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sooty brass in 45

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Merick
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Wobbley
BE Mike
RoyDean
TonyH
L. Boscoe
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Post by L. Boscoe Tue Oct 17, 2023 5:22 pm

I am shooting 3.8gr of N310 behind Bayou 185 SWC in mixed brass with CCI primers. Normally my brass is
clean, the reason I got off W231. About every 50 rounds I get one that is really sooty. I am curious about
the cause of this. My crimp is the same, OAL the same, and I check size with a gage. I have not noticed any
difference in recoil etc at the range.

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Post by TonyH Tue Oct 17, 2023 6:23 pm

Since it’s mixed brass, a case with thicker walls or hardened brass will not expand quickly enough to seal against chamber wall allowing gas to leak back towards the case head. Result is sooty dirty case. You are shooting a pretty low charge of powder, so not surprising.
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Post by L. Boscoe Tue Oct 17, 2023 10:13 pm

TonyH wrote:Since it’s mixed brass, a case with thicker walls or hardened brass will not expand quickly enough to seal against chamber wall allowing gas to leak back towards the case head. Result is sooty dirty case. You are shooting a pretty low charge of powder, so not surprising.

So a fix might be to discard the sooty ones.

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Post by TonyH Tue Oct 17, 2023 10:18 pm

Sooty ones don’t hurt anything and shoot just fine……don’t discard any brass before it’s time!Very Happy
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Post by RoyDean Wed Oct 18, 2023 12:36 am

Brass.

There is a very old saying from Yorkshire, England. "Eee, lad, where there's muck, there's brass!". No doubt there is an old American saying along the same lines!

But, in our game of bullseye, as far as I know, keeping everything as consistent and regular as possible, in every aspect of the game, is something we should all strive for, if we are competing.

So, sort brass by headstamp! If you have a total jumble of brass, well, then decide whether you are serious or not! If you are just a plinker or non-competition shooter, it all makes little difference. But, if you are shooting competition and you want to try to improve, then it is a variable that is easily within your control that may, or may not, make a difference.

A couple of years ago I dropped on an offer of "once fired" Winchester brass. I already had a reasonable stash of used Winchester and was happy with it, but then augmented that with a bulk purchase of used brass.

Now I have two stashes. Winchester - which I only use for training ammo. And Starline - which I also use mostly for training ammo, and sometimes match short line, but use it for training on all on those (travel) match weeks when I want to use just one headstamp brass so that I don't have to laboriously sort brass the following week!

Of course, then I get totally confounded by the prime match ammo makers, who all use Starline produced brass, but sometimes it is headstamped Starline, sometimes Zero, sometimes ASYM, sometimes Atlanta Arms!

Aaaarrrrgggghhh!

If you are as anal as me that just drives me crazy!!!!!!

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Post by TonyH Wed Oct 18, 2023 7:36 am

You should send me all the non-conforming head stamp brass. I will sacrifice and help get your blood pressure down! Plus it may keep you from saying "Eee, lad!".
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Post by BE Mike Wed Oct 18, 2023 9:21 am

L. Boscoe wrote:I am shooting 3.8gr of N310 behind Bayou 185 SWC in mixed brass with CCI primers. Normally my brass is
clean, the reason I got off W231.  About every 50 rounds I get one that is really sooty.  I am curious about
the cause of this.  My crimp is the same, OAL the same, and I check size with a gage.  I have not noticed any
difference in recoil etc at the range.
Good for you, staying active at your age! I hope that I can still be enjoying life by then. Don't sweat the small stuff. The quality of the bullet is the biggest factor affecting accuracy.
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Post by Wobbley Wed Oct 18, 2023 1:18 pm

A lot of the better loaders like Atlantic, ASYM, etc. use Starline because it has become a “generic” brass that can be obtained in quantity.  With ammunition demand what it is, the big companies no longer have the capacity to make custom brass for these small manufacturers.  So it is likely that your “ASYM” headstamped brass is identical with Starline.  

