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  #1  
Old 10-04-2011, 03:31 PM
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.358 fire forming process


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Gentlemen,
I recently purchased a Browning BLR in .358. I am looking forward to reloading for this caliber as it fills a niche for elk and other critters in close quarters at moderate to short range. My question is this; I have an abundance of .308 brass that can be easily sized and then fireformed to .358.

I would appreciate hearing from others on what steps you would take to complete that forming process. Salt
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:10 PM
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Iowaloha saltyreb,
real nice to meet ya.

I need to note that you are the first member of this board that has called me a "gentlemen" since I had a sex change operation.

Past all of that, I'd prefer making 308's from 358's. Not the other way! Get better cases from making them smaller mostly.

If you can make them, they will work. May or may not last very long?

Kidding about the sex change thing. My sex is the same as when I signed on to this board.

Cheezywan
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:39 PM
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I'm not sure the 358 cases will need to be "fire-formed" in the strictest sense of the word. Although, some would argue that every case you fire in your rifle's chamber is, in fact, fire-formed to fit it.

Neck up in 2 stages, perhaps with a sizing stem from a 338 Federal, and then anneal the finished product. The shoulder angle and location is the same on all three, so you should be ready to load as soon as they are cooled off from annealing.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2011, 05:40 PM
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You can go from .30 cal to .35 cal in one pass, in my experience. Just need a tapered expander.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2011, 03:12 AM
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All I've used is .308 brass for my .358 and I always use one pass over a tapered expander ball or if I have some .308 ammo I just fire it in the .358 and no necking up is needed. I've had no issues either way.
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2011, 07:07 AM
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Piece of Cake

I make .358s from .308s in one pass with my Redding Die , the tapered expander button is standard in the Redding .358 sizing die
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2011, 03:36 PM
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The one thing I would recommend and have not seen posted here is ------------------

For the best brass and fit, set your .358 sizing die so there will be a slight crush fit on the brass when the action is closed.

Also, and this should go without saying, make sure the brass is not mixed brand and better yet is all from one manufacturing lot number.

Then for sizing after the brass has been fired in your chamber, size the minimum that will allow the brass fired in your rifle and sized with your dies to again chamber in your rifle.

Many times if a die manufactures instructions to set the sizing die down to touch the shell holder or worse yet, tight enough to make the ram "pop" over center when at the top of the stroke, you may be over sizing your brass which leads to load imconsistancy and short brass life.

As said, always size brass - fired in your rifle - to the very minimum needed to allow for smooth rechambering in your rifle.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2011, 07:21 PM
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Crusty,
Thanks. My habit is to size 2-3 thousandths on head space after first firing in the rifle I intend to devote a set lot of brass to. I do not like to overwork brass whenever possible. In a lever action that has to be full length sized with each loading it always helps to keep it to a minimum.

Thanks to all to replies. Like I said, I own a ton of good .308 brass. Cheezy ...........
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2011, 07:53 AM
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If I had a "ton" of good .308 brass would probabloy be turning it into .243winfester brass.

With your .358 conversion, at least you don't need to turn the necks when your done.

By the way, Imperial Sizing Wax is a good product for case forming.

STP is GREAT!!!!!!!!!, but a real mess to clean up, so the Imperial stuff is just a lot easier to work with.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2011, 08:44 AM
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Cannot add much that has not already been said except to echo the use of Imperial and a tapered expander. When I size the .25 WSSM to .358 HDH (WSSM) I use two tapered expanders, a 25 to 30 and a 30 to 35. The neck will get a tiny bit thinner but not enough to worry about and you certainly will not need to ream or turn unless you just want to outside neck turn them for better accuracy, which IMO is a waste of time on a hunting rifle and especially a short range lever action. IF you split any, just anneal them first. On doing mine I have to anneal three times, once before each step and again when finished. I don't lose any cases that way whereas without annealing I was losing way too many to neck splitting.
I also use .308 brass for my .338 Federal. A trip through the sizing die is all it takes. They come up a few thousandths short in length but not enough to worry about and they do not need fire forming nor should you on your .358 Winchester. I have been wanting to build an LR-308 in .358 Winchester (which is what my .358 HDH comes close to duplicating but in an Indiana legal length) to pair up with the .338 Federal and may do it some day, especially if someday becomes Indiana legal.
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2011, 04:55 PM
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Your doing good saltyreb. I guess if I had tons of 308's, I'd likely try to make use of them like you are.

I do prefer to reform "down" when I want good cases though. Take the extra steps and time to get there.

As an example, I have a 6mm remington that can shoot purdy well if I handload it what it wants. I love to find and reform 7mm Mauser brass for it. I'd likely order "new" Mauser brass if I needed new cases for it! Lots of work to reform 30-06 and 270's, but once done, it works real good.

I wish you well.

Cheezywan
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2011, 03:03 AM
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I would mention that having a case gauge is a good thing. I use it to make sure I don't create an excessive headspace condition whle forming the 358s. I found out many years ago when forming 30-06 to 35Whelen that it is VERY easy to move the shoulder back too far and have a headspace issue. Since using the gauges to keep an eye on the cases, no more issues have arisen.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2011, 11:42 AM
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Thanks Bandit,
I wouldn't think of hand loading without them. I use the Hornady head space gauges and always strive for 2-3 thousandths headspace when sizing once fired in each rifle. Salt
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2011, 11:49 AM
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Cheezy,
When I size up, I like to lubricate the inside the neck well to keep from dragging the neck out. My latest project is re-sizing .270 into 25-06 and I am struggling a little bit. I'm getting a dimple at the very bottom of the shoulder.I'm sure firing it will iron this out, but haven't had the chance. Too many other shooting chores come first getting ready for season, Salt
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2011, 01:05 PM
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Yupp. I've done 270 and 30-06 to 6mm Rem (was just 6mm poor and 270/06 rich). A learning curve must take place with the tools that you have.

I screwed the sizer in something like a quarter turn at a time while sorta pumping the press handle ( so as to NOT let the expander get pulled through the neck) until the die bottomed out on the shell holder. Hope that make sence. Lots of trimming and other work in my case. Less in yours. Give it a try.

Cheezywan
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  #16  
Old 10-07-2011, 01:44 PM
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I have been doing a little experimenting today about possibly building a .358 Win in an LR-308 but I needed to make sure the mags fed OK. I took 19 milsurp 308s I had on hand, pulled the bullets and ran them over a .358 tapered expander with Imperial Sizing wax and presto, instant .358 Winchesters. No annealing or anything. Just expand and load. So, since you have a lot of .308s on hand, go to it. One trip through the .358 Sizing die (Redding with tapered expander) and you are good to go. Headspace is the same between the .308/.338 Federal/.358 Win but check case length to be sure. If it is like my .338 Federal they will be a few thousandths short but that is not an issue.
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:29 AM
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I have a LAR-8 on order and 358 is one of the calibers I'm hoping they chamber for in the future. 260Rem is another one.


My 358 dies are Lee, and my 35 Whelen dies are Lyman and they both come with tapered expanders. I think most die MGFers, put tapered expanders in their 35cal dies because it is so common to size up 308 and 30'06 cases.
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2012, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsbandit View Post
I have a LAR-8 on order and 358 is one of the calibers I'm hoping they chamber for in the future. 260Rem is another one.


My 358 dies are Lee, and my 35 Whelen dies are Lyman and they both come with tapered expanders. I think most die MGFers, put tapered expanders in their 35cal dies because it is so common to size up 308 and 30'06 cases.
Dusting off an older thread to share some new information, at least for me. I've had bad luck using Lee dies to convert 30 cal brass into 35 cal brass. The process frequently buckled the shoulder on brass.

So I pulled the expander, chucked it in a cordless drill and took it to a whet stone. I put a longer taper on the front of the expander, and resized 20 mil-surp 7.62 to 358 win without a hitch.

No need to buy another expander, or another brand of dies.
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  #19  
Old 07-12-2012, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty Ol'Coot View Post
If I had a "ton" of good .308 brass would probabloy be turning it into .243winfester brass.

With your .358 conversion, at least you don't need to turn the necks when your done.

By the way, Imperial Sizing Wax is a good product for case forming.

STP is GREAT!!!!!!!!!, but a real mess to clean up, so the Imperial stuff is just a lot easier to work with.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
I agree with the ol'Coot about the wax. Never tried STP. I use 308 formed brass in my BLR 358 and had no problems with the brass. My 358 is the old style and I really like that gun.

BTW -- After opening the neck, I shot full power loads without any fire forming. But I did a couple of things first. I made sure that the resizing die was sizing the brass just enough for it to chamber reliably though. My brass was all 7.62 Nato brass. I worked up my loads using reloading manuals as a guide. The top loads were not the same as the manuals though. Strangely enough some power bullet combo's exceeded the manuals while other were a couple of grains lighter than what the manuals showed.
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  #20  
Old 07-12-2012, 07:49 AM
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So Dakota has it correct!

And note where he says he, "-----was sizing the brass just enough for it to chamber reliably-----".

"JUST ENOUGH" are the key words here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In fact, best is a very slight crush fit, then as So Dakota noted he shot full power loads.

No need what so ever to shoot a wasted charge of powder an bullet to fire form providing you did a correct job of forming the brass!

After one full power load, your brass WILL be truely fire formed for sure!

And yes, STP is a great lube for case forming, but Oooooooooooooh so very messy to clean up from EVERYTHING!

CDOC

Last edited by Crusty Ol'Coot; 07-12-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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