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Discussion Starter #1
Question on case forming: sizing the base down.
7.62x45mm Czech formed from 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer
I need to size the rim and base down from
0.454" to 0.445"
Midway USA offers the RCBS Case Forming Die Set for $400. :eek:
Add to that, $250 for a 3-ton arbor press that I'll probably never need for any other project. I'd rather avoid the extra expense even though RCBS advises against reforming in the FL die.
Thus far, I've
1. reformed one case in the FL sizing die with the expander button pulled out and lubricated with Imperial Sizing Wax
2. hacksawed off the old 6.5mm neck
3. resized with the expander button back in FL sizing die
4. trimmed to length with my old Forster Original hand lathe

:confused: Now, does anybody recommend a procedure to resize the bases and rims down to where they might fit in the rifle?
I don't have a regular lathe.
I've thought about chucking the cases into a power drill and turning them down as if that were a lathe. (Don't think that would work so well.)
What do you think? Should I just bite the bullet and shell out some more Federal Reserve Bank funny money?
 

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The rim and base are pretty solid all the way through. I have never seen a die that will reduce the casehead (base) size of a case, there is just too much brass to compress/move. Turning a casehead (base) removes brass, which is something you don't want to do with a high powered cartridge. I would just buy cases with the appropriate size caseheads, it is a lot safer.

Allen
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, but....

Thanks, Allen,
However, have you tried to purchase 7.62x45mm Czech brass? Buffalo Arms Company is the ONLY source and they only make it when they get enough orders.
Quality Cartridge DID make them but they quit because of low demand. He did offer to make a batch for $6k.
Other than these, I do have some milsurp cartridges coming. They're steel cased, Berdan primed, and corrosive.
The sad history of the Czech VZOR 1952 carbine is, it was only manufactured from 1951 to 1956. The Czechs designed and developed three new weapons and introduced them in 1952: a carbine, a medium machine gun, and a roller-locked auto pistol.
Then their Soviet overlords looked upon this disapprovingly and coerced them to drop the 7.62x45mm cartridge in favor of the Soviet-developed 7.62x39mm cartridge that became the Comblock standard. The Czechs complied by changing the VZ-52 carbine and machine gun to the VZ-52/57 carbine and machine gun, both shooting the Soviet-approved 7.62x39mm. Then the Czechs introduced the VZ-58 assault rifle in 1958. (Of course the VZ-52/57s are highly prized as both collectibles and shooters.)
The Czechs subsequently sent the obsolete VZ-52 to places like Vietnam and Grenada.
They apparently quit manufacturing ammo in the mid-1960s.
Prexis was offering replacement barrels in 6.5 Grendel and 7.62x39mm until four days before I purchased one on Gun Broker. :mad:
SO, I'm trying to remanufacture ammo that's been obsolete for fifty years! :D
Cheers!
 

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Not for nothing, but for $400 dies then a $250 press.... Either ignore any $20 savings and do what you love, or be sensible and buy ANY rifle on the planet for less than that; chambered in a cartridge that has components.
 
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Keep in mind that forming dies only work when the cartridge you are wanting to form has the same casehead as the parent case. Caseheads don't don't like being adapted to different sizes. One exception is turning the belt of a belted case, no structural damage incurs when doing this. If you were able to push an oversized casehead through a shrinking die, you would then have to re drill the flash hole and primer pocket, but brass doesn't compress to easily. Forming dies are for forming cases above the casehead.

Is there no other ammo that shares the same .445" casehead? If you could find one, then forming dies would be the way to go, and they would work in your press.

I just took a quick look and found that the .220 Swift has a casehead of .443 and a rim of .472. You would still have to turn the rim a bit, but it is one step closer and would be easier to form than trying to squeeze a casehead down.
 

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91 Carcano--Using 6.5MS or .35 Remington brass, you can make a pass-through die with an internal ram that swages the bases down. It's a job for a tool-making shop and that's where the big cost come in. I just checked my drawer and don't have a pass through die that size. A Rock Chucker press will do it and keep the Imperial handy.

You can make pass-through dies out of hardened drill bushings that are seated in the bottom of a threaded plug that screws into the press from the bottom. That keeps all the stresses in compression and its much stronger that way.
For a .442 base, you'd need a .439 diameter die and that would be made from a 7/16 (.4375) bushing by lapping about half of it to .439 and the other half a tapered lead with a mouth about .448. The cases would be sent through a 29/64 (.453) bushing first with a lead big enough to take the case head, so the process would be a two pass thing.

