How do YOU fire form?

TRexF16

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I have a 25-06AI build in the works that I will hopefully have finished by deer season. I'm in the process of gathering up all the reloading components and I got to thinking....why would I waste the "good" primers and powder heck even cheap bullets ain't cheap anymore on fire forming?

My chamber will be set up properly where I can shoot factory 25-06 ammo out of it. But I hear that makes short cases that aint gonna grow much especially in an AI. And factory ammo ain't cheap or easy to find. Also this is going to be a 1:7.5tw so I don't know how well a 100gr sst or corelok would hold together to hunt with while fire forming. Also not planning on using Remington or hornady brass. I have 150pcs of lapua 30-06 so far.

I've used the c.o.w. method before but in a 223ai and that was when primer bricks were $35 and that is a much smaller case.

Barrel life is of concern. But I'd rather do something right the first time so if that means fire forming with a bullet then so be it.

Can I load a medium charge of superformance which a have a lot of and a cheapo bullet and a cheapo primer and start there? Would using a cheap primer for fire forming change my primer pockets?

This isn't a 25-06AI specific question. How do yall fire form your improved cases?
Duckman, I only have one AI (.35 Whelen AI) and I use the COW method and factory .35 Whelen Brass.
Couple thoughts: Since you are planning to neck down Lapua 30-06, you will have no headspace issues regardless of how your chamber was cut. You'll be able to neck down for a crush fit.
I haven't used Lapua 30-06 but my Lapua .308 brass runs definitely towards the thick side in the case necks (.015"). If their 30-06 brass is similar, you might end up needing to neck turn or ream for it to safely fit your chamber when a bullet is seated.
If it were my rifle, that would really lead me towards using the COW method for the initial fire form - you'll have no worries with the fit of the bullet and case neck in your chamber for that initial forming. Once your cases have the shoulder nicely blown out, THEN you can check the resultant case neck dimensions against your chamber and do any turning that might be needed.

I don't think anybody mentioned that aspect of your decision yet in this thread but might have missed it.

Good luck with it,
Rex
 

Mike Matteson

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One thing for sure that the case base is against the bolt face. I use 2nd in bullets. I use a reduce powder load, and the bullet is into the lands about .005" to make sure the base is against the bold face. A double shoulder would work good too. I haven't tried that yet.
 

Harry Knutz

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A pic of a 30-40 Krag Ackley Imp, And a .30x54R Improved, Both are next to a dummy round that was fireformed using the COW method, Notice the rounded shoulders, They still fit the chamber well for the first firing of an actual bullet.
 

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Alibiiv

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I have a 25-06AI build in the works that I will hopefully have finished by deer season. I'm in the process of gathering up all the reloading components and I got to thinking....why would I waste the "good" primers and powder heck even cheap bullets ain't cheap anymore on fire forming?

My chamber will be set up properly where I can shoot factory 25-06 ammo out of it. But I hear that makes short cases that aint gonna grow much especially in an AI. And factory ammo ain't cheap or easy to find. Also this is going to be a 1:7.5tw so I don't know how well a 100gr sst or corelok would hold together to hunt with while fire forming. Also not planning on using Remington or hornady brass. I have 150pcs of lapua 30-06 so far.

I've used the c.o.w. method before but in a 223ai and that was when primer bricks were $35 and that is a much smaller case.

Barrel life is of concern. But I'd rather do something right the first time so if that means fire forming with a bullet then so be it.

Can I load a medium charge of superformance which a have a lot of and a cheapo bullet and a cheapo primer and start there? Would using a cheap primer for fire forming change my primer pockets?

