Question regarding .40 S&W brass


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bolted_down
March 30, 2010, 05:33 PM
Hey all.
I've been reloading for a while now and have prided myself on safety that begins and ends with a rigorous(some would say bordering on ridiculous)quality control /inspection process.
After working up several dependable and accurate loads for my XD9 and 1911, I bought my first .40 S&W.
Well, I started reading and quickly came across the "glock bulge" subject in my research.
Both, my S&W 4006 and to a lesser extent my Beretta mod.96 leave a bulge in the brass.
I have acquired a Lee single stage "O" frame and Lee's factory crimp die/bulge buster kit. The once bulged brass comes out LOOKING like new.
:)
My question is this...
Once bulged and then fully resized to factory specs, how durable is that 40 S&W case in the long run?
How many reloads are you getting out of your .40 S&W brass??

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243winxb
March 30, 2010, 06:29 PM
Don't have a high pressure 40, but if it bulges, its scrap IMO. See photos of the 40 here, last page i think. http://photobucket.com/joe1944usa Edit : If factory ammo bulges, its the gun. If your reloads bulge and factory don't, your loading to Hot

JimKirk
March 30, 2010, 06:53 PM
Bolt
I have a 357 SIG which is "based" on the 40 S&W round. I have also ran into the glocked brass with it too. Do what you please, but if it is bulged enough that I can see it with out measuring ... it goes in the scrap bucket. The others I run through a 40 S&W Redding G-Rx die and resize with my RCBS 357 SIG die. The 357 SIG is a higher pressure round(40,000 psi) than the 40 S&W(35,000 psi), so I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Jimmy K

JDGray
March 30, 2010, 07:26 PM
The bulge is from loose chambers, feed ramp intrusion, not high pressure. The brass will conform to any shape the chamber is. I've loaded Glock fired brass, 5X with no issues, with standard Lee Carbide dies.

bolted_down
March 30, 2010, 08:21 PM
Thanks for the advice, everyone.
http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_40fat.jpg (http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/40fat.jpg)

Mine look nothing like these. LOL!
The mis-shape in my fired brass is barely noticeable to the naked eye, a simple "coke bottle" shape, maybe a little more pronounced on one side than the other.
A 'drop in' chamber look shows part of the case wall near the web (maybe 1/8 to 3/16") as unsupported on the underside, just above the feed ramp.

My loading is in the mid range of published data(Lyman's 49th), started at the low point and worked up to its present mark:

Mixed brass
RMR 165gr Plated RNFP
5.5 gr HP-38
CCI SP primer
OAL 1.125

JimKirk
March 30, 2010, 09:41 PM
Wow... that is some more Glocked brass in the photo!!! There is no way I would shoot anything close to that bad.
Check the PM...

Jimmy K

Sommerled
March 31, 2010, 12:14 AM
Since once fired "glocked" brass is so cheap and readily available, that's what I have been using for years. I also use the Redding GRx die (wish it had a carbide insert) the first time I reload it, just used a regular die before the GRx was available. No problems at all for my (arbitrary) limit of 4 reloads, then it is time for a new batch of once fired brass. I use a Beretta 92, Smith 5906, & M&P. I do not reload RP glocked brass more than once, I sort that out to fire when at a place I can't pick it up. In my experience SOME RP brass was thinner at the web when I cut a couple of samples of different makers glocked brass to measure it. YMMV, but that is what I consider safe for me. Careful is almost always safer!

Sommerled

jeepmor
March 31, 2010, 02:26 AM
Those images are a result of a gun firing out of battery. Glocked brass is usually on just one side about 60 degrees around the bases circumference. That brass looks terrible.

JimKirk
March 31, 2010, 06:47 AM
J.D.
While it is true that the bulge is caused by unsupported chambers, the high pressures of the 357 SIG(40,000 psi) and the 40 S&W(35,000 psi) contribute immensely to the bulging.
If the 45 ACP(21,000 psi) operated at those(35-40,000) pressures, there would be so many kabooms 'bamacare couldn't cover all the injuries.

