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Which 45 ACP Brass Cases (if any) should be avoided in reloading for Bullseye

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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:58 am

A friend at the range gave me a large bag of "once used quality brass" as he described it.  So, I gave away my old brass, and figured I'd start out using the newer stuff, keeping track of how many times the rounds are reloaded.  From following this forum, maybe this was a silly decision on my part, as other than throwing old cases away because of cracks, the old stuff worked fine.

As time went on, I found I had a reloading problem where the old primers were occasionally not being pushed out of the case in the re-sizing station.  Instead, the bottom of the primer was bent downward, but the primer was still in the case.  So, I figured a reasonable thing to do was to extend the pin that pushes out the primer, making it just a little lower.  Things were better after that, until a few days ago when the same thing happened, and the case (with punched down primer center) made it to the next station, where my press (RCBS Pro2000) attempted to push a new primer into the case, and instead the new primer simply got impaled by the old primer which was still there.

So, everything was taken apart, and before throwing out the old case, I took this photo:

Which 45 ACP Brass Cases (if any) should be avoided in reloading for Bullseye Img_9912

Since then, I have been told to scrap all my X-TREME cases.  "It appears that their original primers are heavily crimped in place. Even more than military cases. If this hasn’t broken or pushed your de-priming pin up farther into the pin holder I’ll be surprised. These cases may also be thicker causing failures for the slide to close."  I will be separating them from my remaining once-fired cases later today.

Is there a list someplace perhaps in this forum, for what cases to avoid using, for reasons such as this?

If the brass is thicker, that implies the case may be larger in diameter (or the inside diameter might be smaller), but unless I'm wrong about this, if my reloaded rounds pass the "plunk test" doesn't that imply that the rounds are not oversize?

My resizing die is from Redding.  Is there anything I should check on it, that might have gotten damaged from these cases?  

IF the brass is good, and the problem is that the original primers were too heavily crimped in place, if I use my single station press to simply push out the old primers, could this still leave a problem with the case because of the overly heavy crimping?
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Post by DA/SA on Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:17 am

I doubt that they are crimped. 

Most likely been wet and sat outside.

I pitch any that say Freedom or Xtreme and mainly load Winchester or R.P. for wadcutters. Most others go in a box labeled Misc for general .45 reloading/shooting unless I am trying something different for wadcutters and then I'll use some other head stamp to make it easier to identify.

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Post by Al on Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:37 am

Amerc is another brass headstamp that automatically goes into the scrap bucket upon discovery.

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Post by LenV on Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:52 am

Al wrote:Amerc is another brass headstamp that automatically goes into the scrap bucket upon discovery.
+1 and Amscor
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Post by Aprilian on Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:11 am

My process doesn't like S&B for some reason - so I also toss those.

And any SPP get's scrapped or traded.
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Post by Wobbley on Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:49 am

In aporoximate order of preference

Federal
Winchester
Remington
Blazer/Speer
S&B
Magtech
WCC FC Match

WCC military (only needs a light swage or a touch with a chamfering tool to remove the crimp)

TZZ (these MUST be swaged)

Most anything else (mostly because I get so few of them.)
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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:15 am

I'm surprised that there are so many that Bullseye reloaders prefer not to re-use.

  • X-TREME
  • Amerc
  • Amscor
  • SPP
  • maybe S&B


Other than for the way the primer is originally inserted, what are the other reasons for avoiding cases?
If a reloaded round passes the "plunk" test, doesn't that mean the brass in that round is acceptable?


A follow-up question:
If the main reason for avoiding brass is because of the difficulty in removing the original primer, does this imply that brass that has already been reloaded a second time, and has had a replacement primer pressed into it, then fired, is now safe for future reloading?
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Post by Aprilian on Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:49 am

Mike - SPP is Small Pistol Primer - sorry for using the abbreviation.

For me, I can feel the combination of brass hardness and thickness in some cases on my single stage press.  Since they don't add accuracy and I have had arm repetitive stress injuries, I only keep the brass that feels easiest when sizing and expanding.  For example lots of people love WCC, but for me, they are very stiff to process.


Last edited by Aprilian on Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by DA/SA on Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:55 am

I avoid Freedom and Xtreme because I have seen internally stepped cases and brass plated steel cases in other calibers.

I neglected to add Federal to my list of preferred cases, so it's mainly Winchester, R.P., and Federal for wadcutter loads.

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Post by dronning on Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:22 am

I have about 1500 Federal SPP 45acp brass.  I keep them in case we ever have another primer shortage.  During the last shortage I had plenty of small primers but ran out of large primers.  I was able to keep shooting because of my SPP 45 brass stash.
- Dave
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Post by bruce martindale on Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:38 am

A merc can have 14 mil wall thickness vs 9 for RP. Good for scrap.