The ram is drill rod cut on one end to fit the shell holder slot in the press ram with the upper end ground to fit the inner bottom of the case with a spud to locate on the flashhole but undersized. You want the case to index on the OD and not on the flash-hole or ID. The ram should be as large as possible and still leave clearance when the case is swaged down. Heat-treat and draw back to dark straw. (Rc46-50)

Swaging work-hardens brass in a HURRY and hard brass is very hard to swage down. NO body is fool enough to anneal bases but sometimes you have to to make cases. BEWARE!

You'll have to ream the primer pockets back out or its better to swage them with the dillion doo hicky to help hardness if the head was annealed.

I test fire the real weird ones from a reloading die in a fire-form gun instead of risk the original. It's important to measure case head expansion anytime you mess with head diameters. Be wary of large changes.

You'll need to deepen the extractor slot about .004, according to Nonte's book. It wouldn't be too hard to do that on a neck turner or case trimmer, but again, it helps to have a tool shop in the basement. It's much easier to chuck the FL die in the lathe and let the taper of the case hold it in the die while a form cutter is run in to a known stop for the right depth. A lot of cases can be altered that way in a short time.
 

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Jack, I understand the processes you just outlined above, isn't the rim just going to be folded down into the extractor groove when pushed into the swaging die? Should the rim be turned down first? And, isn't the swaged brass going to collect in the web making the case head thicker, flash hole smaller and longer? I guess anything can be accomplished with the proper application of expl.....I mean tools and machines.
 

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Norma used to offer loaded rounds and brass for the Carcano, are they no longer available?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I apologize, I didn't read your reply carefully before replying.

Keep in mind that forming dies only work when the cartridge you are wanting to form has the same casehead as the parent case. Caseheads don't don't like being adapted to different sizes. One exception is turning the belt of a belted case, no structural damage incurs when doing this. If you were able to push an oversized casehead through a shrinking die, you would then have to re drill the flash hole and primer pocket, but brass doesn't compress to easily. Forming dies are for forming cases above the casehead.

Is there no other ammo that shares the same .445" casehead? If you could find one, then forming dies would be the way to go, and they would work in your press.

I just took a quick look and found that the .220 Swift has a casehead of .443 and a rim of .472. You would still have to turn the rim a bit, but it is one step closer and would be easier to form than trying to squeeze a casehead down.
Yes, Allen,
The casehead of the Swift is close. That's why it's the second-most popular brass source. Although I've been unsuccessful establishing contact with those who make the cartridges at home, I gather the big problem with the Swift is cutting a new rim and extraction groove after trimming the rim down. The 6.5x45mm M-S appears to be the most popular starting point.
All other cases with the same casehead are 7.62x39mm Soviet and its derivatives: 6.5 Grendel, PPCs, etc. They're all 6mm shorter than the 7.62x45. In fact, the 7.62x45mm Czech could claim the stubby little Soviet cartridge as its parent. (Once Bohemians get a decent diet, they grow tall!)
Like you say, I'd have to turn the rims. I don't know if cutting the extraction groove deeper will weaken the casehead.
RCBS offers case forming die sets to form from either the Swift, M-S, or Carcano. Both Huntington and Midway USA retail them. They're special order, so there's quite a wait.

Yes, forming the casehead down 9 mils will require lots of force. That's why RCBS recommends the 3-ton arbor press. Apparently, that part of the forming requires about two and a half tons of force. Yes, keep the Imperial (are you sure it's not butter?) Sizing Wax handy!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not for nothing, but for $400 dies then a $250 press.... Either ignore any $20 savings and do what you love, or be sensible and buy ANY rifle on the planet for less than that; chambered in a cartridge that has components.
:eek: If I did something sensible, I'd lose my membership in the Rifle Loony Society! :D
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Norma used to offer loaded rounds and brass for the Carcano, are they no longer available?
Yes, Monty,
The Carcano has gotten too easy since Graf & Sons persuaded Hornady to make the proper loaded Carcano cartridges! :rolleyes: With brass available - cheap - from PPU and proper-sized bullets from Hornady, there's not much challenge in that. (Besides, I haven't been able to build cartridges that surpass the Hornady factory loads in accuracy! :eek:
So, I'm off to conquer new worlds!
I'm working on the Czech VZ-52 carbine, now.

But I still like the little Italian cavalry carbine. It's short, light, rugged, and fits in the back of the pickup, really tidy. And it's potent enough to stop most anything I have need to shoot it at. (I read in Shotgun News about how Italian horse cavalry used them to defeat a Soviet tank column in WW2.)
I just purchased a bullet mold for it from NOE: 0.270 diameter & 162 grains. Yes, 0.270 is larger than the nominal 0.2685; 0.270 is the groove diameter of my barrel. NOE bullets have a reputation for running just a little big, so I hope they'll work for me.

