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Turning 221 fireball brass into 17 fireball brass?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:26 pm
I think most say it works ok, but curious if anyone has had problems turning 221 fireball into 17 fireball brass, for a Remington chambered rifle.


I'll have the dies in a week and the gun in hand in 3 weeks, just looking to see if I need to find more 17 fireball brass or if I should be ok reforming my stash of 221 brass. Hoping to not have to neck turn the brass.


Thanks

Allen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:09 pm
My personal experience with 221 brass has not been great. When necking it down to 20 VT i typically loose about 5 per bag of 100. I also found that the 221 brass was not as strong as the 17 FB and therefore i wouldn't spend the time necking it down if i had a choice. There is one exception, when Nosler gets their 221 brass on the market I would do some testing and possibly reconsider.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:32 am
wirelessguy2005 wrote:My personal experience with 221 brass has not been great. When necking it down to 20 VT i typically loose about 5 per bag of 100. I also found that the 221 brass was not as strong as the 17 FB and therefore i wouldn't spend the time necking it down if i had a choice. There is one exception, when Nosler gets their 221 brass on the market I would do some testing and possibly reconsider.


How exactly are you loosing them? I'm asking because I have some 300 pieces of 221-Fireball brass I'm going to be necking down to 20-VT. If 17-Fireball is better maybe I can exchange them out. I called Nosler the other day inquiring about the 221-Fireball brass and the person I spoke ith didn't have any idea when it would be available.

Jim
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:04 am
Allen: I shoot both a 17 Mach IV and a 20VT as you know. I've been forming cases for both from R-P 221FB brass to the tune of 1,400 cases now for both rifles. Using the Redding form die set, I have never lost a single case. I anneal after all forming and neck turning, and after fireforming both calibers, not a single case has ever been lost due to splitting or any other reason.

I attribute my success for no case loss to the three die set from Redding, plus annealing; no personal skills on my part whatsoever. It's all in the dies baby, and how carefully you form those cases. :D

Jim: The Norma/Nosler 221FB brass is still at least another month out (trust me on this, at least another month). I'll have some of the first batch, and will be busy forming to 20VT right away, and will report my findings here. I've got enough M4 cases formed to last the life of the Shilen barrel on that Sako Vixen!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:03 am
Jim,

My problems with the 221 brass may have just been a bad batch of brass. At least a couple in every bag had cracked necks right out of the bag before they were ever touched. There were also a few that had marks on the neck where it looked like they were thin from the manufacturing process, once i tried to size them down in the 20 VT die they split immediately. Its my opinion even if they would have been annealed they would of split because of the manufacturing defects. Once i switched over to the 17 FB brass and sized them up to 20 VT i had less problems. Again this could of been due to fact that i just had a bad batch of the 221 brass. I will note that there was another difference when using the 17 fb brass versus the 221. A piece of the 17 fb ran thru the 20 vt sizer actually mic'd out at about a .001 smaller than the equivalent 221 brass. This was important for me because my rifle had a .232 neck and the 221 fb brass had a loaded neck diameter of .231 while the 17 fb sized to 20vt had a loaded neck diameter of .230. Hopefully this info helps out.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:19 pm
Rick in Oregon wrote:Using the Redding form die set, I have never lost a single case. I anneal after all forming and neck turning, and after fireforming both calibers, not a single case has ever been lost due to splitting or any other reason.

I attribute my success for no case loss to the three die set from Redding, plus annealing; no personal skills on my part whatsoever. It's all in the dies baby, and how carefully you form those cases.


I'm under the belief to make 20 VT brass from, 17/221 Fireball cases is just run them thru a 20 VT sizer die. Do I need more hardware (case forming dies) to make these cases? Any advice is appreciated because I'm too far along in this 20 VT project to turn back now. All I'm waiting for is a barrel. I picked up a Remington 700 SPS Varmint rifle in 17-Fireball a few weeks back as the donor action plus an HS Precision stock.

Annealing? I gotta' start reading up on how to do that. I've put a lot of hours in some of these cases.

Thanks,

Jim
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:38 pm
Jim, if you only use a F/L 20VT sizer to form the brass, you run the risk of neck splits. Some have had decent luck doing it this way, but TK long ago advised me to use a gradual step-down process instead of going to the new smaller diameter right out of the gate.

