Once Fired Brass.....School Me on This;)

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Ingwe, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Ingwe

    Ingwe Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am fairly new to reloading so I am hoping to get some knowledge from you guys here;)

    I do understand what once fired brass IS but I'm not quite sure what the benefit is.

    IS it more accurate than new brass because the once fired has taken on the dimensions of your particular chamber or is it a slight increase in powder capacity...or is it something else?

    Furthermore, when you do have once fired brass, do you need to buy a custom die to maintain the dimensions?

    Finally, you now have a mountain of once fired brass and you need a new barrel....what do you do with your brass?

    Thanks SO MUCH FELLAS!
     
  2. livetohunt

    livetohunt Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    The once fired brass will match your chamber dimensions. The process is called fire forming. Some chamberings (wildcats) require the fire forming in order to change the shoulder angle, body taper etc. you always want to stay shy of max loads when fire forming.

    It’s more accurate because it’s going to be much more consistent shot to shot compared to new brass.

    If you have a lot of once fired brass and replace your barrel... assuming it’s the same chambering, just fire it again, then you have fire formed brass to THAT exact chamber. But then it’s technically twice fired brass. Watch the OAL and make sure your bumping the shoulder correctly and your good to go!

    I’m sure others will chime in here with more info.
     
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  3. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    Once fired brass is just a start in my proces. I neck size with a collet die for two firings, then I set up a body die to set back .002” from the fireformed dimension. Once fired brass is desirable when purchasing used brass, other than that, it’s not ready for me.
     
  4. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing, I’ve witnessed 1000mtr F-Class matches being won by a fair margin of X’s with NEW UNFIRED BRASS. Sure it was fully prepped, annealed, flash hole de-burred, trimmed, neck sized correctly, necks turned and capacity sorted, but it was still UNFIRED.
    I remember reading that the record set when the 300H&H won the Wimbledon match that it was with new unfired Kynoch brass.
    So it’s not necessarily more accurate using fire formed brass, just saying.

    I have seen some awesome groups with fully prepped brass that was new myself, in fact better with the same load after it was sized.

    Cheers.
    ;)
     
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  5. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    +1 for the comments made by livetohunt. Consistency is the name of the game when reloading.

    With a barrel that is broken in, and demonstrates stable velocities, I will test velocity, ES, and accuracy between my fire-formed and unfired brass. While it’s generally not the case, I do have a few rifles(using Lapua and Norma brass) that produce results for V, ES, and POI that are within the same standard as my fired/fully prepped brass. At the very least, I can get some practice value out of the fire=forming process, and on a few occasions have used them successfully for competition.
     
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  6. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    I have shot amazing groups with new brass. But it’s all about consistency for me, and that means stabile brass, and I achieve that with brass that’s fireformed and then sized exactly the same each time.
     
  7. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    It's reloading, so I'll give you the catch all answer. There's a bunch variables. I feel some thoughts on once fired brass vs factory new are holdover thoughts from a time when tolerances weren't quite what they are today. I still believe in fire forming in certain instances, and several chamberings have fire forming loads and hunting loads.

    Two of the biggest variables are rifle and brass make. If you're shooting a mass produced budget rifle, your chamber may not be as tight as a premium build. Better quality brass is closer to minimum SAAMI specs, but your bulk brass from the big box names are under sized more to fit every chamber out there.

    I will size up belted mag brass and size the neck back down if my first firing is going to push the shoulder more than 0.010", so I don't stretch in front of the belt, and generally use an accurate lower pressure load to get it filled out and practice field position shooting.

    But I just loaded up 100 rounds of 308 for hunting ammo with factory new brass in a M88 from the 60s that shoots consistently under an inch with that load. So basically, trial and error will answer your questions.
     
  8. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    Ingwe
    Below are some once fired 7mm Mauser cases, what did firing these cases once accomplish?
    You could say once fired brass is a loaded question. ;)
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Lefty223

    Lefty223 Active Member

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    To clarify ... once-fired brass fired in YOUR gun is a good thing ... fired in ANOTHER gun clearly is a different case.
     
  10. Ingwe

    Ingwe Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but I don't get it;)
     
  11. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    The primers are protruding from the rear of the cases.
    Meaning the chamber pressure was not high enough to form the case to the chamber.
    If these cases had been fire formed properly the first time the primers would be flush and the case shoulder would have formed to the chamber.

    If not fire formed properly the cases would have stretched to meet the bolt face the same amount as the primers are protruding. Therefore fire forming is a "loaded question".

    [​IMG]

    Below is Kevin Thomas of Team Lapua USA.
    And I prefer full length resizing and the expression "The cartridge should fit the chamber like a rat turd in a violin case."
    Click on the image to enlarge
    [​IMG]
    Below Erik Cortina of Team Lapua USA
     
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  12. tbrice23

    tbrice23 Well-Known Member

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    I believe Brian Litz won with NEW brass with the 'then' new 200.20X gr hybrid.
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Yep! I also have had exceptional (and sometimes just as good as) groups with brand new Lapua brass, as I do with fire-formed Lapua brass in my R700 5R Milspec .308 Win. Same goes with Nosler brass for my belted magnums. Fact of the matter is, good brass is good brass, and it's going to produce good results for an experienced loader, and in a gun that's already known to perform well.

    Another good example is my process for fire-forming brass for my .25-06 AI. The way I setup my fire-forming loads, the rifle shoots sub-MOA when I'm just shooting to form my brass with starting loads, cheap Hornady Interlock bullets, and dropped powder charges (because fire-forming charges don't have to be precise, like I do with my normal loads).
     
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  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I don't care what Erik Cortina says, or what level of fame or following he has... I'm still going to neck-size my brass, because I get good results, and have had zero problems with doing so.
     
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