forming 222rem from 223 brass


April 8, 2008, 02:21 AM
has anyone tried to make 222 brass from 223 brass

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April 8, 2008, 05:04 AM
it can be done but unless you are very bored why? the 222 is still loaded by the ammo companies and brass is readily available

April 8, 2008, 12:57 PM
I am doing so because it easy to pick up ones fired S&B, Lapua and Sako cases from shooting places here in Finland. Thre are no .222Rem cases. I use only LEEīs "thoothpaste". Donīt put it to neck or sholder. ;)

April 8, 2008, 01:22 PM
Should just be a matter of running it in a .222 sizing die and trimming it afterward.

If you have .222 dies, why don't you try it?
Can't possibly hurt anything except ruin a case if it doesn't work.


April 8, 2008, 02:12 PM
Lucky you... in france you dont find any range brass other than .22lr or cases that have split

April 8, 2008, 06:13 PM
I think that running a 223 case into a 222 die might not work very well. I would suggest that you see if rcbs has a form and trim die

Curt Blunt
April 8, 2008, 09:23 PM
Years ago I tried it. I had to turn a bit off the bottom of the FL die with a lathe to get the cases short enough to chamber. The main impediment is over-lubing the shoulder area which can result in dents. Also I would get creases or folds with some cases unless I sized in two steps. I haven't really loaded for the deuce in years but if you have more time and .223's than bucks it can be done.

You should probably have something like a Rockchucker to exert maximum leverage.

Hope this help

April 8, 2008, 11:36 PM
I’d tell you how to do it but you live too close to me and I reload .223. Talk about spiting nickels. Can you imagine loading up a few hundred .222 length .223’s? I’ve got to go sit down…

Jim M
April 8, 2008, 11:57 PM
whistler, yes, it can be done.

First, I have to agree with steveno that the first question is, WHY? .222 brass is still available. It just isn't worth it for the usual .222 cases for the typical shooter. Some people may be in different circumstances, and want to do it.

In my case, I set out to form cases for two wildcats, the .17 Mach IV (a .221 Fireball case necked down to .17), and the .17/.222 (a .222 necked down to .17). There is a lot of work involved in forming these cases, and I decided to just start from the .223, since I had a lot of that brass already.

You are going to be working the brass a fair amount, so I recommend annealing the brass before you start.

The first step in forming each of the .17 wildcats was to push the shoulders back and shorten the .223 brass to the proper length for the .221 and .222, respectively.

I use a Redding Forming Die Set, which consists of two dies and an extended shell holder. I use just one die set to form both the .221 and .222, and just space the sizing die up by the difference in height to the shoulder, 0.194" or so as I recall. The two dies are a "Form #1" die and a "Trim" die. The #1 die pushes back the shoulder about half the diameter amount needed (and leaves a really strange looking case!), and the second, or Trim die, pushes the shoulder down the rest of the diameter. The Trim die can also be used to file trim the cases to proper length, but I use a Forster case trimmer for that step. I like that better than the file.

The next step is to full length size the cases in a .222 die.

With my cases (once fired military .223), the necks were too thick for proper .222 loads, so I had to thin the necks. I use the Forster outside neck turning tool for that.

By now, you should have the idea that this is a lot of work. It is! It certainly isn't worth it unless you have a special need for forming the brass.

By the way, from the newly formed and neck thinned .221 or .222 brass, forming the .17 wildcats was a simple matter of one pass through the final sizing dies. I didn't even have to thin the case necks again after that pass.

I hope this information helps.

Jim M.

April 9, 2008, 02:28 PM
Trimming cases after sitzing, I use RCBS fileing die, hack shaw and deburring tool.

January 13, 2009, 10:50 PM
i make 221 fireball cases all the time. i have all those expensive 221 fireball case forming dies (over $300 bucks for rcbs) but found after the fact i didnt need them. you can run 222 or 23 brass right thru a $30 221 fireball RCBS trim die and get the same exact thing. i run them thru, then pull them out, hit them with the air cutter just above the 221s neck length, throw them back in the trim die, file them down to spec, then run a .224 neck reamer in them to ream the necks to the proper size, run them thru a 221 fireball F/L sizer die, and there you go.

