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Thread: Future wildcat: "243 Arctic Fox" (a lightweight predator hunting carbine)

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    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default Future wildcat: "243 Arctic Fox" (a lightweight predator hunting carbine)

    The rim diameter of a 30 carbine case and a 22 hornet are about the same although the 22 hornet may be a bit thicker. I had an idea a few years ago to take the 30 carbine case and neck it down to 243 caliber and have a barrel made for the ruger 77/22 hornet rifle.

    The 243 Arctic Fox would buck wind better, and with heavy 243 full metal jacketed bullets at a moderate speed of about 2,300-2,400 fps, this cartridge would be gentle on pelts and have great range. The heavier bullet would allow better penetration and retained energy out to about 300 yds even with heavy winds, but be less destructive up close on smaller animals.

    As far as I know, I'm probably the only one who has thought of this purposeful future wildcat and when times becomes available, I'd like to give it a try. The factory mag may even be easily modified since the case would be cut to the same length as the .22 hornet, and loaded to the same COAL. The thickness of the 22 hornet rim as opposed to the 30 carbine case may require some modification of the extractor, but probably could be done.

    The rifle would only need an 18 in. barrel and would have an overall weight of about 6lbs. even. With a straight tube 1-4 power scope, this would be the an excellent winter rifle that would probably be gentle on small game too because the 243 fmj would be much slower than most 223-243 cartridges.

    matnaggewinu


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    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    The preferred bullet for this predator rifle would be an 80 grain full metal jacketed bullet offered by hornady. For lager predators like a wolf, a heavier hunting type ballistic tip might offer some expansion as these low velocities, combined with decent penetration. These standard ballistic tip hunting bullets designed for medium game would be great. They will expand at about 1,500 fps making this rifle an honest 300 yard rifle with minimal pelt damage.

    matnaggewinu


  3. #3

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    Check out the 5.7 Johnson; it's the parent cartridge to your round,from around 1960. You could just use the Johnson and increase the rifling twist to launch 69 grn bullets. There's some good info to be harvested from this round, I believe. Marlin made a Model 65 (I believe) lever action 30 carbine, 256 Winchester Mag. with a detachable mag.
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    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Check out the 5.7 Johnson; it's the parent cartridge to your round,from around 1960. You could just use the Johnson and increase the rifling twist to launch 69 grn bullets. There's some good info to be harvested from this round, I believe. Marlin made a Model 65 (I believe) lever action 30 carbine, 256 Winchester Mag. with a detachable mag.
    Thanks for the heads up, but I'm dead set on an actual (entirely new) 243 caliber based off the 30 carbine. There are plenty off 223 wildcats like the 5.7 johnson. I really did like the 256 win mag and the 25-20. I think either would make a great combo gun (small game/predators) with hard cast round nose bullets. The move towards a 243 though, was to bring more bullet weight, an excellent availability of bullets, and great performance out to 300 yds with a moderate velocity.

    matnaggewinu


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    Before adopting a high pressure round to the Ruger hornet action, do some research on it's pressure ratings. You may be running in the red range. Your round would seem to have some promise.
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    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Before adopting a high pressure round to the Ruger hornet action, do some research on it's pressure ratings. You may be running in the red range. Your round would seem to have some promise.
    Yes, that's all part of the process to find a suitable powder. This won't be a high pressure round what so ever. I'd prefer things to be of modest pressure no more or less than what a 22 hornet would produce. Is there any appreciable difference between the 77/357 magnum action and the 77/22 hornet action? I think they are the same from what I've observed, and plenty capable of housing such a modest wildcat.

    matnaggewinu


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    The pressure of the 357 mag and 22 hornet are nearly identical so it would work. The carbine works at a lower pressure than the hornet. I'm not covinced it would be effective past 225-250 yds, but only bench time would tell.
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    6x45 will do it all and it's available in a AR by just changing barrels or you can rebarrel most anything that with the correct bolt. I built a 16" upper that shoots hot loads for deer/wolf size critters or subsonic rounds that you can use on bunnys or small games. I use 85gr Sierra HPBT and they will not expand at subsonic speeds and will drop deer like lightening at 2700FPS or load down to 1800 and still get some expanding. It is a very accurate and deadly round and it uses common everyday .223/5.56 brass and cheap dies. Why reinvent the wheel? The 6x45 will do everything your 30 Carbine based round will and more. How 'bout a CZ 527 in 6x45....Just a thought.

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    OR, think about the 300 Whisper or 300 Black Out....talk about a "do a lot" round. 147 gr FMJ are cheap and you can go from 90 gr to 225 gr...subsonic to 2400 FPS...mice to caribou/deer....again make them from .223/5.56 brass....cheap!

