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Thread: 6.35x28.6mmSR Stewart, a Viable Modern Cartridge conversion for .25 Stevens Firearms.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    6.35x28.6mmSR Stewart, a Viable Modern Cartridge conversion for .25 Stevens Firearms.

    The "6.35x28.6mmSR Stewart", or '6.35x28.6mmSR', is a Modern Conversion Cartridge based upon reforming 5.7x26mm Cases to .276 Body diameter and Trimming to nominal 1.125" length, leaving the Rim and Extractor clearance grove about the same as the parent Cartridge case.

    This Is proposed as:
    - A Modern way to get The Firearms Chambered in ".25 Stevens" or ".25-10-67" as Winchester, Marlin and others termed it 'Speaking Again' since the Original cartridge is 'Obsolete', no longer commercially loaded, and examples are 'Collectible" and Priced Accordingly.
    - A case that is far Stronger than the original RF cases, as the Parent is rated for use at 50,000psi Maximum Average Pressure by CIP.
    - A new Cartridge to use in Small frame Revolvers but with more Potential than the .22WMR.
    - A New Cartridge that can be used in Strong Rifle actions to its Full 50,000psi MAP potential with a wider Range of Bullets and OAL lengths.

    This Cartridge is published as cartridge number 958 in the "Ammoguide International" 'Cartridge Master Data Base'. It is Similar in dimensions to the Previously Published "6.35x32mmSR" (published as number 950 in the Same Data Base) and to the "25-10 Halsted" (a Wildcat designed for .257" Bullets).

    It is Easier to form, but requires more tooling, than similar designs made from .22 Hornet Parent Cases.
    The Yield From Forming is Better than that experienced from Forming from .22 Hornet to the Same End Body diameter. (My experience is about 5% loss when forming .22 hornet to .276 body Diameter and ZERO Loss when forming 5.7x28mm to .276 body diameter.)

    Forming Cases to these diameters is discussed in other Threads on this Forum so the details will not be repeated here unless Requested.

    For Revolvers, bullets should be loaded to limit Overall Cartridge Length to fit the Cylinder, or 1.400" maximum and about 1.395" is a slightly better 'target length'. A range of bullets commercially available can be extended by Resizing bullets down from .257" diameter to .250"-.252" diameters, depending upon bullet type and construction.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William(Cartridge cases That is.)
    Last edited by Chev. William; 02-20-2016 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Any chance you could post some closeup pictures of the formed cases? I am trying to envision what that would end up looking like. I just happened across you thread about building the Single Six to take this and the 25 ACP, and you certainly have my interest!

    -Nobade

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Here are some Photos of the Precursors of the 6.35x28.6mmSR Stewart Cartridge:


    First Loaded 6.35x32mmSR Stewart Cartridge.


    Photo of Tools and Cases in Forming steps: left Front is parent 5.7x28mm case, Right front is formed 6.35x32mmSR Stewart Case.


    Various Dummy cartridges with bullets seated to about the Same Depth to check Overall lengths.

    The "Neck" and "Shoulder" of the Once Fired 5.7x28 parent Cases leave a Discolored area on the reformed Cases, which are 'Straight Walled' instead of "Bottle Necked". The Base of the Cartridges shows a 'clean Brass' surface which is an artifact of the Forming Process used. as a thin 'ring' of coating and Brass is Sheared off in the Last forming step. This may or may not happen when I form some with a slightly smaller intermediate forming die I have on order.

    The "6.35x28.6mmSR Stewart" case is a trimmed version of the "6.35x32mmSR Stewart" case. Trim length is 1.125" and Loaded OAL is supposed to be 1.400" for the Revolver application.

    I hope this Helps you.
    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 11-28-2015 at 02:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Nice! Thank you for sharing the pics - I was wondering how you were able to produce a rim to make it work in a revolver. How are you able to swage the head down all the way to the rim and still get the case out of the form die? Is that middle shell holder thin enough to allow this to happen?

    I think you are on to something very useful here. I have mourned the passing of the 22 CCM and the folks at Cooper say they will never make any more of those. What you have here is sort of the same thing but better, with easily available inexpensive cases to start with. Many interesting firearms could be built to use these and they would be a nice replacement for 22LR and other small, quiet rounds that can't be obtained any more.

    Did you make the dies yourself, or contract somewhere to build them? Are they and the reamers available for purchase anywhere?

