Inline FabricationMidSouth Shooters SupplyRotoMetals2Titan Reloading
RepackboxWidenersStainLess Steel MediaLee Precision
Graf & Sons
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Hard time with converting 218 Bee to 17 Ackley Bee

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629

    Hard time with converting 218 Bee to 17 Ackley Bee

    I am in the middle of converting 218 Bee to 17 Ackley and I am having a lot of trouble.

    I don’t have a firearm for this, it is a project I have taken in from my BIL.

    I have a 2 die set for 17 Ackley Bee from RCBS and have added the two stage 17 caliber form die from Bullberry Barrels.

    The brass I am working with is new 218 Bee made by Hornady.

    I ran my cases through a .223 Rem Lee collet die to round out the case mouths, champhered inside and outside on the case mouths.

    I am using Imperial sizing wax.

    The wreck comes when I try to make the final pass in the RCBS FL die. The shoulders are collapsing when the base of the neck portion of the FL die nears the top of the shoulder.

    Today, I ran the balance of the cases back into two ends of the dual ended form die, first the larger chamber and second through the smaller end. I ran the form die ends deeper to soften the contact of the FL die when it approach’s the shoulder area.

    It seemed to help as I finnally made a successful single case but then had a string of wrecks again.

    I have been handloading for 42 years. I am not a stranger to case forming as I have done .223 to 7.62x25, .30-06 to 8mm Mauser, .30-06 to .338-06, .270 Win to .25-06, .308 Win to .243 Win, .30-30 to both .30 and .357 Herret, .223 to 222, .30-30 to .25-35 Win and a few I have likely forgotten.

    I read where folks have pretty fair luck with the 218 to 17 AB conversion but something here is alluding me.

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 01-07-2018 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,636
    Your initial neck sizing steps are not pushing the shoulder back enough. I had the same problem forming the softer Federal .303 brass to 6.5X53R Dutch Mannlicher.
    I have the .17 Ackley form die set by RCBS. I had no problem forming the brass however I do not have the FL die set.
    I suspect that your new cases are too soft and too weak to push the neck and shoulder back at the same time.
    You might try pushing the shoulder back with a .25 or .30 die.
    All I can suggest is a .30 Luger die
    Then once you get the shoulder close to the final location start sizing the neck down about .020 on the diameter per pass.
    EDG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Thank you for the input and you are spot on that the shoulder is weak. I caught at least one case with it’s shoulder letting go with the FL die only half way down the neck as to final sizing.

    I am wondering if the necks are offering more resistance due to work hardening compared to the shoulders which have not been moved since being formed at their creation?

    I do have dies in 7.62x25, .25-20 Win and .22 Hornet. My BIL is going to get the rifle to me as well from across the state. I have never flown blind on handloading ... why start such nonsense now? Lol!

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 01-08-2018 at 04:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Just this AM I re-read an article written by John Dolsier and displayed on Saubier and Handgun Hunter about case forming and shooting the 17 AB and it’s funny how you can read something a few times and gloss over something until you are backed into a corner.

    In the article Mr. Doslier writes that he anneals his cases after the forming steps but BEFORE he full length sizes. I knew I would be annealing prior to firing so stepping up a bit sooner is no great shakes. (Confession: I have never annealed cases before) I suppose I may just be the only person in the free world to have not annealed brass after having been an avid loader for 47 years but it is what it is.

    Best regards

    Three44s

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,636
    Annealing does not take much time, effort or money. But it does take a little knowledge of the right color tint.
    Get a case holder to spin your brass and practice on some cheap 5.56mm brass. The .218 brass is too expensive to practice on.
    EDG

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    +10!

    Best regards

    Three44s

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Mt. Vernon, Washington
    Posts
    35
    One thing that helped me when forming .256 win mag form .357 was to anneal as stated above and run them thru the seating die (minus the stem) before the final sizing die.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Very true as the seating die neck ID is larger than a sizer die neck by necessity.

    Thanks and best regards

    Three44s

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Gorham Maine
    Posts
    462
    I have found that the Redding trim dies have been invaluable when forming cases. When I need to push a shoulder back I use a trim die first when possible. I have experienced the same issues you have using the FL die.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    CWME,

    Yes, there is no doubt that the Redding does a pretty bang up job. In my situation I am doing this project for a BIL. He thought at first that I should able to conduct this process merely using lots of caution and plenty of lube with the FL RCBS dies. I convinced him that was not going to work, backing that up with two wrecked cases. As I spent a good many hours searching the net for info on this very conversion I found no one claiming to do it with just a FL die set but my BIL said he’d seen such info. I think he read of some making the cut with another cartridge/forming project.

    We got past that and in reading I came across the Bullberry form die that I just acquired. It has a radiused shoulder in each of two neck down chambers cut in either end of a piece of round stock threaded to 7/8” x 14.

    These two chambers are cut to an ID somewhat smaller than the OD of the 218 Bee necks and a second still smaller OD. This die from Bullberry cost me $52 shipped and I use two of my lock rings since it comes without them.

    My reasoning about going with this brand was first the price for two dies in one. I reasoned that since the Redding is listed as one die the step to 17 caliber would more severe and cost nearly double of that of the Bullberry.

    RCBS list two form dies and that suits me but their price at $170 and an up to 7 or 8 week wait was not very palatable. On the net folks that had the Bullberry die combo were happy with it. So I ordered it and it showed up in 4 or 5 days.

