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I have found a way to create cheap reliable brass that actually achieves the gas seal! I was just poking around on the net and found this:

Suggested tools and materials:

.223 brass and corresponding shell holder
.30 Carbine reloading dies - mine is an RCBS
reloading press ("O" type, heavy duty type not required; I have also done this
on my Lyman Spar-T)
disk sander (not necessary but it does help to speed things along)
case lube (suggest Motor Honey)
knock-out rod (details in text)
mallet (mine is rawhide)
blank shell holder or metal disc about shell holder diameter
case trimmer with .30 caliber pilot

1. Shorten .223 brass. After trying a number of ways, I found that the
easiest way, and very fast, was to use my disc sander. It takes about 3
seconds per case using a no. 60 grit. No, the disk does not fill up with
brass. Push the case into the sander disk, removing material to about half
way between the neck and the shoulder. This may seem a little short to you,
but the case lengthens considerably as it is swaged.

2. Using a case inside-outside deburrer, remove the burrs. This is done so
that the case mouth may be opened without crushing, using an expander button,
or preferably, a Lyman "M" die.

3. Remove primer decapping pin assembly from the .30 Carbine full length
sizing die. Important! Set the die so that it touches the ram firmly
when the ram is raised.

4. Lube the case liberally (I use Motor Honey) and run it into the .30
Carbine die about 1/3 of the way. Do not force it beyond where it feels
good and tight. Doing so is to assure that a stuck case will result.
Take it from one who learned (several times) the hard way. Back case out
of die.

5. Re-lube case and ram to about 2/3 the way home. Same warning as in 4,
above. Back case out of die.

6. Re-lube case. This time you can run it all the way home. It will back
out pretty easily. Notice that at this point, the swaging process has been
accomplished just past the web of the case -- that's good.

7. Re-lube. Using a blank shell holder, set the sizing die so that it
presses firmly, but not hard, against the shell holder when the ram is
raised fully. The spring of the press, when the case is rammed all the
way home, will assure that the case rim is not swaged. This can also be
done by laying a metal slug, like a slug from a knock-out hole in an
electrical box, on top of any regular shell holder. The blank shell
holder is just a little more convenient.

8. Ram the case all the way home. Use a knock-out rod to remove the
case. Two things are important here.

First is that the knock-out rod should be as large in diameter as
possible. This will depend on the particular sizing die used. My RCBS
die has a 1/4x28 thd decapping rod. It will accommodate a .210" rod
which I made from a very long bolt that originally had 1/4x20 threads
rolled onto its end; one of those rods used to hold cable reels together.
To assure that it will not bend when struck with a mallet, the rod should
be only as long as is necessary to drive out the case. Mine is 3 1/2"
long. The rod head is handy to act as a retainer so that it does not
fall out of the die, but is not necessary. Note that it is not difficult
to drive out the fully swaged case when done as prescribed here, and the
rod need not be hardened as long as it is not too long. Mine is as soft
as any steel gets.

Second, when driving out the case, do not try to emulate Paul Bunyan.
Tapping the rod (I use a rawhide mallet) 3-4 times will remove the case
without bulging out the head. One mighty whack risks messing up the head
spacing, and more important, makes it difficult to get into the .223
shell holder. Out of about 80 cases that I have made so far, only a
couple have given me resistance. They were fixed by chucking into my
drill press and using a quick swipe of a half round file. If there is a
slight rounding of the head, it will not adversely effect the outcome.
This is a good time to wipe the lube off of the cases. Also, decapping
can done any time one chooses. I use a universal decapping die for this
task.

9. Chuck case into your trimmer and set to reduce the case length to 1.51".
Notice that the brass has lengthened significantly as it steps through the
swaging process. If it has been shortened as directed in step 1, only a few
turns of the trimmer handle will be needed.

10. You might want to try chambering your cases now to make sure that
they will fit. My die reduces the very base of this tapered case to
.360-.362". This is as perfect a fit as one can get in my revolver. I
do not know if these guns vary much in chamber diameters.

11. Next use either the provided .30 Carbine RCBS expander die or,
preferably, the Lyman "M" die to prepare the case mouth to receive the
bullet. If you expand prior to chambering for the first time, depending
on how much you bell the mouth, you may be alarmed to discover that the
case will not chamber. This is because of the relatively steep taper of
the case which will not stand for much belling and still chamber. Don't
worry, the loaded cartridge will have this bell removed by the crimp.

