For those of us who tinker with wildcat cartridges and the like, sometimes fire-forming cases can be a tedious and costly endeavor. For the Ackley versions of more popular cartridges, the common practice is to shoot standard ammo to fire-form cases. Try this for nice, well filled out shoulder definition and great looking cases without wasting a bullet to do it.
Use a light charge of fast burning flake type shotgun or handgun powder loaded over any primer. Fill the remainder of the case with either cornmeal or cream of wheat, then plug the neck with paraffin wax by inserting the neck into a block of wax. This results in a plug of wax that fills the neck and seals the cartridge. Then simply point in a safe direction and fire. The resulting case will be well filled out in the chamber. In the past I have used this to make everything from .458 Winchester out of .338 Winchester to .375 Winchester cases from .30-30 or .32 Special and to fire-form a whole host of Ackley type improved cases from .223 Imp. to .375 H&H Imp. Favorite powders for this are Red Dot and Unique. Below are listed some suggested charges for different classes of cartridges.
- .223- 3.5g Red Dot
- .30-30- 5.0g Red Dot
- .30-06- 6.0g Red Dot
- .338- 6.5g Red Dot
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