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  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 01:18 PM
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Resizing Brass for Wildcats


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I have a 6mm/06 that my grandfather built in the 60's. I have been considering re-chambering it for something more readily available but, since I just discovered that I have about 3,000 6mm bullets on hand, I've decided to start loading for it, at least until I run out of 6mm supplies, or until I shoot the barrel out.

It should certainly be easy to neck .25\06 brass down to .244 but, since I also own a .25\06, I would prefer to use .30\06 cases just so that I can tell them apart from the .25's by sight.

I have never personally necked down brass, although I have read a bit about it and I think I know the procedure. My question is, can .30 cal, in its annealed state, be necked down to .244 with one pass, or do I need an intermediate die?

Any tips on resizing brass would be welcome.

Last edited by Hurkamer; 01-14-2013 at 01:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:15 PM
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If you try...

If you try to go too far down too fast, you'll put a crease in the neck wall that pretty much puts the kibosh on that case. I recommend an intermediate die to bring the brass closer to the final shape rather than to it one crunch. After the intermediate die, you punch it through the resizing die, trim and anneal. Try to find an intermediate die-- I'm thinking a bushing die-- to pull the neck closer to the diameter you want as opposed to going for it in one squeeze. Might cost a few bucks, but you'll have it for future excursions into the unknown-- and you most likely will not destroy perfectly good cases in the present. Just my opinion...
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:30 PM
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I have a 6mm/284. Brass is formed from 284 Win cases. Having neck sizing dies for 7mm (284), 6.5mm (264), and 257, I use all of them in stages before finally reducing down to 6mm (244). Even going down in steps, I size down on the neck in each die in increments and rotate the brass before taking another hitch at reduction.

Lots of work, but time I have plenty of and seldom have a bad case at the end of the process. Oh yeah - be sure to use some lube while doing it!.
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:40 PM
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The 6mm/06 die (243/06) die set is category #G, close to $150.00, I am a case former, my favorite forming/trim die is the 308W, text best/favorite is the 243 W trim/form die, I form 22 wildcats from 6mm Remington cases, I form the same cases with 25/06 and or 30/06, problem! DONUTS, when I neck cases down I get donuts, for me? not a problem, I have a 243 reamer die, that is a sizing die with a reamer instead of a primer punch/sizer ball assemble, the sized case is held in the die while reaming, as a side benefit, the reamer also removes the “DREADED DONUT” and can not get off center, expensive? YES.

That leaves one to wonder, how is it possible to use a 243 die when forming long cases, I am told the 243 die and the 308 die are too short.

F. Guffey
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:49 PM
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Die set from RCBS #56134. #12065 will allow you to form 6mm06 from 30/06 for the low cost of $40.00 +/- a dollar or two.

Order a special order catalog for free: 1 800 533 5000 or click on the link and go to page 8.

F. Guffey

http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/2010_SpecialOrder.pdf
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2013, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for the info! I should have mentioned, I already have a set of RCBS 6mm\06 dies that my grandad had made years ago.

But, as I suspected, it sounds like 30 to 244 is too far for one pass. I'll have to find an intermediate neck sizing die. I might try the 7mm as kdub is doing, and then see if I can go to 6mm from there.

nvshooter suggested that I anneal the cases after resizing. Did you mean anneal, resize, then anneal again? Is there some reason I don't want to anneal the case before resizing?
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:02 PM
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I haven't gone from 30 down to 24 so I can't say for sure, but I have necked down 30/06 brass several times to 25/06 in one pass using the std dies for the 25/06 and had no problems. Just do as kdub mentioned and make sure to use plenty of lube both inside the neck, and outside. I like One Shot by Hornaday for this.

