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Thread: Trials And Tribulations Of Forming Brass...

  1. #1
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    Default Trials And Tribulations Of Forming Brass...

    Yeah...trials.

    So back last winter I picked up a Hannibal in .338 A-Square. This was originally based on the .378 Weatherby, necked down, shortened by 0.010" or so, with some taper to the case. Even though case capacity is less than the mighty .338-378 W, it is slightly more efficient. At least on paper.

    Sooooooo...I decide to pour some Cerrosafe into my rifle to make a chamber cast. It worked just like planned except that I poured a little tooo much. This was bad. I had to melt the metal by heating the chamber of the rifle which made for some exciting moments. Hot molten Cerrosafe is only around 180* but it still smarts when it dribbles unexpectedly onto bare skin. I did get it all out. At least I though I did.

    Today I have some trimmed, formed and ready-to-load shells made up. I tried to chamber an empty case. Didn't work. I went back through the sequence of form, form in neck ream die, then full length size without the sizing button in. Still wouldn't chamber. Hmmmm. I looked in the chamber with a small flashlight and there seems to be something a little brighter in the area where the mouth of the case will be. So I used a VLD chamfering tool to get a nice sharp edge on a case mouth and shoved that puppy in there along with a smart smack on the bolt handle. When I pulled it out the was a tiny ding on the case mouth. Seems a little bit of Cerrosafe just doesn't want to leave.

    I don't have a chamber plug for this so looks like I'll have to get the metal out of the wood and heat it up again. This time I'll use a bronze brush and scrub-a-dub real well when I think it's hot enough to be soft. Dang it! I wanted to go shoot this rifle today. Well, maybe tomorrow.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Anyone in town have a bore-scope? I'd like to see the neck/mouth area of this chamber. And would also like to have a chamber cast made while I wait. Anyone do that?

    I trimmed a sacrificial case down from 2.850" to 2.790" and it still won't completely chamber so there is something significant in there but I cannot see it.

    Thanks.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Crap. I think my FL die isn't bumping the shoulder back far enough. Now I'll have to get a cast of the die too.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    I will grind 0.025" off the top of my shell holder to push the case that much farther into the die. I can also safely remove 0.025" from the bottom of the die to add an additional 0.025" if necessary. Wish me well.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  5. #5
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    It worked...almost. Bummer. So close. My FL die is indeed incorrectly reamed. I need to have about 0.025" removed from the bottom of the die, and the recess for the belt moved forward the same. Once that is done I should be able to get these cases to chamber. Oh well. I will have to bring the barreled action, a few cases, the shell holder and dies into Anchorage when I come in and drop them off at WWG to have the die massaged. Or buy a new set of dies from CH4D.com.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  6. #6
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    Upon careful inspection of the cases I attempted to reform using the ground shell holder, I see small crimps in the shoulder area. I decided to order a new form die and FL die from CH4D.com since trying to make a mistake better didn't seem the best course of action. The form die is probably the most important as it does most of the moving around of the brass. And of course the final touches with a correctly made FL die. The seater will work as will the reamer die. I hope. I'll have these in a couple weeks and then maybe I'll get to go make some holes. Otherwise....
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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    Nitroman:

    You think YOU got Trials and Tribs.

    I went to the range today, and couldn't get either of 2 guns to shoot, worth a sheet.

    Sometimes, I get so discouraged, I wanna quit with the guns and go into Beeg Foote investigations.

    Only trouble is, I'd wanna pack a gun for protection if they kicked at me, and there I go again.

    Smitty of the North
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    Have you ever packed up all the goodies to go to the range and once there find out you left the ammo home? Here I had to pack my target stand, shooting table, legs, chrono, plus all the other little stuff, into my sled from a trip out away from town during the winter. Got there, set everything up including having the rifle on the bags. Then open my pack for the boxes of ammo. And not there.

    I've been there.

