1. Welcome to Oklahoma Shooters Association! Join today, registration is easy!

    You can register using your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account, just click here.
    Dismiss Notice

Re-forming Brass to another caliber--- A Guide

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by tyromeo55, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. tyromeo55

    tyromeo55 Sharpshooter Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
    Tulsa
    A lot of you might or might not know that many calibers were developed using cases that were already available. One of those being the 243 Winchester whose parent case is the 308. Since 308 is a NATO case (7.62x51) there is a ton of it out there and it is usually had pretty cheap especially in quantities. Since 243 brass is less common it demands more money. Because of this People like me re-form the more common cases into ones that they need.

    Here is a short outline on how to get started in doing it yourself. There are other ways of doing it but this is how I have done it and it works for me. One thing I will note is that when reforming cases (especially military cases) is that the internal volume can be less due to the thickness of the walls and webbing. It is highly recommended you re work up your loads

    OK... Lets begin!

    I use a standard 243 die. that has been wiped clean of lube residue. Too much lube is is your enemy because it builds up in inside the die and has nowhere to go other then pushing divots in your cases and crushing necks. Ive found that imperial lube works the best because it can go on very thin and is super slick. Lube the entire case

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the die in the press. Note that the de-capping pin had been removed

    [​IMG]

    Here is a case getting formed. Take your time and lots of little strokes are your friend. If you go too fast you will just ruin the case.

    http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i295/tyromeo55/?action=view&current=308to243-iPhone.mp4

    After the case is formed in the video you might notice a line in the case neck that looks like a crease. It's not. It's the old step neck that was pushed back in forming.

    Some calibers like the ones that get necked up in size might need to be fire formed. This is simply the process of firing the case in your gun so it can match the chamber.
    Now, You could load up the cases you have just made but for the most part they might not last as long as non re-formed cases because they have probably been work hardened from being shot and the re-forming process. I anneal the necks to soften them up and make them last longer. Only anneal the necks or you will / could have case head separation and that is bad! Again, there are lots of ways to do this but this is what works for me.

    I put them in a tray ( or bowl in this case) of water that goes up as high as I would want to anneal them. the water keeps the base from getting too hot. Then i torch the necks all around for a second or two until there is just the faintest of glow. and knock them into the water.

    [​IMG]

    For those of you who wonder why I don't soften the necks prior to forming and making the process easier here is why.

    [​IMG]

    The neck is too soft to support itself during the re-forming and collapses.


    Well that's about it.

    Ty--
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  2. alank2

    alank2 Sharpshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,236
    Location:
    Broken Arrow
    Hi Ty,

    Nice tutorial!!

    What kind of press is your "case former" ?

    Thanks,

    Alan
     
  3. Blitzfike

    Blitzfike Sharpshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,076
    Location:
    Tuttle, OK
    Good presentation Ty, one thing I often do with the military 308 to 243 conversion is to either ream the inside of the neck or turn the outside of the neck. A lot of the military stuff leaves a really thick neck and in come cases that can jack pressures up. Depends on how tight the neck portion of the chamber of the rifle is. I form 30 and 357 herett and 375 winchester brass from 30-30 brass. I machined step expander plugs to facillitate the opening up the cases for the 357 and 375. I also found the imperial sizing die wax to be superior to everything else I have tried. I make 8mm mauser, 7.65 mauser and 7.7 jap out of 30-06 as well.. Blitzfike
     
  4. tyromeo55

    tyromeo55 Sharpshooter Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    3,687
    Location:
    Tulsa
    Its a Lyman T mag II turret. Not as nice as the Redding but for the price I wouldn't spend the extra money.

    Thanks! Great pointers on the necks!

    I'm not a pro at re-forming brass I just haven't seen it mentioned here and thought people just might not know they can do it. I have heard about neck thickness issues and that is kinda why I have been putting off making 300 BLK brass (other then I don't own a gun that shoots them yet). On 243 I have not had an issue though. It seems that all the brass I resize it too short until it is shot at least once and then it stretches out thinning the walls a little bit. Maybe annealing helps?
     
  5. TonyT

    TonyT Sharpshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Portage
    It's been quite awhile since I reformed caertridge brass. I had a single shot Peabody-Martini What Cheer in 40-70 PWC which required 11.3x74 Beaumont brass (I belive). It also worked well with some reformed 50-70 brass. Since then I have reformed 45-70 brass to 40-65.
     

Share This Page