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Anyone made neck bushings?

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  • Anyone made neck bushings?

    Hey guys, I want to pick your brains.

    About a month ago I stumbled across an idea that someone on the internet had, and I thought I would pick it up and run with it. I seen that some people took a .357 Maximum case and necked it down to a 221 fireball. Then they reamed the barrel with a 221 fireball reamer and turned the relief for the rim. This would allow them to use 221 fireball dies, and yet have a rimmed case. I want to do that

    I ordered a 221 Fireball reamer from Brownells that should be arriving next week. I am all set…. except for the brass.

    So my question is… has anyone made dies and/or bushings to step down the neck. I am thinking of making two or three bushings to fit in a die that would step down the neck incrementally... (maybe .030 or .040) . I haven’t decided on the best design for these. Has anyone made something to neck brass? And if so would they mind posting a picture?

  • #2
    Not sure about the bushings but would recommend you anneal your brass between each sizing step.

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    • #3
      I've done stepped and tapered bushings to go from one size to another in multiple steps. Depending on how much you are sizing, annealing is a good idea between big steps. No rocket science to it. I turn the bushing to outside size and then bore or ream to rough size a couple though over. Last step is to lap/hone to a fine finish. The diameter of the intermediate steps isn't critical but you want to get that last one accurate and test on cases as you got to determine best diameter. I made a couple of universal bushing dies and can do multiple steps in reasonable increments running them through my Hornady progressive one time. I feel I end up with a little straighter case neck.
      A friend of mine did a similar wildcat using 357 Max brass in a Martini action. Forming large amounts of brass reduced the fun factor but it was a successful endeavor.

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      • #4
        Thank, guys. Yes, I plan on annealing the brass. I am ½ way finished building an annealer similar to one that I seen on YouTube. (DC motor & controller and the bottom 2” portion of a cooking pot mounted vertically)

        Yeah gzig5, I am wondering which is the best way to fit them in a die. I have an old die 357 sizing die, I guess I could bore the top out to fit the bushing and thread for a cap. That way the body of the brass would be supported up to where the bushing starts the shoulder angle. I also read that the bushings should be floating.

        Thanks guys!

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        • #5
          Many resizing dies use bushings to size the neck portion of a rifle case, instead of sizing it too much then pull that dreaded expander button back through. The bushings are available in many diameters in .001" increments. They are hard too. These bushings are .500" diameter and .375" high. To size down brass, you could make your own bushings, make a generous smooth taper to lead the brass in, and adjust the die in the press for how far to size. I would think it would need at least 3 steps, maybe more. That's a long way from .357 to .224. It'll take a lot of trial and error, but the idea is work it down so it will chamber, then fireform it to fit the chamber.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Darrp View Post
            Yeah gzig5, I am wondering which is the best way to fit them in a die. I have an old die 357 sizing die, I guess I could bore the top out to fit the bushing and thread for a cap. That way the body of the brass would be supported up to where the bushing starts the shoulder angle. I also read that the bushings should be floating.

            An old die is going to be pretty hard on the surface and may be difficult to cut/thread. I just duplicated the dimensions of a Redding bushing die and used a hunk of cold rolled steel. Some guys use all thread but I've got plenty of bar stock and the threading ops are good practice. The bushing floats radially and axially a bit so it can self center on the neck. Just put a sufficient taper on the bushing entrance. I made my bushings to standard size so I can use commercial ones if I happen to have them. I don't think that it matters if the body is supported at all and it may actually cause problems and complicate the design. The shell holder should hold the case centered enough to work, and I use mine on a progressive with no issues.


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            • #7
              Thanks guys,

              Rws, I actually got a couple old Lee dies from a friend that had some type of bushing in it (not for sizing- maybe crimping?), so I copied that bushing on the outside and then drilled it and tapered the end. I seen the case taper for the 221 FB was 23* so I set the compound to 23* using the 2 dial indicator method. I wish I would have read your replies sooner and not wasted my time on the precise angle. Then I polished the heck out of it.

              Gzig5, I guess I was over thinking the set up, when I found the old Lee dies it changed my plan completely.

              I made 4 so far and I want to make another 2… when I get a chance.

              Thanks again!

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              • #8
                There used to be a fellow that made case forming dies/bushings, but that no longer exists. Here at this machining forum, people do their own work. Keep going Darrp, you're on the right track.

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                • #9
                  Darrp: Years ago, I built a wildcat caliber rifle on a Mauser action in 22-308. To obtain brass for this, I only had to resize 243 brass down to a 22 caliber. I made my own resizing die. I made it out of 4140 hardened. This consisted of only a hole in a block with a taper leading into the neck sized hole. The angle of the shoulder was the same as the desired angle on the neck. I made sure to polish the shoulder going into the neck hole and the neck hole itself to a mirror like finish while still keeping the desired size. Sounds complicated, but really simple. Like someone already mentioned, be sure to anneal after each resize. Good luck.
                  Sarge41
                  Last edited by sarge41; 12-18-2021, 10:01 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys. rws, thanks for the encouragement. Sarge, that would be quite a burner. 22-250 on steroids.

                    I think I got it now. I wrecked some until I realized that I was sizing them too deep. I backed it off by 1/2 a turn and it started working out. I still have some tweaking to do.

                    The left is the parent case a 357 Max .
                    Second and third from the left are the two new cases (called 221 Max for lack of a better name)
                    Fourth from the left is the 221 Fireball
                    Right is a 223 Rem for size comparison.
                    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                    Last edited by Darrp; 12-20-2021, 04:26 PM.

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                    • #11
                      So a 357 Magnum case would be too short? Looks like it will fireform great. I know of a guy that uses 357 Mag cases, runs them in a die to size them down to 30 caliber, shoots cast bullets subsonic with a suppresser.

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                      • #12
                        Well I tried the 357 mag in a 221 Fireball die just to see if the necking process would work, and it worked but the neck was too short to hold a bullet. Then when I bought the 357 max brass and tried it in just the Fireball die and it just crushed the case. That's when I decided to make the bushings. Initially I had no idea whether to make a whole die with an integral bushing or a bushing insert, then I asked you guys.
                        The benefit to using the 357 max cases is that I don't need special dies, I can use the 221 fireball dies with a different shell holder.

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                        • #13
                          You might consider using a 30 luger resize die as an intermediate step down die. I was on the way to a .256 Win mag project after finishing a .22 Bee carbine barrel for my TCC. Unfortunately Eagle View Arms stopped making the lug kits and I stopped that build. :<(
                          paul
                          ARS W9PCS

                          Esto Vigilans

                          Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                          but you may have to

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                          • #14
                            Darrp quote: " Sarge, that would be quite a burner. 22-250 on steroids. "

                            Yeah, according to the barrel builder, (Harry McGowen), it has the same feet-per-second as a 220 Swift. Sounds like dynamite going off. I never had the opportunity to chronograph it.

                            Sarge41

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rws View Post
                              There used to be a fellow that made case forming dies/bushings, but that no longer exists. Here at this machining forum, people do their own work. Keep going Darrp, you're on the right track.
                              I think the guys name was John Bunch and maybe Skip Otto. The last guy that was selling bushing forming dies was Butch at Shade Tree engineering.
                              you might give Butch a call.

                              Hal

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