Boxer cartridge resizing die

My latest job is to take a plastic shot shell resizing die and enlarge it to resize all brass boxer cartridges for the customer's cowboy action shooting
sport.
Is this a wise thing to do? Don't the two dies need entirely different shapes, or will boring or etching the plastic shell reloading die produce a good shape for resizing the brass shells?
My understanding is the the pressure/heat cycle produces an enlargement of the cartridge with each shot leading to fatigue cracks and failure after around ten shot/resize/reload cycles. Would fully annealing the brass before sizing allow longer life?
I don't know much about guns.
Yours,
Doug Goncz ( ftp://users.aol.com/DGoncz/ )
Read about my physics project at NVCC: http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dgoncz&scoring=d plus "bicycle", "fluorescent", "inverter", "flywheel", "ultracapacitor", etc. in the search box
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On 30 May 2004 12:02:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote:

Are you talking about resizing shotgun shells, or metallic cartridges?

The die must have the shape of the brass shell, or at the least the mouth of the case.

Cartridge brass does work harden. The bigger the pressure spike, the more it expands. If you have a very loose chamber in your firearm, it may expand a fair amount, then have to be forced back down to its "ansi" dimensions.
Most cowboy action shooting loadings are quite mild, so the expansion is pretty small..though it is indeed chamber size dependant.
I have a number of firearms with minimum dimension chambers, that when fed low pressure ammunition, basicly need no sizing at all, expect at the case mouth, simply to hold the bullet in when reloaded. I have others that will allow the case to stretch and flow so badly that even after annealing, the cases need to be discarded as they are prone to simply seperating in half.
If you could be a bit specific about the cartridge designation, I can give you a better idea of who/what/where and why.
I should mention that I typically get around 25-50 reloads from a case before the case needs to be reworked by annealing, trimming etc. This only holds true with Cast Bullet shooting, which is what Cowboy Action Shooting requires. They are quite low pressure.
High pressure cast or jacket loads..much different story.
Gunner

That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.         - George Orwell
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( Doug Goncz )

to
shooting
shapes,
shape
Not a good idea. Resizing dies are meant to reform the brass to exacting standards.

of the

around ten

allow
Actually that's SAAMI (Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) They set the industry standard for cartridge and chamber dimensions. Their tolerances are looser than what is held by the manufacturers of the resizing dies and tool makers.
<SNIP>

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I doubt that using a resizing die intended for plastic cartridges with a brass base will work for full-length brass shotgun cartridges, similar to military issue.
Best bet is to find a sporting goods store which sells reloading supplies or a gun shop. Custom dies can be ordered if an unfired case (at original dimensions) can be supplied. They can show you sizing dies for rifle or pistol cartridges - you want to see the full-length versions, not those which only resize the neck.
On 30 May 2004 12:02:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote:

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Are you talking about resizing brass shotgun shells? like 12 gauge all brass shot shells?
Tony

to
shooting
shapes,
shape
the
around ten

allow
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12 guage boxer-primed all brass shot shells, primarily used by the military, are the only cartridges which match Doug's description.
The shotshells shown in this web site http://www.cowboyactionshooting.com/ just look like regular low-brass plastic hulls.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote in message

