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Thread: Least expensive possible setup for .223-->300BLK conversion?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Least expensive possible setup for .223-->300BLK conversion?

    I've read articles on one end of the spectrum that say you need a case neck annealing setup, and to hire a PhD-holding engineer to sort your headstamps for you to get only the perfect neck thickness. I've also read articles that say you can just cut the brass with a rusty hacksaw and run it through the sizing die. Presumably the truth is somewhere in the middle.

    My question is, will a pipe cutter do the trick, then running through a sizing die, and finally trim/chamfer/deburr? Or do I really need to be worried about neck thickness and annealing?

    My goal for 300 BLK is honestly just to have some fun with a 10.5" AR pistol and a suppressor, so my ammo will virtually all be subs, probably using the Lee 309 230gr mold. I'd like it to be accurate enough to be fun out to 100 yards, but not planning on hunting or doing any "serious" target shooting with it.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  2. #2
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    Least expensive possible setup for .223-->300BLK conversion?

    Yes, you do have to worry about neck thickness. Sorting by headstamp is all thatís required for this. Iím setup to convert brass but I stopped. Starline makes it and itís not worth the time to make it myself anymore. When I was making it used the mini HF cutoff saw, deburred, sized, trimmed to length, deburred and annealed. Annealing is a step that can be omitted but your brass will last longer and neck tension will be consistent if you do.
    Last edited by dragon813gt; 11-02-2018 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Spelling because iOS auto correct is atrocious

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I wouldn't use a pipe or tubing cutter as they have a tendency to 'crush' the tube a bit ending up with an inverted flare at the case mouth. Keep your eyes open on here and buy some factory .300 BO brass, also available is a LOT of .223/556 already converted to 300. I bought some and most was good but did have almost 10% that somehow had the primer pocket made shallower when swaging the crimp out.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I found a nice guy that takes .223 brass in trade for formed .300 BO. It's a great deal and a labor saver for me.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Harbor Freight sells a mini cut-off saw https://www.harborfreight.com/2-in-m...saw-62136.html that makes trimming the brass down much easier. Under $30 with the 20% off coupon.
    I also bought one of these https://www.ebay.com/itm/300-Blackou...:rk:1:razz:f:0 that really works well with the above saw.

    If your not going to go through a ton of brass, buying once fired 300blk might be the way to go. As for annealing, I have done it both ways and it will work without if you pay attention to the neck thickness as dragon813gt mentioned. Both were tried with a Hera Upper on an Anderson lower. I like to do stuff myself and had access to a bunch of cheap 556 so bought the above equipment.

    I've also bought some Starline brass and highly recommend it as I do all Starline brass if you want new.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy


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    Find a bunch of brass that has matching headstamps, I use Fed or LC I cut it off size it trim it and load it. I have not annealed a single round yet and haven't had any issues. Case neck issues that I have run into come from some of the off brand brass. Pmc is the one I have had the most problems with so now I just chuck it in the recycle bin.
    "Yes or no will almost always suffice as the answer"

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    HF cutoff saw is the way to go. Or buy. I do anneal some with the torch method but cases are so cheap to make mostly don't bother. I do neck turn as my carbine chamber is tight, still easy & quick to do. So far PP go before the neck splits, just toss them in recycle bin, I just do supers. That Lee doesn't have a very good reputation.
    Whatever!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    I bought a HF chop saw and made my own jig out of nylon. I had 3 left to cut out of the 1,000 pieces of brass and the saw died so I returned the saw for a full refund.

    223 brass for converting to 300 AAC BO
    Good
    ADI PERFECTA
    Aguila PMC
    A USA PS
    FC PSD
    GFL RA
    HB RP
    Hornady SSA
    Hornady (nickel TAA
    IK03 Tula
    IMI TW
    IVI TZZ
    LC WCC
    M193 Winchester
    Norinco WIN NT
    NOSLER WMA 15



    Thick neck wall, bad without neck turning:

    AB 556 L2A2
    ATI MKE13
    CBC MPA
    CJ6 Norma
    CJ 8 NPA
    DNL PMC
    FNM PMP
    FRONTIER PPU
    GECO RAM
    Hot Shot RORG
    HRTRS RWS
    ICC S&B
    IK03 SADU
    IMI TAA
    IVI SADU
    KFA Wolf Brass
    Last edited by Grmps; 11-03-2018 at 05:15 PM.

