Short Actions 17 Ackley Hornet Case Forming Die????

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by ricksengines, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Folks

    If you have been following my adventures in Sako Land you know that I picked up that little Sako L46 in 17 Ackley Hornet. That said I started on one of my usual quests to find a set of reloading and case forming dies for the little guy. My initial search came up empty handed but I did find some interesting reading material on this Ackley Wildcat. Come to find out the you need a two stage Form Die Set to keep the shoulder from collapsing as it is moved back to get the proper case dimensions for reloading and fire forming. Even with the two stage form set there are still casualties and apparently this is really dependent on the brass manufacturer.

    Holy Cruddtarts Sakoman, what to do now? Solution? Buy another 17 Ackley Hornet Rig that has the FL and Case Forming Die Sets in addition to fully formed brass and handloads ready to go included in the deal! And, that is exactly what I did.

    OK, Ok so I got lucky. While I was trying to find the die sets I came across a custom built rig that is chambered for the 17 Ackley Hornet. Actually I found several rigs but only one had the dies. Not bad. Two Ackley wildcat rigs snagged in one swelled foop. Alright, I'll stop crowing.

    Now I just got the rifle and a box of goodies that included ammo ready to go, brass and the FL and Form dies. The FL die set was made by my favorite die maker RCBS but the Case Form dies? is a new one on me.

    I know that Ackley built the rifle as I have the provenance to prove that but the Form Die Set has ne scratching my head. Take a look.... Ever see one that looks like this?


    P7040070.JPG

    The die has two ends that appear to size a case through a two stage process. I'm assuming that the sizing operation has to be followed by a FL operation to complete the forming operation. It looks like the 1st Form operation is done on this end. See, it says 1st.

    P7040066.JPG

    There is another mark that I can't quite make out. can anyone out there tell me what this is?

    P7040067.JPG


    I'll continue this discussion in the next installment.

    rick
     

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  2. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Ok, so now let's take a look at the other end of the die....

    P7040069.JPG

    As you can see it is inscribed 2nd. Because I have never seen a die like this I am wondering if Ackley made the die and sent it along with the rifle so the new owner could make some brass to load and shoot. At the time, RCBS was making FL die Sets for the caliber so they were available at the time Ackley built the rifle.

    If any of our members can add some value to my inquiry, as usual contributions to this thread will be greatly appreciated.

    rick
     
  3. tilleyman

    tilleyman Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  4. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Tillyman

    Thanks for the info but, this does nothing to reset the shoulder. That is why a Form 1 and Form 2 Die are required to do a proper job on the diameter of the neck and moving the shoulder back so the case can be resized using the FL Die.

    Without the Form Die process the shoulder collapses and the case cannot be recovered.

    rick
     
  5. tilleyman

    tilleyman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rick
    Sorry not sure what you mean, the Bullberry die just needs to be adjusted correctly and will form a nub as the basis for a new shoulder when run through the FLS die.
    PRVI case forming process_1.JPG
    They give dimensions for making 17 Hornet cases (and I made hundreds this way without losing a single case) but of course the 17AH case is a bit longer so you need to adjust the nub just above where the new shoulder should be so it gets consistently pushed back by the FLS die.
    Remember you will need to neck anneal after reforming but before fireforming or the shoulders will split 30-50%.
    I had trouble even with the uber-tough RWS Hornet cases, turns out I wasn't annealing to a high enough temperature. Spin in a drill for even heating, fine point gas torch aimed at the neck shoulder junction, heat till a dull cherry red in subdued light (~600C orange flames) and air cool.
    RWS fireforming splits.jpg
    RWS cases annealed.jpg
    From the PDF:
    Bullberry Former Instructions
    Have all case mouths perfectly round and chamfered, inside and out, before forming.
    This will work with all 22 Caliber cartridges with a shoulder. The exception is the 22 Hornet being sized to 17 Hornet.
    The absence of a shoulder calls for a slightly different process. Using end #1 adjust former to size a neck about 3/16 long (.187”). Form with 2nd end until you feel it come to this new shoulder.
    Full-length size in the normal manner. Chamfer again after sizing for ease of seating without bullet damage.
    You are now ready to fire-form
    17 AH vs 17HH_1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  6. tilleyman

    tilleyman Well-Known Member

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    One work-around is simply to run well lubricated 22 Hornet cases into a standard 17AH seating die (stem removed of course) then through a FLS die and trim. This usually works OK, but sometimes may need a first pass through the 20 cal end of the Bullberry die depending on the internal layout of the seating die.

    If you want to go down a more efficient, less fiddly albeit more expensive path, Redding still make a 17AH form and trim die set similar to what RCBS made.

    Because I was processing a lot of cases I eventually bought the equivalent Redding form die for the 17 Hornet (#83279), while it was faster by cutting out one intermediate Bullberry die step the end result was virtually identical when neck concentricity was checked on a Sinclair dial indicator benchrest gauge. No noticeable difference in accuracy either.

    17AH part numbers #90500 #83500 #11514 for a total cost of $239.75
    https://www.redding-reloading.com/online-catalog/39-popular-case-forming-dies
    Redding 17 AH Form and Trim Dies.JPG
    Redding 17 Hornet Form and Trim Die.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
  7. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Many thanks for the Redding info.

    rick
     
    tilleyman likes this.
  8. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rick !
    just saw .17 ackley dies on e-bay under reloading dies, 1st page.
    hope this is what you need!! B/T
     
  9. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Buck

    The dies are for the 17 Ackley Bee. I need the 17 Ackley Hornet form dies. Close but no cigar.

    Many Thanks

    rick
     
  10. pepperC

    pepperC Member

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    Hey Rick
    Here in Oz i now use a Simplex form die then straight into a 17 ackley hornet fl die by RCBS. Trick is to screw each die down little bit at a time and try the case in the chamber with each adjustment so as to get good headspacing on the shoulder. Some people use a 6mm expander on the 22 hornet case first to ensure a good shoulder but ive never bothered.
    You can make very good cases by going 22 hornet into seating die then fl die but alot depends on the brass i suspect.
    I use redding imperial wax
    I use ww brass and dont anneal.
    I shoot 25gn with full powder loads to fireform.
    You'll get 8 to 10 fireings no problem in the sako action.
    Tilleymans photos are exactly what you should aim for they are textbook perfect and very self explanatory to follow.
    Hope you enjoy shooting your new 17.
    Regards
    C
     

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