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View Full Version : fireforming without a projectile. 220-6ppc



ryguy00
10-24-2013, 12:51 PM
Ok guys, I'm new. Hi everybody!

Here is my situation. I bought a complete rifle in 6ppc used. I have no idea how many rounds are through the barrel nor how much barrel life is left. It came with no brass, BUT it's shooting like a dream! So here's my dilemma. I need to fire form a bunch of new brass but do not want to erode the barrel any further while doing it. I've heard of guys fire forming without a projectile before but never tried it myself. It seems to me that this would be the solution to my problem. Your thoughts?

I would like some input as to whether or not you think this will work, and if so, how to go about doing it. Please be detailed though because I'm still learning.

So far, I've got a couple boxes of new lapua 220 russian brass. I've got one box swaged to 6mm and turned down to fit my .262 neck. It has actually been turned further in order to end at .262 when a bullet is seated, but I don't remember the measurement without bullet off the top of my head. The other boxes are unopened at this time.

I've read suggestions of all kinds of stuff like filling the case with blue dot pistol powder, to using a piece of paper towel to "plug" the case, to scraping the case mouth on a bar of wax or soap to do the same...

But knowing the cross sections of shooters on the sites where that info came from, I'm skeptical. That's why I'm here. To get some solid info.

What say ye?

14276

Butch Lambert
10-24-2013, 04:53 PM
I do not do any brass prep before fore forming without a bullet. I put Bullseye to the shoulder and cap it with a wax plug. After you fireform you have very little expanding to do, which I like. No donuts! I've been doing it this way for years. I don't fool with any filler.

Wayne Shaw
10-24-2013, 06:03 PM
Mickey Coleman advised me of much the same method as Butch says. A 220 case should close on the brass in the same way as an Ackley chamber. I have had some brass that was a tad tight to close the bolt, and I had to run it in a sizing die and just touch the shoulder, then it closed.

You really don't need to plug the end if you're careful and keep the muzzle up, but my talent will usually make a mess sooner than later. Jam a wax plug or a small wad of TP or paper towel.

adamsgt
10-24-2013, 06:46 PM
My dentist gave me a box of wax sheets used for dental impressions. They work great to seal off the case mouth. I do what Butch does and fill with Bullseye to the neck junction. Unfortunately I opened my last 4 pounder of Bullseye and haven't seen any for sale for quite a while. I'm about to fire form 75 cases for my two new barrels and will use that procedure.

adamsgt
10-25-2013, 10:32 AM
I don't do the wax I just point 'em up in the air

Well, you can probably go out your back door and do that. If I did that at the range I use a range officer would lift my badge and hustle me off the property. I tried the thing of sticking the barrel into a roll of insulation at my workshop. It worked OK but smelled. There's probably another way to muffle the noise but haven't persued it much. One of the advantages of sealing the case mouth with wax is that it makes it easier to lube the case before firing without spilling powder.

mks
10-25-2013, 12:11 PM
I need to fire form a bunch of new brass but do not want to erode the barrel any further while doing it.
14276

Fireforming without a bullet works, but does not eliminate erosion, which occurs more from the hot gases than from the bullet sliding down the barrel. Hydraulic forming is an non-firing option, but depends on a match between the die and your chamber for exact fit. Eventually, you will probably be using an old, worn out barrel for fireforming like most everyone else. Another thought: try some good bullets in your fireforming loads at a local match. You may be surprised at how well they shoot.

