Fire-Forming?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by skip AI, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. skip AI

    skip AI Well-Known Member

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    Gday all,
    Im gonna go and buy myself some factory .25-06,
    And what I wanna do is Fire-Form it to .25-06 AI,
    I have a case trimmer and I am wondering if I need anything else?
    Is there any problems with Fire-Forming Nickel plated brass or normal brass?

    Thanks in advance

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  2. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Hey Skip,
    My opinion on this is that nickel is not a particularly elastic material and may cause you some problems.
    I dont know enough about the subject so maybe someone with more knowledge could expand on this question.
    Personally i have always given nickel plated brass a wide birth. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Ian.
     
  3. Aussie

    Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Skip ,
    Haven't used Nickel plated brass myself but believe from what I have read that it is hard on dies and is inclined to flake off around the neck after a while .
     
  4. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Go with the reg brass. Why pay more for something that may cause problems? Is the chamber cut as a true AI? This means that a standard case will be a slight crush fit when chambered. This keeps the case nice and tight against the bolt when you fireform. If not, you will have very short case life due to separation in a firing or two.

    Get a piece of brass and throw it in the chamber, you should just feel a resistance when you close the bolt. If not, the safest way is to form a false shoulder before firing.

    Simplest way for this is to get 270 brass, run into your 25.06 die so that you size most of the neck. Adjust die so that you can close bolt but there is firm resistance. Upon fireforming, you will have a perfectly fitted brass.

    Other way is to neck up the 25-06 brass, then back down again to form that second shoulder. With the AI profile, I doubt you will mistake which brass you are using no matter what the headstamp says.

    I fireform using cream of wheat, COW (corn meal works fine too). Use the boil stuff, no instant. Any primer can be used. Drop in 14 to 17gr of HP38/Win 231 (other shotgun powders can also be used but I don't know the weights). Start low and work up.

    Fill to base of neck with COW and stuff in a piece of paper towel to hold it all together. Fire. You will have a shoulder that is formed but not quite sharp. Increase charge a bit and you will see the shoulder sharpen. You will need the first full pressure smokeless firing to fully form the case.

    Every 5 or so shots, check the chamber to make sure there are not bits of COW in there. This will dent your case. A cosmetic thing mostly. I also run a brush just to remove any fouling. This way I can form 50 brass in a few minutes.

    Enjoy a great wildcat...

    Jerry
     
  5. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, nickle brass is a mistake, for this application. I own a 25'06 Ackley, and I use 270 Win PMC brass. Turning necks is not possible, even chamfering the necks results in chipping, if not now, later. I wouldn't ever use nickle, unless I lived in coastal Alaska, and had no intention of reusing the cases. However, nickle is great for handguns.

    The method I used to fireform was with corn meal. I don't remember what powder, or how much, but the main thing is to decide what you use to plug the neck. I have tried bar soap, and didn't like it. I wound up using little 1ΒΌ" squares of newsprint, rolled into a ball and carefully stuffed into the neck.

    Jerry is right about checking the action every so often for clutter. You need to blow it out with compressed air, or if you don't have a compressor, I think a can of air, like we use for computer parts would be okay?

    I close the garage doors and shoot into a baffle box, but that corn meal eventually blew the back out, which was made of half inch particle board. I think it is best to shoot upward, and be careful when extracting the blown out case because some media may still be inside, and get thrown around inside the action if you do things horizontal.

    If at all possible, the best way I have found, to fireform in one simple step, is to use a loaner gun with a junk barrel, the chamber of which is cut using the same reamer as is your barrel. Using this method, at the range, with surplus bullets and a standard, but relatively mild load, I was able to completely fireform 200 cases in little more than an hour.

    By far the easiest fireforming, if you have the means, and a cooperative local gunsmith.

    Good hunting. LB

    edit: PS I have never had to use a case trimmer after fireforming to an Ackley. I check, routinely, but the necks never need trimming.
     
