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My .17 Predator

by Dave Affleck

Loading Dies and Brass Forming
Loading dies and brass forming are always a consideration when planning a wildcat chambering.  For the .17 Predator, I was able to use my existing .17 Mach IV forming dies to neck down the .223 brass by simply backing the dies out of the press an appropriate amount.  Since the shoulder of the .17P is slightly longer than that of the parent .223 case, the “false shoulder” created in the neck when reducing the neck diameter is what gets used to hold headspace during fireforming.  So, initial case forming was a very simple and straightforward operation.  For regular neck sizing after fireforming, I’ve simply continued using a Redding Type S .17 Mach IV die adjusted to the correct height in the press.  For bullet seating, I sent Greg Tannel a .17 Remington Redding Competition seating die and had him run the .17 Predator chambering reamer into the floating sleeve.  This combination of dies loads wonderfully concentric ammo, with absolutely no headaches or special hoops to jump through.  Dan Clements had a couple of .17 Predator full length sizing dies custom made for us, but so far, even with some cases loaded 10 times now, I have not needed to use the FL die yet.  It appears to me that I’ll be wearing out primer pockets and discarding cases without ever needing to FL size them.  You can read more detail about choosing dies and forming cases for the .17 Predator in Dan’s original article – here.

Dies used to load .17 Predator, L to R, .17 Mach IV Type S neck die, .17 Rem. seating die reamed with .17P reamer, custom full length sizing die by CH.

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The Cartridge
Choosing an action
Choosing a stock
Choosing a barrel
The scope
The Riflesmith
Loading dies & forming cases
Load work
Results in the field
Final thoughts

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