    Thanks!
    -Nobade

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobade View Post
    Nice! Thank you for sharing the pics - I was wondering how you were able to produce a rim to make it work in a revolver. How are you able to swage the head down all the way to the rim and still get the case out of the form die? Is that middle shell holder thin enough to allow this to happen?

    I think you are on to something very useful here. I have mourned the passing of the 22 CCM and the folks at Cooper say they will never make any more of those. What you have here is sort of the same thing but better, with easily available inexpensive cases to start with. Many interesting firearms could be built to use these and they would be a nice replacement for 22LR and other small, quiet rounds that can't be obtained any more.

    Did you make the dies yourself, or contract somewhere to build them? Are they and the reamers available for purchase anywhere?

    Thanks!
    -Nobade
    Noblade:
    1. I use a "Shade Tree Mechanic" solution: I use a 6" roll Pin Punch machined to taper the Working end from a Flat end of .175" diameter to about 3/16" diameter for its parallel length then the Body is turned down for a distance to fit into the top of the Lee Dies. This is 'Wacked' with a 16 oz. Hammer to drive the case out the bottom of the die.

    2. I bought all my other 'tooling' from RCBS, Redding, or Lee, either Directly (Lee special orders) or through my Local Reloading Store. The Sizing dies I use are Lee Carbide ring .25ACP sizing dies with the Intermediate diameter ones Custom "opened" by Lee. the basic die is about $28 and the fee to "open" the diameter is $30 so each intermediate die is about $60 with shipping
    I use a Lee "Universal Decapping Die to remove the Primers from the 'once fired' cases.
    I use a Tapered piece of .2500" Drill Rod as an Expander punch in my Bench drill Press.
    I use a RCBS "Primer Pocket Swaging Kit" Small Pocket punch, Stripping Cup, and a 3.16 Id Fender washer (as a Spacer between top of stripper cup and case) in my used RCBS "RC" reloading press fitted with a replacement RCBS "Ammomaster II" ball ended longer Handle to Force the Case into the die.

    This combination, along with the three step size Reduction, yields a force requirement that is comfortable for a sitting one armed Forming cycle.
    I developed this combination from a single step process reforming .22 Hornet Cases down to .276 diameter, which takes two Arms and Partial Standing to preform.

    No "shell holder", by their needed design, will allow a case to be 'sized all the way to the top of the rim. The combination using the Primer cup punch and etc. supports the Primer cup through the Base Web swaging but you will need to Drill and deburr the Flash hole after final forming Step.
    I use a 5/64" drill to open the Swaged down Flash Hole along with a 4" long double ended Center drill to deburr the inside and outside hole edges.

    Luckily the 5.7x28 parent cases are coated and do not require additional case lube in the forming Process. They also "grow" in length as they are Reduced in diameter.
    So far raw formed cases are measuring between 1.215" and 1.253" long with the Majority coming out about 1.230" long (275 cases measured so far).

    NOTE: My use of these .276" body diameter cases trimmed to 1.125"+/-.003" and Loaded to 1.400"+0.0/-.007" in the Project revolver and limiting the MAP to the Range of the .22WMR and .25ACP cartridges 'should' leave nearly the Same Safety Margin as Ruger designed into their Revolvers. My chosen barrel length of 10-5/8" (forcing cone to Muzzle) plus the Cylinder length of 1.415" should give an equivalent of about 12" Breech to Muzzle length for estimating charges, MV, MAP, and MEP for starting loads.

    As a concise answer to your last question:
    I have Purchased Lee dies, and their Custom Services, to obtain the Dies used in this Project.

    I did find that RCBS .25ACP Sizing die will form a Shoulder and reduced neck on any case longer than about .75" run into it as RCBS did not bore the full length of the die to clear the Sized case diameter (unnecessary with .25ACP standard length cases).

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 02-20-2016 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Edited to Clarify points.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Thanks! I love it - an interesting project that doesn't take a ton of money to achieve, or a full machine shop! Keep us posted, and I'll let you know if I ever build one of these. I have a couple unloved Rem 580's that would be good to convert into centerfire and this cartridge. Already built one up into a 9mm, but this is more interesting.

    -Nobade

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I also used 'Pacific Tool and Gauge' (PTG) to make my initial reamer, a Finishing custom that is labeled ".250ALRM", then later a Roughing one in the same cartridge name, a Finishing .25ACP, a Finishing .32 Long Colt, they also built my .22 Long rifle Freeland reamer (purchased from Midway supply Catalog at the time), and some Pilot Bushings.

