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Discussion Starter #1
For an experiment, I took some fired .223 Wolf steel cases and ran them through my Lee mandrel neck sizer. Primers poped out great and the neck compressed to the correct size. No even a scratch on the "varnish".

I finished off the load with Win SR primers, 2230 and 40 gr Hornady Moly coated ballistic tips. They work fine!

I guess they will grow enough with time that they will need full length resizing, and that will end their useful life. But the necks can be compressed with a mandrel type neck sizer.

Anything wrong with this? I was surprised that it works.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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That's ingenious. Never heard of anyone being able to reload steel cases, at least not more than once. It will be interesting to see what kind of case life you get. Ed Harris mentioned loading them (7.62x39) in a Handloader's Digest (or similar) article, but said they were generally one reload then split.
 

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I was under the impression that the Wolf stuff was Berdan primed, and therefore un-reloadable.

Darrel
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There may be some Berdan 223 Wolf ammo out there, but this is definitely Boxer. Hopefully, any splits will be in the neck.

I am thinking that I will only reload once, anyway. I am really only compressing the neck, but steel is way brittle and I don't want to push my luck!
 

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HI LOADER,

I certainly hope that you continue to report on your reloading the WOLF ammo ! What courage you possess to do this in spite of all the negatives we all hear and read about ! WOW !

If, like many of us, you have kept shooting records of group sizes, etc., I'm hoping that you'll report on any changes comparing the reloads with the "out of the factory box" loads.

Please don't place yourself or your firearms or the guy in the next shooting station at your club at risk by attempting to collect data that would help fellow shooters. It isn't worth it !

I enjoy your writings, LOADER.

csward::p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
csward -

Thanks for the kind words. Rest assured, I do anything risky in my little ballistics lab out in the barn. I do my pressure and velocity work first, and take the safe, consistent loads to the range.

I will attempt to report on accuracy with these steel cases once I work with them in the lab a bit more. A missing data point is case capacity for Wolf steel 223s, and I will pass that along as well.

The lot of Wolf 223 ammo that I have clocks only 2880 to 2950 fps with 55gr FMJ bullets, and won't reliably cycle my bushmaster, so the pressures are probably low. This may make the fired cases more suitable for reloading.

My test rifle is therefore an H&R 223 survival single shot with 12 inch twist and 22 inch bbl. These have weak free-spring ejectors and will tell you pretty quick if the cases are growing much - they stick. So far it has worked with 23.5 gr AA2230 and 40 gr hornady molys @ 3260 fps. Obviously low pressure. If I can get to 55gr bullets at the same velocity with no sticking, it will be a success.
 

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Hello LOADER !

You will not have made any friends in the factories that make cartridges and shell casings, but, for what it is worth, YOU HAVE MADE ME A BUDDY FOR LIFE !

I reloaded a bunch of test groups using Winchester and Remington once fired brass . It dawned on me that I had a few empty WOLF .223 steel cases that were just thrown into my ammo box at the range because I was too lazy to walk to the other end of the range where the empty case barrel was kept.

I fished four of them out. I was using my Lee Collet Die Set anyway so I first DEPRIMED using a Wilson deprimer. Then I used the LEE Collet Neck Sizer, which required another 1/4 -turn tightening to get the neck sized to where it would firmly grasp a .223 bullet. Then I primed the case using a LEE Priming Tool, but this was inadequate, as the primers were about 1/2000ths inch high. So I used another heavy duty primer seater to get them flush. Next was using the LEE FLOATING BULLET SEATER to seat four different bullets. NO POWDER WAS USED DURING THIS FUNCTIONING TEST THROUGH THE RUGER 77 RIFLE. Then all I had to do was use the LEE FACTORY CRIMP DIE.

WHEN ALL FOUR ROUNDS FED PERFECTLY FROM THE GUN'S MAGAZINE, CHAMBERED PERFECTLY AND EXTRACTED PERFECTLY, I WAS SO HAPPY MY DOG PERKED UP HER EARS WHEN I LAUGHED LOUDLY AS THE LAST ROUND DROPPED ONTO MY BENCH.

Next comes a shooting test which must wait until I "empty" a bunch of WOLF cases next Wednesday. Then the following Wednesday I'll be able to test the WOLF RELOADS ! WOW !

