Whidden 300 Norma Improved Hydrulic-Form Die *VIDEOS ADDED*

Discussion in 'Big Stuff--7mm, 30 Cal, .338+' started by Ledd Slinger, May 30, 2019.

  1. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    Recently received my new custom hydraulic form die from Whidden for my 300 Norma Mag Improved and thought I'd post my results.

    This is my first form die and it seems to work pretty well. My Improved version of the 300 Norma utilizes a 35 degree shoulder and only has .018" total body taper from the case .200" line to the shoulder.

    The die does not produce nice sharp shoulder angles like a case fired in the rifle will, but it does a pretty good job of forming the 35 degree shoulder. However, my main reason in wanting the forming die was to get the body taper out of the virgin 300 NM cases prior to firing. A standard 300 Norma case has about .010" less diameter at the shoulder than my Improved version (.560" vs. .570"). Without removing the body taper on a case prior to firing, the round cannot sit centered in the chamber very well when testing 'jump' seating depths. In regards to body taper, the hydro die produces brass with a shoulder diameter that is nearly identical to a fired case so it is doing exactly what I want. And of course the internal case capacity after hydro-forming is also much closer to a fired case. Hopefully this will allow me to trust the accuracy and speed results on unifired cases with a little more confidence.

    The instructions say to give the forming die "2-3 light to medium strength strikes" with a hammer. This does not work very well on the big Norma case. Having only tried water, I found that I have to use a good size framing hammer and 5-6 fairly stout strikes to move all the brass where it needs to be.

    Pictures of results below.

    LEFT: Virgin 300 Norma Mag case
    MIDDLE: 300 NMI Hydro-formed case
    RIGHT: 300 NMI fired case

    20190530_143613.jpg


    Shoulder diameters of all 3 cases. The hydroformed case almost matches the exact diameter of a fire-formed case. Order of cases is the same as above.

    Virgin brass
    20190530_220231.jpg

    Hydro-formed brass
    20190530_220257.jpg

    Fire-formed brass
    20190530_220310.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  2. tonyb

    tonyb Silver $$ Contributor

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    Great info, thanks for sharing. Be sure to post future results with your build please.

    Tony.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
  3. Rushty

    Rushty Silver $$ Contributor

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    Just curious how the rubber seals around the plunger held up and the top of the plunger that’s struck with the hammer?
     
  4. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    Good, but I've only done a few cases so far to test it out. No water escapes when striking it. When I lower the press ram, I wrap a rag around the case as it comes out to catch the little bit of water that was above the case.

    I'm sure Whidden would replace the seals if I ever have an issue with leaks. Their customer service is really good.
     
  5. Rushty

    Rushty Silver $$ Contributor

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    Ok...a few cases won’t wear on them much, curious to hear your thoughts after 100-200 or so..
     
  6. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sure thing. I have exactly 200 pieces of Lapua brass to form. I'll give more feedback I'm done.
     
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  7. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I put together a little video for you folks.

    Been messing around with the Whidden hydro form die more and came up with some tips and tricks that might help folks when using the die. Hope you can get some useful info from it since the video on the Whidden website is pretty basic.

     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  8. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I will add that the new Lapua cases end up with much nicer shoulders in the form die than the Peterson brass does.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  9. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    So I found some issues with the setup on the Whidden Hydraulic Form die. DO NOT set it up as per the recommendation in the video on Whidden's website unless you like having very excessive headspace. Below is another video I produced explaining why the Whidden setup recommendation is incorrect and how to properly set the die up.

     
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  10. Jason_A

    Jason_A

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    Awesome, thanks.
     

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