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Beefy Reloading Press
Old 11-18-2015, 06:14 PM
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Default Beefy Reloading Press

The AR-10 chambered in 8mm-08 has a barrel on it that comes from a Swedish machine gun chambered in 8x63. Very close to an 8mm-06, but with a larger case head.

When I cut the chamber, I simply shortened it and ran a .308 Win reamer in it to push the shoulder forward a tiny bit. As a result, the fired cases come out of the chamber "large" in the head by about 0.019". That represents a pain in the butt to resize. It takes two strokes on an RCBS JR press, and I have to REALLY lean on the handle. So...

The bullet swaging press is large and beefy, however. Furthermore, the top stage of the press has an insert that holds a die that is threaded 7/8ths - 14 for reloading dies. The issue was the ram. The ram on the swaging press is at least 1.25" in diameter. Cutting to the chase, I needed to make a 'fitting' that I could get a reloading shell-holder into. The swaging press ram was threaded inside to 1in - 12. Therefore I needed only to make an insert with a 1 - 12 stub that would fit in the swaging press's ram, and bore and thread the insert to take a "standard" reloading ram that I thread to screw into the ram.

I didn't want to cannibalize an existing press to get a ram that would not be put back in the original press so I started looking on Ebay for "old" presses that I could cannibalize. While doing that I thought about Lee Precision and decided to give them a call and see if 1) they would sell me a replacement ram, and 2) how much. The answer to "1" was "Yes". The answer to "2" was $6. I love Lee Precision.

The ram showed up a few days later, (I think I paid $10 for shipping), and in pretty short order I was out in the shop "making". The Lee ram was 0.811 " in diameter, so I threaded its stub at 5/8ths - 20 (I think. It might have been 5/8ths -24). Grabbed a chunk of 1018 steel that was 2" round and long enough for a 1in -12 stub one inch long plus a collar that was about another .75" long for the reloading ram and started making chips. Here's what it looks like.

Screwed in:

Screwed out. You can see the swaging ram into which it is screwed.

With resizing die:

I'm pleased with the result, but... That's a big press, and it has a LONG arm on it. What that means is A LOT of leverage exerted on the WOODEN table. In short, the table can't handle the 'load'. Now I have to make a steel pedestal to mount the press on. That's not all that bad, since I really needed one anyway for the bullet swaging. This just forces my hand. HOWEVER...

The RIGHT solution would just have been to get the a reamer sized to my fired cases and make my own resizing die custom to this chamber. Resizing the cases back to nominal .308 Win dimensions (other than the neck) after every shot means this brass won't last too long. I'll get around to the proper resizing die... sometime. Probably when I get tired of throwing .308 Win brass away after 4 or 5 reloadings.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." ~ C.S. Lewis.

Do not confuse technical skill for wisdom and do not confuse strength for skill. Paul Skvorc
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