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Chatter

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hdwhit, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. hdwhit
    • Contributing Member

    hdwhit Member

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    And I'm not talking about what you might hear on CB radio.

    I had recently to picked up some "previously fired" Federal 556 brass from someone who didn't care for Federal brass. I know the reasons people don't like Federal brass, but none of this brass had been decapped and the primers were still crimped so I didn't feel I could go too wrong. Maybe 10% of it looked like it had just come off the range, but most appeared to have been wet tumbled.

    I took it home, punched out the primers, removed the crimp, and lubed it up with some Hornady Unique to resize it. I use an after-market carbide expander assembly in my die, so I typically only lube inside the neck of every third case. I've used Unique for about 15,000 cases since I found out about it and my only problem with it has been learning not to use too much, but I got that resolved last summer.

    So, I put the first case in the shell holder and raise it into the sizer die and I start getting a loud staccato sound that I can only describe as a chatter. The last time I heard anything like it was when I was learning machine tools and someone was using a dull bit and no cutting fluid. I've never heard anything like it resizing brass cases. I quickly reversed course, added a little more lubricant to both the case body and the case mouth and finished resizing the case. I stopped, cleaned the die and inspected it to make sure something had not happened since the last time I had used it. Nothing seemed to be amiss.

    As I went through the rest of the cases, the chatter seemed to reappear at random; but only with the really clean cases. The ones that didn't look like they had been tumbled never chattered. Each time I got a chatter, I would add a little bit more lube and the chatter would go away. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

    Is it possible that the brass was tumbled in something that made the lube less effective? Or was it just so clean that the normal lubricity from the dirt and tarnish was simply not there? Or something I haven't thought of?
     
  2. higgite

    higgite Member

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    I’m thinking the problem is squeaky clean brass. I bought some 9mm “once” fired brass awhile back that had been wet tumbled to squeaky cleanliness. It looked new, inside and out. It stuck to my expander like a second skin until I ran it through my vibrating tumbler with some waxed up crushed walnut shell to lube it up a little bit.
     
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  3. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    I've been loading 223/5.56 for 38 years and I've never had anything like that happen.

    Of course, I've never had brass that was that clean and shiny before either. It was really pretty.
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Surface zinc depleted, is my guess. rcbs case lube 2 and a pad is my method of lubing.
     
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  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    We have a winner!

    Perfectly clean brass will stick much more readily than slightly dirty (ie walnut tumbled) brass.
     
  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Super clean brass requires a little more case lube. I normally stop before it starts to chatter, lower and add more lube. I use imperial sizing wax, but this can happen with any lube.
     
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  7. Dudedog

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Car wash and wax is you friend when wet tumbling.
    Wax in it helps.
     
  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Yup, clean brass = sticky brass... An old Salt engineer like you should have seen the "improved" surface adhesion coming! ;) Over 15yrs later, I forget which class it was, I assume one of the Engineering Physics classes, but a professor took two surface ground steel plates about 1/2" stock 5" x 10", cleaned with alcohol, pressed them hard together by driving his Electroglide up onto them and back off again, and the surface adhesion kept them together.

    I taught my wife how to reload about 6yrs ago, and was using only Ultrasonic at the time. When I pulled my Thumlers' out of storage about 3yrs ago and pressed it back into service, she actually thought something was wrong when she loaded the next batch because the brass WASN'T making noise, and the ram stroke felt different. When Ultra cleaning, and the minimal lubrication I use, it always makes a little bit of a "zipping" sound running into the die except for the lubed case itself, and use the sound as an indicator of my level of lube. I spray a part of the batch, then run one in when the zip becomes a squeak, long before it ever gets to "chatter" which is far more stalling in the stroke than I care for.
     
