With some of these less-than mainstream cartridges, (A.K.A. WILDCATS) sometimes you have to make your own brass from a parent case. For this example, I will be explaining fireforming 6 Dasher, and the reasons you may, or may not, want to pursue a cartridge that strictly uses brass made from a different cartridge. I will also talk about options on the market to get the same results without the need for this multi-step process.
Above from left-to-right, is a 6BR NORMA (PARENT CASE FOR 6 DASHER), 6BR false shoulder, 6 Dasher 1x firing, and 6 Dasher with multiple fires. This is the evolution from start to finish of changing the 6BR to a 6 Dasher. Fireforming 6 Dasher looks like a lot of work, or fireforming in general, but its not. Generally you can expect to get 100% reliability out of the fireform ammo and use it for training days. HOW TO MAKE DENSITY ALTITUDE DATA CARDS 6BR PARENT CASE
Starting with the 6BR, you run the brass through a larger mandrel die, such as a .257, or a .264 to expand the neck. Next you run the expanded 6BR brass through a 6 Dasher die to essentially create a “false shoulder” to secure the case firmly in the chamber. This is one of the methods used to create adequate head-spacing of a 6BR in a Dasher chamber. We have found that this method is not 100% necessary, and can be done without the false shoulder. The purpose of the shoulder is to minimize the growth of the brass upon the first firing. Generally the failure point of brass during this process will be around the case-web due to elongating during the firing of the first round. The false shoulder minimizes that effect and helps to ensure that case-head separation does not happen. Annealing the brass prior to firing helps to mitigate neck splits and also helps the brass’s elasticity to shape to the new chamber dimensions. All together, this is a very simple process, and is basically one more additional step than reloading regular 6BR. The ideal setup is, annealed 6BR brass, expand with a false shoulder, and seat the projectile to where it barely touches the 6 Dasher chamber’s rifling to help stabilize the case as best as possible. This gives you the best “pop” to move the shoulder up and out. FIREFORMING 6 DASHER
Above on the left is a once fired, 6BR case, fired in a 6 Dasher chamber. You can see that the shoulder has now moved further up, and formed somewhat angular shoulder shape to the Dasher chamber. The case on the right is a multi-fired 6 Dasher illustrating the final form of the case with a perfect shape adoption to the new chamber. You can see that not only is the body-shoulder junction more defined, the shoulder-neck junction is also. The case on the right requires no further work to establish it’s final form and is ready for match use. From 6BR to 6 dasher, should require no more than 2x firings on the same case to have a working piece of 6 Dasher Brass. One thing to note, the 6BR fired in a Dasher chamber will have significantly lower pressure than normal and will display signs of being under-pressure. Thus it requires multiple fires to fully form. You can still yield superb accuracy on fireform brass, or 1x fired brass when done correctly! START TO FINISH FIREFORMING 6 DASHER
Above is a side view of the start to finish of fireforming 6 Dasher. If you actually break this process down, it is essentially two steps. It should not require a lot of work to make this brass. Now… You are asking yourself, “Why would I go through all this work to make brass for a cartridge like this?” Let me explain… 6 Dasher is somewhat of a poor example these days with Alpha munitions now offering factory brass. But, the process is the same for many cartridges. For example “Ackley-improved” chambers or anything that is not fully adopted in the mainstream. Knowing how to make brass for a “wild-cat” should help to not steer you away from the many amazing options out there if you are a hand-loader for ammunition. Not to mention, the performance benefits from cartridges such as this. The easy button would be something like a 6-Creedmoor. You can hammer everything projectile on the market and it has been proven to perform. But, cartridges like this have been proven to win, time and time again. If the process to make brass for for a less-than mainstream cartridge is holding you back from running something unique or open the doors to new things, then don’t be scared. If you can reload a 6 Creedmoor, you can easily run something like this. 600 YARD ACCURACY
Above is a picture from February 2023 Tacoma Sportsman’s Club 600-Yard Benchrest match. This target is an example of what a “PRS” type rifle running another wildcat, 6BRX. Pretty remarkable accuracy if you ask me. I can safely say that this is a pretty standard group size for a rifle running a cartridge such as 6 BRX or a 6 Dasher at 600 Yards. http://FULLSENDFIREARMSANDAMMO.COM
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