Many companies offer 80% firearm receivers, frames and other parts that are supposed to be serialized and legally represent the firearm. These non-complete parts don’t qualify as firearms and are useful for a number of reasons – to build your own gun, to avoid complications with the shipping etc. But what in the world is an 80% cartridge case?
The cases themselves are not a subject of registration and I believe there are no restrictions on shipping unprimed cases. That’s what I thought at first when I learned about the company called Hill Billy Brass offering 80% WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum) cases. It turns out that these cases have nothing to do with the legislation.
The company just halfway forms the WSSM cases from new factory Winchester WSM brass. They form the shoulders and leave the necks’ outside diameters to be .300″. This allows the customers to final form the neck to whichever WSSM caliber or a wildcat cartridge based on a WSSM case they want to. The advantage of this offer is that these 80% cases are cheaper than the final formed ones. The price per 50 of 80% WSSM cases is $60. As the company breaks it down: “$38 for the WSM parent cases and $22 for our time to form them“. For comparison, the completely formed WSSM cases cost $97.75 on their website.
These cases should be especially useful for those who own rifles chambered in WSSM based wildcat calibers. These people would have to custom form their brass anyways, so the 80% cases should be a great product for them. The operations required to final form these cases include the sizing to the desired caliber, reaming and turning the necks, trimming the overall length and annealing the cases.