brass variation

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brass variation

Post by Al on Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:44 pm

Woke up last night and couldn't get back to sleep, so I went down to the loading room & decided to check wall thickness variation on different brands.
(Yeah, I know.  What kind of idiot checks wall thickness uniformity at 2:30am).  I've been doing some ransom testing with 4.2 of clays and a 204gr H&G 68bb with some .470 & .472 crimping that has been hot & cold.  So, I woke up with a midnight epiphany (check the brass), I figured I was onto something as the TZZ brass consistently did better than the Remington brass that I've historically used for my long line loads.

I didn't check more than a couple dozen, and of course only brought the top post-it with numbers on along to the office today, so still have more data I'll add later.

Using a .0001 ball end micrometer-Starline-IMI match-TZZ match-PMC-Remington-Winchester-Federal-CCI.  I only have data with for the Starline-IMI-TZZ-Rem-PMC.  All brass was cleaned and checked at three different points about 120 degrees apart.
IMI    #1.  .0090-.0090-.0093;  #2. .0091- .0090- .0089;  #3. .0092-.0093-.0090;  #4  .0091-.0098-.0090
PMC   #1.  .0108-.0096-.0119;  #2. .0116- .0101- .0114
Rem   #1.  .0098-.0096-.0102;  #2  .0098- .0101- .0095
TZZ    #1.  .0089-.0089-.0086;  #2. .0100- .0092- .0102
Starline#1. .0010- .0017- .0013; #2. 0010- .0019- .0011;  #3. 0013- .0010- .0016

I'll add in the Winchester, Federal & CCI later, along with some additional samples of the Rem, PMC and TZZ.  The PMC stats didn't surprise me but the Starline sure did.

Al

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Re: brass variation

Post by DavidR on Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:17 pm

you should  check the flash hole diameter too, many brands now use big flash holes instead of the original size they were for decades, this will make a difference in poi on a 50 yard target. Winchester started it back in about 2004, federal know does it too along with others.

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Re: brass variation

Post by Al on Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:24 pm

Never even gave that a thought.  On the plus side, at least all my IMI, TZZ, PMC, along with most of the Remington & Winchester is over 15 yrs of age so that should move them all to the older smaller flash hole category.  As the brass was cleaned in a vibrating cleaner, I leave the primers in until loading so I clean any particles out of the flash hole with the decapping pin.

I'm sitting on about 10 gallons of assorted 45 brass.  So even if it's older it doesn't get shot often.

Good catch.
Al

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Re: brass variation

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:40 pm

Then you might as well uniform-cut the primer pockets and deburr the inside of the flash hole.  Wait....it's not winter time and I'm not looking at my rifle.
I guess it comes down to how fine you want to split the hair and if you really need more precise ammo or more good range time.  I need the range time with a stern task master.

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Re: brass variation

Post by Rob Kovach on Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:43 pm

The brass I just cleaned with the wet tumbler and the steel pins makes the inside of the cases SO CLEAN that you can spot those large flash holes very easily and separate that brass from the rest.
....not that I concede that it will make a huge difference on the target.
.....maybe if I get some free time I'll do some testing....

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Re: brass variation

Post by Colt711 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:14 pm

"maybe if I get some free time I'll do some testing"

Rob,
Time shoudn't be a problem....Just follow Al's example and use the time  2am til 5am or so you're probably not doin' anything but sleepin' ! Smile 
Ron H

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Re: brass variation

Post by LongSlide on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:02 pm

I'm a little confused here.....

The wall of .45 acp brass is tapered, so it's thickness will vary depending on  how far down from the case mouth you measured.  And since case lengths vary, it would be more correct to measure the wall thickness at a uniform distance from the case head.

How did you control that lengthwise displacement  (along the long axis of the case) in the measurement?

If you look at the Starline measurements posted, they are all between 0.001 and 0.002", while the others are at 0.010" +/-.  This indicates to me that the measurements are not being take in a uniform way.

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Re: brass variation

Post by beeser on Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:42 am

LongSlide wrote:I'm a little confused here.....

