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Anybody have trouble with Remington brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by EddieCoyle, May 24, 2006.

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  1. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    I was setting up to reload some .32 ACP for the first time. I have about 1500 cases of once-fired brass with mixed headstamps sorted by mfg. These were fired from a random mix of guns (some of each brass passed through a Colt 1903, Beretta 1935, CZ 27, Savage 1907, Walther PP, and Beretta 3032 Tomcat). I'm using a new Lee carbide 3-die set.

    When I was setting up my press (new-style Hornady L-N-L AP) I used a S&B case to make a up dummy round. I set the resizing die to just miss the shell plate, set the expander die so that I could just barely insert about 1/32" of the bullet into the case, set the seating/crimping die for a strong taper crimp and a 0.980" OAL. When I was done, I pushed hard on the end of the bullet and had no setback. So far so good.

    Just for the heck of it, I decided to do the same (no primer, no powder) for the other brands of cases. I tried a R-P (Remington) case and when I went to insert the bullet, it DROPPED into the case! What I mean is that I resized the case, belled it, then went to put the bullet in and it almost fell all the way into the case! I reduced the amount of expansion slightly and increased the crimp, but when I pushed (lightly) on the seated and crimped R-P brass dummy round, the bullet would easily push into the case.

    I'm loading 0.312", 71gr FMJ bullets, and I measured each one as I was making the dummy rounds and they were all dead-on.

    Something is wrong here. I tried a couple of samples of each of the other manufacturer's cases and they were OK, but the Winchester cases would get "set back" unless I put borderline roll crimp on them.

    So I measured the wall thickness of some un-resized cases with vernier calipers (1/8" from the top of the case). Here are the thicknesses that I found:
    • S&B - 0.010" to 0.013"
    • Cor bon - 0.009" to 0.011"
    • F C (Federal) - 0.008" to 0.011"
    • CBC - 0.008" to 0.010"
    • Winchester - 0.007" to 0.008"
    • Remington (R-P) - 0.004" to 0.006"

    The S&B's case walls are twice as thick as Remington!

    The four thickest brands of cases (S&B, FC, Corbon, & CBC) would load fine. I was barely able to get an acceptable round with the Winchester cases. However, the Remington brass is so thin as to be useless.

    What I'm guessing is happening is that the resizing die would squeeze the cases down, but the R-P brass is so thin that it won't shrink to an inside diameter sufficient to hold the bullet.

    Funny thing is, I was loading some 10mm a couple of weeks ago and had a similar problem with some nickel plated R-P cases. The Starline brass that I had would load fine, but the R-P cases wouldn't hold the bullet. In that case, I had a Lee Factory Crimp Die that I torqued down to enable the R-P brass to hold the bullets.

    Has anyone else experienced this with Remington brass?

    Is there a die that will undersize the brass so that the R-P stuff will work?

    If so, will the undersized die still allow me to load the thicker stuff?

    If not, I'm going to avoid R-P brass in the future.
     
  2. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    I've had the same thing happen in 357 and 44 mag. I now buy Starline.
     
  3. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Taper crimp is for feed reliability only. Taper crimp will actually decrease the tension on the bullet. To minimize setback, your best bet is to not bell the case mouth at all, and not crimp at all. Either that or bell the bare minimum to get the bullet in, and set the crimp die so that it only undoes what the belling die did.
     
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    This makes no logical sense. I've been reloading for over 30 years and have never experienced such a phenomenon in all that time. Taper crimps have always held the bullets tighter in the case mouth and prevented set back in semi automatic handgun ammo, at least in the 9mm and .45 acp that I load.
    -----------------
    Now to EddieCoyles problem. The .32 acp has a slightly tapered case and the Remington brass is a bit thinner than many other brands. I personally like Remington for cast bullets but have not found any problem with holding the jacketed bullets in the 9mm, .45 or .32 S&W long. I also load with a Hornady LNL and the shell plates have an cut out area at each station. The die should be set just off the top of this lowered part, if you had perhaps set the die to the top of the shell plate it may not be reducing the case mouth enough when sizing the little .32 acp case. See the picture below showing a 9mm RCBS die in my Hornady LNL with the ram at top of travel.

    One of the problems with other brands of dies in the Hornady LNL is that if they're not very long you run out of room in the quick change inserts to have their locking ring fully threaded.

    If your dies are set so that they'll do the maximum length sizing of the case on the LNL then it looks like you'll have to sort out the Remington cases. They'd probably size and load just fine on a single stage press

    [​IMG]
     
  5. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    Like Steve said the case is tapered. Your die may backed off too much and isn't sizing the the last bit of case. Adjust your sizing die and try again.