The 3-die set allows a first partial neck dia. reduction, then the bushing neck die further reduces it in the final step. Still not rocket science, but from talking with others on this who have done it longer than I, it seems logical and does indeed work well.

The only reason I neck turn at all is to ensure consistent neck thickness for proper bullet tension (= LR accuracy) and usually just give the necks a 50% cleanup to remove any high/thick spots created during the forming process.

As for annealing, again, not rocket science. PM me and I'll glady tell you what has worked for me for a very long time.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:44 pm
Jim,

I have always used the 20 VT FL die to form my cases, however there are other options as Rick indicated. I have never made the 20 VT any other way so i don't have any information to offer up. I am sure Rick will be happy to provide some additional information on the process he uses. As far as annealing goes there are a number of different methods that guys use. We have a short video on our website that shows one method. If you get a chance take a look at it, it will show you the basics of one method of annealing. Here is the link to the video. http://www.customreloadingtools.com/crt_006.htm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:07 pm
wirelessguy2005 wrote:Jim,

I have always used the 20 VT FL die to form my cases, however there are other options as Rick indicated. I have never made the 20 VT any other way so i don't have any information to offer up. I am sure Rick will be happy to provide some additional information on the process he uses. As far as annealing goes there are a number of different methods that guys use. We have a short video on our website that shows one method. If you get a chance take a look at it, it will show you the basics of one method of annealing. Here is the link to the video. http://www.customreloadingtools.com/crt_006.htm


Rick in Oregon wrote:Jim, if you only use a F/L 20VT sizer to form the brass, you run the risk of neck splits. Some have had decent luck doing it this way, but TK long ago advised me to use a gradual step-down process instead of going to the new smaller diameter right out of the gate.

The 3-die set allows a first partial neck dia. reduction, then the bushing neck die further reduces it in the final step. Still not rocket science, but from talking with others on this who have done it longer than I, it seems logical and does indeed work well.

The only reason I neck turn at all is to ensure consistent neck thickness for proper bullet tension (= LR accuracy) and usually just give the necks a 50% cleanup to remove any high/thick spots created during the forming process.

As for annealing, again, not rocket science. PM me and I'll glady tell you what has worked for me for a very long time.


Thanks to both of you for the advise. What I have is a 3-die set of Redding 20 VT dies. They are: a body die, a Type-S Neck sizing die and a seater die. The largest neck bushing I have right now (for 20 cal) is a 228. If I were pick up some larger neck bushings would that do the trick or do I need to look for a case forming die?

Also, off topic just a tad; does the 17 Fireball or 17 Mk-IV (I believe they are similar) foul the barrels really bad? One reason I tend to shy away from the 17's is I've heard and read that 17 cals foul very quickly and can be a bear to clean out, which waste time in rat infested shoot-out. I could see where that would be an issue with the 17-Remington but the Fireball, Mk-IV and Hornets too.....? Those just don't strike me as being over-bore cartridges.

As to annealing I'll take a look at the video later on tonight and Rick I'll drop you a line as well. Besides the $$$ cost of Fireball brass, I value my prep time too.

Thanks again,

Jim
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:11 pm
Jim

I haven't received my 17 FB yet, but do have an AR in 17 rem that doesn't seem to foul worse than any other small cal guns like it's twin AR in 204.

In about 3 weeks I will have time to do load development with brass already necked to 17 via the factory, but also have a bunch of 221 fb brass to reform and I am deciding on which Annealer to copy so I have my own annealer for quantity and the least hand motion. Getting Arthritis isn't fun on the hands, but I did sneak over to my shooting bench to pull the trigger on a 204 Rem 700 sst Fluted ( SPS I got from Nosler when they auctioned rifles) and after bedding it in a VLS stock and boresighting a new Viper 6-20x44.... and ammo it didn't like when the gun was in a McMillan BR stock, I shot 3 into 0.181...


Guess I can't complain too much about my hands.


Allen

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:42 pm
hemiallen wrote:Jim

Guess I can't complain too much about my hands.

Allen



I'd say.

Nice to hear the 17 Remington cleans up quit similar to a 204. I'll look FWD to your reports on the 17 FB.

Jim
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