Why no 25-20 or 218 bee cases

  • 773 Views
  • Last Post 01 May 2020
Balhincher posted this 25 April 2020

After ordering some cases from Starline last week, I decided to join the chorus of requests on their web page for them to offer cases for 25-20 or 218 bee. I asked if it wouldn't be feasible to further work their 32-20 cases to produce cases for the other calibers. After all isn't the 32-20 the cartridge from which the other two were originally descended?

the very next day I received an email from them explaining their reasons for not making and selling those cases. Since I thought their response would be of interest to all the fans of  the 25-20, I requested permission to post it on the CBA forum. 

We can hope that some day the manufacturing technology they use will improve and make it a good business decision for them to offer thes cases.  But for now it looks like squeezing down 32-20 cases may be our best bet.


Thank you for your request. It is a very popular one. Unfortunately not one we plan on producing, at least not any time soon. A lot of times customers complain that it is a pain in the rear to form those calibers from .32-20, and say it would be a lot easier for them to just buy it from us finished. The problem with that is that as hard as it is to form 1 at a time for them, it is even harder to do it on a machine that runs 100 parts per minute! Plus, there are some slight differences in body diameter dimensions between the 25-20/Bee and the .32-20. While our .32-20 is in the middle of the tolerance for its body diameter, it is actually slightly bigger than the max diameter for the .25-20/Bee. This doesn't cause a problem in very many firearms, but since it isn't in spec, we would have to start from scratch on all of the dies and tooling anyway.


Regards,

Hunter Pilant
Process Manager
Chief Ballistician 

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
  • RicinYakima
Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
ray h posted this 25 April 2020

Has anyone ask Starline if they could produce a ''straight wall basic'' brass for the 32-20 , just make it at least .060 longer so it can be taken down to 25-20 and 218 Bee. Those into forming brass could make it work for all 3 of the cases along with a few other wildcat, one of my favorite is the 17 Killer Bee.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 25 April 2020

SO what would it take for a group buy?  10,000 50,000 more?

Same issue with 405 Win.

 

Attached Files

Bud Hyett posted this 25 April 2020

At last year's CBA Nationals, Alice visited Starline and I talked to Hunter Pilant about .25-20 brass. There were two considerations, market volume and scrap in setup. We also asked about Starline manufacturing 7.5 Swiss brass, they said they felt there was not enough market for this brass. 

The problem of producing scrap at a rate of 100 pieces per minute is real. The setup means they will setup and run several minutes to assure continuity. This means 1200 scrap cases at a minimum. The scrap costs will not sustain the production for a short run, ten thousand cases are a two-hour run with the bulk of the cases possibly sitting in inventory over a year. 

And the market will be a short run, we .25-20 shooters are a specialized group seeking this case. I now have six hundred cases, a lifetime supply. Due to a friend giving me his deceased brother's .218 Bee brass formed from .25-20 and .32-20, I have sufficient brass to shoot matches. These I will anneal to assure they will last as they are unknown history. I have bought new R-P brass for the Nationals Quarter-Bore match to have brass of known history for this match.

I annealed 340 Starline .32-20 cases to get 320 cases (I have 300 W-W cases from a purchase when I got my first .25-20 barrel). The other choice is to wait for W-W or R-P to run enough .25-20 ammunition to have spare brass for sale. This could be several years.

Annealing the Starline cases too long (six seconds - bright cherry) meant 30% of these cases collapsed to the shoulder. Annealing the cases 4 seconds (visible red) was the correct time and the cases formed correctly. These cases were tried in both .25-20 barrels and fit freely. . 

 

 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

Attached Files

45 2.1 posted this 25 April 2020

With the ongoing shortage of 25-20 cases, I will buy a thousand if they would make them. Last I bought, quite a few years ago, was 250. Had I have known they would balk at making more, I wouldn't have any problem now!

I would buy 1,000 7.5 Swiss cases also provided they got the dimensions correct.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
Brodie posted this 26 April 2020

Well, that will cover about 5 to 10 minutes of the first run.

B.E.Brickey

Attached Files

Wheel Weights posted this 27 April 2020

Privi and Norma both make 7.5x55 cases that work fine in all my Swiss rifles.

You can also easily convert the Swiss Berdan cases to use small rifle boxer primers.

Attached Files

Wheel Weights posted this 27 April 2020

Conversion method:

 

25-20 cases from Starline .32-20 brass

My dwindling supply of .25-20 brass has finally reached the critical point, ie. less than 50 cases remaining. After re-reading the posts here and elsewhere on case forming, I found a successful set of procedures that work for me and my 1935 vintage Winchester Model 65 lever gun.

