Having trouble with once fired 380 auto brass


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rajbcpa
June 16, 2013, 10:38 AM
I bought some once fired cleaned brass in 380 auto. After crushing a couple of cases in my progressive press, I learned that at least 10% of the batch is 9mm, not 380 auto.

Is this a common problem?

Are there any easy ways to separate the 9mm cases from this batch? Unfortunately, I have thousands to deal with.

380 auto brass is not easy to find during this supply shortage, so I am reluctant to send it back to the seller.

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03fatboy
June 16, 2013, 10:51 AM
Just started to load 380 myself and have run into the same thing.
I run a hornady lnl and the 9 mm don't fit the shell plate that well so that is the first sign if they get that far they dont go into the sizing die.
So then you know to stop and check it out

I load the cases by hand into the shellplate and sometimes you can feel the differents in the cases but not always

I don't know about other presses but hope this helps

MarshallDodge
June 16, 2013, 10:59 AM
To sort 9mm from 380, I stand them all up on a table and you can easily see the difference in height between the two.

Not a fun job but the results are worth it.

LBEE
June 16, 2013, 11:00 AM
I would Hand Seperate the 9MM out when I would Reload the Rounds of 100 or ???, seems the Fastest in the Long run.

Blue68f100
June 16, 2013, 11:02 AM
They make brass sorters to seperate 45/40/9/380. The basic set does not include the 380. Lyman makes the sorter. I do not know how well the 380 works but since it's slightly smaller it should fall through a sorter.

Another trick to put them in a pale and shake up and down. This causes the bases to go down then you can see the height difference.

Here is the sorters I refer to.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/270949/shell-sorter-brass-sorter-380-acp-adapter-plate

This is the basic set that it goes with.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/847836/shell-sorter-brass-sorter-9mm-luger-40-smith-and-wesson-45-acp-3-bowl-set

newfalguy101
June 16, 2013, 11:02 AM
There is a company that makes shell sorting plates, including a .380 plate, makes sorting quick..............however, its kinda pricey for a few hundred cases.

rajbcpa
June 16, 2013, 12:03 PM
The 380 case is shorter than 9mm. What if you took a 380 case and glued a wooden popsikle stick to the base and sorted the cases by pushing them under the stick? Only 380 cases would pass the test.

I have thousands of cases to sort not hundreds.

ReloaderFred
June 16, 2013, 12:04 PM
You'll just have to sort them out yourself. When I buy the brass from our range, it's all mixed together and I spend literally hours sorting it out by hand. After awhile, the .380, 9mm Mak. and 9mm all start to look alike. And I've learned to hate .22's........

I don't know why you would even consider sending the brass back to the seller? It's once fired brass, and it's bound to have a few other calibers mixed in with it. It's up to you to make sure what you're putting in your press is good brass of the proper caliber.

One thing you'll need to watch for is the Blazer, CCI and Federal .380 brass. It has a step inside the case to prevent bullet setback. This isn't a problem if you're loading the same length bullet as the original loading, but if your bullet is longer, you'll have a problem seating them and will get a bulge where the step is. The design is ingenious for a factory loading, but can be problematic for the reloader.

Hope this helps.

Fred

kerreckt
June 16, 2013, 12:38 PM
Once you get your eyes accustomed to it. You can pick out the .380 from everything else pretty quick. When I come back from the range I shake everything through 1/4" mesh to remove the .22 I then put everything into a large shallow pan and go at it. The .380 is fairly easy to pick out because it is usually the smallest. It is amazing how quickly you will learn to see the difference between .380 and 9mm. I can even feel the difference when I pick them up when reloading....good luck

mstreddy
June 16, 2013, 01:29 PM
OP I had the opposite issue, loaded 3 380s got loaded with my 124gr 9mms. Obviously something wrong when I looked at the completed rounds. It was on my LNL and I can't remember it feeling any different. So, I went ahead and picked up the 380 shell sorter for the kit mentioned above. And of course, give a really good look at my 9 before running it in the press.
All the range brass I bring home goes through the sorters before going into the tumbler as sorted batches.

tooltech
June 16, 2013, 01:41 PM
I recently ran a large batch of 9mm, and discovered a ton of .380 brass in the mix. It didn't take long before I was able to id a .380 case by touch alone.

Reefinmike
June 16, 2013, 01:43 PM
Put em in a plastic grocery bag, shake em up and down to orient many of them mouth up.then grab a section of mouth ups and set em all on a table to see the obvious height difference. It really isn't difficult and wont take more than a half Hour to sort them all.