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    The biggest issue Lowrider, is that he wants to use it in that particular 77/22 Hornet rifle. The rotary magazine allows six rounds of .22 Hornet, but I bet it would only allow 5 rounds of a .30 carbine wildcat. I'm not even sure if the .30 carbine wildcats would function from the rotary magazine. It appears to me that all rotary magazine rifles made by Ruger use a rimmed cartridge; .22LR, .22mag, .22 Hornet and .44mag. I don't know if the rim is important for the rotary to work, but I bet it is.

    A standard Ruger compact will house 5 rounds also, but not in a detachable magazine (might be important) and could easily be made into a 6mm-.223.

    Another option would be to obtain a .44Mag rotary magazine Model 77 and base the wildcat off of the .44 mag.

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    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I never though of that. All their rotary mags used rimmed cases. I'm trying to keep the horsepower down. That's why I thought the 30 carbine would be about the perfect sized case to push an 80 grain fmj bullet. Another thing I also considered was simply necking down 357 mag. cases to 243. I've dealt with LEE regarding custom dies, and they do a reasonable job. That might be a bit too much horsepower even with the full metal jacketed bullets. I'm sure you could load them down to the target velocity, or go with a heavier bullet to slow things down a bit. It'd be like a necked down 256 win mag case.

    matnaggewinu


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    I'm all about wildcats especially when they are a improvement over whatís out there. Unfortunately that seldom happens and you donít get much in the end. Before I continue my friend just had to have a 30-30 Ackley improved he said he would have 308 ballistics in a lever action rifle. This was long before the monoflex tips. So he got a marlin in a 30-30 has it re-chambered to a AI. Man he is absolutely stoked everything P.O Ackley has published should put this thing on the heels of the 308 Winchester. He gets brass formed, uses the load data Ackley used and off to the range he goes I happen to go with him I had that day of work. Did I say how excited he was, so set up the chrono get the benches out get the rifle out ammo. We set the targets up, 1st round through the chrono huh ok 2nd round through hhhmmmm ok 3rd round alright this isnít right Ackley book said I should be getting this. In the end that rifle sat in the corner of his gun room untouched never to be shot again.
    So I ran some stuff through hornady ballistic calculator yeah I know but what you plan to do does not offer any improvement over a 223 with the right twist using a 75gr bullet. The 75gr .224 bullet has a much higher BC than any of the 243 bullets you would use (now if you would switch to a hollow point boat tail then you would be on the right track, still not offer any real improvements over the 223). I used Hornady bullets as well... With what you provided for info I ran it through the calculator a 80gr Hornady FMJ with a BC of .261 has a MV of 1958 f.p.s at 100yds then at 300 yds 1385 f.p.s delivering 341 ft lbs of energy and will be -28 inches low at 300 yards
    the 5.56/223 with a 55gr hornady FMJ ( they don't make the FMJ in a heavier bullet for the .224) BC of .243 has MV of 2300 at 100 yards then at 300yds mv of 1678 f.p.s delivering 344 ft lbs of energy and will be -18 inches low at 300yds. Now if you use a 75gr hornady boat tail hollow point the BC .395 has a MV of 2354 at 100 yds then at 300yds a MV 1902 delivering 603 ft lbs of energy and will be -17 inches low at 300 yards. For what itís worth increasing your load by another 200 f.p.s does help your cartridge but not enough to overcome the 5.56/223. If you build it Iím sure it will be a blast to shoot anyhow.
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    I'd love to hear about your wildcat mainer. Seems there are lots of ideas on cartridges, but yours is in the right direction IMO; a niche cartridge designed to fit a particular firearm--not the fastest, slowest, biggest or smallest, designed with a specific purpose. Let us know how it all works out. I too have been looking for the perfect "fox" rifle/cartridge. I'm going to try the .221 Fireball this year, but it may be too much of a good thing as well.

    If the cost gets overwhelming, a 256 Winchester may work about as well and do it without a custom reamer or dies...

    Maybe a 270 REN would fit your bill too. I like the idea
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    I just looked over the ballistics of a 256 winchester mag (necked down 357 mag). They are showing 2,300 fps from a rifle barrel with an 87 grain pointed soft point. That's about right for velocity in my opinion. The only problem with the 25 caliber is that there are no readily avail. full metal jacketed bullets. Probably the cheapest route is to have LEE make a set of custom dies that will allow you to neck down cheap and ready avail. 357 magnum cases. Follow the load data published for the 256 win mag as a baseline for developing the 80 grain full metal jacketed 243 load. The velocity should be around 2,200-2,350 fps. This could work and not be too much horsepower like I had originally thought. Again, the key here is to shoot a lager 243 bullet at a lower velocity. The 80 grain bullet should buck wind very well.

