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357-44 Bobcat Magnum

This is a discussion on 357-44 Bobcat Magnum within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; About 25 years ago, I sent the 9mm cylinder from my Blackhawk Convertable to be rechambered to a necked down 44 magnum based wildcat named ...


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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #1
 
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357-44 Bobcat Magnum

About 25 years ago, I sent the 9mm cylinder from my Blackhawk Convertable to be rechambered to a necked down 44 magnum based wildcat named the 357-44 Bobcat Magnum.
The gunsmith's name was Bob Booth. He had worked out a way to eliminate the bottle necked 44 case from backing hard against the rear of the frame and then fireforming the shoulder forward, effectively locking up the cylinder from rotating.

The 357-44 Bain and Davis Wildcat attemps to avoid this condition with a long narrow case neck, just like Remington attempted to do with their necked down 357 necked 22 Remington Jet cartridge.
(Neither works very well at usable pressures.)
However, I found that the Bobcat Magnum did in fact work.
I was able to approach 1800 fps with 125 gr bullets without high pressure indicators or having the cylinder bind.

I was wondering if anyone else had this modification done and would like to discuss it.



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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCover View Post
About 25 years ago, I sent the 9mm cylinder from my Blackhawk Convertable to be rechambered to a necked down 44 magnum based wildcat named the 357-44 Bobcat Magnum.
The gunsmith's name was Bob Booth. He had worked out a way to eliminate the bottle necked 44 case from backing hard against the rear of the frame and then fireforming the shoulder forward, effectively locking up the cylinder from rotating.
The 357-44 Bain and Davis Wildcat attemps to avoid this condition with a long narrow case neck, just like Remington attempted to do with their necked down 357 necked 22 Remington Jet cartridge.
(Neither works very well at usable pressures.)
However, I found that the Bobcat Magnum did in fact work.
I was able to approach 1800 fps with 125 gr bullets without high pressure indicators or having the cylinder bind.
I was wondering if anyone else had this modification done and would like to discuss it.
Somebody (can't remember who) made up plastic rings to sit around the neck to bring it up to .44 case diameter. This meant, basically, a .44 cylinder and a .357 bore. I think this worked to cure the setback issue, but I cringe at the idea of someone being able to fire a .44 in a .357 bore.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 10:29 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edlmann View Post
Somebody (can't remember who) made up plastic rings to sit around the neck to bring it up to .44 case diameter. This meant, basically, a .44 cylinder and a .357 bore. I think this worked to cure the setback issue, but I cringe at the idea of someone being able to fire a .44 in a .357 bore.
That was Bob Booth.
The plastic ring actually works.
The higher velocities were obtained by a longer burn of more powder, not significantly higher ptessures.

The chambers are cut to the same length of the 44 case. Unless you reload case length wadcutters, not even a 44 special cartridge will fit into the cylinder.

It is a wildcat that really works as advertised.

Unfortunately, with the longer duration powder burn came the same problems the 357 Maximum experienced.
While not pushing pressures as high as the Maximum, the hot gasses still started to flame cut the frame just above the barrel.

I was wondering if anyone else had experienced that problem.

Thanks for responding.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #4
 
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Well, the problem that ruined the success of the really great .357 Max cartridge was that shooters used too light bullets. Bring the bullet weight up to 180-215gn and the Maximum really outperforms the .357 Mag and shows its beauty in its right light. This should apply to the .357/44 based wild cats as well. I'm dying for a Super Redhawk in .357 Maximum...

I was about to convert my old S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman to .357/44 Bain & Davis some time ago, but figured a measly 200 fps increase wasn't worth the cost of reaming the cylinder, buying the special dies and finding and fitting a spare cylinder so I could still shoot .357 Mags in the same gun. If I ever find a cylinder that has already been reamed and comes with the dies... well, then count me in!

FYI the .357 B&D was revised where the second version cured the problem of locked up cylinders by using a steeper shoulder angle. Only the first few B&D cylinders used the shallow angle, but unfortunately the rumour about the issue carried over and never really let go.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 06:42 AM   #5
 
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sounds like this round would work well in a desert eagle or any pistol, no? A 357-44 bobcat chambered barrel in a 44 mag desert eagle frame..., sounds easy enough. Am I on to something?
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Old March 28th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #6
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These are the things that T/C Contender barrels are perfect for. Too bad they lost their popularity as well.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #7
 
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I too have an old Bobcat. Sent the 9mm cylinder off to Booth to have it re-chambered to the 357/44 somewhere around 1978 or so. A really unique cartridge - and talk about penetration!!!!! Lots of fun.

