Case Sorting by Head Stamp

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Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by shoot308 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:42 pm

Being new to bullseye pistol does it pay to sort cases by head stamp in 38 Special and 45 ACP? My skill is improving and I can hold the black on the 25 yard target slow fire. Should I just segregate for 50 yard ammo or for both or not worry about it? Thanks.
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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Rob Kovach on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:02 pm

IMO it doesn't matter as long as your shots are going where they are called. Some say there are small variations in crimp from brand to brand due to different thicknesses. I don't think it matters much for the 45.
On the .38spl, there might be different opinions, but I cant shoot my .38 worth a crap, so I won't offer my perspective.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by DeweyHales on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:06 pm

For .45, experiments have been done that show for most shooters, it is a waste of time to sort .45 by headstamp.

I have purchased ammo from NSK that had mixed .38 headstamps. It was very accurate ammo.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by WVBE Shooter on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:41 pm

Good question I have been sorting by head stamp not knowing if it made a difference.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Chris_D on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:37 am

I spent a lot of time sorting out my brass, I spent a lot of time hand selecting bullets for matches, I spent a lot to time checking each throw of the powder measure to make sure it was exactly 3.9 grains.

I wasted a lot of time doing that.

If you can find the components, reload the ammo and spend that time practicing - it is much more helpful to the score.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Rob Kovach on Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:15 am

Heck if we all spent more time even dry firing than sorting brass, I'm sure we would all be masters by now.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by DavidR on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:17 pm

For any thinking not sorting 45 casess is a good idea, your throwing away points. Back when i started BE in 2000, sorting wasn't necessary because all 45 acp cases that had not been fired a bunch were pretty much the same. Not the case(pun intended) these days, Today you have Federal and other major brands with 3 different cases, the old original, the new lead free primer style which has a larger flash hole and a bowl looking inside base and the newer style that takes a small rather than large pistol primer. Now you could use any one of these types and if the loads right it will shoot fine. Its when you start mixing it all up you will have issues. I had problems when i started back shooting in 2010 (off 5 years because of shoulder injury) I bought a bunch of federal and started shooting, none were the small primer stuff so i figured its all good, Wrong! I kept having shots not on call but there was no reason i could find why. After much hair pulling and talking, a friend said you are not mixing the large and small flash hole brass are you? My reply was, i thought only that crappy white box Winchester from walmart had the big holes? To my surprise he said most every brand has some of its line that have that now. So i started checking my fired rounds from a recent match and found i had many of the new style mixed in with the old original style. So I did some testing off a rest, sure enough the old style case with my load shot on call, the newer big flash hole shot to a different point. Inspecting the case, the hole was larger and the inside of its case was shaped like a bowl, not going straight to the flat base like the old stuff does. These differences change the pressure and velocity of the load and its point of impact. So i assure you sorting cases does matter. My score went up after i went to all the same style brass. Just one less thing to worry about.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:36 am

I don't know about you, but every time I shoot a 7...or worse...I'm going to say, "damn cases! That one was a bad case."
David R: Those cases with the weird flash hole, were they fliers down and to the left, or up and to the right? That's where all my bad cases fly to!

lol!
But seriously. All of the rounds with the unusual flash hole should have had the same point of impact. Where did they go during your testing compared to your normal zero with normal cases? (and I'm not talking about cases that take the Small Pistol Primers....it's not like anybody makes that mistake on accident)

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Virgil Kane on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:27 am

Rob Kovach wrote:I don't know about you, but every time I shoot a 7...or worse...I'm going to say, "damn cases! That one was a bad case."
David R: Those cases with the weird flash hole, were they fliers down and to the left, or up and to the right? That's where all my bad cases fly to!

lol!
But seriously. All of the rounds with the unusual flash hole should have had the same point of impact. Where did they go during your testing compared to your normal zero with normal cases? (and I'm not talking about cases that take the Small Pistol Primers....it's not like anybody makes that mistake on accident)


I noticed the same as David that the small and large primer holes in Federal brass were different in shooting.

I can say for a fact that when I started sorting them accourding to flash hole size I did notice a difference as to where the center of my groups were. Both the large and small flash holes grouped fine but to different points of impact. I couldn't say for sure where the groups were hitting because it was several years ago but the difference in pointt of impact was around 3 inches.
I segragate my Federal brass into large and small flash hole groups. I use my large FH for Bullseye and my small FH just for Hardball. If I mix the flash hole sizes and try to shoot a group with the mix my group will be all over the paper.

This doesn't answer your question as to where they grouped but does confirm the experience that David had with these flash hole differences.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Dave C. on Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:45 am

Listen to Davidr he has it correct.

Save your mixed brass for the short line.