    The "250ALRM" is designed to cut the chamber for a 1.250" long Cartridge of .25ACP diameters I made from resized, and Turned down rims, .22 Hornet cases as a "Lengthened .25ACP" but is usable for cutting a Chamber for these 6.35x28.6mm and x32mm Cass if the Rim rebate is enlarged in diameter.
    I found, on Ebay, a Piloted Counterbore with a #8 Screw sized Pilot and a .348" outer diameter. This pilot can be "sleeved' to pilot in the Chamber; to open the Rim Rebate to similar diameter to that used by J. Stevens in his .25 Stevens Barrels.

    "McMaster-Carr" or "Granger" may also be sources for such Counterbores or Spotfacers.

    My suggestion is to start Gathering the Tools needed to form cases to fit your Existing Reloading setups before starting your Firearm conversion. PTG especially needs time to make the Reamers.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 12-11-2015 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Edited to clarify Points.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Yes, always want to make sure you have all the tools before you start the job!

    I am wondering if you even need a chamber reamer. If this is a completely straight cartridge, you should be able to chamber it with a decimal size chucking reamer and then go in with a 25 cal. throater to throat it to what you want. I did that with my 270 Hornet and a 357 Maximum. Worked well and is a whole lot cheaper than a chamber reamer. Of course you'd have to single point the rim cut or use a piloted counterbore like you did.

    Eventually I'll get one of these up and running!

    -Nobade

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Gunsmith shops are More comfortable with a Chamber Reamer on a Customer Project.
    "Work around"s for Personal projects are an alternative but i Did Spec a slight Taper to the ".250ALRM" Chamber to match the .250ACP chamber arrangement.
    I will consider revising my thoughts for the "6.35x28.6mmSR" chamber before turning over the Cylinder for Reaming.

    Possible method:
    A. A Straight Cylinder .250" reamer first through.
    B. Followed by a .277" or .278" straight reamer for the Basic Chamber shape.
    C. Followed by the .25ACP reamer for the base taper, and Start of the rim rebate.
    D. Finished up with a Piloted Spot Face Cutter to finish the rim rebates.
    Might make a tighter Chamber overall.

    But Do I want a 'Tight' chamber in this firearm to start with???
    Something to think about for a while.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

    PS: I checked PT&G Web site Monday Night and they Now List Reamers for Both the ".25 Stevens" (I presume this is the "Short") AND the ".25 Stevens Long Rifle". Since I received my Second 'Three day Paycheck" I ordered one Finishing ".25 Stevens Long Rifle" Reamer to see what it is like. Chev. William

    PPS 20160220: The PT&G chamber reamer arrived Friday evening via UPS and upon opening I discovered they sent a ".25-25 Stevens FIN" reamer instead of the ordered one!!! Now I have to wait until Monday to cal and Ask "What Happened?" More Delays it seems. Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 02-20-2016 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Edited to Clarify Points.

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    Boolit Master
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    As of December 8th, my Project Used Ruger Revolver and Two 'Replacement Reproduction 8-shot Cylinders' are in the Hands of my Gunsmith for the Rework needed to convert to CF, Fit and Time the cylinders, and fit a Custom replacement 10-5/8 inch long ".25ACP/6.35 Browning" Barrel (from a 'Lothar Walther' C-M Barrel Blank).

    The third Cylinder is on Order from "Numerich Arms" with an estimated Delivery December 11th, Today, and the PTG ".25 Stevens Long Rifle" Reamer is on Order (confirmed) with no Estimated delivery date yet.

    At Least I have Developed some 'patience' over the Years so I will be doing other Things in the Meantime.

    Chuckling,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 02-07-2016 at 12:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Lordy, I can just see all the .30 Badger owners lining up to stampede on this one. In a year .30 badgers will be selling for scrap prices. wonder what the follow on to this one is?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Jaysouth,
    I am unfamiliar with the ".30 Badger" so would you please Expand on your Post?
    Chev. William

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    That's funny. I was reading about the .30 Badger on a different forum today. I got there by reading about different barrels for an AR which led to 300BLK and ended up at the 30 Badger somehow through the offshoots of the 223 parent case.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    Bastiat

    Sic transit gloria mundi ( the glory of man is fleeting)
    Whispered in Julius Caesars ear before every speech to remind him that everything comes to an end.

