As some of you may already know, I've been obsessed with finding a way around Indiana's curious regulations for deer firearms season. I had the idea of trimming the .35 Remington's 1.92-inch case down to 1.80 inches, the maximum legal case length for the season. I discarded that idea when learning the barrel must be stamped for a legal cartridge. I had considered, of course, a Marlin 1894 or Henry Big Boy, a Ruger 77/44, an H&R 1871 in .500 S&W Magnum, and even a Ruger No. 1 in .475 Linebaugh.
But I don't want to use pistol cartridges. Call me impossible.
Now, last month I came across an article for an Indiana wildcat called the .358 Hoosier. It's a .358 Winchester trimmed to regulation and that's it. Apparently, there's even a gunsmith who will install a custom barrel and make the necessary modifications to the receiver of any rifle that used the .308 case.
You can read about it here, and several folks I've communicated with on Indiana hunting forums attest to the ballistics claimed. Anyway, I just thought I would throw this out there for your entertainment. I am thinking of buying a used bolt-action and having it converted. Why? Well, what appeals to me here is that while the Hoosier was conceived for Indiana use, it is not limited in its utility. It still throws a 225gr bullet at .358 Win velocities, which makes it a great choice for black bears, big pigs, and the nearby Kentucky elk - if I'm ever lucky enough to draw a non-resident tag.
This isn't the only Indiana wildcat going right now, but it is the most practical. Others are the .358 WSSM, .358 1.8 Just Hunt, .358 Indiana Express, .358 BFG, .358 Grant, and I'm sure there're others. If you're wondering why everything is .358, that's the smallest caliber legal for deer firearms season.
Thanks, I just saw an add for that in the Hunting Regulations and it is very intriguing (if the DNR does not throw up on it). I have been unhappy with the accuracy on my 1894 (I think I am being too picky - about 2 inches at 50 yards despite LOTS of handload development, a scope, a happy trigger - my longest shot is 50 yards so it is Minute of Deer) so I actually ordered a muzzleloader for my Indiana deer hunting and will use that during firearm and muzzleloader seasons.
Great idea - I will be watching to see how it pans out.
I saw an ad for the 358 in the Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide, mighty tempting, but I think I will get a new crossbow with the new laws. Not a rifle, but I like the idea of being able to hunt from October to January.
Team 30-30 #620
I don't live in Indiana but I did read the law/regulation awhile back the last time this subject came up. What I got out of it is that the reason for the 35 cal or larger pistol cartridge rifle is bullet energy at pistol cartridge velocity. The point is Indiana doesn't want the bullet to go the distance that can be achieved with rifle cartridges. Indiana regulation even make it so simple that even I understand. They list the names of the pistol cartridges that are legal to use in rifles.
So I think the 1. 80 case length is half of the law/regulation and the other half is pistol cartridge. Trimming down a rifle case still makes rifle cartridge in my books and I believe in the Indiana's books too.
But interesting anyhow. But it sounds like another bench rifle cartridge.
Good luck with the 358 But before you invest see if it is on their list.
My Avatar is my brother John who left me to soon. He was 10 Y/O 1 month older than me. He took me off the Streets of Brooklyn taught me how to handle a rifle and to hunt. For his attention I would always be grateful. Rest in Peace Brother John.
Levergunguy, if you trimmed that case to 1.80, and had an old 336 (that you maybe didn;t mind doing this to), why couldn;t you "x" out the factory cartridge marking on the barrel, make a name for your new "wildcat", and stamp it on there. I'm wondering if that would be legal(?) I mean, it isn;t like obliterating the serial number or anything.
I know that's kind of extreme, seeing as how the rifle would still shoot the standard 35Rem, but ti comes to my mind out of spite for the regulation. Now, these regulators at the State level, would anyone believe they "didn;t know" about the 35Remington? Nope. They knew, and purposefully excluded it. I would bet anyway.
"If you are a reloader and you don't know Lee, you don't know Jack" (Floydster)
Don't Be Scared©
I just don't think the DNR expected that wildcatters would find a way to match .358 Win ballistics in a case that length.