More questions about Independence Brass


October 18, 2011, 01:17 AM
I recently bought two boxes of Independence 38 Spl. to shoot in a new 357 revolver I bought. I was not impressed with the original loads, as they were very dirty. Cleaning was a real chore, compared with other ammo I have used since.

I saved the brass for reloading and had also been given a couple hundred Rem and WW nickle brass in 38 and 38+P. I also purchased 100 new unprimed ww brass in 357.

I had not reloaded for about 10 yers and had only reloaded rifle ammo previously. I acquired a set of 38/357 RCBS dies and read the literature carefully several times. I have reloaded both 38 and 357, with some glitches but a pretty short learning curve. I was quickly producing very reliable loads with the Rem or WW brass.

Recently I have tried to reload the Independence brass I saved. About 1 in 3 cases will not take an acceptable crimp. I can run through a batch of reloads with the other cases without a glitch, but I cannot get consistant crimps with the Independence brass. I can adjust the crimp setting as deep as possible and still get a crimp that is not secure - I can move the seated bullet with relatively light pressure.

Has anybody experienced these problems? I am ready to heave all of the brass from Independence. Then I read the old comments on how reliable that brass is, and I wonder if I am just overlooking something. It is not a good thing when you start to question your ability to produce safe and reliable ammo! Help!!!

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evan price
October 19, 2011, 06:36 AM
Independance (Headstamp *I* usually) is marketed by CCI/Speer as an inexpensive brand for example to shooting ranges for use as a "house" ammunition. I have heard that it has been made from imported components, and sometimes with cosmetically blemished components, but I am not confirming this with anyone. It is normally good brass, as good as comparable CCI or Blazer Brass headstamps and functionally interchangeable in my experience. Without seeing the headstamp I can't tell CCI/Blazer Brass/Independance apart.

If the brass is thicker it is undersizing the bullet inside the case when you crimp.

Increasing the crimp will not make the bullet hold tighter inside! The brass will spring back slightly, the lead core of the bullet will not spring back, and you wind up undersizing the bullet and making it looser.

I would first try using less flare on your brass and see if that helps. You might also try using a 9mm (.355) expander, or chucking your 357 expander in a drill and using fine sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the 357 expander.

October 19, 2011, 10:04 AM
What happens if you skip the expander altogether? This would give you the greatest neck tension, as long as it doesn't save the bullets.

October 20, 2011, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the help guys. Finally got things working right last night and loaded 100 rounds with good solid crimps. It took a good bit of 'microadjustment" and a few over-adjustments to get there! As beatledog suggests, I tried no neck expansion and did have problems with shaving the bullets as they seated. From there I worked to an expansion that just barely allows the bullet to start and every round seats well.

October 20, 2011, 08:42 PM
Regarding Independence ammunition generally, Independence is a brand not a manufacturer. With the *I* headstamp, loaded ammunition was supplied by Federal, Magtech, and Speer. Presently cases are made by Federal or Speer without the *I*. In recent Independence boxes I've seen reject Federal-made Coast Guard contract 40 S&W with the FC over 08 headstamp, Federal-made SPEER-headstamped 38 Special (dot at 9 0'clock denotes Federal manufacture), and Speer-made .FEDERAL., FEDERAL, or .FC. (dot FEDERAL dot, dot FC dot) -headstamped 380 Auto, 9mm Luger, 40 S&W and 45 Auto (small primer) ammo.

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