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Thread: .35 Rem brass

  1. #1

    .35 Rem brass

    Hey all, This probably a long-shot but I am at my wits end. I purchased some reformed 35 Rem brass from Grumpa before he passed and trying to resize it is a real bear. I have a set of Lee and RCBS dies and both provide the same results. Both die sets have been thoroughly cleaned and lubed. I have tried lubing with synthetic motor oil, lanolin, silicone based lubes and Imperial sizing wax. Nothing seems to help. I almost alays end up pulling the rim off the case or cutting the case in half to get the expander out.

    It takes all of my 240lbs on the press handle to get the necks sized and then they usually become stuck in the die. If I can get them out the expander ball will usually not pull through the neck. I sent the Lee die back and Lee said it was fine and sent me a new expander as mine was damaged from trying to resize this brass.

    My only thought is the cases may be too hard and need to be annealed. I was pretty sure he said he annealed the cases during the process but they not look typical of annealed cases.

    I just want to get these to work in the worst way as using them once is not very cost effective.

    Rondell

    P.S. factory ammo resizes just fine in both sets of dies.
    Last edited by ruger1980; 11-18-2019 at 12:49 PM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    What is it resized from? Any chance the brass thickness at the neck is greater than that of factory ammunition?

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I would aneal a couple and try to size them

  4. #4
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents but I am thinking the neck thickness is too great. I would inside ream or neck turn one to see if that fixes the problem. I remember Grundpa saying he made them from 308 brass.
    I am thinking the brass is too thick causing it to wedge the brass in the die

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    My thoughts exactly Brstvns. I recall that happening when trying to turn 405 Winchester brass into 35 Winchester brass.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    Several years back I, too, purchased some of Grumpa's .35 Remington brass -- I have Rem Model 14 in .35 Rem. My only "complaint" was the primer pockets seemed a tad on the "loose" side, but none (using CCI) backed out after my firing. Albeit I have and oft' use a Giraud annealing machine, I have yet to use it on this brass from Grumpa, and roughly forty-five of the sixty cases I got are on their third firing. For what it's worth, I use Redding brand dies; my brass is wet-pin-tumble cleaned; and, I use Imperial sizing wax.
    Granted, I do recall Grumpa obtaining his brass from many different sources, and the odds are quite high yours came from someone and/or somewhere else than mine.
    But -- I thought I'd share my problem-free loading experience with .35 Rem formed brass from Grumpa.
    BEST wishes for you to get yours workeable. I kind of concur with the "try annealing" suggestions. ???
    geo

  7. #7
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    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    They loaded and chambered once so the necks can't be vastly oversize. First I would measure the necks to see what you have. It almost sounds like you have expander ball adjusted to high into the neck?
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  8. #8
    When I first noticed this back before Grumpa passed I thought neck thickness too and I seem to remember measuring some and the reformed brass was 1-2 thou thicker. But I just compared some of the once fired reformed brass with some once fired R-P brass i Have and the R-P brass is maybe a thou thicker. I n conversation with Grumpa on this issue he said that his brass should be 0,0005 thinner than factory brass. H also did say he made his 35 Rem brass from LC .308 brass. He also stated he turned the necks to this thickness.

    I am confident the expander is not too high as it worked with the RP brass I resized and the expander is very close to contacting the base of the cartridge(but it does not). I also tried it with out the expander just to size the case and it still got stuck in the die. It takes a lot pressure to cycle the ram all the way down and then when you pull it up it usually pulls the rim off the case.

    I think I am going to try spinning a few over my propane torch and see what happens. I have already junked a ten or so I guess a couple more is not going to kill me. But annealing 120+ of them with a torch could get tiring.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    The 35 Remington is .457 just ahead of the rim, the 308 is .470 just ahead of the rim.
    Grumpa must have had had to squeeze the cases by .013 to get there.
    Seeing as you are having trouble sizing your brass perhaps Grumpa didn't get your brass squeezed enough.
    I assume he did this in several steps.
    If you could find a die or dies to size just the last 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the cases to a bit below the .457 that would fix your problem. Perhaps you could get a set of dies bored with a straight to slightly tapered holes in steps.
    To start with a 308 case at .470 the steps might be .465, .460, .455.
    Measure your brass just ahead of the rim. You might just need one die. The .455
    With a straight walled hole without the shoulder you would just be working the lower half of the case. Not touching the shoulder. Annealing the case down close to the base will soften it enough to not be safe. It may not blow out, but primer pockets will enlarge very fast.
    You could press the cases in with an arbor press or tap them in with a mallet. Then drive them out with a punch. Like the Lee whack a mole sets. Lyman made this type of shell sizer to go along with the 310 and Tru Line JR.
    The steps might need to be smaller than .005.
    I don't know.
    Leo

