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Thread: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

  1. #1
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    Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    I just made up a batch of .33 WCF brass from .45-70 cases --- .33 and .45-70 are in the same case "Family", having the same base and same case length. (.45-70 brass is relatively cheap and readily available - .33 WCF brass is neither!) Until recently, shooters had to perform this process - or shoot original (valuable!) cartridges. The ammo makers discontinued .33WCF back in the 1930s! Nowadays, Bertram and Jamison make fresh brass, but I've not been real happy with either - primer pockets seem to get loose too quickly. BTW, .33WCF is not a black powder cartridge, but it is obsolete and is from the latter part of the BP era.

    Besides a reloading press, this is the equipment necessary for case-forming and loading for this cartridge - regular loading dies + specialty case-forming dies to swage .45-70 cases to .33 WCF.


    Begin with a fresh .45-70 case:


    Wax the full length of the case with a good lube - my favorites are Hornady/Pacific Unique Case lube and Imperial Sizing Wax:
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  2. #2
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    Forming the Case

    Some cartridges require 2 forming stages to keep from collapsing and ruining brass when trying to swage in one step - and the .33WCF is one of those. This intermediate step is called the "Form" stage - and coincidentally, this "Form" step creates a .38-56WCF case, which is another member of the same case "family" as .33WCF and .45-70. Note that the brass sticks out a bit from this die - nothing is done with the excess at this time.


    This intermediate case is then run all the way up into the "Trim" die


    Here, the excess length is filed away. The die is hardened so a file does no damage! (BTW, older RCBS dies are dated! You can see that I ordered these back in 1977.)


    The case mouth is now deburred and chamfered:


    The 3 cases: .45-70 (Left), .38-56 WCF (Center), .33 WCF (Right)
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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    VERY NEAT. I have a couple of .33's that I haven't shot in quite a while ... I stopped reloading for this round when the bullets dried up.

    Now if there were a good source for 200 Grn. Soft Points...
    ".... Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing...."

  4. #4
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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    Before using the regular set of reloading dies, the formed cases should be re-annealed at the case neck and mouth to prevent premature splits. Some folks like to stand cases in a 1" tray of water to protect the bases from overheating - and then tip the brass into the water one-by-one. I prefer to hold the case at the base - and then drop it into the water quench when it becomes too hot to hold. Brass distributes heat efficiently, so that happens pretty fast!


    Nearly everything you ever wanted to know about annealing:
    http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

    Here is another photo of the 3 stages and a couple of handloads using the "new" brass - a cast bullet load and the classic Hornady 200gr. JFP;
    grasshopper likes this.

  5. #5
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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    I really enjoy reading these threads. It's fun to see these older obsoleted calibers being put back to good use.

    For anyone interested...KTP currently has a reforming set for a .22 Jet. Think the .357 reforming and the .22 Jet reloading die sets are both there...

    giz

  6. #6
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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebago Son
    .....I stopped reloading for this round when the bullets dried up.

    Now if there were a good source for 200 Grn. Soft Points...
    Same here, Drew! .....Then I decided to get a bullet mould for it. It shoots so well with my 200gr. cast bullets, last year, I decided to buy one of the new Lyman receiver sights made by Providence Tool. It covered up the ugly holes on the left side of the receiver, and now I shoot it quite often!

    All our old .33s might get a rejuvenation when we are able to buy these new Hornady 200gr. .338" Leverevolution FTX bullets - those spitzers with the soft plastic tips:
    http://www.hornady.com/store/338-Marlin ... evolution/

    My lightweight .33 has been a reliable game-getter, but it's somewhat punishing to shoot with full loads. Cast bullet shooting is really pleasant!

    xtm

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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    Outstanding post!
    This is better than most of the magazine articles I have read lately!

  8. #8
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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    Giz, you need to post the .22 Jet forming die alert somewhere the Jet shooters around here can find it!

    I'd buy 'em if I thought a Jet was in my future! Jet brass doesn't come around very often - cheap Jet brass never shows up...

    xtm

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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    XTM,

    Have you ever tried Hawk Bullets? http://www.hawkbullets.com/maintest.htm

    I've heard of them, but never used their products.

    They list several JSP's for the .33 WCF.

    .33 Winchester (.338)

    Flat Points
    180 grains x .030 FP.........$39.00
    200 grains x .030 FP.........$40.00
    215 grains x .030 FP.........$41.50 c3 (Custom Order, 3 boxes minimum)

    Sooooo.... You need some Jet Ammo? I've got a few boxes of Factory Stuff here that I'll probably never use..... and I don't have any fresh .33 Cases.... is there a swap in our future?

    Drew
    ".... Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing...."

  10. #10
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    Re: Forming Brass for .33 WCF

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebago Son
    XTM,

    Sooooo.... You need some Jet Ammo? I've got a few boxes of Factory Stuff here that I'll probably never use..... and I don't have any fresh .33 Cases.... is there a swap in our future?

    Drew
    Don't need any Jet stuff, but sent you a PM.

    xtm


 

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