Thompson/Center Ugalde

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The Thompson/Center Ugalde, or TCU family of wildcat cartridges, was developed by Wes Ugalde of Fallon, Nevada, by necking up .223 Remington brass to accept larger bullets. The cartridges were developed for the Thompson Center Arms Contender single shot pistol, and are widely used in handgun metallic silhouette competition and handgun hunting. [1]

Wildcat cartridge cartridge

A wildcat cartridge, often shortened to wildcat, is a custom cartridge for which ammunition and/or firearms are not mass-produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic of an existing commercial cartridge.

Fallon, Nevada City in Nevada, United States

Fallon is a city in Churchill County, Nevada, United States. The population was 8,606 at time of the 2010 census. Fallon is the county seat of Churchill County and is located in the Lahontan Valley.

.223 Remington Firearms cartridge

The .223 Remington is a rifle cartridge, developed in 1957, for the ArmaLite AR-15. In 1964, the ArmaLite AR-15 was adopted by the United States Army as the M16 rifle, and it would later become the standard U.S. military rifle. The military version of the cartridge uses a 55-gr full metal jacket bullet and was designated M193. In 1980, the .223 Remington was transformed into a new cartridge, a 62-gr full metal jacket bullet with a 7-gr steel core for better penetration and designated 5.56×45mm NATO.


History and motivation

The Contender pistol, with its break action, provides a very versatile platform for experimenting with cartridges, since all that is needed to change calibers is to change barrels. While not as strong as bolt action designs, such as the Remington XP-100, the Contender is capable of handling medium power cartridges, and many wildcats appeared based on cartridges such as the .30-30 Winchester and the .223 Remington. The TCU family is formed by necking up the .223 to the new diameter, and fire forming to reduce case taper and increase shoulder angle. The 7 mm version first appeared around 1980, with the .25 caliber appearing in 1987. The larger calibers provide more downrange energy, and resist wind deflection better than the original .22 caliber (5.56mm) bullet, and the moderate case capacity of the .223 Remington works well in the short pistol barrels. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Break action firearm action using a hinge to expose the breech

Break action is a type of firearm action in which the barrel or barrels are hinged much like a door and rotate perpendicularly to the bore axis to expose the breech and allow loading and unloading of cartridges. A separate operation may be required for the cocking of a hammer to fire the new round. There are many types of break-action firearms; break actions are universal in double-barrelled shotguns, double rifles and combination guns, and are also common in single shot rifles, pistols, and shotguns, and can also be found in flare guns, grenade launchers, air guns and some older revolver designs. They are also known as hinge-action, break-open, break-barrel, break-top, or, on old revolvers, top-break actions.

Remington XP-100 bullpup bolt-action pistol

The Remington XP-100 is a bolt-action pistol produced by Remington Arms from 1963 to 1998. The XP-100 was one of the first handguns designed for long-range shooting, and introduced the .221 Remington Fireball and 6mm-223 6×45mm. The XP-100 was noted for its accuracy and is still competitive today in the sport of handgun varminting, which it helped create.

.30-30 Winchester rifle cartridge

The .30-30 Winchester/.30 Winchester Center Fire cartridge was first marketed in 1895 for the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle. The .30-30 (thirty-thirty), as it is most commonly known, was the USA's first small-bore, sporting rifle cartridge designed for smokeless powder.


The cartridges in the TCU family include:


The TCU family of cartridges is still going strong in competition, with top shooters at the 2007 IHMSA championship shooting 6.5 mm and 7 mm TCU from both Contenders and other pistols. [6]


Generally, only new, unfired .223 Remington brass is used for handloading TCU cartridges to avoid the premature case neck splits that can occur when resizing previously-fired .223 Remington brass with TCU reloading dies. Done this way, TCU sized brass generally becomes as reliable for multiple reloadings as any other handgun cartridge case.

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The .256 Winchester Magnum was a firearms cartridge developed by Winchester, and was produced by necking-down a .357 Magnum cartridge to .257 diameter. It was designed for shooting small game and varmints.

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.300 Whisper cartridge

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7mm-08 Remington Necked down .308Win

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.475 Wildey Magnum pistol cartridge

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8mm Remington Magnum

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.35 Whelen cartridge

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The .260 Remington cartridge was introduced by Remington in 1997. Many wildcat cartridges based on the .308 Winchester case had existed for years before Remington standardized this round. Although loaded to higher pressures, the ballistics of this cartridge are basically similar to the 6.5×55mm when bullet weights do not exceed 140 grains. When loaded with heavier bullets, the 6.5×55mm is capable of greater velocity. Due to its shorter overall length the .260 Remington can be chambered in a shorter length action than the 6.5×55mm.

Super magnum cartridge

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.257 Roberts cartridge

The .257 Roberts, also known as .257 Bob, is a medium-powered .25 caliber cartridge. It has been described as the best compromise between the low recoil and flat trajectory of smaller calibers such as the .22 and 6mm, and the strong energy but not the strong recoil of larger popular hunting calibers, such as the 7mm family and the popular .30-06.

22 caliber, or 5.6mm caliber, refers to a common firearms bore diameter of 0.22 inch (5.6 mm). Both the .22 Long Rifle and 5.56×45mm NATO/.223 Remington cartridges are very widely used.

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The 6×45mm is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge based on the .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridge necked up to .243 (6mm). The cartridge is also known as the 6mm-223 Remington or 6mm/223.

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  1. 1 2 Bryce M. Towsley (May 1997). "Case-Forming Top Contender Hunting Loads". Performance Shooter.
  2. 1 2 "6mm TCU". The Reload Bench.[ self-published source ]
  3. 1 2 ".25 Uglade/TCU". The Reload Bench. Archived from the original on 2009-12-22.[ self-published source ]
  4. 1 2 "6.5mm TCU". The Reload Bench.[ self-published source ]
  5. 1 2 "7mm TCU". The Reload Bench.[ self-published source ]
  6. "Results from the 2007 Internationals, Big Bore".