  6. skip AI

    skip AI Well-Known Member

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    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gifUmmmmmmmm I just thought I could just shoot the factory ammo in my rifle and it would be fire-formed because of the different shape chamber, thats what I was told but now I am unshore and am gonna have to ask the bloke who sold me the rifle!

    Thanks

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  7. 3sixbits

    3sixbits Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why you can't do just as you wish and shoot the factory ammo in your rifle. If it is a true ACKLEY IMPROVED chamber you most certainly can.
     
  8. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    Sure can do. But, consider.

    The reason for various methods of fireforming (without) bullets; is to save your barrel life with those hot rock chamberings. If you have 600/1000 accurate shots in your barrel, why spend 100 or 200 just fireforming with sub par ammo?

    At that point, you begin load development? Your premium barrel may very well be half shot out by the time you decide on a good powder and bullet combination.

    Anyway, that's my take on the situation. You buy an Ackley, you want to shoot an Ackley, not a standard 25'06.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  9. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Skip. I concur with 3Six. I don't have a .280 Ackley yet but I will and the ease of fire forming is part of the appeal. If your guns AI chamber is cut right you will notice factory ammo gives a little resistance when closing the bolt. This means the shoulders are holding the case firmly gainst the boltface so it wont jump forward when the firing pin hits it. Then aim and shoot. The brass that comes out is AI.

    Most of the info above is an alternate way to get your brass formed without wasting a bullet and big ammounts of rifle powder.

    I also agree that you probably dont want nickel plated brass. I don't know exactly why rifle brass is sold that way but for pistols a major reason is so the rounds kept in a cops duty gun unfired for years and years will eject and rechamber where corroded brass will cause a jam.

    You are going to use your brass more often than that. I'm sure so no real benefit will be gained by using Nickel.
     
  10. skip AI

    skip AI Well-Known Member

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    Now I get it! I havent fired any factory ammo through my AI because it came with 120 emptys and case life has been 2 shots a case so far.
    So I cant tell if the factory stuff will sit like mentioned.

    Thanks all, that has helped me alot /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    I appreciate it,

    skip /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  11. rwleonard

    rwleonard Well-Known Member

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    Its cheaper to buy brass and work-up a fire-forming load that gives decent enough accuracy to let you do things like practice your off-hand shooting. Just keep the barrel from getting too hot, and your improved skill should more than compensate you for barrel wear.

    Rick

    PS A useful way to keep your barrel cool is to load up a few dummy rounds so that you can do, say, 200 rounds of ball-and-dummy style position practice while firing 25-50 live rounds. Saves wear and tear on you and the barrel.
     
  12. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    Either about to "help" you more, or confuse you more?

    You have something wrong, if you get two firings per case. That is definitely NOT worth the effort, one of which is fireforming. I generally get around ten, based on four different guns.

    More advice, never buy a used Ackley. (edit) or a used Weatherby. Or a used 220 Swift; lacking a borescope.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  13. skip AI

    skip AI Well-Known Member

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    LB, What I mean is Ive loaded each case twice so far,
    I should probably get 7 loads per case, if I was only getting 2 shots per case I would be very unhappy!
    7 X 100 = 700 shots! I wont need any new brass for ages /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    I was just gonna fire-form some because I wanted to see if I could.

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  14. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

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    I just load new brass with my full Ackley load and go shooting or hunting. I fireform the Winchester brass as I go. I have never lost a brass nor do I waste any shots down the barrel. After that I just use regular 25-06 Lee collet dies and my brass has gone 20 firings in testing. I quit after that and just put them in with my 100. I alway have 80 rounds of 75 grain V-Max's and 20 rounds of 100 grain Partitions on hand. Point of impact is only 1/2 inch at 100 yards. I am in the process of doing up the same thing in my new 257wby only a little faster. I use the same Lee die on it too only with a spacer. Even when fire forming the 25-06AI is a solid sub moa performer. Not bad for a Ruger.