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Terrible piece of brass!

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Terrible piece of brass!

Postby Orochimaru » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:13 pm

I had the house to myself for a few days, so I got re-acquainted with my reloading bench... I ran in to a piece of brass, however, that was amazingly bad and I wanted to share the joy.

For those that don't know/do care, I prep my brass on a Lee 1000 progressive press and do the final stages (powder/bullet seating/crimp) on my classic turret press. I was in the process of doing the final stages on quite a bit of 38 Special brass. When I seated the bullet on one particular piece of brass, something just didn't feel right. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it other than it felt that the pressure needed to seat the bullet was way too light. Each caliber/bullet combination has a certain feel when seating the bullet/crimping, etc, and when something changes, I like to take a look and see what might have been going on.

I stopped immediately and gave this round the ol' squeeze test -- and sure enough, the bullet slid further in to the case with finger pressure alone. Not good!

I wasn't sure what had happened yet, so I pulled the round apart and re-sized the case and re-flared. My theory was that somehow, this one ended up with too much flare OR I had a bullet that was undersized. The bullet measured out to the correct dimensions, but I discovered that I could still seat the bullet with finger pressure. This case was SO BAD that I could actually seat the bullet with my fingers after full-length sizing and NOT flaring! The slight (and I do mean SLIGHT) amount of boat-tail on the bottom of the bullet was enough to get it started -- the weak/thin brass did the rest. Needless to say, this case made it straight to the trash can...

The headstamp of this terrible case, you ask? RP
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby sdelam » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:28 pm

I would have guessed amerc, what caliber?
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby Sevens » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:45 am

I'm not even a little bit surprised.

R-P is the thinnest brass I've worked with and as such, I relegate much of it to use with cast lead bullets that are a thousandth larger in size. I've found that R-P is much more problematic in certain chamberings than in others. I can feel it's thinness in the press lever when either flaring a mouth or seating a bullet.

I don't have the time or energy to type in the identifying head stamps of the brass I would choose to own, buy, or pick up BEFORE taking R-P brass, but suffice to say that unless it's A-Merc, Blazer Aluminum, anything steel or anything Berdan primed, I'd rather have that goofy oddball headstamp BEFORE taking the R-P stamped one. PMC (most recent production) runs a close second to R-P.

I will note that I haven't had much trouble with either of these head stamps in 9mm, however, and I typically don't run in to trouble with either of them in 9mm.
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby Orochimaru » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:23 pm

Sorry -- forgot to mention that the caliber was 38 Special.

It was so thin and flexible, that I doubt it would have produced sufficient bullet hold even with an oversized bullet...
The second amendment is why we're citizens and not subjects...

‎"Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." St. Augustine A.D. 354-430
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby Sky Pilot » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:20 am

Interesting!
Well done on feeling the difference and inspecting it right away!
I've done that and found a big nasty split in the nickled case (nickel cases seem to split much more than good Christian brass)
Never had such a thin case as you describe.
Had a thick rim with a new unfired Starline in .32 H&R Mag.
Cost me a clean shoot at a cowboy match.
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby Orochimaru » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:51 pm

I use a fairly fluid motion when operating the press, and use as little pressure on the handle as is necessary to get the job done. The press offers a significant mechanical advantage, so feel is somewhat diminished. Light & smooth motion is the only way I've discovered to recover some of the lost feel. I would not have detected this brass with a fast or heavy operation of the handle.

It just felt "wrong" -- too easy, and the little voice told me "something isn't right here..." I've learned over the years to listen to that little voice, so I checked what seemed logical based on the feel.

I'm really getting interested on how one can achieve consistent neck tension when handloading. It certainly affects the consistency of the rounds, pressure, gas seal, etc, etc.
The second amendment is why we're citizens and not subjects...

‎"Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." St. Augustine A.D. 354-430
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby weakhand luke » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:40 am

I've never had a bad piece of brass.
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Re: Terrible piece of brass!

Postby shaner » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:17 am

words from a old reloader for sure , You just get the feel of every stage as your doing the reloading, i have done it several times , you make the stroke and OH WAIT ! something just didnt feel right here. its something u learn overtime, and never seem to lose the feel hahahah :lol: Remington brass has always been thin in my book their 45acp is the same way
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