Need feedback on a Wildcat Cartridge before I buy
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Thread: Need feedback on a Wildcat Cartridge before I buy



  1. #1
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    Need feedback on a Wildcat Cartridge before I buy

    OK, you can tell by my avatar, I am old enough to know who Popeye's pappy was. However, this cartridge dates back to 1938 when P. O. Ackley first put it into our world.

    The cartridge is based on the 30-30 case, 219 Zipper Improved. I have searched the web and found a few helpful articles about the cartridge including fire forming loads and good loads to work around for best accuracy. However, I am interested in the experiences the MO members have or of those you know related to this cartridge.

    I have an opportunity to pick up a good quality rifle in this cartridge and would appreciate any feedback you may have before I relinquish a portion of my coin purse set aside for filling my safe.

    I appreciate any info you may have.
    PDP aka: Pappy
    My Favorites: 22 Hornet and all wildcats, 28-30 Stevens, 32-20 and all wildcats, plus all hyphenated rifle cartridges
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  2. #2
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    I would be cautious, as Ackley's load data tended to be VERY hot and none was pressure tested. Nor do you have any lab-tested load data with modern components to go by.

    If the gun was shot alot, it is likely the throat and origin of rifling are shot out. Even if in good shape, you are on your own working up safe loads, depending upon the strength of the rifle, and how knowledgeable you are with QuickLoad or other software.

    Unless you are a very experienced and knowledgeable handloader, OR can get the rifle cheap enough to have it rebarreled and relined to a less complex cartridge to reload, I would let it pass. However, if really cheap, this might be a good candidate to send to JES to have rebored to 35/.30-30!
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  3. #3
    Gun Wizard
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    Nothing to be afraid of, load standard Zipper loads into the improved case, starting low and work up to pressure signs as in any other cartridge. Ackley's by design hold a few grains more powder, so you may or not be able to safely exceed standard Zipper loads. Check to insure you can source the dies, probably used, before buying the rifle. Probably will end with a reforming die to create a standard zipper case from 30-30, then form firing in the Ackley chamber, then moving on to actually loading up the improved version, interesting and fun if into reloading.
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    I had "custody" of a 219 Ackley for a couple years. Beatiful rifle built on a Win Hi-wall. Had old Lyman target scope on it. I ended up having to return it. One of those deals when heirs were fighting over selling it or buying the others out. Anyway I shot Ghogs with it and loaded ammo. I got the load data out of PO Ackleys loading manual #2. Rifle was built in late 40s by a well known Smith in the area. I have notes & manual yet. I was shooting 55gr bullets with IMR-4895 just slightly above standard Zipper velocities. About 3500fps was where it shot best. I didn't form any brass there was several hundred with gun. I neck sized and seated bullets with Vickerman. There was no loaded ammo with it so I don't know what owner was shooting. I like 55gr bullets in my CF 22s. They go a little slower but I find they more accurate in most rifles.
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    Sounds like an interesting toy to experiment with. Always wanted a 22 cal. centerfire levergun.
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    A thought on fireforming, I have 1 22-250 in the Ackley chambering with a tight neck (.250). I started fireforming with X grains of red dot (10gr I think) and filled the rest of the case with our version of cream of wheat as an inert filler.

    Now a friend of mine is an engineer and turned a duplicate of a Webley .410/ 12b adapter, in this he cut a 22-250 Ackley chamber and .224 bore. He did not have access to a chamber reamer so used a shadow Graff to get the correct dimensions. Now all I do is bang em off in a single barrel 12b.they come out the same as a first fire forming in the rifle chamber i.e. the shoulder is not as sharp. The other thing with these Ackley cases is due to the increased should angle 40deg instead of 27deg I have never had to Trim a case ?.

    As Greymustang said start with standard loads and work up you will be fine, a chronograph is a big help watch for velocity jumps. Keep us posted Gar.
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    I've seen a few rifles in 219 Ackley, no lever guns. I think the interest at the time they were popular was Varmit shooting. A while back I turned down a 30/40 Krag that had been rebarreled into 219 Ackley. It was smithed into a single shot. Martini, Rem Hepburn and Win Hi-Walls is what I've seen them built on. I would say they were all built around same time period too.
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    I was wrong on Ackley manual , 219 is in volume 1. Here's data, image.jpeg
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  10. #9
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    What is the 'good quality rifle'? It sounds like it may have lots of potential.

    AC
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    I had "custody" of a 219 Ackley for a couple years. Beatiful rifle built on a Win Hi-wall. Had old Lyman target scope on it. I ended up having to return it. One of those deals when heirs were fighting over selling it or buying the others out. Anyway I shot Ghogs with it and loaded ammo. I got the load data out of PO Ackleys loading manual #2. Rifle was built in late 40s by a well known Smith in the area. I have notes & manual yet. I was shooting 55gr bullets with IMR-4895 just slightly above standard Zipper velocities. About 3500fps was where it shot best. I didn't form any brass there was several hundred with gun. I neck sized and seated bullets with Vickerman. There was no loaded ammo with it so I don't know what owner was shooting. I like 55gr bullets in my CF 22s. They go a little slower but I find they more accurate in most rifles.
    Dmr50,

    Thanks for the details. The one I am looking at is on a strong single shot action as well. Also, 20X Lyman All American fine crosshair with dot. From other case forming experiences, I think a first step down with a 7-30 Waters sizing die, second with a 25-35, and the final with the cartridge full length sizing die will be the easiest process. Anneal prior to reducing, anneal after sizing, and neck ream to get rid of the excess thickness will be my best option. The expense of new 25-35 to fire form is way more than 2 Lee full length sizing dies that will last a lifetime. All i have read puts the cartridge on par with the 225 Win.

    I have used CH4D for other obsolete dies and case holders for the LE Wilson case trimmer. They have two die sets in all the Zipper variations.

    I hope I am successful at the auction.
    Last edited by PoopDeckPappy; Today at 11:09 AM.
    PDP aka: Pappy
    My Favorites: 22 Hornet and all wildcats, 28-30 Stevens, 32-20 and all wildcats, plus all hyphenated rifle cartridges
    Team: "Old Pharts" #348,
    Team Winchester #145


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