It is possible that the case mouth will benefit from annealing to keep it
from splitting but I chose to skip this process until I see need for it.
I have annealed the original brass because of the radical crimp applied
to the factory rounds.

At this point, your brass is ready to load.

I tried this method and it is kinda slow, but works perfectly!
 

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Very interesting. I have seen a method of using .223 brass, but they reduced the diameter over the web first with a flat file and a drill press. How thick is the brass ahead of the rim, and is the case capacity more limited? I was wondering if a lighter charge of powder is preferred. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The ones I made using this method measure .358" ahead of the rim. I use a powder charge of 3.0 grns of Unique with no signs of excessive pressures...pretty mild, but pretty accurate too! I have any questions please feel free to contact me either by e-mail or PM.
 

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Well, I am now going to have to try this method. Where do you get blank shell holders? I suppose that I can get a slug from a electrical box, if nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I used neither. I used a piece of 1/4" square stock on top of the shell holder. Just be careful not to let it go too far in and swage the rim. I learned the hard way not to anneal the case mouths when finished forming, also (good thing I tried only one). If you do, you will have problems extracting cases after firing. Just thought I would let you know.
 

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I really appreciate your suggestions and posting such a long procedure. I really enjoy a challange, and reloading for my Nagants has proven to be a lot of fun. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I started reloading just for keeping my milsurps fed. Now it's a hobby just as fun and interesting as shooting itself! Anyways, I believe that you will not be disappointed with the results using this procedure. If you get stuck or have questions of any kind please don't hesitate to contact me.
 

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I'm assuming once the cases are formed, they then need to be processed with actual Nagant Dies?

Lee makes the ones that use 32/20 brass.. I'm assuming they don't make the Nagant crimp.

I have assembled all the parts/dies brass for the steps listed above.

Does ay one have pics of the final results?

and how would 30 carbine brass work?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Once the cases are formed you can fire form if you like (I just shot them like they were). They don't make the nagant crimp, but the taper of the brass is what keeps the projo from falling out. I would have tried to cannelure the brass about mid-way down to keep the projo from sliding back, but I don't have the equipment or money to do so. As far as 30 carbine brass it is too short to get the gas seal (7.62x33 as opposed to 7.62x38). If you would like some pics of the finished product you can e-mail me using the above link. If you have any more questions just shoot me an e-mail.
 

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Great tutorial. I hope to give this a try. I don't have a sander so I will have to sub with a dremel to remove the material. But as you say it is for the enjoyment of making your own over volume production. Thanks again.
 

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Cool thanks, I got as far as forming a couple cases, but it looks like I'm going to need to trim the unformed cases at the web prior to swaging them down. the ring left at the web is impeding chambering on my revolver.

I only ruined a couple cases so far, but I think I've got it down. (it was free range brass)


What I meant to say in my question about the nagant dies, is are they use for re-loading the formed cases or should they just be run back through the 30 carbine die?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use the 30 carbine dies to reload the brass too. It works pretty good for me...as far as the ring...I use a small arbor press to get rid of that (I forgot to add that in the tutorial). Just take the 30 carbine die, turn it upside down and press the home (you might not need to do this if you have a strong enough reloading press).
 

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my RCBS Partner has enough "umph" to get rid of the ring, it just swages a lot of brass into the extraction groove.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My method does the same, but I'm usually able to fish the excess out with a flat-headed precision screwdriver.
 

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mine is more of a thickening, and not really an easily removable ring, I hope to have more experimentation time this weekend.
 

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I have found a way to create cheap reliable brass that actually achieves the gas seal! I was just poking around on the net and found this:

Suggested tools and materials:

.223 brass and corresponding shell holder
.30 Carbine reloading dies - mine is an RCBS
reloading press ("O" type, heavy duty type not required; I have also done this
on my Lyman Spar-T)
disk sander (not necessary but it does help to speed things along)
case lube (suggest Motor Honey)
knock-out rod (details in text)
mallet (mine is rawhide)
blank shell holder or metal disc about shell holder diameter
case trimmer with .30 caliber pilot

1. Shorten .223 brass. After trying a number of ways, I found that the
easiest way, and very fast, was to use my disc sander. It takes about 3
seconds per case using a no. 60 grit. No, the disk does not fill up with
brass. Push the case into the sander disk, removing material to about half
way between the neck and the shoulder. This may seem a little short to you,
but the case lengthens considerably as it is swaged.

2. Using a case inside-outside deburrer, remove the burrs. This is done so
that the case mouth may be opened without crushing, using an expander button,
or preferably, a Lyman "M" die.

3. Remove primer decapping pin assembly from the .30 Carbine full length
sizing die. Important! Set the die so that it touches the ram firmly
when the ram is raised.

4. Lube the case liberally (I use Motor Honey) and run it into the .30
Carbine die about 1/3 of the way. Do not force it beyond where it feels
good and tight. Doing so is to assure that a stuck case will result.
Take it from one who learned (several times) the hard way. Back case out
of die.

5. Re-lube case and ram to about 2/3 the way home. Same warning as in 4,
above. Back case out of die.

6. Re-lube case. This time you can run it all the way home. It will back
out pretty easily. Notice that at this point, the swaging process has been
accomplished just past the web of the case -- that's good.

7. Re-lube. Using a blank shell holder, set the sizing die so that it
presses firmly, but not hard, against the shell holder when the ram is
raised fully. The spring of the press, when the case is rammed all the
way home, will assure that the case rim is not swaged. This can also be
done by laying a metal slug, like a slug from a knock-out hole in an
electrical box, on top of any regular shell holder. The blank shell
holder is just a little more convenient.

8. Ram the case all the way home. Use a knock-out rod to remove the
case. Two things are important here.

First is that the knock-out rod should be as large in diameter as
possible. This will depend on the particular sizing die used. My RCBS
die has a 1/4x28 thd decapping rod. It will accommodate a .210" rod
which I made from a very long bolt that originally had 1/4x20 threads
rolled onto its end; one of those rods used to hold cable reels together.
To assure that it will not bend when struck with a mallet, the rod should
be only as long as is necessary to drive out the case. Mine is 3 1/2"
long. The rod head is handy to act as a retainer so that it does not
fall out of the die, but is not necessary. Note that it is not difficult
to drive out the fully swaged case when done as prescribed here, and the
rod need not be hardened as long as it is not too long. Mine is as soft
as any steel gets.

Second, when driving out the case, do not try to emulate Paul Bunyan.
Tapping the rod (I use a rawhide mallet) 3-4 times will remove the case
without bulging out the head. One mighty whack risks messing up the head
spacing, and more important, makes it difficult to get into the .223
shell holder. Out of about 80 cases that I have made so far, only a
couple have given me resistance. They were fixed by chucking into my
drill press and using a quick swipe of a half round file. If there is a
slight rounding of the head, it will not adversely effect the outcome.
This is a good time to wipe the lube off of the cases. Also, decapping
can done any time one chooses. I use a universal decapping die for this
task.

9. Chuck case into your trimmer and set to reduce the case length to 1.51".
Notice that the brass has lengthened significantly as it steps through the
swaging process. If it has been shortened as directed in step 1, only a few
turns of the trimmer handle will be needed.

10. You might want to try chambering your cases now to make sure that
they will fit. My die reduces the very base of this tapered case to
.360-.362". This is as perfect a fit as one can get in my revolver. I
do not know if these guns vary much in chamber diameters.

11. Next use either the provided .30 Carbine RCBS expander die or,
preferably, the Lyman "M" die to prepare the case mouth to receive the
bullet. If you expand prior to chambering for the first time, depending
on how much you bell the mouth, you may be alarmed to discover that the
case will not chamber. This is because of the relatively steep taper of
the case which will not stand for much belling and still chamber. Don't
worry, the loaded cartridge will have this bell removed by the crimp.

It is possible that the case mouth will benefit from annealing to keep it
from splitting but I chose to skip this process until I see need for it.
I have annealed the original brass because of the radical crimp applied
to the factory rounds.

At this point, your brass is ready to load.

I tried this method and it is kinda slow, but works perfectly!
Very Nice, I'm ordering my dies today.
What bullet and primer did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Very Nice, I'm ordering my dies today.
What bullet and primer did you use?
I'm using Hornady .314 hollow base wad cutters @ 90 grns and CCI #500 small pistol primers.
 

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I'm using Hornady .314 hollow base wad cutters @ 90 grns and CCI #500 small pistol primers.
Thanks spcwingo,
I was grinding down some .223s this morning and I'm making them 1.510 like my empty Russian brass. Is this the length you made yours?
 
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