Forming 20 Practical Brass?

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by IA_shooter, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. IA_shooter

    IA_shooter Silver $$ Contributor

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    Who's got a 20 Practical and how are you personally forming your brass? I just ordered a new 20 Practical upper and wanted to get a head start on forming brass for it. I think I want to form at least 250-300 pcs for it to start with while I have the time during lay-off from work.

    I went on the suggestions from a couple different sites/forums (especially this site) and just ordered a set of Redding type "S" dies with the competition seater die and ordered an extra .204 decapping rod, Redding Decapping Rod #1031, from Midway so I'm assuming I can just unscrew the decapping pin off of the .223 die and use it on this .204 decapping rod in it's place in the .223 die? I also got .233 and .225 titanium nitride bushings to be able to step down the brass in 2 stages for forming and wondered if someone out there is doing the exact same thing and wondered how it's turning out for you? Any helpful extra tips? According to what I've found on the site here I can just use the .223 competition seater die to seat with?

    Thanks.

    Trevor
     
  2. 5spd

    5spd

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    You have it down with those parts. Same as I had when I was doing my 20p.
    I just took it easy when I 1st formed them, after that its just FL & reload.
    I used the .223 seating die as well. The decapping rod need to be the type s style.
     
  3. rcw3

    rcw3 Site $$ Sponsor

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    Trevor - - I am pretty sure that's the wrong decapping rod you purchased. The one you bought (#1031) is for standard dies, not the one for Type S dies that is set up to hold the bushings down and in place.

    There a video on our web page here that shows how to make brass:
    http://www.6mmar.com/20_Practical.html

    Good luck!
     
  4. IA_shooter

    IA_shooter Silver $$ Contributor

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    I just watched that video the other day as a matter of fact. :)

    I'll do some double checking about the decapping rod. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  5. Biggdawg

    Biggdawg

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    your list looks good, here is my set up for making my 20 practical.

    I use my hornady lnl,

    station 1 blank,
    station 2 dillon rt 1200 trimmer with 223 trim die this die squeezes the neck a little tighter than a standard die
    station 3 blank
    station 4 redding bushing die with 225 bushing and set to bump the shoulder .003
     
  6. Smalltruck

    Smalltruck

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    What I've found on mine is that the Lapua brass is a little thicker in the neck and that can (not always) cause donuts. I'm using Lake city and IWI brass and it works like a champ. I'm using a 227 bushing with my brass for about a .002 neck tension. 225 felt a little tight, ideally a 226 might be better but I have to buy one first.

    I'm loading mine with 25.0 grns of H322 and 32 grain Hornady Vmaxs with CCI or Remington primers. Gets me about 3940fps at my elevation. This gun is so easy to shoot it's almost boring. I'm zero'd at 200 and hold just a touch high for 300 and the dial in the scope from there.

    The sierra 32 grain varmits work nice too. I'm a Nosler fan, but not so much on their 32 grain bullets. Haven't shot any Bergers yet. Thought about going to a 40 grain bullet but I have the .223 for heavier stuff.
     
  7. IA_shooter

    IA_shooter Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'll see how the neck tension feels using the .225 bushing and go from there. Since it's in an AR I just want to make sure the neck tension is sufficient. I'm using primarily R-P brass for now to form some 20 Prac brass but I'll probably be trying some LC real soon as well. I might try a .226 bushing I suppose. I have noticed that different brass seems to behave differently and I know actual neck thickness may come into play between different brands of brass so I'll see how things go. Thanks.
     
  8. searcher

    searcher Gold $$ Contributor

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    I had a lot of excess LC brass - as well as Remington and decided to use the Remington as I wanted to save the LC for shooting my heavy target bullets in .223. I neck turned my brass - just to clean up the necks as the Remington necks were very poor relative to what I am used to.

    The necks came out to .012" thick. I took off very little - just to clean up as I don't like weakening necks for use in an A/R. Using the .204 decap assembly for the 's" dies, I found that I was not getting enough tension to SECURELY hold the bullets in place as some were moving on me, causing otherwise unexplained fliers. I got a smaller bushing and found it helped very little - and upon measuring the inside openings of my necks sized with the smaller bushing - the measurement did not decrease a full .001" - I was just overworking the necks by making them a lot smaller - then dragging the expander ball back out. I chucked my decap assemply into my drill press and used a fine diamond file to take the expander ball outside diameter down to .200". Then polish thoroughly with a dremel tool or while in the drill. I polished with a dremel while spinning in the drill press. Now, using the .223" bushing, I get the perfect amount of tension to securely hold the bullets from slipping while loading - and do not overwork the brass. There is no more hard dragging with the expader ball as well.

    Bottom line - I don't think you will likely get the tension that is best with the .225" bushing and the Remington brass. If you have a lot of fliers - the bullets are moving on you. Can do a check by loading and unloading a dozen dummy rounds and remeasuring the O.A.L. before and after chambering and ejecting to be sure.

    Do be sure your decap assembly is the correct one before you are ready to start brass prep. I ordered the wrong one intially for the "S" die and caused me a delay and some extra dough for nothing. I had ordered Redding part # 31203 decap assembly and it is THE WRONG ONE.

    As for the loads shown on this website for the .204 Practical, BE SURE to back off the shown loads quite a bit to start as I do believe they were intended for bolt guns - not A/R's. I can assure you your Remingon brass won't tolerate more than a two to four firings at the velocities shown. Just something to be aware of. This cartridge operates at a higher chamber pressure than does a .223 and you will be trimming your brass after every firing at those pressures and if your headspace is not kept tight (you will want .002" to .003" shoulder bump) in your A/R.

    Since you are starting with a new cartridge, finding powder to play with can be a challenge, as you probably know. Here are a few loads that shoot under 1/3 M.O.A. in my Hart barreled A/R w/1-11" twist. I used Accurate LT32 powder which is not temp sensitive and is easy to find if you look around. These are also all using Remington brass and Federal A/R Match primers. Tula primers work as well and are also available if you look.

    32 grn. Nosler Lead-free Ballistic Tip, 23.6 grns. powder, 3,800 f.p.s.
    32 grn Hornady Z-Max (V-Max), 23.6 grns. powder, 3,825 f.p.s.
    39 grn. Sierra Blitz King B.T., 22.7 grns. powder, 3,528 f.p.s.

    These are loads that won't toast your barrel for many 1,000's and make your brass live like they were in a .223. Oh so accurate. I shot a hundred rounds this morning at 600 yards in preparation for a ground squirrel hunt and was putting ten shot groups into a base ball-sized target - using the 39 grain Sierra load above.

    You are going to love it once you get the loading dialed in and you can expect pretty good accuracy while fire-forming!
     
    squirrel man and AZHunter12 like this.
  9. IA_shooter

    IA_shooter Silver $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for all the info searcher. I'll keep an eye out for those issues you mentioned.
     
  10. searcher

    searcher Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you haven't already purchased a seater, the RCBS Competition Seater is fantastic for these tiny bullets as you just drop them into the window rather than trying to sit atop the case. Get the .223 seater and purchase a .20 cal seater plug and .20 caliber bullet guide. Makes loading easier and very accurate as well.
     
    squirrel man likes this.

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