    The gun is supposed to be able to put this 80 grain bullet out to about 300 yds with minimal drop for humane kills on predators, but still be able to cleanly take small game without damaging meat. From what I've read in the ballistics chart, a Hornady 80 grain 243 full metal jacket will drop roughly 17 inches with a 200 yd. zero when the bullet is traveling 2,300 fps from the muzzle. I can deal with that, and it's very workable range. Penetration on any predator from a fox......to a wolf shouldn't be a problem for the 80 grain bullet. The humane limit would probably be 300 yds.

    Looks like the 357 magnum case might make a more appropriate case to neck down.

    If this wouldn't work in the little 5.25 lb. ruger 77/357 carbine, than what lowrider recommended would probably be the easier route. Necking up 223 rem cases, and loading them down to 2,300 fps with the full metal jacketed 243 bullets. I've owned the little 527 micro bolt with open sights, and it was a dandy little rifle. I would just hope to keep the velocity down nice n slow for this winter fur and small game type rifle and worry that the 223 might no be the right case to do this (too much powder capacity). Some cartidges don't shoot accurately loaded down with too much space in the case.

    matnaggewinu


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    I was just thinking Fireball myself. If a guy were to rebarrel a rifle to a fast twist 221Fireball and shoot heavy bullets you might be in business with less expense and hassle, since reamers and dies are an off the shelf item. You could use a CZ or mini MKX if you wanted a tiny gun with detachable mag or use a short 700 if the mag thing don't matter. A 600 carbine might possibly be the ultimate for a straight up rebarrel keeping the same contour to keep weight and OAL down. The flat dogleg bolt handle makes packing them in a scabbard easier too.

    With the fast twist a guy could shoot heavy, potentially harder therefore easier on hides, bullets accurately. As a side effect velocity should be kept down, hopefully out of the explosive threshold.

    Another point too consider is that as much as I love the little 77/ variants, they are not known to be the most accurate little rifles. I have seen guys sell even heavy barreled Hornets, after trying everything and not getting them to shoot. My little 77/22LR is a tack driver and I absolutely love it, but I have shot others that were only tin can accurate. They are certainly well made, and have a great warranty, but some can be a bugger to get to shoot.

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    You can drop velocity pretty easily with the 6x45 down to 2000 FPS with H335 and way down to subsonic with trailboss. The 6x45 is a very accurate round in a good quality barrel and it will handle heavy bullets up to 105gr at slow speeds in a 1 in 8" twist. It is very flexible and tolerent of velocity changes. Goggle it and see how it is used. 16" barrel is all you need.

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    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    You can drop velocity pretty easily with the 6x45 down to 2000 FPS with H335 and way down to subsonic with trailboss. The 6x45 is a very accurate round in a good quality barrel and it will handle heavy bullets up to 105gr at slow speeds in a 1 in 8" twist. It is very flexible and tolerent of velocity changes. Goggle it and see how it is used. 16" barrel is all you need.
    Thanks, might have to check that cartridge out a little more closely. My ultimate fear is a cartridge with too much velocity and simply not capable of taking small game due to velocity, but if it can be loaded down reliably, it's a viable option. The 243 fmj's are only about $17 for a box of 100 and that is the bullet I'd want for fur and small game. I did google the cartridge and I was impressed, it looks like you can keep the velocity down, that would open up a lot of possibilities as far as rifles are concerned. The CZ micro bolt with open sights and the 18.5 in barrel would be a good rifle to start with. As mentioned, the 221 rem. fireball would be a good case too. It would actually work very well in a little cz 527 action with 223 magazines with probably very little modification.

    the 221 fireball pushes velocites about 300-400 fps slower than a 223 remington. That would definitely be a perfect case to neck up to 243 for a small game/predator rifle combo gun shooting the 80 grain 243 FMJ.

    matnaggewinu


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    If you wish to change your parent case there is a 6mm Whisper, it;s what you're basically looking for, a 221 Fireball case necked up to 6mm. This is currently a "standardized wildcat" and is chambered by a couple of companies and loading data is available as well. The cartridge base is a standard 223 Rem size so bolt faces wouldn't be an issue.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    If you wish to change your parent case there is a 6mm Whisper, it;s what you're basically looking for, a 221 Fireball case necked up to 6mm. This is currently a "standardized wildcat" and is chambered by a couple of companies and loading data is available as well. The cartridge base is a standard 223 Rem size so bolt faces wouldn't be an issue.
    Nice! thanks for the heads up. I thought that the fireball would have been necked up already as it just makes sense. Do you have links to the rifle or cartridge data? Yes, with the 223, the 222 and the 221 fireball having the same rim size, it would certainly be workable in a micro bolt.

    matnaggewinu


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    I have not looked at the numbers but this might work. Look at using 6x45 ie 6-223 dies cut down in length to size 357 down to 6mm. Might get you out of needing fully custom dies, and still getting 6mm.

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