One thing you may have trouble with is having necks end up too thick, so you may have to turn down the outsides of the case necks after trimming to length. That brass has to go somewhere, and it doesn't all go into growing the neck length. If case necks thicken and you don't turn the necks, when you run the newly formed cases into the sizer die, the inside diameter will be too small to allow the bullet to fit without wanting to buckle the neck/shoulder junction. If you are able to seat the bullet into the case without turning them, the bullet will force the too thick brass in the neck back out to the sides, and the case may be too tight to fit the chamber, or worse, still fit the chamber but be thick enough that the case neck can't expand enough to properly release the bullet when fired and the result will be skyrocketing pressure. Maybe even into the disaster zone.

Just something to think about when going down that far, especially in one pass.
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  #8  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:48 PM
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+1 on the neck outside turning. Should have mentioned that.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:37 AM
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Do you also own a 270 Winchester? If not, I would recommend buying a bunch of those to form brass for your 6mm/06. You'll only be squeezing 'em down .030", instead of ~.060", which should eliminate the need for a middle die, and if you DID need one...well, you've already got the 25-'06 die!

You may or may not need to turn the necks of the 270 cases after resizing to 6mm/06...that will depend a lot on the specs of the chamber.

Sometimes you have to work with whatever parent brass is available...in this case, you should be able to find some 270 brass that will make the process a lot easier, all the way around. :twocents:
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:30 AM
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Repeat:


Die set from RCBS #56134. #12065 will allow you to form 6mm06 from 30/06 for the low cost of $40.00 +/- a dollar or two.

Order a special order catalog for free: 1 800 533 5000 or click on the link and go to page 8.

F. Guffey

http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/2010_SpecialOrder.pdf
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I am a case former, I form cases, “But, as I suspected, it sounds like 30 to 244 is too far for one pass”. Before I took anyone on this forum serious I would call RCBS, I have 14 forming dies, the 8mm57 forming die sizes the case body of the 30/06 down from .441 to .349, that is down .092”. The 7mm57 when formed from 30/06 is necked down from .441 to .321, that is a difference of .120’, then there is the 308 W when formed from 30/06 cases. The shoulder of the 30/06 does not move, it is erased, the new shoulder of the 308 W is formed by the die. It must be understood the forming die is not a sizer die, bump is no where in the description, after using the forming die the case must be full length sized to final configuration/chamber.

You are not stuck with the 30/06 case, as has been mentioned the 25/06 is a better choice, the 270 Winchester is a good choice, my favorite is the 280 Remington case, but because this is not a case forming forum it would take me a week of ‘back and forth’ when explaining the choice.

Things to remember about the case getting thicker and or thinner, it is a cute saying but when forming the case gets longer when sizing/forming down and shorter when necking up. I neck 30/06 cases to 35 Whelen, the case shortens .030”+, does not seem like much of a case length loss but when forming 30 Gibbs the case shortens as much as .040”, my opinion, .040” is a lot of chamber to be exposed because the case is too short.

F. Guffey
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:39 AM
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The necks will grow

Hi Herkmer, you should be safe enough. Your necks will grow out as you work the cases down. That 6mm x 06 is quite an extreme wildcat. The closest one I've played with is the 25x284. Knowing that necks stretch, means thinking about case trimming early. The 270 starts out with a longer neck, anyway. The other replies have touched on something different. When you neck up with tapered or elliptical expander buttons, your case necks shrink. But if you can blow them out with a cream of wheat, blank load, not so much.

I would suggest that when you do get some 6mm x 06 fired cases, that you then try and chamber one into your 25 x 06, as an empty fired case only. If it goes all the way in, then you may have a simple 6mm x 06. But if it hangs up, you may have a 6mm x 06 imp., or something else.

This will require that you provide a real fired case, because just necking down a fired 25 x 06 won't prove anything. If I were doing this, I would indeed neck down one 25x06 and do a single Cream of Wheat, fire forming load. If that empty case still chambers in your 25 x 06, so far so good. If it doesn't, then be careful about buying cheap 06 family F.L. sizing dies. You still may have to "bite the bullet", and send in three to five, fire formed cases, and buy a set of custom forming dies.

Plan B would be to send off your barrel and have it rebored to a larger caliber. The custom case forming die set will be expensive, so you need to compare their cost, against the rebore job. Personally, I would just buy some virgin nickeled 25-06 cases, or whatever, and keep my 6mm ammo separated by their color.