Jimmy K

GW Staar
March 31, 2010, 11:24 AM
Since once fired "glocked" brass is so cheap and readily available, that's what I have been using for years. I also use the Redding GRx die (wish it had a carbide insert) the first time I reload it, just used a regular die before the GRx was available. No problems at all for my (arbitrary) limit of 4 reloads, then it is time for a new batch of once fired brass. I use a Beretta 92, Smith 5906, & M&P. I do not reload RP glocked brass more than once, I sort that out to fire when at a place I can't pick it up. In my experience SOME RP brass was thinner at the web when I cut a couple of samples of different makers glocked brass to measure it. YMMV, but that is what I consider safe for me. Careful is almost always safer!

Sommerled

You got your wish, but its $30 more than the steel version
Carbide GrX (http://www.grafs.com/search?q=Redding+GrX+push&SwatButton1=Search&_swat_form_process=search_form&_swat_form_serialized__swat_form_process=v686ck7G3djc0es7LVS9Sg|s%3A11%3A%22search_form%22%3B&_swat_form_hidden_fields=fDk71VXcXJddn45*bdDhwg|a%3A1%3A{i%3A0%3Bs%3A18%3A%22_swat_form_process%22%3B}) Grafs has it in stock already!

JimKirk
March 31, 2010, 11:55 AM
I had also thought I may want a G-Rx in carbide, but since I have to lube the 357 SIG case any way, I just spray the cases down with a spray lube and run them thru the G-Rx then I toss'em back in the ziplok bag and roll around a little more adding a small amount more of spray lube. Then I run them thru the RCBS 357 SIG dies. Then I run thru the corn cobb for a quick clean up.
The spray makes the G-Rx so slick, I don't see much need for the carbide really. I guess that if (I won't) I were to try to size any cases like the above photo, then I would want a carbide G-Rx.
Anybody tried pushing the 40 S&W or the 357 SIG thru the G-Rx backwards? That looks like it would push the brass back to where it came from rather than pushing it down toward the base. I'm going to turn a stem(pusher) and give it a try... I'll report back later.

Jimmy K

GW Staar
March 31, 2010, 12:20 PM
I had also thought I may want a G-Rx in carbide, but since I have to lube the 357 SIG case any way, I just spray the cases down with a spray lube and run them thru the G-Rx then I toss'em back in the ziplok bag and roll around a little more adding a small amount more of spray lube. Then I run them thru the RCBS 357 SIG dies. Then I run thru the corn cobb for a quick clean up.
The spray makes the G-Rx so slick, I don't see much need for the carbide really. I guess that if (I won't) I were to try to size any cases like the above photo, then I would want a carbide G-Rx.
Anybody tried pushing the 40 S&W or the 357 SIG thru the G-Rx backwards? That looks like it would push the brass back to where it came from rather than pushing it down toward the base. I'm going to turn a stem(pusher) and give it a try... I'll report back later.

Jimmy K

I can certainly understand your point, but in reloading my .40's I'd prefer not to have to lube since there's no bottle neck involved. Still, I probably won't get the carbide version, unless I can unload the one I got first. I've been using the RCBS case lube pad with it's water-based lube,and a damp terry cloth to wipe em off. Though it's not a speedy method, I'm going to inspect each case before and after the "pre-size" anyway to weed out scary-looking brass.

It might be a sound concept to push the brass through backwards. You'd think that Redding would've tried that though....let us know.

Beelzy
March 31, 2010, 12:44 PM
Bulging at the case head is somewhat normal with any pistol brass. From .25acp up, once that brand new case is fired, it will have it and keep it it's whole reloading lifetime.

I have reloaded slightly bulged brass until the case rims are so wrecked from the extractor that I need to sand the burrs off.......then I use them a few more times.