I see a lot of folks like Federal but their walls are thicker, 11 mil typically. I use them for jacketed. They might swage softer lead bullets. Fine for hardcast, 15 bhn.

What is your experience with Fed shells and soft lead like Zero hp?
Thanks

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Post by Al on Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:03 pm

bruce martindale wrote:A merc can have 14 mil wall thickness vs 9 for RP. Good for scrap.

I see a lot of folks like Federal but their walls are thicker, 11 mil typically. I use them for jacketed. They might swage softer lead bullets. Fine for hardcast, 15 bhn.

What is your experience with Fed shells and soft lead like Zero hp?
Thanks
Bruce, I thought I was the only one anal enough to check brass for wall thickness & uniformity. Which 45 ACP Brass Cases (if any) should be avoided in reloading for Bullseye 2935285009 .

Truth be told I only checked a couple dozen of each headstamp to verify. IMI actually came in the most uniform of those I checked. Had .0002-.0003 variance with one oddball that had .0008. After that came Remington @.0006,  Federal @ .0001-.0011, Starline @ .0002-.0013, WCC match at .0007-.0027. Bottom of the barrel was PMC @.0015-.0023.
PS: all the above numbers are the amount of wall thickness variations on the same piece of brass when measured at 3 different points.

Happy 4th folks.
Allen


Last edited by Al on Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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Post by zanemoseley on Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:35 pm

I would image you'd have to have a pretty high dollar tubing micrometer to even measure usable data down to the tenth of a thousandth of an inch of wall thickness variation.

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Post by james r chapman on Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:44 pm

Here’s a tip mikes.
Next big match bench up next to an AMU shooter.
They don’t want their cases.
Figure at least 210 Starline or zero (starline) cases to reload.
Make sure it’s a 45 shooter!!
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Post by Allen Barnett on Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:26 pm

Nobody hardly mentioned Starline, I have always thought they were one of the better brass maker's.  What are your opinions on Starline?

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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:31 pm

I think this discussion has expanded into things I know nothing about.  Maybe someone can explain.

My original problem was that my progressive press was having a problem pushing out some of the primers in my X-TREME brass cases.  That's the cause of the photo I originally posted here.  I went through my bag of. once-fired, and cleaned, brass, 95% of which was X-TREME.  My plan was to push out all the primers while re-sizing those cases on my single-station RCBS BigMax press.  It was a struggle - as I gradually extended the pin further and further, the press was just "bowing out" the bottom of the primer.  After one pin "vanished", I had to replace it.  I still haven't found where it went - I suspect it's on the hole for old primers to fall down to the bottom, where they eventually get removed.

So, the press then had a nicely cleaned RCBS resized die, with a pin positioned so that it worked, and all the cases got a nice coating of RCBS case lube so the press worked smoothly.  I've probably got several hundred brass cases in that batch, all X-TREME, and no primers.  

One option is to toss them out.  But before I do that, I'd like a valid reason why I'm doing so.  For testing, I'm using a 45 match barrel to check my reloads, and I can't feel any difference in my hands between these X-TREME cases, and a Winchester case.

Measurements: X-TREME      0.096" long,     0.706" depth of cavity,      weight= 93.5 gn
Measurements: Winchester:  0.896" long,     0.706" depth of cavity,     weight = 83.8 gn

So, other than for the original primers being so difficult to remove, what is the difference?

....or, yes, I could just order some Starline brass, but then I need to machine the cases to the correct length, right?  I guess I could do that too.  One more option.



To Jim - I have a much more exciting way to follow your suggestion - put the original spring back in my Baer, and head to the range with 200 or 300 rounds of Winchester White Box ammo, which will give me that many cases of Winchester to reload.  I should do that anyway, but I'd really like to know why the X-TREME cases are not useable.  The Winchester ammo has worked well enough for me for all the years I've been in these forums.     .....but thanks for the suggestion.  Maybe I should stop trying to understand this stuff, and just do what I know works.  (My brain won't be satisfied until I get a reason, even if I do this....)
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Post by Sa-tevp on Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:41 pm

james r chapman wrote:Here’s a tip mikes.
Next big match bench up next to an AMU shooter.
They don’t want their cases.
Figure at least 210 Starline or zero (starline) cases to reload.
Make sure it’s a 45 shooter!!

Hang one of these over your left shirt pocket (if you shoot right handed). The AMU shooters have the gear and talent to park all their brass in it.


