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Is This A Sign of Overpressure?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DaisyCutter, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Member

    Below is an image of some of my .44 Mags.

    The two cartridges on the left have been fired, resized, and cleaned. The two on the right are brand new.


    Note the relief area under the rim (see arrows). The image doesn't show it perfectly, but on the used cases, the relief area is expanded/swelled out to roughly the same diameter as the case wall. On the new cases, the relief area is very pronounced.

    On the used cases, in some areas, I can't even snag a fingernail when running it under the rim. On the new cases, I can feel the relief area very well.

    I know this happens after I fire the brass. From the percentage like this in the reload pile, I know this only happens to one particular loading. I presume it's my hottest load.

    My hottest load is 23 grains of Alliant 2400, with a CCI 350 magnum primer, behind a 210 grain Speer jacketed HP. My median cartridge OAL is 1.605", but it can vary between 1.602-1.608".

    Per the Alliant website;


    So Alliant says I'm good to 23.5 grains. However, I'm using mag primers. I'm shooting this in a Ruger Super Blackhawk and Redhawk. The revolvers don't seem to care. They function fine, no binding, no bullets jumping crimp, just a big flash/bang.

    Is this a sign of overpressure, or just a normal sign of "used" brass? Is the brass still safe.

    FWIW, the headstamp appears normal, no splits, and primers looked good.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    If they eject normally, it could just be soft brass.

    What brand of brass is it??

    I would probably continue to use it unless you start having case cracks or seperations.

    While planning to buy some Starline brass next time.

  3. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Why don't you jam a new one up the diehole and see if that makes them look like that. Can't hurt and might tell you something.
  4. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Member

    I crammed a couple new ones up the resizing die, and they still have the nice relief area.

    FWIW, primer pockets are still tight for the used ones.

    The cartridges eject fine after I shoot 'em.

    The headstamp is as deep as when new. The brass is Winchester. I got 4 bags of 100 for $16 a bag. It was marked at twice the price, but the store owner told me he'd sell it to me at $16/ea if I agreed to buy all he had (4 bags). He said he wasn't moving any reloading stuff and just wanted the stock gone.

    So I've got Winchester brass coming out my ears.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Well, maybe stop using Mag primers with 2400.

    It isn't necessary, or generally recommended.

    There have been several cautions through the years from Bryan Pearce in Handloader magazine about unexpected pressure spikes & such with Mag primers & 2400.

  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Active Member

    You do realize the resizing die does not resize all the way to the extractor groove?

    Besides the part of the case in the shell holder, there is a little bit of the die that does does not resize the case due to the radius at the mouth of the die.

    What you are seeing is just the burnishing from the part of the die that actually does touch the case. If you tumble after resizing, I find the "ring" gets polished out and you do not see it.
  7. Josh45

    Josh45 New Member

    I would ditch the magnum primer as 2400 doesn't need it.
    Load up about 5 of them without a mag primer and see if it changes.
  8. beatledog7

    beatledog7 New Member

    Looks like normal expansion to me. Use non-magnum primers with 2400.

    I'd load a few about 10% lighter, shoot them, and compare. My bet is they look exactly like the ones that have you concerned. I doubt you'll find much difference in how they shoot either.
  9. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Member

    I've probably got 60-70 of the magnum primed 2400 hot loads left to shoot.

    After that, I'll probably tone my load down a couple grains. The .44 is still a heavy bullet, and I can live with a ~1300 FPS just fine versus the max 1500FPS.
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I hear you. I can't really see the picture/issue that well and thought what the hey.
  11. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    Pressure signs are meaningless in straight-walled pistol cartridges. Trust your data, verify with a chronograph.
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Active Member

    not normal Over pressure.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  13. 918v

    918v New Member

  14. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Member

    Was hoping for more of a consensus.

    For those who state overpressure, can you clarify as a gross overpressure or just minimally overpressure?
  15. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Active Member

    cfullgraf said what I was thinking...looks normal to me.
  16. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon New Member

    load it til it cracks
  17. 918v

    918v New Member

    When you fire a full-house load, the base will expand. The base is thicker than the rest of the case wall and will resist sizing more. Hence, it will be shinier after you're done.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  18. beeenbag

    beeenbag New Member

    I would ditch the mag primer if it was me...

    Why don't you load up a couple, as suggested above, with regular large pistol primers and see what they do? I would do this before shooting what you have left and see if the problem persists. If you still have this with the non magnum primers then you know it is just soft brass. If you don't have it with the non magnums, pull the bullets in what you have loaded.

    I really love using 2400 in my .44 magnum. I use 21g. under a 240 xtp for my deer hunting load. 21g. for a 240 is max. I have not seen the issue you have.
  19. 243winxb

    243winxb Active Member

    a gross overpressure or just minimally overpressure?

    Need pressure testing equipment to know for sure. :confused: Brass yields at different pressures depending on its hardness. Your brass is moving & i feel its not normal. To much flow for only one loading. Cartridge Brass-
    Material is 70 copper/30 zinc with trace amounts of lead & iron , called C26000. Material starts to yield at 15,000 PSI when soft (annealed), and 63,000 PSI when hard.
    Material yields, but continues to get stronger up to 47,000 PSI when soft, and 76,000 PSI when work hardened.
  20. 918v

    918v New Member

    My 357 brass looks just like it after firing 38 Special level loads. It's the sizing die causing this shiny mark. It's normal.

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