ETA sometime next week I'm going to follow Dave's advice and order dies from Hornady. Honestly custom dies are all about the same price from the different companies when you get right down to it.
I've been researching the "other" .35 caliber conversions using .35 bullets with a 7.62x39 case and I think there are going to be some good results with this. Should be very close to .30-30 performance for hotter loads. I'm going to start with the .250 grain bullets I have and work from there. The 9.3 caliber has quite a few bullets to choose from so there should not be a problem with bullet selection. I wonder how small I can go with the bullets... I may try bumping some other .357 sized rounds to the larger .366 size to see how they will work. Going to start with 2400 powder which should give good results. I may try to track down some ballistics calculator software to work up some other loads.
Magazines will be the big question. I believe the .223 AK style mags will feed these OK. I have that Vintorez mag and I may see if my buddy can get me some more of them. Or one of the newer AK9 mags if that's possible. Those look like 5.45 mags so perhaps a new follower will do the trick. I also have some candidate .223 mags for different rifles that I just want to play with to see if I can get any of them to work. I know by using the dummy rounds I have that the COL will be shorter to fit in the Vintorez mags. THAT of course was built for the subsonic ammo and the bullets are seated rather deeply in the case, so hotter hunting rounds may not work very well in that. We'll just have to see.
I'm really interested in the subsonic performance since this caliber was born out of need for a subsonic performance in an AK. I'd like to get a can and all that good stuff too.
I want to do some ballistic gelatin tests as well.
I'll probably do the newer style AK9 as a first build since I have most all the parts I need for that one. And of course yes I've got to have a Groza build The Groza will use a Saiga x39 as a donor. Just swap out the barrel and presto a ready conversion!
A Vintorez build is not impossible. I will need to machine that magwell area, but seeing how it breaks down into smaller components, the receiver looks surprisingly small.