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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned a .220 swift AI for a couple of years and my dies consist of a modified Forster seater die and a Lee swift collet die. This setup has worked great but the time has come to full length size my cases and I wondered what options are out there and what the best option would be? I'm considering getting a Newlon blank and sending it to my smith to have a full length bushing die made but that option is probably the most expensive. Any ideas? Thanks, John.
 

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Custom Dies

John,

Maybe you already know this, and I'm missing something here, but can't you have Wilson or Redding or ??? custom make dies for you. I think you can send them several empty cases that have been fired in your gun and they can make customized the dies to your heart's content including bushings, etc.

I think you can even get them made in Carbide, if you wish.
 

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Redding and RCBS will both make custom dies for you; they aren't cheap either, but... what are you going to do?
 

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... but the time has come to full length size my cases...
It might be a more effective path to just start a new batch of cases. Custom dies will be very expensive, and may not solve the problem.
 

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It might be a more effective path to just start a new batch of cases..
Custom dies will be very expensive, and may not solve the problem.
Catshooter has a point. It just looks like to me you have a manajorie of equipment that may not be doing the trick. Also, I don't know how you are forming your brass. Can you fireform these from the factory ammo? If so, that may be a short term solution, but it sounds like the dies you have are not cutting the mustard and I, for one hate it when I get out somewhere and have chambering problems because of little 70 degree temperature drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys for the help. I may be missing something here but I don't know why a properly made FL sizer would'nt solve the problem(of properly resizing cases that have been fired several times)? Actually, I don't think I have a problem, just cases that have been necked sized several times and now need to be full lengthed sized. I give all of my cases the full prepped treatment and I'm not too crazy about pitching them out and starting again, especially since the primer pockets are still tight. I have heard that custom dies made by RCBS or Redding are expensive as some of you have alluded but how expensive, I don't know. The last I checked, I believe a Newlon blank cost about $50 and the smith would charge around $35 to ream it. I think now that is probably the best option but could still go over $100 when you factor in buying the bushings plus shipping. Oh well, nobody ever said this hobby is cheap. Thanks again, John.
 

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How About A Body Die

Maybe a Redding Body Die would do the trick. Measure your cases
and see what you need to acomplish and call Redding nad ask them
about the different dimensions for their body dies.
 

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Custom die issues, as I see it anyway.

Thanks guys for the help. I may be missing something here but I don't know why a properly made FL sizer would'nt solve the problem(of properly resizing cases that have been fired several times)? Actually, I don't think I have a problem, just cases that have been necked sized several times and now need to be full lengthed sized.
I give all of my cases the full prepped treatment and I'm not too crazy about pitching them out and starting again, especially since the primer pockets are still tight.
Maybe someone wants to pipe up here, but the issue as I see it is that after cases have been fired a few times and the brass work hardened, you may have some splitting when you begin to work them in a FL die or fire them again because the brass gets brittle. It happens, but is probably only a minor problem since the results will likely be obvious and the brass then discarded. New cases, fireformed only one time will likely provide the best representation of the chamber on the other hand in order to match what you have in your rifle, unless you have it slugged with cerrosafe.


I have heard that custom dies made by RCBS or Redding are expensive as some of you have alluded but how expensive, I don't know. The last I checked, I believe a Newlon blank cost about $50 and the smith would charge around $35 to ream it(Which means the smith will be spending less than an hour of labor to cut and polish the die you will be using to size your brass. That concerns me a little since the chamber is a wildcat. See below.). I think now that is probably the best option but could still go over $100 when you factor in buying the bushings plus shipping. Oh well, nobody ever said this hobby is cheap. Thanks again, John.
My concern here is that you have a custom chamber. Your smith may be good at grinding reamers or otherwise drilling and cleaning up the dies to make them work, I don't know. But I am of the opinion that most smiths are better at guns and cutting chambers with factory supplied reamers. Not as many can grind their own reamers that need to be slightly smaller than the chamber to neatly resize the brass. It would be very expensive to order a custom reamer just to cut the dies to accomplish that. The die suppliers, on the other hand have the CNC equipment to accomplish this work to the accuracy needed to match your custom chamber since they do this everyday. However, I have had to polish my own dies that I got from RCBS because of a poor finishing job as well though. So, I guess you are rolling the dice on quality regardless.

