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Thread: Forming 6.5 Arisaka

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Forming 6.5 Arisaka

    Old Type 30 "Hook Safety" Arisaka.
    Head space is a little large, so I'm using 303 Brit shells.
    Keeping the rim, with a little trimming, and it seems to work well.
    No blowback.
    Forming the neck down, I sometimes get crimps.
    Any suggestion on what dies I might use to from the necks in more gradual steps????

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    frkelly74's Avatar
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    I have used 220 swift, 6.5 Carcano, 6.5 MS, 35 Rem, and 308 Win but you have to turn down the head to make it fit. I have some that I got from another party made from 30/40 Krag with the rim turned off of them. That doesn't answer your question but I want to see what others have to say. I am sure Grumpa has some suggestions.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I'm going to follow this one, too.

  4. #4
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    Shooter6br's Avatar
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    220 Swift for me was the easiest......but now 220 Swift is hard to find

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had success with the 35 rem cases. I ran the 35 Rem brass first through a 308 die with no decapping pin and then through the 6.5 Japanese die. I used imperial lube for this. I didn't have any success with 308 brass. New Privi made brass is more available now so I can buy virgin 6.5 brass cheap and save the 35 rem for my marlin.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    First thing to do is run the 303 cases far enough into some 30 cal die (I'd probably use a 308 Win size die since I don't have 303) to make sure the case necks are perfectly round and have no dents in them like they always do when you get a batch of new cases: any neck dent will become a wrinkle as you size downward. At this point I have been able to go directly to the 6.5 without trouble, but I now have a 7mm BenchRest die I might use for an "intermediate" if I were making any more Arisakas.

    Like James23 I normally used 35 Rem to make my Arisakas, in which case I had a 30 cal intermediate step with a .308 Win die to get down to the 30 cal neck you already have.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master





    bruce drake's Avatar
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    If you have an old 7x57 sizing die, you can use it as an intermediate sizer on the brass which may help with some of the wrinkling when you are sizing down from 7.65 (303Brit) to 6.5mm. A heavy coat of sizing wax will cause wrinkles as well.
    Regarding care reforming, I used 35 Rem and 220 Swift until I was able to purchase and or range pick-up enough Norma and Prvi cartridges to have a stockage of headstamped brass. I preferred the 35 Rem cases for the ease of forming but the same sizing steps were required to prevent neck wrinkles and the case necks were 1mm shorter than actual cases. the 220 Swifts expanded up to 6.5 with no problems but I did have to trim them back to 50mm.

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    When you so this much work on a case, never use fired .303 cases always start with new brass. There is one exception. If you have a bunch of crappy old .303 cases use them to develop the process. It is no big deal to kill a few .303 cases since they are damaged by shooting in Lee Enfields. Once you have the process developed write it down. Then you can begin forming new cases without scrapping new brass.

    Examine your new cases for any defects that like body dents, nicks or scratches that will be formed over corner of the shoulder. Many of these defects will cause a worse defect when they trap case lube during sizing.

    1. Expand the necks with a .311 or .308 expander to remove any out of round or dented necks. This will prevent forming creases at the case mouth.

    2. If there are any badly burred case mouths you need to clean them up or any defects will cause problems forming the neck.

    3. You can use a 7mm-08 FL die to push the shoulder back. It would be better if you bought a 7X57 die body and cut the base off enough to push the shoulder most or all of the way back.
    7X57 sizer will be about .300 to .304.

    A 7mm BR FL die would also work and it would not have to be cut off.

    4. Once you get the shoulder pushed back you really need a 6.5 Jap trim die but they are kind of hard to find. You form the case and cut off the neck and file it smooth or you finish by trimming the formed case.

    5. FL size*** in a 6.5 Jap die.

    You will need to anneal sometime during this process so you get a long life from the brass. With new brass I like to form it and fire it once then anneal. You can make your own choice.

    Now for the complicated part

    ***The .303 brass is larger than most 6.5 Jap FL dies. So are the 6.5 Jap rifle chambers. So far as I know all 6.5 Jap FL dies are too small for .303 brass.
    The .303 brass is just right for 6.5 Jap chambers so the FL die will need a large amount of polishing to make it match the chamber.

    I got fortunate and found 2 dies that work well.
    One is a Bonanza 6.5 Jap neck die that is not intended to size the body. Since it is a neck die the body section is oversize and it works well as a FL die.
    I also have a Pacific 6.5 Jap file trim die that is over size and it works really well - just about perfect as a FL die for the body. I still have to size the neck in another die.

    I am sure you already know how to turn the rims to fit your bolt face.

    The Jap chamber does not have a step at the end of the case mouth. It continues on straight and then begins a funnel throat that runs to the rifling. This funnel in one of my rifles ends about .800 from the junction of the shoulder and the neck. So the actual neck in the chamber is much, much longer than the neck on the ammo. You should make a Cerrosafe casting of your chamber. Once you determine how long the full diameter neck section is you can leave your case necks longer. There is no point in doing so much trimming only to have the bullet mostly unsupported at it enters the rifling. Just be sure a loaded round has about .003" to expand at the case mouth.
    Last edited by EDG; 04-18-2017 at 12:57 PM.
    EDG

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Lots of great information for Y'all.
    just the help I'm looking for.
    I have lots of 303 brass.
    Once fired. Three gallon zip loc bags from our gunshow I got a while back.
    I do have a 7mm08 die set that I can try.
    I have 6.5 Arisaka brass I use for the other rifles.
    This one is so worn, I'm using the rim to take up the head space.
    Also to help stop the blow back.
    So far it's working out fine.
    I'll give it a try when my gout goes away.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    When you form cases from .303 brass for the Type 30 set the shoulder location so the bolt has to close with a little friction. This will keep you set up for zero head space in the old timer.
    If you are getting blow back your loads may be too light. Annealing the necks and shoulders will help with blow back too. The softer brass will expand and seal off the chamber at a lower pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    Lots of great information for Y'all.
    just the help I'm looking for.
    I have lots of 303 brass.
    Once fired. Three gallon zip loc bags from our gunshow I got a while back.
    I do have a 7mm08 die set that I can try.
    I have 6.5 Arisaka brass I use for the other rifles.
    This one is so worn, I'm using the rim to take up the head space.
    Also to help stop the blow back.
    So far it's working out fine.
    I'll give it a try when my gout goes away.
    EDG

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