Doug, I'm a rifle shooter and reloader, and can't speak with authority about shotguns but:
* The function of a resizing die is to return a slightly expanded cartridge case to proper dimensions to fit the chamber of the gun. Thus enlarging the 'chamber` section of die may not be prudent. A cast of the chamber of the arm in question is advisable.
* Plastic shotshells are generally 'star crimped` but sometimes 'roll crimped`, A complete roll), over a cover wad.
* Brass shotshells are generally 'taper` crimped, (just 1\4 or less of a roll). over a cover wad.
The dies form these crimps so you may have an 'apples and oranges` situation here. If what you have is a 'roll crimp` die you may need only to modify the crimp portion.
As to deformation of the brass: Shotguns operate somewhere near 12,000 psi while even low pressure rifle cartridges start around 25,000 and high pressure cartridges can top 65,000. There is relatively little 'working` of the base of a brass shotshell case unless the chamber is badly out of spec. You want to anneal the brass at the case mouth because the working and unworking of the crimp can cause cracking, but need to keep the base of the case and rim relatively hard to ease extraction. I do this with rifle cases by standing the cases in a tray of water with the bases down and heating the case mouths with a propane torch and tipping into the water one by one so that the necks are annealed and the bases retain temper.
Hope this helps, Pragmatist "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" - Benjamin Franklin
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I have misunderstood part of the problem specification. That's always a bad sign.
The customer has a multiple station press in use for reloading plastic shot shells.
The single station press has the die I have, which was marketed as appropriate for resizing brass shells. However, some are extruded and some lathe turned.
Perhaps the problem is that this die was made for resizing lathe turned shells.
We're going cowboy action shooting as spectators the 25th or 26th, to watch the customer compete, and maybe buy a second amendment T-shirt or patch.
This will open up the communication so that we can work togther to integrate all aspects of the situation, from the need to keep shooting at reasonable cost to maintain skill, to the technical difficulties of resizing brass using its elastic limit, etc.
I am forwarding the thread as it stands today to the customer, as a printout, and I will start a new thread after the event.
Yours,
Doug Goncz ( ftp://users.aol.com/DGoncz/ )
Read about my physics project at NVCC: http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dgoncz&scoring=d plus "bicycle", "fluorescent", "inverter", "flywheel", "ultracapacitor", etc. in the search box
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On 04 Jun 2004 12:23:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote:
Simply consider the brass hull, a large straight wall pistol cartridge. and the loading to be equivalent of a full wad cutter.
A normal shotgun press is not capable of full length sizing a brass hull of this size. Simply too weak. As you say, a single station press will be required, or an arbor press with something like Lee Loader dies. The only single problem I can for see, is the application of the roll crimp that holds in the top overshot wad. This is a critical feature, and of course over repeated reloadings will work harden and crack the hull. Many older brass hull loads used "water glass" to glue the top wad into place.
Please give me the problem again, as I didnt understand what you were trying to communicate, and Ill likely be able to give you some good ideas. Ive made quite a number of dies and accessories over the years, including a set of dies for brass hulls to be used on an arbor press.
Gunner

"A vote for Kerry is a de facto vote for bin Laden." Strider
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I think we're gettin' ready to wrap this one up.

OK.
I now understand the customer will be using his single station press with this die made for that press. The die was made for brass shotgun shells but doesn't work with this brand. I have to go back over to the shop and read the box.

No problem. Customer uses authentic water glass top wad glue to hold the load in place, as he is an authentic cowboy action shooter competing in the full dress class with leather boots, a felt hat, etc. He and I both enjoy reenacting the old rituals, be it wiping down a lathe in my case or reloading shells in his case.

He actually thought he was getting the right die for his shells, but then didn't hassle with a return as no alternate is available. But just wait until I come back with the brand name of these shells tomorrow after my bicycle ride.
Wouldn't the right way be to form a bead in the bore of the reloading die, that is, the usual tapered entry and then a, say, 1/8 inch wide bead that is WAG .005 smaller than the expanded shell, with the rest of the bore relieved so that the bead does its work on only 1/8 inch of shell at a time, so you never get that progressive drag as you work down the shell, forcing it deeper and deeper into the die, leading to stuck shells and broken base retainers?
He's already broken the retainer that positions the shell under the press and retains it while the press lever is lifted. I can avoid making that part by doing the bore this way; that part is available. He shouldn't have to have a modified retainer to resist high forces during retraction of the ram _as well as_ a custom die job. If the die job is done right, the stock retainer will work fine.
Customer suggests I cast a mold of the inside of the die. Great idea and I get to bill him for the proofing alloy double, and keep the alloy.
Anybody, what's the percentage elongation on this brass, or can I measure it with an indentometer, that is, a hardness tester? Or is that irrelevant since it gets annealed with each shot?
Once the percentage elongation is known, then strength of materials will disclose the shape of the bead.
I don't charge for my time. It's a weird business model. I live on markup, but not volume. The die can be out of service indefinitely. It doesn't work as is. I'll write tomorrow afternoon or evening.
Yours,
Doug Goncz ( ftp://users.aol.com/DGoncz/ )
Read about my physics project at NVCC: http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dgoncz&scoring=d plus "bicycle", "fluorescent", "inverter", "flywheel", "ultracapacitor", etc. in the search box
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    [ ... ]

    So -- the question to be resolved is what is the mounting thread for the die? IIRC, the standard reloading dies for the usual rifle and pistol cartridges is 7/8"x ? (fairly coarse) TPI. Measure the die thread, and that for the press. some of the early RCBS presses had a larger thread, and were used with special dies for swaging bullets from lead and copper inserts.
    The standard thread strikes me as too small for at least some shotgun cartridges.
    [ ... ]

    It depends on whether the cartridges are supposed to be tapered or not. Ideally, I would suggest full-length resizing only every so many shots -- not every shot -- to minimize the work-hardening of the brass. Just resize the neck as long as it still fits the chamber. (This of course is assuming that they are always used in the same weapon. If they are being changed between weapons, full-length resizing may be required every time.
    Some pistol dies have carbide rings in them for full-length resizing, which is similar to what you are suggesting.
    But the main trick is to use the proper resizing lube to minimize the drag. And for necked cases (e.g. rifle ones) to be careful not to use too much lube, as it will form dents in the case at the shoulder. Resizing try is asking for stuck cases.

    If the *lube* is correct, the stock rim holder should work fine. One common good resizing lube is pure lanolin.

    This will also give you the chance to measure the taper.

    You mean a Rockwell hardness tester? You will probably discover differing hardness at different points along the case length -- and any case which you measure should be removed from future firing, as the indentations will almost certainly provide points for failure. Also, you don't want to use the Rockwell C scale, as it does not work for really thin material. I believe that you want one of the "superficial" scales which can be translated into Rockwell C numbers by a look-up table. Do you have the proper tools to measure the hardness?

    Do you mean that it is annealed before being resized as part of that process? Or are you expecting the burning powder to anneal it? It won't.
    Also -- measure the length of the cartridge before each reloading, and be prepared with the proper tool trim the case length when it stretches too much.
    This really sounds like a job which should be handled by a machinist who shoots and reloads regularly, just so you will know that is normal practice. I have no experience with full-length brass shotgun shells, or with shotgun progressive reloaders, but I do have some with pistol reloading.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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On 5 Jun 2004 20:43:52 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com (DoN. Nichols) wrote:

7/8-14 is the standard. Which is too small for 12ga..not much meat in the die body.
Some early Hollywood presses were dual purpose..metallic cartridge/shotgun shell

Indeed. And at these low pressures..it would hardly be expanded much. Good idea neck sizing..though it may take a new die to do this..easily made on a lathe. Bore a proper threaded bolt (or thread a chunk of CRS). Bore it .025 oversize Except for the last .50 -.75 which should be nominal case size..
This link may help <G>
http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/shotshellloads.html
http://www.ilesotho.com/armourbrass/main1.htm

If you have loaded .38 specials..there is not much difference, other than an over powder wad, buffer wad (sometimes), shot column, over shot wad and/or sealer wad which is glued in. <G>
An interesting link Ive had in my file...
http://www.endtimesreport.com/410reloading.html
Gunner

That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.         - George Orwell
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On 05 Jun 2004 22:07:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote:

I dont think its a shell issue..they are all supposed to be to Saami standard dimensions..subject to how large the chamber is after firing.

Thats the way manufactures of reloading dies do it, with carbide inserts for straight wall cases. A band about .375 tall, with the correct ID for the case is swaged into the bottom of the die, and then highly polished.

