Leadchucker's recent thread and a lot of spare time got me to tinkering with .223 brass. I've made .358" bullets from the base of the case but wondered about using the top end for smaller calibers like .33's or .30's.
Woke up the other morning with the idea that it might be possible to draw and round over the case in one step with a reloading press holding the brass in a conventional shell holder and some kind of blind hole die in the press. Made up two prototype dies and here's pic of what they'll produce.
The .33 die is drilled with a letter "Q" drill, given a chamfer large enough to admit the .223's shoulder and given a slight polish in the bore. The exterior is threaded 7/8-14 for the press and the cavity is 1.300" deep. The .30 cal was made the same except a "N" drill was used. The "Q" drill results in a case body diameter of .335" while the "N" produced a .306" body. Both dies will need further polish and harden if the product is usable.
I'm not yet convinced that these will be useful as jackets however. The .33s cut off to 1.200" only weigh 38gr so no way they'll produce a bullet heavier than 200 or so grains. The other bigger problem is that the wall thickness is backwards - thick at the front and thin at the base. In fact, the ID at the mouth of the "jacket" is .275" and measuring a split "jacket" shows an ID of .315-.320. Not sure how to deal with core and punch diameters...
The amount of closure is a concern too. I DO NOT want to be blowing cores out of jackets in the barrel!! I did make a hemispherical cutter to round off the cavity in the 33 die and the smallest closure before collapsing the walls is ~.125. Without further refinement, I was not able to go from full sized to .30 cal in one step without collapsing the case body. Going from .33 to .30 worked well and the .30 die is blind ended with the 118degree drill point. That die would close the base further down to a .100 hole.
I'll try to make a core seat/base flattening die if somebody says it's ok to use the reverse tapered walls but don't want to continue if it's a waste of time.
1. fired case
2. fired case with neck cut back to 1.600" oal
3. cut case drawn to .335" and partial round over
4. base of case cut from body resulting in possible 1.200" jacket
5. .335" drawn to .306" and flattened to 118degrees