I must confess that I haven't shot it with the Bobcat cylinder enough to cut it into pieces - mostly use the 357 cylinder.

I have all but run out of the black rings, they break after a half dozen shots or less. I'm down to just a couple dozen left - anyone have a clue where to find more?
Bob

Last edited by BwBrown; March 28th, 2011 at 09:08 PM.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 10:45 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by weldermyass View Post
sounds like this round would work well in a desert eagle or any pistol, no? A 357-44 bobcat chambered barrel in a 44 mag desert eagle frame..., sounds easy enough. Am I on to something?
Magnum Research did release the Desert Eagle in a 357/44 variant, the .440 Corbon. That is a .50AE case necked down to seat .429-bullets. You use the mags for the .50AE and the barrel from the .44 Mag reamed to accept the necked cartridge. It never gained any real popularity and was dropped from catalogue.

I like all aspects of the .357/44 concept. Cheap brass, cheap bullets. Very easy to load and simulate. With Lil'Gun it gives some pretty awe inspiring velocities for a handgun round.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 07:23 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by BwBrown View Post
I too have an old Bobcat. Sent the 9mm cylinder off to Booth to have it re-chambered to the 357/44 somewhere around 1978 or so. A really unique cartridge - and talk about penetration!!!!! Lots of fun.

I must confess that I haven't shot it with the Bobcat cylinder enough to cut it into pieces - mostly use the 357 cylinder.

I have all but run out of the black rings, they break after a half dozen shots or less. I'm down to just a couple dozen left - anyone have a clue where to find more?
Bob

While I enjoy taking this gun to the range with a couple boxes of .357 mag shells using the .357 factory cylinder, it would be fun to be able to do that on occasion with the full bore 357-44 Bobcat cartridges and the Bobcat bored cylinder.

I counted 47 intact sleeves in my little baggie on my reloading shelf. A couple others which are split but still in one piece.

I really like (for the uniqueness?) the Bobcat bottlenecks, but the flaw is the unavailability of those sleeves. Do we have any options here, or will the cylinder soon become an equally unique fishing weight?

Over the years, I have only ever invested in this one wildcat. Now perhaps I/we have learned the wisdom of that. It hasn't been entirely negative - it was fun to play with. It would be interesting to know how many of us (Bobcat Orphans) there are?
Bob
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Old March 31st, 2011, 07:44 AM   #10
 
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I’m curious if you couldn’t do the same thing like a sabot load like the Remington Accelerators. Stuff a .357 bullet in a sabot and then stuff that combo over your .44, .454, .460, .475, or .500 and you should be able to create a screamer and not have a bunch of milling work done on your gun. Is there such an animal or is there a reason this is only done in rifles and shotguns? When I first saw the Remington Accelerators I thought there would be some legal issue since the bullet isn’t touching the rifling but I still see them for sale from time to time.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 09:29 AM   #11
 
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I am currently following a lead on the Desert Eagle forum about the .357 B&D.
Any thoughts?

Can someone please post a pic of a .357 chamber? in Forum

If anyone has pictures of a .357 B&D converted Contender barrel I would appreciate it.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 06:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by WhistlerSWE View Post
If anyone has pictures of a .357 B&D converted Contender barrel I would appreciate it.
I think this was a factory offering at one point.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 08:36 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
Iím curious if you couldnít do the same thing like a sabot load like the Remington Accelerators. Stuff a .357 bullet in a sabot and then stuff that combo over your .44, .454, .460, .475, or .500 and you should be able to create a screamer and not have a bunch of milling work done on your gun. Is there such an animal or is there a reason this is only done in rifles and shotguns? When I first saw the Remington Accelerators I thought there would be some legal issue since the bullet isnít touching the rifling but I still see them for sale from time to time.
This was in fact done back in the 80's a firm out of NJ offered sabots that allowed 357 in a 44. I had a lot of fun with those and in fact still have about 50 left from my last order (late 80s). I have inquired elsewhere and have been unable to find these anymore.

Phil
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:44 PM   #14
 
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This is what the .357-44 Bobcat looks like.
Bob
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Old April 10th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #15
 
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Wow, this thread sure went quiet!

Anyone know of a stash of these black plastic sleeves?
If not, I guess I will be happy with a real nice .357 Magnum Ruger Blackhawk.
Bob
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