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Thread: 17 Ackley Bee from 218 Bee

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    17 Ackley Bee from 218 Bee

    I'm guessing that this may have been discussed before but how many forming dies are needed to accomplish this transition?
    I just got a 12" Contender barrel (special limited factory octagon no sights from their old Collector's series) and while I do have 90-100 reformed cases I got on Gunbroker I'm sure I will be needing to replace them at some point. Got a Redding die set from Graf's (in stock!) but I don't have a forming die(s). Just for future reference as I have a 17HRM barrel for the NEF/H&R single shot rifles and I am thinking of having it rechambered to 17 Ackley Bee to match the Contender barrel (yes it does fit one of my centerfire frames). Should make a nice addition to the factory barrels I have for the rest of the NEF/H&Rs.

    On another note, anyone have any good info on loads? First reload I am trying IMR4198 but it is a real pain to load into the tiny 17 caliber necks. Would like to use IMR4227, Accurate 1680 or maybe one of the 410 specialty powders (have Little Gun). Looking to get a reasonable load (pressure) to hit 3,500 fps out of the 22 inch rifle barrel and 3,200 or so in the 12" Contender. Have used a lot of 1680 in the 218 Bee, 22 Hornet, 32-20 jacketed loads, 375 Supermag and even the 375 Winchester. Other than the fire ball it works great.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    4,431
    I have the RCBS die set to form the .17 Ackley Bee.

    There are only 2 dies
    1. #1 Form die
    2. Trim die

    Then you need to FL size and load
    Some where along the line the cases will need to be annealed.

    PS
    If you intend to run at top pressures only use .218 Bee cases if you can find them.
    Forming brass from .25-20 or .32-20 might not be a good idea.
    .218 Bee WW brass is 10 grains heavier than the other 2 in WW brand cases

    Also requires an extended shell holder.
    Last edited by EDG; 03-09-2020 at 05:13 PM.
    EDG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
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    WW 218 bee cases, 10.0 grains of 4227 and a 25 grain bullet, CCI BR small rifle primers
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks
    Looking to use just one bullet, the Hornady 20 grain V-max to get the highest velocity out of the 12" barrel.
    Will start low with the IMR4227 and go from there.
    FYI the cases are made from 25/20 Remington nickel plated.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Greg's Avatar
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    nhithaca

    no 17 Ack Bee data in 2019 Hodgdon annual manual

    no 17 Ack Bee data in Hornady Handbook 8th edition

    Todd Kinder's "The Sensational Seventeens" manual HAS data
    http://www.woodchuckden.com/news.aspx

    BullBerry makes a double ended forming die, might have some load data also ??
    https://www.bullberry.com/product-pa...er-forming-die
    God Bless ya'll
    Greg

    Je suis Charlie

    "You can observe a lot by watching."- Yogi Berra

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  6. #6
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Northern kentucky
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    Nhithaca

    I'm on the same path as you. I just sent a contender 17 HMR 23" rifle barrel into SSK to have it rechambered to 17 Ackley Bee. I probably bought some brass from the same person off of GunBroker also. I got 175 pieces formed from 25-20 brass. I was also lucky to score 49 pieces of brass from this site formed from new Hornady 218 bee brass. I hope this brass works out for us but I will be buying a couple hundred Hornady 218 bee cases for the future.

    On a previous wildcat case I had I worked 22 Hornets down to a 14 Walker Hornet in 4 stages. The first 2 stages were performed with the Bullberry 22 to 17 double ended die. Then I used a 15 to 14 double ended die that Troy at Bullberry built for me. Then a pass thru the 14 Walker Hornet FL die. The 22 to 17 double die would be the way to go with the 17 Ackley Bee unless you go with the Redding S bushing die and get a 20 cal bushing to start with. I have no experience with the Redding S die so I can not say how easy the are to work with.

    I also have a 14" barrel chambered for the 17 Squirrel on order from MGM so I will have plenty to do in the reloading room as soon as that barrel arrives.

    I even just won an auction on GunBroker for a NEF 17 HMR so I was wondering how your performed? I think I will keep mine just the way it is. LOL. Since we're following in the same path down the 17 caliber Rabbit Hole I will suggest you look for a 17 Mach 2 in a 14" barrel they are a blast to shoot and the 17 grain Hornadys will put a flat out hurting on a ground hog within 100 yards.

    Good luck and happy shooting.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks Greg:
    Checked with Bullberry and the double ended form die is "out of stock" at least for the near future.

    KY:
    Have never shot the 17HRM barrel I currently have but I too just bought a complete NEF in 17 HRM to replace it (less than just a barrel on ebay) so now I think I will try that chambering. Also have a 17 Mach2 barrel fitted to the H&R Ultra Mag in 22 WRFM, haven't tried either of them either. Too many guns and not enough time.

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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