The wall of .45 acp brass is tapered, so it's thickness will vary depending on  how far down from the case mouth you measured.....
Yes, which is apparently one of the reasons why the Dillon expander and powder funnel die will stick in the case and make it hard to back out.  This occurs on my Dillon XL 650.  Fortunately Starline will fix the offending Dillon die for you at no charge  See the Starline link below dealing with the problem.

http://www.starlinebrass.com/faqs/

As an aside, when I talked to Dillon about the above problem they stated that it only happens with new brass and that the lubricity of the carbon deposits on spent cartridges will free up the action.  Dillon also strongly recommended not cleaning brass with the tumbler/steel pin method because it restores the case insides to near new condition and removes the oils that make their dies function better.  I forgot to ask if one of the solutions was to lubricate the cases after cleaning but I suppose that wouldn't help the insides of them unless the cases were immersed in a bath of lubricant.


Last edited by beeser on Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: brass variation

Post by BE Mike on Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:58 am

Ed Masaki does a lot of Ransom Rest testing. He says that he didn't find any difference in accuracy between mixed brass cases and those of the same brand. He even shot some cracked cases (on purpose) and they shot accurately. All that being said, if measuring and case prep make you happy, then go for it. Just an observation: You could have used the time dry firing.

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Re: brass variation

Post by CR10X on Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:38 am

I probably shouldn't say anything, bat the again that never stopped me before.

First post, if you want better groups with lead, move the crimp to 0.469 or so.

Second, who cares if new brass sticks some in a dillon die. You will load 10,000 times more fired brass.

Third, even with carbide dies and a progressive press, use some liquid spray case lube on a towel and roll a few handfulls of brass in the towel at a time before dumping in the hopper.

Finally, if you are going to get up at 2 or 3 in the morning and do something related to shooting, try dryfiring. It will get you a lot more points in the long run.

Cecil "made HM without ever cleaning a primer pocket" Rhodes

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Re: brass variation

Post by DavidR on Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:33 am

Beeser, Dillon is right,  spray your cases with some hornady spray case lube and they all will load like butter . this is a must if your wet cleaning brass, but if you tumble with media just add 2 cap fulls of a liquid car wax to your media and the brass will load easy too.

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Re: brass variation

Post by Jack H on Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:04 am

I wish I could find the post from years ago where Mike Curtis I think it was made a study of several brass prep steps and found nothing worthwhile in increased accuracy.

My only prep concern has been crud in the primer pocket preventing full or tight seating (550 Dillon) and then a few misfires.  Cleaned pockets, deeper seating (measured), no misfires.


OOps!  I stand corrected. My memory misfired, I need to clean my heads primer pocket.    I found the item on a separate disc.  Just read it.  Author actually is not known.

Curtis on case prep


Several years ago I and Mike Curtis tested various case preparations. The results are not meant to be all inclusive, but were very interesting. Federal once fired brass, Bullseye powder, Nosler 185gr HP, and Federal primers were used. Testing was done by Mike with a Ransom rest. Each stage of preparation was an add on to all previous stages:




1. No case preparation (untumbled, dirty brass); powder charges loaded with a Dillon 550B - worst group
2. Brass was tumbled - better, but not significantly
3. Primer pocket cleaned with RCBS brush - great improvement in group size
4. Primer pocket uniformed with Sinclair primer pocket uniformer - better
5. Flash hole deburred - This caused a degradation in group size. Conclusion - DO NOT DEBUR THE FLASH HOLE FOR 45 ACP (IMHO)
6. Lyman M die - improvement in group size. I am convinced that the straighter the bullet goes in, the straighter it will come out.
7. Dropped powder charge with Culver Pistol Powder measure - minimal improvement.
8. Trimmed brass for length with Forster trimmer and deburred the rim. - distinct degradation of group size - DO NOT TRIM 45 ACP BRASS (IMHO)
9. Seated bullet with Forster Coax press - better - again straighter in - straighter out!
10. Sorted brass as to Length. - better (Even crimp pressure is the answer) I can't wait to test the Constant Force Crimp die. Unfortunately it only mounts on a Dillon and won't attach to my Star or Forster Coax. ( www.constantforce.com )
11. Best results at 50 yards were with
clean brass,
cleaned primer pockets,
uniformed primer pockets,
Lyman M die,
Powder dropped with Culver Pistol Powder measure,
Single stage assembly,
No deburring of flash hole,
and sorted brass as to length.
This was done on a repeat test after initial results were obtained. I posted this some time ago before you were on the list. At that time I stated that trigger control was more important than the bullet. To cut a hole in the 5 ring because you jerked the shot with the best round available doesn't help the score. I am convinced that some upper level shooters can take advantage of the results, but I'd only spend the time for 50 yard loads and then only for important matches like regionals, states or Perry. At the short line there doesn't appear to be the same reward/time spent gain.
*

