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what does one have to do to basically neck a cartridge case down just one or two calibers with no change elsewhere? I’m wanting to build a custom caliber and have a barrel built but if a cartridge hasn’t been done before what steps would I need to take . I’m sure the barrel Company will need specs for a new reamer so I planned on having dies built but custom does say they need a chamber blank or the reamer specs so I’m at a loss of the very first steps I need to take to get dies or a barrel built . Hopefully I’m clear in what I’m wanting to do if not I will gladly clarify. Thank you for any help
 

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The first thing you need is a chambering reamer. You can do that by drawing or by a dummy round and the reamer maker will measure it. To make a dummy round, you need a die to form it and a chamber to fire-form it in. Catch 22 unless you can make enough of a reamer to make a chamber.

Start with the reamer. I've done business with Dave Manson for thirty five years and all my reamers are made by him or Clymer when he was foreman there.

You say you just want to neck down an existing caliber. EVERY one of those reamers have already been made or a case will be easy to make for it.

Some wildcats are complicated and some are very simple. I doubt what you have in mind hasn't been done before, but always interested in ideas.

FWIW-- Normally, a gunsmith will do the job and not a 'barrel manufacturer'. The gunsmith buys a barrel of the correct dimensions and twist rate and chambers that and fits it to your action. Once you have a chamber, case are made by various temporary methods to get a couple to send to a die maker. He has to make TWO reamers to make a set of dies. Expenses go up in a hurry.

What do you want to do and on what action and maybe I can help you out.
 
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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I did a lot of research beforehand, as in bugging a friend with quickload using various volumes in grains of water, powders and big heavy bullets. Then I took the case I wanted to use and necked it up (using dies I already have) and measured its capacity. From the original dimensions I calculated case taper, shoulder angle and neck length, scribbled it on a piece of paper and sent to my reamer guy which he turned for $215. $$$ invested went up from there. Whitten dies were $480, barrel (selected by gunsmith) reamed and fitted was another $550.

It turned out beautifully and shoots like dream!!

Would I do it again?

Not without a partner to share expenses because two are cheaper than one!!!

RJ
 
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+1 on Dave Manson. They were great to work with. I sent a drawing of the cartridge I wanted a reamer for, filled out their reamer spreadsheet and a couple of hundred dollars later and about 6 weeks and I had a reamer. That is the way I did it, but not the only way. A lot of research went into drawing the cartridge. If you make a mistake on the drawing, you potentially have a nice paperweight.

+1 on getting a partner as well. The cost of the reamer and the dies are a big hit in the wallet, if you can spread it out it is a big help.

What base cartridge are you planning to start with? You may be able to find a wildcat already developed that could save you a lot of money. I thing Pacific Tool and Gage has and will rent reamers for just about any wildcat that was the least bit popular at one time or another.

And again research. One of the best books you can read on this subject is Ken Howell's Designing and Forming Custom Cartridges. I have a copy beside my bed as I type this. It tells you everything you need to know for the most part and has drawings for a lot of wildcats as well as pretty much all the standards that were out at that time.

You can also go to the SAAMI website.

I researched for 2 years before I sent my drawing to Manson to quote. But you are also in a great place to get a lot of knowledge quickly.
 

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375 Carp-- Have you got a way to scan two pages of the Howell book? My autographed copy is missing and he published the only drawing of my wildcats ever made.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The first thing you need is a chambering reamer. You can do that by drawing or by a dummy round and the reamer maker will measure it. To make a dummy round, you need a die to form it and a chamber to fire-form it in. Catch 22 unless you can make enough of a reamer to make a chamber.

Start with the reamer. I've done business with Dave Manson for thirty five years and all my reamers are made by him or Clymer when he was foreman there.

You say you just want to neck down an existing caliber. EVERY one of those reamers have already been made or a case will be easy to make for it.

Some wildcats are complicated and some are very simple. I doubt what you have in mind hasn't been done before, but always interested in ideas.

FWIW-- Normally, a gunsmith will do the job and not a 'barrel manufacturer'. The gunsmith buys a barrel of the correct dimensions and twist rate and chambers that and fits it to your action. Once you have a chamber, case are made by various temporary methods to get a couple to send to a die maker. He has to make TWO reamers to make a set of dies. Expenses go up in a hurry.

What do you want to do and on what action and maybe I can help you out.
Thanks for the info. I spent hour searching the web to just get more confused than I already was. I really appreciate it. I’m wanting to simply neck a 6.5 grendal down to .25 cal I originally thought about using 220 Russian or 7.62x39 which are all the same case but the grendal looks like a simpler version
 

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Thanks for the info. I spent hour searching the web to just get more confused than I already was. I really appreciate it. I’m wanting to simply neck a 6.5 grendal down to .25 cal I originally thought about using 220 Russian or 7.62x39 which are all the same case but the grendal looks like a simpler version
I’m wanting to build it on a Remington model 7 action which a already have
 

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A Grendal is a shortened .223 Rem. What bolt face has your M7 have? If it's .222 size, that is a simple matter of putting a new barrel on it and renting a reamer. Cases will have to be made by shortening .223 cases and resizing in a die that will have to be special made.
A simple 25-223 would be much easier or a 25-222. Both those reamers already exist. You will have to determine what neck diameter you want.

If your bolt face is 'standard' .475 dia. a 250 Savage does all you need to do, and a little more.

The capacity of the case determines performance, not the name or anything special.

A Model 7 made into a PPC caliber (7.62x39 head size) would take some extensive bolt work/extractor replacement to work right. Remington didn't make that rifle in that caliber.

One more complication--- 25 caliber is pretty near dead as a target diameter. The new dies and more accurate manufacturing will be found with 6mm and 6.5 diameters.
 

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I couldn’t find that anyone had already done this wildcat which is part of the reason I’m so interested in it. I want something nobody else has and I’ve got a thing for 25 cal especially with all the high bc bullets there making now days
 

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A Grendal is a shortened .223 Rem. What bolt face has your M7 have? If it's .222 size, that is a simple matter of putting a new barrel on it and renting a reamer. Cases will have to be made by shortening .223 cases and resizing in a die that will have to be special made.
A simple 25-223 would be much easier or a 25-222. Both those reamers already exist. You will have to determine what neck diameter you want.

If your bolt face is 'standard' .475 dia. a 250 Savage does all you need to do, and a little more.

The capacity of the case determines performance, not the name or anything special.

A Model 7 made into a PPC caliber (7.62x39 head size) would take some extensive bolt work/extractor replacement to work right. Remington didn't make that rifle in that caliber.

One more complication--- 25 caliber is pretty near dead as a target diameter. The new dies and more accurate manufacturing will be found with 6mm and 6.5 diameters.
That’s incorrect the grendal is a 7.62 x39 parent case
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the ppc cartridges us the 220 Russian case as a parent so does 7.62x39 and the grendal is built off of it but can also be built off the 220 Russian. I’m just trying to figure out my first steps I. Getting dies and a barrel. Which I do believe I have found my answer and I greatly appreciate everyone’s help and information. You have saved me a lot of frustrating web searching
 

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You're right. I read the wrong dimension on the SAAMI print.

Capacity is performance. If you want something to call your own, the variations of meaningless dimensions are unlimited. What you propose is about 10% more than a 6x45 necked up and 10% less than a 250 Savage. If it's worth the added expense to name your own caliber, there's a space left for it, but a 6.8 SPC necked down to .25 would fit there, too.

Back to the original question--- Decide on neck diameter of the chamber, change a 6.5 Grendel SAAMI print to the new neck diameter and have the reamer made. Once you have a way to fireform cases, dies can be made special or simply use Grendel dies with replacement neck bushings. There are several ways to solve those issues and YOUR tolerances will dictate how complicated it is. Building a zero-zero, BR quality rifle is much different and more critical than SAAMI 'fits em all' job.

Thinking out loud--- Another (cheaper) way of doing about the same thing would be to use a 6PPC reamer with .257 appropriate pilot and then cut the neck and throat with your diameter neck with a separate reamer. I haven't compared the bodies of the two, maybe the PPC is shortened?
 

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A Grendal is a shortened .223 Rem. What bolt face has your M7 have? If it's .222 size, that is a simple matter of putting a new barrel on it and renting a reamer. .


Bill Alexander essentially improved on the 6.5 PPC, when he made the Grendel.
Which means the parent case is the 220 Russian, and has a different case head diameter.

Cheers
 

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Yeah, it was much simpler when bolt faces came in small, medium and large (common rimless, bolt action calibers). The PPC calibers added a notch between small and medium and then somebody resurrected the 25 Remington with the 6.8 SPC which added another diameter, and Dakota threw in the .404 size that Ruger copied.....Capacity equals performance but 'new and improved' sells so it seems every chink in the caliber chart is being filled with redundant performances.
 
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375 Carp-- Have you got a way to scan two pages of the Howell book? My autographed copy is missing and he published the only drawing of my wildcats ever made.
Not until Monday, but tell me what pages and I will do it for you.
 

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OooH boy! I still have places to look for my copy but I REALLY miss that book. Ken has case capacity for each caliber based on a common interior profile, so it's easy to compare (not measure) capacity because that's the bottom line. The rest is just feeding and headspacing.
The page of the 6mm Cheap Shot and the 6x51BS page. I'd be much obliged.
 

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Here's the SAAMI print of the 6.5Grendel. Your job is to determine what neck diameter you want. The same as 250 Savage is safe (.281) but the 25WSSM is a whopping .300 which is the same as most of the 6.5 factory necks. You really need to measure some case BEFORE you draw the reamer. Just subtracting .007 from a new Grendel may not give the tolerances you want. I measure a sack of new cases and rent a reamer that's .001 larger in the neck dimension.
 

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That's a good thread for the black rifle crowd. Those pencil bullets would work great in a 25-06!

My 'main rifle' in gunsmith's school was a 25-06 when it was still 'the Neidner'. I shot 120 boxes of Sierra 117 gr. SP BTs through that gun and won money and prizes from a hundred to a thousand yards, BR and position with a 12X Redfield. I had half interest in a 100 pound drum of 4831 and two hundred LC-62 Nat Match primed cases, unfired and used most of it all.

Just ruminating and reminiscing. Our 'long' range (478 yards) was Pike's Ranch out SW of Denver. It's now I-470 and a subdivision with Mile High drag strip just across the interstate. :(
 
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