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Thread: signs of worn out brass?

  1. #1
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    Default signs of worn out brass?

    I am reloading a 300 RUM. Some of my brass is not chambering. It had all of my brass sorted my number of times shot, but it got a bit mixed up when the brass box jumped off the shelf. I am sure the brass has been shot at least 2x, and not more than 4x. So 2-4x. It is Rem. brass.

    I was trimming up a bunch of rounds after full length resizing and found that some did not fit well into my RCBS trim shell holder. I do not have all the right vocabulary here, but it seems the groove between the bottom of the shell and the body of the shell is to big (where the bolt will hang on to the shell). Most of the shells fit fine into the shell holder.

    Is this a sign of high pressures during firing?
    Is this normal after several firings and the brass is "worn out"?

  2. #2
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    murphy should probably answer this but...

    generally case life in front locking type rifle actions will last 5-6 reloadings without a problem. some of my '06 brass last considerably longer. i suspect something else is the culpret.

    the brass on your rifle will headspace on the shoulder, and so should not stretch or expand out of chamber tolerance.

    if your brass is new to you, it should be fireformed to your chamber allowing an easy extraction. the web area (just ahead of the rim) of your case should not show excessive or unusual expansion. mike some new cases for compairison.

    using a bent paperclip, feel carefully inside the case. if a groove is present, or a "ring" shows outside the brass it may be a sign of incipient case separation.

    check your loading manual for specifics on the above information, and double check your loads.
    happy trails.
    jh

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    I am reloading a 300 RUM. Some of my brass is not chambering. It had all of my brass sorted my number of times shot, but it got a bit mixed up when the brass box jumped off the shelf. I am sure the brass has been shot at least 2x, and not more than 4x. So 2-4x. It is Rem. brass.

    I was trimming up a bunch of rounds after full length resizing and found that some did not fit well into my RCBS trim shell holder. I do not have all the right vocabulary here, but it seems the groove between the bottom of the shell and the body of the shell is to big (where the bolt will hang on to the shell). Most of the shells fit fine into the shell holder.

    Is this a sign of high pressures during firing?
    Is this normal after several firings and the brass is "worn out"?
    I'm shooting a 300 RUM also. It could be a number of things. Are you sure you're using the right size shell holder? I think it should be a number 38? I've been using a 300 WSM shelholder (#43) with it which is slightly larger, and when I started body sizing the brass after some of it started chambering a little stiff, a few got stuck and took a lot of force to bring back down and out. In the process, with the slightly larger/looser shellholder, I bent some of the case head rims down a little, which caused head space problems which made them difficult to chamber. In turn they caused pressure differences from the other cases and fliers resulted.

    If your primers aren't falling out, then you're case head shouldn't be too big for your bolt. I have fired a lot of very "warm" loads out of my RUM and I have about 6 cases that will not hold primers anymore. Most of them chamber and eject smoothly except a couple that are just a little stiff. All I can think of is you may have bent some of your rims somehow like I did.

    Mark

  4. #4

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    It could be you just need to screw your sizing die in another 1/16 to 1/8 of a turn.

  5. #5

    Question

    OK I am loading with a LEE collet neck die for a hornet which has thin cases to start with. Now if my cases are not growing after say four or five reloads is it getting weaker? Can I use non lengthening as a gage of case life or simple be safe by tossing them in due time like 5 loadings?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjen View Post
    OK I am loading with a LEE collet neck die for a hornet which has thin cases to start with. Now if my cases are not growing after say four or five reloads is it getting weaker? Can I use non lengthening as a gage of case life or simple be safe by tossing them in due time like 5 loadings?
    I dont think whether a case lengthens or not indicates if it's getting weaker. My 300 WSM Norma brass actually shrunk a little after the first couple of firings. I was neck sizing only and i think the as the case body was being pushed out it drew the neck very slightly down.

    For weakening brass, look for split necks. The neck gets the most work stress from firing and sizing. Keep an eye ont the rest of the case as well, but it's usually the neck that goes first.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    If you trim new brass to length and shoot it the fire forming will in some instances shrink it's overall length as the brass body expands to fill your chamber. Once trimmed at this stage and mild to medium loads are fired stretch is minimum.

    If your firing hot/max loads there will be stretch. The brass actually flows towards the neck so the head will get thinner and weaker over time. The neck will actually get thicker from the flow of brass and brittle from the multiple sizing and heating cycles. That is why in some instances reloaders turn the necks to restore wall thickness so it will chamber. Some also anneal the necks to restore the necks original resiliency. Personally, I don't think you will ever have the need to turn necks because the heavy magnums will get loose pockets prior to thick necks.

    I'm not sure why your equipment is not holding your brass, a bent extraction groove sounds like you must have really forced something or you have a rough extractor that is putting a burr in the groove.

    I think excess pressure would have caused signs to appear in other areas first. My 375 and 300RUM get loose primer pockets after 5-7 reloads when shooting hot loads. I have never had a neck split on one of those cases.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    I am reloading a 300 RUM. Some of my brass is not chambering. It had all of my brass sorted my number of times shot, but it got a bit mixed up when the brass box jumped off the shelf. I am sure the brass has been shot at least 2x, and not more than 4x. So 2-4x. It is Rem. brass.

    Is this a sign of high pressures during firing?
    Is this normal after several firings and the brass is "worn out"?

    There are only two reasons a case won't chamber.
    1.) It's too long at the shoulder.
    2.) It's too wide low on the body.

    Have you ever noticed that full length resizing gets tough when your press is near the end of its stroke? That's when your die is trying to resize the lower part of the tapered case.

    If you control your chamber clearance (at the shoulder), your cases will not be weakened (and deformed) from excessive stretching. This can be controlled by comparing one of YOUR resized cases to one of YOUR fired cases. Read about our Digital Headspace Gauge on www.larrywillis.com

    - Innovative

  9. #9
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    Default

    You can also anneal your case necks with a torch in a pan of water to increase case life but a neck sixer is the best way to keep cases longer.

  10. #10

    Default There's a better way ...

    YotaTRD4x4 .........

    There's very little need to use neck sizer dies anymore. Now that you can measure your chamber clearance (at the shoulder) in just a few seconds, you can full size your handloads "perfectly". It's like having custom dies.

    Even benchrest shooters don't use neck sizing dies anymore. When you compare your resized cases to one of your fired cases, you can see exactly how to adjust your FL die MUCH more accurately. Remember, your rifle cases are tapered, and the body often needs a slight bit of resizing for a 100% reliable fit.

    - Innovative

  11. #11

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    IME, the best way to size is with bushing dies. They cause a lot less stress on necks than traditional expander sizers which shrink the neck down on the up stroke and expand it again on the down stroke. The bushin die "squeezes" the neck to the correct diameter in one step, which results in a lot less work hardened stress to the brass and bushing dies will give better concentricity than most other dies. Neck tension can be adjusted by bushing size to the nearest .001. Using bushing dies does require neck turning to avoid an irregular inside diameter.

    In the case of the 300 RUM, I agree with FL sizing (with bushing die) or body and neck sizing between each firing. I set the die back just enough for minimal body and shoulder sizing barely allow a smooth chambering. This will give you the most from your case in both performance and life.

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