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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread is specific to reforming 6.8mm brass to 224 Valkyrie but the process and techniques should apply to other calibers as well. So, let's get started ….

I've always had a desire to reform 6.8mm S&B brass for use in my 224 Valkyrie. IMO, S&B is the best 6.8mm brass available for quality, longevity, and it has the most case capacity compared to the other 6.8mm SPC brass manufacturers. However, S&B does not make brass for the Valkyrie. Even though some had said reforming 6.8mm brass to 224 Valkyrie can be done, I haven't seen anyone explain any steps required to accomplish this efficiently. Then MBW36330 approached me stating that a depopulated Redding 24 Nosler die would work perfectly for forming 68 brass to 224V without over working it. He had an extra die and sent it to me to give it a go. This thread is to let you know that MBW36330 was right on the money, that the reforming can be done in one step, and the S&B reformed brass has a significant case capacity advantage compared to Valkyrie brass from Hornady and Federal.

You can see from the SAAMI drawings that the 224 Valkyrie case body closely matches the 24 Nosler. SAAMI drawings can be found at


Without the expander ball installed, the neck size coming out of the 24 Nosler die is within 0.001" of what I have my 224 Bushing die set for. I do not know if another brand of dies would size the neck diameter this well as I have found significant variation in 6.8mm dies with regard to the size they neck down before the expander ball is pulled through. The 24 Nosler die can also be set-up to push the shoulder back to fit your chamber. I gave +0.001" more than I typically use to give some tolerance for slight variation of the reformed brass. I started with multi-fired brass to learn with and set the shoulder back, then switched to once-fired brass, and then switched to new S&B brass.

63102
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
63103


Above you can see the results. A 6.8mm SPC case is on the far right, a Federal 224 Valkyrie case is on the left of the plywood platform. Left of the 6.8mm brass is a reformed case after one pass through the resizing die. You can noticed how far the shoulder is pushed back for the Valkyrie. The next two cases left have been trimmed with one being a dummy round.

Some things I learned.
  • I thought one would need a liberal application of Imperial Sizing Wax - You don't. Excess wax will cause small dimples to be left in the brass. You only need the normal wax used when resizing a fired case. I was surprised that not a lot of force was needed to reform the brass.
  • With the expander ball/inner components depopulated, there is no need to remove the primer from the new S&B brass which comes primed from the factory. The new brass can be reformed with the primer still installed.
  • The case mouth of the reformed brass has to be trimmed back about 0.085". You can see in the pictures that there is a slight bell-mouth at the top of the reformed brass. You can do an initial pre-trim but it didn't prevent the bell mouth effect. It worked best for me to trim after the 6.8mm brass was reformed.
  • Trimming is the longest part of this process taking about 30 seconds a case to trim with a hand-crank tool and deburr. I may look into a power trimmer.
  • Neck thickness variation did not measurably change as the result of reforming.
  • Chamber fit was checked with the reformed brass and a loaded dummy round with no issues.
  • Once-fired brass appeared to be viable to reform except that many shoulders came out with an imperfection/crease in them. I received some new S&B brass from CavityBackBullets and that made the process much smoother. Out of a dozen new cases, only two had a slight imperfection in the shoulder but minor compared to what I was seeing in the once fired. In the image below, a reformed once-fired case is on the left and a reformed case from new brass is on the right.
  • Annealing could benefit already fired brass but I have read if annealing makes the brass too soft it can deform the neck-shoulder interface causing it to fold in on itself.
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here is the case capacity comparison of new Hornady and Federal 224 Valkyrie to brass reformed from new S&B 6.8mm brass. The results were achieved by filling the cases with CFE 223 to the top of the case. I wasn't expecting this big a difference or for Hornady to be less than Federal.

Grains of CFE
Federal _32.6
Hornady 32.1
Starline_ 32.2
S&B ___ 33.6

Now it is time to head out to the range and give these cases a try. I also plan to use the Redding 24 Nosler die to reform 6.8mm brass to 5.56x42 which is a wildcat AR15Performance produced based off 6.8mm SPC.

Thanks again MBW36330!!!
 

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Wait a minute????? Valerie does not = Nosler 24.

It's more like taking 6.8 brass and using 24 Nosler dies to form TAC 6 which is more possible if the shoulder angle is correct. 24 Nosler has a shorter neck that TAC 6

You need another step to make Valkyrie brass or your .224 bullet will fall out of a .243 neck
 

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Wait a minute????? Valerie does not = Nosler 24.

