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forming 350 Rem mag brass

 
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  #1  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:24 PM
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Location: Willamette Vally
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forming 350 Rem mag brass

Well I have a little bit of a problem as of late. I have 28 pieces of very tired 350 Rem mag brass and what little brass Remington does make for this caliber goes to their dismal factory loading that wont shoot minute of barn in my rifle. My hand loads have been around 1.5 moa which is adequate for what I do with this rifle. It is not for long range, but for carrying and thick brush/timber. The brass That I do have is showing signs of impending case head separation and neck splits are getting common. I need to start making brass out of 300 Win mag, 7mm Rem mag, or even 375H&H if I can find it cheap and it is decent brass. My questions are, where can I get the dies to form the brass I need? What else will be necessary to form this brass? What brass would you start with? I am not an idiot but I have never had to form a case from a different case and my experience with reloading is fairly basic testing of bullets, powder/charge weight, resizing cases, not blowing my hands and face apart, the usual stuff. Your help is very much appreciated as there really isn't much time till Elk season, and I need to re-develop loads, re-sight in and practice after I have some brass.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:55 PM
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Re: forming 350 Rem mag brass

I think that forming cases out of .358 Norma or .338 Winchester brass would be your best bet. The Norma would be easier all the way around. You'll have to trim the cases a minum of two times turing the process, and three would be best. I'd also go so far as to find exactly what the max neck length of the chamber is in the barrel, and do a trim that's about .007" short before fire forming. With the Norma case the brass is not going to shrink all that much, but still will a little. Using .338 brass is still much easier than the others, but will involve at least two more steps to get there
gary
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:31 PM
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Re: forming 350 Rem mag brass

Do an extensive search online for brass. You should be able to find some.
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:57 PM
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Re: forming 350 Rem mag brass

I've done quite a bit of case reforming and routinely make .30-06 into .243, .22-250, etc, but I haven't done that one. No matter, the principles will be the same.

TRy it, you may be able to do it in a single step with your current sizer. The donor case caliber won't matter because the old neck is going to be cut off anyway. So, use any magnum cases you can pick up cheap until you work out your method. A small collection of .300 WM range brass would be good to start.

Remove the decapper assembly from your .350 sizer, put the body in the press normally. Use a high grade case lube (I like Imperial and Lee) to completely but thinly cover the case below the shoulder. Push the greased donor case into the die in short steps, maybe 1/8" inch at a time, so the case lube can spread over the moving shoulder as it's set back. Remove and inspect the body-to-shoulder transition for an unwrinkled surface. If there are no wrinkles, you're home free (lube dents don't matter, they will blow out). If you have wrinkles, you can try annealing another case down to the proper location of the .350 shoulder and try again. If you get wrinkles on an annealed case you need an intermediate die.

If you do need an intermediate die you can do a web search for CH4D, contact them for an intermediate formimg die; it shouldn't require more than one. OR, if you have a little "grease monkey" in your DNA, you can find a second .350 sizer die and modify it yourself for much less cost. (Home modified sizer dies are all I've ever used for reforming, the factory forming dies are nice but much too costly for my tastes.)

IF I were doing what you need, I'd bore the neck out of a standard FL donor die to make the intermediate. You need to make its neck about half way between the final neck diameter and the shoulder diameter. Find a common, low cost carbide concrete drill bit that's close to the diameter you nieed and use it to drill the case hardened steel die. Drill from the bottom, with the die clamped in a drill press. Eyeball center the bit and push it all the way through, it won't be difficult. Afterwards make a smoothing lap out of a split dowel holding a strip of emery cloth, a medium grit will work fine, to remove the sharp neck edge. Use your "new" die, anneal the necks again and you should have no more trouble forming the .350 cases.

You will have to cut off the much too long neck but it's easy to do that with a Dremel tool with a metal cut-off disc. Use your case trimmer to take it to the finished length. Or, best of all, use a file trim die if you have or can find one.

Now, with your supply of new .350 cases, load a dummy round and measure the finished neck to see if it exceeds proper diameter. If not, fine. If it is too big you will have to turn the necks until they are the proper thickness. Given that you will have thick case body brass in the new necks it's quite likely you WILL have to thin them.

After they have been formed (and thinned?), anneal the necks or they will soon crack in use. Do a web search on CASE ANNEALING to find some help in doing it correctly. Too little heat does nothing, too much heat destroys the needed hardness for a good grip on seated bullets. Any "red glow" you can see in a lighed room is TOO HOT!

