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9mm DAG / GECO brass is evil

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Trent, Feb 23, 2013.

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  1. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    So I was reloading 9mm, and hit a really difficult press stroke. Stopped, confirmed everything was fine, and nothing was out of the ordinary or bound up.

    Put some elbow grease on it and PING, the spent primer shot out like a speeding bullet, bounced off the bench, and landed halfway across the room.

    Went to do the upstroke, LOADS of unusual pressure getting the casing out. Turns out I bent my decapper.

    Brass was stamped '* GECO * 9mm Luger', some subsequent research turned out this is European boxer primed brass with under sized flash holes.

    Straightened my decapper pin, and ran across ANOTHER one later heastamped "DAG 9x19 Gend 89". More research.

    Same company, different name. Same problem. Undersized flash holes.

    I don't know where in the heck I managed to pick this stuff up at but it really throws a curveball when you're using a progressive.

    Thought I'd give a heads up to anyone interested (or searching for this headstamp in the future).
     
  2. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Not only that. On my batch of DAG, the brass thickens quite a bit right below where the bullet seats. So you can only seat certain bullets/OALs with it. It looked like nice brass, so I reamed out the flashholes of 100 of 'em before discovering that tidbit.
     
  3. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    Good to know. I know I've come across a dozen or so of the geco that are in my "misc" bin.

    Sent from my CZ85 Combat
     
  4. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    The problem I have is I just went through 30,000 casings pulling out crimped primer WCC, now have to go through all of them all over again to get the GECOS out, there were quite a few. Only one DAG, got it set aside.

    Glad I pulled the ones aside that I didn't recognize.

    Between the 2,000ish S&B steel case I fished out with a magnet, the 9x21 oddball that threw me a curve, all the crimped ammo in the winchester white box cases I shot, a couple of 9x18's that I didn't pick up on and loaded as 9mm (oops), and now this, I'm having a real bad time with 9mm.

    My hands cramp when handling 9mm as it is, this just sucks. Normally reloading is fun and relaxing but this is testing my patience.
     
  5. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Looks like I gotta toss the A-MERC I found in there too. Crap. I only pulled one of those to run the headstamp.
     
  6. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    And the chicom stuff with 9x19 in the 12 o'clock

    GRRR....
     
  7. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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  8. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I've actually loaded a few GECO without incident. Maybe someone reamed them before I acquired them. All my DAG brass, I shot new.
     
  9. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Another to pitch I guess,

    WW6 FC NT LUGER
    and
    WW6 OT 3

    They have a shimmed primer pocket, just read a report they can cause a primer detonation in a Dillon 650.

    If I didn't have bad luck.. I wouldn't have any at all.

    Testing my patience....
     
  10. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Could be your decapping pin is slightly thinner?

    I'm using an RCBS carbide die with a custom locking ring that BARELY makes it usable in the Dillon 650. (As in, locking ring is on the topmost thread available..)

    The RCBS decapper is pretty stout.
     
  11. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Comparing the GECO brass in my hand to a Winchester commercial casing, that flash hole is a good 20% smaller

    Edit; I could probably run my flash hole deburring tool through there I use on rifle brass and ream those out.
     
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Thats considerably smaller! I actually dont think I have any of that headstamp, and it surprises me, my 38 brass collection has some real oldies and no names in it.

    Stuff like that makes me glad that I use the Lee Dies for decapping and sizing. I have hit what I didnt know was a berdan case one time, it simply pushed the decapping pin out the top. Just had to grab a wrench and we were back in business. Seems a good design idea, to help keep from breaking as many pins. I'm sure a fella could still break one though!
     
  13. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Well the final tally is 5 types I need to go back through and pull from the bin. And... I have to watch what I pick back up, as I shoot the 1200 I just loaded the last two nights... I loaded QUITE a lot of those AMERCs without realizing how bad the brass quality is, and now they're packed in a 50 cal ammo can with 1200 mixed buddies.

    The ones I'm pulling out are labeled:

    DAG 9x19 Gend 89 (assume the last two digits are year, so any DAG I find gets pulled.)
    * GECO * 9mm Luger

    ^^ Those can be "fixed" by reaming the flash hole with a flash hole deburring tool before sizing / decapping

    A-MERC (read about TONS of problems on them.)

    9x19 in 12 o'clock (Norinco, issues with brass quality, the case I have in my hand is guppied BADLY.)

    WW6 FC NT
    WW6

    (Federal Non Toxic, shimmed primers, not crimped)
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Good thing there is literally tons of fired 9MM brass around so we won't miss any of those.:D FWIW the 9MM A-MERC will work OK quality wise if the flash holes are anywhere near centered. Those DAG and GECO do indeed work OK for 125 grain FMJ or lighter bullets as is with Lee dies (for me anyway).
     
  15. JSmith

    JSmith Member

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    Huh. Glad I read this - I don't shoot 9mm but I have some A-MERC in .45ACP (yeah, I'll pick up whatever's laying around the range too!) I haven't tried loading it yet, but it certainly seems to be an unloved brass.
     
