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tribute wildcat advise

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by benjd, Sep 17, 2007.

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  1. benjd

    benjd Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Greetings all,

    Please bear with my short story, as I set the stage for my request.

    Back in the 40's and 50's, my father worked at the naval gun factory, during the war, and later at the naval research laboratory. He was a instrument maker grade machinist, and surrounded with such an occupation, became quite involved in sporting military rifles. I have a 270 Win based on a mauser 98 with the swastica on the barrel, a 257 roberts, origins unknown, etc.

    During this time, he also got quite involved in wildcat loads for his varmiting in Maryland back in the day.

    A few weeks ago, I was visiting with him, now 91 years old, and told him of my latest interest in handloading for my rifles. Next thing I know, I am in his shop and he is bringing out unopened wooden boxes from 50 years ago with his tools and supplies. I have since become the owner of all of this, with the request I do 'something' with it.!
    In the boxes I found chamber reamers, hand made die sets, go-nogos, all kinds of things. One of the items that really got him talking was his 220 Pappy, as he called it. A wildcat based on the 220 swift. .224 cal with a case about 1.75" He at one time made a rifle for it, but gave it to his best friend, now deceased, and I have been unable to locate the gun. So to the question,

    Having the reamers, dies, and a good start on formed brass, I would like to look into making a gun that will chamber and fire this load.
    I really do not have the resources to take on a whole rifle project, but thought this round would lend itself well to a contender pistol, or single shot rifle.

    How would I go about starting such a project? Are there barrel makers that I could get a 22 cal barrel, ready for reaming? Are there other major considerations I should be aware of other than the start slow and work up on the loads?? This is a project I would like to be able to complete by next spring...my time with Dad is running low you know.

    So any advise for this 'Tribute' gun??

    Thanks in advance,

    J Darr
  2. coelacanth

    coelacanth Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    barring any old notes on how the. . . . .

    whole project came together you'd pretty much need to start with a clean sheet of paper and do some fairly serious research on how closely this beast resembled the fabled .220 Swift. I would seek out a riflesmith or barrel maker familiar with wildcatting existing rifles and discuss the feasability of the project as well as time frame and pricing. I suggest a riflesmith because anything in the .220 Swift class is going to be brutal in a Contender sized platform. I would say extremely unpleasant in terms of muzzle blast and not really capable of extracting the performance the round is capable of.
  3. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    I would go with a single shot platform. Wildcatting a bolt action is much more involved. Contender barrels for .22 hornet I beleive are the same groove diameter as .223 etc. Get a .22 hornet barrel and go to town with the reamer, once close to headspace, start checking. When you get down to the last .015 thou or so check every turn of the reamer or so. Your dad might even be able to help with the project, not nessisarily doing the bull work but supervising and guiding the progess of the project.
  4. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Member

    May 13, 2007
    SO AZ

    What are your machining skills?

    Can you operate a lathe? Single point threads?

    Brownells sells barrels, made by several makers, And yes in .224 bore, contoured from unshaped barrel, to light contoure.

    Working with a wildcat this may not be an option: You can get them Already threaded, for many actions, with a short chamber already started.

    TO me, the starting point would be how much are you able to work with your dad (if both of you are able and willing and are living close enough to each other), or find a smith that will let you be hands on as much as you are able. Chose a suitable action. Pick the barrel. What ever rifle (action) you picked, are you going to use the stock for that rifle or restock it? order the stock when you order the barrel (waiting on wood after the barrel is fitted can be a pain) Install the barrel and chamber it. If using the old stock inlet the barrel to the old stock, if using a new stock inlet the barreled action into new stock, fit and finsih rifle...................
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