Resizing Brass for Wildcats - Shooters Forum
» Advanced

Go Back   Shooters Forum > Rifle and Rifle Cartridges > Wildcat Cartridges
Register FAQ Members List Donate Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Like Tree1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-14-2013, 01:18 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Longmont, Colorado
Posts: 29
Resizing Brass for Wildcats


Registered Users do not see the above ad.


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.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:15 PM
nvshooter's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Nevada
Posts: 4,597
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...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:30 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 21,861
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!.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor
NRA Certified Range Safety Officer


"Firearms only have two enemies - rust and politicans" author unknown
Reply With Quote
 
  #4  
Old 01-14-2013, 05:55 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Longmont, Colorado
Posts: 29
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?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:02 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 744
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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-14-2013, 07:48 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 21,861
+1 on the neck outside turning. Should have mentioned that.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
NRA Certified Police Firearms Instructor
NRA Certified Range Safety Officer


"Firearms only have two enemies - rust and politicans" author unknown
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:37 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mooresville, IN
Posts: 12,044
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:
__________________
"My serious suggestion is to buy one rifle and then buy another one. And another." JBelk
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:39 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,096
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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:47 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 781
My suggestion would be to sell me your 3000 6mm bullets real cheap.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:00 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 744
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.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:45 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Trout Creek Mt
Posts: 819
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.
American Made likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:45 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,096
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----.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:57 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 744
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.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:30 AM
nvshooter's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Nevada
Posts: 4,597
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.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:48 AM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 744
Quote:
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.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:52 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: 2 miles So. of Filer, Idaho
Posts: 842
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..
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-19-2013, 11:18 AM
nvshooter's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Nevada
Posts: 4,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by American Made View Post
I understand your reasoning/thinking, but annealing before re-forming makes the job a whole lot easier, and with less case loss from wrinkles or buckling of the neck/shoulder joint . . .
Well, that's a good argument, too. But for what we must always look out is to not over-anneal. I do my annealin' in a semi- darkened room, at night, with the light off to my right. I turn my back on the light, so the case is in a lot of darkness. Allows me to see the color change as soon as possible, then into the drink it goes. If brass is over-annealed, it becomes too soft and stays that way. So heat to when you just begin to see the brass turn a dull red-- and you're sure of it-- then flip. If it gets to bright orange, it's gone.

I spin my brass in a deep-well socket (17mm for magnums) welded to a short piece of steel rod that fits into a 3/8" cordless drill. Cordless drills spin nice and slow-- allows me to keep my mind focused on the job at hand. Play the bright, central "pencil" of flame against the shoulder and let it splash up onto the neck. Takes maybe 20 seconds and you'll see the dull red start to show up. Flip it. Do the next one...
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-19-2013, 12:57 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 744
That's all good info, and may help someone who hasn't done any of it. The tip on the socket is useful too. Thanks for posting it.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-19-2013, 07:10 PM
nvshooter's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Nevada
Posts: 4,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by American Made View Post
The tip on the socket is useful, too. Thanks for posting it.
Important thing is to get the socket and the rod true and on-center. For the rod, I suppose the best thing to use is a three-inch extension. Weld it as true as you can, then turn it down to either less than 3/8" or 1/4" in a lathe with the socket in the chuck to use the socket as the "center." The thing has to be true or the case will "walk up" and fly out of the socket as you spin it. No way your wife wants a red-hot case landing on her carpet-- even if it is in your reloading room. For cases of .30-06 size, I think the socket to use is the 14mm and maybe a 1/4-inch extension, three inches long. Too long an extension, and the weight too far ahead of the battery will tump over the drill. I have a picture of my spinner thingy, but I am not at home in front of my own computer, so I can't post up a picture about what I'm speaking. Trust me, though, the thing works. I was a bit hesitant to anneal at first, but the socket thing makes it very easy. Takes one or two tries but once you see it happen and see how quick and easy it really is, it's a breeze and it's fun to try for a better result the next time...

Here's the tool. It's a 7/16 bolt threaded into the bottom of a 17mm deep socket. The socket is such hard steel that the tap was torn all to himmel and the thread was not square to the centerline of the socket. To save it my friend welded a big hexnut to the bottom of the socket, then laid a thick bead all around. The splash was then ground away to make it look nice. The stub was originally six inches long but it was so heavy, it made the drill tip over forward. My gunsmith shortened it and trued the stub to the socket. You can see the original threads have been partially machined away. There's now about three inches of stub and it runs true. The case does not vibrate and walk out of the socket. It works really well. What the reloading world needs is for someone to make these things quickly and sell them at a good price...


Last edited by nvshooter; 02-12-2013 at 05:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Savannah, GA.
Posts: 57
I shoot a 308 Bellm which is made by sizing a .444 Marlin case to shoot a 30 cal. bullet; this is significantly more reduction then 308 to .244. The only thing I found that I need to do is to anneal the neck of the .444 brass, lube the case with sizing lube and make a pass through my .308 sizing die. I have formed about 50 of these cases and only lost one and that was the first one I formed and tried without annealing. If I wanted to use different brass to make identification easier I would probably look at 270 Win. or 280 Rem brass.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brass Re-use smokinfz1 Handloading Procedures/Practices 33 12-14-2009 09:21 PM
38 spl Brass for 357 mag mikeg1005 Trading Post 0 12-13-2009 10:22 PM
Ultramax Remanufactured Ammo - brass trickg Handgun Cartridges 13 06-20-2008 08:38 AM
.444 Resizing question 45plinker Handloading Procedures/Practices 7 01-08-2001 02:52 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:05 PM.

< Contact Us - Shooters Forum - Archive - Privacy Statement >

 
 

All Content & Design Copyright © 1999-2002 Beartooth Bullets, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Statement | Contact Webmaster
Website Design & Development By Exbabylon Internet Solutions
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1