Just out of curiosity..what is he using for case lube? You are aware that the case MUST be lubricated before being sized (except in highly polished carbide dies). Ive done any number of brass shotgun hulls over the years with a simple press made from a bottle cap press, and they never stuck when properly lubed. There are a number of commercial wax based and oil based case lubes, one of the better being the Lee dry lube. My personal preference for converting cases to a different caliber etc etc is 30/70 STP and 30wht oil. A quart goes a LONG LONG way <G>

<G>
The elongation, or case stretch length wise is going to be hard to determine..but Id have to say at those low pressures..it aint gonna be much..not enough to worry about for a long time.
If you are talking about "springback" as the case is withdrawn from the die..there ill be a tiny amount as the case is work hardened.
It never gets annealed with each shot. The heat is not great enough for a long enough period of time.

Cool.
Gunner
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.         - George Orwell
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote in message

snip
I guess I didn't make myself clear when I posted the first time. You don't need to resize brass shotshells that are to be used in the same gun repeadedly. If they don't fit at first, like when you buy used ones, you size them once with the ring sizer in the vise. That's it. From then on, you decap and recap with hand tools, load powder with a dipper, stuff wads in with a wooden dowel, load shot with a dipper and stuff the top wad in and seal with a few drops of water glass. The reason they were used on the frontier is that there was no need for heavy equipment like a press to reload them. There's enough springback on the brass that fired brass shotshells should go back into the chamber they were fired from without any problems. They are NOT sized every time they are fired. That will work harden the brass and it'll crack. NO PRESS NEEDED. There.
Stan
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I think it was pretty clear but I didn't get it all as I am a virgin AFA firearms go. As children, we just knew which end of the mortar shell not to touch.

I will remind customer of the authenticity feature of brass shells. No press needed. He wants to produce volumes and practice a lot. Time is limited.

Customer has eschewed authenticity of BP for smokeless for indoor practice and outdoor visual acuity. He claims some cowboys of the period had access to smokeless and could have been doing this. He experiences case expansion when loading smokeless. He's using the slowest burning grade available.
No custom die needed unless customer wants to ring-size a box of shells in three minutes, then, as you say, never again. We have determined ECM with metered current time product will make a controlled, reproducible result.
But how about this: a home blended smokeless powder with a burn modifier for shotgun use? No case expansion, clean weapon, faster target acquisition, and hours of indoor practice at pennies per load. There's some variability in a home blended powder.
Off to rec.pyrotechnics for comment. Anyone here have an idea on this?

Got it.
Yours,
Doug Goncz ( ftp://users.aol.com/DGoncz/ )
Read about my physics project at NVCC: http://groups.google.com/groups?q=dgoncz&scoring=d plus "bicycle", "fluorescent", "inverter", "flywheel", "ultracapacitor", etc. in the search box
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Is there some reason why the slowest burning smokeless powder is used?
Smokeless powder is fastest for pistol cartridges and slowest for rifle cartridges. Several shotgun powders can be loaded according to tested recipes into smaller pistol calibers such as .38 and .357 for target loads.
Is he using available load data and powder recommendation for target 12-ga. loads?
On 09 Jun 2004 13:02:40 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote:

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    Well ... that's a start, at least.

    Hmm ... a press without the crimp might work, just using the waterglass for sealing.

    Not at all sure about the wisdom of that, and this may expand the cases more than the black powder did/would.

    Not a good idea unless you *really* know what you are doing. See the last quote from their web page near the bottom of this article.

