QUESTION-Fireforming Cases-SAFELY

  • 690 Views
  • Last Post 08 August 2020
mashburn posted this 24 July 2020

Hello to all out there,

First of all my reason for this article is to learn how to safely fireform cases. About 22 years ago I started playing around with .17 rifles. My first project was a .17 Mashburn, which is a necked down and blown out with a 40 Degree shoulder with a .171 long neck, just the same length as the bullet diameter .218 Bee case. I have made these from. .218 Bee  25-20  32-20. Right now I will stick with the Bee cases. During my first attempts I would form the case and then anneal. I had been told that you could load bullets after annealing and fire and eject a perfect case. It don't work folks .My next approach was to stick about 3 grains of a fast burning powder in and then I had poured melted bullet lube in a little pan to a depth of about 3/16 inch. After the lube solidified I would take it in my left hand, turn it upside down and take the powder charged case and stick the neck up in the lube and twist and remove. This made a lube bullet blank. Having heard stories of reduced loads causing explosions, I put the rifle in a secure fixture and pulled the trigger with a string. RESULT-a perfect case. tHAT WAS THE ONLY TIME i EVER TIED IT UP. The 25-20 and 32-20 cases that I converted required more annealing or the would split. Of course that Cartridge require a lot more form die work that the Bee requires. I had no enlarged primer pockets or any thing. I have shot these cases many a time and am still shooting them.

Now here is the problem I encountered. I built a Ackley Improved .223 rifle and being a perfectionist I wanted to fireform them before I loaded so I had real .223 AI cases. I was going to follow the same procedures as for the little .17. I can't remember what powder I used on the Bee, I'm positive it was a fast burning pistol powder. When I started the .223 fire forming I was out of that particular powder so I started looking through my powders and thought  WW 231 will work (not sure but almost positive it was ww231)  I think I used 8 or 9 grs. I fired a lot of these through a strong 700 Remington Varminter and I mean a lot. Here is the surprise-when I went to load these cases about half or maybe more of them had loosened primer pockets, I mean so loose that the primers would fall out. i HAVE FIRE FORMED WIILD CAT CASES WITH REAL BULLETS AND HAD GOOD LUCK NEVER LOST A CASE, i JUST USED FAIRLY MODEST CHARGES OF THE POWDER i INTENDED TO LOAD WITH. WHAT HAPPENED?I need to form some cases for my new toy a /17 Ackley Bee and am afraid to try it the old way. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME OUT.

Mashburn

I HAVE RECEIVED A LOT OF HELPFUL INFORMATION FROM OTHER MEMBERS. IN A DAY OR SO I'M GOING TO COMPILE ALL OF THIS INFORMATION AND POST A REPLY WITH MORE QUESTIONS. THANKS  AND  MY APPRECIATION TO ALL WHO HAVE RESPONDED. 

mASHBURN

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
Wheel Weights posted this 08 August 2020

OMG pages and pages, Just read Zeglins method, proved on 10s of 1000s of cases and get on with it !!!!!

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 04 August 2020

Hello Wheel Weights,

I got a chance to pull up the ZEGLIN METHOD. I found some good info such as the way he figured his powder charge. I will definitely try that the next cases I form.

Thanks again,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 03 August 2020

Hello Wheel Weights,

Thanks for the response and information. I haven't pulled that site up as of now, but will do so tonight.

Mashburn.

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

Wheel Weights posted this 03 August 2020

Use the "ZEGLIN METHOD". Google it. Have done 100s his way ----PERFECT !

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 03 August 2020

Hello Little Debbie,

Thanks for the response and info.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 03 August 2020

Hello RicinYakima,

Thanks for the response and info.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

Little Debbie posted this 02 August 2020

I have only done it with Bullseye and Red Dot + Cream of Wheat or corn meal with a soap plug to hold everything together. Prefer Dial soap, but have used Dove and Irish Spring😎.

Attached Files

RicinYakima posted this 02 August 2020

I have only done it with Bullseye, SR 7625 and FFFF DuPont black. All worked well with a wax wad on top. FWIW 

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 02 August 2020

Another Case Forming Question,

I would like to hear the different powders, that you people who form cases, are using.  I'm speaking of small rifle cases with COW and no bullets, just paper wads or etc. I would like to hear all of the different possibilities that are being used as far as burn rate.

Thanks, 

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

sluggo posted this 28 July 2020

Hello, The rifle is a pre 64 Winchester model 70. The barrel is stamped 25-06 mashburn. I know this was not a standard chambering so it was probably rebarreled. I have sent a PM. to Mr. Mashburn for advice.

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 28 July 2020

Hello Ken,

You must be a night owl like me. I agree with you,.243's are the worst deer rifle that I have ever owned and shot deer with. Of all the rifles that I own there isn't a .243 in my gun safe.I don't claim to be a great white hunter, but I will put my self with those who have shot deer with the most calibers. I purchased a Remington 700 varminter in.223 that had been converted to .223 Ack. Imp. It was a very pretty slick little rifle(very early production) and when I fired it I was shocked how much it backed the primer and as you know a straight walled improved case doesn't want to set back against the bolt, it grabs the chamber walls and stays put. I did not want to tear it down and it wasn't long before we were going on a prairie dog shoot and I wanted to take it with me on the hunt. Like you say I loaded up some forming loads and I hate to admit this but I put a little lubricant on the case to make them set back. I got some cases that fit and my brother-in-law was jealous because I could get a little more powder in mine that he could get in his Imp. .223 and couldn't reach my velocities.I still own the rifle it's been setting in the safe doing nothing for about 11 years since I quit prairie dog shooting. I have a .257 Roberts Imp. that the only thing I've shot with it is paper and not much of that. It is a pretty old single shot that I would say was built in the 50's or early 60;s from the style of the wood. It's a very nice old rifle.

