Catching Up With Carroll

Written by Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant

Well, shooting season is winding down for the year with only one match left for me. It has been a long summer with a lot of miles, many nights in hotels, lots of meals out, plus a lot of new faces, many new friends, and a whole lot of old friends.


Started off the year with the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This huge show is where everyone showcases the new products they have to offer for that year to all the shooting industry retailers. This show isn’t open to the general public. We go out a couple of days early to set up our booth, then you have 4 long days on your feet standing at a counter talking with retailers and outdoor writers about all your new products. 7 nights in motel rooms finished out the month.


Had a couple of training classes on reloading and it was a fairly easy month. I didn’t have any nights in a motel.


Started off bad, as my sister in law passed away. I had lived with my brother and her as a teenager plus worked for them for 17 years, so we were very close. My brother had passed away 16 years ago, so I took care of the things around her house for her. She was not only a sister-in-law, but like a mother and best friend also. Since they had no children, they basically thought of my wife and I as their kids. I missed the Missouri 3-Gun match because of her funeral.


The Superstition Mountain 3-Gun match was held in Mesa, Az. and I just went from Arizona directly to the Texas Multi Gun in Marble Falls, Tx. As I was leaving Mesa, I realized that instead of going back across the top of Texas, like I figured my GPS would take me, I was going to be on Interstate 10 and was going to go within 20 miles of where I hunt aoudad near Ft. Davis, TX. I was going to have an extra day anyway, so a quick phone call to my friends down there had an aoudad hunt lined up. I had been going to go down there a couple weeks later anyway. I took a day vacation and had a whirlwind aoudad hunt and harvested a really nice 31 1/2″ ram.

auodadI headed out the next morning for Marble Falls. After the Texas match, I was going to go straight on to the Multi Gun Nationals in Las Vegas. On the last day of the match, I had a sharp pain in my knee and couldn’t hardly walk, so I opted to skip the nationals, since it hurt constantly and driving or walking about brought tears to your eyes. I drove all night just to get home so I could make a doctor appointment and get some relief. He said I had pinched the fat pad in my knee and gave me a shot with a needle about the size of an ink pen in the knee and a couple of days later, it felt a lot better. I only spent 12 nights in motels in April. One other match I was intending to shoot at the end of the month, I had decided to skip because I wasn’t sure how my knee would hold up.


13235424_1208515152507018_3314174019881322449_oMay brought the NRA Show in Louisville, Ky. We always go down a couple days early to get the booth set up. The NRA Show is the showcase for the industry to show the new products to the end product users and is open to the general public and admission is free to NRA members.  There is stuff there for hunters, fisherman, archers, backpackers, gun collectors, hunting guides are there booking hunts, you can find stuff for your hunting dog or beef jerky. It is just unbelievable what all there is there. The NRA Show ended Sunday afternoon and I had to be in Columbia, Mo. for the Bianchi Cup the following day. The Bianchi Cup ran from the 23rd to the 28th, since they added a day to the format. That was another 12 nights of motels.


In June, the pace picked up. I left out for Grand Island, Ne. for the Zombies in the Heartland 3 Gun match.

zombies-in-the-heartlandI had to return back to the plant after the match to switch vehicles, pick up different guns, and return to the Heartland Shooting Park for the Sportsman Team Challenge match. I left directly from there to go on to Sundance, Wyoming, where Richard Mertz puts on a 1000 yard handgun match, known as the Cold Turkey Match.

cold-turkey-matchRichard had previously owned and manufactured MOA single shot handguns. After selling the company, he still continues to put on the match where we shoot, 500, 750, and 1000 yards with single shot specialty handguns. This year we were going to try on out to a mile, but time wouldn’t permit it. I canceled the last match of the month because we had an auction that weekend for my sister-in-law’s estate. That was another 17 nights in motel rooms.


This month is always so hot that I have about gotten to where I don’t schedule much just because of the heat. I also had a family reunion and a class reunion that I was wanting to attend. The only match I went to was the IHMSA Internationals at the Oklahoma City Gun Club and I didn’t stay for the full match. I just stayed 4 days and then drove most of the night getting home.