    Note that there are smokeless powders made to substitute for black powder in arms designed for black powder. The one of which I know is called Pyrodex. In particular, look at the following page:
        http://hodgdon.com/data/pyrodex/muzshot.php
which deals with Pyrodex in shotguns.
    Also, in terms of cleaning the weapon after firing, this is from another section of the pages on the product:
=====================================================================Pyrodex does produce a corrosive residue from combustion. Even though this fouling is softer than the fouling produced by blackpowder, firearms should be cleaned after each use. Hodgdon Powder Co. recommends the use of natural cleaning solvents including water. =====================================================================     Also, in the section on using Pyrodex in metallic cartridges:
    http://hodgdon.com/data/pyrodex/literature/metallic.php
=====================================================================Cartridge cases that have been fired using Pyrodex require special care. As soon as possible after firing, cases should be de-primed and immersed in white vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar will neutralize the corrosive residues remaining in the case. Care should be taken to limit the soaking time of the cases in the vinegar to 10 minutes. Soaking for a longer time may cause etching of the brass case resulting in shortened case life. Rinse cases with clear water, dry and polish in a tumbler with corn cob or walnut shell media. =====================================================================     In the main section on Pyrodex:
    http://www.hodgdon.com/data/pyrodex/index.php
=====================================================================NEVER mix any two powders regardless of type, brand or source. NEVER substitute any smokeless powder for Black Powder or for Pyrodex. =====================================================================

    Not sure that rec.pyrotechnics is the place to go for propellant in firearms. I would not go there for that.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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" . He experiences case expansion when

Yikes, If he's using the slowest burning grade of smokless, he'll blow his shotgun apart. Then he won't have to worry about case expansion anymore.
I would suggest you get a copy of the Lyman Shotshell Reloader guide and select a load from that book.
Ammunition reloading is not something to be done by guesswork. Listed loads have been pressure tested and are safe to use.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote in message
snippy-snip

The only smokeless loads I've seen were in that Handloader's Digest article from many years back. You don't load shotshells like any other ammunition, you have to find a receipe and stick with it, no substitutions. A lot of shotguns are made on the lower end of action strength, you can easily escalate pressures above what they'll take with simple substitution of components. Mixing of smokeless powders at home with no pressure equipment is a good way to lose some appendages. The smokeless powders of the late 1800s were bulk powders, volume for volume equivalent with black powder. There are none of that type being made today and using the current dense progressive-burning powders that way is a good way to blow up a gun. Blackpowder(or one of the replica blackpowders) is probably the safest propellant to use with brass shotshells in the absence of pressure-tested smokeless data.
Now there's a shop project for you, build a pressure gun for shotshells.
Stan
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com.bat.exe ( Doug Goncz ) wrote in message

I have a number of all-brass shotshells, my intro to reloading them was in the 2nd or 3rd edition of the Handloaders Digest. I don't have the stack handy here or I could tell you exactly which one. These shells don't need to be resized every time you shoot them, to do so will embrittle the brass and lead to cracks long before the working life would ordinarily be over. If the shells don't fit the gun's chambers(frequently the case with old used shells), you make up a ring sizer to work the bases down to where they fit in the gun, once, and you just keep reloading them. They have to be lubricated with sizing wax or you'll scratch them and they'll probably split along the scratches. The tooling in that article amounted to a ring sizer and pipe support, a decapping pin and base, a wad stuffer and a swedge to tighten primer pockets. Dimensions were given. They were easy to make up. I also picked up a loading funnel at a gun show that was made for the purpose.
Another item to make is a wad punch, brass shotshells require over-sized wads, 12 gauge brass cases take 11 gauge wads. These can be bought and I recommend that for the felt wads that sit between powder and shot, but perfectly fine over-powder and over-shot wads can be made at home. I took a fractional-sized General-brand arch punch and used a rubber-bound Cratex point in my Foredom to enlarge the hole to the proper size, round and round until it suited.
If the guy uses black powder, the cases must be thoroughly washed(boiled) out immediately after firing, not a week later, or they start to corrode, which weakens them. With proper care, they last indefinitely.
The medium for holding the top wad in place is sodium silicate, waterglass. I have no idea where to currently get the stuff, mine was bought off the shelf at an old-time drugstore, all dead and gone around here. It only takes a few drops to secure the top wad, so a jar last a long time. I've heard it's used for sealing concrete prior to painting, also once was used for gluing up cardboard boxes, but I've not seen it in any hardware or home improvement stores. It's not a hazardous material and there's no nefarious uses I know of, so it might be it's available by mailorder.
Stan
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