I used new Starline .32-20 brass for my case conversion, but did briefly try a couple from of my hoarded supply of .218 Bee. The "Bee" brass was Starline as well and new; and was easy to expand out to .25-20 after lubing the inside neck with Imperial Sizing Wax. I used my RCBS FL sizing die and removed the decapping rod for the operation, then neck expanded the case using a Lyman .258" dia. "M" die. While this worked easily enough, .218 Bee brass is as scarse as .25-20 so it was no help.

Turning to the new Starlijne .32-20 brass, I began by annealing ten pieces using the torch method for a brief 5-6 second flame immersion, then applied a light coating of Imperial Sizing Wax, both inside the neck and outside down and just barely over the shoulder.

After trying to reduce the neck in one operation, unsuccessfully, I searched my parts box for an unused Lyman 310 tool, .270 sizing die. Since this die is too long to allow the .32-20 brass to reach the neck area, I cut roughly 1/2" off the length, and polished up the fresh cut. I have an adapter die that allows use of 310 Tool dies in a full size, 7/8x14 threaded press, so this was pressed into service. In effect, I reduced the case neck in two stages: roughly 0.314" to 0.277" then to 0.258". Getting a sizing die that's short enough is the tough part. I was lucky to have that old 310 .270" die. A .30 Luger die might work too, or a .280 die cut off to get the right length.

Again, after lubing the case, I SLOWLY resized the neck area of the .32-20 brass, allowing the die to size right down to the shoulder area. The .270 has a much steeper shoulder angle than the .25-20, but this would be ironed out during fire-forming. The key to this part of my operation was the right amount of lube and a SLOW stroke on the press handle.

Replacing the 310 Tool, .270 Sizer with my RCBS .25-20 sizer, with its decapping rod removed, I re-lubed the case and gently, with four short strokes, resized the case to its final neck diameter. Since the case head spaces off the rim, fire-forming is no big worry, and I sized only down far enought to allow the case to give me some 'feel' as it butted up against the shoulder of the chamber while closing the bolt. Here, as in the previous .270 sizing, the key seems to be: slowly forcing the case into the die, the right amount of lube to preclude shoulder wrinkles, and gradually setting the shoulder back, using four separate, short strokes.

I next resized the neck interiors with Lyman's "M" die in .258" dia., then seated CCI small pistol magnum primers.

I got 10 good cases, with no wrinkles or folds, no case body or neck splits either. I didn't lose a case with the above method. But the proof of the pudding is how they would shoot & the number of reloads I can get out fo them. For the minimal initial fire-forming necessary, I sized a cpl dozen 257420 gc boolits, and seated them over 7 grains of Bartett's clone of 4759. I've used this load before with good accuracy, & minimal pressure indications in genuine .25-20 brass, so I felt ok trying it here.

Off my porch rail, I got good case fill out, with the first shot, and accuracy was less than an inch at 30 yds with the iron sights on my model 65. Over the course of the afternoon, I reloaded these ten cases four times with no case losses. With any bottle-necked case, that's about my # of loadings before re-annealing. I'll give that a go manana. One note: Starline .32-20 brass seems to be thicker through the case neck region than genuine R-P or Winchester brass...could be the brass flowing forward during the re-sizing operation, or maybe it's just that thicker as a rule.

I checked several of the loading supplies outfits on the net, but none had Redding's .25-20 Form and Trim die in stock, and I wonder if they'd do the entire job without the two step reduction. For now, this procedure works for me, and I found that running the brass through was not as time consuming as my first attempts.

All in all, I'm happy to find an interim solution for the .25-20 cases I need to feed this rifle, and really pleased as well at finding a good plinking load on the first try. Accuracy wise, these cases are as good as originals. And a final note, I ordered 500 .32-20 cases from Starline this afternoon, to feed the .25-20 and an even older octagon bbl'd. M-92 in .32-20.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
Wheel Weights posted this 27 April 2020

And here is 218 Bee brass:

 

https://www.buffaloarms.com/reloading-supplies-accessories/reloadable-brass-cases?cat=606&limit=36

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
tony1960 posted this 27 April 2020

You might not like the postage charges, but.....