The first match in August that I normally go to is at Ozark Shooters near Branson, Mo. It is a couples classic where a man / women team shoot together with assorted handguns. My wife and I have shot it together for years but she was having knee problems, so we decided not to go. The next week, I headed to the beautiful NRA Whittington Center for the Rocky Mountain 3-Gun match which is shot in all natural terrain.


cabin-at-rm3gThe match ends up late in the afternoon, so I drove all night so I would have a couple of days before I left for the Pro-Am 3-Gun match at Cave City, Ky. Another all night drive from the Pro-Am gave me about a week to get ready to head to the next match in West Virginia. Another 11 nights in motel rooms plus more nights where I drove part or all the way to the match and just hit a rest area for a couple hours sleep and then drive on so I can get there in time for registration.


The FNH 3 Gun match in Glengary, WV is always a good match, because the RO’s reset the targets. I normally go to a match in Ridgeway, Pa. the week before but the dates didn’t coincide for this year. I drove 19 hours on the return trip so I could get guns cleaned and ready to head for the Gen III match in Lake Ozark, Mo. This is one of the closest matches to me, since it is only about a 1 – 1/2 hour drive. This year we had rain and more rain and it was a muddy mess with vehicles stuck everywhere. Some one had posted on Facebook that the went to a mud run and a 3 gun match started up. The following week, I headed to Brighton, Michigan for the Michigan State 3 Gun match. They put on a really great match for being a very small range with limited bays.

gen-iii-muddy-road gen-iii-muddy-sierra-mobileI got back from it and headed to Oklahoma City Gun Club once again for an AR Speed Plate match followed by the Region 4 IHMSA match. That finished the month out at like 14 motel nights.


I usually start winding down traveling. Hunting season is here. I usually only shoot a couple of matches this month. The only match I will shoot this year is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3 Gun match in Cave City, KY.  I leave out late evening to get thru St. Louis and over in Indiana and just spend a few hours in a rest area and and head on to the match for registration. This match is over on Saturday night, so I usually drive all night getting home so I don’t have to spend another night in a motel. Then we have a trade show we will be at in Kansas City. I should finish out October with only 5 – 8 nights in motels.

One of the worst things about being on the road all the time out is eating out. I get home, anxious for a home cooked meal and to sleep in my own bed and my wife will say, let’s go out and eat. Everyone asks me if I am married because of being on the road all the time. Surprisingly, after being married to me for 42 years, she still puts up with me. One of the best things about all the matches though is there are a lot of really nice, interesting people out there. You make lots of new friends and maintain a great bond with friends from across the US that are some of your closest friends. The worst thing is, you see a lot of dead bugs on your windshield.

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Henry Repeating Arms 41 Magnum Big Boy Steel

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf

When Henry Repeating Arms announced the release of a 41 Magnum Big Boy Steel in January of this year, I immediately went in to a must-have-it mode.

After saving back enough money with my Ramen noodle and hotdog diet plan, I was able to get one a few weeks ago.

When I received my new rifle, I was impressed.  It has a perfect fit and finish and the wood on it is excellent.  Really what else would you expect, it’s a Henry.

To be honest I wasn’t too excited about the buckhorn rear sight, so I elected to throw a scope on top of it just to see what it was capable of.

The only scope I had laying around that wasn’t already mounted on something was a 2.8-10×44 Simmons Aetec that I had removed from another rifle that was traded off a couple of years ago.

I got the Big Boy scoped up and loaded up 30 rounds of ammo, because that’s all the brass I had on hand.

I loaded 15 rounds with the Sierra 210 grain JHC SportsMaster #8520 and another 15 rounds with the Sierra 170 grain JHC SportsMaster #8500 using Alliant 2400 powder and Remington 2 ½ primers.

At the range, I sighted in the rifle at 50 yards with both loads.  Both grouped very well clover leafing less than an inch.

At that point I figured 2 inch groups at 100 yards should be very achievable and set up to test on the 100 yard range.

Before I give you my results, I want to point out that this Henry 41 Magnum is a pleasure to shoot, it functions perfectly and the trigger though a little heavier than I like, breaks clean and crisp which was a surprise for a lever gun.

Now back to my 100 yard accuracy test.

I believe it was Colonel Townsend Whelen that once said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.”  And I sure hope my Henry gets a little more interesting.

Honestly I was a little disappointed, the 210 grain load shot 2.778” and the 170 grainers shot 3.214”.

henry-41-magnum-big-boy-steelI am certain I can improve the accuracy by a little load development by tuning a load to the rifle.  After all, I just picked a couple of loads out and threw them down range, so there are a million things I can do to improve my preliminary results.