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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by DavidR on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:11 am

Rob Kovach wrote:I don't know about you, but every time I shoot a 7...or worse...I'm going to say, "damn cases! That one was a bad case."
David R: Those cases with the weird flash hole, were they fliers down and to the left, or up and to the right? That's where all my bad cases fly to!

lol!
But seriously. All of the rounds with the unusual flash hole should have had the same point of impact. Where did they go during your testing compared to your normal zero with normal cases? (and I'm not talking about cases that take the Small Pistol Primers....it's not like anybody makes that mistake on accident)

The cases are not bad, just different. This is information that if you just sit and think about it makes perfect sense. The different case, produces a different amount of pressure which produces a different FPS, therefore it will reach a 50 yard target in a different time and point of impact. It would be the same if you loaded up 20 185 bullets and 10 200's and expected them to shoot to the same POI. In my testing or in matches the shots i called good went were i called them except for the ones with large flash holes(and also a different inside design) these did not. If i called a ten i might have a 7,8 or a 9 shot. Many might not even see the problem, but if say you have 5 of the new cases and 25 of the old you could be throwing away 15 points in the slow fire. You might not even see much difference at 25yds, but a 9 that could or would have been a 10 will eat away at your total score and x2 if you shoot the 45 with the same loads for CF. If the time comes when you want those extra points, you will start the process of uniformity, it pays off.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Jerry Keefer on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:49 am

Make no mistake..the big guns test and test some more...Over the years of testing and trying to find the tightest shooting gun/ammo combination..I find it is beneficial to adjust the case length to compliment the chamber depth for minimum headspace. I agree that almost anything within reason is satisfactory for X ring at short line, but long line a completely different animal.

Presently, Starline brass is hard to beat for length and consistancy. One excellent test done years ago by myself and the late Col. Al Bacon, involved buying a thousand rounds of new 460 Rowland brass. I made a fixture for the milling machine to machine the brass to a length of .900 and with the chamber depth reamed to .903.

Ransom Testing proved to be very good, with consistant grouping, much better than random factroy brass.. Of course it's not practical to machine Rowland brass, but Starline presently fills the bill. Pay close attention to the brass length and have your smith set the gun up for minimum headspace. It's actually esay to do, since most factory brass never approachs .900 to create an issue.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:20 pm

I was shooting a 50' 900 match today. Shot a miss in timed fire. A handful of 6s up and to the right. (the rest 10s--I was shooting pretty well)
I checked the flash holes....turned out I was the flash hole.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by bdutton on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:22 pm

I'm a High Master Indoors and Master outdoors.

I don't sort my brass for the short line and I don't bother with the long line practice ammo either. I shoot high 90's with it in slow too.

However, when preparing for a match, I will use NEW BRASS only for the long line.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by DavidR on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:54 pm

bdutton wrote:I'm a High Master Indoors and Master outdoors.

I don't sort my brass for the short line and I don't bother with the long line practice ammo either. I shoot high 90's with it in slow too.

However, when preparing for a match, I will use NEW BRASS only for the long line.

Have you ever checked your brass to see if you have mixes of the old style and the newer lead free style? I know high level shooters who can drill a target with most any load and Its apparent you have that high skill level. These accuracy tips will give the low to average shooter more of a return than top level shooters.

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train and practice

Post by pistol champ on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:11 pm

The old saying " buy all the points you can and shoot the rest" is true, but without the ability to shoot the rest, no amount of money will buy enough points to win a match or make master. Find out how to shoot first.
I made master my first year with middle of the road equipment and low cost ammo. no sorting brass, measuring rim thickness, weighing bullets, etc. I did a lot of dry firing, got some great coaching, spent time doing training drills, and practicing. My second year I bought great equipment, shot top shelf ammo and made high master. I feel doing all the little things like sorting brass is only worth while when you are shooting consistent scores and need a few more points to make it to the next level until you are there spend your time training and practicing. Consistent scores (my definition) when you shoot a 82, 93, 75, 96 you are not consistent. Spend some money and go to a bullseye clinic to get a coach to evaluate what you are doing right and wrong. Shoot all you targets between 86 and 90 and maybe great ammo and equipment will get your scores in the 90's. The two biggest increases in scores related to buying points that I have observed is a red dot scope and a good trigger job. Sometimes spending money on these two items might help you from developing bad habits.
There is no secret to shooting good scores, it only takes two things hold the dot in the middle while you pull the trigger. A good coach will help you get your body to do the best it can at that. You will get out of this sport what you put in and that takes time, guidance, energy, natural ability, and money.
Give a top shooter a stock Ruger 22 with bulk ammo and he will out score a poor shooter with a 208s and Eley red box. The big difference will be the shooter not the equipment. Now take the top shooter and give him the 208s and Eley and his scores probably will be higher but probably not by a whole lot.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Chris_D on Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:39 am

While I am certainly not as good at pistol champ, I too am a fairly good shooter - high 280 average with both guns and fairly consistent.

I can say without question, that all of my "bad" shots are directly linked to poor technique (jerking the trigger, etc.). I cannot always call my shots and frankly I don't even try to. I focus the best I can on executing the shot and let the holes develop where they may.

