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  #1  
Old 09-21-2011, 04:48 AM
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necking up - annealing


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I've got an idea for a 35 caliber wildcat, based on the old 225 Winchester case. If feasible, it would entail going from .224" to .358" at the case mouth, which is quite a jump.

My question is this: Is anyone on here aware of a means of expanding case mouths that employs heat DURING the process? My fear is split case necks, of course, so I'm wondering if a combination of heating the case neck to the proper temperature for annealing, just prior to sizing, would be possible/prudent/idiotic?

Has anyone every heard of doing this, or aware of a reason why it would not work very well, if at all?

(I could also use the 375 Winchester case for a parent, which would probably be a whole lot easier, but the 225 brass is less expensive and I use it for another round, so it's dual-purpose, for me.)

Last edited by broom_jm; 09-21-2011 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:23 AM
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Seems you want to expand while heating, yes? Could be problematical because you'd have to have the expander hot as well as the case, and push the expander into the case in a short window of time, remove, then dump the hot case into the water bath. The expander must be kept hot or its cooler temperature will cause you to have to heat the brass longer, such that you might over-anneal. I have no idea how you'd do all this, but these pages are full of minds far more intelligent than mine...

Last edited by nvshooter; 09-21-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:52 AM
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You don't need to do that. I would try a few without annealing at all. Go up in steps, say to .30 cal first, then .35. If you get splits, then try annealing between steps.

Trying to keep a case hot that long risks softening the head. Bad idea.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:58 AM
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Think you're on the right track, but wouldn't think annealing and then trying to expand the hot neck would be very comfortable (ouch!). Annealing and then expanding the cooled neck in increments should work out. I do this with several wildcat cartridges on mine and find that necking up is always easier than necking down (less collapsed shoulders). You're right broom - going from .224 to .35 is a huge step and I'd count on some loss along the way.

Used to have a 25-225 Win in a T/C Contender and always enjoyed the performance of the cartridge. Another shooting buddy enjoyed it more and made the offer of non-refusal!
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:06 AM
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Hmmm... a .357 "Ultra Max". I like it!

If you're going to trim to 1.8" (1.79"?) .30-30 cases might be a better place to start. Very similar case dimensions to start with, less split necks, and brass is easier to come by.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:09 AM
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So, it would be smarter to neck up in steps (obviously) with annealing once or twice, during that process? I've got the 6.5JDJ, which has a tapered expander, so no problem getting from 22 to 26. From there, I could use a 30 Herrett die (I think...) to get to 30 caliber. I'm not sure about going straight from 30 to 35, although I DO happen to have a tapered expander to make 35 Whelen cases from 30-'06...maybe I could just switch out the decapper/expander pin?

I'll have to check that out...heck, I might have everything I need already, except the 357 Herrett dies!
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2011, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kludge View Post
Hmmm... a .357 "Ultra Max". I like it!

If you're going to trim to 1.8" (1.79"?) .30-30 cases might be a better place to start. Very similar case dimensions to start with, less split necks, and brass is easier to come by.
I considered doing that, which was the original intent for the 357 Herrett, obviously. However, the 225 and 375 Win cases are built quite a bit stronger, to handle much higher pressures than the old 30/30. The 225 is rated for about 55,000psi and the 375 Winchester for 63,000psi!

Since I will be using either an Encore or H&R action I want to stick with right around ~55,000psi, along with the rimmed case.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:55 AM
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I'm not sure I would be worried about the brass, but you are much more knowledgable here than I am.

You may have already heard, but the 1.8" rule has been approved for 2012.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2011, 09:35 AM
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Yeah, I've "heard" you can push a standard 30/30 case to 50,000psi in an action that is strong enough for that kind of pressure. Still, I know the 225 and 375 brass is built stronger, so I'll probably wind up going with one of those. I'm leaning toward the 225 because of the reasons mentioned earlier.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2011, 11:00 AM
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annealing of case before expanding