This isn't a 25-06AI specific question. How do yall fire form your improved cases?
I am not certain about how to make 25-06 AIs from 30-06 brass, however I suspect there's more to it than simply running the 30-06 brass into a 25-06AI resizing die. Before I started any of the processes of forming these casings, I would start out annealing the brass first. Annealing "will" make anything that you do here a whole lot easier. As for shooting 25-06 cases smaller and they "ain't gonna grow", I am not certain this will be the case either. I shoot .270 Winchester brass in my .270AI, I have never had any shortness issues. If the chamber is reamed and set up properly, and from you have written it is, the brass ought to be fine after fire forming. If you really want to save on components, you could go to a "hydro-forming" process. Whidden and Hornady make hydro forming dies for around $200. The process is a little messy because it requires filling a case with water, however it does work well enough to get your brass formed for a first firing. I have hydro-form dies made by Hornady for the .270AI, when they "did" work they did a fine job, however I will never order them from Hornady again and if I were to go the hydro-form route it would be with Whidden. I have been able to use the Hornady dies to make 14 rounds before the die gave me trouble. I called Hornady, they sent out a new plunger for the die, that too did not work either. So....if it's the hydro form process, then Whidden it will be. I still believe that COW is the way to go. You can buy a lot of cream-of-wheat for $200, and we are talking about 15+- grains of a fast burning powder like Unique or Bullseye, and....it does work well. My other question is "how much brass are you intending for fire form to be concerned about fire forming them??" From what you have posted you are looking for fire form 150 pieces of brass; 150 primers and and 1/3 pound of powder, and some COW. I am feeding two .270AIs and not going through that much brass to be concerned about the cost to make them, and I am fire forming Winchester brass and that is nowhere the quality of the brass you are using.
 

Alibiiv

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DJ's Brass service in Alabama. You can find it on the net. Considerating the cost of components, and barrel wear, IMHO, his service is cost effective.
Never heard of this company. I went to their sight, their prices are really not that bad for what they offer.👍
👍👍
 

jdyoung

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I size up to the next caliber, size back down to proper caliber creating a "false shoulder", then use the "COW" method.
Now I don't have a shooting range, and I don't live close to one either (30min). This adds fuel for travel into the expense equation along with the prices of primers, powder, cleaning, etc.

Some of my new neighbors have asked what is that popping noise at night. I don't say "Must be somebody "COW"ing cartridges" in their basement.

So, for the future, I am currently looking into the Hydraulic Case Forming Dies. I know Hornady currently makes them,
( Hornady's Hydraulic Case-Forming Dies within AccurateShooter.com ),
and I believe Whidden Gunworks does also. My belief is that the more we invest/show interest in this item(s) the more of the hydraulic case forming tools will be available from those Mfgs. at better prices. AND soon other Mfgs. will add them to their line, (hopefully),. With the increased development the ease of using them will get better.

Then when I get to the range, I can get down to shooting, developing loads quicker and hopefully cheaper.
 

Harry Knutz

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Necking down 30-06 to 25-06, Should be done in steps, Say run it through a 280 die first and so on, Necking down usually creates necks that are too thick and will need to be turned or reamed. Annealing should be done afterwards, Doing it before could cause collapsed shoulders.
 

TX Badger

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I think people make this stuff way too complicated.

A mid range load in the parent case should have moderate pressure for fire forming even with a slightly jammed bullet, but plenty to fully form the case so that you can start development on the second firing.

Consider that if you don't fully form the first time you are still in the fire forming process on the 2nd firing. 2 primers, 2 charges of powder before you can start development.

100 cases should last the life of a 25-06ai barrel if you don't abuse the Brass and anneal. 100 rounds is where you want to start development anyways to do your break in and account for the barrel speeding up.

My fire forming loads in my 260ai were as accurate as anything that I developed later, just slower. So they are still good practice rounds, not a waste at all.

My process is:

-find the lands
-Load a mid range load(for the parent case) with the components I plan to use, a few thous. Into the lands.
-Shoot

It is supposed to be this easy. That's how ai rounds were designed to work.
 

nksmfamjp

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I have done both false shoulder bullet fireforming and COW fireforming. My 300 Sherman Peterson brass was trashed in 5 reloads, due to thinning in the head area. My 6PPC had a couple light primer strikes. My 28 Sherman Mag seems to of worked well…..I think I had a better false shoulder. Often these loads were hunting accurate.

Now I do COW type fireforming.

 

Zen Archery

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Cost of materials in 2022. I don’t. I develop an unfired load and when I have enough rounds I’ll develop a fire formed load.
 

TX Badger

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Necking down 30-06 to 25-06, Should be done in steps, Say run it through a 280 die first and so on, Necking down usually creates necks that are too thick and will need to be turned or reamed. Annealing should be done afterwards, Doing it before could cause collapsed shoulders.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you could do all of this with a 25-06ai bushing die and just buy the appropriate bushings to step down a couple times...

I did not mention neck turning in my example bc I was not changing calibers. Definitely necessary in this case going from .308 to .257
 
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