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68BlackRifle

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Reply with quote  #1 
Do you anneal your brass , and if so when do you do it, before sizing to 6.5G or after .I have been reloading probably 25 years but just never messed with annealing the brass . Picked up a Satern 18 " 6.5 Grendel and have not looked back it is stupid accurate , I really like this round .
At less then 15 cents a case 7.62x39 brass off GB mixed head stamp with large primer but have not had any issues.  Before fire form 30 grains powder after 33.5 grains that is less  then two grains then commercial case . But I am just getting my feet wet with this cartridge and so far it has been a lot of fun and expensive I need a better scope [biggrin]
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68BlackRifle

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Reply with quote  #2 
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RetNav6.5

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Reply with quote  #3 
That is a nice looking rifle, sounds like you are enjoying it.  Weather has not permitted me to hit the range for a second time with my new build but I am feeling good with what I have seen so far.  The only brass 7.62x39 I've been able to find so far is berdan primed, but in all honesty I haven't looked very hard.
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ctrmass

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Reply with quote  #4 

If it shoots that good, why mess with the x39 brass?

IMO I'd resize all you have on hand ...GB it off and go Lapua.
Maybe keep a handful for hunting when you may not get to find fired brass. Or just use questionable cases for hunting.
People I talk to generally anneal at 3 or 4 firings.
jm.02

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RetNav6.5

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have never annealed brass for reloading yet and until I got my Grendel I never thought of doing it. I have watched a couple youtube videos on the subject and it appear that when first getting into it you probably ruin some of the brass learning. IMHO I would anneal before resizing since the process is supposed to make the neck more pliable. That way you haven't put the work into resizing and fire forming yet if you ruin some of the cases during the annealing process.  In my mind it could make the neck a little easier for work. 

ctrmass, does annealing the brass extend the life of the cases enough to make it worth the time and expense to do it? Is reloading for 6.5 Grendel hard enough on the brass to want to include as part of your process no matter type of brass you are using?
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throwbacksnapper

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don't think before or after makes a difference if you are not changing calibres. If I were going from 30 Cal to 6.5 - I would anneal before and after the process (sizing,turning,trimming, bumping the shoulder etc). Again annealing would be my first and last step.
As far as process, many use heat sensitive chemicals that help determine when proper heat has been reached. Personally I use a propane torch, cordless drill with a socket attachment, a deep well socket that the case just fits in, and a bowl of water. I turn the lights off or just go out side at night, put the case in the socket, let it spin just touching the blue tip of the flame until the neck just starts to turn orange - then drop in a bucket of water.
There are better ways, but I don't have problems with neck splits or loose primers. Best of all - the equipment came from my brother in law s shed.
If I recall lapua makes 7.62x39 cases. I would use them in a heart beat.


P.S. Msr hunts posted a link to a cool little heat sink that should work for the grendel in the reloading section - if you ask this question over there, you may get more responses.

Peace
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sniper20

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Reply with quote  #7 
I built my 2nd 6.5 Grendel (sold the first...) and was sick and tired of paying $1.10+ for factory ammo and $0.70/piece for brass. Since the Grendel is based off of the PPC family, as is the 7.62x39, a viable option is to convert the 7.62x39 brass over to Grendel. Now, here was the dilemma for the process...

The 7.62x39 brass is not as straight as the 6.5 Grendel brass. The body has a much steeper taper to it. This is going to reduce your powder capacity and cause more pressure inside the case when fired. However, once fired, you now have a nice, sharp shouldered, 6.5 Grendel piece of brass, fitting your chamber. The school of thought for most is simply use the cream of wheat method, packing it in with a primer and small charge of powder, usually pistol, and fire it off. The pressure will force the brass to form to the chamber, and you have fire formed brass. I was going to do this, but when you have 200+ prices of brass to do, kind of a daunting task... The other option is to simply load the case up, reduce the charge and fire as normal.

I went with the latter. I purchased 200 Fiocchi headstamp brass and decapper them. From there, the primer pocket was uniformed. After primer pocket work, they were annealed. Into the tumbler with some car polish to brighten the cases, as well as luvricate the necks for sizing. They are lived up, run through the sizer die WITH the decapping rod and expander ball.

I usually don't use the expander ball when forming bras as it does have memory, and it will expand a touch after you size it. Annealing really comes in handy for this as it makes the brass softer, preventing split necks and reduces creases as well. It also helps erase the memory the brass has. However, I knew I was going to size them again so the expander stayed in.

After the first sizing, they went to the trimmer, I was very surprised at how consistent the brass was in length and weight. Of the 200 I had, only 6 of them actually required trimming... And by that, about .003" was all it removed. I also weighed the cases to see where they were... I got two different batches as one batch was 122 grains, ALL within +- .05 grain, and the other was 118 with the same results. Being an auto loader, this doesn't really matter, but it's nice to see that kind of numbers.

After being trimmed, they receive and chamfer and deburring. Once done, they are thrown into the sizer one more time. From there, back into the tumbler for another polish and clean up the reside left on the case. Then they are ready to load.

