Dented Brass. Can I use it?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GrandpaD, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. GrandpaD

    GrandpaD Member

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    I bought a bag of 30-30 range brass that has 25 pieces that have dents in the area of the neck.
    Some have several dents and others have one small dent.
    Can these pieces of brass still be reloaded?
    If so will they straighten out when fired?

    This is new to me so I'm asking the Pros.
    30-30 brass is like gold right now and I don't want to discard it if I can use it.
     
  2. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

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    Maybe some pictures to help us make a decision. Probably OK, but I’d be afraid to say for sure without seeing it.
     
  3. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    Sounds like lube dents. They will iron out with firing.
     
  4. whughett

    whughett Member

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    If your working up loads I d start with several at the minimum charge. Lube or other small dents will iron out. If you have an established load drop back to the starting.
     
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  5. jebova2301

    jebova2301 Member

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  6. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    I would reload every single case in that reddit thread as long as no material was removed from the case and no cracks have formed.

    I've been reloading brass like that for years and it looks like regular fired brass when it leaves the gun.
     
  7. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    As long as the brass has no cracks or holes and as long as it can be resized and will chamber in the gun it can be used.

    There is a proviso. You don't know how many times range brass has been reloaded and you don't know if there is dirt or an insect nest in it. You should run a bent wire (a paperclip works) down the inside of the case to feel for an irregularity that could indicate an incipient head separation and to dislodge any dirt, etc.
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    How to check for signs of incipient case head separation.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/incipient-case-head-separation.734058/
     
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  9. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Case head separation occurs when the shoulders of a bottle neck cartridge that head spaces on the shoulders have been pushed back. 30/30 cartridges head space on the rim. While it’s a good idea to be aware of case head separation and how to test for it I never hear of it occurring in rimmed cartridges. But I’m guessing a really sloppy lever action receiver could contribute to it.
     
  10. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Welcome to THR!
    Pictures would help but in general brass dents that don’t iron out from resizing will iron out from firing. Keep in mind depending on the dent it could reduce internal case volume. Reload away. Good luck.
     
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  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you use an expander and it can enter the neck, it should iron out dents in that area.
     
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  12. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Head separation can occur in any cartridge with a shoulder; how the SAAMI drawing defines headspace (shoulder or rim) is irrelevant.

    Excessively pushing the shoulder back on a .30/30 or .375 H&H will lead to head separations as surely as any other cartridge. You still need to measure shoulder position, and check for incipient thinning.
     
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  13. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Thanks, my understanding all these years was that it occurred when a case that head spaced on its shoulder sat too far forward off the breech face. On firing the thinner shoulder area expanded locking the case against the chamber walls. Pressure could then push the case rearward until stopped by the bolt face. Brass at those pressures becomes plastic and the thicker walls at the rear of the case would literally flow forward. The separation starts at the web. Its also why neck thickness needs to be checked and
    possible trimmed on some rounds.
    Cases that headspace on their rims would not normally do this as the case dose t move rearward being trapped between the bolt face and the chamber recess. Of course a sloppy bolt lock up could also move rearward.
     
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  14. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    @whughett, your understanding of the mechanism is exactly right, but the rim (or belt) partially constraining forward movement of the brass doesn't completely eliminate stretching of the case if it's been oversized. It might reduce how much occurs each cycle, but not to zero. The brass can still move forward at least a bit (frequently far more than "a bit") and subsequently stretch.
     
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  15. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Resize them, then decide.
     
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  16. GrandpaD

    GrandpaD Member

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    These are small dents. They were in the range brass when I got it.
    I went ahead and annealed all of the brass, not knowing how many times they had been loaded before I got it.
    Using Trail Boss and shooting light target loads.
    There are no cracks and spent primers showed nothing to be alarmed about.
    I will go ahead and give them a try.
    Thanks for your info. It is always very valuable to me.
     
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  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    My limit is if there are sharp folds that will produce a weak spot. Like a completely flattened neck/mouth. Those ate toast. Likewise if there is a gouge in the brass. That will be a weak spot. An inwards dent will blow out in 99% of cases with no damage.
     
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