But whatever else you do, please take this rifle to a G.S. and have him check for head space with the 30-06 gauge set. You may just have something akin to a Gibbs, where the shoulder was pushed out. If that's the case then using nickeled 25 caliber cases may not provide enough of a false shoulder to safely fire form your 6mm wildcat ammo. If your wildcat rifle is as old as you think, then lord knows what they used to chamber it with. You can't be sure that someone didn't put an oversized floating pilot onto a 220 Swift reamer, or some other weird combination, and made a hermaphrodite chamber.

So let a real G.S. figure out what you have, before you sink a small fortune into dies. There are two differing wildcat chambers. One uses the parent's head space Go gauge, and the other, uses a custom Go Gauge, made by the reamer's maker. ($30/PT&G) If you have a lash up, then they may have put brass shims onto a cartridge case's head, for a No Go gauge. The G.S. needs the Go Gauge to ream repeatable chambers. Otherwise, it's a one off proposition. But some experimenters did just that, back in the day.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:47 AM
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My suggestion would be to sell me your 3000 6mm bullets real cheap.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpooler View Post
Hi Herkmer, you should be safe enough. Your necks will grow out as you work the cases down. That 6mm x 06 is quite an extreme wildcat. The closest one I've played with is the 25x284. Knowing that necks stretch, means thinking about case trimming early. The 270 starts out with a longer neck, anyway. The other replies have touched on something different. When you neck up with tapered or elliptical expander buttons, your case necks shrink. But if you can blow them out with a cream of wheat, blank load, not so much.

I would suggest that when you do get some 6mm x 06 fired cases, that you then try and chamber one into your 25 x 06, as an empty fired case only. If it goes all the way in, then you may have a simple 6mm x 06. But if it hangs up, you may have a 6mm x 06 imp., or something else.

This will require that you provide a real fired case, because just necking down a fired 25 x 06 won't prove anything. If I were doing this, I would indeed neck down one 25x06 and do a single Cream of Wheat, fire forming load. If that empty case still chambers in your 25 x 06, so far so good. If it doesn't, then be careful about buying cheap 06 family F.L. sizing dies. You still may have to "bite the bullet", and send in three to five, fire formed cases, and buy a set of custom forming dies.

Plan B would be to send off your barrel and have it rebored to a larger caliber. The custom case forming die set will be expensive, so you need to compare their cost, against the rebore job. Personally, I would just buy some virgin nickeled 25-06 cases, or whatever, and keep my 6mm ammo separated by their color.

But whatever else you do, please take this rifle to a G.S. and have him check for head space with the 30-06 gauge set. You may just have something akin to a Gibbs, where the shoulder was pushed out. If that's the case then using nickeled 25 caliber cases may not provide enough of a false shoulder to safely fire form your 6mm wildcat ammo. If your wildcat rifle is as old as you think, then lord knows what they used to chamber it with. You can't be sure that someone didn't put an oversized floating pilot onto a 220 Swift reamer, or some other weird combination, and made a hermaphrodite chamber.

So let a real G.S. figure out what you have, before you sink a small fortune into dies. There are two differing wildcat chambers. One uses the parent's head space Go gauge, and the other, uses a custom Go Gauge, made by the reamer's maker. ($30/PT&G) If you have a lash up, then they may have put brass shims onto a cartridge case's head, for a No Go gauge. The G.S. needs the Go Gauge to ream repeatable chambers. Otherwise, it's a one off proposition. But some experimenters did just that, back in the day.
There's some really good info posted in the quote above, but no real need to follow most of it in the case of the OP. His granddad had the gun mader and a set of dies made. It's highly unlikely that he never fired the gun, in which case he would have qiuickly discovered if there were any problems with his dies (which he probably had made by sending in a few fired cases in the first place since it is a wildcat round).