I really like the rifle and look forward to finding a good load for it.  It’s plenty accurate to pop a whitetail at 100 yards, but I know it can do better than that.  Shooters have good days and bad days.  My first day at the range with my new Henry Big Boy Steel definitely wasn’t a good day, but as we all know, the worst day at the range is still better than a good day at work.

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William “Bill” True McDonald (1935-2016)

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of our friend, Bill McDonald, on October 4, 2016.  Bill began working with Sierra Bullets in the late sixties after buying seconds out of the factory outlet.  Together with his partner, Ted Almgren, Bill worked for decades to advance the aeroballistics field of science including the measurement of Ballistic Coefficients (BC) at Sierra.  He was instrumental in the development of Sierra Bullets’ reloading manuals and served as a technical advisor on many projects.

Read more about Bill below.

bill-mcdonaldWilliam True (Bill) McDonald was born July 18, 1935, in Bellingham, Washington. His father was William Leo McDonald and his mother was Florence Ernestine (True) McDonald. In late 1939 the McDonald family (a brother Norris was born in 1938) moved to Mississippi City, Mississippi (now incorporated into Gulfport, Mississippi) near Bill’s maternal grandmother whose health was ailing. Bill began the first grade in September 1941 in the Mississippi City public school.

Later in 1941 Bill’s father, a steam and refrigeration engineer, found employment at the Todd-Johnson Shipyard in Algiers, Louisiana, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. This shipyard was building Liberty ships for lend-lease to Great Britain. The McDonald family relocated to New Orleans and Bill completed the first grade in a New Orleans public school. Bill’s vivid memory from December 7. 1941. In New Orleans was the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the start of WWII for the U. S.

Bill’s father suffered sulfur poisoning caused by welding in the steel ships and seriously aggravated by the heat and humidity in the New Orleans area. He was advised by doctors to relocate to some place where at least the heat and humidity were not so extreme. So, in the summer of 1942 after school was out the McDonald family relocated to Gresham, Oregon, near where Bill’s father had found employment at the Willamette Shipyard in Portland (this shipyard was building jeep carriers for the U. S. WWII efforts). Bill began and completed the second grade at the Pleasant Valley School in Gresham.

Bill’s father was again stricken by sulfur poisoning in the Willamette Shipyard. He was advised by doctors to leave the steel ship building industry. In early 1943 he found employment in wooden ship construction for the WWII efforts in Marshfield, Oregon (now known as Coos Bay, Oregon). In June, 1943 after school was out, the McDonald family relocated to Marshfield.

The McDonald family settled in and around the Coos Bay area. Bill attended both parochial and public elementary schools in that area. He attended Marshfield Senior High School in Coos Bay, graduating in June 1953. He was Valedictorian of his graduating class.

Bill entered the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in September, 1953, and graduated with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering in June, 1957, with academic honors and honors for participation in extracurricular activities. He was elected a full member of Tau Beta Pi and an associate member of Sigma Xi as an undergraduate, which are honorary societies for engineers and scientists, respectively. Also, Bill was awarded the Donald O. Douglas Fellowship for his senior year at Caltech, a distinct honor based on his need for financial support and his academic performance.

In June, 1958, Bill received an MS degree from Caltech in Electrical Engineering, and afterward returned to Caltech for another year and a term in graduate studies in physics and mathematics. In November, 1958, Bill met his future wife Esther Louise (Pink) Coutu, while she was an undergraduate student at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood, California. Bill entered full time employment in June, 1960, first at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, and about six months later at the Autonetics Division of North American Aviation in Downey, California.

In June, 1961, Pink graduated from Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts and a month later she and Bill were married in Weston, the home of her parents. The couple first resided in Downey, California, where Bill continued to be employed by Autonetics. A son, William Louis, was born to them in April, 1962.

In August, 1962, Bill accepted an offer of full time employment at the Instrumentation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and admission to the part time doctoral studies program at MIT. He and Pink and their infant son moved to the Boston area that month and Bill began employment and doctoral studies at MIT in September, 1962. Bill successfully defended his thesis in January, 1968, and formally graduated with a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree in June, 1968. Just before graduation he was elected a full member of Sigma Xi and a full member of Sigma Gamma Tau, an honorary society for aerospace engineers.

