25-20 brass

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M3 Mitch posted this 28 December 2018

Given that 25-20 brass is out of print right now, and some 32-20 brass has too much rim thickness for some 25-20 guns, I notice that Midway has 218 Bee brass on clearance - would this be a better source - by necking up?

What do you guys think?

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BudHyett posted this 28 December 2018

Yes, lubricate liberally

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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RicinYakima posted this 28 December 2018

fa38, yep it says "unavailable" means try in four years.

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fa38 posted this 28 December 2018

oops

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beagle6 posted this 28 December 2018

I bought some from Buffalo Arms not too long ago ( formed from 32/20 brass ).

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rmrix posted this 28 December 2018

I did not know about the problem with some Starline 32-20 cases being too thick for some 25-20 WCF rifle chambers. Is this something you have had trouble with yourself?

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M3 Mitch posted this 28 December 2018

I did not know about the problem with some Starline 32-20 cases being too thick for some 25-20 WCF rifle chambers. Is this something you have had trouble with yourself?

 

No, I am just taking their word for it.  I guess I could try it before deciding it won't work.  I figured Starline would not say that unless they were getting comments/complaints from the field.  But I could be lucky and they may fit my 92.

If anyone has done both, would you rather make 25-20 from 218 Bee or 32-20?

Starline website says: *The SAAMI spec for .25-20 & .218 Bee is smaller at the base than the .32-20 which can cause clearance issues on some rifles..  So maybe I just answered my own question, the Bee brass is more likely to fit.

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rmrix posted this 28 December 2018

Hmmm...

"Smaller at the base"

I wonder if that is calling out the rim thickness, rim diameter, or the web ahead of the rim?

 

I know a lot of Starline cases have been converted, like tens of thousands have been made and are in use.

I have two 25-20 Winchesters, 1892's, real ones, and I got a box of 1000 from Starline to convert about six years ago. I have made about half of them so far. They work fine in my rifles if that helps.

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GWarden posted this 30 December 2018

I made 25-20 from Starline 32-20 for my Marlin 25-20 and it worked fine.

bob

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M3 Mitch posted this 31 December 2018

Thanks, guys, I may be obsessing over nothing here.  Can you generally just run a 32-20 into a regular 25-20 full length sizing die and that does the deed?

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 31 December 2018

Thanks, guys, I may be obsessing over nothing here.  Can you generally just run a 32-20 into a regular 25-20 full length sizing die and that does the deed?

 

YES.  Might have to anneal the brass first.  (First several will tell.)  Thin on a good lube, try a little at a time to get the feel of it.  Some folks will rotate between partial sizings.  If all goes well often it's just one pass and you're done.

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2coldhere posted this 31 December 2018

I found it best to use an intermediate die.  Used a .270 REN.  Only lost a couple out of a hundred.

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M3 Mitch posted this 01 January 2019

I found it best to use an intermediate die.  Used a .270 REN.  Only lost a couple out of a hundred.

Not familiar with .270 REN.  What is that?  I guess a guy could get some bushing type neck size dies. Or maybe a purpose-built intermediate die from the likes of Huntington Die Specialties?

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rmrix posted this 01 January 2019

I make mine with a "make-do" (very well too) two die form set.

I have the RCBS Cowboy die set.

Strangely enough the seater die becomes the first die to form with. Pull out the seater plug first.

Then the FL die is next.

 

With Starline brass 32-20 cases, annealing first will make the process much easier and the cases last.

I made a bunch without annealing first. It is harder. Plus you need to size part-way in and back out a few times so forming is slower - then they crack after a few firings. 

 

I torch anneal first and all that changes to an easy job and the cases last well. 

Hint - use as little lube as possible. I use STP and found it is about is good as anything.

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R. Dupraz posted this 01 January 2019

While I don't have a need for 25-20 cases, I can verify what rmrix wrote as I use the exact same method while reforming other cases with success and without any special forming dies. such as --

308 from 30-06

40-82 from 45x2.4 Sharps/45-90

30 Herrett from 30-30

 222 from 223 

To name a few. 

 

And use STP for all my case lubing chores.

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admiral posted this 02 January 2019

Strangely enough the seater die becomes the first die to form with. Pull out the seater plug first.

Using the seating die as a form die is an old trick in brass reforming. It works great. I think it slipped through the cracks because most people never form brass.

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M3 Mitch posted this 02 January 2019

Do you guys think forming "up" from 218 Bee or forming "down" from 32-20 would be easier?  Midway is having a closeout on 218 Bee brass, so that is another possibility.  The diameter change would be less from the 218 Bee, and the resulting neck would be thinner rather than thicker - which might be good or bad as far as I know.

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RicinYakima posted this 03 January 2019

Forming up is always better! Since the necks are on the thin side to begin with, stretching is easy. Down sizing always has the possibly of wrinkles, which is a killer. When 32/20 brass was not available in the 1980's, I did a 100 .218 Bees to 32 and never lost a case FWIW, Ric

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D.E.powell posted this 04 January 2019

Have a Marlin 1894CL  .25-20 and have made cases from Starline .32-20 new brass.... use Redding #83218 Form&trim -series C  .25-20 Winchester ... for intermediate die.  use case lube v. sparingly to avoid shoulder dents. This die was a better solution then the seating die; however that will work also.

The .25-20 is a super small game rifle with cast FN bullet.

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M3 Mitch posted this 04 January 2019

I think I'm going to take Ric's advice and use the .218 Bee cases.  Forming "up" being considered easier by people who have done both, plus the assurance that I won't have problems with the web area of 32-20 cases being too big to fit, have not tried this in my own M92, but, I may get another (vintage) 25-20 or two, and would like cases I can be reasonably confident will fit any rifle I may pick up in future. 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread, as usual I learned several things I didn't know before!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 05 January 2019

....  just a thought ... but you might consider running a 6mm/243 expander into the necks as a first step ....  

ken

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argie1891 posted this 16 January 2019

I bit the bullet and bought form dies, the brass loss trying to size 32/20 down without form dies was  very high. it was my intent to convert cases and sell them. but I had no idea how much to charge. the forming operation takes quite a bit of force. anyway I have form dies for 218 bee and 25/20 to convert from 32/20. fireforming is needed to make perfect cases but it really works without much brass loss.. I have seen posts where it is claimed that cases can be made without form dies but I sure cant do it.  joe

if you need me I will be at the range

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BudHyett posted this 16 January 2019

Resizing even new brass depends on many factors and I do not believe there is a one-approach-fits-all answer,. One item that i do which I have not seen mentioned is to deburr the case mouth, especially on new brass. There is an uneven surface on new brass that contributes to stress and initiate cracks. 

With a chamfer tool and a bench top drill press, the task is easy. 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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M3 Mitch posted this 17 January 2019

I bit the bullet and bought form dies, the brass loss trying to size 32/20 down without form dies was  very high. it was my intent to convert cases and sell them. but I had no idea how much to charge. the forming operation takes quite a bit of force. anyway I have form dies for 218 bee and 25/20 to convert from 32/20. fireforming is needed to make perfect cases but it really works without much brass loss.. I have seen posts where it is claimed that cases can be made without form dies but I sure cant do it.  joe

Please post up which forming dies, where did you buy them from?  About what did they cost?

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