question about wildcatting,


September 16, 2007, 02:34 PM
A friend of a friend specializes in building custom rifles on Mauser actions. His favorite is a .22 Cheetah, which for those of you who don't know (I didn't) is a .308 necked down to a .223. Hence the Cheetah designation.

I'm thinking about having him build me one, since he's a great guy and fun to talk to and tell stories with, but my questions, which he kind of dodged are; when building a rifle with that much velocity, it is necessary to use absolutely the hardest barrel in existence, and will it wear out faster anyway? Also, does this really have any advantage over say, a 22-250 or other ridiculously fast cartridges?

One of the main things that appeals to me is that you can form casings from .308s or .243s.

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September 16, 2007, 02:35 PM
Also I was wondering, if it's such a great idea, why isn't it more popular?

September 16, 2007, 02:36 PM
does this really have any advantage over say, a 22-250 or other ridiculously fast cartridges?

A wildcatter dodged a question like THAT?

Wow, that's a surprise.:p

Some wildcat cartridges are experiments intended for potential production. Many "family" rounds started as wildcats, or are similar to wildcat rounds.

But wildcatting is also a hobby unto itself. Some people just do it to see if they can. Nothing wrong with that. However the purpose is different from just making a great cartridge for general use.

Jim Watson
September 16, 2007, 02:49 PM
The .22 CHeetah (right, CHeetah, for Carmichael and Huntington) was designed to use the early Remington BR brass which was a thin-walled .308 with small primer pocket. Meant to be cut off for 6mm BR, the wildcatters used the whole thing. There are actually two versions, the original with a 40 deg shoulder and Mk II with the standard 28 deg shoulder to simplify case forming.

Fast and accurate, it is very finicky about loads that the small primer will ignite.

I don't know what you would be gaining or losing by using standard brass which is thicker with large primer pocket. Original load data will not be correct and forming will likely be tougher.

Other wildcats in the same category are the various .22-.243s; regular, Ackley, and Middlestead; and even .22-6mm Rem.

Me? I got a .22-250 and don't need no stinkin wildcats.

September 16, 2007, 08:51 PM
I think improved would be a better identifer rather than wildcat.
Many are adopted by ammo manufacturing such as 25-06 as
they truely are an improvement for a certain nitch.
I own an improved 30-06 that most likely will die due
to the many now 30 caliber upgrades. PO Ackley had
a improved case by taking the case body taper out and
a sharpened shoulder. Inceased powder capacity and
burn rate with certain combinations and bullet wts. Mine
a 30 Gibbs also takes the body tamper out, sharpens the
shoulder and moves the neck forward to about .308 length.
It allows still more powder (slow) and with the heavier bullets,
a higher velocity with the same basic case. Supposed to
approach 300 H&H performance. However, both of these
are topped by 300 WM and some others. Will never be
adapted and will be true wildcats. The wim be be strictly
a handloader with no demannd except for the owner.:neener:
Lot of fun and ya may be the only owner in the neighborhood:D
It's kind of different science and took a while to learn case form-
ing where you have no losses. However, compared with a stand-
ard 30-06, this specialty round in 150gr and above is worth the
extra work!:D

September 16, 2007, 10:09 PM
To me the cheetah sounds like a barrel burner. If you must be different go with a 22-250 ackley improved. Still different still fast and if push comes to shove in the middle of a prairie dog hunt you can shoot standard 22-250. Oh yeah still a barrel burner.

September 16, 2007, 10:17 PM
Me? I got a .22-250 and don't need no stinkin wildcats.

A wildcat that became something . This is how things happen .

September 16, 2007, 11:45 PM
The wildcats that succeed become commercial cartridges - usually because they fill a niche that isn't already filled. Too recent wildcats that are going commercial are 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel. They fill a particular niche - the give more terminal ballistics to the AR platform. 260 is another, that filled the gap betyween 243 and 270, offered superior ballistics and is a modern replacement for the 6.5x55. For ever wilcat that becomes a commercial success, there are dozens that never go far.

Picking a wildcat typically means being stuck being your own cartridge manufacturer - often you own case maker too. For some there's a certain joy in that, for many, it's a real pain.

If you enjoy load development, making brass, rolling your own ammo, then maybe it's for you. Personally, I like to know that if I forget to bring ammo on a hiunt or shoot, I can always drop by the local sporting goods store and pick up something to get me by.

September 16, 2007, 11:56 PM
I see wildcats as toys for those with the resources (read $$$) to play with. It sounds like a real joy and it would be cool to look back and say you were one of the first if the cartridge does become popular in the future. That said, I wouldn't buy any personally at this point but I also wouldn't fault those who do. If I had more rifles, I'd probably be more likely to look into wildcats but as it is I'm in college and money is tight.

September 17, 2007, 12:02 AM
Me too.

The reason I'm considering it at this point is that this guy is old and in poor health, and won't be around much longer. But I think I'll do more homework before I have him build me a rifle that seems to exist mostly to generate enough velocity to warp time and space, would require a lot of brass shaping, and would probably eat up the barrel if I do anything wrong to it.

BUT, if one can do this with a .308, what would happen if they necked an '06 down to .223? Or am I just being silly?

September 17, 2007, 12:24 AM
Well they already went an necked it down to .25

To the best of my (admittedly limited) knowledge, the difference between a '06 and .308 isn't all that significant. That said, I own neither :o

September 17, 2007, 01:45 AM
what would happen if they necked an '06 down

they would call it the 224 TTH or 22 Howell.

September 17, 2007, 08:47 AM
According to my load book, you need .308 BR cases, not "normal" .308 or .243 cases (smaller primer). And because of the smaller primer only a coupla powders are suitable. AND maximum performance was only acheived in 27" barrels.

In short, troublesome, and picky, even for a wildcat.

Me, I'm sticking with the (planned) .22-250 AI. ALMOST the same performance in a "easier to use" format.

September 17, 2007, 08:55 AM
In the heyday of wildcatting the task was to get something the factories didn't provide in some way. That's how we got the .22-250, .257 Roberts, 6mm PPC, etc.

Today it is simply an excercise in trying to find something that basically duplicates what can be done with any two or three factory rounds but do it "different". That, in my opinon, is a sad excuse for doing anything. There are so many factory rounds in the .17 to .30 range it's pointless to work out a new cartridge just to have something no one else has!

But, everyone can spend his hard earned money in any way it amuses him, so...

September 17, 2007, 12:05 PM
I load for 2 wildcats, the .300-221 fireball built on an AR action (knock off of the .300 whisper, i can 't afford SSK so I live within my budget), the other is the .30-284 winchester built on a mauser action. I built both of theses rifles completely, with the sole exception being the oly arms barrel for the AR. For me the best part of a firearms project is building/tweaking the firearm and assembling ammunition. I actually enjoy forming, trimming, deburring, weighing and otherwise prepping cases. If I went out and bought a rifle, chambered in a standard cartridge, and bought standard factory ammunition; the sport of shooting would not be nearly as much fun for me. Its all a matter of what gets yer rocks off, to each his own.

As for barrel burners, do whatever makes you happy. A 300 dollar barrel blank (for shilen etc.; under a C-note if adams and bennett is good enough for you) every two thousand rounds is much cheaper (and enjoyable) than counseling sessions.

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