What to do with fireforming shots?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by tlk, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    Reading "Precision Shooting". First chapter talks about the setup of new cases. Not a lot of info is given as to getting anything out of the first shot with these cases other than good fire-formed brass for your chamber. Makes it sound like proper case prep for its life in your gun is the ONLY objective for the first shot.

    Am I reading this correctly? What do you do with this initial load?

    Thanks.
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    There are a couple of ways to go about it.

    One is the COW (Cream of Wheat/Corn Meal) method.

    Put the "correct" of fast burning powder (Unique) for the cartridge, fill the case with Corn Meal, and seal with a ball of Tissue Paper.

    For forming cases where the sides have been straightened and the shoulder moved out with a different angle the COW method will get you about 98 there.

    For fire forming non wild cat cartridges it's probably 100% effective.

    If used be careful with the ring of residue built up on the case mouth.

    Also, no magnum primers and watch barrel head. It will heat rapidly.

    What I now do is with a new batch of cases (50 or 100) I load the case with a fire forming load which is nothing more that a reduce normal load, bullet and all, and go hunting with them. In my rifle the fire forming load in no less accurate (coyote accurate) than the normal load, just a little slower.

    My barrel has a limited life and I want to get as much out of it as I can.

    HTH.....
     

  3. CAM

    CAM Well-Known Member

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    I shoot my fireform shots.
    I even let newbys that want to shoot fire them.
    It's all good practice, some people don't like the barrel wear.
    I figure when the barrel is wore out I'll get a new one.
    The fireform loads I use are very accurate just 300 FPS slower.
    I never mix and match because my fireform loads use different powder and bullets.
    I'm eather fireforming or shooting full loads between cleaning.
    I've even had my fireform loads out to one mile.
    I load up some fireform loads, grap a friend, go out to the desert and range rocks, blast away.
    Great times and most friends don't even know thier firefirming my brass!!!
    after you have a couple hundred formed it will last for a while.
    CAM
     
  4. willierower

    willierower Member

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    I grabbed a couple buddies, range finder, 60 rounds of factory ammo and went for a drive today. We were rock and stump hunting. We had a good time fire forming .243 AI cases today. We spent the better part of the day just driving around a looking for "good" targets out to and beyond 500 yards. Fire forming = good times. Make it fun.
     
  5. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

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    With factory rounds and a factory barrel I usualy do a quick site in and

    [​IMG]

    With Ackly improved rounds I usualy load the parent case to max, do a quick site in and

    [​IMG]

    With special rounds like the 22PPC I take special care to make sure to turn the necks on 220 Russian brass, do a quick site in and

    [​IMG]

    With dedicated long range rounds like the 6BR,6-284 and 6.5-284 I put a consistant amount of powder in them along with a VLD bullet. Then you guessed it do a quick site in and

    [​IMG]

    You didnt mention why you are fireforming but if its just to form the case to the chamber I seriously doubt you will notice much of a difference in group size in most cases. The bench rest men might notice a differece but I have yet to find a prairie dog that knowes or cares if the round is a fireforming round or one of my "Precision Shooting" specialy formed to my chamber cases.
    Had a 1000 yard competitor tell me that 300Weatherby loads(useing necked and turned 340 Weatherby brass) in my 308 Baer would shoot as good as the final 308 Baer fireformed loads would, ya know he was right:cool: They dont shoot to same point of impact but they group just as good!!!
     
  6. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    The first thing I do is to look for some of the older bullets that I have in stock and don't intend to use anymore - why waste your new bullets when fireforming?

    As soon as I find a reasonably accurate load, I "huntform" the remainder of the brass. I had a 6mmAI that would regularly shoot .5moa with odd ball bullets that had been collecting dust on the loading bench. Killed quite a few groundhogs while huntforming the Norma cases.

    I'd add that I also load up my "fouling" rounds with odds & ends bullets that were left over from some other application.
     
  7. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

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    one thing I have been told is to remove your muzzle brake when using the cream of wheat process . if you don't remove it , it could get damaged . Jim
     
  8. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

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  9. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    I fireform using a max load and with the false shoulder to maintain case concentricity in the chamber.

    Accuracy is good as most have said and works great.

    It is important if using the COW to find the right amount of fast powder. You want a sharp clean shoulder so takes some experimenting.

    Second, use a little lube on the case shoulders right before you fireform and it helps make them sharp.

    BH
     
  10. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I was thinking that what I was reading said that going through all of the trouble to fireform was worth it. Was I wrong in this assumption or do you all think it IS worth the time and trouble?

    Need more light. Can I get a detailed explanation why this would be necessary or advantagous? Is it just a consistency thing that reduces one of the variables?

    Thanks.
     
  11. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

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    I consider my barrel life to be pretty precious,so I make all my shots count.I will treat virgin brass just like I would treat fired brass.I am going to do all of my load developement with virgin brass,by the time I am done,it will then be ready to reload.If there are some slight difference's in the way it fires when it was virgin,then I will just tweak the load to make up for the slight difference.
     
  12. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Have won more than a few relays and matches including a State 1K Championship with virgin albeit prepared brass..
     
  13. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    BossHoss, what are you considering prepared brass? What are you doing for your steps? One of the things suspiciously missing in the beook before fireforming is sizing. What do you consider necessary or not in this regard?Thanks for the advice.
     
  14. m249

    m249 Well-Known Member

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    In my guns I fireform my brass and use these rounds to help find the max loads that I can load. I just standard calibers, but its a good way to kill to birds with one stone.