Brass Problems With .17 Ackley Hornet

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.17 Ackley Info from Cartridges of the World,F.C.Barnes .17 Ackley Info from Cartridges of the World,F.C.Barnes

Q: I've owned a Brno ZKW 465 .22 Hornet rifle since the mid-1970s but had it rebarreled to .17 Ackley Hornet. I never had any trouble sizing and fireforming Winchester or Remington brass using a Simplex 3-die set. But over a period of time the old brass has starting cracking and there's not many left. Recently, I bought some new Sellier & Bellot and Winchester brass. The problem I'm having now is that the new cases just buckle and fold when I try to neck them down in the press. I've tried everything I can think of - deburring, using the seating die after lubing the insides of the necks, but to no avail. It seems the brass is way too soft. Any suggestions? I wouldn't like to make this great little rifle redundant.
Tim Guthrie

A: You are experiencing the same problem that all the owners of .17 Ackley Hornet owners have been plagued with - namely

.17 cartridges lineup - Image-Saubier
.17 cartridges lineup - Image-Saubier

necking down .22 Hornet brass to .17 prior to fireforming it in the improved chamber. Hornet cases are very thin and crumple easily. This is particularly true of some batches of brass which are softer than others. Some guys are buying unprimed .17 Hornet brass and fireforming it in the Ackley chamber. This may be your best option?

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