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Fire forming brass cases

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I have some old/new stock of 35 Whelen brass (Remington) that wasn't accurately made at the factory. Years ago when I tried using it with fairly mild powder charges I got case head separation. I was stumped as to the cause and put the unused away and went back to using my older cases. Then I read in Pet Loads that Waters had noticed brass like I had with too rounded shoulders and speculated about head separation without first fire forming. So I am now ready to try fire forming. I looked up on line the methodology and was hoping to get some confirmation here on the wire that this is a good method: Fill the case with a fast burning powder such as Bullseye or Unique and weigh the total charge, then take 10% of that weight and charge the case, fill with cream of wheat or grits to the base of the neck, wad up TP and shove tightly into the neck, fire the gun with the muzzle up in the air. How's that sound?

BTW I tried getting Remington to exchange the brass for new but I would need my original receipt which is long gone!

Edited by Charlie Plasters, SASS#60943
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...and shove tightly into the neck, fire the gun with the muzzle up in the air. How's that sound?



All sounds about like normal fire forming process except there's no need to point muzzle up when firing.


Other fireforming technique - get a supply of the cheapest slugs you can, load a light load of Red Dot or Unique (see Lyman loading manual) (plinking load), fire them. Examine first one or two to make sure you are not stretching the case down at the base, and that you have enough powder for full case expansion in the shoulder. Most of the reloading manuals should have instructions for fireforming cases.


Good luck, GJ

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Close to what GJ said. When we fireform cases for benchrest we always load a bullet and a reasonable powder charge. You want to be sure the case fully conforms to the chamber. Just paper etc stuffed in the case will have trouble causing enough pressure to correctly form the case.

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When I make 35 Welens from 30.06 I use a starting charge of faster powder from a loading manual. A key to success is to seat an enexpensive bullet so it touches the rifling and prevents the case from slipping forward and setting back. A cast bullet works well for this. Increase the powder charge to get a good shoulder form.

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