  9. murf

    murf Member

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    just ran 100 new 45 super cases (starline) through a steel 45acp sizing die after, first, running them through a carbide sizing die. the cases ran fine through the carbide die with a touch of baby oil on them. when i tried running these cases through the steel die, the cases started squealing.

    so i grabbed my bag balm (lanolin) and lubed the cases with that. no more squealing and all cases sized with no further problems.

    surface contact area between the smooth die and the smooth new cases probably more than doubled over the smooth die and used cases.

    luck,

    murf
     
  10. LoneGoose

    LoneGoose Member

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    [QUOTE="murf, post: 10728633, member: 134704"

    so i grabbed my bag balm (lanolin) and lubed the cases with that. no more squealing and all cases sized with no further problems.

    [/QUOTE]

    Wow, I knew most old-style case lubes are lanolin with alcohol. I never knew Bag Balm was lanolin. It'll be easy to make up some sprayable case lube. Learn something new every day here on THR!
     
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  11. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    Yes, I should have. No excuses. It was outside my experience and I didn't do my homework before just diving in. Hyatt Regency Kansas City all over again - although with nowhere near as much at stake.

    After all, that's why I pay for professional liability insurance, isn't it? o_O
     
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Yup! I even keep an LLC and a Holding Company for assets... Separation of Church and State, divestment of liability, and if nothing else, an occasional tax shelter...
     
  13. quest4perfection

    quest4perfection Member

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    Small base die? Assorted brass might benefit from running them all through a small base die that will reach the bottom of the case webbing - If you find that it is not a lubrication issue.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That would only make chatter worse in a "not enough lube" situation. Or just stick a case outright. Small base dies don't size any lower anyway.
     
  15. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    Nope.

    Regular old 1979 vintage RCBS full length die.

    Same die that has resized thousands of cases over the decades without any chatter and has since resized hundreds of cases I prepared in my normal way without any chatter.
     
  16. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    I've begun to wonder if it is possible to use "so little" Hornady Unique that a case would stick. Theoretically, the answer is, of course, yes, but as a practical matter - chatter from this ultra clean brass not withstanding - I still haven't been able to find it.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Squeaky clean brass and possibly a small amount of brass galling inside the die. Do your resized brass have light vertical scratches on them. If so get the galling out with some abrasive polish and a cotton shotgun mop of the appropriate size.
     
  18. Z1B

    Z1B Member

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    Be aware the Federal brass is way heavier than L/C GI brass. I loaded some of the Federal brass not even thinking I needed to work up loads if using that brass. A recipe used in the L/C GI brass was a bit hot in the Federal brass. What U had ordered was once fired GI brass and got Federals. I had a big match coming up and didn't have time to reorder. I should have just bought 500 rounds of Commercial.
     
  19. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I've also noticed that super clean brass can shoot different. It takes a really accurate rifle to notice it but my groups with SS tumbled brass will be a little bigger. It shows up on the chronograph too! Its not much, but when I looked at the targets and the chronograph tapes that were stapled to them there was a difference.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Did you judge that by one group each, or an aggregate? One group means very little.
     
  21. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    I've noticed that REALLY clean brass results in hard to seat primers so I don't clean my brass so sparkly and if I do, I lube the pockets with JUST a TOUCH of case lube to ease the exercise. A bare touch on a q-tip is plenty for 50-100 or more primer pockets.
    I know someone here is going to say I'm suggesting using a toothbrush full in each pocket. If that's what you want? Go for it. Otherwise, read what I've recommended above to ease hard to seat primers.
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Some folks talk about hard to prime cases, but I have never had an issue. Some folks say they scrap S&B cases because the primer pockets are tight and hard to seat primers in, but I have no problem with them. New brass, range brass, OF brass. I do hand prime everything, do you hand prime or prime on the press?
     
  23. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    All priming is done by hand. Mostly on one of the Lee hand tools
     
  24. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I agree. This was with several groups in more than one rifle. It was not very much and it takes a pretty accurate rifle to see it. I doubt it would be noticeable in an off the shelf sporter weight rifle. When I wet tumble my match ammo (not very often) I'll dip the case necks in graphite. I have not noticed any difference in seating bullets or primers in squeaky clean brass.