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Thread: Sizing 308's down to 243

  1. #1

    Default Sizing 308's down to 243

    Since once fired 308 brass can be bought for about half of what 243 brass can be had for wouldn't it make sense to buy the 308 fodder and size it down for my 243 rounds? Are there any disadvantages to doing this that I am missing?

  2. #2
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    Necksmaybe too thick and require reaming or turning for a start. Of course if you normally so this for your new brass it may not be too much of an disadvantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Since once fired 308 brass can be bought for about half of what 243 brass can be had for wouldn't it make sense to buy the 308 fodder and size it down for my 243 rounds? Are there any disadvantages to doing this that I am missing?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  3. #3
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    Fired 243Win brass isn't that hard to find nor is it usually expensive. Necking brass down that far can be a pain and it's easy to destroy some in the process. And you probably will have to neck turn or ream. There is a web site for those wishing to sell or find brass. Google ( ammo brass trader ) There is no charge for signing up and you can either buy sell or trade brass, bullets or other gun related stuff. They are a bunch of really good folks and tend to take care of each other. Shady traders don't last long there. I am sure you can find all the 243 you can want there and usually at a fair price or trade. I might have some to spare depending on how many you want and what brand you are looking for.

  4. #4

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    I do a lot of brass reforming, including 243 from 308. It's usually a matter of finding a great deal on something I don't need, but can convert to another caliber. The mechanics of this conversion are easy, though comments about neck thickness are right on the money. I've never done it without having to thin the neck walls. I've got an old Macquart outside-neck turner and use that, though it's just as effective and lots faster to use an inside reamer. The resizing itself can be done in a single pass with your 243 sizing die, but be real careful about case lube. It's easy to get too much on the outside and produce dented shoulders, or to get too little on the inside and make it really tough to pull out the expander ball. I've had the best luck with sizing when using Imperial Wax rather than a liquid lube. It's also easier somehow for me to do the sizing in "two passes" by removing the expander decapper stem for the initial sizing, then going back and using the stem for a second pass, then trim to length and thin the necks. I know that doesn't make any technical sense, but old habits are hard to break. But with a tapered expander ball, it's sure a whole lot easier to do the expansion on the downstroke of the press rather than the upstoke in a single pass.

    That all sounds pretty time consuming, but you only have to do it once and you can produce a whole lot of cases in a single session. Whether it's a chance to save lotsa buxx or a way to produce hard-to-find cartridges, it is certainly a normal and reasonable procedure to add to your reloading options.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies! I have taken 243s and gone the other way turning them into 308s without a problem but never the other way around. I had a case trimmer at one time but never used it so gave it away. I had a bunch of 243 cases that were getting near the end of their lives. In fact last year I had one that seperated and left all but the base of the case in the chamber. It came out easy enough but after inspecting that lot of brass there were many of them that had that shiney ring around the case about a quarter inch from the rim so I pitched the whole bunch.

    I was intending to move away from the 243 all together as my old Ruger was getting tired. However the 204 that I switched to didn't kill coyotes nearly as readily and since it shot faster than the old 243 I was having to rethink my lead on running shots. The simple fact is the 243 is the cartridge I've been using for 35 years and the lead and hold over have become second nature. So I retired the Ruger again for the second time in two years and am going with a new Winchester 70 in the same old 243 chambering. I had a real clean 243 in 788 for a while that killed a coyote or two but a guy in a nearby town has a lust for those 788s and I finally let him have it whilst it was still pristine. I also tried a Weatherby Vaguard for a few weeks this year but there is enough more drop in the stock that fast target aquisition in the scope just wasn't happeneing and the light 20" barrell made it real wiggly.

    On a good note, I aquired a whole bunch of 6mm bullets at an estate auction. I looked in that tub last night with the intent of taking inventory of its contents but the first package of 10 boxes of one hundred each were Speer 70 grain TNT hollowpoints so I looked no further. So I am set for bullets for probably the rest of my days. There looks to be about a half an 8lb jug of 4064 left on the shelf as well.

    I will bite the bullet and get a new batch of 243 brass and start fresh!

    Thanks for the input fellas.

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    I would neck size only or partial full length size to slow down on the case stretching and make your brass last as long as possible. Especially if only loading for one rifle in 243. I do what ever it takes to get brass for something odd. I used to make 7.62x25 from 38spl until they became fairly easy to get. 243Win is to easy to get to go to a lot of trouble. I still make brass for my 358N and a 256win but these are a lot more expensive and harder to get than 243.

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    I've used .308 cases to make dummies for my son's .243, but I've found it's just not worth the effort. I got him 200 new cases and he's set.

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