Aus dollars of course.

https://www.rebelgunworks.com.au/collections/unprimed-cases/caliber_25-20-win

Unprimed Cases

 

 

AV Ballistics Unprimed Brass Cases 25-20 WCF Annealed (Formed from Starline 32-20 WCF) (50pk)

AV Ballistics Unprimed Brass Cases 25-20 WCF Annealed (Formed from Starline 32-20 WCF) (50pk)

1 review

$7900 Save $6

Email me when available Winchester Unprimed Brass Cases 25-20 WCF (50pk)

Winchester Unprimed Brass Cases 25-20 WCF (50pk)

6 reviews

$3100

Starline Unprimed Brass Cases 25-20 WCF  (Formed from Starline 32-20 WCF) (50pk)

Starline Unprimed Brass Cases 25-20 WCF (Formed from Starline 32-20 WCF) (50pk)

1 review

$7500

 

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
longhunter posted this 28 April 2020

I like the little 25's also.  I have a hard time feeding them like everyone.  My friend Duke gave me a bunch of Win 25-20 that I  have been using. I have even a harder one to keep going a 25-20 Single Shot Winchester Low wall with a single set trigger. great rifle but the brass is not to be found anywhere.

Thanks for the great class on making brass.I will put it to good use.  I always learn something here.

Jon

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
  • Bud Hyett
45 2.1 posted this 28 April 2020

I don't know if these people are still in business.... and it's a might pricey too.

https://www.rccbrass.com/product/25-20-single-shot/

Attached Files

ten-mile posted this 29 April 2020

I have formed a few thousand 25-20s from Starline brass.  You do have to anneal the case down to the shoulder area and an induction annealer is the best way to do so. I use a Fluxeon. Every one of the cases will (almost) have the same properties.  I think the biggest objection to Starline cases is that they are short to begin with so the formed case is also short.  I use a spray-on lanolin lube. You only need a very thin film of lube.  Start with a 32-20 expander to round out the mouth, then a 25-20 seat die finishing with the FL die.  You still lose a few cases to neck folds that I think start at an unnoticeable nick on the mouth, but with a progressive press you can really crank out a lot of cases in short order.  You can make Bee cases the same way by backing out the 25-20 dies to get the shoulder in the right place and adding the Bee dies to the sequence.  They are also short. I haven't done any of these for 2-3 years, so perhaps current Starline 32-20 cases are longer and the length problem is solved.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
GWarden posted this 29 April 2020

 Look back in post on this subject. Several others gave good info on this. Easy to do , and I have had no problems with reformed 25/20WCF from 32/20 Starline brass.

I know there have been post in the past on forming 2/520 WCF from 32/20, but I wanted to share my method and I have had good success, it does not required lots of steps. I have attached one pic and hope this helps. I start with Starline brass, and it is important in each step to use Imperial sizing die wax. 1. Start with 25/20 WCF seater die, remove the seater stem and now we will full length size the 32/20 brass. DO NOT try and muscle through any of these steps by just pulling down on your handle on your loading press, if you do you will end up with nothing more than crushed brass. I do not anneal the brass prior to these steps, and do not get crushed brass. You can either screw the seater die clear down and then take short strokes on your press handle and then back off and repeat until you have completed this step. Screw the die in far enough to full length size, but do not turn the neck in as forming a crimp. The other method for this first step is to turn the die in just part way and size, back off on the handle, turn the die in just a bit more and repeat until full length sized. 2. Now use your 25/20 WCF full length size die and remove the expander plug. Use your Imperial sizing die wax. Again, don't run the brass through the die in one stroke, but a bit at a time as in the first step. Last step is to use your Lyman "M" die in 25 cal. Check to make sure your brass fits your rifle chamber. If it does not go, may need to turn your sizing die just a bit more. This process has worked and if you go slowly you will not crush any brass.  

Bob 

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
Balhincher posted this 29 April 2020

Excellent step by step directions about forming 25-20 cases from 32-20 by  Gwarden and wheel weights. I appreciate you taking the time to share your tips. This makes the task a little less intimidating. I've got a new box of 32-20 cases to form and have been a bit reluctant to rework them. 

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
beagle6 posted this 01 May 2020

I just received an email from the sales manager at Buffalo Arms. In answer to my question, he said they expected to get more 25/20 brass but he wasn't sure when. You can sign up on their website to be notified when it is back in stock. I think that the more people who ask about it the sooner it will be back.

beagle6

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Bud Hyett
beagle6 posted this 01 May 2020

Forgot to mention his email is [email protected] Old age?

beagle6

Attached Files

Close