Best regards!
 

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Allen-- Yes. The rim smears into the extractor groove and it has to be re-turned. The one I did years ago was one-off Shutzen rife that I had to make brass from .223 Rem Mag and size the heads from .375 to .360. I used drill bushings which was a trick Fred Barnes used to draw bullet jackets. His 'draw post' was a section of RR iron set in concrete in the front yard. The RR iron had a socket machined to take an ordinary, slip fit drill bushing available in 118 sizes and lappable to anything you want. He'd fold the end of a piece soft copper tubing, stuff it though the bushing and grab it on the other side with a short section of chain hooked to his '55 Cadillac. The copper was wiped with lanolin and he'd drive off. Instant bullet jacket tubing drawn to a specific size.

91 Carcano-- I happen to have some scrap .220 Swift cases, a lathe and a tool grinder. I can turn the base and then section it to show exactly what it looks like if you like. .443 rim, .442 base and .050 rim thicness?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jack,
I surely do appreciate the effort you put into your reply! I'm still working on digesting the info. I think I'd be ahead to purchase the proper die set from RCBS than to have a tool maker custom-build something for me. I don't have a machine shop in the basement or even a basement to put one in. I'm out in the garage.
I'm leaning toward your last paragraph:
"You'll need to deepen the extractor slot about .004, according to Nonte's book. It wouldn't be too hard to do that on a neck turner or case trimmer, but again, it helps to have a tool shop in the basement. It's much easier to chuck the FL die in the lathe and let the taper of the case hold it in the die while a form cutter is run in to a known stop for the right depth. A lot of cases can be altered that way in a short time."
I don't have a lathe. (How much do those cheap little Chinese-made lathe & milling machines cost these days?) But I think I could do the same by chucking the FL die into a drill press and running a form cutter up to the casehead. Would the form cutter need to be hardened steel?

Allen,
Your questions of Jack really cut to the heart of my concerns about swaging the brass down. You made a very articulate case.
 

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Here's an old Super Speed Swift case with the rim turned off and a crudely hand ground extractor tool used to cut a new one.
The body of the case is within a .001 of right. The tool barely skimmed the dirt off. An you can see, there's PLENTY of case head to cut any depth rim that's needed.

Any lathe big enough to chuck a re-sizing die in is big enough to do this job, even a small Uni-mat.

Most drill presses won't take a 3/4 diameter shank in the chuck so I can't think of a way to turn rims with a drill press....but I'm still thinking!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh, and the one case I've done goes into the chamber nearly all the way but it leaves a visible ring about 0.005" up from the extractor groove and the bolt will extract it from there although it takes a serious tug on the bolt carrier. The rim is obviously tight in the bolt and extractor but it doesn't look like I really need to deepen the groove.
 

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By definition, a FL die can't touch the case within .125 of the base, so a case oversized just ahead of the extractor groove has to be mechanically reduced by turning or swaging.


If you're handy at welding, you can put together a 3 ton hydraulic H press for about a hundred bucks. The cost of dies are still breath-taking but I have an idea.

Shoulder diameter of a 30-06/25-06 and .270 Winchester is the same as the base diameter of your 7.62 round. Why not cut a an old FL die off at the shoulder. (Friction saw and dressed with a body grinder and the exit polished). Using an arbor press or hydraulic press with 7/8x14 nuts holding the die, stuff the case all the way through. It'll go, it just doesn't want to.
Then the clean-up of extractor groove, primer pocket and flashhole has to be done.

As Don Allen one time said about an intricate, hollow bolt knob I'd done, "Excess difficulty for difficulty's sake."
;)
 

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Personal "Shade Tree" Experience:
.22 Hornet Cases Swaged down to .276" Body diameter and .050 thick Rim in one Cycle in a RCBS "RC" Press.
5.7x28mmSwaged down to .276 Body Diameter All the Way to the Extractor Clearance cut leaving the Rim at .314x.050 in Three stages in the same RCBS"RC" press.

Both end going into Lee Carbide Ring .25ACP Sizing Die.
I drive them in with an RCBS Primer pocker Swaging Kit.
I drive them out with a modified 3/16"x 6" Roll pin Punch and a 16 oz hammer.

It seems the Lee dies will 'gather' between .009" and .012" without forming a 'hard Knuckle as the Web enters th4e die mouth.
I do drill the Flash Holes back out with a 4/64" drill bit after forming.

My process is written up in detail in the Threads related to ".25 Stevens" and others.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Taking the rim down on the parent case is easily accomplished in a drill press with a file as the FIRST step. Taking the base of the case down with anything other than a sizing die is a fool's errand, in my opinion.
 
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