I've found that annealin can be accomplished without softening the head. Heat the case while holding the case in your (bare) hands. When the temperature reaches your fingers stop heating. The mouth will be soft enough to do incremental expansion. I've done it it with 6mm cases, also for reducing cases from 30 cal to 6mm. Some suggest using cryola on the case to observe the heating process. A small streak, and when that melts, stop!! By all means, don't soften the head, or get close to the head. Dont quench the case suddenly, that will harden the brass again. I suggest to try it a few times.
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2011, 02:20 PM
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Seems like a lot of trouble to re-invent the .35-30


http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/w353030.html
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2011, 04:48 PM
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In my wildcat, the .358 HDH (WSSM), I used the .25 WSSM as the parent case. If you try to step up without annealing, cases split about 1/3 the time. The steps I used are:
1. Anneal.
2. Tapered expander from 25 to 30 caliber with Imperial sizing wax inside the case neck.
3. Anneal.
4. Tapered expander from 30 to 35 caliber with Imperial sizing wax inside the case neck.
5. Anneal.
6. Trim to even up case length and load normally.
Case loss using the above method is zero.
If you try to heat the same time you neck up, you likely will cause the neck to collapse since the brass will be very soft at that point and will more than likely just fold in on itself.
I got my tapered expanders from CH-4D along with the reloading dies. The reamer was made by Manson Reamers.

The method I use to anneal is to stand the cases in a pan of very cold water with the water covering 2/3 the case body. I turn out the lights and heat evenly with a propane torch until the necks start to take on a very slight red glow, and I mean a very slight, almost imperceptible glow. I then tip them over in the water with a suitable tool. I usually end up doing an "eight count" as I run the torch over the case neck then tip them over and can do a hundred cases in just a few minutes.
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Last edited by Big Bore; 09-25-2011 at 04:52 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2011, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjay View Post
I've found that annealin can be accomplished without softening the head. Heat the case while holding the case in your (bare) hands. When the temperature reaches your fingers stop heating. The mouth will be soft enough to do incremental expansion. I've done it it with 6mm cases, also for reducing cases from 30 cal to 6mm. Some suggest using cryola on the case to observe the heating process. A small streak, and when that melts, stop!! By all means, don't soften the head, or get close to the head. Dont quench the case suddenly, that will harden the brass again. I suggest to try it a few times.
The rate of cooling has no effect on copper-based alloys. Steel yes, copper no. Dropping them in water is the best way to ensure that the head does not soften.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2011, 07:17 PM
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Seems like a lot of trouble to re-invent the .35-30


35-30/30 (35-30)
The 35-30/30 is just about the oldest wildcat around, but it's too long to meet the 2012 Indiana regulations. The maximum length allowed will be 1.800", which means the 357 Herrett is about perfect. Some guys are just going to trim .120" off the neck of a 35 Remington and go with that. Lots of options but you can't exceed the 1.8" length.

Thanks for the info on how you neck up the WSSM cases, Big Bore. With the change in regs, some guys are looking to change their 35WSSM to a shortened 30WSM. If you choose that route, you can start with 325WSM brass and not have to worry about annealing more than once, if that. Going from .323" to .358" is not as big a deal.
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  #15  
Old 09-26-2011, 06:15 AM
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That you can neck up a case a long way is a well established technique, by necking up in several increments, rather than all at once.
Given that the 225 Winchester is a rimmed case, you could also open the neck up with a small charge of a fast powder and a case full of Cream of Wheat, and NO bullet.
I repeat, NO bullet.
After blowing out the case to the desired neck diameter, my guess is that one pass through the sizing die of your new creation would give you properly formed cases.
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bore View Post
In my wildcat, the .358 HDH (WSSM), I used the .25 WSSM as the parent case. If you try to step up without annealing, cases split about 1/3 the time. The steps I used are:
1. Anneal.
2. Tapered expander from 25 to 30 caliber with Imperial sizing wax inside the case neck.
3. Anneal.
4. Tapered expander from 30 to 35 caliber with Imperial sizing wax inside the case neck.
5. Anneal.
6. Trim to even up case length and load normally.
Case loss using the above method is zero.
I used new .25 WSSM brass, and though I have only done 50 so far I only annealed once, and it was at the end (your step #5). I didn't lose any cases. I reiterate that this was new brass that was annealed at the factory. I'm using Redding dies/expanders.

...so I do steps 2,4,5,5a (turn necks), and 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
With the change in regs, some guys are looking to change their 35WSSM to a shortened 30WSM. If you choose that route, you can start with 325WSM brass and not have to worry about annealing more than once, if that. Going from .323" to .358" is not as big a deal.
All of the neck will be gone after trimming the WSM brass to 1.8", so it's a matter of pushing the shoulder back, and necking up whats left of the shoulder. (Yes, I would end up trimming the brass twice, but it seems like a lot less work that than necking up, just to cut it all off.)

