Making .30 Remington Brass from .30-30 cases - Updated

Posts about the Model 81~Woodsmaster~
Post Reply
DWalt
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:18 pm
Location: San Antonio & Brackettville TX

Making .30 Remington Brass from .30-30 cases - Updated

Post by DWalt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:50 pm

Yesterday afternoon, I got on my lathe and turned out 20 .30R cases starting with .30-30 brass. Including setup time and not taking any breaks, it took me a hair over two hours to complete them. The first three or four cases were slower due to the learning curve involved (especially for cutting of the extractor groove), but then things speeded up. As I reported earlier, the modified cases appear to chamber OK as I could close the bolt on them in the chamber and extract the cases. No reason that I can see that they will not fire satisfactorily, but it will be a few weeks before I can do this. Upon firing, the .30-30 shape will be fire-formed into the profile of the .30R chamber for successive loadings. Obviously both the .25R and the .32R cases could be made the same way, but you would need the corresponding size full length reloading dies. I believe that .30-30 reloading dies (which I already own) can be used satisfactorily to load the .30R, at least for neck sizing and bullet seating. We'll see. I think even .308 dies could be used for .30R neck sizing and bullet seating, as case lengths for both are nearly identical, but I have not tried that.

Steps involved in the case conversion include,first, trimming the rim diameter down to .420"-.422" This is easily done by chucking a .30-30 full-length resizing die (minus the decapping pin assembly) into the lathe headstock, and using it as a socket to hold the .30-30 cases. I used unsized but decapped fired brass, so I could firmly hold the cases by force into the sizing die using a small live center tailstock in the primer pocket. I did have to tap the cases out of the die after each step was finished by using a rod through the headstock. I used a carbide left side cutter to trim down the rim diameters. After all cases had their rims trimmed, they were next re-inserted into the die and held in place by the live center. Using a standard 60 degree carbide V-cutter, with the back cutting edge oriented parallel to the face of the casing base, cut into the casing above the rim, moving the cutter rearward to thin the front surface of the rim back to about half the thickness of the .30-30 rim. The final step is to bevel the rear edge of the new rim slightly using the V-cutter. I did all of these steps sequentially, but it would be possible to grind a tool steel cutter to the appropriate shape to simultaneously cut down the rim and cut the extractor groove. I don't think it is worth the time and effort to do that unless you want to make hundreds of cases. After all this, I full-length resized all of the modified cases using the .30-30 full length resizing die. Case length trimming was not necessary, as they all were measured to be between 2.03" and 2.04", while the specified case length for the .30R is 2.050". I will eventually load them using the .30-30 bullet seating die.

This may seem like a lot of work when you can buy .30R casings for 50 cents, but if you have access to .30-30 brass, a lathe, and a set of .30-30 (or, even better, .25R, .30R, or.32R) dies, you might want to give it a try just for the fun of it. It's always good to be as independent as possible from the vagaries of the marketplace.
_____________________

As a follow-up on the above, the .30-30 cases worked fine. In early January of 2011, I loaded the modified .30-30 cases previously described with Hornady 150 grain round nose bullets over 30.1 grains of Hercules HiVel #2 (an obsolete powder ballistically very similar to IMR 3031). Despite the differences in the case shoulder angle, the modified rounds chambered properly and fired and functioned normally in my Model 81. After firing, the cases assumed the .30 Remington shoulder profile, having been fire-formed in the chamber.

The fired cases chambered OK, indicating that all that was needed was neck sizing. I did this using a .30-30 full-length resizing die set slightly higher in the press so that the .30-30 shoulder shape would not be re-formed. When resizing a fired case neck, you can actually feel when the shoulder starts to resize. Just back out the die a little at a time and reset the die stop nut at that position. It won't be much, maybe a few hundredths of an inch. And of course, the .30-30 bullet seating/crimping die works just as well on the .30 Remington as it does for the .30-30. Therefore, there is no necessity to buy an expensive .30 Remington die set if you have a .30-30 set available, as I did. Of course you also would also need a .30 Rem shell holder, same size as .40 S&W or 7.62X39 Russian.
Last edited by DWalt on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Telson
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:05 pm