Myself, I separate by headstamp to a point.  I will mix “WINCHESTER” in with “W-W” mostly because I have relatively little W-W left anymore.  And I put WRA in with my WCC.  I do load different loads (Bullets and powder) in different headstamps.  I find it’s a good “secondary” method of load segregation.  I do have a small batch of “mixed” that only gets used for training.  Often with “secondary bullets” which are often residual cast bullets from other sessions that I no longer wish to use. 

Back to the OP.  One possible solution is to bump the powder charge to 4.0.  Your 3.8 load is 10% below recommended minimum charges from Vihtavuori.  https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data/handgun-reloading/?cartridge=52.  Low powder charges can sometimes give ignition and pressure variables.
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Post by L. Boscoe Wed Oct 18, 2023 9:50 pm

[quote="Wobbley"]A lot of the better loaders like Atlantic, ASYM, etc. use Starline because it has become a “generic” brass that can be obtained in quantity.  With ammunition demand what it is, the big companies no longer have the capacity to make custom brass for these small manufacturers.  So it is likely that your “ASYM” headstamped brass is identical with Starline.  

Myself, I separate by headstamp to a point.  I will mix “WINCHESTER” in with “W-W” mostly because I have relatively little W-W left anymore.  And I put WRA in with my WCC.  I do load different loads (Bullets and powder) in different headstamps.  I find it’s a good “secondary” method of load segregation.  I do have a small batch of “mixed” that only gets used for training.  Often with “secondary bullets” which are often residual cast bullets from other sessions that I no longer wish to use. 

Back to the OP.  One possible solution is to bump the powder charge to 4.0.  Your 3.8 load is 10% below recommended minimum charges from Vihtavuori.  https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data/handgun-reloading/?cartridge=52.  Low powder charges can sometimes give ignition and pressure variables.[/quote
Odd that VV lists 3.9gr for 200gr SWC, and 4.2 for 185, giving much different fps.
I rechecked my press today and it is a tad closer to 3.9 than 3.8 after ten dumps from a Dillon 550.
Never understand the charts varying so much for small differences in bullets.

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Post by Marine Vet Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:25 am

I agree with Boscoe's recommendation to ease up the powder charge.  Sooty brass often results from insufficient pressure to expand the case tightly enough inside the chamber to prevent powder gas blow-by.  Increasing the powder charge should raise the pressure enough to more effectively seal the case against the chamber wall and reduce or eliminate the sooty blow-by you're experiencing.

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Post by Merick Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:12 pm

Who made your barrel?

My gun will do the same all the time no matter the ammo.

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Post by Slamfire Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:45 pm

Soot happens, even in new cases, in well built pistols.

sooty brass in 45 Vk4YCOG

Soot really happens with fluted chambers!

sooty brass in 45 Z2Qej31
sooty brass in 45 4jWTQi7

As long as the case head is performing its function as a gas seal, a little bit of soot is not a safety problem. It will become a function problem if you don't clean your pistols!.

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Post by Chase Turner Sat Dec 09, 2023 10:23 pm

It sounds to me like you are looking for a chimera.

Will actually knowing the specific details of why this is occurring benefit your shooting?

Put another way: isn't it more important to evaluate impacts on target from your ammo? Would you care about case markings if all shots impacted as called?


Last edited by Chase Turner on Sat Dec 09, 2023 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : words is hard)

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Post by Texasref Sun Dec 10, 2023 9:39 am

I do agree with Ashley, bump your powder charge to 4.0 and a lot of the soot will go away. I'm shooting 4.0 gns under a 200 gn SWC, so your charge could be little light. Lower charges do not burn completely and the residual soot shows up.  This is also true for most if not all powders. However if your gun is accurate with this load, shoot 'em up. Powder residue wipes off easily.

Also agree with Tony H, different brass may not be expanding a certain case against the chamber.

IMO VV N310 or any of the VV powders will burn cleaner than just about anything else of the same charge wt.
(This ends the advertising portion of the reply).

Don't forget one man's sooty is another man's clean.

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Post by rich.tullo Mon Dec 11, 2023 11:20 am

Nothing really to worry about as long as function and accuracy are good. Slightly more taper crimp is also a solution Much below .4675 is a NG for me.
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