Gather all parts of the Hydraulic Form Die Kit to include: the hydraulic form die body with lock ring, the piston, the appropriate shell holder (void of the fired primer discharge hole) and the bottle used to fill the case with either water or oil, your choice.  Also, not included in the kit, you will need a few fired primers, case lube, a hammer and safety glasses.

  1. Install the shellholder into the press as normal.
  2. Install the hydraulic form die into the press just as you would with any other sizing die. With the ram of the press in the up position, install the hydraulic form die and allow the die to make contact with the top of the shell holder. This will set the headspace to the correct location with the die system. Secure the lock ring to the die body.
  3. Once contact is made between the shellholder and the hydraulic form die lower the ram.
  4. Insert a fired primer into the base of the brass to be formed.
  5. Lube the brass and insert the brass into the shellholder and raise the ram completely allowing the brass to enter the hydraulic form die.
  6. Using the liquid bottle, containing either water or oil, fill the case to about the top of the die body itself.
  7. Insert the piston into the top of the die.
  8. (CAUTION) If you haven’t done so yet, put your safety glasses on.
  9. Ensure your safety glasses are on properly. (Obviously this is important)
  10. Pick up the hammer. We have found that a light to medium weight hammer works best and hitting the piston with several fast strikes (2 to 3) seems to yield the best results.
  11. Strike the piston.
  12. Lower the ram of the press and remove the case from the shell holder.
  13. Repeat steps 1-12 to form the next piece of brass.


Helpful tip: Water is much easier to cleanup and evaporates off the floor much more quickly.


Thanks for using the Whidden Gunworks Hydraulic Form Die System.