Avoiding Case Problems

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Avoiding Case Problems

Post by mikemyers on 10/10/2018, 9:10 am

There is an interesting article in the latest Shooting Sports USA; I just read it.
Kaboom: The Consequences Of A Blown-Out Case

https://www.sgammo.com/product/22-lr-ammo/5000-round-case-22-lr-cci-standard-velocity-40-grain-lead-bullet-ammo-0035

Most of what I read doesn't apply to me, as I'm only using the minimal loads as recommended by this forum and Magnus, 2.8 grains for 38 and 4 grains for 45.  But while reading it, I was thinking about my picking up all my brass after every 10 shots or so, and that I sometimes mark the cases on the back with a magic marker.  But if I shoot 50 rounds, and go home with 44 cases, I know I'm getting cases from other people.

Question #1 - is there a better way to mark my cases?

Question #2 - is there a good way to detect cases that are questionable, before reloading?

My other thought - when possible, police the area where I'm about to shoot, and pick up any similar brass left there by others BEFORE I shoot.
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by kidneyboy on 10/10/2018, 9:43 am

1 - no
     If you sort by headstamp it makes things a little easier
2 - inspect for cracks and bulges. If the primer just falls out while you are depriming or slips right in when priming (no tension). 

Light loads or not it pays to inspect cases. If you are picking up brass anyway pick it all up and sort when you get home.

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by mikemyers on 10/10/2018, 10:05 am

Thanks, I should have added that mostly all of my cases are from Winchester White Box ammo, so anything else isn't mine.  That's a start.  Good idea about that last part, I can do the sorting at home under better light, and again when I take the cases out of the tumbler.

Haven't done it yet, but I'm tempted to deprive the cases before tumbling.....
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by dronning on 10/10/2018, 10:08 am

mikemyers wrote: and that I sometimes mark the cases on the back with a magic marker.  
With our loads a blown out case would be rare unless there is a mechanical issue, like not going into battery all the way when fired, or a double charge.  

If you are concerned then:
Mark the bottom of EVERY CASE (not just sometimes) with a marker, use 2 colors to distinguish yours, never pick up any brass that doesn't have your mark.  Better yet use a brass catcher and out of 50 shots maybe only a couple hit the ground.  Start your reloading with good brass, all with the same head stamp and keep track of it, including the # of reloads, you can buy once fired brass from many different sources.

I use to pickup range brass, hey it was like a treasure hunt, but always got used only for my plastic guns.
- Dave
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by bdas on 10/10/2018, 10:16 am

The best way to avoid picking up other people's cases is to use a brass catcher.  You might still lose a few of yours that miss the catcher, but you don't go home with cases that aren't yours, unless the gun in the port to your left happens to be throwing cases into your net.

If you mark your cases with a colored marker, the likelihood of getting a case that's not yours (and not realizing it) should be pretty small, no?

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by kidneyboy on 10/10/2018, 12:07 pm

mikemyers wrote:Thanks, I should have added that mostly all of my cases are from Winchester White Box ammo, so anything else isn't mine.  That's a start.  Good idea about that last part, I can do the sorting at home under better light, and again when I take the cases out of the tumbler.

Haven't done it yet, but I'm tempted to deprive the cases before tumbling.....
If you are tumbling with media, depriming prior to tumbling creates a lot of extra work getting the media out of the primer pocket and case. Ask me how I know :0

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by S148 on 10/10/2018, 12:20 pm

Yeah, knowing which brass is yours is a good idea. A magic marker can save you a lot of grief in the end.

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by mikemyers on 10/10/2018, 4:51 pm

Oops, so much for that idea.  
I'll continue to tumble, then de-prime.

Magic Marker - I used black, will use red next time.
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by james r chapman on 10/10/2018, 5:51 pm

Never had that problem media in primer pocket
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by kidneyboy on 10/10/2018, 6:35 pm

I am a little curious as to why you would only want to pick up your own brass. Is that a range rule or is it only wanting to reload your own brass? I understand both of those but if they let you pick up brass, pick up brass, sort it later and pay attention when you reload.

