Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Short Brass...

  1. #1
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default Short Brass...

    What does one do to fix once-fired brass that is too short?
    My particular problem centers around .450 Marlin brass that is too short--from the factory! We're talkin' 2.070-2.078 when it is supposed to be trimmed to 2.100...
    The reason that I'm calling this a problem is that it throws off every other part of my reloading...these bullets are going into a tube-magazine and need a crimp. Thus, a case that is too short puts the crimping cannelure too far out. I can shorten the cartridge OAL but that kinda defeats the purpose of having a prescription for the load...not to mention that it likely changes the pressures.

    Any advice on this one? Throw out the brass?

  2. #2
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    I fear you may not be able to find any brass of the correct length. I would just seat and crimp in the cannelure and not worry about it. The only way you are going to change the pressure is with the crimp. The length of the loaded round means nothing to the tube magazine.

    Are you showing signs of increased pressure with these to short cases? Back off the charge, keep loading them until the brass is long enough to make you happy (they will grow).

    When ever I encounter brass that is to short, I take it, that it means it will be that much longer until I have to trim!

    Do you see that as a bad thing?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3

    Default

    What Al said. My only concern would be that the length be uniform, no matter what the actual length in relation to standard. I've got some offbeat 44 mag cases that were .003 short after the first firing of factory loads. No sweat. Trim to uniform length. Seat bullets to the right depth for the cannelure and readjust the crimp die to crimp. Just keep the cases separate from other batches.

    For me .003 short on the 450 is borderline on the question of increasing pressures. If a moderate load, NBD, but if you're already at max for a load using standard cases, it's probably a good idea to drop back 1-2% just for a safety margin. Your gun, your call.

  4. #4
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    i guess that I am kind of a "slacker" in this regard as I rarely trim strait wall cases. I dont even bother making them uniform. when I crimp, I leave the crimp die loose in the press and adjust it back and forth by finger to get an even crimp on different length cases. It sounds time consuming, but in reality, it is really fast once you get the hang of it. It does requre you to "pump" the press handle a couple times per cartridge but is not a big deal. all that being said, I only "cheat" on my plinking, sighting in, and work up loads, and actually take great care in making my hunting loads (from seperate, unfired new brass) as perfect and uniform as possible. If I am working up loads (as I did recently for my 45/70 guide gun) I will often make several trips to bunny creek, reloading at night to get the load were I want it, but I just keep using the same brass over and over. In that case, I dont even bother to clean the primer pockets or brass. When I am finished with my load development, the brass has been thru anywere from 3 to 7 loading cycles and I just pitch it in the dumpster. I quit trying to segragate brass a few years ago.......I had about 250 cases for 375 H&H and all but about 50 had only been fired once. the other 50 had been run thru the mill at least 4 times when my buddy decided to "help" and thru ALL the cases into the tumbler visions of the back half of a 375 H&H case flying out of the rifle as I try to chamber a new round to stop that charging bear caused me enough worry that I just trashed the whole lot.

  5. #5

    Default

    Interesting approach Alangaq, and I can see its value in small lots as you describe. But for bigger lots of brass, it kinda makes my head spin. I weigh adjusting the crimp for every single case against trimming the whole lot every 4 or five reloads, depending on what the micrometer says. But then again, I'm pretty traditional and conservative in some things. Okay, okay. call it pig headed and stuck in my ways, and we'd still be saying the same thing! ;-)

  6. #6
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    In regards to my last: I forgot to mention, this only works with lead bullets. If you are loading jacketed bullets, the uniformity in case length becomes much more important for crimping. Soft lead is rather forgiving in this regard, and the odds of buckeling a case are much less than with jacketed bullets or those made from lynotype lead. If you do wrinkle one up, dont fret, if it will chamber, go ahead and shoot it (assuming a less than maximum charge was used) and it will "iron" right out. I have saved a number of cases this way, especially thin week ones like 30-30 that are easily damaged by hydraulic dents if you get to much case lube on them. Of coures every now and then, I manage to mangle one well beyond the point of saving............... I keep those in a "special" box to show my boys what NOT to do when re-loading