Bill received an outstanding employment offer from Autonetics Division of North American Rockwell Corporation in Anaheim, California, and he and his family returned to Southern California (Dana Point) in August, 1968. Bill and Pink’s family had swelled to three children by that time with the adoption of daughter Lisa Marie in 1966 and son Robert William in 1968.

Bill worked for Autonetics from August 1968 through May, 1994. Almost all his work during that period was highly classified. In general, his work had to do with missile navigation, guidance, and control (both ICBM and tactical missiles); overt and covert instrument development for intelligence gathering; advanced imaging sensors for overhead surveillance; and Army and Navy tactical weapons development. In late 1976 he was named the Rockwell Engineer of the Year for the Autonetics Group of Rockwell International for his contributions to visible imaging technology; in 1984 he was named a systems engineering representative on the TriServices Medical Information Systems (TRIMIS) Peer Review Group reporting to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and served in that capacity for nearly ten years; he served as Rockwell Representative on a Government Ad Hoc Committee on Advanced Military Technology; and in 1993 he was selected to lead an effort in Russia to evaluate magnetometer technology and placed contracts with three Russian institutes for development of advanced magnetometers for Rockwell. In May, 1994 he retired from Autonetics. At retirement he was Chief Scientist for Instrument Development at the Autonetics Group of Rockwell International Corporation.

After retirement and with their three children grown and pursuing their own interests, Bill and Pink moved to a location near Birmingham, Alabama, to be near Bill’s extended family in the deep South. In January, 1995, Bill was employed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) first as an engineer in the Macromolecular Sciences Laboratory and later as Engineering Manager for that Laboratory. This laboratory was engaged in growing and studying macromolecular protein crystals on the Space Shuttle and later on the Space Station to find treatments for virus-induced diseases. In August, 2000, Bill, having reached the age of 65 years, resigned from UAB and pursued a different professional career.

This second career actually had begun in late 1968 when Bill and Ted Almgren had been introduced by a mutual acquaintance at Autonetics, and they became best friends and began an avocational study of the ballistics of small arms, which later grew into a small business. This business included measurements of ballistic coefficients of sporting bullets, calculating bullet trajectories on personal computers, and writing and teaching in this ballistics field. This work gained a national reputation for Ted and Bill. Bill specialized in mathematics and physics of bullet flight, and Ted specialized in mathematics and computer technology, so that this team had the basic competence necessary for this business. Their business continued from late 1968 to the date of Bill’s death, and it was a principal reason for Bill and Pink’s move from Alabama to the Bitterroot Valley in 2006 so that Ted and Bill could work closely together.

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The Forgotten 250 Savage

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box

Have you ever wondered why some cartridges are successful while others fail? I’m sure this thought has crossed the minds of CEO’s and company engineers for many years. Sometimes it’s just timing in the market or the factory offerings in various rifles.

The 250 Savage, also known as the 250-3000 is one of these calibers. First introduced way back in 1915 by Savage, it was ahead of its time. Today 3000 FPS will only draw a yawn from most reloaders, but back then it was unheard of. While the designer of the 250 Savage, Charles Newton suggested a 100 gr. bullet for this new caliber, Savage decided to drop down to an 87 gr. In order to meet the 3000 FPS velocity they was looking for. The 250 Savage enjoyed a high level of popularity for many years after its introduction but finally fell out of the lime light when the. 243 was introduced in 1955.

I’ve read many articles thru the years stating how the .243 killed the 250-3000, but did it really? Let’s take a closer look.

SAAMI established the maximum average working pressure for this cartridge at 45,000 CUP because of the 99 Savage that it was introduced in. The .243 was set at 52,000 CUP. Strike one. Early 250 Savages also had 1-14” twist marrying them to the 87 gr. or shorter bullets, while the .243 had a 1-10” twist and was well suited to handle 100 gr. bullets. Strike two. Bullets in the 87 gr. and under weight range all had varmint bullet construction and that combined with being offered in a lever gun did not give visions of pin point accuracy. Strike three. It’s easier to win a race when the other guy is pulling a boat.

Today, a modern and strong bolt rifle does not need to be limited to such low pressures. A 1-10” twist barrel will give more options in bullet weights as well.

Back some years ago, I built a 250 Savage and found it could hold its own with a .243 when they was both loaded to equal pressures. RL-15 has proven to be an outstanding powder choice in this caliber giving both good velocity and accuracy combined. Overall the 250 Savage was slightly superior because of its ability to use 117 gr. and 120 gr. bullets for larger whitetails and mulies.

pauls-riflePictured is Paul Box’s custom 250 Savage. It’s built on a Savage Model 14 and features a squared and trued action. Pillar bedding, and the barrel is a Lilja stainless no. 4 contour 3-Groove 1-10” twist and finished at 24”.

Looking into my crystal ball, I’m sure the day is not far away when this caliber will only be available thru rebarreling from your favorite gunsmith and brass will have to be made from 22-250, but I know it will always have a loyal following from those who have truly taken the time to work with it.

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Sierra Bullets Announces Master Bulletsmith Program

img_6944Left to right – Master Bulletsmith, Jeff Gilbertson; President, Pat Daly; Master Bulletsmiths Dan Hoke, Scott Jenkins, Bryan Brock; Production Manager, Mike Gunter; Production Lead, Brad Vansell; and Vice-President of Operations, Doug Wickham

Through a newly developed program, Sierra Bullets will train Bulletsmiths through an extensive criteria-based program to be Master Bulletsmiths.  Criteria for the Master Bulletsmith designation include a thorough knowledge of all bullet production processes, an exemplary demonstration of all of Sierra Bullets operating procedures, and a reliable, respected leader.

To obtain the Master Bulletsmith designation, each Bulletsmith must be certified to run all Sierra Bullet lines including MatchKing, Tipped MatchKing, BlitzKing, Varminter, GameKing, Pro-Hunter, SportsMaster, Tournament Master, and Sig Sauer V-Crown bullets.  Each Master Bulletsmith must be able to proficiently run a bullet press, draw press, and trimmer.

In addition to masterfully crafting bullets with their own bullet press, each Master Bulletsmith will lead a group of Bulletsmiths, serving as an expert those operators can rely upon for guidance in the complexities of bullet craftsmanship.

Kicking off the Master Bulletsmiths will be initial inductees Bryan Brock, Jeff Gilbertson, Dan Hoke, and Scott Jenkins.  Together these men bring 99 years of knowledge and experience to the art of making bullets.

Rest assured, the next time you head to the range or hunting with your favorite Sierra Bullets, your bullets bear the quality and accuracy overseen by a Master Bulletsmith.

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Going the Distance with 77 gr MatchKing Bullets

Grab some popcorn and check out this video featuring the 77 gr HPBT MatchKing® #9377 bullets from our friends at Gorilla Ammunition.

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Reloading 101: Fireforming Cases

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks

What is fireforming?

Fireforming is the process of creating custom fitting cartridge cases for your specific firearm. Having the “custom” cases can be very beneficial and really isn’t to hard to accomplish. I want to hopefully shed some light on the process as we continue. When we buy shoes and clothes, we like for them to fit “just so”. We all have our own opinion as to what “just so” feels like. Each firearm has a preference for certain things in a load that is being used in that firearm. It may be bullet weight or style; it could certainly be a powder selection and amount. These are just a couple of examples to be found on a rather long list of items that need to be considered during the reloading process.

Fireforming is also one of those items. This involves the controlled forming of the case and also the very controlled re-sizing of the fireformed case. There is also another use for fireforming, and that is called case-forming. This is actually taking one cartridge and alter the case to form another cartridge. Such cartridges as the Ackley’s or Improved come to mind. Then also you have the many varied wildcat cartridges. This process often requires fireforming to be done. But rather than allowing this to get too far from the intended subject, I will to stick to the fireforming subject.

Why do we want to fireform?

Fireforming has two major goals.

1. Extended case life.

Brass case demand is very high right now, and supply is a bit short. So, of course, this causes brass prices to be very high, if and when you can find what you need. Fireforming can be a big help during this situation by helping to insure that your cases last as long as possible. If done properly, you can be guaranteed that case life will by extended by quite a bit. This does not excuse us from careful observation of case and load issues that can and do arise. It does certainly minimize case stretching and case loss due to excessive and repeated stretching.

