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Fireforming
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Suzanne
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Location: Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject: Fireforming Reply with quote

This is sort of a how-to and it's so easy to do and painless. I needed some 8x58rDanish. I ordered some brass from a guy that does custom loads and has tons of obsolete offerings, his price was right but when I got them I noticed they were formed from 8x56rs brass. I didn't expect that. They are a tad short but will do (like I said the price was right) and so I decided to fireform some 7.62x54r (also shorter than I want but it will do).

Anyway all you need is some toilet paper, some inert grains (you can use cream of wheat, I used cracked wheat) that will pack down easily, primers and brass, some Unique powder and to finish it off a reloading die of the caliber you want. Sorry my photos are coming out small....so this is the set-up

Here I've placed the primer and added 12gr of Unique. On top of the Unique place a 1/4 square of toilet paper folded into thirds both ways to form a small bundle you can push through the brass. You want to cover the Unique to separate it from the wheat.


Then fill to the top with wheat and tap it down to slightly compress those loose grains, cover with another 1/4 square of toilet paper. You can compress the toilet paper into a pretty small 1/4 inch space, I used a small screw driver and it seals off the grains real well. Nothing else is needed to complete the operation.


Ok so now you can go out and fire them off. All you'll see is some little particles, and not much in the barrel after firing. The brass will pretty much bulge out into the shoulder area. It won't completely, but the reloading die will do the rest.
Lube the brass and slowly pull the handle on the press, punching out the primer and forming the shoulder.

Here's my results using both the preformed custom bought brass and the un-preformed 7.62x54r brass.

I know you can't read this but the brass with the arrow pointing them are the finished result. The left one is the 8x56rs and the right one is 7.62x54r.


Suz

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jcruthis
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

im always thinking of trying this in several different cal. where do you come up with the 12gr of unique...the thought of turning my action and barrel into shrapnel keeps me from trying this..is 12gr a pretty safe load for all but the smallest of rifle cal...you get what im askin
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Nice job, Suz. Now let's see results "on target"

jcruthis wrote:
.... where do you come up with the 12gr of unique...the thought of turning my action and barrel into shrapnel keeps me from trying this..is 12gr a pretty safe load for all but the smallest of rifle cal...you get what im askin

jc, there is no bullet loaded so pressure can't build that high.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

nice job Suz.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Jcruthis (as Slimj says) there's not much pressure involved because there's nothing but loose grains and some toilet paper. I was shooting a 100+ year old Swedish rolling block and it barely got warm after 20 rnds of this stuff. The 12 grains of Unique was recommended to me for the caliber and actually with a bullet installed, so I just removed the bullet from the recipe. Other calibers might be different amounts, try at your own risk but in my opinion you're basically shooting a blank. It is enough to blow the shoulders out and that's all contained in the chamber. I recommend annealing beforehand and afterwards when you're going to run it through the die. It makes the brass more pliable and gives you less risk of splits during live ammo firing. Just anneal the neck and shoulder area.

SlimJ the target results will be after I get up the nerve to load some bullets, that's the hard part. There's no load data for the caliber except for what you can find on the internet and that needs some studying. I also get mixed concerns about it being a very old gun and be careful about using jacketed bullets, don't overpower it with historical Norma loadings. This gun was case hardened twice and re-barreled to accept jacketed rounds and smokeless powders during a conversion and the date stamped on the rifle reflects this. It also has some beautiful color on the case. But I have a gut feeling that these guys can be overly cautious (to be safe) and so I'm going to use some jacketed bullets anyway. I have some on hand but they're not very heavy. The original loadings went from 196-227grain bullets and I have some 150gr Hornadys. I also have some more expensive bullets up to 200gr but I don't want to use them for this. I'll see if I can find some cheaper bullets in the 200gr range.

Suz

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

She's our gal...That's fer sur.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Owned by no-one, but you can always borrow.


Suz

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pete4d
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:48 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Sue,, thanks for the pictures, they're great,,, never tried to fire form myself.
3:49 am ,,,,clocks off a bit,,,

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:20 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Good job. I like a story with a happy ending. All the best...
Gil

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Azar
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Suzanne,

If you'd like I could provide some numbers from QuickLOAD for the 8x58RD. My concern is I generally like to cross-reference QL data with real pressure tested data to make sure that it's giving reasonable values. In this case, it's not possible since reloading data is so scarce. QuickLOAD is a computer simulation and it at times can provide reasonably good data. But it can't be treated as gospel. Do you have a chronograph? If so, that would help you to at least know your velocities were in a typically safe range...

Anyway, if you are interested, I'll run it through QuickLOAD for you.

To get the most accurate data from QL possible, please provide the following measurements/data:
Cartridge
Bullet & measured bullet length and diameter of boat-tail (if any)
COAL & distance from lands at specified COAL
Case length & measured H20 case capacity (measured to case mouth, no meniscus)
Barrel length & twist rate

Thanks.
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Thanks Azar I left you a personal message bout that.

Suz

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Azar
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Suzanne,

I figured I'd bring the discussion back to the thread, if you don't mind. Others can offer input that way.

I honestly was surprized by the powder selection suggested. They are much slower than I expected. The few links I checked out for the 8x58RD showed 1950's - 1960's era data with Norma 203 (now discontinued). Norma now makes a 203B, but I don't think QuickLOAD has it in it's powder database.

The newer published data showed Vihtavouri N135 and N140 for use with a 196gr bullet. I would expect the same or faster powders to be used with a 150gr bullet. Powders that should be fairly similar in burn rate:

Norma 203B
Vihtavouri N140
Vihtavouri N135
Hodgdon H380
Alliant Power Pro 2000 LR
IMR 4320
Alliant Reloder 15
Accurate 4064
Ramshot Big Game

Those are powders I expected to see recommended by QL. Perhaps the very low operating pressure is what caused it to recommend those powders? Perhaps I fudged the inputs somewhere. Honestly, the results it gave do not give me a high degree of confidence. Out of the powders it showed, I'd be most inclined to try Accurate 4350 as it's not too far out of the operating envelope of VN140 and N203.

I'm not sure that the data I provided is of much use after all. Sorry.

Perhaps you could stick with a 190-200gr lead projectile and 12g Unique. The first link I provided showed pressure tested data at about 16-17K and around 1275 fps. It would make a fun plinking round anyhow...
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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Sue:

As good a explanation of fire forming as any others I have seen. Thanks

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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Sue:

Did you see rhis report? I found it pretty informative.

Mac

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Fireforming Reply with quote

Azar let's try a COAL of 3.090" and a 200grn (.323) spitzer with a length of 1.397". Let's also bump it up to 25k psi and see what that gets us. I found your last one gave me one powder I have on hand H4831hc

MacD what report? I think you forgot to post it...

you guys are
awsome
Suz

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