I have done tests with different charges and different bullets to see if things were better or worse. What I learned from my early testing process is that if I know something is different, I will shoot different. If I do blind testing (have someone else load the magazine & gun), the "obvious" differences fade away.

My point of this is that unless you are a master or a high master, you probably cannot tell the difference in different head stamp brass. The vast majority of "non 10" shots are the fault of the shooter and not the gun or ammo.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by shoot308 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:26 am

Thanks for the info. I come from the Highpower Rifle world where this actually makes a difference. Going through the Marine Corps training guide a lesson at a time.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:49 am

I just don't get the mechanics of it. If everything else is exactly the same. The powder charge, the primer, everything. And the flash hole is the only difference, where does this extra velocity come from? Are you saying that more priming "gets out" of this bigger flash hole and ZOOM imparts more velocity on the bullet?

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Virgil Kane on Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:41 am

I don't think anybody has said that there is a velocity differents with flash hole size just that some have noticed a difference in where their bullets are hitting. The group size might be the same but the point of impact changes some from one flash hole size to another. At least that's what I've noticed. If you look at the difference in the flash hole size you will see that the new ones are at least twice the diameter compared to the old ones.



I would guess in theory that the two should be the same if everything else is the same. But then one could say that if you mix a magazine full of 200 grain Magus swaged SWC and cast Lyman 452460's which are also 200 grains that they should hit in the same group but they probably will not. I'm sure the HM shooters could do well at 50 feet and do decent at 25 yards but I bet that the HM without knowing which bullet he fired would be able to tell them apart by calling his shots and noticing which landed outsuide of where he called. You could also say the same about primers. Some guys swear tha X primer is better that Y primer but in reality they are all LP primers right?



I don't know the answer to this. I'm not a HM or even a M shooter but I know that when I mix large and small flash holes I can tell the difference in where the bullet hits compared to the rest of the group. I would also agree that most shots that don't hit their intended POI are do to shooter fault not some magical flash hole size.



This is just my opinion but I have noticed a difference. Don't shoot the messenger. No





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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by DavidR on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:30 am

Rob Kovach wrote:I just don't get the mechanics of it. If everything else is exactly the same. The powder charge, the primer, everything. And the flash hole is the only difference, where does this extra velocity come from? Are you saying that more priming "gets out" of this bigger flash hole and ZOOM imparts more velocity on the bullet?

In the new cases, the large flash hole is not the only difference, if you compare two cases, old federal and new you will see inside the case the bottom of the new stuff looks like a bowl where the old looks like looking into soup can, straight edges all the way down to the base. This creates a different volume inside and changes the pressure, which combined with a large flash hole send the bullet to a different POI than the exact same load in a old style case. Now i applaud the high masters, but its obvious if you can make high master in two seasons, you have a skill level way above the average bullseye shooter. Im not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but i know plenty of great shooters and have talked at length with The best of all time Hershel Anderson, Bryan Zins, Doc Young and others and the one thing they all told me was, Consistency maters! The same thing Pistol Champ also said in his post. What im trying to get across is if you want Consistency in the POI of your shots then using all the SAME components is good way to do it. It doesn't matter which case you use, as long as you use all the same style. Another thing i learned from these legends of our sport is the first thing you do is get everything mechanical working right, then the only thing you need to work on to reach your goals is you.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Toz35m on Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:32 pm

Thanks for pointing this out DavidR. Learning about the 2 different size holes has me both pissed at Federal for not making a mark on the head stamp and also glad because I think this has been causing me some issues. I only shoot Fed cases for the long line so I could be consistent about what my loads were. Then come to find out I might have been better using my short line mixed brass since it all has small holes based on my small sample size.

After sorting a good chunk of my Fed brass it looks like I have about a 50-50 split or very close. I did notice that the Starline brass I have has the small holes. I may have to take some loads using Fed of small hole and larger hole and compare on the ransom rest to see if they produce the same group size. I wander if Fed tried to compensate for making the hole larger they changed other parts of the case so in theory nobody would notice.

One of the most important things I have learned over the years is to make everything you do as consistent as possible. Remove every variable you can control. Why do you think some bench rest shooters use one singe case for every shot and load it on the line?

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:01 pm

DavidR,
That makes a lot more sense now. I must not have ever seen the cases that you are talking about....which is weird after all of the brass I've snagged from the average joe non-bullseye shooter. Now that I know that the inside of the case is completely different besides the flash hole I will make a quick look after I shake all the polishing compound out of them.

I'm going to keep using mixed headstamps but I won't use any with the bowl in the bottom. I totally agree that the different volume in the case is the problem. I'm looking forward to finding one. I'll post pictures on this thread.

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by Taroman on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:19 pm

So, checking my cache of Federal .45 cases, I find a number of +P ones.
I think the inside coutour looks a bit different than the others.
Anybody know if there's really any difference (other than the headstamp)?

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

Post by DavidR on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:45 am

+P cases are generally just made of thicker brass for the higher pressures, if the case design is the same they should work fine

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Re: Case Sorting by Head Stamp

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