I need your help – but more on that in a moment. (See poll at bottom of post.)
I’ve always been a quarter-bore kind of guy. The allure of the 257 Roberts hit me early and lasted long. However, of the near dozen Bobs I’ve owned, I’ve never had one that I really liked. Some would shoot well, others not so much. And then there is that long-action/short-action thing with the Roberts. I loath long actions but like long bullets.
I had a brief affair with the 250 Savage and have flirted with the 25-06. One is short and slow, the other long and fast. The former has always proved accurate, with the latter its been hit and miss. The 24-45 Sharps really inspired me and has proven to be a tack driver in several rifles, while nearly duplicating factory 250-3000 ballistics from an AR 15. Still, its not a big game cartridge for the world.
Driving back from a hunt in Montana last year Hornady’s Neal Emery and I had the idea of necking the 6.5 Creedmoor down to .25 caliber. It would provide +P Roberts or 250 AI ballistics, in a true short action cartridge, for which there is a lot of quality brass available. And too, all you need to make the brass is a 6.5 Creedmoor bushing die. I suggested Hornady launch the new cartridge. They failed to take much interest so I decided to have a go at it.
With some help from two fellow hillbillies – wildcatting professional Mike Cyrus of Lehigh Defense and my personal gunsmith Jerry Dove of Dove Custom Guns (Jerry is not really my personal gunsmith but it sounds really cool to say you have a “personal gunsmith.”) – we have built the first I know of .25 caliber wildcat on the 6.5 Creedmoor case. Mike arranged a reamer from Dave Manson and fabricated a bushing for the sizing die. Jerry trued and barreled a new for 2017, Remington 700 Magpul, and then fitted a Proof Research 1 in 9 twist barrel.
This left me to have all the fun, working up the load data. (The mad scientist side of me really enjoys doing that. It’s a pressure push to reach the target velocity before having to pound the bolt open.) Load development is about one-third complete and I’m impressed with the cartridge and the rifle. Sub MOA groups are the norm and 70 grain Sierra Blitzkings are screaming out the barrel at 3500 fps + and 110 AccuBonds are breaking the 3000 fps mark.
What’s missing is a name for this cartridge and that’s where you can help. While it is technically a 257 Creedmoor it is not a long-range match cartridge like the Creedmoor name would suggest. This is a true, both-ways cartridge, suitable for big game and varmints, out to about as far as most humans have any business shooting. Here’ the thing, the article on this new cartridge goes to press in two weeks. It will appear in my Wildcat Cartridges column in Handloader magazine and I need to know what to call it. Right now I’m going with the 257 Wildcat – keep it simple right? – but the 250 Hillbilly is running a close second.
Please vote on one of the suggested cartridge names below or feel free to suggest your own.