Cheers,
Keith

Boyd Allen
10-25-2013, 12:49 PM
With only one barrel, I would avoid pistol powder. I have a fire forming barrel and have done it, and have noticed that the barrel seemed to heat up pretty fast as I formed a number of cases. Fast pistol powders typically have a high nitroglycerine content and flame temperature, and while this may not be an issue for very light charges that they are used with in pistols, the charge weight use when fireforming PPC cases is significantly greater. If I were you, in your situation, I would probably just load 6mm bullets and form cases with powders that are suitable for a PPC. I have used 133 and benchmark, and would not hesitate to try 322 or any other powder in that range of burn rates.

adamsgt
10-25-2013, 03:54 PM
And I would never lube a case for fireforming. HAVE, will NEVER again...

al

Could you splain that Al. I use Starrett instrument oil, applying a thin film with my fingers. How is this risky or detrimental? Curious minds want to know.

jim1K
10-26-2013, 07:11 AM
I did fire form PPC in a clean dry chamber 20 years ago and 15 cases will wear out a barrel. You must want to pre load for a match? Now i only shoot long range now and fire form Dashers and i have found what really works to retain length, i use 120 grit paper in the chamber and get a nice cross hatch like a cylinder in a engine,this give the case something to grab and it stops bolt trust and it doesn't hurt a thing. clean and dry the loaded cases and chamber with non chlorinated brake cleaner and don't let the gun get hot....... jim

Chism G
10-26-2013, 09:00 AM
Ok guys, I'm new. Hi everybody!

Here is my situation. I bought a complete rifle in 6ppc used. I have no idea how many rounds are through the barrel nor how much barrel life is left. It came with no brass, BUT it's shooting like a dream! So here's my dilemma. I need to fire form a bunch of new brass but do not want to erode the barrel any further while doing it. I've heard of guys fire forming without a projectile before but never tried it myself. It seems to me that this would be the solution to my problem. Your thoughts?

I would like some input as to whether or not you think this will work, and if so, how to go about doing it. Please be detailed though because I'm still learning.

So far, I've got a couple boxes of new lapua 220 russian brass. I've got one box swaged to 6mm and turned down to fit my .262 neck. It has actually been turned further in order to end at .262 when a bullet is seated, but I don't remember the measurement without bullet off the top of my head. The other boxes are unopened at this time.

I've read suggestions of all kinds of stuff like filling the case with blue dot pistol powder, to using a piece of paper towel to "plug" the case, to scraping the case mouth on a bar of wax or soap to do the same...

But knowing the cross sections of shooters on the sites where that info came from, I'm skeptical. That's why I'm here. To get some solid info.

What say ye?

14276



Barrels are expendable components in competition Rifles. There is just no way to predict how much barrel life is left in a barrel that comes on a used Rifle.. These Rifles are made to shoot. If it shoots good, enjoy it while it lasts. I would not be too concerned about barrel erosion caused by fire forming brass,regardless what method you use. If you can afford it,I would seriously think about having a new barrel chambered by a competent gunsmith. Chances are,the gun will shoot like a dream and you will know all the pertinent history of the barrel.

Its easy to fall in love with a good shooting barrel. Iíve done it before. These love affairs donít last forever. Its Just the nature of the Sport.


Glenn

Gene Beggs
10-26-2013, 06:13 PM
I guess i'm just stupid but the method i use is very successful with a hundred firings out of them i have set four records at 1000 yds. with them. I don't have a click at the top either and i anneal every time. So if you think you have the answers, great....... jim




Jim and Alinwa

Pardon me for butting into your conversation. It won't happen again.

Gene Beggs

jim1K
10-26-2013, 07:20 PM
Gene, I see the evidence is gone..... jim

adamsgt
10-26-2013, 07:24 PM
Gene, I see the evidence is gone..... jim

Unfortunately I think some good info is gone.

Hal
10-26-2013, 08:18 PM
I'm sorry I missed what Gene posted. He always worth reading and he shortens the learning curve.

He's one of the guys that, when it comes to shooting ,could wear the T shirt "been there done that" .



Hal

Gene Beggs
10-27-2013, 02:55 PM
A good night's rest often works wonders for one's disposition and brings things into focus that were not considered the day before. :o This was brought home vividly to me this morning as I looked in the mirror and reflected upon the tacky remarks I made to Alinwa and Jim. Gentlemen, please accept my most sincere apologies for being such a jerk. :o

It's been my experience that when experts disagree on something it's often because they are talking about two different things. Such was the case with our disagreement yesterday about lubing cases before fireforming. My mistake was not remembering that what works perfectly with one cartridge may not work at all for another. I was looking at the situation from only my limited experience with short range benchrest, 6ppc's and other small caliber wildcats based on the Lapua 220 Russian case. Alinwa and Jim were talking about thousand yard cartidges and others with which I have no experience.