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Re: brass variation

Post by LongSlide on Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:21 pm

DavidR wrote:Beeser, Dillon is right,  spray your cases with some hornady spray case lube and they all will load like butter . this is a must if your wet cleaning brass, but if you tumble with media just add 2 cap fulls of a liquid car wax to your media and the brass will load easy too.
I used to have that problem when wet tumbling using Dawn and SS media, but I replaced the Dawn with Armor-All Ultra Shine car wash "fortified with Carnauba wax" (large bottle for $5 from Walmart).  My cases no longer stick or hang up on the press and are resized easily.  I will say it's not as effective as the spray lube for working the press easier, but then it's one less step in the reloading process and my cases are immaculate. I'm never going back to dry tumbling!

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Re: brass variation

Post by BE Mike on Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:13 pm

Jack H wrote:I wish I could find the post from years ago where Mike Curtis I think it was made a study of several brass prep steps and found nothing worthwhile in increased accuracy.

My only prep concern has been crud in the primer pocket preventing full or tight seating (550 Dillon) and then a few misfires.  Cleaned pockets, deeper seating (measured), no misfires.


OOps!  I stand corrected. My memory misfired, I need to clean my heads primer pocket.    I found the item on a separate disc.  Just read it.  Author actually is not known.

Curtis on case prep


Several years ago I and Mike Curtis tested various case preparations. The results are not meant to be all inclusive, but were very interesting. Federal once fired brass, Bullseye powder, Nosler 185gr HP, and Federal primers were used. Testing was done by Mike with a Ransom rest. Each stage of preparation was an add on to all previous stages:




1. No case preparation (untumbled, dirty brass); powder charges loaded with a Dillon 550B - worst group
2. Brass was tumbled - better, but not significantly
3. Primer pocket cleaned with RCBS brush - great improvement in group size
4. Primer pocket uniformed with Sinclair primer pocket uniformer - better
5. Flash hole deburred - This caused a degradation in group size. Conclusion - DO NOT DEBUR THE FLASH HOLE FOR 45 ACP (IMHO)
6. Lyman M die - improvement in group size. I am convinced that the straighter the bullet goes in, the straighter it will come out.
7. Dropped powder charge with Culver Pistol Powder measure - minimal improvement.
8. Trimmed brass for length with Forster trimmer and deburred the rim. - distinct degradation of group size - DO NOT TRIM 45 ACP BRASS (IMHO)
9. Seated bullet with Forster Coax press - better - again straighter in - straighter out!
10. Sorted brass as to Length. - better (Even crimp pressure is the answer) I can't wait to test the Constant Force Crimp die. Unfortunately it only mounts on a Dillon and won't attach to my Star or Forster Coax. ( www.constantforce.com )
11. Best results at 50 yards were with
clean brass,
cleaned primer pockets,
uniformed primer pockets,
Lyman M die,
Powder dropped with Culver Pistol Powder measure,
Single stage assembly,
No deburring of flash hole,
and sorted brass as to length.
This was done on a repeat test after initial results were obtained. I posted this some time ago before you were on the list. At that time I stated that trigger control was more important than the bullet. To cut a hole in the 5 ring because you jerked the shot with the best round available doesn't help the score. I am convinced that some upper level shooters can take advantage of the results, but I'd only spend the time for 50 yard loads and then only for important matches like regionals, states or Perry. At the short line there doesn't appear to be the same reward/time spent gain.
*
I can't argue with Mike Curtis, but I do wonder how bad his worst groups were. I would guess that they would all shoot inside the ten ring at 50 yards. My limited machine rest testing with the Nosler bullet always resulted in extremely good groups as long as the pistol was a good one. I used Bullseye, new Starline cases and Winchester primers. No case prep, other than to use Lyman spray case lube. As has been stated, those new cases are a lot easier to size with some case lube.

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Re: brass variation

Post by Ed Hall on Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:53 pm

Jack H wrote:...  Author actually is not known...

Curtis on case prep

Several years ago I and Mike Curtis tested various case preparations. The results are not meant to be all inclusive, but were very interesting. Federal once fired brass, Bullseye powder, Nosler 185gr HP, and Federal primers were used. Testing was done by Mike with a Ransom rest. Each stage of preparation was an add on to all previous stages:
...
The author of the post was Dr. Gene Rubin, a Virginia eye doctor, back when the BE-List was rather new.  Unfortunately, he caught so much crap from other listers that he never posted again.  He did make some pretty good 50 yard Nosler loads for a while, though.  The AF Team even took him to the Dixie Matches one year to show off his rounds.

My personal 50 yard reloading is based quite heavily on the information provided.

Thank you, Jack, for posting this document and bringing back some memories.  I briefly saw Gene this past summer at the Fairfax Rod & Gun Club.  He is still around, but not doing eye care and I don't know his involvement in the sport at this time.

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Re: brass variation

Post by 243winxb on Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:07 pm

The expander pushes the uneven neck wall thickness to the outside where it does no harm?  I think you would have to have a tight neck chamber to matter? Measure the expander, some are oval.   Longer (trim length)  brass is more accurate.

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Re: brass variations

Post by jjbhonn on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:11 am

I am a 69 year old relatively new bullseye shooter. I am also a former high power shooter with two bad shoulders. Would have been a better rifle shooter if I had been a bullseye shooter first. I have read the article posted by Jack H., on tests conducted by Dr. Rubin and Mike Curtis. I agree with the list and plan on following the recommendations as I am retired, have time to dry fire/practice too and a little anal. I have a question regarding item # 5 on the list: flash hole deburred. Was there reaming of the flash hole to a uniform size before deburring or just deburring flash hole? Any insight or experience would be appreciated. I have observed variances in flash hole diameters, though have not conducted ransom rest testing to prove findings. Thanks Ed Hall for recommending this post.

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Re: brass variation

Post by 243winxb on Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:37 pm

Starline#1. .0010- .0017- .0013; #2. 0010- .0019- .0011;  #3. 0013- .0010- .0016   ???

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Re: brass variations

Post by jjbhonn on Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:05 pm

Your numbers don't lie. Bench rest targets are at greater distances than our 50 yards. Accuracy to them is paramount. If it makes sense to process a case one time for increased accuracy for its lifetime, I want to do it. If it doesn't make sense or doesn't increase accuracy, that process for me falls by the wayside. I have been preparing once fired Federal brass for shooting lead at the long line. I won't be cleaning my long line target for some time, but I also want to get my loading down so that when I can clean it, the ammo I load will support my abilities. After consuming my Federal brass, I will begin processing new Starline brass. So again I ask if variations in flash hole diameters has a material change in accuracy at the long line? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and contributions. I have learned a lot reading this forum.

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Re: brass variation

Post by Wobbley on Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:11 pm

IMO, case prep for accuracy has little value in pistol.  How accurate are your bullets?  One MOA?  I bet maybe two or three MOA is the average bullet accuracy limit.  Cast bullets probably average 3 or 4.  They're adequate.  Just barely.  

You'll get much better faster by spending the time practicing and developing shot process.  So spend your time there.

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Re: brass variation

Post by Virgil Kane on Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:57 pm

I have both small and large Federal flash hole cases. I use to separate them but found they have no effect on where the bullet impacts at 50 yards so I don't separate anymore. Maybe someone that's a better shooter than me could notice but I can't see any difference.

In rifle shooting I do uniform the flash holes but I see no reason anymore to do it in such a small case as the 45 ACP. Any perceived advantage is washed down the toilet by the shooters wobble.

YMMV


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Re: brass variation

Post by Allen Barnett on Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:01 pm

I can tell you that Sierra 185 gr Tournament Master bullets do not come out of the factory unless they shoot 1" or less.  I live about 70 miles from the factory and have seen the actual test targets fired from this bullet through their test guns. Most of their targets were in the 1/2" to 3/4" range.  Don't know about other manufacturers but what I saw during their factory tour sold me on their dedication to provide a quality product.  Same goes for Starline brass as they are literally next door to Sierra.  Starline makes brass for other people besides just themselves, you would be surprised to know all of the different people they make brass for.

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Re: brass variation

Post by rreid on Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:21 pm

I use once fired federal cases for jacketed bullets. Once they have been fired 2 or more times,  I use them for 50 yard lead loads.

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Re: brass variation

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