Why is sorting headstamps so important?


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jeeptim
August 24, 2011, 11:55 PM
Getting read to do a LOT of reloading If I have a few thousend pulled 147gr fmj for plinking out of an M-1A Saiga 308 HK-91 in the past have used all the same H/S same amount of powder seating depth crimp same primers dies locked in a turret press from start to finish and out of 3 to 4000 maybe 10 to 20 f2f or fail to chamber
What if i used several different quality cases either commercial or nato let me know what you think.

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Hondo 60
August 25, 2011, 01:22 AM
With straight-walled pistol cases it's probably not important at all.

But I keep ALL of my brass sorted by head stamp.
But this is probably a lot more important with rifle cases.
The main reason is that case capacity can be different from one mfg to another.

For 45acp it also helps keep lg & sm primered cases separate

ArchAngelCD
August 25, 2011, 02:41 AM
I sort my brass because I can't help myself! :banghead:

Twmaster
August 25, 2011, 02:45 AM
Quality Control is a good excuse to sort by headstamp. As Hondo points out not all brass is 100% identical. I also am looking for junk brands of brass (AMERC) and also to sort out potentially crimped military brass. (WCC, LC etc) The crimps must be removed before reloading.

I also use the exercise of sorting the brass by headstamp as a good opportunity to give my cases an initial inspection.

I've loaded about 2000 9MM, 7.62 Tokarev and 8MM Mauser rounds in the last 5 or 6 weeks. Not one round has failed to chamber, feed, fire or eject in my guns.

GLOOB
August 25, 2011, 09:22 AM
I usually sort my rifle brass, due to theoretical accuracy differences. But I haven't worked up any brass-specific loads. So sometimes I sort after loading.

For pistol brass, I will sort when I notice a problem. Once, I was noticing inconsistent OAL with my luger reloads (before I started making custom seater plugs), and I tracked it down to Speer brass being thinner. Never really loaded it much before, so I was surprised to find a brass that's even thinner than R-P. So I try to sort it out, now, and use it for cast bullets.

jmorris
August 25, 2011, 09:53 AM
For pistol cases it gives people with OCD something to do.

Walkalong
August 25, 2011, 10:06 AM
pulled 147gr fmj for plinking out of an M-1A Saiga For this sorting by headstamp is a waste of time. Work up a load that is safe in the heaviest cases you will use and load away. You will never see it on target with cheap FMJ bullets.

The Bushmaster
August 25, 2011, 10:24 AM
Because "Neatness counts"...

Stormin.40
August 25, 2011, 12:43 PM
3 reasons for me,

1- I sort my pistol brass for consistant OAL, I went from a +/-.004 to +/-.001 by sorting headstamps.

2- As was already mentioned some brass has thinner walls that won't hold the bullet as well, R-P for me is used for lead bullets.

3- Good opportunity to inspect the brass 1 more time to be sure all defective cases are thrown out.

dprice3844444
August 25, 2011, 12:51 PM
some brass may have different internal capacities than others which might increase pressure

Funshooter45
August 25, 2011, 12:57 PM
Different rifle brass will have different interior dimensions caused by variations in brass thickness. The different interior dimensions equate to different pressure phenomena when you fire them. That difference in pressure will affect accuracy to some extent.

Also different rifle brass has different things happen as you fire them multiple times. For instance, the Federal brass that I use in 270 WSM and 7 mm mag tends to get loose in the primer pockets after about 3-4 firings. They will be so loose that a regular CCI primer is barely able to stay in them. So I know in advance that after the 3rd firing in those Federal cases that I will need to use a Wolf LRM primer about one or two loadings and then toss them. Or another example, I had a batch of Remington .243 brass that started to get splits in the neck after just 3 firings. After the 3rd firing when I had 10 out of 50 of them split, I knew I could just throw away the whole batch. It wasn't worth the effort of dealing with more splits.

dprice3844444
August 25, 2011, 01:04 PM
fun,wont that dillon pocker swager resize the pockets?

alongston
August 25, 2011, 01:13 PM
Mostly for organization of your workspace.

OldmanFCSA
August 25, 2011, 01:24 PM
I sort my brass because I can't help myself! :banghead:
I laughed at this response - because it fits me perfectly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GREAT JOB !!!! (for admitting it too)

Cosmoline
August 25, 2011, 02:10 PM
I only sort if there turns out to be a problem with one type, or if there is some special extra good brass like starline or lapua.

popper
August 25, 2011, 03:07 PM
Just to cull out the junk stuff and known problem stuff like primer pocket size, crummy brass etc. If you run into a brass related problem while reloading, THEN you get to sort by HS.

gamestalker
August 25, 2011, 03:26 PM
I probably sort it as often as I don't sort. But for me it doesn't seem to be as important, because most of what I load is compressed charges.
Fail to chamber, fail to fire? Do you mean they will not fit the chamber thus not allowing the action to go into full battery? Your OAL may be too long or something with the brass, possibly the crimp, is interfering and preventing the round from completely chambering. Since your stating it won't chamber I would assume the primer is not being struck at all, correct?

Arkansas Paul
August 25, 2011, 04:33 PM
Why is sorting headstamps so important?


For plinking or even hunting purposes, it's not.
That being said, I do it anyway. Cause that's how I roll. I fit into the OCD catagory that jmoriss mentioned.

Josh45
August 25, 2011, 04:35 PM
Because I can and want to.

Different case capacity, Just by looking into the case after being filled. Noticeable thickness in the case wall. OAL Change is a pain sometimes.

Checking for splits and such. I just tumbled 300 pieces of 30-30 brass and I found just one case that had a split in the neck going down to the middle of the body of the brass.
So yeah, Its a good thing to sort so you can check them.

