View Full Version : reforming brass
03-22-2006, 03:30 PM
I've heard that 8mm mauser can be formed from .30-06 cases. I have a whole pile of them saved up, but I have a lee challenger aluminum frame press. I'm assuming this press cannot handle the stress of brass mangeling? In order to form case, would I have to step up to the rockchucker level of presses? thanks.
03-22-2006, 03:46 PM
No...the press should handle it and you're not really sizing them down a lot. First size them in a 30-06 die, that way basically all the 8mm die will be doing is moving the shoulder back and sizing just a little near the shoulder area. You can also size them down in your 8mm die in steps, say like move the shoulders down an 1/8th in or so, do a bunch, then move the die down more....keep on doing this till you get them finished. You might find out that they really aren't too hard to do in one step. Also annealing the cases before hand helps, BUT don't over anneal them. Also don't get lube on the necks and shoulders, and any part that is going to become the new 8mm shoulder and neck because you'll get lube creases which ruin the shell.
03-22-2006, 03:56 PM
You never know if your press will handled the job until you try it. It is easy to make 8x57 cases from 30/06..here is how I do it.
1) Screw a Redding 8X57 file trim die into the press far enough down to take the snap out of the linkage and them back it off 1/2 turn.
2) Put some good case lube on a case and run it into the die, drop the case and rotate it a time or two until it the ram is fully raised.
3) Cut off the excess brass with a fine tooth hacksaw
4) Repeat until you have done all the cases you want.
5) Now set the file trim die down against the shell holder
6) Run each case into the die again and remove the excess with a file and chamfer the inside of the case neck.
7) Run each case into your FL sizing die and you now have a perfect 8mm Mauser case.
There is a difference between the RCBS and Redding file trim dies. The RCBS is cut to FL size dimensions and the case comes out sized. The Redding is cut a hair largere and does not size your cases. I pefer the Redding because when I use it, as a trim die, I don't want to FL size my cases and I like to neck size only my cases for reloading.
03-22-2006, 04:12 PM
I would like to add one thing to Charger's method, and that has to do with the saw blade. Machine off the bite on the side of the blade that goes across the top of the die for a much smoother brass cut. ... felix
03-22-2006, 04:32 PM
ok, I don't have a set of ought six dies, nor a trim die or case trimmer, I will talk to some of the guys at the range and see if I can borrow some gear. The guy I'm helping get into casting has a lyman orange crusher, that should handle it just fine. Thanks for the help all ya'll.
03-22-2006, 04:45 PM
redneckdan, If you don't own or want to own a file/trim die, there is another way. Use your favorite brand of 8 x 57mm FL die, with the decapping stem and expander ball in place, to gradually reform the .30-06 brass, which you can then trim with the Lee trimmer pilot (8 x 57mm). Just make sure you (1) lube the inside of the case neck very well and (2) remove all case lube from the '06 case shoulder to the mouth else you'll get lube dents and very short case life. It's also a good idea to anneal the reformed brass before you fire it or after the first firing to prevent premature neck splitting.
03-22-2006, 05:15 PM
I have a butane fired soldier torch, will this be enough for annealing cases? I do have a lee trimmer and arbor but not the shell holder or pilot, the kit only cost 5 bucks so I will get one and use a drill for trimming.
03-23-2006, 09:39 AM
Here's how I make 8X57s out of 30/06 brass. First I anneal them. Then I put a 30cal pilot in the Lyman case trimmer, and adjust it to cut the 06 cases to 8X57mm length. Trim, chamfer and deburr the cases. Lube em good, but not too much. Lube the inside of the case necks. Size em down in a Lee 8X57 F/L sizer die, in my Lyman turret press. I size the case partially, then rotate it half a turn and then finish it. FWIW when I first set up to make cases this way, the shoulder wasn't moved back enough to chamber, even with the die screwed all the way down in contact with the shellholder. I modified a shellholder just for case forming by grinding a little off the top of it so that the cases will go further into the die. Works great. After forming, I trim to final length (necks seem to grow a bit during forming) using the Lyman trimmer and an 8mm pilot, then chamfer and debur and tumble to remove the lube. I shoot these cases in a Yugo M48 Mauser and they work great. Easiest way I have found to make them so far.