2. Potential for better accuracy

Note that in the semi-autos (that are extremely popular) and lever action firearms that full length sizing is very much recommended. Due to their inability to chamber cases that are not full length re-sized is very limited.  A custom fitted case can give you a much better opportunity at accuracy due to eliminating some accuracy robbing issues. When you are full length re-sizing, you almost always create problems that can certainly rob you of accuracy performance A fireformed case helps to align the bullet with the center of the bore which is always beneficial when trying to squeeze out the last smidgen of accuracy.

How do you fireform ?

I want to mention that there is certainly more than one way to fireform. I will endeavor to help you understand the concept and explain the more common version of fireforming. I will also mention some other variations that are used too.

The most common way:

With a new case, we will want to seat a primer first off. The next step requires us to determine at what length the bullet (we want to use in the fireforming load) will touch the rifling. (It is best to use a heavier weight bullet for the cartridge and if available a flat base bullet.) Then, select a powder for the cartridge you are working with. The better powders are those that fall in the middle of the burn rate range for the cartridge and bullet weight. Use a mid-range load with the powder and bullet selected. Then seat the bullet to touch the rifling. The bullet touching the rifling causes the cartridge rim to be in contact with the bolt face or receiver, so that the firing pin strike cannot cause the case to be shoved forward. This then allows the case to expand to the chamber dimensions with out the weakening stretch that otherwise would take place. It is always best to use new unfired cases. Cases that have been previously fired, whether it be factory ammo or cases that were loaded and not fireformed first, will almost always have a certain amount of stretch that has occurred. This initial stretching is usually when the most damage occurs.

Sometimes the throat in a particular chamber may be long enough that seating a bullet out to touch the rifling may not be possible. In that situation, hope is not lost, we have other ways of dealing with the scenario. In this situation, we will need to run the neck of the case across a larger expander button. This can be done by getting a larger caliber tapered expander button from the die manufacturer. Some of the die manufacturers offer complete decapping rod assemblies with the tapered expander buttons. Going with one of those a couple of calibers larger will work very well. There are also expander dies made and sold that have interchangeable mandrels that would facilitate this process.also. Making sure to sufficiently lube the inside of the case neck, run just the neck portion over the expander button. This will cause the neck to expand to the larger diameter. We then will want to put the original expander button back on and adjust the die so that we are sizing a small portion of the neck back down to original diameter. We are not sizing the full length of the neck. We want to leave enough of the neck expanded so that it will help hold the case firmly against the bolt face, minimizing the case damaging stretch. But we also need a small portion of the neck holding the bullet too. This requires careful adjustment of the sizing die to get neck expansion/resizing amount just right.

Another scenario for fireforming is the simple necking up or down of an existing cartridge to create another case/cartridge. The following are the steps that I use to create 6.5-06 cases from 270 Win. cases.

1. I first start off with new 270 cases. The chamber of my 6.5-06 will not accept the full length 270 case which measures 2.540″ in length. I will trim the cases back to a length of 2.497″.  I then chamfer and de-burr.


middle-step2. The next step will be to adjust the 6.5-06 sizing die to partially size part of  the length of the case neck. This may require some fine adjustment. You will want to size only a small portion of the neck and then try chambering in your firearm to see if the bolt will close. Do not force the bolt closed. Then keep adjusting the sizing die farther down slowly and trying them in the chamber until you get the bolt to close. This is important, as you want the un-sized portion of the neck to help hold the case back against the bolt face in order to correctly fireform. Once this sizing was done, I checked the length again to be certain that the case would still fit in the chamber. The length had grown to 2.500″ and still was chambering very well. Perfect.

3. Now we are ready to fireform. Pick an appropriate burn rate of powder for the cartridge. Starting just slightly under the mid-point of the powder charge range for the bullet weight you will be using. Load 2 or 3 and fire them in the rifle. If the cases look like the shoulder is formed, and the neck looks filled out, then the charge is sufficient. If not, then increase the powder charge about one-half grain until the case is formed.

img_69734. At this time we are ready to re-size the case. Care must be taken when re-sizing that we do not undo the fireforming. We want to size as much of the case neck as we actually can and still not move the shoulder back any at all I do this by adjusting the sizing down very slowly and watching how far down on the neck it is actually sizing. You can visually see the progression. Go slow and make  small adjustments to reach your goal. You are now ready to start your load development with fire-formed cases.

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