You can find the cost of custom dies on the websites for the major manufacturers, if you are so inclined.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don and Steve, thanks and good info. I originally wanted to use a Redding body die for this project but the smith said they were made of hardened steel and he could not ream it out. Which brings up Steve's excellent points. I would think like you that a reamer for a sizer die would have to be slightly undersized than the finish chamber reamer in order to properly size the case down. As Steve pointed out, I also would think that die makers would more likely have the correct reamer than a gunsmith. Looks more and more like a custom die will be in the works. Thanks again, John.
 

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I have and use both the RCBS body die and a Reddng FL die. I am going to send them into Jim Cartenson and have a bushing fit to them to use like the S dies. A RCBS FL die will work and think I remember seeing one somewhere. Might call here to see if he has a FL sizer die. http://www.gunstop.com/supplies.asp?cat_id=5&mfr_id=4 Also if worst comes to worst, let me know what you want for your brass.

Mike
 

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Here's Something Else We Have All Overloked

I have owned a .220 swift AI for a couple of years and my dies consist of a modified Forster seater die and a Lee swift collet die. This setup has worked great but the time has come to full length size my cases and I wondered what options are out there and what the best option would be? I'm considering getting a Newlon blank and sending it to my smith to have a full length bushing die made but that option is probably the most expensive. Any ideas? Thanks, John.
If your brass has been fired several rounds and you are apparently getting
sticky extractions, then you for sure need to full length resize. Also, after
several firing (especially in a hot round like the .220 Swift) your brass may
need to be annealed. After several firings brass can become work hardened.
I normally try to anneal my brass after it has been fired 4 or 5 times in the
hotter wildcat rounds. And, I think the 220 Swift AI would certainly fall in
that category. Even though the AI Cartridge normally helps prevent brass
from "growing", I would check the OAL carefully. YOur brass may well need
to be trimmed in length also. Good luck..
 

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Don and Steve, thanks and good info. I originally wanted to use a Redding body die for this project but the smith said they were made of hardened steel and he could not ream it out. Which brings up Steve's excellent points. I would think like you that a reamer for a sizer die would have to be slightly undersized than the finish chamber reamer in order to properly size the case down. As Steve pointed out, I also would think that die makers would more likely have the correct reamer than a gunsmith. Looks more and more like a custom die will be in the works. Thanks again, John.
I did forget to mention that the dies coming back from the smith may not be heat treated, which I would think you would want.

That would add another cost as well.

Think I might be beating a dead horse now though.
 

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Wildcats and dies.

I just built a 220 Swift AI and I just got FL & Seater die from Hunnington in RCBS for $130.00.
My only comment on this is being sure that the chamber and dies match. Factory chambers for standard cases are not all equal. Wildcat chambers, in my opinion can be even more "wild". I guess in spending that kind of money for a wildcat rifle and paying a premium for dies, at least to me, paying just a little extra to have matching dies to custom make ammo that matches the chamber is worth pinching some pennies.
 

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Another option is to send some cases to CH4D and let them make you a die.

Mike
 

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keep it simple and just buy a Redding F/L S die. Just remove the bushing if you don't want to size the neck. A whole lot cheaper than anything custom made and it will work.
Redding does NOT make dies for the Ackley Swift.

If I had a .220 AI Swift, and I was looking at a "Buck, fifty +" for dies, I would start a new batch of brass for $25.
 

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Perhaps the 220 Swift IMP 40 degree will work. But before I shell out that kind of dough for dies, I think I would send them some spent cases to make sure that the dies match the chamber.

Is that too K.I.S.S. for anyone?
 
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