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Federal Ballisticlean Brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 10isnotenough, Sep 13, 2003.

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  1. 10isnotenough

    10isnotenough Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    I have some saved Ballisticlean brass that I was thinking of reloading. I am new to reloading. This Ballisticlean brass is for .38 special.

    I can't get the primer to go into the pocket. I am using CCI small pistol primers. I started looking at it and think that maybe it is crimped. How do you tell? It looks different than some winchester white box stuff I have. Id didn't think that commercial US made ammo was crimped. This is that non-toxic stuff.

    Other question is that the flash hole is really big. Probably due to lead free primers. Do you have to worry about using regular primers with these large flash holes?

    Since I can't get the primer seated it probably doesn't really matter about the flash hole. I'll probably just toss it, but I wanted to know more about how crimped pockets look in case I pick up some range brass.

  2. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

    Sep 3, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Sounds like they made the primer pocket a slightly differant shape and size so that someone wouldn't reload with the over-sized flash hole. The over-sized hole could lead to faster than normal ignition and raise pressures dangerously in the cartridge.

    My Israeli military surplus brass for .308 had pockets with straight walls that were just about impossible to prime until I chamfered them with a case reamer. After that they loaded normally.

    If they do turn out to have been crimped the same "machining" I did with my deburring tool may work for you, but I'd load with slightly slower burning powder than usual and start fairly low and be sure to watch for pressure signs. The .38 usually isn't too fussy and if you're shooting from a .357 revolver your biggest problem with an over-pressure could be just getting the case out of the cylinder, which is better than a ka-boom.
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 19, 2002
    Chino Valley, AZ., USA
    I wouldn't reload em.

  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    There is an article about .45 ACP Federal NT in the new American Handgunner. It uses small primers, too. Apparently they are only making one size of "unleaded" primer. This is not going to make them any friends among us .45 reloaders.

    C. Petty says the primer is crimped in and the flash hole large because the lead free priming compound gives a faster pressure rise than styphnate. The large flashhole reduces the pressure buildup in the primer pocket and the crimp keeps the primer from backing out when it does anyway.

    He reamed the crimp and reloaded some with standard primers. They shot ok but the velocity was substantially lower than for a standard case with LP primer.

    Winchester says THEIR Win-Clean brass with large flash holes reloads normally.

    I would not worry about it in .38, but then I load standard pressure ammo and shoot most of it in Magnum guns. .38 brass is cheap enough you might do better to trash it than to fool with reaming the crimp out.

    You can learn what a crimped primer pocket looks like by studying military ammo or brass, preferably under a magnifying glass.
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