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Thread: Case Conversion question

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Case Conversion question

    How do you set your dies for final full length sizing after converting a case? I recently ran into a problem with headspace and had to adjust the sizing die to a very hard push to the shell holder to have the cartridge chamber properly. Never ran into this before. Also I see fire forming is performed by using a reduced load. Why not use a recommended starting load? Thanks, Dan

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    What conversion are you doing?

    I treat 7mm TCU like a normal cartridge. Fireform with starting loads.

    30 Herrett had to get some Dremel work on the shell holder for proper functioning. Starting loads didn’t always get sharp shoulders on it when fireforming.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    The cartridge conversion in question is 256 Newton from 30-06.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    On some bottle neck cases during forming, I've had to grind off several thousands off the top of the shell holder to get the shoulder back far enough to chamber.

    After the first firing, I went back to the standard shell holder with no problems.

    303 British to 6.5x54R comes to mind, there were a number of others over the years that a shortened shell holder helped considerably.


    Probably no reason not to shoot full house loads on most fire forming. Think factory 22 Hornet being formed to K-Hornet.


    More than one report of fire forming loads shooting quite well.

  5. #5
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    Nice cartridge choice!
    Sometimes the shoulder of the case wants to "spring back" when first formed. I find annealing before forming the case to be very helpful. Also, as Barry54 and 15meter stated, grinding a hair off the shell holder is sometimes needed to push the shoulder back a tad farther than standard the first time, due to the spring-back. I've found this in making 219 Wasp from 30-30 and 8x57 from Mil Spec 30-06 cases. This is only needed during the forming. After the first firing, a normal shell holder is fine.
    I also just use the regular load that I normally shoot for first fire forming. I tried COW filler for fire forming when I first started making 219 Wasp in the 1980s. It was a messy and unnecessary extra step. Just make the case, load and shoot it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master TurnipEaterDown's Avatar
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    Something I do short term to push a shoulder back further than the selected die/shellholder will allow (like the brass spring back from forming in an otherwise properly adjusted die mentioned by K43): Put a paper shim under the case head when inserting into the shellholder. Then size as normal.

    I just cut a few strips out of whatever will fit and give me the bump I need. 2-5 thou can generally be had easily w/ a paper shim. The decapping pin will poke the primer hard enough to cut a hole right through the paper while decapping.
    When the paper compresses too much (you can see it happening), just tear off the end of the strip and poke the fresh part of the paper under the shell head.

    Works really well. Done it more than a few times.

    Of course, the real issue (in the described case) is likely that some of the brass is more workhardened than others, or at hardened at different points.
    In this case, the described work around is somewhat of a band-aid. Annealing would tend to uniform the batch, and help w/ overall consistency and possibly accuracy.

  7. #7
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    Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danth View Post
    The cartridge conversion in question is 256 Newton from 30-06.
    Would necking UP from 25-06 be easier?
    Isnít the .256 Newton a 6.5mm cartridge?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Would necking UP from 25-06 be easier?
    Isn’t the .256 Newton a 6.5mm cartridge?
    You still have to push the shoulder back, which is where the spring-back occurs.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have used a steel feeler gauge under the case if only a few thousandths are needed other wise I grind of the bottom of the die.
    The big plus to 25-06 is the necks wouldnt thicken as much as sizing 30-06 down to to it. You will want to check loaded round neck dia as they may need a neck turn or ream.Sizing up brass thins sizing down it thickens. Also if your pushing the shoulder back there may be a thick ring in the neck from the shoulder brass.

    Fire forming with reformed brass may not be a perfect match to the chamber, meaning a lower capacity until its blown out to the good match. Also the lighter load will save on lost cases. Some can be formed from parent ammo in the new chamber. A lot use a charge of pistol powder with cream of wheat and a wad, no bullet.

    Ackley cases 7mm tcu 22 k hornet 218 mashburn bee can usually be fire formed from the factory ammo with decent accuracy and good results.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Rapidrob's Avatar
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    I went even more so on moving the shoulder back a few thousands. I removed three thousands from the bottom of the sizing die. This solved the issue and when reloading the die is raised enough to allow chambering with no brass stretching.
    The bevel on the dies opening to allow the cartridge to enter without shaving brass was not removed.

  11. #11
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    I formed all of my 6.5-06 from virgin .30-06 by simply running it through the sizing die. Admittedly I did not have to push the shoulder back for this.

    Other cases I have formed did need the shoulder pushed back a bit. Some times it helps to hold the handle down for a few seconds dwell time to give the brass time to flow.

    Reforming cases is a place where a large assortment of loading dies comes in handy, even orphan and oddball dies can help.

    I have always had better luck fireforming with a moderate load and a projectile than any of the projectileless filler methods.

    Robert

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    annealing first ....YES
    I don't grind off the top of shell holders, but I will take several passes through the sizing die with each case, not just a single pass. I rotate the case each time when sizing.

    and TurnipEaterDown's post is especially worth paying attention to.

    best
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    Don't make 256 Newton, but every piece of 270Win I happily come across gets turned into 8x57. I turned .005" off of the bottom of my 8mm mauser sizing die for cases that want to spring back more. Once formed they reload the next time fine. Initial trim, anneal, run through 8mm die and verify the shoulder got pushed back far enough that they chamber (and if need be set the die lower and run just those cases through), final trim/debur and a trip through the tumbler. I'm likely just not getting the cases annealed down far enough where the new shoulder is going to be on those cases that need the little extra bump.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you all for the great response. I like using Government brass as it doesn't have caliber identification, and at one time I had alot of it. All my 256 Newton cases are made from HXP 68. I had an unacceptable reject rate after annealing, so I run without. Form in a trim die followed with a full length sizing die. If I rotate the case while forming and use a heavy push the cases chamber perfectly. I'd like to avoid the hard push, so I'm going to try the shimming suggestion when I locate some more HXP 68 brass. I also use swaging lube (50/50 beeswax / lanolin) very sparingly with almost none on the neck and shoulder. After forming/sizing would it be a good idea to anneal? Best, Dan
    Last edited by Danth; 07-09-2024 at 02:45 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    sometimes using the seating die to pre form cases helps just stay away from the crimp in it.

  16. #16
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    Annealing will help the case last longer. You don't have to anneal, but the sizing down and pushing the shoulder back do work harden a little.

  17. #17
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    Grumpa (RIP), the member that used to reform brass for sale, recommended forming before annealing. His reasoning was that he wanted weak/bad brass to fail before he put all the effort into forming.

    I have had way better luck forming before annealing also. It may be that I get the brass too hot when heating it with a propane torch, I don't know for sure. I have not found a way to anneal that I am totally satisfied with yet.

    Robert

  18. #18
    Boolit Master



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    ahhhhhhhhh ! you are using GI brass.....which is usually a bit thicker than non-GI. Have you tried resizing with commercial -06 brass and if so did you still have a problem ?
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Sometimes using a die to bump the shoulder back leaving the original neck helps in forming. Push shoulder back then form the neck in the next pass. It can be harder to get the brass in the shoulder to flow down to the smaller neck in one pass. Add in different body tapers and it can make a big difference.

    The easiest reforming was when I could simply fire form the case to the new shape.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes, I tried commercial brass with the same result. I don't have a problem pushing the shoulder back, it just doesn't push back far enough. Shimming the shell holder should do the trick.

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