when i first started forming them up, i called rcbs because i was getting crappy lube dents and creases and one of the guys there told me (like i said, after i bought the form die set) to throw my cases in the polisher, polish them up, and then try running the brass thru the trim die WITHOUT lubing the cases and to call him back. i did and it worked absolutely perfectly. no dents, creases,nothing but a perfectly formed case. i called him back and he told me that he forms cases like that all the time. he said that with the case clean, that the brass creates just enough heat when you run it thru to form the case, but yet not enough to STICK the case in the die. ive made over 2500 cases for 221 out of 222 and 23 for myself and for other people, and have yet to have one single case ( since i started forming them this way) get a single dent or crease. i did have one odd-ball 5.56 military case split a neck, but hey, it was junk.

ive used the same method to make 221 case out of 222,222 mag,223 and 204 ruger ( ive even for chits and grins made 223 out of 204 ruger cases)and have yet to have a single problem. you can lube the cases up if you want, but before doing it, try forming a couple like i said. i use a rock chucker supreme, and i give the handle a nice even pressure, and go at a medium speed. on thicker cases, i also use the start/stop/start method meaning form it a bit, back it out, run it in a little more, back it out, remember that reaming the necks is really important on all brass you make. to tight of a bullet can create a seriously dangerous pressure problem.


January 13, 2009, 11:06 PM
how do you make 204 from 223? i got a whopping 14 rds of brass to reload my 204 with and have a bunch of 223... i guess ill put 20-40bucks unless i can use the 223 somehow:rolleyes:

January 13, 2009, 11:34 PM
If I'm not mistaken the 204 parent case is the 222 magnum which is longer than the 223. I think that it's too much to stretch. Unfortunately, Ammoguide is too clumsy to quickly get a comparison. If I knew of a better site I would subscribe to it.

January 14, 2009, 10:44 PM
222 mag is the parent case. but i was still unsure if 222 mag was based off 223?

January 14, 2009, 10:55 PM
222 Remington was introduced in 1950.
222 Rem Magnum was introduced in 1958.
223 Remington was introduced in 1964.

January 14, 2009, 11:04 PM
oh...well..guess ill be ordering some 204 brass soon then!

January 14, 2009, 11:07 PM
The 222 was developed around 1950 and the 223 not until the mid '60's - not the other way around. I just read that The 204 has the same case head and overall length as the 222 Remington Magnum which came along just after the 222. When the 5.56 was adopted by the military it knocked the 222 and 222 mag from their top positions. None of them are dogs.

January 16, 2009, 01:53 PM
i have made 222 from 223 before with no problem. dont go spend a bunch of money buying a bunch of case forming crap. if you have a set of 222 dies, take the decapper rod out of the 222 sizing die,lightly lube the case and run it thru. trim it back to specs, deburr and chamfer, put the deapping pin back in and run them thru the full length sizing die,load with a light load and fireform to get them just right. no problem

February 21, 2010, 03:34 AM
Kudos to AgentOrange. I just re-formed a bunch of .222 from once-fired .223 PMC military brass. I used Hornady Unique lube. To use the Unique lube, Smear a SMALL dab into the palm of one hand, rub it into the skin until your palm feels greasy, then just roll the case between your palms 2 or 3 times (think rolling Play-doh into a a snake shape). I used an RCBS junior rockchucker - God bless compound leverage - and followed AgentOrange's instructions above.

I re-formed 200 pieces, and only lost 3. I had no split necks, but 3 of my hulls crimped around the re-formed neck, leaving a "pinched" place in the brass. I culled them, then used a Lee rotary trimmer to cut the hulls to length (the drill chuck attachment is a requirement for cutting this much brass off the length). I finished with a light inner/outer mouth chamfer.

I replaced the decapping pin, ran the re-formed brass through the full-length sizer again, and then ran the lot through the tumbler for polishing. I won't lie; forcing the .223 brass through the .222 full-length sizing die was a push, but quite manageable. A little Ben-Gay and I'll be right as rain tomorrow :)

The end product is slick, and chambers in my little Remington 722 beautifully.

In response to the question from an earlier post, "but why would you re-form .223 brass?" my answer is simple: .222 brass is, indeed still inexpensive, but is also sporadically hard to come by. Even though the .222 is cheap, the .223 is free for me (I pick up 2-3000 rounds at a time at my local shooting range. The local police and deputies train there, and graciously leave their brass behind. Cheap is great. Free is better. One of these days I'm going to have to break down and buy a .40 S&W to make use of the 30,000 or so (no kidding) brass hulls I've accumulated.


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