Redding Type S Full Length Bushing Dies for 223 Rem / 20 Practical / 17-223 combo?


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edmedm
August 13, 2013, 10:16 PM
First time poster...

Preparing to form brass and load for 223 Rem, 20 Practical, and 17-223 on AR platform.

I chose the wildcats 20 Practical and 17-223 over other similar chamberings based on ready availability of 223/5.56 brass at low cost (don’t feel too bad about losing a few pieces in the field), and relative ease of case forming from 223 brass (simple neck sizing, versus other options which require changes to shoulder position/angle). The selection also provides the option to “step down a size” from the 20 Practical to 17-223 if so inclined at a later point; not an option if the similar 20 Tactical is part of the mix, for instance.

The caliber selection has been made, a trio of uppers are on order, and I have a pile of mixed headstamp once-fired 223 brass to process.

I am now in the process of selecting dies and other essentials to do the initial conversion/forming operation from the base 223 brass, as well as subsequent reloads.

A consideration is that I intend to use brass from a wide range of sources, commercial/military. I have no desire to ream or turn necks if I do not have to since I consider the brass expendable to an extent. However, it has been pointed out to me that this may be problematic as the neck wall thickness increases during the diameter reduction. Based on the assumption that the wall thickness in the parent 223 brass is .0125" and the cross-sectional area of the neck material remains constant, I have calculated that the 20 will end up .0011 thicker (.0022 "extra" diameter), and the 17 will get .0032 thicker (.0065" more on diameter). So, I expect that I can get away without turning the 20 neck, but will need to remove material from the 17 neck in order to safely fit in the chamber. Although I am now resigned to turning 17 necks, I am not playing with a benchrest platform, so to accomodate some variation in neck wall while maintaining a reasonably consistent press fit, the final determination of neck inner diameter before inserting projectile will be an expander ball on the upstroke, after final neck OD reduction in the die.

My objective in die selection is to minimize overall die set cost/complexity while maintaining an acceptably high quality finished load. I want to compile the complete list of specific dies, bushings, whatever, which will be needed to process all 3 calibers prior to placing any orders.

At this point I am considering the Redding Type S Full Length Die in 223 Rem, and a series of bushings to step down to the smaller calibers. The strategy is to progressively reduce neck diameter in roughly ~.010” steps, and arrive at a neck inner diameter .001/.002 under the destination caliber’s expander ball diameter to arrive at final, ready to assemble form on the last pass.

What I have compiled with input from several forums is something like this:

For the 223 Remington processing:
- Redding Type S Full Length Bushing Die - 223 Rem with Decapping Rod/Expander Ball assembly and
- (extra, not included) Bushing. Haven’t selected bushing diameter yet, but will base on neck OD measurements from a variety of loaded rounds.

Next Step, the 20 Practical:
- Remove 223 Decapping Rod and replace with
20 cal. Decapping Rod and Expander Ball Assembly (Redding Part #14206)
- First pass, use bushing selected for 223 above. Then
-.233 Bushing, then
-.225 or .226 Bushing, followed by pulling Expander Ball back through. Have received comments from one person that successfully forms 20 Practical using a .229 bushing, but per my wall thickness estimates this appears that it may just lightly kiss the expander ball, perilously close to the point of no contact with the expander.

Finally, the 17-223
- Remove 223 (or 20) Decapping Rod and replace with
17 cal. Decapping Rod and Expander Ball Assembly (Redding Part #????? – Need to figure this out. Will 17 Remington assembly work?)
~.212 Bushing
.197 Bushing (Followed by pulling Expander Ball back through)

I am a complete noob to neck turning, but poking around a bit the K&M Neck Turning Tool appears to be well regarded, and carbide cutter pilots are available which I assume would combine into one operation the removal of the much-dreaded "doughnuts" that can form at base of necks, as well as neck OD turning.

Comments on the feasibility/efficiency of this approach, expected issues, and the specific selections being considered will be appreciated. Especially welcome are specific details from anyone that has experience using the Redding FL Bushing Dies as the final, pre-assembly step for 20 Practical and or 17-223.

Thanks!

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243winxb
August 14, 2013, 01:05 PM
Bushings dont always size the whole neck. You may want to neck turn before sizing down??

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