I looked into this, but it's not worth the effort to me. If I can't get a whitetail with a .358 Win, what makes me think a .35 Whelen is going to make a difference?
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:48 PM
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I looked into this, but it's not worth the effort to me. If I can't get a whitetail with a .358 Win, what makes me think a .35 Whelen is going to make a difference?
I agree, completely...as long as we're stuck shooting 35 caliber or bigger for Indiana-legal deer rifles, there is a point of diminishing returns. You don't need a 358Win, let alone a Whelen or a Shooting Times Alaskan. That's kind of why I'm looking to go with something a little easier. The 357 Herrett is a wildcat, but pretty tame as these things go. At best I would be getting ~2,400fps from a 180gr Hornady SSP. That's not exactly a barn-burner of a cartridge but it will still be good for a solid 250 yards.

Thankfully I have land up in Michigan now where I can hunt with REAL rifle cartridges! Whether I choose my 270 Winchester or an old 30/30, I've still got better options than what Indiana law allows.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:59 PM
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My buddy made the final decision -- he was paying for the reamer. I probably would have been happy with the .357 Max and a lot less money out of pocket. Had they gone straight to 1.8" instead of having the 1.625" rule first, I may have chosen a different path all together.

Your version of the .35-30 for instance, sounds very appealing.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kludge View Post
I used new .25 WSSM brass, and though I have only done 50 so far I only annealed once, and it was at the end (your step #5). I didn't lose any cases. I reiterate that this was new brass that was annealed at the factory. I'm using Redding dies/expanders.

...so I do steps 2,4,5,5a (turn necks), and 6.
What ever works. When I tried with less annealing steps the case necks split. New WW cases, CH-4D tapered expanders, and Imperial Sizing wax.


Quote:
All of the neck will be gone after trimming the WSM brass to 1.8", so it's a matter of pushing the shoulder back, and necking up whats left of the shoulder. (Yes, I would end up trimming the brass twice, but it seems like a lot less work that than necking up, just to cut it all off.)

I looked into this, but it's not worth the effort to me. If I can't get a whitetail with a .358 Win, what makes me think a .35 Whelen is going to make a difference?
It's all about if you want the last few FPS the wildcat has to offer and personal preference. It's sure not about saving money initially but considering the cost of converting from a 1.625 .358 HDH to a 1.8 .358 HDH, just for a couple hundred fps? Might not go there.
The actual cost of conversion is not much (less than $150) but the cost of 200 1.625 inch cases that will be good for nothing but the scrap bin, as well as all the wasted load development, and the purchase of new cases, and the time to form, and more load development, well, it makes more since dollar wise to leave well enough alone. When you factor in all that I am more inclined to leave it as is instead of converting, at least for now. I suppose eventually the speed demon in me will force me to make the conversion, but not just yet.

The way I would form them is using a drill press with a cut-off wheel and rough cutting them to length; that takes only a few seconds and precision is not all that important. Size, neck expand, then trim to final length. Inside neck ream or outside neck turn if need be. That is the way I have to form my .470 Rhino from .500 Jeffrey brass. I get the heads turned to size but they are about an inch too long so a quick shortening on the cut-off wheel and a trip through the sizer gives me a rough formed case. Neck expanding and neck reaming with a final trim and I have one more .470 Rhino case, at a cost of $8 each. How's that for forming on the cheap?
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Bore View Post
It's all about if you want the last few FPS the wildcat has to offer and personal preference. It's sure not about saving money initially but considering the cost of converting from a 1.625 .358 HDH to a 1.8 .358 HDH, just for a couple hundred fps? Might not go there.
The actual cost of conversion is not much (less than $150) but the cost of 200 1.625 inch cases that will be good for nothing but the scrap bin, as well as all the wasted load development, and the purchase of new cases, and the time to form, and more load development, well, it makes more since dollar wise to leave well enough alone.
I'm with you there.

Quote:
When you factor in all that I am more inclined to leave it as is instead of converting, at least for now. I suppose eventually the speed demon in me will force me to make the conversion, but not just yet.
I'm actually pretty comfortable with the performance and the recoil level as is. If I ever do any long range hunting, I can always screw the 7mm WSM barrel back on.
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