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John Kort and the .30 WCF
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April 5, 2024 - 7:08 pm
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A friend of mine thinks John published an article on the .30 WCF in the Winchester Collector magazine. Does this ring a bell with anyone?  I can’t find it.  The only article I am aware of that he wrote in our magazine was in summer 2016 – it was on the M1873 Winchester.

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April 6, 2024 - 1:06 am
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Steve-

I read some very lengthy posts by John over on the Cast Boolits website several years back and the 30WCF was a popular subject on that forum when I spent time there. He was generally involved when we designed a “new” bullet for the 30WCF. Wouldn’t surprise me to find an article along those lines.

 

 

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April 6, 2024 - 2:59 am
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I read some very lengthy posts by John over on the Cast Boolits website several years back and the 30WCF was a popular subject on that forum when I spent time there. TXGunNut said

Also very active on CAS site, where I got to know him.  (Though I have no interest in CAS shooting, there’s much highly knowledgeable discussion of obsolete guns & ammo on that site.)  What turned me off about “Cast Boolits” is the incredibly stupid name! 

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April 6, 2024 - 6:58 am
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steve004 said
A friend of mine thinks John published an article on the .30 WCF in the Winchester Collector magazine. Does this ring a bell with anyone?  I can’t find it.  The only article I am aware of that he wrote in our magazine was in summer 2016 – it was on the M1873 Winchester.

  

I checked the IAA journal and all I could find was where the Summer 2016 WACA Collector was reprinted the May/June 2018 IAA Journal.

Are you sure your not thinking of John Kuntz? Or another John?

Maverick

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April 6, 2024 - 12:44 pm
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Maverick said

steve004 said

A friend of mine thinks John published an article on the .30 WCF in the Winchester Collector magazine. Does this ring a bell with anyone?  I can’t find it.  The only article I am aware of that he wrote in our magazine was in summer 2016 – it was on the M1873 Winchester.

  

I checked the IAA journal and all I could find was where the Summer 2016 WACA Collector was reprinted the May/June 2018 IAA Journal.

Are you sure your not thinking of John Kuntz? Or another John?

Maverick

  

It is John Kort he is thinking of.  I recall he had many years of personal correspondence with him.  Thinking of John, I seem to recall his handle was 30WCF on at least one of the other sites?

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April 6, 2024 - 1:12 pm
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steve004 said

Thinking of John, I seem to recall his handle was 30WCF on at least one of the other sites? 

He used both 44WCF & 30WCF.  But I’m not sure his favorite cartridge wasn’t BP .22RF which he loaded with his own hand-cast bullets.  Ever heard of anyone who’d go to that much trouble to shoot a .22 RF?

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April 6, 2024 - 3:01 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said

Thinking of John, I seem to recall his handle was 30WCF on at least one of the other sites? 

He used both 44WCF & 30WCF.  But I’m not sure his favorite cartridge wasn’t BP .22RF which he loaded with his own hand-cast bullets.  Ever heard of anyone who’d go to that much trouble to shoot a .22 RF?

  

Nope – I’ve never heard of anyone doing that.  Did he receive results that were worth his efforts?

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April 6, 2024 - 3:19 pm
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steve004 said

Did he receive results that were worth his efforts? 

Yes, so he said, though I don’t remember the specifics.  He offered to give me a box of 50 to try out myself, but I declined because I wasn’t willing to put up with the bore cleaning that would have to be done; he’d told me that after a relatively small number of shots, maybe a doz, accuracy began to fall off due to bore fouling.  I greatly regret now that I didn’t take them merely as a remembrance of him, but I had no idea how ill he was.

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April 6, 2024 - 3:40 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said

Did he receive results that were worth his efforts? 

Yes, so he said, though I don’t remember the specifics.  He offered to give me a box of 50 to try out myself, but I declined because I wasn’t willing to put up with the bore cleaning that would have to be done; he’d told me that after a relatively small number of shots, maybe a doz, accuracy began to fall off due to bore fouling.  I greatly regret now that I didn’t take them merely as a remembrance of him, but I had no idea how ill he was.

  

By all accounts he was a really great guy.  I think he has been gone since 2017 or 2018.  I recall it was in 2017 that he put all of his molds up for sale.

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April 6, 2024 - 5:11 pm
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I talked back and forth with John quite a bit for a short period of time.  Sometimes about the magic year of 1895 and the cartridges that came out then, and the Sportsman’s Exhibition at Madsion Square Garden that year.  John told me that he spoke at the evening banquet during the Cody Show a number of years ago.  I don’t remember the year, but there’s a small black and white photo of it in one of the back issues of the magazine.  He’d spoke about the 30 WCF if I remember correctly, at least in part.  

He got me into pulling old ammo apart and reloading the bullets in period rifles.  I believe I talked to him about finding the jacketed bullets to be well undersize at the time.  I think they grouped about double the size of modern .308 dia. bullets when shot through the same rifle and tore large holes.  We’d thought it was at least in part to do with keeping pressure down, likewise with some of the charges listed in powder pamphlets from the same period.  I still have jars from then with Lightning #2 from 30 WCF ammo and WA 30 Cal. from 30 US.  We talked about the history of the Laflin & Rand powders, then Du Pont, Hercules and all of that too.  He really got me interested in that.