  9. #9
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    I just buy 300 ACC BO brass from Starline. Not sure the time/benefit equation favors cutting down .223 cases. For sure, it is not worth it for me.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Making 300BO brass is easy. I just use mixed .223 brass and a cheap cut-off wheel (replaceable discs, mandrel) chucked in my drill press. you can rig up a basic jig using a lee trim shellholder and the press's vice. Some cases will be unusable because the thickness is too much (anything over .015", if memory serves). After removing the neck, size & trim as normal. Throw a caliper on each neck as part of the process and chuck the ones that read large. I haven't had any jams since I started doing this.
    Last edited by Boolseye; 11-08-2018 at 01:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use the same Harbor Freight cut off saw and Ebay jig to hold brass in place. You have to remember this is very small saw so you have to go slow because if you push it too hard you'll burn that tiny motor. I was fine using it but I let my wife use it once and it was shut, go figure

    There are many other ways to do this even with a hex saw if you had to as long as you make a clean cut. People use band saws, grinders with cut off wheels, dremels etc. I started with a dremel and made few cuts that way as proof of concept and once I got it all working I went with harbor freight saw. I made probably close to 2K of 300 brass so far this way.

    Neck thickness is a real concern and I can tell you for a fact that list above isnt always 100% right neither because I had to pull over 100 rounds of 300AAC from GFL (Fiocchi) brass as it wouldnt chamber. From now on I only use Lake City brass which I never have any problems with and its easy to find so I have plenty for 300. I wouldnt mess with mixed brass. Nothing worst then a round stuck in your chamber and your beating your ARs stock on the ground hoping to get it out.

    Overall its not a hard process to do or to get right as long as you pay attention to those couple things. If one has the time I dont see a reason to buy what you can make yourself. Isnt that the reason why we cast anyway
    Last edited by marek313; 11-05-2018 at 12:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A pipe cutter used on a tapered surface or with one roller unsupported will want to walk towards the smaller end. I did 357 herret from 30-30 case and this required around 1/4" removed. I made a die to run cases in and cut them +.010-.015 long with a very fine jewelers saw. The harbor freight mini saw and a small fixture will work also.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I was an early adopter of the 300Blk, so I had to get the HF Saw and jig or pay a premium, but I've converted a few thousand cases so far. I don't anneal, because I have access to a bunch of LC 5.56 cases, but it wouldn't hurt to do so. These are pics of the setup doing 277 Wolverine, same jig.

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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    File and trim die and a seawall. Tried using a hacksaw and that got old real fast.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Unless you just like fiddling with that kind of stuff, you should contact member Casting Machine and use the money to purchase processed brass instead of tools. I have the HF saw and jig which work well and I have converted about 800 brass. Yes, you do have to pay attention to head stamps because of neck thickness. I have also purchased the processed brass from CM, and for the price, I won't be processing any more.
    Either way you go buy/make plenty of brass. Believe me, when your in the middle of shooting your BLK, and having fun doing so, you will be loosing some!
    Probably more than you might think.

  16. #16
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    lefty o's Avatar
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    find plenty of blackout brass at the range.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks all for the advice. Time is much more abundant than money right now, so buying BLK brass as a long-term solution doesn't appeal to me. I have tons of .223 brass and a good percentage of it is Lake City, so I'll just plan on making LC headstamp my go-to for conversion.

    I think I'm going to try it without the annealing step to start. If I can't get it to work well, I found plans for a really great (consistent) auto-annealer that can be built for under $100, so I'll probably go that route if it becomes necessary.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I think I'm going to try it without the annealing step to start. If I can't get it to work well, I found plans for a really great (consistent) auto-annealer that can be built for under $100, so I'll probably go that route if it becomes necessary.

    Got a link for that or where did you find those plans? I could use one for this conversion and other things
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    google home made annealer video youtube. youll find tons of videos to get ideas form.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    This is the one I'm looking at building specifically if I end up needing one:

    http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...s-one.3900614/
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

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