I would complain to the seller as 380 brass usually isn't cheap compared to 9mm 40 and 38. If the seller included extra to take care of all the 9mm. If not, 10% is way too much 9mm.

Dframe
June 16, 2013, 01:54 PM
Yes. It's a common problem. There just doesn't seem to be a really trouble free way to sort the brass since they are so close in size. There are a couple of handy tips above. I personally use the "Stand em up and look for the tall ones" method.

Rule3
June 16, 2013, 02:45 PM
They make brass sorters to seperate 45/40/9/380. The basic set does not include the 380. Lyman makes the sorter. I do not know how well the 380 works but since it's slightly smaller it should fall through a sorter.

Another trick to put them in a pale and shake up and down. This causes the bases to go down then you can see the height difference.

Here is the sorters I refer to.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/270949/shell-sorter-brass-sorter-380-acp-adapter-plate

This is the basic set that it goes with.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/847836/shell-sorter-brass-sorter-9mm-luger-40-smith-and-wesson-45-acp-3-bowl-set
I use the same set up. Used to shoot a lot of 380 Auto, I was collecting them for a while. The only trick with the adapter plate is you can only put 20 or 30 pieces in at a time. If you overload it with 9mm and 380 it will not work well. I also put the 390 plate in the 45 ACP plastic bucket. so the 9mm falls through easier and it catches the 380.

I have sat for hours with one of those lighted magnifying viewers like jewelers use and picked it over:eek:

beatledog7
June 16, 2013, 02:56 PM
Here is the sorters I refer to.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/270...-adapter-plate

This is the basic set that it goes with.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/847...acp-3-bowl-set

I have a set and can attest that they work very well. Real time savers.

rondog
June 16, 2013, 03:45 PM
I take mixed 9mm Luger, 9mm Mak, and .380, stand them up on a flat, smooth tabletop, and pick them out with tweezers, it's very easy to get the .380's this way, and the Maks aren't hard either. I can also tell 9mm and .380 apart while they're on the ground.

FWIW - a large, shallow baking sheet with a raised, rolled edge (typical cookie sheet) is great for sorting brass in. I have a nasty old big one the wife was throwing away. It catches all the dirt and sand, and keeps the cases from rolling off the table. Also flat and smooth for standing them up and sorting. I usually have .40 and .45acp mixed in as well, just stand them all up and grab the tweezers. Large, long-handled tweezers for me. Harbor Freight has multi-packs for cheap.

Safetychain
June 16, 2013, 09:11 PM
While using a turent press, using press style shellholder, the 9mm will not fit in a 380 shell holder. I can't check my progressive plates as I am away from home now, but would assume that the shellplate would be the same.

kostyanj
June 16, 2013, 11:01 PM
I use the same set up. Used to shoot a lot of 380 Auto, I was collecting them for a while. The only trick with the adapter plate is you can only put 20 or 30 pieces in at a time. If you overload it with 9mm and 380 it will not work well. I also put the 390 plate in the 45 ACP plastic bucket. so the 9mm falls through easier and it catches the 380.

I have sat for hours with one of those lighted magnifying viewers like jewelers use and picked it over:eek:
Other way around. The 380 falls through and the 9mm stays on the plate.

Rule3
June 17, 2013, 12:53 AM
Other way around. The 380 falls through and the 9mm stays on the plate.

Yep, that was just a test.:o

It works though.

ErikO
June 17, 2013, 02:18 AM
Check the head stamp. Easy peasy. After the first hour, you should get a feel for 9mm vs 380.

gamestalker
June 17, 2013, 07:19 AM
I just keep one 9mm in between my thumb and index finger while grabbing them one at a time. You can instantly feel the shorter .380's. In short, no pun intended, there is no magical way of doing it much faster, unless you build a varied angled slotted bowel that will let the .380's fall though, which isn't a bad idea, now that I think of it.

GS

evan price
June 17, 2013, 07:53 AM
Even with the slotted shell sorters and the 380 metal plate, I still get 380s that are a bit more swelled than normal that won't fall through. Same with Makarovs, they stay with the 9mm. I rarely have anything but 380 in my 380s with the metal plate in the yellow basket, but I can't swear that 100% of my 9mm is 9mm simply because it's impossible to individually sort once you start getting into tens of thousands of cases. Just getting all the obvious junk, aluminum, steel and nickel out is hard enough. I built an air powered sorting table that really helps with the gross sorting, but the easiest way to separate the 380 from the 9mm is still the old Shell Sorter 380 plate in the yellow 45 basket.

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