Now, when they are sized, the only thing that really happens is the mouth is reduced from 30 cal to 264. The shoulder is BARELY pushed back, and the case walls never touch the die because of the taper. The 7.62x39 has a rounder shoulder, nothing sharp like the Grendel has. So the case taper and rounded shoulder combined, does reduce your case capacity a little. Doing my super scientific methods of pouring Power Pistol into a Hornady Grendel case and into a recently converted case, showed a 3.3 grain difference by weight. Why Power Pistol??? Because that is what I had next to me and IM THE FREAKING SCIENTIST! Don't question me!

Now, I usually load my Grendel with 31 grains of CFE223 with a 123 grain A-Max bullet. However, I decided to try a different powder as I didn't have any CFE on hand... I purchased some Leverevolution powder and read up that people load pretty much the exact same as CFE. So, I loaded a reduced load of 29 grains and set a bullet on top. How did I come up with 29 grains? Due to my scientific findings, Grendel cases hold 31 grains right below the shoulder. 29 grains fit right below the shoulder in the converted cases, so if it looks the same, it's the same in the science world. This is a LIGHTLY compressed load, but completely safe, because I'm a scientist!

I took the rounds out to the range, which I met a guy two miles down the road and allows me to shoot in his super flat, open field, out to 800+ yards by the way (be jealous...) and tried the rounds out. The biggest concerns I read up on was pressure of course, and accuracy. Due to the case taper, it's not supported in the chamber, and accuracy is supposed to suffer. This was not the case... At 200 yards, firing out of the back of my pickup, with a 15mph 9 o'clock wind, gusting up to 22, I fired 9 shots in "rapid" succession. This was done about a round per second, mainly to function and form the cases. However, accuracy was at 3" at the 200 yard mark in these conditions. I was very happy with those results!

The issue... Due to the case taper, the rounds are not supported in a standard 6.5 Grendel magazine... Same issue as if you used a standard mag for the AR... This was not a huge issue, but did pose a problem. So the rounds had to be fed 2 at a time. One in the chamber, one on the mag.

The forming was perfect. Out popped a 6.5 Grendel piece of brass. I also ran into the cases not going full into battery... I was worried about this as I figured the head might expand more due to the loose chamber of the AK (assuming these were fired from those)... However, single fed, and shoved half into the chamber (a big no no in an AR because you will probably slam fire) set them, and fired them off. It's at this point I recall resetting my dies to bump the shoulder back .003" instead of a FL size... Once my die was reset, a FL was applied and the issue went away.

The one and only thing I noticed with the brass is the burr on the inside of the flash hole... So, new toy is in the mail to have that removed. The primer pockets are about as perfect as you can expect, but this was after I worked them with my RCBS prep center, so I can't comment on the factory hole.

If you want pictures of the comparison, let me know, I would be happy to post some. Hope you enjoyed the post and I hope this helps anyone else with the same questions I had about converting 7.62x39 to Grendel brass...
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RetNav6.5

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Reply with quote  #8 
Went down to Twin Falls yesterday afternoon with the wife for our anniversary. While there she let me go to Sportman's Warehouse to get some more ammo. I usually shop there because they give a military discount.  They hadn't restocked any 6.5 Grendel since my last visit a couple weeks ago.  She suggested I go to Red's and look. I don't go there very often since their reloading components are a little more expensive and no military discount. Turned out they had a lot of Grendel on the shelf so I grabbed 5 boxes of AA for $24 a box!!! I would consider that a nice score for 100 Lapua brass, 123 gr HP bullets and powder. That is what I have been paying for Hornady Amax at Sportman's. Red's also had Hornady Amax in large quantities for $21 a box.

I still haven't found a good source for 7.62x39 brass for reloading, but until I do it looks like I will continue to go to Red's until their shelf is empty of 6.5 Grendel.

sniper20, Thank You for the Most Excellent reply on converting 7.62x39 I have ever read.  I will continue to watch for 7.62x36 brass because it looks to be the most economical route at this time.  I am new the the Grendel game and am liking the cartridge a lot.  I separated my right shoulder a few years back and the heavy recoil from larger caliber rifles does a number on it.

68BlackRifle, sorry for hijacking your thread.  I am new to the forums and not really sure of the proper etiquette. Hopefully my interaction helped to answer part of you question.
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68BlackRifle

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Reply with quote  #9 
Good info , I thought of trying the cream of wheat , but I figured it would plug my gas system up and end up with a mess .So I went with fire form brass. A starting load 23 grains of benchmark powder and I lucked out at local old gun shop that had 95 grain Sierra for 10$ a box ,dust was free , he was he was happy to sale the 5 boxes  . It's shoots good enough with forming load to make it interesting at the bench . Right is 7.62x39 next if sized 6.5 Grendel then left is a fire formed 6.5 . I'm playing around with annealing also . Was kinda of funny with the cob media was still in brass smelled like pop corn . I was in the shop lights off in the dark trying to see the brass right when it starts to turn color in the flame when the wife came into shop and asked if I had pop corn , she looked at me and just walked away .
 
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