Sorry guys. At times I'm guilty of taking things too seriously. I need to lighten up; huh? :o

Sincerely

Gene Beggs

Wayne Shaw
10-27-2013, 04:50 PM
Gene has nothing to apologize for. He offered his opinion and was jumped on. It has happened to everyone who posts on a forum. There is always someone who thinks his/her way is the only way to do something. I'm fairly sure there has been as many PPC cases fire formed dry as there has been oiled. Same as true with a Dasher, an ACK chamber, you name it.

It's when the knowitall takes such a hard nosed stand and makes the whole thread turn sour, everyone suffers.

TheoW
10-27-2013, 05:33 PM
gene has nothing to apologize for. He offered his opinion and was jumped on. It has happened to everyone who posts on a forum. There is always someone who thinks his/her way is the only way to do something. I'm fairly sure there has been as many ppc cases fire formed dry as there has been oiled. Same as true with a dasher, an ack chamber, you name it.

It's when the knowitall takes such a hard nosed stand and makes the whole thread turn sour, everyone suffers.

amen!..........well said.

Chism G
10-27-2013, 05:56 PM
If Tony Boyer posted on this discussion and recommended oiling brass before fire forming,people who donít shoot Benchrest would challenge his opinion. Its just human nature.

Probably why few Top shooters post in this room.

Ants will spoil a good picnic every time.




Glenn

Charles E
10-27-2013, 09:23 PM
Everyone needs to remember that alinwa has what most of us would consider a complete system for ..., well, shooting. He specifies his chambers a bit different, insists on a certain kind of sizing die, is quite particular about preparing cases to fireform, and the fireforming itself is meticulously done, apparently in a barrel having a slightly different chamber than the "regular" one. If he does something a bit differently, it fits, and has probably been tested, within his system.

He also reports case life in the 50- to 100-firings level, and with full-pressure loads. Most national-level match shooters (1) prepare cases differently, with different chamber specifications, and (2) pitch a set of cases after one match.

None of this make one right and the other wrong.

Nor is it always true that you "do one thing at a time and evaluate the results." This is true less often than one might think. Alinwa is one example. Another one was T.J. Jackson, who became enamored of the the BR case long before it became popular. At the time, only Remington brass was available. In a box of 100, the best cases had .005 runout, .015 was more common.

T.J. found that if he (1) bored the case neck true on the case centerline, then turned the outside of the necks after that, then (2) faced off the case head so it was perfectly perpendicular to the neck (i,.., also true to the case centerline), he could shoot in the zeros in the Houston Warehouse. And well at a match, too.

Doing just one of the operations was no good, it took both, in concert. After the work, the bullet was perfectly positioned, and the case head hit the boltface evenly and the same with each shot, and the rest didn't matter.

In other words, he came up with a system to use "crappy" brass and make it work just fine. I don't believe he ever published his exact technique for doing this work (what on virgin brass, what after so many firings, etc), but he did publish targets he'd fired with his BRs.

Soo., I'm not trying to play peacemaker particularly, but rather to point out that more often than not, it is a complete system that yields results, and there can be more than one. And it is often inappropriate to mix techniques from different systems.

I wish Al would publish (print) his complete system, and that Wilbur would FAQ it. It is expensive, but the case life he reports is just phenomenal. Worth a thought when components seem to undergo periods of scarcity. Or if like me, you use RWS brass...

To the original poster, you're new. Get a good book that details how to prepare brass, and follow it. If the accuracy bug bites you, there will be more rifles, more reamers, more opportunities downstream for you to develop your own ideas. At the start, cookbook it.

EDIT:


Here's a good cookbook set of instructions by the late Frank Murphy, an FAQ article on Benchrest Central:

http://www.benchrest.com/FAQ/2.1.shtml