.25-06 AI Fireforming

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gr8whyt, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    I received my new .25-06 AI from the smith this past week (big smile on my face). So I've been getting together some fireforming loads. I'm trying 2 different methods both with new Winchester .25-06 brass.

    1. 46gr of RL-22 behind a 117gr sierra pro-hunter bullet. I figured I could do some fireforming and new barrel break-in at one time with these.

    2. Expand neck up to .270 caliber and partial size neck to back to .257 caliber leaving a false shoulder that just chambers and is pretty tight. Then load Alliant Green Dot, fill to middle of neck with Cream of Wheat, and plug with a bit of tissue paper. I started with 10.0gr of Green Dot (for some reason I can't remember I have lots of this powder on hand) and went up to 16.0gr.

    Here are my results so far.

    The bullet loads are about what I thought they might be. The case shoulders are fairly well formed, but still not quite as sharp on the shoulders and neck junction as could be. One case in the first 20 split on the shoulder and never formed very well...still very rounded (almost looks like a Weatherby double-radius shoulder). Using fire and clean method for the first 5, then 3 shots and clean for the next 15, the barrel seems to be getting much easier to clean and is starting to group nicely, although I don't care much as these are not for load development.

    The COW loads are doing wonderfully. I've settled on 13.0gr of the Green Dot. Case shoulders are nice and sharp. Not any mess. I did a few in the garage, but it's still pretty loud, so I may do some more like that, but most will be outdoors at the range.

    So overall, there's no doubt in my mind. The COW fireforming method is what I'll use for the remainder of my cases, and into the future. Sorry for the long post.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  2. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the posting. I have never tried the CCW method on my .25-06AI. Mine has a tight neck so I had to turn the necks prior to doing anything. But all I did with it was to turn the necks to the right thickness and then load them up with a regular .25-06 load and fire them. They shot very well but it took a long time to do as I was also trying to keep the temp down on the barrel. I will have to give it a try on the next batch I do.
     

  3. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    BillR,

    How far did you turn the necks? All the way to the shoulder taper? I was told that if you go too far into the shoulder taper, then there is nothing to headspace on. And that seating the bullets long into the lands doesn't cut it. So in that case, leaving just a bit of the original neck would be a good thing...something to headspace on.

    Did you spoil any cases during forming? Thanks for any insight.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  4. OKIE2

    OKIE2 Well-Known Member

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    AI chambers are made to shoot regular 25-06 cases so just load them to
    stanard 25-06 loads and shoot them.
    I never had a problem in 25 years that I had mine.
     
  5. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I second what OKIE2 said. That is what my buddy and I did for his 25-06AI. Matter of fact he even killed a bunch of deer on the farm that he was a control hunter on with the regular 25-06 loads to fire form some of his cases. He used 52 grs H4831, CCI BR2 primers, Remington cases and 117 Sierra Game Kings. I forgot what his AI loads were ( he used H-4831) but at 100 yards the 25-06 loads would shoot one hole groups and when you switched to the AI loads the POI moved 1/4 inch to the right at 100 yards. So all he had to do was put one click on his scope to correct his zero between them. Elevation wise they shot for all practical purposes to the same POI out to 250 yards. Beyond that point the AI started showing flatter trajectory.
     
  6. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Quote: How far did you turn the necks? All the way to the shoulder taper? I was told that if you go too far into the shoulder taper, then there is nothing to head space on. And that seating the bullets long into the lands doesn't cut it. So in that case, leaving just a bit of the original neck would be a good thing...something to head space on.

    Did you spoil any cases during forming? Thanks for any insight.

    I went back till it just touched the shoulder with the Forrester. I had taken the cases down from once fired .30-06 LC brass that I have had for years gathering dust and used them as a trial just to see how it worked as I had never fire formed prior to this or neck turned either for that matter. I resized, trimmed, turned, primed and loaded. Just like I would do for a standard .25-06 and then fire formed. Out of 100 cases I lost around 5 and from what I could tell those were due to mainly the neck and shoulder/neck work hardening. About 1/3 of the way through I pulled the brass down and annealed the necks and then reloaded them and never had another problem. The gun is used mainly for hunting so it does not get shot much and so far I am on my 3rd reloading and no problem. This makes one heck of a Antelope/Deer gun with 115 Burgers and Retumbo powder.
     
  7. OKIE2

    OKIE2 Well-Known Member

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    What was your reason for turning the necks?
     
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    GR8....I liked using .270 cases in mine so I didn't end up with short necks which WILL happen using std. '06 length cases. This should only be done when using the cream of wheat method, NOT loaded ammo! You could end up with high pressures if you didn't shorten the cases first, but that would defeat the purpose.......Rich
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  9. gr8whyt

    gr8whyt Well-Known Member

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    Good discussion, guys and lots of good advice.

    elkaholic, my brother is donating about 140 once-fired military 30-06 cases (mixed head stamps). I will sort them and if I decide to use them, I'll use the Cream-of-Wheat method and keep an eye on the lengths. Thanks for the heads up.

    Okie2, If that question about why did I turn the necks, then I guess I just turned them enough to make them all the same neck thickness. I did like BillR said he did, and just turned to the neck/shoulder junction. I was very careful about that.

    So far so good fireforming overall. I've lost 1 by using bullets and 1 using COW. I guess that's not too bad for cheap Winchester brass. I have about 30 or 40 left to go. I'll use the COW method on these. Now I have enough cases and the break-in is done so I can start working up some "real" loads.

    -- gr8whyt
     
  10. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    The reason for turning the necks was its a tight neck .282 minimum spec. chamber gun. If I don't turn them I can't even get a standard .25-06 case to chamber. If I was to do it over again I would not ever do the tight neck again. But it is what it is and so I do what I have to do to load for it and the way it shoots I cannot complain as it just plain shoots no matter what I put in it.
     
  11. OKIE2

    OKIE2 Well-Known Member

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    If you all need new 25-06 brass try the privy brass from Grafs & sons for $34.99 per 100 bag I have bought 400 of them and like them.