    Yeah it was frustrating to have to go through all the motions to determine what the difficulty was. I called WWG to see if they'd do a chamber cast while I waited. Spoke to Brian who gave me the idea of grinding off some of my shell holder to push the case farther in to the die. That's when I caught on that some thing might be wrong with the die. After sooting up a case and pushing it into the FL die I could see the problem was at the datum line in the shoulder. I was also getting these little inward puckers or crimps from the brass being smooshed. So there it was. I ordered the dies from CH4D so that should be the answer. Oh well. This is probably why I got the rifle so cheap, the original owner couldn't make any ammo.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    Have you ever packed up all the goodies to go to the range and once there find out you left the ammo home?

    I've been there.
    I've been there too. The range is about a 40 minute drive one way. There have been times I forgot the ammo, or the rifle... yeah, the rifle, the targets, the ear plugs or something else. One thing good about driving in Montana... it's nice country

    Just recently had problems with the sizer, like you, for the first time. It was with a custom reamed 6.5 WSM using a 270 WSM type S FL bushing sizer. I had to crank it down about .008 below contact with the shellholder to get the brass to chamber with an easy bolt. Smith said we can grind down the shell holder or the die. I said let's do the die.
    "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    I've been there too. The range is about a 40 minute drive one way. There have been times I forgot the ammo, or the rifle... yeah, the rifle, the targets, the ear plugs or something else. One thing good about driving in Montana... it's nice country

    Just recently had problems with the sizer, like you, for the first time. It was with a custom reamed 6.5 WSM using a 270 WSM type S FL bushing sizer. I had to crank it down about .008 below contact with the shellholder to get the brass to chamber with an easy bolt. Smith said we can grind down the shell holder or the die. I said let's do the die.
    If one were to grind down the base on a die for a Belted case can the belt recess also be ground down, practically speaking?

    Thanks
    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    It could be done but without a tiny tool post grinder and a lathe it might not be easy. Depending on how hard the die is, you may be able to just machine it out on a lathe with a HSS tool or carbide if its hard.
    Yeah, I can't count how many times I've went to the range without something I really needed. Fortunately, it's less than 10min to the range,but you still have to pack up all your stuff.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    If one were to grind down the base on a die for a Belted case can the belt recess also be ground down, practically speaking?

    Thanks
    SOTN
    Well this isn't a belted case but to answer your question... I would think so. That said, most dies are temper hardened and I'm not sure how that would all play out... just another good reason not to have belted cases

    The reason I decided to grind the die vs the shell holder is i use my shell holders for various cartridges and i want to keep them standard. Also There is just one die to grind whereas there are 2 shell holders... I use one in the press and one in the primer tool... saves a little time.
    "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
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    I measured the belt recess on the RCBS die and it was 0.150" deep. Measured the recess on a couple of CH4D dies it was 0.125". I took off 0.025" of the shell holder and the brass aaaalllllmmmmooosssttttt will chamber. I serious thought of carefully taking off some of the die too, but the shoulder of this case is 35*, the little crimps and puckers I am seeing in test case I believe are due to trying to push back that 35* shoulder, with the displaced material getting smooshed (the best word to describe it I think), into the crimps/puckers. This is why I stopped. I ordered the CH forming die which should move the majority of the shoulder back, and the FL die will complete the case.

    The RCBS custom made dies are jewel like. The knurling is absolutely perfect, the threads are somewhat tight on the die nuts...you just know these are one-off dies. If the CH forming and FL die do take care of this problem, I'll send the other dies back to RCBS and have them re-cut. Like Brian at WWG told me, "they probably don't make a bunch of those", which is true. I found the reamer print at JGS Tool in Coos Bay Oregon. The nice lady told me on the phone they rarely get a request for that reamer, which tells me they DO get some requests.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    It could be done but without a tiny tool post grinder and a lathe it might not be easy. Depending on how hard the die is, you may be able to just machine it out on a lathe with a HSS tool or carbide if its hard.
    Yeah, I can't count how many times I've went to the range without something I really needed. Fortunately, it's less than 10min to the range,but you still have to pack up all your stuff.
    i

    Thanks.
    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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