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Thread: Fire forming 257 Weatherby to 7x61 Sharpe & Hart

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Fire forming 257 Weatherby to 7x61 Sharpe & Hart

    I've been promised some 257 Weatherby brass, I have no need for it as 257. I do have a need for 7x61 S&H. The 257 is 3mm longer than the Sharpe and Hart.

    Considering full length sizing in the 7x61 die with the de-cap/sizing plug removed. Then powder/toilet paper/plug of some kind and then make a mess of the backyard.

    First this is old brass. Should I anneal because of age hardening/unknown number of firings before starting? Definitely going to anneal before loading for the S&H.

    Any guesses on a starting load for the fire forming and best powder to use other than the generic fast pistol powder?

    Wax plug in the neck or just toilet paper wad? Toilet paper wad worked well for me going 30-30 to 38-55 but this is much stiffer brass, don't know if it's going to need more pressure to get the neck blown out.

    Anybody done this? Or a similar case conversion?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Wow, 24+ hours and no one has weighed in. Guess I'm on my own trying to blow myself up.

    Probably won't get a chance to try until next week end, there's still time to save me from myself.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    I would anneal the brass first (it couldn't hurt). My favorite fire forming load is 16.0 red dot topped with cream of wheat (or something similar) and topped off with a toilet paper plug. I use this load for all of my rifle fire forming (.375 H&H to 458 Win Mag, 25/06 to 338/280 AI etc.).
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

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  4. #4
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    My Dad would form 7x61 S&H from .264Win Mag Brass. He got the .264 from a Lodge Brother who had blown up a rifle with his first reloaded cartridge. Wouldn't ever consider Handloaded ammo again. All the better for Us as he shot about 300rds of Rifle ammo a year.
    I digress.

    Formed the same way you are doing with Unique and a WAX Plug. Heated the case neck with a match and pushed a cake of canning wax onto the case mouth.

    Had to fire them off at the range, Neighbors complained about him doing it at home. Apparently Christians like to sleep in on Sat mornings.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    .

    Formed the same way you are doing with Unique and a WAX Plug. Heated the case neck with a match and pushed a cake of canning wax onto the case mouth.

    Had to fire them off at the range, Neighbors complained about him doing it at home. Apparently Christians like to sleep in on Sat mornings.
    Great idea, the heating the neck with a match, got to make it easier to do the wax plug thing.

    Probably do it at the range, it's a buddy's rifle, I'll prep the cases and we'll do it when we are out whacking dingers. The neighbors already think I'm crazy enough with out shooting off more guns in the back yard than I already do.

  7. #7
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    I would just sell/trade the 257. There’s a lot of demand for good 257 brass.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    I'm getting the brass for free, I've got some unknown primers, ancient Unique and 4227 and old church candles.

    Zero cost, and I wouldn't get nearly as much cash out of selling the old brass as new 7x61 Sharpe and Hart would cost plus the shipping.

    And the weather around here is going downhill. Too cold to shoot/soft water sail/ride motorcycle and too warm to hardwater sail.

    And when the boys at the mill fire up the grain dryer, I'll get a fresh jug of corn nibs from under the dryer. They work better than corn meal--the stuff is free.
    Last edited by 15meter; 11-01-2019 at 03:57 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkins45 View Post
    I would just sell/trade the 257. There’s a lot of demand for good 257 brass.
    And have you priced 7x61 Sharpe and Hart?

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    7mm Rem Mag is easy to find and not cost much. Pushing the shoulder back and trimming sounds just as easy as what you are doing.
    Leo

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44magLeo View Post
    7mm Rem Mag is easy to find and not cost much. Pushing the shoulder back and trimming sounds just as easy as what you are doing.
    Leo
    Having started by trying to reform 300 Win Mag to 7x61 before moving to 7 Mag, fire forming sounds dramatically easier.

    And I've reformed 300 Weatherby's to 300 H&H, I've had better luck with that than my initial trys with reforming either the 7 mag or 300 win mag.

    Thanks for the suggestion of the 7 mag, been there, done that. Wasn't happy with the results and I didn't even get the stupid t-shirt for trying

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    The continuing saga of the 7x61 S&H, in the shed last night, took 5 257 Weatherby's and first ran them thru a 300 H&H die then the 7x61 die.
    Much better results than either the 7 mag or the 300 mag. No wrinkles on the radius of the neck.

    For grins I tried 5 pieces of 7 mag the same way, before I had been just resizing the 7 mag in the 7x61 sizer die, nasty little wrinkles in the neck radius.

    Using the 300 H&H die as an intermediate step made a dramatic reduction in the neck wrinkles, but did not eliminate them.

    Also tried 5 pieces of 300 win mag, but they had been annealed, formed nicely with the 300 H&H, crumpled the shoulder with the 7x61 die. Into the recycle bin for those. Have to find where I stashed the rest of the 300 win mag brass to try on un-annealed brass.


    And these wrinkles are not lube dents, much sharper, almost creases. I was careful about a clean die and no lube on the neck just the body while forming.

    Hope to check them for chambering this evening before loading up for a trial at fire forming.

  13. #13
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    Annealing before expanding to another caliber is often a bad idea. To make my AI cases, I expand the neck first, then anneal, then fireform. If I expand right after annealing, I get an accordion.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HangFireW8 View Post
    Annealing before expanding to another caliber is often a bad idea. To make my AI cases, I expand the neck first, then anneal, then fireform. If I expand right after annealing, I get an accordion.
    As a rule I don't anneal before trying to re-form cases, these 5 were annealed in an effort to eliminate the neck wrinkles I was getting with the once fired cases.

    The intermediate step with the 300 H&H die has improved my conversion of the 7 mag brass considerably. I'm going to continue playing with that and perhaps some other dies to see if I can get it to work with cheaper, more readily available brass before I reform more of the 257 Weatherby brass. Although the Weatherby has actually been the best looking conversion so far.
    Last edited by 15meter; 11-11-2019 at 03:12 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Would 20 Weatherby 7mm Weatherby brass help? I see them on my shelf daily and don’t need them.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Would 20 Weatherby 7mm Weatherby brass help? I see them on my shelf daily and don’t need them.
    Thanks for the offer, I've got enough to play with here and postage would negate any savings.

    I am just playing in the shop to see if I can do it more than anything, waiting for the ice to get here so I can go sailing.

    Didn't make it on the ice once last year, spent too much time dealing with the drama surrounding moving my mother into assisted living.

    Things are a little calmer this year.

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