All that sounds like a lot of work, and I suppose it is, but none of it's very difficult. So, if you really want to reform cases, that's the way it's done.

Last edited by boomtube; 02-25-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2011, 05:24 PM
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Re: forming 350 Rem mag brass

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
I've done quite a bit of case reforming and routinely make .30-06 into .243, .22-250, etc, but I haven't done that one. No matter, the principles will be the same.

TRy it, you may be able to do it in a single step with your current sizer. The donor case caliber won't matter because the old neck is going to be cut off anyway. So, use any magnum cases you can pick up cheap until you work out your method. A small collection of .300 WM range brass would be good to start.

Remove the decapper assembly from your .350 sizer, put the body in the press normally. Use a high grade case lube (I like Imperial and Lee) to completely but thinly cover the case below the shoulder. Push the greased donor case into the die in short steps, maybe 1/8" inch at a time, so the case lube can spread over the moving shoulder as it's set back. Remove and inspect the body-to-shoulder transition for an unwrinkled surface. If there are no wrinkles, you're home free (lube dents don't matter, they will blow out). If you have wrinkles, you can try annealing another case down to the proper location of the .350 shoulder and try again. If you get wrinkles on an annealed case you need an intermediate die.

If you do need an intermediate die you can do a web search for CH4D, contact them for an intermediate formimg die; it shouldn't require more than one. OR, if you have a little "grease monkey" in your DNA, you can find a second .350 sizer die and modify it yourself for much less cost. (Home modified sizer dies are all I've ever used for reforming, the factory forming dies are nice but much too costly for my tastes.)

IF I were doing what you need, I'd bore the neck out of a standard FL donor die to make the intermediate. You need to make its neck about half way between the final neck diameter and the shoulder diameter. Find a common, low cost carbide concrete drill bit that's close to the diameter you nieed and use it to drill the case hardened steel die. Drill from the bottom, with the die clamped in a drill press. Eyeball center the bit and push it all the way through, it won't be difficult. Afterwards make a smoothing lap out of a split dowel holding a strip of emery cloth, a medium grit will work fine, to remove the sharp neck edge. Use your "new" die, anneal the necks again and you should have no more trouble forming the .350 cases.

You will have to cut off the much too long neck but it's easy to do that with a Dremel tool with a metal cut-off disc. Use your case trimmer to take it to the finished length. Or, best of all, use a file trim die if you have or can find one.

Now, with your supply of new .350 cases, load a dummy round and measure the finished neck to see if it exceeds proper diameter. If not, fine. If it is too big you will have to turn the necks until they are the proper thickness. Given that you will have thick case body brass in the new necks it's quite likely you WILL have to thin them.

After they have been formed (and thinned?), anneal the necks or they will soon crack in use. Do a web search on CASE ANNEALING to find some help in doing it correctly. Too little heat does nothing, too much heat destroys the needed hardness for a good grip on seated bullets. Any "red glow" you can see in a lighed room is TOO HOT!

All that sounds like a lot of work, and I suppose it is, but none of it's very difficult. So, if you really want to reform cases, that's the way it's done.
If your going to modify a sizing die, I'd drill the head out with a 10mm Hi-Roc drill bit. A .338 mag die would probably be your best bet if you can't find a .350 rem. die set. You'll probably end up cutting the bottom off of the Winchester die about .30" to get you close. Then finish them in a .35 mag die. The base will be slightly under size with the shortened die, but will blow out to the correct size on fire forming. With .358 Norma brass all you need to do is push the shoulder back, and them cut the cases off. Then push the shoulders back all the way, and finish. There won't be much case shrinkage because the shoulders and angles are not far apart.

Goto a welding supply house and buy a couple 400 degree temp sticks. Brass anneals at 400 degrees. Dump the hot cases in ice water will as quick quench.
gary
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2011, 10:07 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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Re: forming 350 Rem mag brass

Thanks for the help. I'm looking for the couple pieces of 300 win mag brass I have laying around somewhere. I'll let everybody know how it goes.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2011, 11:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 2,625
Re: forming 350 Rem mag brass

for all the expense and trouble you're going to have, i would think just buying 2 -3 boxes of loaded ammo would be a bunch easier. take it apart or fire form it to your chamber. if you size bigger cases down you'll have serious neck thickness, will have to turn necks, mess with donuts. it'll be a PIA. i once built a 30-350 mag, kind of a short mag before the craze hit. great cartridge, i still have a box of loaded 350 ammo some where. i actually used 6.5 mag brass for my 30-350.
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