Re: Making .30 Remington Brass

Post by Telson » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:34 am

After lurking around on this web sight this post is what made me take the "plunge" Im picking up my first Model 81 in 30Rem and being unable to find not a single case locally I took, 150 30-30 once fired cases and started figuring out how to turn them down following some net reasearch. Having lost out on a lathe a while ago I am stuck with my mini drillpress and a harbor freight X-Y mill table. I made a mandrel from a clevis pin that measured exactly .308" and shortened it so when inserted will stand out of the case .250" and use it to chuck it in the chuck, it allows me to tighten then chuck with out crushing the case mouth, and if you snug it up but don't over tighten it the chuck will not leave any marks. I then placed a sharp pointed cutting bit in my mill table jaws and using my calibrated eye ball I figured out the cutting angle, I set the drill stops for 3/8" travel at the case head I can make several passes until I get to .424" or .423" and make my final clean up/polish pass with a small fine flat file to get .422". It has worked out well after only three trial and error cases. So far I've cut 20 good cases with no extractor cuts... That's where my next step will be, I figured that I would cut all the case heads first then the extractor cut, my question to you or any one else is, I know the case head should be .045" thick but how deep is the extractor cut? I will take pics of my set up would you mind sharing some of yours? Thanks Sam.

DWalt
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:18 pm
Location: San Antonio & Brackettville TX

Re: Making .30 Remington Brass

Post by DWalt » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:49 am

The first time I contemplated making .30R cases from .30-30, I tried sizing the .30-30 brass and seating a bullet before chucking the case neck in the lathe, and that worked OK. It's just a lot of extra work, as you have to both seat and pull the bullet as part of the process. Using a FL die body as a socket is much better, with no problems about distorting the case neck.

My SAAMI drawings give the diameter at the base of the extraction groove as 0.358"-0.020" (0.358" to 0.338") and the groove angle as 36 degrees - 6 degrees (30 to 36 degrees). Regarding cutting the extraction groove, I didn't make any depth measurements. I just took a factory .30R case (which I had) and eyeballed cutting the extractor groove so it looked much the same. After you do a few of them, it's pretty simple to get them all to look alike, and in fact it goes more quickly than trimming the rims. The SAAMI rim thickness should be .039"-.049", and I did measure that. One other thing I did was to remove the barrel from my M81, exposing the bolt face in the receiver, and trying every case to make sure it fit into the bolt face and under the extractor properly. Don't forget beveling the rim, it does help.

Lots of luck on cutting the extractor groove without a lathe. I can see it could be done, and I'm sure has been done, but it will probably be a frustrating procedure. The SAAMI dimensions have already been mentioned above.

One of my final work products is pictured. This case has not yet been fire-formed in the .30R chamber, and it still has the .30-30 shoulder angle.
Attachments
104_2330.JPG
104_2330.JPG (56.98 KiB) Viewed 15167 times

DWalt
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:18 pm
Location: San Antonio & Brackettville TX

Re: Making .30 Remington Brass

Post by DWalt » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:10 pm

A crude hand drawing of the .30 Rem (also .25 and ,32) cartridge base area with SAAMI drawing dimensions. I made a mistake on the drawing that I noticed later - Rim diameter should be 0.412" to 0.422", not 0.420" to 0.422"
Attachments
104_2342.JPG
104_2342.JPG (40.74 KiB) Viewed 15148 times

HeavyRevy
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:54 pm
Location: North Central Iowa

Re: Making .30 Remington Brass from .30-30 cases - Updated

Post by HeavyRevy » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:37 pm

First of all I would like to thank DWalt for posting this thread. I have been helping my father in law keeping his old Model 8 shooting by modifying cases thanks to DWalts post. The cases seem to be working fine and certainly not at .50+ cents a piece like some places are charging. I would also like to thank Sarge756 for bringing this post to my attention over on the 24 Hour campfire.

One thing that I have been doing different is: Instead of using a sizing die for holding the case while machining I have been using a 13/32" (.406") collet and lightly gripping them with that. I occasionally get a little run out but I dial them in by slightly tapping them with a wooden dowel. I realize not everyone has a collet set up but we happen to be blessed with that.

I set my compound at 35 degrees and with a .035" wide grooving bar on the back side of the case I first turn the rim diameter, then chamfer the front edge, then re-cut the extractor groove and when I get to the diameter I want for the bottom of the groove I leave it there and use my compound to cut the chamfer on the back side of the extractor groove. I then lightly touch the edges with a file to deburr and a quick bump or two with a piece of scotch brite to finish. Enclosed is the SAAMI drawing if anyone needs any more dimesions to keep the old girls making thunder.
Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest