A Riddle, a Question, or What the Heck?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Engineer1911, Oct 28, 2021.

  1. Engineer1911

    Engineer1911 Member

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    See post #13 for the answer.

    I've done a little reloading since 1974, and have about 45 die sets in the "tool boxes" . I've reloaded calibers from 380 ACP to 45-70, including one wildcat, the 30 Herrett. I loaded enough ammo to shoot out the rifling on a TC barrel, 1500 S&W rifle, and a custom stainless steel barrel on 25- o6.

    So this is the tale of interest. I was asked to reload 270 Winchester brass into new ammo for sale at the Outdoor Range. I cherry picked the "best brass" out of 2 five gallon buckets of range brass and got 300+ pieces. I was looking for 'normal' primers, 270 Win head stamp, no signs of difficult extraction, only factory once fired brass without sizing die marks.

    I checked the decapping stem on my 270 Win sizer die: diameter = 0.275", checked the Speer bullets: diameter = 0.277". Now the fun begins. About 50% of the brass will not pass a new 270 bullet through the case mouth, but a .257 bullet drops through with clearance. There are NO scratches on the case neck or shoulder. The neck ID measures between 0.263" and 0.268".

    The max case length for 270 Win case is 2.540" . Sized cases measure 2.530" to 2.543" . There is a wildcat cartridge called a 6.5 - '06 shooting a 0.264" bullet, but case length is 2.494" (same as 30-06).


    How can once fired, factory ammo have "fired necks" that are 0.010" to 0.015" smaller than loaded ammo? This is a simple question about a physical dimension on a fired brass case. No need for a statistical study on accuracy of my
    Mitutoyo dial caliper or 1" micrometer. Bullet OD was measured correctly and case mouth ID was consistent either at or near 0.265" or 0.279" .

    EDIT: For you Legal Hairballs, the range has the correct FFL and I am a range employee. Now get over it. Why are the brass case mouths smaller?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Maybe mother nature saying don't sell reloaded ammo and mention it online.
     
  3. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    take it easy folks!
     
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  4. BW460

    BW460 Member

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    Its not about taking it easy. Op, if you have a FFL to manufacture and sell ammo, then have at it. If not, you are committing a felony. I don't want others who are new to reloading to think this new hobby can be a source of income in these days of ammo shortages, unless they are properly licensed.
     
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  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Legalities aside looking at fired brass neck size before resizing is not something I have ever bothered doing. The spring back properties of brass could be different in different brands or even batches of brass. Thickness of neck may inter into it. Somebody may have a wildcat made on the 30-06 and only use neck sized factory brass to load for it. I can't always tell if a peice of brass is only once fired or reloaded. Not all of them use a press and dies some brass are roll sized and look like factory rounds. More to think about? Sorry about that, just my thoughts
     
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  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    1. Take 1 fired brass that will not except the correct size bullet. Measure the outside neck diameter. Record it.

    2. Full length size using the expander. *The neck inside must be scrubed/lubed with an RCBS type nylon brush before sizing.* Measure the outside neck diameter again. Record it.

    3. Load a dummy round. Take outside neck diameter measurement on the neck again, after bullet has been seated.

    4. Report findings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
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  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Using pin gauges?

    I find in 243 Win reloads, fired with IMR 4350 & 68 gr Berger match bullets, will not expand the necks at starting loads. It takes near maximum pressures to expand necks enough to accept a bullet into fired brass.

    In 45acp, i testing 5 different brands of old fired range brass . Spring back after sizing & expanding happens at different rates for each. Neck tension from .002" to .005" difference.
    This is because brass has a memory. It wants to return to is original state.
     
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  8. Soonerpesek

    Soonerpesek Member

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    .....Excessive " spring back " maybe.....?
    How bout you pass one thru the full length sizing die, then see how it tensions a bullet...
    Then fire the ammo yourself and don't sell it....
     
  9. Cypress

    Cypress Member

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    25-06 loaded in .270 brass? I find it very difficult to tell if brass tumbled in certain medias has been reloaded. But I probably missed something.
     
  10. denton

    denton Member

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    I did get into a batch of Sierra bullets that had a ring around the base that stuck out a few thousandths.... some kind of forming burr that didn't get cleaned up in manufacturing. Remote possibility that could be the problem.
     
  11. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I haven’t measured fired brass case mouths, but with brass spring back and all the pressures within the chamber, perhaps this is just normal for that particular gun and cartridge combination. When I used to use a fired case to check for max COL, I’d always have to slice one side of the neck in order to push a bullet in by hand. There was some neck tension to begin with. Good luck.
     
  12. unwashed

    unwashed Member

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    Maybe some contraction from temp change, just a thought.
     
  13. Engineer1911

    Engineer1911 Member

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    Back to Basics ! ! !

    I found the answer. The brass is tumbled in a Harbor Freight cement mixer. The mixer has 3 or 4 paddle blades mounted at 90° the inside of the drum. The blades beat the edge of the case mouth slightly smaller while tumbling. I used a center punch to slightly flare the mouth ID to about 0.280", the neck ID measured 0.279" . The brass that resizes without problems was picked out of the dirty brass bucket, not the tumbled, shiny brass bucket. The owner wants shiny brass so brass tumbles overnight (10 + ) hours for rifle brass. I think I'll pick dirty brass and tumble it at home in my Dillon or Thumbler tumbler.
     
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  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Good thorough investigation there. It makes sense now that you tell us all the facts LOL. I would have never noticed as any brass I buy gets processed as once fired range brass picked up from the ground. Interesting that it gets peened that bad when cleaned though. Did you notice if the radiuses of the base or ejection groove were rounded the same?
     
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  15. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    Brother, you just saved me some potential pain. I was on the virge of pulling the trigger on a couple of HF mixers for prepping brass. Thanks for the post, and thanks for the research and follow through. I will rethink my future strategy, likely stick with the big dillon vibratory tumblers, just get a few more of them.

    And ignore the nanny state haters. Sad you had to go back and make a point of stating you had the proper FFL, when in fact it's nobody's business but yours.
     
  16. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Just imagine what someone would look like after 10 hours in a cement mixer. Amazing there is any brass left!:)
     
  17. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    LOL, "Just imagine what someone would look like after 10 hours in a cement mixer". Especially since you'd probably have to quarter them to get them in there. :rofl:
     
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  18. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
    --SPOCK, Star Trek (2009)
     
  19. Engineer1911

    Engineer1911 Member

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    Cement mixer brass did come out "surgically clean".
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Sherlock Holmes, much earlier than that........ :)
     
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