One thing I didn't mention is that if I reform a case I always paint the base red! I have seen a couple of 06's blown up by someone slipping an 8mm into them and I sure don't want that to happen with one of my handloads, especially if it says 30-06 on the brass. Compared to the cost of 100 new 8 mm brass a new rifle is pretty expensive. If you have an 06 too you need to be super carefull.
03-23-2006, 11:10 AM
Compared to the cost of 100 new 8 mm brass a new rifle is pretty expensive. If you have an 06 too you need to be super carefull.
That is one reason I don't reform commercial brass. I reform military brass that has no caliber markings on it. I do try to get or sort brass in lots from the same arsenal for this.
03-23-2006, 12:21 PM
ok guys i did this not to long ago, all my cases have crimples in them. no matter what i did. i did it with a set of lees die
03-23-2006, 01:01 PM
do this next time, take the expander plug out of the die and size the brass down. Make sure no lube is on the neck, the transition of the neck to the shoulder, and the first wee littl bit of the top of the case. A few things cause wrinkles..too much lube and the die isn't venting. Also try to the sizing in steps.
If this works, then trim them to the correct length, put the expander back in the die, and resize again.
03-23-2006, 03:03 PM
thanks joe that is one of my projects on working on i will try it next time i get some new brass
03-23-2006, 03:26 PM
No one mentioned how to anneal, so I'll give my rude and crude method. Set your torch on a solid surface and turn it on. Holding the '06 case by the "rim" at the base of the case, insert the neck and shoulder in the flame. Turn the case as you hold it there. When your fingers get hot, drop case in pot of water. Done.
Do NOT try this with anything shorter than a 22-250 or so.
For less burnt fingers or shorter cases hold case with pliers by rim and insert in flame until neck looks sort of very faint red. Quench immediately.
03-23-2006, 03:50 PM
I've done this on the Lee challenger press and cases that were harder to do and had no problems at all! I shorten my .06 with a dremal first and then deburr, to cut down on trimming before I resise and then I trim to size.
As 45 2.1 stated I also use only millitary non marked brass when resizing, this makes me have to think about what the round is instead of taking it for granted that it is an .06!
Jballs918, I used the same dies you did and had no problems. Did you use a good lube? It is best to use a real good lube when reforming brass!
03-23-2006, 04:00 PM
i used lee, so maybe that was one of the factors
03-23-2006, 04:10 PM
I used Lee also and had no problems. Maybe the brass needed to be annealed!
03-23-2006, 06:48 PM
I used Lee also and had no problems.
Joe is right about two things. Remove the expander ball and you don't want much case lube on the shoulder when you are setting it back. When reforming cases I only use Imperial Sizing Die Wax. Take a little dab of Imperial on one finger. Put it in the palm of your other hand. Rub your hands together. When the Imperial is rubbed all over your palms and fingers take the case to be sized and roll it between your hands. If you can see any lube it is too much. This will work for 2 or 3 cases, YMMV. When you are reforming the case be aware if the feel of the press handle. You should be able to feel the brass working. If the pressure gets too much back out, don't put the gorilla on it.
03-24-2006, 11:52 AM
One thing I do with all my Lee dies, and I've probably got 20 sets, is to wash the inside of the die out good with some solvent or WD-40 type spray BEFORE use. There seems to be a lot of gunk in the dies, like metal dust, that gets ground into the die body and causes roughness in use.
03-26-2006, 12:04 AM
one thing I would suggest is to buy a Redding form/trim die (about $22 from midway) it forms to about the same size as a fired case, also easy to trim with a hacksaw. just formed about 1000 8x57 from mostly LC 68-72 and 100 new winchester a friend gave me only lost 4 or 5 to kinked sholders i ran them into the die too fast.
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