It takes a lot of time to get ready to teach a class, especially when you only teach once in a blue moon. However, now that the Wildcat Class for the NRA Gunsmithing School in Trinidad, CO is over I can get back to “normal”.
We had a great class this year. All the guys made reamers, cut reloading dies with thier reamers, and either formed brass or would have if they had the appropriate brass in hand.Durring this course I stress the importance of doing research. I have never been an advocate of concocting wildcats just for the sake of the excersize or to slap a name on something. There are cheaper and easier ways to attach your name to something. One important point of the class is to share the idea that wildcats should serve a purpose, they should fill a niche some how. Either by creating a firearm/cartridge combination that is not available from the factory, to test ideas, etc.
We discuss the process of designing a case, there are some basic design concepts that will help insure success. Variour design tools are explored including software. Design and manufacture of reamers so that they could be made in a shop with minimal tooling. Most gunsmiths start out with very few machines. A good reamer can be made on a lathe, it’s nice to have a mill to work the reamer, but it can be done with a file, or a grinder. Whenever I teach this class I get a look from the students at the beginning that indicates they think making a reamer that will cut a precise chamber is not possible. Then a few days later they are making chips with thier very own reamer… Smiles all around!
I want to congradulate all the guys who attended the Taming Wildcats class at TSJC this year, you guys were exceptional students, your results were outstanding. Let me know what happens with your new wildcats!