fire forming without a bullet

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by blazerman91, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. blazerman91

    blazerman91 New Member

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    Dec 28, 2011
    Hello,

    I've found this forum very helpful and would like to give back a little. I'd like to start by saying I'm in no way an expert, just a guy who enjoys this hobby. I have a winchester model 70 in 25-06 ackley improved and found the idea of fire forming without a bullet interesting. I searched the internet for ideas and found a number of different techniques. Heres what I did:

    I started with 100 pieces of winchester brass and annealed them. Then I created a false shoulder by necking them up to 7mm then necked them back down to 25 caliber but not all the way. Only far enough to close in my chamber firmly so the primer strike would not drive the case forward in the chamber and give me missfires or stretched cases. I primed them with f205's. I then put 15 grains of unique into the cases. I chose cream of wheat as the filler. I poured it into the case about halfway up the neck. I tapped the case to settle the filler, rolled up a 1/4 square of toilet paper, and stuffed it in the neck to keep everything in place.
    I lubed my bolt lugs and chambered my first round. (please make sure to fire in a safe direction in an appropriate place. There are high velocity particles exiting the barrel that could do serious damage at close range.) The report was louder than expected but with almost no recoil. When I ejected the casing it I found a perfectly formed ackley case.

    It worked so well that I will do all my fire forming this way.

    I hope this helps
     
  2. Johnboy

    Johnboy Well-Known Member

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    my question is why on earth do you want to put your brass through so much *^&%.I have and many others have found many loads to shoot really well when fire forming.but I guess thats what we want to do.

    it just seems to me that you are going through to much to just form your brass.many of us have found fire forming loads that work really well.for me and many others just use these loads for other things.for me when I had an ackley I fire formed with a good enough load to hunt with.but hey its just an opinion of mine.
     

  3. Chase Curtis

    Chase Curtis Official LRH Sponsor

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    yes yes and yes!
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I do the same COW process only with Corn Meal. Gives the process a bit of a Mexican flavor.

    Be careful of a ring being built up in front of the case mouth.

    Fire forming with bullets also works well, to go along with the above two comments, but I always do the COW thing first, then finish fire forming with a bullet which is fired during a hunting event. There is a difference in performance between the final fire formed case (the shot after the COW process) but not enough difference to worry about except at distances over 850 or so yards. Note this is in an extremely over bore extreme magnum cartridge. Well beyond most if not all AI cartridges with a short barrel life expectancy.
     
  5. KRP

    KRP Well-Known Member

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    Is your brass too short or your headspace too long? An AI chamber shouldn't require a false shoulder as headspace should be .004" less than the parent cartridge.
     
  6. blazerman91

    blazerman91 New Member

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    I headspaced to the brass I'm using, which made my chamber a little tighter than the ackley go gauge. The reason I created the false shoulder was when I tried fire forming with a bullet I was having occasional failure to fires because the contact area between the un-formed case shoulder neck junction and the chamber is very small and the primer strike was moving the case forward. (even though the bullet was jammed in the rifling) The false shoulder was to make sure the case wouldn't move anywhere.

    I don't claim fire forming without a bullet is the best way to do it. I thought it was a cool idea and wanted to try it for myself.
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Besides being a cool idea, it's very convenient, and a pretty much commonly accepted practice.

    The barrel can heat up rapidly thought.
     
  8. nchunter182

    nchunter182 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 12, 2012
    I too have used the COW method to fire form and found it works well. Another member mentioned the junk that builds up in front of the case. I found I needed to swab the barrel every few shots to clean it out. If I didn't, that junk would fall back into the chamber and create case dents. The barrel will get hot so give it time to cool down between strings. I thought it would be less wear and tear on the barrel using pistol powder loads rather than full power rifle loads. Not to mention the cost of the bullets!