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Interesting note on case life- 45 colt

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rogn, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. rogn

    rogn Well-Known Member

    Spent quite a bit of time working up loads for a pir of Puma 92s in 45 Colt, and ran a parallel test of the brass. Using WW cases and a variety of powders and bullets the cases have been firedabout 30 times, with full lenght sizing each time, +P loads in thr 30000psi range. The rifles worked wekk with no extraction problems. The cases stretched minimaly without any need to trim or adjust the crimping length. All cases wre fired about the same no of times. The last load was a good start level(Hodgdon manual) of H10 and 250gr XTPs. Accuracy was good and as stated no case problems were encounterd until the last firings when 3 out of 6 shots produced leakage into the action. Very slight with 2 and the last produced a spray of pwder particles in my face. Time to quit.! Pulled the rifle down and checked it over carefully, no problems outside of excessive SAAMI speccs for this oldtimer. Cases were checked over and outside of a lot of carbon on the outside no other signs of leakage wwre found. Primers were tight, with no signs of failure. Now with the generous chamber specs the cases due tend to bulge visibly when fired with heavy loads-thank you SAAMI. Checking the case mouths , a new bullet would push in with gentle pressure, which is surprising considering the large chamber diameter. Seating pressure on recall had been fairly light compare to some new RP brass. I beleive at this point the brass had work hardened to the point it was releasing the bullet a bit easier than ideal for the slow ball powder, and the case outh did not expand easily which inturn allowed a limited amount of blowback before the portion of the case showing bulging could achied obturation. Then tried some fresh virgin brass which didnot leak enough to stain the case body. The original brass looks to be in good condition, and could be reloaded with normal appearance. This could probably be fired in a tighter chamber with no ill effects but hte combination of generous chamber and hardened brass resulted in some undesirable and unsafe effects. This might be something tomconsider if your loading "range brass".
  2. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    This is one reason I visit this area every day. Thanks for posting!
  3. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    I have heard for years from people who read about old balloon head 45 colt brass how weak it was. I have some starline and winchester cases that have seen 8-10 plus reloadings at 30k Ruger only levels. Those cases are still good to go. I also have some other brass that has never seen anything other than a SAAMI spec'd load that wore out in the same amount of reloadings.

    To me, I buy Winchester or Starline for hot loadings and save the once fired or questionable origin brass for SAAMI spec'd standard loads.
  4. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Leveraction rifles are notorious for oversized chambers in .45Colt. Even my late model, Miroku-made Winchester 1892 Trapper. Which is one reason why I tend to prefer the .44Mag.
  5. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    That will wear it out fast too.
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    What was your load?

    It sounds to me that you had gas leakage around the case, not through the case. If your primer pockets leaked that could account for gas leakage but you say they were fine.

    Brass workhardens, maybe your loads are so light, and the brass is a tad less duticle, that it takes time in the pressure curve to get a complete seal.
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    As brass is worked, it gets harder...not softer. It also becomes a little "springy" and when it's sized, instead of holding its resized dimension...it springs back a little. That explains the easier seating compared to new brass.

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