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Fireforming with pistol powder #15246500 09/22/20
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Fotis Offline OP
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So I have a 1:7 twist 25-06 Ackley Improved coming. I need to make up some fireforming loads. I rather not fire 100 rounds of full bore 25-06 rem loads through my custom barrel.

I played with quickload and I figure with a 75 grain V max and 20 gr of red dot should get me there. Or should I skip the bullet and use Cream of Wheat

What say you?



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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15246514 09/22/20
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I use enough Bullseye in my Mashburn to form shoulders if I don’t fire full power fire form loads with bullets.


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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15246517 09/22/20
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Fotis Offline OP
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Scott what is your process? Any cream of wheat or?????



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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15246608 09/22/20
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15-18 grains of Bullseye, fill the rest of the case with COW, put a tuft of paper towel on top sparked with a large pistol primer. That’s what I use for the Mashburn. You might be able to get away with less with the smaller case.


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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15246623 09/22/20
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Fotis Offline OP
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cool thanks



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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15246629 09/22/20
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Gringo Loco Offline
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Was just looking in Ken Howell's Designing and Forming Custom Cartridges. On pg. 54 he covers Fire-Forming without Bullets.

He advises priming with pistol primers to keep pressures down and references George Nonte's advice for powder charges in his book on cartridge conversions:

"Sixteen grains of Bullseye does a good job in blowing out standard .30-06 cases to size and shape for the .35 Whelen Improved ... start with a small charge of Bullseye that will fill about ten percent of the volume of the unformed case. Work up from this until a charge is reached that gives a cleanly formed case. Watch the primers closely for any signs of excessive pressure. Half grain increases are plenty until adequate expansion is achieved."

Ken also advised sticking with Instant Ralston, cornmeal or Cream of Wheat as the inert filler for fire forming without bullets.

Use a wood dowel to lightly tamp a quarter sheet folded wad of toilet paper over the powder and fill with Cream of Wheat. Press a small blob of bullet lube over the case mouth to seal and keep the inert filler from spilling out.


Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Gringo Loco] #15246643 09/22/20
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Originally Posted by Gringo Loco
Was just looking in Ken Howell's Designing and Forming Custom Cartridges. On pg. 54 he covers Fire-Forming without Bullets.

He advises priming with pistol primers to keep pressures down and references George Nonte's advice for powder charges in his book on cartridge conversions:

"Sixteen grains of Bullseye does a good job in blowing out standard .30-06 cases to size and shape for the .35 Whelen Improved ... start with a small charge of Bullseye that will fill about ten percent of the volume of the unformed case. Work up from this until a charge is reached that gives a cleanly formed case. Watch the primers closely for any signs of excessive pressure. Half grain increases are plenty until adequate expansion is achieved."

Ken also advised sticking with Instant Ralston, cornmeal or Cream of Wheat as the inert filler for fire forming without bullets.

Use a wood dowel to lightly tamp a quarter sheet folded wad of toilet paper over the powder and fill with Cream of Wheat. Press a small blob of bullet lube over the case mouth to seal and keep the inert filler from spilling out.


I made 9.3x62 cases from 30-06 this way. It worked well enough.


Okie John

Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15246715 09/22/20
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Fotis Offline OP
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excellent



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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15248964 09/23/20
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11 grains of Bullseye topped with cornmeal and tissue worked fine for forming shoulders on my 6.5-06 AI. I used standard WLR primers without issue. Like others have said, final forming was done with projectiles.

Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15250075 09/23/20
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All cartridges that I fireform, I use a healthy load of Bullseye and a wax plug.

IC-B

Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15250341 09/23/20
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I was taught by the guy who ran the old Speer ballistic lab as follows:
1. Use Bullseye
2. Start with 15-20% weight of the maximum charge for the parent cartridge. Example: if max charge is 60 then start with 12 grains of Bullseye.
3. Use a PISTOL primer, only for forming!!!
4. Increase charge until shoulder is formed to the point it looks similar to an unfired case
5. Take all remaining pistol primers and store them away from your rifle primers
6. Use filler with tissue
7. Periodically use brush to freshen chamber if doing lots of cases

Last edited by RinB; 09/23/20.


Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15250349 09/23/20
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Oh, long ago some buddies were forming 460 Wby cases to .510 something. They decided that using something heavier than cereal would more fully form the cases. They used sand.
They didn’t continue to use sand after the new barrel was installed.

True story.



Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: RinB] #15250506 09/23/20
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Gringo Loco Offline
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Originally Posted by RinB

I was taught by the guy who ran the old Speer ballistic lab as follows:

1. Use Bullseye
2. Start with 15-20% weight of the maximum charge for the parent cartridge. Example: if max charge is 60 then start with 12 grains of Bullseye.

By max charge, do you mean case capacity filled with Bullseye?

Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15250737 09/23/20
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Daveh Offline
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I use blue dot with the cheapest bullets I have. In the 30-06 size case about 20-22 grains regardless of bullet weight.
Learned all I need to know from Seafire on here.....


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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15250780 09/23/20
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I had a No 1 in 7x57 AI, I had it throated to shoot 150grn boattail bullets... I fireformed with a bunch of OLD hornady 120grn flatbase spitzers, it shot them like a laser..........

Your fireform loads do not NEED to be 'throwaways'..............

Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15251577 09/23/20
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RinB Offline
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Gringo Loco
I will attempt to be clearer. Let’s say a 270 improved will use 60 grains of, say, R24.
Use 15-20% of that charge of Bullseye as a starting point.

Or say you are “blowing out” 416 Rigby to an improved version which will use 110 grains of something, say 4430. So start with around 20 grains of Bullseye.



Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15251868 09/24/20
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BWalker Offline
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I use bullseye, regular LR primer, and no filler to form 25-06AI cases.
Perfect results too.

Last edited by BWalker; 09/24/20.
Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15252318 09/24/20
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The last bunch that I “fireformed”, I used a powder far too slow for the cartridge.....fill the case, seat bullet, shoot. I had some unburned powder....but, groups @ 100 yards were bordering on outstanding ! Thinking about using that powder for cast bullet loads! memtb

Last edited by memtb; 09/24/20.

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Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: RinB] #15252401 09/24/20
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Gringo Loco Offline
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Originally Posted by RinB
Gringo Loco
I will attempt to be clearer. Let’s say a 270 improved will use 60 grains of, say, R24.
Use 15-20% of that charge of Bullseye as a starting point.

Or say you are “blowing out” 416 Rigby to an improved version which will use 110 grains of something, say 4430. So start with around 20 grains of Bullseye.

Thanks for clarifying RinB.

Re: Fireforming with pistol powder [Re: Fotis] #15252636 09/24/20
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Fotis;
Top of the morning to you sir, I hope the day's breaking bright and clear for you folks and all is as it should be for you and yours.

Since you've already received a lot of fine advice I'll try not to repeat it too much and still relate my experiences in fire forming.

For the record, I've fire formed for .22-250AI, .250AI and .338 Win Mag cases into .308 Norma. The .338 into .308 Norma does result in a shorter neck than spec calls for, but it's been working fine for nearly 30 years as far as I can tell.

In the smaller cases I used WW231 and Bullseye for powders and was happy with both.

As well, I tried the COW along with shortening and wax as a plug. While it wasn't so bad in the .250AI, somehow it really baked a lot of crud in the barrel of the .22-250AI, why that was I can't say, but it took markedly longer to clean. It's a Douglas Premium Match Grade barrel in that rifle by the way - so fairly smooth inside as far as I can tell with my naked eye.

In the .308 Norma, I've gone to using cast bullets, seated out to contact the lands slightly. I want to say it was 12grains of Bullseye and a 170gr cast bullet in the .308 Norma.

My neighbor was reloading for a .30 Gibbs and after some research and help from our resident writer John Barsness, I suggested they do something similar with it, that is to say a medium load of H4895 and a lighter bullet seated to just contact the lands. The cases they showed me formed perfectly so again showing there's a few ways to arrive at a desired destination.

Overall, I seem to recall that the bullet touching the lands method was a faster cleanup than any COW fire forming I've tried and that's definitely how I shall be fire forming my next batch of .308 Norma cases.

Hopefully that was useful information for you or someone out there in the ether space. All the best and good luck on your hunts this fall.

Dwayne


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