Worn out brass will tell you with loose primer pockets and case neck splits well before
a bulging case blows out. Never had that happen in my years of loading ammo. YMMV

bds
March 31, 2010, 01:35 PM
FWIW, I do not get bulged cases from Lone Wolf barrels in my Glocks (replacement or conversion). I did get bulged cases from older Glock barrels, but it's better in my Gen3 G22/G27. That's why I shoot my reloads in the LW barrels - it stresses the brass less and resizing is much easier. And I can't remember when I got a split case last ... :rolleyes:

JDGray
March 31, 2010, 02:54 PM
Captain Kirk:D Sorry, couldn't resist

The 9mm runs at 35,000 also, but doesn't have the bulging issues. Not sure where 9mm+P+ runs, but that brass looks good, too. The 9mm is a tapered case, so it feeds better without the excessive chamber size. My 32ACP Keltec used to belly out the brass badly, it runs with the 45ACP in pressure. The P32 had a glock like chamber;)

But you are right, the higher the pressure the harder it is on the brass.

918v
March 31, 2010, 04:09 PM
9mm +P+ runs in excess of 42,000 PSI. 9mm Major runs in excess of 50,000 PSI. the 9mm case is incredibly strong.

The problem with the 40 is the extremely short powder column under 180gr bullets causing the pressures to spike. Bulged and KB'd 40 brass has the following things in common: 180gr bullet and fast burning powder. If any setback occurrs upon feeding, the pressures rise incredibly fast. If the chamber is unsupported below the casehead, the case will flow in that direction and may let go.

GW Staar
March 31, 2010, 04:29 PM
Bulging at the case head is somewhat normal with any pistol brass. From .25acp up, once that brand new case is fired, it will have it and keep it it's whole reloading lifetime.

I have reloaded slightly bulged brass until the case rims are so wrecked from the extractor that I need to sand the burrs off.......then I use them a few more times.

Worn out brass will tell you with loose primer pockets and case neck splits well before
a bulging case blows out. Never had that happen in my years of loading ammo. YMMV

We're not talking about the normal fire-formed brass of most pistols. where "Bulging" is minimal to imperceptible. The bulging that Glock made infamous, and caused a company like Redding to produce a special die for, is anything but normal. Glock's pistols, which have unsupported chambers, due to a generously-cut feed ramp design, were designed so, for the sake of feeding and chambering reliability.

Such a design worked well for Glock, and made "Glock reliability" a bye word, until they included .40 S&W (a higher pressure round) in their offerings, using the same feed ramp design. Other brands making polymer pistol designs who copied Glock, also have had problems with .40S&W and reloads.

.40 S&W brass shot out of pistols so designed, became Known as "Glocked" brass, much to the dismay of the company. It is anything but normal to experience such brass, reloaded, (even with reloading manual published loads), go kaboom, destroy a gun, and scare the hell out of the shooter.

The thing that really fried their customers is that Glock never admitted to a design-flaw in their "perfect" line of guns. Instead, they very quietly improved their feed ramp design to better support .40 S&W cases. The newer models, and latest production of older models of their .40 caliber pistols, are thankfully much improved. Of course nobody with broken Glocks got free repairs, because Glock and every other gun company, voids the warranty on any gun used with reloaded ammo. (That's something that has to be in this litigation prone society, but that doesn't make the owners of broken guns and burnt hands feel any better.)

The jury will probably forever be deadlocked as to the actual cause of such kabooms, but IMO it's probably a combination, of weakened bulged brass preventing the bolt from locking fully into battery, and/or warmer loads trying to push the heavy 180 gr. bullets faster than such weakened brass can handle.(especially if the case is chambered with the weak spot facing the feed ramp) 180 gr. bullets increase pressure vastly in a .40 by even 1/16" more seating depth...and that also could have contributed.

Here's to hoping your luck avoiding such blowouts continues.

Scrapperz
March 31, 2010, 04:38 PM
I can say that my Stoeger Cougar 8040F does not bulge my brass to the point of having to use a push thru die. Looks to me like it has a very small ramp in the barrel so as to make for more support of the case. I did look at this right before I bought it knowing about these problems and my interest in hand-loading the 40 S&W.

JimKirk
March 31, 2010, 08:37 PM
JD
Never made it Private much less Captain:D

Jimmy K:D

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