    David
     
  6. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    [​IMG]

    Exaggerated for clarity.

    But just to check and see, I'll do a test right now.

    Once-fired .40 S&W RP cases, and Berry's 180 gr plated hollowpoints. Neither case was belled before the bullet was seated. Every chambering was done using the slide stop lever, to make it consistent. Gun was a Glock 23 with TIG welded feed ramp and fully supported chamber. The caliper was left on the whole time, no re-zeroing was done. Measurements are the largest of 5 seperate measurements, with the bullet rotated in different directions.

    No crimp:
    before: 1.115"
    after being chambered 10 times: 1.1145"
    20: 1.1145"
    30: 1.114"
    40: 1.1135"
    50: 1.1135"

    Light taper crimp:
    before: 1.1145"
    10: 1.113"
    20: 1.1115"
    30: 1.109"
    40: 1.1045"
    50: 1.1025"

    So, with cartridges that were identical except for crimp, the one with no crimp was set back by 0.0015" with 50 chamberings, while the one with a moderate taper crimp was set back by 0.012". This is almost an order of magnitude more setback with the crimped round. Both bullets were beat to hell in the middle of the ogive by the feed ramp, not right at the hollowpoint opening like some people think.

    I even tried running the uncrimped round through 20 more times to see if it would get any worse. The darn cartridge stayed at 1.1135" the whole time. Even a light taper crimp really does give you less case tension. Now, a roll crimp on a cannelured bullet is a whole different story. When you have a canellure, there's room for the case mouth to go into, so the rest of the case doesn't flare away from the bullet.
     

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  7. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Just pitched a bunch of R-P brass, for .357, see Bad Bullets, tread. I had already removed it from my 45 inventory, haven't had any problems with 9mm brass.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  8. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies.

    I screwed the sizing die until it just kissed the shell plate, then backed it off about 1/8 turn. I ran a few of the R-P cases through the sizing die only, pulled them out of the press and tried to insert a bullet manually without belling the case. I was able to easily push the bullet 3/4 of the way into the case while holding it in my hands - no press, not even pushing it down on the bench.

    It looks like I'm going to be sorting brass.


    RyanM:

    Thanks for the info about the crimp! That clears up a lot for me. This type of info is exactly the reason why I love this forum.

    P.S. - I just went down and resized one of the S&B cases, then purposely over-belled it like a blunderbuss, and pressed in a bullet to a 0.980" OAL. Without crimping, I pushed the dummy round into the bench upside down (bullet nose first) hard enough so that I could practically read a mirror image of the headstamp on my thumb. The OAL remained unchanged.
     
  9. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    Remington brass is softer....

    than most other brass. I have had no problems loading it though. I have been loading so long that I can tell which brand of brass is passing through the die by the feel of it......chris3
     
  10. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    You may not be sizeing enough. The die unless carbide should be set to touch the shellholder with a case in it. This is from Lees site, other makers suggest the same basic set up.

    http://www.leeprecision
     
  11. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Actually, from what I read either on the Lee site or the instruction manual, steel dies should be turned until they firmly touch the shell plate at the highest point, then a couple twists further, while carbide dies should be screwed finger-tight against the plate and left there.
     
  12. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Strange

    Wierd...I've been reading all this and for the life of me can't figure out what the problem is with R-P cases. I load R-P cases in calibres 9mmX19, .38 Special, .357 mag and .45 ACP (not to mention .30-30 and .30-06) and never have a problem with them. In fact I kinda like them. They work very well in both of my 9mm and the .45 colt ACP. Have had NO seating problems and NO set back problems either...I even use the Lee bullet seating die to just remove the bell from the 9mm cases. I still think you have something wrong somewhere, Eddie. Sorry, but that's my (notso) humble opinion.:)
     
  13. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    No need to be sorry. I too have success with R-P brass in other calibers. Sunday before last I loaded up over 2000 .45 ACP, about 1/3 of which were Remington brass. I've also loaded many .38 Special with Remington.

    However, in the two "problem" calibers - .32 ACP and 10mm - the R-P brass was measurably thinner near the top of the case. The brass in the .32 ACP R-P cases was roughly half the thickness of the S&B. By the time they're resized, the inside diameter of R-P cases is 0.006" wider than the S&B cases.

    I found this not to be true with R-P .38 and .45 though - they loaded up fine.
     
  14. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Things to ponder

    That's what makes this hobby/obsession what it is. Fun and theropudic.:D Never is everything the same.:) Definately keeps your mind active...
     