Do you still have the Model 54 Winchester action that you pictured on the forum last year? If so, I would like to trade you out of it. I sent you a PM about your cars last week and then I remembered my PM's don't get delivered. I will send you the same information via a email. It's 20 in the morning and my body is hurting too bad to sleep , so I've got to find something to entertain me for a while. I would go back to the shop but I"m too lazy to walk back out there.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 28 July 2020

mr. mashburn ... yep, " improved " chambers need extra thinking ...  different grinders have different ideas ...

for my own " improved " chambers, if i want to shoot factory ammo ... i use several factory cartridges to set a tight headspace ...  like " bolt-bump " ... tight.  unless my rifle was chambered by ol' P O Ackley himself, i would check the headspace and if loose fireform from mild loaded brass.  

and just to start an argument ... the 25-06 will * dump * a white-tail, not just irritate him like a 243 ...

ken

 

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 28 July 2020

Hello shjoe,

Thanks for your response and that sounds like a fun project,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 28 July 2020

Hello sluggo,

Cases like 25-06 improved, 30-30 improved,.223 Improved and etc. can be formed safely from factory ammunition, In the smaller calibers like K-Hornet or .218 Mashburn Bee will sometimes split the shoulder and neck.  I have some Wildcats that when I form the cases there is very little difference from the dimensions of a fired case, and these I simply load and fire. My .219 Donaldson Wasp is a good example of that. Now back to your 25-06 Mashburn. Are you sure it is a 25-06 Mashburn or possibly a 25-06 Ackley Improved. Here is something to be aware of. When a rimless case such as your 25-06 is converted one of two things must be done. If it is a new barrel blank , chambering the barrel and using a go guage works fine. For an existing barrel chambered in 25-06 the barrel must be removed from the action and the barrel has to be set back a thread. After this is done you can cut a good chamber. If you try to chamber and existing 25-06 chamber with out setting the barrel back there is one or two things that can happen If you cut the chamber so that the go gauge will enter you will have too much headspace and the rifle will back primers when fired. The second thing trying to keep this from happening is: stop the chamber where the go gauge will not let the bolt close and you will have a ridge in the shoulder of the case ,but it will not back primers. I have known of a lot of people who have sent rifles to supposedly gunsmiths and when they got them back they were Primer backers. I've straightened a few of these out when I had my shop open to the public .You can fire the rifle with out worrying with factory ammo. It either show a good chamber, or it will back primers slightly or it will have a ridge in the chamber but nothing dangerous if it is a good rifle. You don't have this problem with rimmed cases and that is why I try to base my wildcats on rimmed cartridges.

Your 25-06 is Mashburn is of great interest to me. Ken Campbell supplied me with two 25-06 Mashburn reamers and I have been putting off this project because I haven't found a set of chamber guages. If you do have a Mashburn 25-06 I would like to purchase a few cases from you that I can use them for gauges. The 25-06 seems to be getting popular again. I was quite surprised when I started seeing articles about them lately. Keep me posted on this project and remember I would like to purchase 3-4 cases. And please keep me posted on this project.

Thanks you very much for contacting me on this project,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 27 July 2020

I often do that in other calibers.  (22 hornet in 22 K-hornet for example)  Additionally, my experience, they're just as accurate.

Attached Files

sluggo posted this 27 July 2020

I have a question on this subject. Can factory ammo be fired in a wildcat chamber to fire form a case. I have a 25-06 mashburn chambered rifle. Can I fire factory 25-06 rounds to fire form them? Would this be an unsafe practice?The rifle came with some ammo but it looks different than regular Remington 25-06. Thanks in advance.

Attached Files

shjoe posted this 27 July 2020

some time ago i bought an M95 straight pull steyr in original 8x50r chambering for a winter project. trimmed a few 7.62x54r cases to x50 and lightly annealed the shoulder area. unique, cow and a wax candle plug fired straight up. out popped an 8x50r fireformed case. they worked great with a "large diameter" 8mm 214gr cast bullet. never found loose primer pockets, yet. but i try and keep loads mild for the old girl. ray h, i like that muffler idea. i use to tape an empty plastic 2ltr soda bottle to the muzzle to tone things down for the neighbors. warmest regards, john

Attached Files

mashburn posted this 25 July 2020

Hello 45 2.1,

Thanks again for responding, When I was forming the .223's I compared the volume of the .17 Mashburn to the volume of the .223 cases and tried to use the same percentage of powder to volume as I had used  in the .17's. I know it wasn't an over charge. I think my mistake was, I didn't use any filler and had too little powder in too large a space. The .223's that I formed with real bullets and normal loads formed with no problems(such as loose primer pockets) I really appreciate the time and effort that you have spent to give your help.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

45 2.1 posted this 25 July 2020

Hello 45 2.1,

Thanks for the response and information. The  forming with the .17 is BASICALLY  solved. My main question is what made the primer pockets enlarge so much when forming the .223 Ack. Imp. My idea is the WW231 powder. I've heard it can get squirely.

thanks again,

Mashburn

Too much pressure from too big a charge of really fast burning powder in too little of volume. That is the only way that happens.... you over loaded it. Depending on the burn rate, powders can get out of hand from using too little in to big a space or using too much in to little of a space. ALL POWDERS do that.....................

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • MarkinEllensburg
mashburn posted this 25 July 2020

Ross Smith,

Thanks for the response and information. I can see where the thick walls of the shortened case would take some thumping internally.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Ross Smith
Show More Posts
Close