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Just another thought. When sizing don't press the case all the way into the die in one pass. Try backing the die out so you only size about half the case, then turn the die in, in 1/4 inch increments.
    This way you are only sizing a bit at a time.
    It might work.
    Leo

  11. #11
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Like 44magLeo said, case measures .457 at the base area. If this area is larger you might try using a 44 mag or 44 special sizing die with plug removed to size the base first. Then run them through the 35 rem sizer. I had to do this with some 303 British and it took care of my problem. I had a 44 mag file trim die that I used worked out great.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I feel Your problem lies in the fact that Military Brass was originally used. . Not saying the process was incorrect but the brass spec for military Is a lot different that commercial.
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  13. #13
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    As Triplebeards said, I would anneal a couple to see if that is the problem.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bullet maker 57 View Post
    As Triplebeards said, I would anneal a couple to see if that is the problem.
    That is my plan as soon as I can find my good propane torch and a socket or piece of tubing I can spin the brass while I'm heating it.

    The case dimensions are fine. All the brass whether reformed, fired or reloaded fit perfectly into my Wilson case gage.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtebay View Post
    What is it resized from? Any chance the brass thickness at the neck is greater than that of factory ammunition?

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
    He used 308 for mine ,They worked ok for me till I found new head stamped rem 35

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Y'all may have covered this but lubing the inside of the case neck may be required. If the mil spec brass is hard/brittle the expander ball may not slip out of the case without extreme difficulty. I use the large nylon brush with some RCBS case lube to clean/lube the inside of case necks when I encounter difficulty in extracting the case from the die. I only lube every other case, sometimes every third case but extraction over the expander ball is vastly improved. Try it, you'll like it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Why on Earth was he making .35 Rem out of .308? It's not like .35 Rem brass (or loaded ammo) has ever been out of print. Not since I inherited Dad's old Marlin in 1996, anyway. It was never even expensive, and still isn't.

    Problem is wall thickness. The space between the neck of the die and the expander ball is less than the thickness of the brass.

    Solution: Size without the expander stem in place. Expand using an M-die or Lee equivalent. Then neck turn to reduce wall thickness to something reasonable.

    Annealing will not help.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy

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    I would take the expander ball off the resizing die and use a Lyman "M" die to expand them in a separate operation after the full length resize just like the previous post. Grumpa may have turned the neck.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    Why on Earth was he making .35 Rem out of .308? It's not like .35 Rem brass (or loaded ammo) has ever been out of print. Not since I inherited Dad's old Marlin in 1996, anyway. It was never even expensive, and still isn't.

    .
    During the last panic .35 Rem brass was not available period and loaded ammo wasn't much better.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 12-03-2019 at 11:53 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    Why on Earth was he making .35 Rem out of .308? It's not like .35 Rem brass (or loaded ammo) has ever been out of print. Not since I inherited Dad's old Marlin in 1996, anyway. It was never even expensive, and still isn't.

    Problem is wall thickness. The space between the neck of the die and the expander ball is less than the thickness of the brass.

    Solution: Size without the expander stem in place. Expand using an M-die or Lee equivalent. Then neck turn to reduce wall thickness to something reasonable.

    Annealing will not help.
    Right now Midway has both Hornady and Remington brass in stock. The Remington is less than .50 apiece, shipped to my door. But, some people won't think that far ahead....

    I can't afford the time to monkey with this kind of stuff. I bought 500 new cases and even though I have several rifles, that's easily a lifetime supply,--done and I never have to think about it again!

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