FLIGHT762
August 25, 2011, 09:08 PM
I sort for all of the listed reasons plus, If I have different rifles in the same caliber (which I do) I can use certain brand head stamps for certain rifles.

191145acp
August 26, 2011, 01:02 AM
millitary brass is thicker walled than commercial brass, therefore less case capacity

918v
August 26, 2011, 02:27 PM
Some brass cases are as much as .003" bigger in diameter at the casehead and fit the chamber mor snugly. Some cases have necks that are as much as .010" thicker than others. Reloading is about paying attention to detail. If people wanna be slobs, they should take on another hobby.

gregj
August 26, 2011, 02:34 PM
I only reload 223 in rifle, and primarily my once-fired brass, so sorting rafle brass is not an issue for me.

Sorting straight walled pistol brass is important, depending on what you do with it. My son and I shoot USPSA, and I reload 45ACP (as well as a few others). For this, sorting headstamps is a must. During a match, I do not want a jam because a POS brass like R-P allowed bullet setback enough to cause a 3-point-jam. I sort my match brass for this reason - and have not had any issues since I've started. But I do not sort my normal range brass. I also run all the match ammo through a Wilson cartridge gauge.

243winxb
August 26, 2011, 03:24 PM
Prvi Partizan brass in 308 win. , when reloaded, can be over pressure with a normal starting load. Seen it here on THR.

Pict
August 26, 2011, 03:49 PM
I only load pistol cartridges (.38, .357, .45, .380, 9x18mm), and the only sorting I do is to pull the ones with the too-tight primer pockets. I pull WWII dated military .45 brass out, but I don't see those all that often.

jeepmor
August 27, 2011, 04:57 AM
The main reason is that case capacity can be different from one mfg to another.

For pistol cases it gives people with OCD something to do.


I used to be OCD like that, but no more. Rifle cases only now.

Walkalong
August 27, 2011, 10:01 AM
The OP asked about pulled 147 Gr FMJ bullets. Sorting cases for them is a total waste of time. There are many good reasons to sort cases, weigh cases, etc, etc, but this isn't one of them. :)

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 27, 2011, 10:08 AM
Many years ago, I had about 1,000 .357 Magnum cases that were so used, they were scratched, and had probably ten different names on the cases, about half nickel-plated, half brass. I had a calm load for my .357 at the time, and didn't bother sorting anything, and never had any problems at all.

I reloaded them over ten times and finally ended up tossing them to buy all new cases.

SlamFire1
August 27, 2011, 10:13 AM
The OP asked about pulled 147 Gr FMJ bullets. Sorting cases for them is a total waste of time. There are many good reasons to sort cases, weigh cases, etc, etc, but this isn't one of them. Agree with that !

Because I am very lazy I often run first order ammunition tests with mixed headstamps.

Bullets and powders are higher order contributors to accuracy. Consistent cases are important, mandatory for long range shooting, but if your bullets are garabage, good cases wont do a thing for you.

Here is the results of my 100 yard testing with IMI 148 grain surplus bullets, 1968 WRA LC ball, and Hornady bullets. All mixed brass. The IMI bullets and LC ball are beneath contempt. I hit a sweet spot with the hornady 150 FMJs in this rifle, does not duplicate to the same extent in other rifles, but given that all I was doing was varying powder and charge, this should show that bullets are more important than cases.


IMI Bullets, first target 40.0 grains IMR 3031, second 41.0 grs IMR 3031
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/148IMIFMJIMR3031.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/148grIMI410grsIMR3031.jpg

1968 LC Ball

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/150gr1968WRABall.jpg

150 FMJ Hornday 41.0 grains IMR 3031

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/150Hornday410grsIMR3031-1.jpg

HEAVY METAL 1
August 27, 2011, 12:01 PM
I don't use military cases so I can't speak to that, but the only difference I have ever seen is with different brands of bullets of the same weight.. I have had to adjust my powder by 1/2 grain. I have never seen lot to lot differences in powder, primers, bullets of the exact same brand & weight or cases in any of my rifle loads. Contrary to posters above my handguns seem sensitive to case brand differences whereas my rifles are not. That being said I am not a BR competitor with super high $ rifles, but I get amazing accuracy from my milsurp rifles.

FirinFlatTop
August 27, 2011, 05:32 PM
I to also can't help myself from sorting my brass by headstamp. i like it that way.


RC

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 28, 2011, 10:27 AM
Wow, that 150g FMJ load is excellent!

Twmaster
August 28, 2011, 03:50 PM
Slamfire1... What rifle was that shot with?

Hizzoner
September 2, 2011, 10:16 PM
I sort my brass because I can't help myself! :banghead:So true, so true.
Actually a little OCD when reloading isn't a bad thing.
I just bought 500 once fired cases and was glad I sorted them since I found about a dozen or so cases with small primers (mostly Federal).

helotaxi
September 3, 2011, 01:33 PM
fun,wont that dillon pocker swager resize the pockets?

The swager only removes crimps. It can't shrink an oversized pocket.

Twmaster
September 4, 2011, 12:32 AM
I just completed my Saturday evening ritual (that is if I went to the range).

I cleaned and sorted by caliber and headstamp all the brass I collected today. ~500 9MM and ~200 or so other stuff.

I might be OCD....

SlamFire1
September 5, 2011, 08:25 PM
Slamfire1... What rifle was that shot with?

It is a Ruger M77 Tactical.

I have pictures of the rifle and the glass bedding process that I had to do to get the thing to shoot straight.

The barrel was fine but the factory bedding was awful. Once bedded it shoots great.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=480098&highlight=Ruger+M77

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