    Non nobis Domine,
    non nobis,
    sed nomini tuo da gloriam

    (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
    but to thy name give the glory.)
    Knights Templar

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I have two guns I built for 30 Badger - a Ruger #1 and a Contender pistol. It is quite a delightful cartridge to work with, and produces quite useful ballistics for playing around, short range hunting, and big bore handgun silhouette. Essentially the same effect as a 30 carbine.

    It's just a 38 spl. case run into a 7.62x25 Tokerev die. So, a long necked rimmed Tok round. Dave Manson makes the reamer, and you load it with off the shelf dies.

    -Nobade

  15. #15
    Judged purely as what you see and what you use, the 6.35x28.6mm seems like a very useful cartridge. But the principle firearm which is its reason for existence is very vulnerable to legislation or to changing fashion in its almost entirely institutional sales. Institutions don't usually load their own either. I doubt if future availability of ammunition and especially of cases can be guaranteed. Now for something like the .270REN, which is simply a straight-walled .22 Hornet, or cartridges based on the .25-20 and .30 Carbine families, cases will be around as long as there are guns.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    Judged purely as what you see and what you use, the 6.35x28.6mm seems like a very useful cartridge. But the principle firearm which is its reason for existence is very vulnerable to legislation or to changing fashion in its almost entirely institutional sales. Institutions don't usually load their own either. I doubt if future availability of ammunition and especially of cases can be guaranteed. Now for something like the .270REN, which is simply a straight-walled .22 Hornet, or cartridges based on the .25-20 and .30 Carbine families, cases will be around as long as there are guns.
    I presume you are talking of the parent donor cartridge, the 5.7x28mm, and if I am correct, that will make many users very Unhappy here in the USA.

    If you are talking of something else, please expand your Post to explain what.

    I already have a Process to employ in resizing .22 Hornet cases to .25ACP/.25Stevens Diameters but this 5.7 resizing is much "easier" to do; although it takes more Tooling to accomplish smoothly.

    The resizing of .22 Hornet May be done in fewer Steps but completing the hornet to work requires Lathe turning of the 'roll of displaced brass from the 'top' of the Rim and Thinning the Rim thickness down to .050" of the .25 Stevens desired result. There is also the necessity to trim the Case length from about 1.380" to 1.125", a tedious task with a Hand trimming Tool like a Forster or Lyman unit. It is even 'frustrating' with a portable drill driven Lyman trimming tool as the Adjustment is not designed for power use and 'slips' in operation.
    Yes it Can be Done, and I have done about 400 Hornet cases so far; but in less time I have also done about 600 of the 5.7 resizing and my Success Rate is much Better with the 5.7 process.

    I can only hope FN continues to make Ammunition for the Foreseeable Future, or at least the Rest of My Natural Life.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Today, Wednesday December 23rd, I received my Lee custom Case Sizing Die (.284" Dia.) and my Lee custom Seating Die for the "6.35x32mmSR" cartridge with a Bullet Seating 'Punch' to seat Spire Soft Point bullets. This is a 'Deeper Than Normal' for ".25ACP" Seating Die and does NOT have Crimp provisions.

    The die is needed to allow Seating Bullets aligned with the case mouth better, as trying to do this in a stock .25ACP seating die was very error prone: However, it may be Too Deep to work with the "6.35x28.6mmSR" cartridges.

    I hope to Try out the New dies after Christmas if we get a 'warm spell' between rains.

    Merry Christmas to all,
    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 12-24-2015 at 03:00 AM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I tried out the .284" case sizing die, and it leaves the Cases at .288" diameter, about .004" diameter 'spring back' which I anticipated. ran 15 cases through the .284 die then the .276 diameter .25ACP sizer. With MUCH Less 'displaced brass' and a lowered average effort. Then I Tried Length Trimming and found that my Lyman trimmer has worn loose in the Bearing area so 'wobbles too much under power to cut a True Case length. I guess another trimmer base will be needed.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Lee Precision, Inc. sent me an email stating they are "out of Stock" of the .25ACP Carbide Ring Sizing Die and do not expect to make more for about Seven Months! They Also informed me that my Order for a replacement/Repair to my Broken .288" Opened Sizing die is Canceled due to the 'out of Stock' condition.

    OUCH!

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Well that is a pain. One thing that might help - I have found I can make sizing dies out of 12L14 and have H&M do their black nitride finish to it. They come back plenty hard to form and resize brass, and that leaded steel is so easy to machine and get a nice finish on.

    -Nobade

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check