I have found a way to create cheap reliable brass that actually achieves the gas seal! I was just poking around on the net and found this:
Suggested tools and materials:
.223 brass and corresponding shell holder
.30 Carbine reloading dies - mine is an RCBS
reloading press ("O" type, heavy duty type not required; I have also done this
on my Lyman Spar-T)
disk sander (not necessary but it does help to speed things along)
case lube (suggest Motor Honey)
knock-out rod (details in text)
mallet (mine is rawhide)
blank shell holder or metal disc about shell holder diameter
case trimmer with .30 caliber pilot
1. Shorten .223 brass. After trying a number of ways, I found that the
easiest way, and very fast, was to use my disc sander. It takes about 3
seconds per case using a no. 60 grit. No, the disk does not fill up with
brass. Push the case into the sander disk, removing material to about half
way between the neck and the shoulder. This may seem a little short to you,
but the case lengthens considerably as it is swaged.
2. Using a case inside-outside deburrer, remove the burrs. This is done so
that the case mouth may be opened without crushing, using an expander button,
or preferably, a Lyman "M" die.
3. Remove primer decapping pin assembly from the .30 Carbine full length
sizing die. Important! Set the die so that it touches the ram firmly
when the ram is raised.
4. Lube the case liberally (I use Motor Honey) and run it into the .30
Carbine die about 1/3 of the way. Do not force it beyond where it feels
good and tight. Doing so is to assure that a stuck case will result.
Take it from one who learned (several times) the hard way. Back case out
5. Re-lube case and ram to about 2/3 the way home. Same warning as in 4,
above. Back case out of die.
6. Re-lube case. This time you can run it all the way home. It will back
out pretty easily. Notice that at this point, the swaging process has been
accomplished just past the web of the case -- that's good.
7. Re-lube. Using a blank shell holder, set the sizing die so that it
presses firmly, but not hard, against the shell holder when the ram is
raised fully. The spring of the press, when the case is rammed all the
way home, will assure that the case rim is not swaged. This can also be
done by laying a metal slug, like a slug from a knock-out hole in an
electrical box, on top of any regular shell holder. The blank shell
holder is just a little more convenient.
8. Ram the case all the way home. Use a knock-out rod to remove the
case. Two things are important here.
First is that the knock-out rod should be as large in diameter as
possible. This will depend on the particular sizing die used. My RCBS
die has a 1/4x28 thd decapping rod. It will accommodate a .210" rod
which I made from a very long bolt that originally had 1/4x20 threads
rolled onto its end; one of those rods used to hold cable reels together.
To assure that it will not bend when struck with a mallet, the rod should
be only as long as is necessary to drive out the case. Mine is 3 1/2"
long. The rod head is handy to act as a retainer so that it does not
fall out of the die, but is not necessary. Note that it is not difficult
to drive out the fully swaged case when done as prescribed here, and the
rod need not be hardened as long as it is not too long. Mine is as soft
as any steel gets.
Second, when driving out the case, do not try to emulate Paul Bunyan.
Tapping the rod (I use a rawhide mallet) 3-4 times will remove the case
without bulging out the head. One mighty whack risks messing up the head
spacing, and more important, makes it difficult to get into the .223
shell holder. Out of about 80 cases that I have made so far, only a
couple have given me resistance. They were fixed by chucking into my
drill press and using a quick swipe of a half round file. If there is a
slight rounding of the head, it will not adversely effect the outcome.
This is a good time to wipe the lube off of the cases. Also, decapping
can done any time one chooses. I use a universal decapping die for this
9. Chuck case into your trimmer and set to reduce the case length to 1.51".
Notice that the brass has lengthened significantly as it steps through the
swaging process. If it has been shortened as directed in step 1, only a few
turns of the trimmer handle will be needed.
10. You might want to try chambering your cases now to make sure that
they will fit. My die reduces the very base of this tapered case to
.360-.362". This is as perfect a fit as one can get in my revolver. I
do not know if these guns vary much in chamber diameters.
11. Next use either the provided .30 Carbine RCBS expander die or,
preferably, the Lyman "M" die to prepare the case mouth to receive the
bullet. If you expand prior to chambering for the first time, depending
on how much you bell the mouth, you may be alarmed to discover that the
case will not chamber. This is because of the relatively steep taper of
the case which will not stand for much belling and still chamber. Don't
worry, the loaded cartridge will have this bell removed by the crimp.
It is possible that the case mouth will benefit from annealing to keep it
from splitting but I chose to skip this process until I see need for it.
I have annealed the original brass because of the radical crimp applied
to the factory rounds.
At this point, your brass is ready to load.
I tried this method and it is kinda slow, but works perfectly!