160-170.jpgImage Enlarger

 

He’d sent me some cast bullets to use, and he’d also sent me some copies of various documents, powder pamphlets etc.  I framed this one.  I guess that you have to be a real junkie to frame a copy of this.  He said George Madis had given him the copies sometime after he spoke at Cody.  This was also published in one of the very early magazines/newsletters, I think by George Madis.  32WS, 33 WCF and 35 WCF were added onto the bottom of the right column, so that should date when the original was created, wherever that sheet of paper is now.

DSC_5376.jpgImage Enlarger

 

It’s interesting how these various documents and copies of documents get passed around.  I later got some originals of other sheets from Dan Shuey that had once been sent to me as copies by John, so maybe they had some back and forth too.  I knew Dan much longer.  Happy to have known them both!  

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April 6, 2024 - 9:32 pm
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Interesting picture if the powder.  I recently pulled apart a Lee Navy round and some unknown 6.5 and they had powder like this with the hole in the center.  Different colors and sizes.  Never seen this before.

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April 6, 2024 - 11:18 pm
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Chuck said
Interesting picture if the powder.  I recently pulled apart a Lee Navy round and some unknown 6.5 and they had powder like this with the hole in the center.  Different colors and sizes.  Never seen this before.

  

Powder with a hole in the middle… makes me think of Trail Boss powder.  I always assumed Trail Boss powder had the hole in the middle so the powder would take up more volume in the case.  I wonder what the rationale was for this vintage powder?

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April 7, 2024 - 2:22 am
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I’d forgotten about John’s adventures with BP 22 rimfire. As I recall they found a supplier for empty, primed cases and it was a very entertaining group project. He would have been very interested in the 44 rimfire discussions of late. Several of the guys were pioneers in powder coated lead bullets and large caliber air guns but he was well-known for his work with BP cartridges. John helped me sort things out when I decided to dabble with the 38WCF, much of what he wrote about the 44WCF applied to the 38WCF. I remembered some of his guidance when I was working on a 32-40 project recently. If we could come up with a design Al at NOE would put together a group buy, cut a cherry and make some moulds for us to try. I suppose they’re still doing that, haven’t checked in since we lost John. Don’t hold it against him but John told me about this site when we were discussing a 38-55, or maybe it was a 32WCF. Big loss to the Cast Boolit and WACA community.

 

 

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April 7, 2024 - 11:53 am
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Chuck said
Interesting picture if the powder.  I recently pulled apart a Lee Navy round and some unknown 6.5 and they had powder like this with the hole in the center.  Different colors and sizes.  Never seen this before.

  

I think several (or more) of the different Laflin & Rand/Hercules rifle powders were perforated.

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April 7, 2024 - 1:48 pm
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TXGunNut said
I’d forgotten about John’s adventures with BP 22 rimfire. As I recall they found a supplier for empty, primed cases and it was a very entertaining group project. He would have been very interested in the 44 rimfire discussions of late. Several of the guys were pioneers in powder coated lead bullets and large caliber air guns but he was well-known for his work with BP cartridges. John helped me sort things out when I decided to dabble with the 38WCF, much of what he wrote about the 44WCF applied to the 38WCF. I remembered some of his guidance when I was working on a 32-40 project recently. If we could come up with a design Al at NOE would put together a group buy, cut a cherry and make some moulds for us to try. I suppose they’re still doing that, haven’t checked in since we lost John. Don’t hold it against him but John told me about this site when we were discussing a 38-55, or maybe it was a 32WCF. Big loss to the Cast Boolit and WACA community.

 

 

Mike

  

I’ve never been much of a .22 guy and black powder .22 loads is way out of my wheelhouse.  Clarence notes that John’s lead-bulleted .22 loads leaded the bores very quickly.  How was this dealt with in the early years of the .22 rimfire.  I assume when the M1873 first came out in .22, the ammunition was lead bulleted?  And fueled by black powder?

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April 7, 2024 - 3:00 pm
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steve004 said Clarence notes that John’s lead-bulleted .22 loads leaded the bores very quickly.
  

Not leaded, fouled with BP residue.  The reason most BP match shooters ran at least one patch down the bore after every shot.

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April 28, 2024 - 5:54 am
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I knew John from castboolit forum and talked to him some about 30-30. It’s been so long now, that I can’t recall the articles he wrote. I was asking him if he knew of any historical articles about the 30-30’s usage in the settling of the west and of Alaska, he did not. But we spoke of the 30-30 quite some time, and I always enjoyed reading is posts. I miss him, he was an asset to our community.

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April 28, 2024 - 11:41 am
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LeverGunner said I miss him, he was an asset to our community.
  

His knowledge of BP cartridges & shooting, & willingness to undertake unusual experiments like reloading .22 RF, was unsurpassed; yet a more humble, un-self-assuming man you’ll never know.  He provided me with the most accurate cast bullets I ever shot, his own of course.

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