OP-
If you want to enjoy the gun as is, and since you have the bullets and dies already, plus 25/06 brass, just use them. Mark them with a permanent marker across the case head with a line or an X. It will eventually wear off from case head thrust and the bolt being turned, but it's a simple thing to remark them when you see the marker wearing off. I have done this lots of times and it makes recognition at a glance very easy. Plus, it eliminates most all the other issues with necking cases down. You will need to make sure that you do leave a false shoulder on the brass that is located at a point that barely allows the cases to enter the chamber and the bolt to be closed to avoid excess headspace problems for the first firing, but after that, it is simply a matter of adjusting the dies corrrectly for the cases to fit your chamber with minimum headspace.

Last edited by American Made; 01-15-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2013, 12:42 PM
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Pete and repeat etc..

Repeat:


Die set from RCBS #56134. #12065 will allow you to form 6mm06 from 30/06 for the low cost of $40.00 +/- a dollar or two.

Order a special order catalog for free: 1 800 533 5000 or click on the link and go to page 8.

F. Guffey

http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/2010_SpecialOrder.pdf

Cylinder brass, my kind of brass, after that????? there is the 280 Remington case with the long case body, a case former can not miss, they do not heed a head space gage, a case former only needs to understand the incline plane, the threads on the press and on the die is a basic incline plane, the threads in my press and on my dies make my dies adjustable.

If I had the 6mm06 forming die I would install it in my press, after ionstalling it in my press I would adjust the die off the shell holder .010”, then I would form 20 cases, after framing the 20 cases I would install the full length sizer die and again I would adjust the FL die off the shell holder .010” ‘then! I would size a case a case, after sizing I would attempt chambering the case, if the bolt closed with resistance I would decrease the gap to .005”, after sizing I would again attempt chambering the sized case. If the case chambered and the bolt closed I would know the difference between the length of the chamber from the bolt face to the shoulder was less than .010” shorter than my long case but longer than my short case with a spread of less than .005” but more than .000” After all that work I would save the formed cases, something like a go-gage and a no go-gage case.

Then I would learn to measure the length of a case using a datum, again, I make datums, I make-up datums. the datum for the 30/06 family of cases is .375” (3/8 inch), My datum, chamber, die and case, I can use .400” like the 308 W family of cases), .350” .340, all I have to do is keep up with ‘my datum’, when measuring.

F. Guffey

Back to my favorite froming die, the 308 W forming die, second favorite? the 243 Winchester forming die, all I have to manage when forming long cases with a short forming die is the gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:45 PM
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In the past I have owned and shot a 240 Super Varminter that is a 270 Win necked to 6mm.This would my choice of brass.30-06 brass is cheap but takes work to get to the same place as the 270 necked to 6mm.If you start with Military 30-06 brass the primer pocket crimp has to be removed,the flash hole should be cleaned up and after the brass is necked down the necks need turning and squared up,takes a lot of time.If you chose to use 25-06,270 win or 280 rem brass you can leave a false shoulder to where the bolt when closed has a little resistance to make sure no head space,then reload as normal.The 6-06 needs slow burning powder.It is a super round just a little temperamental that I have found shoots its best close to the top.
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  #16  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:45 AM
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Not so fast

Hello American Made.

No, I'm correct on this one. I watched a customer bring in a Wisner's custom 257 Roberts, with about three biforcated cases. They separated about half way from the shoulder to their heads. The ammo was new Remington 257 Roberts, and not reloaded. When Remmie standardized the 257 Roberts, and the 22-250 for that matter, they found many differing chambers. So they called theirs, the 257 REM Roberts. I pointed over to a bulk case of nickeled 7mm Mauser virgin cases and suggested that gent reform them into his original 257 Roberts. He was trying to dump that really nice rifle, and trade it for something his wife would shoot.

When Herkemer's grandad made up his 6mm x 06, it would have been the smallest of the 30-06 family. So there wasn't anything smaller to put an oversized pilot onto, and then neck throat ream the rest of the chamber. This is why I suspect a hermaphrodite chamber. Whoever cooked this one up, back in that day, was out for the very highest velocity. Neither the powder nor the bullets were up to a 6mm x 06's capacity.

