We just got our new 300 AAC Blackout reamer in and have more 1:8 barrels on order. After working on the 30 Wisp (or 7.62 x 30), and doing some layouts, it was clear the best .30 cal round would be a 7.62 x 35; the Fireball / Whisper / Blackout. Now that the big guns have put their money behind the Blackout, its time to see what these things will do.
What length gas system are you going to use? When you start reloading (hope you get the die set soon) what brass are you going to use. I know the cartridge is (I think) based on the 22 Fireball but that brass is sometimes hard to find -- you going to try reworking some .223 brass? What mags you going with?
Dies are all back ordered. Forster said all backorders are shipped 1st - hopefully before the end of the month. Just got on the Midway backorder list. Got some 221 Fireball brass coming so will start with that and will look at forming from .223 but we'll see about that. CH4D said " a while " on dies. Midway also lists Lee dies "coming soon" Thinking about putting an adj gas block on and trying a mid and go from there. I've got a bunch of 147 and 168's so I'm thinking of tuning for those WFO and seeing what happens w/subs. As far as mags, whatever works.
Forster dies arrived from Midway yesterday. Have some .221 Fireball brass I will try first. Called Bro to see if he could do some brass for me but he's at Western Wayne for a shoot and won't be back til next week so looks like its time to burn some midnight oil in the loading room...
Still no luck on getting the .221 brass expanded. Might try fire forming some of the ones I got up to .284" Read an article on ar15barrels.com about Randall not liking .221 Fireball brass because the necks are thick and usually out of round when you get done. The Forster die definately tries to swage the od of the neck so there might be some truth to that. Will try a couple other things and see what happens. Lee's new tapered expander does a great job on expanding necks by the way. The Forster expander looks more like a squashed ball. I did take the expander out and ran a couple LC .223's through the Forster and it took the od right down perfectly. Just like Randall pointed out in his website. I was really hoping I would not have to trim brass and remove primer crimps........ But so far, 0 for 6 on the .221 stuff.
when necking say .357 mag down to 256 I have had good luck with first annealing the brass. if you are having trouble with splits it might be worth trying on the .221. One thing strikes me though, going from .357 down to .25 or even .22 results in a MUCH thicker neck, I am wondering how THIN you are going to get when expanding a .221 that much. 22 winchester super short mag will go to .30 cal in one step any more than that and I found annealing was a big help. and the WSSM have extremely thick necks. Good Luck Dan
can you adjust the expander father down ? So that the neck gets formed in the tight section, with no expander ball in it.... then is drawn over the expander on the "downstroke" most often in heavy expanding, the ball has to be in the case and clear of the neck area otherwise everything wont fit, brass will spring back some so the neck size is usually slightly undersize and the expander is slightly over... meaning everything wont fit in one place. other option is to go .284 in the form die , run em all into a .308 win die to expand the neck (not a great option because of the afore mentioned centering issue ) farther then Size them in 300 BO die to try and square everything up.
Success! Ran the Forster expander down farther and it works. Thanks gw. My prep steps for .221 brass so far...... 1. Chamfer .221 brass 2. Run lubed case through Lee 6.8 SPC dies with tapered expander. 3. Run case through Forster 300 Blackout dies. Necks are coming out at .011" thickness. I have not chambered or loaded any rounds yet. (Too busy cranking out 45's with my son last night The Forster instructions show a location of the expander / decapper in the size die, but it is kind of hard to tell where its at. Will try and load up some of my bulk 147 FMJ's and see what happens.
Case forming sequence: L - R: .221 Fireball case, Exp 1 with Lee 6.8 Spc, Exp 2 Forster 300 Blackout. I've switched over to sizing wax recently and it works like a charm. Necks are uniform and cases chamber nicely. Next pic is a LC .223 run through the Forster w/o the expander in place. Next to that is how not to adjust a good set of dies. Just for kicks (like the .256 WMR) I ran a 6.8 SPC through my latest new die set, the 30 Herrett. Going to trim the neck down a bit and see what it looks like. I know Marty from Teppo Jutsu has done a little development work on the Herrett Rimless Tactical. There is also some extensive threads on various 30 cal development on arfcom. What AAC is betting on is the super heavy sub stuff and giving the 30/221 a standard. I formed all my .221 brass last night and this procedure worked like a charm. Going through Quick Load, Lil' Gun was the only powerder I had that had the burning rate I was looking for, so I am going to start with that with some 125, 147, 180, and finally the big dogs... 240 SMK's. The 125's are only going to be about 2.000" OAL so it will be interesting to see what happens. After throating one of the Tok brls for the 240's, there is a lot of throat there for everything else.
Finally put some pills in those new cases (made the wimpy way ;D) L - R 125gr @ 2.050" oal; 147 FMJBT @ 2.150" (cannalure); 180 SPBT @ 2.280" oal; and, I had to put one together... the 240 SMK @ 2.300" oal
Doing a quick chamber check, mine shows about .040" throat for the 240 SMK's at 2.3". They chamber just fine. There is definitely a trade off on going with the Black Out, which AAC designed into the system for use with the 220+ projectiles. Looking at the 125 & 147 / 150 gr bullets, you can definitely get another 5mm of case length, hence the work on the 7.62x40. Speaking of which, I have heard rumors of a 7.62x40 WT (Wilson Tactical) being packaged by Wilson Combat. I don't know if this is the same person that has done a bunch of load development posted on arfcom or not, but it would be nice to see that recognized. I really think the Blackout is going to be a winner and as far as maxing out a 30 cal in the AR-15 platform......... I'm thinking HRT
I know you have your reasons for using the 221 fireball brass but wouldn't the .223 brass be cheaper? I was at the range this weekend and picked up a bunch of .223 brass and was getting it ready for the 256 Winchester Magnum. I ran some brass partially through my 7.62X25 Tok FL die. I realized that if I left the body longer it would make a nice 300 Blackout cartridge. The only work was to trim to length. This is just a playing-around test to see if the brass would work so the angle on the shoulder is not really right.
I know the 300 Blackout and Whisper are based on the 221 fireball but that brass is kinda expensive and I can pickup once fired .223 brass for nothing. Please tell me -- what am I missing?
Last Edit: May 8, 2011 16:10:44 GMT -5 by 22boomer
Should work fine, people have been making .300 WTFever brass from .223 since it was new. only thing I don't know for sure and it will depend on the brass (mil surp being the worst I imagine) is if you have to trim away enough neck to get down into that really thick brass and if you will have inside/outside reaming/turning issues. I suppose the throat of the barrel will matter as well. If I ever get off my butt and get my Kayak built my hydroponic vegatable garden set up and my truck running right and my WWII weasels back together and the '55 Rambler rebuilt, I suppose I will get a tok barrel built for my AR and I fully intend to use a .223 bolt and .223 brass cut down. hmm I seem to have a reamer for 458 SOCOM and a barrel blank for that, and oddly enough I have a rem 700 action and a .510 whisper reamer sitting here too....I need less job and more "free" time
Last Edit: May 8, 2011 23:17:02 GMT -5 by greywuuf