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by mikemyers on 10/10/2018, 8:29 pm

The end goal is to only pick up my own brass, at least to take home.  If I shot 50 rounds, I'm happy when I find all 50 cases, but it's usually 48 or 49.

There are no rules at my range - if it's on the ground, and has been there for a while, as far as I know anyone can take it.

As to sorting when I get home, that's a great idea, but usually when I get home there is other stuff to do, and I'm likely to forget all about it.  If I have to do it at all, why not do it when I'm picking up the brass, and be done with it....

.....but if I use a red marker, all the other stuff becomes trivial.  Anything with red is mine. 


I have a feeling that isn't the answer to your question.  If you mean why don't I take other people's brass with me and use it, that's what I used to do long ago.  Then I learned about potential problems from re-using brass too often.  I know roughly how much I've used my brass.  All the stuff I had from 30 years ago I gave away.  If you're picking up range brass, I guess it's a good idea to look it over carefully before reloading with it (which is something way back when I had no idea I was supposed to do.......).
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by dronning on 10/10/2018, 9:12 pm

kidneyboy wrote:I am a little curious as to why you would only want to pick up your own brass. Is that a range rule or is it only wanting to reload your own brass? I understand both of those but if they let you pick up brass, pick up brass, sort it later and pay attention when you reload.

Just a different viewpoint, there is nothing wrong with picking up range brass, if your willing to take the time to sort it, I'm not.  It eliminates a variable, plus I find if I hunt for brass I get distracted from my shooting.  Often during a match, I don't even pick up the few cases that miss the net of my own brass, unless it's Starline or some other new brass. 

I'm a little jaded because when I started loading for rifle, which was several years before I started shooting pistol, I bought some equipment from a fellow shooter and he threw in 2 five gallon pails of once fired Federal 45acp brass.  He wisely told me, "you'll need it someday", so I held on to it.
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by spyer40 on 10/13/2018, 9:11 am

Does anyone use the SS grip spacers from CMM just as insurance for a blowout?

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by noylj on 10/14/2018, 1:13 am

No, you leave all the cases on the ground so I can pick them up.
I don't sort, not for handguns and not for rifles that shoot 1 MOA or more.
I INSPECT every case, every time, and discard any with visible bulges, cracks, or enlarged primer pockets.

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by 243winxb on 10/14/2018, 7:40 am

45 acp- Bullet set back ,with target loads, may be the biggest issue.  

Different brands of brass  can have little to over 100 lbs  neck tension. The bullet with low neck tension , gets seated deeper into the case when it hits the feed ramp.www.ssusa.org/articles/2018/10/2/kaboom-the-consequences-of-a-blown-out-case/

Had some Remington 45 acp brass that  provided zero neck tension, years ago.
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by 243winxb on 10/14/2018, 7:48 am

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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by mikemyers on 10/14/2018, 7:56 am

243winxb wrote:45 acp- Bullet set back ,with target loads, may be the biggest issue.  .......  Different brands of brass  can have little to over 100 lbs  neck tension. The bullet with low neck tension , gets seated deeper into the case when it hits the feed ramp........
If the reloaded brass is re-sized to the proper diameter, and then expanded, and then crimped to 0.466" diameter crimp, with a lead bullet such as Magnus #801, it seems to me like the most likely way crimp pressure onto the bullet would be too low, would be from cases that are shorter.  The taper crimp will vary based on the length of the case. 

'243winxb', - can you add case length to your chart?
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Re: Avoiding Case Problems

Post by 243winxb on 10/14/2018, 8:21 am


No case length, old test i did.  I feel neck tension is a larger factor then taper crimp.

You make a good point.   More testing is needed.

Here is a neck tension test done by another, no crimp.
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