He just may have a deep chambered Lee Navy, or 220 Swift, with some neck throat work added in. It may have been finished up in a lathe, with a boring bar. My point is that there isn't anyone left alive, who knows for sure. A quick trip to a reputable G.S. would sure clear away the cobwebs, but fireforming a Cream of wheat, blank, and then trying it in his 25-06, would still be a reasonable first step.

Like what I suggested to the distraught owner of that neat Wisner's custom rifle, it's not rocket science. Just take it one step at a time. If he takes a C of W fireformed case and his rifle to his G.S., he should walk out of that shop, knowing exactly what he is carrying. If it won't go into a factory 25-06 chamber, then that will speak volumes, as the G.S. may not have a 25-06 handy. Since those aforementioned 257 Rem Rob'ts cases, each came out in two pieces, there wasn't this possibility, at that local store, even if they had a 257 factory rifle on their shelves.

The whole idea of the Cream of Wheat blank is that it blows out its' shoulders, rather than locking up the rear half of the case, being modified.

BTW, there are 22-250's out there which will not shoot the factory Rem ammo either. Again the drill is just to neck size some 250 Sav. brass, leaving a false shoulder for fire forming. Over the years, the black box warnings from Remington, et al., have faded out. But I'm old enough to remember them from the Rem 22-250's introduction.

This beautiful little Wisner's custom rifle in 257 Roberts was being used by his wife, because it didn't kick so hard as his big rifles. If I mess up my own face, I will have to look at myself in the mirror. But----.
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  #17  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:57 AM
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Like I posted above, his granddad had both the gun and the dies made up. He would have no doubt uncovered any problems early on, and seeing as he was at least interested enough and experienced enough to know about wildcating and loading for them, his dies no doubt are fine and probably made after he had sent fired cases to RCBS.

I have used the C of W in some of my fire forming. I used Unique instead of Bullseye because it is what I had on hand and it worked great. I melted parafin wax in a pan about a half inch deep to use as a plug/wax bullet. I then turned the pan upside down and pushed the charged case with C of W into it from below. It makes a nice blank and fireforms the cases easily and completely while holding the rifle in an upright position.
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  #18  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurkamer View Post
nvshooter suggested that I anneal the cases after resizing. Did you mean anneal, resize, then anneal again? Is there some reason I don't want to anneal the case before resizing?
No, Hurk. I mean to do all of your working of the brass before you anneal. Any working hardens the brass. Do all of your squeezing and shaping first, then anneal so you can get five or six pops out of the case before you have to anneal again.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nvshooter View Post
No, Hurk. I mean to do all of your working of the brass before you anneal. Any working hardens the brass. Do all of your squeezing and shaping first, then anneal so you can get five or six pops out of the case before you have to anneal again.
I understand your reasoning/thinking, but annealing before re-forming makes the job a whole lot easier, with less case loss from wrinkles or buckling of the neck/shoulder joint if he uses 280 or larger caliber brass to form his new 6mm/06 brass.


When I had my 458 Lott built, it was still a wildcat and no factory brass was available. I had to use 375's, 416's, and even 8mm mag brass to form it. Brass for my 340 Weatherby is very expensive and always has been, plus it was no where near as easy to locate when I first started loading for it as it is now, so I used necked down and blown out 375 H&H brass quite often since I had so much of it on hand. Annealing before doing any of the forming necessary with those rounds really helped. The same thing was true when I bought my first 25/06. I had a ton of 30/06 cases on hand so I mostly used them, and I annealed before forming began to minimize case losses. I never bothered to do it afterwards though, since the brass was still fairly soft from the first annealing and I often got 10-12 full power loads from those cases before I would start to see neck spilts.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:52 PM
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Without reading all the replys and this may be repetitous but you have 25-06 dies, so run 30-06 cases through the 25-06 die then the 6mm-06 die and you should be good to go...You can full lenth resize or neck size to a crush fit..
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