  16. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    As much 9mm brass as I've accumulated over the years, I'm not even remotely worried about pitching what I don't want in to the recycling bin. (It's getting might heavy now with all the berdan primed 50 BMG brass I accumulated last year...)

    For years I bought it by the case, reloadable brass only, and shot the heck out of it. NEVER bought non-reloadable casings. So now I'm sitting on some 70,000 or so 9mm - working through this bin of about 30K first, the rest are bagged.

    Speaking of....

    Anyone want the steel cased S&B I've separated? I've reloaded it before, it works, but I can't load it on my Dillon. You need to hand prime it CAREFULLY, and use carbide dies for sizing, but it WILL work. I have approx 2000 casings set aside (with another 1000 or so factory left to shoot). Will ship them USPS flat rate box if anyone wants them (free of charge). If I don't hear back it'll go to the recycler next spring with all the other steel cased crap I've collected.
     
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "I don't know where in the heck I managed to pick this stuff up at "

    It could have been anywhere, even I have RUAG Swiss-made Geco 9mm. I bought multiple cases of it from J&G in 2011 when it was $200/case. It's fine ammo and came recommended by a P210 shooter/competitor for my newly acquired surplus Swiss Army P210.

    John
     
  18. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Oh, I'm sure it shot fine from the factory. It's almost a difficult prospect to find "bad" European ammunition. But man, those tiny flash holes. UGH.

    I'm tempted to get out my precision drill bits just to stick the shafts down there, to see if I can figure out precisely what diameter those are. But it's cold outside, and my second garage where they are at isn't heated, and I'm warm and cozy this morning, and really wanting to stay that way. :)

    I could probably set these aside, and set up my drill press to quickly ream them. Get the depth stop set right and shellholder centered, chuck in the right sized bit, I could ream them quite fast to proper size, then decap and use them as normal.

    But .. it's frigging 9mm. And I'm not THAT damn desperate for 9mm brass. :)
     
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    The OP's post points to a really good reason to employ a universal decapping die and keep spare pins around.
     
  20. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Oh I learned that lesson after running across a brand new Remington 300 win mag case that they'd somehow forgot to ream the flash hole on.

    I have spares of my spares.

    Because this crap ALWAYS seems to happen on a Friday night, when you want to go shoot the ammo you are loading the next morning.
     
  21. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I'm not desperate enough to reload - yet. And I have enough hobbies. Sorry about the range litter though, but the ammo is too good not to shoot it.

    Speaking of ammo, I found two boxes of WWB 9mm from Wal-Mart in the back of the hall closet yesterday while I was rearranging things. I was fairly well organized until my father decided to move them to The Home in 2007. That's when he gave me all of his guns and ammo and asked me to sell the house. Too much stuff.

    John
     
  22. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    You know, I'm a dumbass.

    Federal uses capitol letters on their headstamps. So in post #13, please ignore the "WW6" references. :)

    The only ones that should be culled are "FC NT", which are the Federal non-toxic rounds. Those use smaller diameter primers than small pistol, but the primer pockets are normal size. To accommodate this, they put a shim in around the smaller-than-small-pistol primers they used in those cases, which doesn't always come out when the primer does...
     
  23. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I didn't reload 9mm for years. I turned out a pretty good sized batch when I got my Dillon 650XL a few years ago, just to make sure I *could*, but after that I parked the head with the dies and let it collect so much dust.

    I've been shooting factory Winchester White Box and S&B steel cased for the last decade or so. The last time I loaded 9mm because I wanted to, before getting the Dillon, was 1998, and that was when I was making subsonic 147gr rounds for.. well, just because. ;)

    I'm remembering why I *really* dislike loading 9mm. Not just the cost / availability thing, but it HURTS for me to grab those little frigging cases. Makes my hands cramp up.

    The good news, is I have a couple 5 gallon buckets full of brass - more than enough to last me the rest of my life, and then some.

    The bad news is, I've managed to pick up everyone else's discarded left behinds along the way and sorting this crap out is really testing my patience. I just went through 30k casings for the THIRD time to pluck out what turned out to be a handful of AMERC, Norinco / Chinasports junk, some undersized Euro flash holes (DAG/GECO), and Federal Non-toxics.

    By the time I was finished I discarded them with great vengeance in the trash.

    EDIT: I will say the actual LOADING of 9mm with the Dillon 650 is pretty smooth and easy once I get these culled. I don't have to handle the little buggers anymore until I put them in a magazine. Dump the cases in the hopper, dump the loaded rounds in a 50 cal can. Placing the bullets isn't too bad, doesn't make my hands cramp up as much because they get a break for a few seconds between each one. Not like examining brass, where it's one after another after another after another...
     
  24. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    Shoulda taken them to the scrap yard. It'd give ya a couple bucks to offset yer work.

    Sent from my CZ85 Combat
     
  25. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I literally only found a handful (they fit in my left hand when I walked to the garbage, maybe 50 casings?).

    By the time I was done, I was not concerned with where they ended up, as long as it was never back in that tub I'm working through. :)
     
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