    Besides my own inexperience with this particular case/form combo is that Bullberry provided instructions that indicated that the only 17 cal forming project that called for altering the shoulder was the forming of the 17 hornet variants. Taking them at their word with the Bee conversion I now feel was a mistake.

    But my biggest mistake was missing an important point from the very well written article in Handgun Hunter from around 2001 by John Doslier on this very subject. Many other references seemed to advocate annealing prior to firing. The above referenced story by Doslier specifically states to form, anneal, full length size.

    So I thank all for the great advice shared thus far, I will trundle off to my man cave for another round after I get set up to try some annealing and minor shoulder ripple remediation with some some of my other die sets.

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 01-10-2018 at 12:12 AM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Quote Originally Posted by CWME View Post
    I have found that the Redding trim dies have been invaluable when forming cases. When I need to push a shoulder back I use a trim die first when possible. I have experienced the same issues you have using the FL die.
    Reading your post again, your second sentence jumped out. Your Redding die that moves the shoulder can be ran before or after the neck reducing form die?

    Best regards

    Three44s

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    230
    Similar experience forming 6.5 Grendel brass from new R-P 762x39 brass.....found that forming once fired worked much better than forming new

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Well, I am still getting the “bugs” out of this project! .... literally!

    I found my small propane torch and was all prepared to anneal some cases. Well the ‘ole torch would barely burn! So I took the nozzle off the end and found that the next generation of dauber bugs had set up house keeping by crawling through the middle of the nozzle (the air vents) and fully blocked the discharge from the back side of the screen. I dug for going on an hour with a customized piece of baling wire to no avail.

    Then I remembered we have an ultrasonic cleaner! A shot of lemon juice and a pinch of Dawn dish soap in hot water and ... after a little “buzzing” ... and the nozzle came out squeaky clean!

    So I stuffed it in my winter ranch coat and marched myself back to the barn where my man cave is. But the same story ... flames out the breather holes and nil out of the BUSINESS END!!

    Well I forgot about some loose hay in the pockets so a number of flushings with starting fluid finally liberated the nozzle from it’s “cruddy” existence.

    Sooooo, I now test run some 223 brass with the inside of their necks treated with Tempilac 750 degree indicator and spin them in my drill at slow speed ........ I will just say this annealing stuff is half science and the balance “art” and leave it at that!

    I ran four of the Bee cases next. Ironic isn’t it? Some bees just about derailed a Bee project!

    So as some advised, I first took the shoulders back a little more with the Bullberry forming dies and then ran the baby step with the Ackley seater die. Next was my nemesis, the full length die and one pass and I folded one more. So the other small sample were ran in baby steps ... some 20 to 30 thou deeper and relube between baby strokes. What a pain in the back side!

    I put out the word to my BIL that it’s time to fish or cut bait .... I need the gun to check to see if they will chamber.

    Hurry up and wait ... if it ain’t one kind off bees driving me crazy, it’s another! Lol


    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 01-23-2018 at 01:26 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    oklahoma
    Posts
    1,490
    You are on the right track. I was going to suggest annealing the neck prior to FL sizing. Try to anneal the neck only as the shoulder is already soft as you have discovered.

    I have formed 17 fire ball from twice fired winchester 223. First an anneal and pass through a 221 fireball, trim and then an anneal with a neck turn to 0.012" and a final pass into the 17 fireball FL sizer. I had to lube the case then wipe the neck shoulder to avoid lube dents. Case loss was less than 5% when I got all my steps down. Of course I'm working with free brass so loss is acceptable.
    Last edited by BK7saum; 01-23-2018 at 10:36 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Thanks ....

    I was going for the necks and avoiding those weak shoulders. Like your thinking, I figured why tempt fate.

    Though I have dallying with the idea of a 17 ABee of my own, the more I mess with this Bee project the notion of a 17 Fireball or a 17 Mach IV looks better. The only thing that still intrigues me about the Bee is I like “rims” in my Contender and the amount of powder burning in a 17 barrel likely influences how fast they foul up and the Bee would likely run cleaner longer than a Fireball, etc.

    I run a .204 Ruger in a bolt gun and it seems far better than the stories I read about the old 17 Remington.

    Decisions

    Three44s

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Gorham Maine
    Posts
    462
    Quote Originally Posted by Three44s View Post
    Reading your post again, your second sentence jumped out. Your Redding die that moves the shoulder can be ran before or after the neck reducing form die?

    Best regards

    Three44s
    If I have to move a shoulder back I use a die of the parent cartridge diameter and set the shoulder where it needs to be. I then start necking things down to that shoulder. I make 17 Rem Fireball by first making 221 fireball, IE the shoulder is pushed back and then I neck down to 17. I use LC 556 and start with the 221 trim die and cut off the excess neck, then the FL 221 die with the stem removed, inside ream with a .220 reamer, neck size down using the FL 17 fireball die with the stem removed, then put the stem in and size it for the last time. Trim to final length and anneal before firing. I am NOT moving a shoulder with the FL dies, just necking things down. The shoulder is preset with the 221 trim die. Hope that makes sense, first step is setting that shoulder in my process. I do the same thing for making 6BR brass out of 308 win.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,629
    Yes, that makes very good sense. I am not sure how I am going to apply it in this case however. I will be contemplating it though.

    A form die from Redding is likely going to run the cost up beyond what the gun’s owner will be willing to accept. I have been using the double ended neck die from Bullberry to move the shoulders back. The trouble is it is a guess and be darned approach.

    Thanks much!

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 01-25-2018 at 10:59 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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