchester, accuracy of the 6.5 Creedmoor with less recoil and flatter 500-yard trajectory than both! The SDC will, of course, have to be fired from the Southern Deer Rifle!

Will have some photos of the prototype with some range data hopefully by mid-August or slightly before.

To be continued...
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I’m really curious also. RUSM was the only thing I could come up with, but I don’t know anything about guns.
No, I've done 2 wildcats with the SAUMs, one in 6mm and one in .257. They were potent rounds and I was actually able to take 2 animals with the 6mm version that resulted in magnificent/devastating kills. Of the 2, the .257 was my favorite, but it was built as a prototype with some super-secret matrix surrounding the barrel in a steel sleeve that sucked all the heat and vibration out of the barrel, so little groups always resulted in about the same place on paper. The gunsmith I partnered with on that died mysteriously of the "flu" back in the winter of 2013, so the secret died with him.

While I love the SAUM cartridges, they are neither cheap nor plentiful. They will become scarce quickly when the rush hits. Not looking to shock the world with a super-zapper, just optimizing the hidden potential of a popular production cartridge by taking it to the level that it perhaps should have ascended to before now. The fact that it hasn't is just because no one is looking for a GOOD hunting rifle, and because no one sorts the details of the rifle when they do discover potential in an untapped cartridge. It DOES take the total package designed together to properly harness the complete potential to such a platform. Thompson Center was on the right track in the early 2000s when they first invented the Icon and the .30 TC. The problem with that set up was they lost the gun builder who originally had the vision and designed both cartridge and rifle. Their QA went down the tubes, and the .30 TC ballistics could not be duplicated outside the secret factory formula of propellant. It was left to die in a form inferior to the widely popular and available .308 with a rifle platform that became inconsistent and then dangerous after the departure of the guru that designed both.

I don't mean for this one to be an anomaly that will be trendy for a time and then fall out of favor when the next big thing comes along (although I do have plans for some of those in the near future). This one is totally utilitarian. It is designed to be boringly accurate and boringly potent in the deer woods of the South. It will not be the best choice for a Western rifle or a 1000-yd competition gun. That's why it's named the Southern Deer Cartridge. We will see if anyone finds the design as refreshing as I do in time.

Thanks for the responses!!
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Being a big fan of the .277 bore size, this looks like an interesting experiment. What is the parent case?
Just a modified Creedmoor design. Pretty ho-hum.
Just a modified Creedmoor design. Pretty ho-hum.
Interestingly, when one looks for "faster and flatter," they always think of necking down. This is a somewhat unique situation where just the opposite lends itself perfectly to greater applications than originally thought of.
This has the potential, at least on paper and in my head, to run at speeds greater than 3300 fts at the muzzle, recoil like an ultralight 6mm BR, have accuracy far eclipsing 1/2 MOA, and be buildable repeatedly for under $1000.
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