They are easier to reload than brass cases and using RCBS, HORNADY or whatever dies----at least for me !

THANK YOU, LOADER, FOR BEING SO VERY THOUGHTFUL TO SHARE YOUR TALENTS WITH YOUR FELLOW SHOOTERS !

Keep up your writings on your WOLF experiments, and I'll be eagerly awaiting them here on the Shooter's Forum !

csward


:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
csward -

Let us know if you come across any split cases in the wolf reloads, and I will do the same. This is about the only potential disadvantage I can think of. Be sure of your eye protection!!

Regarding your high primers, are you using CCI? My Ren 7.5s slide right in. A variable might be the varnish they coat the steel with. A primer pocket tolerances it could make a difference from batch to batch.

Good luck, and shoot SAFE.
 

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WOLF steel cases for .223

Hi LOADER,

The thought occurred to me that the taper cro0mp die that comes in the LEE Collet Die Set might be a better and less metal fatigueing than the Factory Cromp Die. I'll load some identical loads using both crimping methods and let you know of any splitting.

see ya, LOADER !

csward:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
CSward -

Good idea. I testd some of my once fire Wolf cases and the have the same capacity as my once fired Remingtons.
 

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steel cases

Good morning, LOADER,

Thanks about the taper crimp idea.

Another thing I like about the Wolf, once-fired, cases is that they all measured within 1/1000ths inch in length of each other ! This is something I haven't seen brass cases do ! I don't suppose this means much, but I suspect that it means the steel cases don't get thinner and longer like the brass cases do. Time shall tell.

Two days to go to "empty some Wolf" cases for reloading.

Man ! I was greatly impressed with your 0.035 five shot group at 100 yards using a H&R .223 ! WOW ! My friend just bought one of the "H&R 1871" rifles in .223. He would be greatly interested in what steps you took to "enhance its accuracy".

see ya, LOADER.

csward:)
 

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Just a short note on my experiences with steel cases. I guess at the time I hadn't heard that they CAN'T be reloaded so I treated them like any other. This was in the days when a .45 Auto meant Colt and a surplus one could be had for $20 and surplus ammunnition was $2 a box, so it was a few days ago.

Since steel cased ammo was plentiful then I had a lot of it. Not knowing better I used it just like brass cases and didn't notice any problem until the third or so reload. The cases would work harden to the point that when they were run through the sizer they would spring back to the point a bullet would fall into them! Until that time they worked just like any other brass. I still get a kick out of reading the "Experts" who invariably say they are not reloadable!
 

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steel cases

Good afternoon, ALK9044,

You and I remind me of when two old timers met in a park after a ten year peroid of losing touch with one another.

One said, "Boy, I can remember long ago when my dad could buy steak for eight cents a pound in the butcher shops."

The other said, "Boy, I'll bet your family ate lots of steaks, huh ?"

The first one said, " Heck NO ! My dad never HAD eight cents !"

Anyway, back to your comment that "the bullet fell into the case after sizing". The first case I NECK sized, with the usual setting of the collet neck sizing dies, I followed the instructions by LEE to simply turn an additional 1/4 turn downward. Then I chamfered the mouth with an RCBS mouth chamfering die----inside and out. I don't know long that tool will last with the steel cases, but we'll find out. Then I simply seated the bullets with LEE's "floating" ( my word) bullet seating die.

Best regards and safe shooting.

csward


:) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update on steel experiments. Full power loads of 3820 fps with 40 gr molys do stick a bit in my H&R test rifle, even though pressure is ok (standard deviation was only 14 fps). I have the same problem with identical loads using brass and nickel cases if they are once fired and only neck sized. Full length resizing solves this problem, but I don't like to full size the steel cases.

If I hold these loads to 3500 to 3600 fps, they work fine just neck sized.

The chrome lined Bushmaster shoots anything that is full power - it even ejects cases with blown primers (NOT recommended). Chrome works.
 

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HI LOADER,

VERY INTERESTING INDEED, LOADER ! AMAZING WOULD BE A BETTER WORD !

I DIDN'T KNOW THAT BUSHMASTER HAD CHROME LINED CHAMBERS, LOADER. THAT IS NICE TO KNOW. NO DEALER HAD MENTIONED THAT TO ME.

THANKS FOR THE UPDATE, LOADER.

CSWARD
 
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