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Fire-forming questions


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#1 PowderMonkey

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:28 AM

I am waiting for a .20 Cooper VarTarg to arrive (Jan or Feb), and need to know about fire-forming the new Remington cases after they have been re-sized from the .221 Fireball cases. The Precision Shooters Reloading Guide suggests seating the bullet so that is just lightly touching the rifling. I will use a Stoney Point tool to determine this. But.....I read somewhere that a maximum load should be used, or the case will not expand enough to make the fire-forming work as intended.If I am to start with loads at 10% below published maximum powder charges, how can I fire-form? Or, do I first work up a few loads to determine the maximum load pressure, then load all subsequent rounds to maximum so as to fireform the remaining cases? And if this the case, I would be locked in to firing maximum loads for each cartridge on the first firing. If this is what I must do, I will do it. Or, is fire-forming even necessary after reforming the cases down to the .20 VT? Am I on the right track here?

#2 clampdaddy

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 04:52 PM

Good question. I'm not 100% sure but if I remember corectly the 221 case has a rim on it like a 30-30. If that's the case you don't need to sit the bullets all the way out to the lands because the headspaceing is done at the rear of the shell regardless of where the shoulder is. If the case is of rimless configureation you could probably get enough of a shoulder at the base of the neck when you size your brass down. Just leave your sizeing die backed out a bit and size the neck back a little at a time, trying the sized brass in your rifle between die adjustments, until the bolt will close with a very small amount of resistance againced the rear end of the cartridge. As far as powder charges go, If the case is being reshaped like an Akley improved cartridge where the shoulder angle and body taper are being blown out, then it is ok to use a stiff charge of powder because the extra room in the chamber will lower the pressure. If the case is a basic neck-down job like 30-06 to 25-06, then I'd say to use the lighter powder charges or forget about the fire forming and go straight to load development.
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#3 PowderMonkey

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 05:30 PM

The case is rimless, and it is formed merely by running the .221 case through a .20 VarTarg full length die. The new shoulder is formed at 30 degrees.

#4 clampdaddy

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 06:26 PM

Where could I go on the internet to get complete measurements of the new and parent case?
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#5 PowderMonkey

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 07:04 PM

I would try www.6mmBR.com. Great website for information on the smaller varmint calibers.

#6 A17Shooter

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:02 AM

1. Hold off on that maximum load! Always work up your to your desired pressure, especially with wildcats.2. Recommend that when sizing your cases, for the first time, you size them to have a light shoulder contact when chambering. This will help prevent case stretching whem fireforming.3. Maximum loads are not necessary. I have fireformed a lot of wildcats with less than max loads. 4. Don't have experience with the 20 VARTAG but, you should be able to hunt with a good fireforming load.5. Use caution as always and work up your fireforming loads as you would any other load. Going straight to max pressures could result in overloads and reduced case life. :) 6. Have fun and enjoy your new cartridge. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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#7 clampdaddy

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 02:54 PM

I went to the website you told me about, thats a pretty cool site to brows around on. They didn't show a side by side of the parent and new cases but by the looks of the new case and compareing it to a picture of the parent in an old issue of cartridges of the world they apear to have pretty much left the original case as is exept for the neck diameter, and from what they claim on the site you can just run the cases through your die and start your reloading process as you would with any other cartridge.
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#8 PowderMonkey

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 03:51 PM

Thanks for the advice, A17. I will take it gladly. Clampdaddy, you got it right on the money. The VarTarg is nothing more than a .221 Fireball necked down to a .20. You merely run the .221 through a VarTarg die (Redding has them), and voila!. Make sure you remove the flash hole burs from the inside of the brass with your bur remover BEFORE you resize, otherwise you may have a problem trying to get the deburring tool through the case neck opening.You might also try for more information by visiting Google or Yahoo search engines. Type in .221 Fireball Cartridges; a whole bunch of stuff pops up.




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