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Old August 29, 2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 12,865
I have one of these potential money pits as well ...... and was wondering how much work would be needed to make anything other than a "whatever x57" based cartridge feed properly.
You're right, these project guns can become money pits, and making them feed anything other than whatever X57 is often challenging. I built one in 444 Marlin many years ago, and the amount of work required is one thing that is keeping me from wholeheartedly embracing that one. And I have a Ruger 77 in 7X57, so I definitely don't want the loads mixed up, it would lead to problems. And 8X57 is out for the same reasons.
There is a ton of low pressure cartridges you can run in one as I'm sure you know. I'd have to say the 6.5x57 or .444 Marlin just because of the size of the action. My first thought is to do the 6.5 because there would be no modification to the action other than a rebarrel. My next thought is how much performance gain am I going to get over a 6.5X55?
I considered 6X57 (too similar to 6mm Remington for comfort), 6.5X57 (a winner, I had one years ago, you gain 200 fps over a 6.5X55), 9X57 (also had one of these, but I would use a .358" barrel), 9.5X57 (also known as 375 Nitro Express 2-1/4"), 10.15X57 (think 405 Winchester on a X57 case), and finally the 10.75X57 (an oddball, almost identical to the 444 Marlin except rimless, which is why I considered a 444). I have also thought of 44 Auto Mag, which led me to 45 Win Mag, which started me on 458 SOCOM, and so on. So now I have too many options. Decisions, decisions.
I went through the whole gambit of what to build on an old bubbaed 93 as well a few years ago. I wound up letting money decide, as I found a new $40 barrel short chambered in .30-06 but for a small ring mauser. I had the threads cut off, rethreaded for a small ring and chambered in .300 Savage. Neat little cartridge and rifle now that I do enjoy shooting I just wish I got to work with it more.
You were the first one I thought of when I started this, and I thought my search was over. I am still thinking of this one, or even a 7mm IHMSA (300 Savage necked to 7mm).

Thanks for your input. I will post pics as we move forward.
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