It's more like taking 6.8 brass and using 24 Nosler dies to form TAC 6 which is more possible if the shoulder angle is correct. 24 Nosler has a shorter neck that TAC 6

You need another step to make Valkyrie brass or your .224 bullet will fall out of a .243 neck
In this instance the 24 Nosler die is only being used to form brass from 6.8 SPC to 224 Valkyrie and not for resizing 224 Valkyrie brass.
As for the Tac6, I have used the 24 Nosler die to form Tac6 cases. Problem is that it retains the case body dimensions of the 6.8, where as the Tac6 case body dimensions are that of the 30 Herrett, which is slightly larger just below the shoulder than the 68.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wait a minute????? Valerie does not = Nosler 24.
Ten Rounder, the 24 Nosler die makes 224 Valkyrie because the expander ball is removed. Quoting the first post -

"Without the expander ball installed, the neck size coming out of the 24 Nosler die is within 0.001" of what I have my 224 Bushing die set for. I do not know if another brand of dies would size the neck diameter this well as I have found significant variation in 6.8mm dies with regard to the size they neck down before the expander ball is pulled through."

Take your expander ball out of your 6.8 resizing die and see what the inside case neck diameter is - its not 6.8 mm. I've sampled 6.8mm resizing dies from Hornady, RCBS, and Redding with the expander ball removed. They all down-sized the necks to a different diameter that was much smaller than 0.277/6.8mm. In this situation, Redding's 24 Nosler resizing die made the neck diameter close enough to use with a .224 bullet with adequate neck tension. I no longer have any standard 6.8mm dies because they overwork the brass too much for me or I would provide the numbers again. Most would be surprised how undersize the standard die makes the neck diameter.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It should be mentioned, with the expander ball/inner components depopulated, there is no need to remove the primer from the new S&B brass which comes primed from the factory. The new brass can be reformed with the primer still installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took the reformed S&B brass out to the range today and fired it in the Valkyrie with some 75 FMJs just to see how it would do. I load and fired the five cases that had irregularities in the shoulder. Below is the before and after picture. The firing did not remove the irregularities in the shoulder of the brass. Time to trim the others and start load development with 90 A-tips.

63358
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The unfired S&B brass I have used so far is about 5 years old. Those are the ones above that had a few imperfections in the group of resized cases. I just got a new delivery of S&B and resized 10 of them. I am not sure if brass hardens with age but every piece of the resized newly delivered brass came out flawless.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This process has been progressing smoothly. I've resized over 100 cases and it is only two steps.

1. Size the unfired 6.8mm case in the 24 Nosler die with no expander ball installed set to push the shoulder back 0.0004" less than your chamber.
2. Trim to 1.590"to 1.600"
--------
3. load & go
4. Use your Valkyrie resizing die from now on.

After trimming about 20 cases to 1.595", I'm ready to get a power trimmer.

63450
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It was simple to set-up. It trims off the case shoulder not the base. The adaptor is specific to the cartridge so is a tight fit not like Lyman's where one adaptor is used for several cases. It was nothing to trim 100 cases - about 5 seconds a piece. Very smooth cut and only flared the inside of the case mouth. You can use a hand-drill. I installed on my drill press. I adapted the top of a sports drink bottle to deflect the brass shavings down and wore a glove to hold the case securely.

This tool is the "cat's meow!"

Thanks again MBW36330, you made the process easier than I would have believed!!! Next up, how to reform 6.8mm brass to the 5.56x42, a wildcat some call the "yote smoker"

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Xman, did you get the WFT or the WFT 2? The WFT 2 uses interchangeable chambers for most rounds. ie, I use the .30 Herrett chamber for my TAC 6 brass. Just had to get a .223 chamber for it and the cost was only $30-ish.
 

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Just an FYI about the Little Crow company. I bought one of the WFT 2 in .30 Herrett for my Tac 6 and the newly formed brass would not bottom out properly. I called and told them what I was doing and spoke to the owner. He had never heard of any wildcat calibers from a 6.8 case and was interested in seeing one. He asked me to send three formed cases and the insert and mark attention to him and he would fixe the problem. I got the insert back within one week and it has worked perfectly since. The amazing part was this was right through Christmas. I will do business with them again. Great people to work with.
 

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I just re-read my post and realized I had a brain cramp while writing. I DO NOT have a Tac 6, I have a Tac 30. I don't know if the .30 Herret trimmer would work for a Tac 6. Hope I didn't mislead anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't believe I have the one with an interchangeable chamber. I like setting and forgetting and not having to re-establish the trim length if I changed an insert.
 

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I just re-read my post and realized I had a brain cramp while writing. I DO NOT have a Tac 6, I have a Tac 30. I don't know if the .30 Herret trimmer would work for a Tac 6. Hope I didn't mislead anyone.
It's the same shoulder measurement, I use the 30 Harrett to trim Tac6 brass.
Xman, I'm not going to preach to you on anything reloading or machining related. If your going to use the WFT trimmer types the WFT 2 lets you change out chambers to trim different calibers. Knock one chamber out and pop a different one in. I'm not affiliated with the company just throwing it out there for your thoughts. And thank you so much for all the time and effort you've put in to ballistic testing, you've saved lots of people here lots of money by your work. Thanks!
 

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For quick set up or to check the settings prior to a trimming session I have a couple “reference” cases that I keep clearly marked with my reloading tools. All you have to do is loosen the set screw and slide the cutter down till it makes contact with the case mouth and tighten the screw and you are in business.
 
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