Which 45 ACP Brass Cases (if any) should be avoided in reloading for Bullseye 4ZB42_AS01?$zmmain$
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Post by Al on Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:52 pm

Allen Barnett wrote:Nobody hardly mentioned Starline, I have always thought they were one of the better brass maker's.  What are your opinions on Starline?

I don't normally shoot starline, so didn't have more than a few. Those were pretty consistent .0002-.0013 with the majority .0002-.0005.

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Post by James Hensler on Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:04 pm

I picked up range brass for like a month and once I had a 5 gallon bucket full I separated them by headstamp. The most of 1 type was Winchester so I cleaned those. I sold all the others and have been using the Winchester’s for the last 5 years
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Post by Al on Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:30 pm

zanemoseley wrote:I would image you'd have to have a pretty high dollar tubing micrometer to even measure usable data down to the tenth of a thousandth of an inch of wall thickness variation.

Started having to check necks when I had my first custom tight neck built in 223x35 back in the 80's. Then a 243 AI, then a 6 Dasher, lately a deuce. On the rifles it is a must for proper neck tension.

On a 1911 shot out of one hand it's more of 'Hey i've got this thing, I wonder what the consistency of 45 brass is'. I seriously doubt the slight differences are even measurable for all but a rare few, mostly just curiosity on my part.
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Post by bruce martindale on Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:51 pm

Mike, another possibility since you mentioned losing a decap pin...sometimes the primer is pushed out but the anvil folds around and sticks to the pin. on the upstroke, is pulled back into the pocket.

You would have to grind the edge off the end of the pin to solve it. Don't remove too much or the point will puncture the primer.

AL, l did some initial studies on wall thickness because standard sizing dies make the I.D. of thicker cases too small. This in turn, swages the bullet diameter down so you get both leading and poor accuracy.

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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:55 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Mike, another possibility since you mentioned losing a decap pin...sometimes the primer is pushed out but the anvil folds around and sticks to the pin. on the upstroke, is pulled back into the pocket.......
Thanks, Bruce.  Not knowing what to do (and certainly not considering what you just posted) I removed the die from the press, disassembled it, cleaned the inside, then put in a "pin assembly"  from another similar die.  These dies haven't been used in ages.  

As a side note, after two or three cases, the primers stopped coming out.  Apparently the pin was pushed further into the assembly.

I re-adjusted the die, and everything went smoothly from then on.

As to lube, I used the RCBS case lube and their case pad, to thoroughly lubricate the cases.  I was still concerned that a round might get stuck in the die, but the lube made everything go smoothly.



By the way, I've been using your case bulge tester, along with my Lyman case gage, and now the match barrel to test these cases.  I don't have any way to "test" the I.D., but with my calipers, I'm getting the same I.D. for all the cases I checked, X-TREME and others.  Do you have any idea specifically why the X-TREME cases are not appropriate for Bullseye?
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Post by Wobbley on Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:42 pm

Mike
 
The cartridge case is the “metal holdy thing”.  Its function is to hold the primer, powder and bullet in the correct orientation and together so the ammo gets into the barrel, the primer and powder can send the bullet towards the target and to seal the back end of the barrel.  These X-TREME cases are perfectly capable of doing this in Bullseye.  The issue is they’re perhaps not the ideal.   I’d continue with it provided you can get the primers out.  Use them for training/practicewith cast bullets.  

https://eastcoastreloading.com/processed-45-acp-large-primer/

Get a quantity (1000 or so) of commercial brass from an outfit like the link.  Sort them into makers. Put all the Federal, Winchester, Remington, Blazer, into one pile.  Everything else into another.  Put the “other” into the “X-TREME” pile as Training/practice and go shoot.  At your level, (mine too) worrying  about make of case is Not productive.  We need more practice and training.
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Post by mikemyers on Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:11 pm

Hi, primers are all out.  Did that this morning on my single-station press.

Forgetting the primers completely, and talking about practice at the range, not an important match, what is it that makes X-TREME cases "not the ideal".


I think you're correct, once the primers came out, I think they're just "cases", nothing special.  But I'd still like to learn what makes a case more or less ideal.  DA/SA wrote "I pitch any that say Freedom or Xtreme...".  Is the reason he would toss them out because of the tight primers?

If primers are the only concern, now that all the primers are out, I can load these rounds for practice, which I certainly need a lot of!   :-)
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Post by LenV on Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:22 pm

Since you asked and don't want to settle for "because" I will give you my opinion. Cases like Amerc are not worth reloading because they are junk. (technical term) I have seen 5 out of a 100 cases split on the first reload. I do not know if they use impure brass, poor quality control or if my dies just don't like them. The easy, cheap and safe solution is to toss them. No measuring required..
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