  15. jbkf1003

    jbkf1003 Member

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    Hi Eddie,

    I'm now having the same problem with RP Brass in 38. Using a 4 die Lee Carbide set and lee press. Did you get any resolution. I'm thinking maybe it's my sizing die?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  16. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    Always when using the expander die, if you "feel" the expander not doing ANY expanding then you may very well have inadequate bullet tension in the case. It could lead to bullet set-back or bullets that move forward in revolvers and hang up the cylinder. Also, loose bullets can cause "blooper" loads and very erratic velocity and at worst lead to a bullet stuck in the barrel from low velocity. The primer going off can start the bullet making a much larger space for the powder to burn.
    The only problems I've had with RP brass is in .38 Special using very old cases that had thin walls. An undersized die by Lee solved the problem and allowed reloading the old cases. Also, very old .45 ACP RP brass can be thin. Again, if your expander plug is sized correctly and you feel no resistance when expanding then you may have problems.
     
  17. jbkf1003

    jbkf1003 Member

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    It only happens on RP brass everything else has been ok, I'm not sure how old the brass is, It's one of those I picked up a bag of 1000 for $30 or so. I'm not opposed to throwing all RP brass in the bag. All other cases I expand just fine.
     
  18. BullitHolz

    BullitHolz Member

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    I'm in a rush right now and even though I read through the other posts in this thread I didn't happen to note what brand of dies you were using. I suspect they are a LEE 4 die set based on what I have read so far and here's why....

    IME when using the Lee dies their sizer is usually a bit on the "loose" side as oppossed to other brands. Essentially the Lee dies don't size the case down as far as other brands do and as such you'll get the loose bullet fit in the case mouth problem with thin/soft brass like the R-P stuff. I think what Lee had intending to accomplish is to size the whole round when it goes into the factory crimp die during the final step in the process. Apparently they feel it's not necessary to swage the case down as far as the other die makers during the initial resizing operation. with most of the brands of brass that isn't a problem but with R-P and other thin walled cases it can be.

    I picked up on this from reading on other sites and decided to try an experiment by buying a set of RCBS dies for reloading my .357 cases. Well to say the least it was true, in my case anyway, as the RCBS sizer definately sizes the case down at lease 3-4 thousandths more than the Lee sizer does with the result being no more loose bullets in those thin brass cases.

    The most telling thing about all of this is that once the round is loaded you can actually see, in the brass itself, the ring where the base of the bullet stops when seated. What that means is that your going to have very good case neck tension on the bullets and that helps in the accuracy department too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  19. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    I have some old .38spl R-P brass that does the same thing. Since it's a revolver, and since I am loading wadcutters with a light load, I roll crimp and shoot them up.

    I get the sense that the R-P brass is thinner at the case mouth than it should be, but I've never measured it.

    I'd probably toss the brass if it was for an autoloader to avoid the worry about bullet set-back and powder compression.

    -J.
     
  20. BullitHolz

    BullitHolz Member

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    Also bear in mind that if you don't have good neck tension on the bullet they can move in the case under recoil. This can be a very bad thing as bullet setback in the case reduced the case volume and can increase pressure dramatically. It has always been my belief that some of the Glock KB's that occurred with reloads were because of this phenomenea....
     
  21. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    The Remington brass is a bit thinner than Winchester and most others. I prefer to use it when loading lead bullets because they seat easier and get less lead shaving and deformation. I really have never had any problem with Remington brass using jacketed bullets either and have several boxes of reloaded .38's, .357 mag, 9mm, .45acp and .41 mags to prove it.

    If you are getting bullet setback after crimping and are using a true jacketed bullet and not plated ones where the plating is thin enough to deform (Raniers and Berry's for example) then a little more crimp usually fixes the setback problem.
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Like Steve C just posted, Remington brass is thinner than most, but that does not mean it is bad, just thinner. You need a sizer that will size it down enough, that is all.

    An exaggerated crimp can ruin neck tension, but most reasonable crimps will not. No amount of crimp can make up for poor neck tension though. Crimp is one little spot whereas neck tension is a lot of area. A good roll crimp, and even a healthy taper crimp, can help bullet setback, but does not fix neck tension.
     
  23. D. Manley

    D. Manley Member

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    Put about as well as anyone could...should be in big, bold letters in every reloading manual.
     
  24. fastbike

    fastbike Member

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    I have no trouble w/ R-P brass in .45acp, .45LC, .223, 30-30. Lee dies.
     
  25. jbkf1003

    jbkf1003 Member

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