Fireformed Cases

Each of these cases were fired in one of my rifles.
I always save one fireformed case from each rifle.

        Every one of these cases were fired in my rifles, and I labeled each one to show which rifle they were fired in.   I keep them separate from my other brass.   These fired cases are just like chamber castings, and they have the same exact same dimensions as the particular rifle chamber they were fired in.   (20,000 to 50,000 psi chamber pressure ensures that.)

        These fireformed cases are now helpful tools when I need to see how my handloads fit in my chamber.   I use them to help measure the "exact" chamber clearance (length and width) that my handloads will have in each of my rifles.

        The closer you make your handloads to your chamber size, the less your brass will stretch, and the longer your cases will last.   You'll also get better accuracy.

See our homepage for more information about this tool.
This gauge allows you to compare your
handloads to the size of a fired case.

        I start by calibrating my Digital Headspace Gauge by zeroing it on one of my fired cases.   Then I measure my handloads, and the gauge displays the exact chamber clearance for that particular rifle.

          I have (3) different rifles chambered for .308 Winchester, and each one has a chamber that's slightly different from the others.   I can make my handloads compatable with other rifles, by making them fit the smallest chamber in that caliber.   However, I can also make my handloads to much tighter tolerances (for best accuracy), and build them specifically for each rifle.

        Setting the height of your resizing die to "bump your shellholder" will almost always make handloads with too much chamber clearance.   This is usually more serious on belted magnum and rimmed calibers, and it can result in case head separation.   However, neck sizing is not the answer.   It's always best to full length resize your handloads, but it should be done accurately.

        Quite often shooters find that their handloads won't chamber without using force.   This reloading technique always shows why handloads don't fit properly.   99% of the time, the problem is excessive case length (at the shoulder) or excessive case width (above the web).

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