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 Reloaded an old wild cat cartridge 
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Charles Newton was a lawyer and a firearms enthusiast that invented a number of cartridges but mostly known for the 22 Hi Power and the .250-3000
Newton had several businesses in his lifetime, Newton Arms Company,Buffalo Newton Rifle Company and LeverBolt Rifle Company around the turn of the 19th century.
Savage Firearms company adopted his 22 HP and .250-3000, the latter being the first commercial rifle projectile to travel over 3000 fps. Around this same time Newton created the .22 Newton which eventually became the inspiration for the .22-250. 22 HP and .22-250 are essentially distance kissing cousins.

In 1912, Savage adopted the 22 Hi Power for the venerable Savage 99 which used a 70 gr jacked projectile. The 22 HP was the first truly high velocity centerfire cartridges. It was primarily advertised as a small game round but later touted as a medium game (Deer) round although it fell short of getting enough pentration to kill a deer without a lucky shot leaving many wounded game thus all 50 states banned the 22 Hi Power and cartridges in similar size for hunting med to large game. Savage even went as far as marketing the 22 Hi Power as an a tiger killer. see Photo.

Today, there is no manufactured ammunition for the 22 hp whose dimensional name is 5.6×52Rmm. The last company to make 22 HP ammunition was Sellier and Bellot and their ammunition has a reputation for shooting a"shotgun pattern" due to the tumbling of this VERY unstable round.
The rest of this post is my journey with a 104 year old Savage 99H 22 Hi Power firearm and reloading for this unique wildcat round.

As you can see in this first photo, the Sellier and Bellot (SP) ammo is like a shotgun pattern. This is a VERY unstable round with evidence of bullets tumbling as they hit paper at 50 yards using a 1913 Savage 99H 22 High Power with a Marbles Peep sight.

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I spoke with several Savage experts specifically about this round and decided on a cast lead -gas checked bullet that is still made today. I was given instructions to scrub every bit of copper out of the barrel on my 1913 22 HP and boy oh boy did it bleed blue!
Image

I contacted The Bull Shop in Montana and low/behold, he casts a 64 grain gas checked, lubed .228 bullet. Boom! Bought 100 for $25 including shipping.
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I loaded 10 test rounds with no filler or wad, using a super low dose of BLC(2) in 19 grains, a Lg Rifle primer case up in Sellier and Bellot spent brass that has been neck annealed and trimmed. Then I proceeded to the range. The results from the first photo, compared to this photo is remarkable. Granted, I was looking for a closer grouping than the Sellior and Bellot(not adjusting the peep sight), and was pleasantly pleased with the results. The first two shots were low (Fouling shots if you will), then the grouping started appearing.
Image

[b]Pleased with the results and great information from the savage experts out there, I proceeded to use my Drill press CTS Case trimmer (.223 )to trim the brass to 2.045 and then chamfered, and steel-pin tumbled for 90 minutes and annealed the rest of the brass.

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Using mutliple sources and word of mouth (including Load Data website, which as been my "Go To" analysis along with 3 different manuals,) I decided to try another 10 rounds at 23.1 grains of BLC-2 for my next outing. It is recommended not to exceed 25 grs of BLC(2) with a lead cast gas checked bullet.

I'm certain I can get these groups tighter with the 104 year old rifle! I find great pleasure in researching and testing these wild cat cartridges in the field. My next outing I will chrono these rounds.. I'm looking for 2200 fps for this old bang stick, and no more!

Image


Last edited by sportsdad60 on Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:10 am, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:09 am
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Very cool.

How did you find dies for it? Or did you get them with the rifle?

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Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:20 am
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Thanks SD that was really interesting. As a fan of the 22 Hornet it was really cool to see a work-up for a similar cartridge which preceded the Hornet by quite a stretch.

For your initial load recipe, were you relying on recommendations from other 22 Hi Power owners?

Also curious what product you used to clean the copper out of a heavily fouled barrel. Always interested in learning about other cleaning products.


Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:38 am
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Steve, they still make dies for them believe it or not!

Dave, I was using Load Data and found a recipe using BLC and based on the chrono data/bullet weight they advertised, I went with a powder puff version of it. (19 grs vs 25 grs)

Box ammo (Sellier and Bellot) chrono'd at 2600 fps, I don't want to match that with a gas checked lead bullet, but I think I'll be just over 2000 fps with 23 grains.

I used Barnes Bullets CR-10 Bore Cleaner. I use this on my old .45-70 once a year and it cleaned it up slicker than snot.


Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:46 am
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Very nice sir. Enjoyed the history and the write up. Thank you.
Your photos inspire, as always! Love seeing cast bullets.

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Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:40 am
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Thank you SD just added a bottle of CR-10 to my MidwayUSA wish list for the next order. Also planning to try out some Bore-Tech Eliminator. Both of these products have great reviews so looking forward to trying them.

In the past I've used the Wipe-Out Foam with very good results and also have a bottle of the KG-12 copper solvent that I have not used as much.

Appreciate the info on Load Data. I will have to pick up a copy as planning to buy a Thompson Contender barrel in 30-30 Ackley Improved in the next year to start hog hunting down here. Will need it for the wildcat data.

Great to see an old cartridge come back to life with reloading.


Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:03 am
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How are you doing the annealing? I'm about to get started with reloading (well, once I clear enough garage space to put the equipment somewhere usable), and I'm aware that it's a good idea to anneal the neck end once in a while, but I have no idea how. I was all prepared to send the cases out for annealing every so often.


Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:16 am
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I have a socket with a bolt through it. I chuck it up on the hand drill, low speed, then drop each case in the socket, heat it up about 7-8 seconds on a propane torch.
As soon as it begins to change color (depending on the brass, 7-8 seconds) I drop it in a pan to cool.


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Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:12 am
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Thank you. I think I'll keep that as a step for the future. Glad to know it seems relatively easy, though.


Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:10 pm
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WanderingWalrus wrote:
Thank you. I think I'll keep that as a step for the future. Glad to know it seems relatively easy, though.


It's easy . . . and it's also easy to screw it up. If you get the brass too hot, you've ruined the case. I did this to some .30-06 brass that I had converted to 7.7 Jap, and after I annealed it I was able to very easily just squish the case between my fingers -- it was that soft. Now I use an annealing machine where it's more precisely timed.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying the "by hand" method with the socket again, but if I did I'd make sure to use Tempilaq so I could get a good feel for how hot the brass was getting. I use Tempilaq now, but I didn't back when I was trying out the socket method.

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Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:04 pm
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Excellent.

Shooting a tiger with that round = nads of steel

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Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:13 pm
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What Steve said...you get a knack for it too, some brass will turn color faster than others. If you're doing it by hand like I am, best to undercook it than overcook it. :)


Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:14 pm
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