  7. #7
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    I agree BrownBear, for big lots this would not be the way to go! but if your just loading 10 or 20 to head to the range and test your load, then its actually much faster than jacking around with all the standard case prep. I dont know about you guys, but I really only buy one box of factory ammo per gun. I then go to the range and shoot it over the chrono, then for accuracy and kind of use that as my base line for my handloads. I will work that same box of brass thru the whole load development cycle and then when I have things were I want them, I will order new brass (of my favorite brand if avaliable) trim, de-burr flash holes, chamfer etc. and load 10 "confermation" rounds. If they shoot and chrono like the last work up load, then all is gold and great! Then those original cases get sent off to "newdumpster ville"

  8. #8

    Default

    That's smarter than I am, or at least as I was with a lot of 25-35 cases I reformed from 30-30 brass, as I wrote about recently. I loaded the whole bloomin bunch with what I "figured" was a reasonable charge reduction to account for the thicker neck walls and case capacity reduction in switching brands.

    No such luck. The first one I fired, the empty case stuck in the chamber due to overpressure. It was sheer joy to drive back home and pull bullets from the remaining 199 cases!

    You system would work fine for me, with the provision that your box of factory ammo and your new cases were the same brand at least. I'd sure weigh some empty cases from each to confirm a fairly close match between capacities if your loads approach max, however.

  9. #9
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    I too recently ran into trouble with case capacity: I worked up some maximum effort 45-70 loads using Remington brass (the published data used Starline Brass) that has a bit less capacity than the cases used in the published data. So I dropped back 3 gr from the max load, used the same bullets, primers (I thought) and headed to the range. The good news is that the bolt didnt fly out of the gun and imbed itself into my skull, but lets just say that after the muzzle blast blew the sky screens off my chrono, and it read nearly 2100 fps when I thought it should be around 1950 fps I was a bit concerned and went home to take a good long look at what I loaded. Case capacity aside, I had also managed to use Winchester magnum primers insted of the standard ones. My fault for not checking the stupid box more closely, but I am used to using CCI brand primers and both the Winchester ones looked very similar (the box and the primers). My mistake obviously, and I clearly knew better.

  10. #10
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    Load at the range! When working up loads, load them at the range. I use a repeatable powder measure that I know the clicks on for the powder I'm using, I have a portable press, C-clamps, priming tool and components.

    The most valuable thing to have at the range is good rests that allow the same hold.

    Why shoot at one hundred when testing? Ask people why they do this? The answer is always, "because that's how it's done". No it's not, work up loads at 25 yards and if you see something you like try it at one or two hundred, saves a lot of back and forth, and time spent trying to read the groups. If it shoots close at 25 yards do you think the group will open up to look like a test pattern from your shotgun?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    Load at the range??!! now thats not really a bad idea I would have to cart alot more crap to the bench and make a full day of it, but it would eliminate probably 2 or more trips to the range. Hmmmm, I will have to consider that. I do the majority of my testing at 50 yards (easy to see the target) and one thing is for sure, if they dont group good at 50, they aint gonna get better at 100! Im not apposed to testing at 25 yards, but since Im a creature of habit, I will likely continue on at 50........forever.

  12. #12
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    25 yards is a triangulation point, many times if you are on @ 25, yards you are on again @ 200 yards plus.

    You will learn how little gear you can get by with at the range to reload with.

    There used to be a lot of information about triangulation in shooting. The U.S. Air Force used the 1,000 inch (27 yards) for many years to teach shooting to the troops and for later qualification.

    It bears investigation.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default Hmm, guess I'll shoot a lotta lead bullets, then...

    Thanks for the replies. I am trying to fix the situation by batching the brass into three groups. I am doing initial load workup only in those cases that are exactly 2.100" by accident or trimming. If the short cases are presumed to be able to grow with repeated shooting then I'll just shoot the heck out of the short ones with the cast bullets until they grow long enough for the jacketed ones--assuming that they won't start to develop splits with moderate loads prior to that time. I'll just use the 2.100 brass for the real-deal hunting loads once I dial in the correct load data. BTW, do I have to throw away the brass after a certain amount of loads or only when splits develop?

    Not knowing a heck of a lot about reloading I am fine with a more conservative approach. The downside of miscalculation and overpressuring of a load can be.........bad. I've got bad ears and good eyes--I'd like to keep it that way!

    IceKing02

  14. #14
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    No, don't throw away cases for small splits in the neck, trim back, and anneal. The place on your brass where you want to keep your eyes open is just in front of the rim. Look for shiny ring, that is the time to toss. The ring means case head separation is close.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  15. #15
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default Will do!

    Yup, I've seen pictures of this before. I'll keep an eye out for this.

    IceKing02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •