Impending case head separation?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BOISE BADWOLF, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    These bulge rings are showing up on my .44 magnum case's lately. Looking at impending doom? Time to toss them right?. Im relatively new to reloading, but not to new, about 4 years or so but have yet to toss out any brass. Are these just wearing out and reached the end of usability, or am i doin something wrong to be causing this? It has started showing up a lot lately. These cases have probably been loaded 3 to 5 times give or take, but probably more towards 5 or so. Picture of primers for reference. 20211123_020133.jpg 20211123_020029.jpg 16376602205737921502476149003700.jpg View attachment 1039721 View attachment 1039722
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  2. BBarn

    BBarn Member

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    May just be marks from where the sizing stops with your die and set-up. Bend the very tip of a paper clip 90 degrees, sharpen the tip, and run the clip tip inside the case in that area of the cases. A groove ring will generally develop on the inside of the case in the area before head separation occurs. If that area feels smooth, all is likely well. If the clip tip catches in what feels like a groove, they should be tossed.
     
  3. Hooda Thunkit

    Hooda Thunkit Member

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    I gotta say, I have never experienced case head separation on a straight wall handgun cartridge. I've had them split along the axis, but have never had the case separate.

    I agree with @BBarn , I think readjusting the dies may be in order.
     
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  4. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    I just did the check and dont feel any catching anything, feels smooth. So I guess I need to make an adjustment.
     
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  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Straightwall cases generally shrink (not grow) in length, and don't separate. Check with a bent paperclip, just so you'll build good habits.

    That line is the horizon where the brass head is so thick it doesn't expand on firing, therefor doesn't touch the sizing die. You could know that if you'd measure it.
     
  6. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    I too have had a split but never case head separation. I guess time to adjust some things
     
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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Looks like expansion to fill the chamber, not unusual
     
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  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    If you have a generous chamber... as all my .45 Colt rifles seem to... that is not an uncommon sight.
     
  9. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    That's a bulge from not going into the sizing die far enough.If you're using a die set that is made for 44 Mag and 44 Special,there's a washer you're supposed to put under your dies when you load the magnum rounds and take out to load 44 Special without having to adjust your die.Don't use the spacer for the sizing die so the case goes in far enough to get rid of that bulge.
     
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  10. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    I am using lee 4 die set for 44 mag and 44 special using a lee 4 hole turret press. I have two separate (same) die sets set up so I dont have to adjust for mags or special. I have not heard of this spacer before.Do you know where to get them?
     
  11. Shooterbob

    Shooterbob Member

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    Don’t need the spacer with lee dies adjust according to lee instructions
     
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  12. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I was getting that on my 30.06 brass. Inside of the casings are fine. I load my 44 mag with Lee dies. They have not created a ring. I shoot a Ruger SBH and a CVA hunter in 44 mag.
     
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  13. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Normal chamber fill .... You good to go...
     
  14. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Take the worst looking one & slice it in two laterally. For the cost of a single case, you can be sure.
     
  15. Jackiesman

    Jackiesman Member

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    Same here.
     
  16. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    Load em until the primers won’t stay in or they crack! God I love strait walled rimmed cartridges
     
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  17. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Unless there is a groove on the inside of the case about where the bulge is, it's not an impending case head separation. Furthermore, a case head separation in a straight wall cartridge that has a pressure like the 44 Remington Magnum is very unlikely.

    On the other hand, I have had impending case head separations in 460 Smith and Wesson Magnum cases but that cartridge produces a much higher pressure than the 44 Mag if loaded to maximum pressures for that cartridge..
     
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  18. dartor

    dartor Member

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    Not sure how hot you load your 44mag cases. I have cases I stopped counting times fired at 20 firings. I cast my bullets and load in the mid to upper range but no where close to maximum charges. I shoot 'em till the mouth splits and I haven't seen many of those. I say you are probably good to go.
     
  19. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    Thought of that too. Think I will
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    You got a lot of good advice already. Like said, load then until the case mouth splits or the primer pockets get so loose the primer falls out.

    I know it's not the 44 Magnum but I do have .357 Magnum cases I have been reloading for about 15 years and still going strong. I don't load them light either, I shoot .38 Special ammo when I want light.

    Enjoy, be safe...
     
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  21. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    I'm the same with the .44, if I want it light I'll shoot the specials. Although i have never loaded over max recommended for the .44 magnum rounds. I try to stay a little under. I think the hottest is 20g of A#9 under a 240 grain xtp, or maybe 23g A#9 pushing a 180 grain xtp (those are moven 2000fps+ outa the Henry) but still a grain under max. I feel better hearing from everyone for sure.
     
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  22. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    Id like to thank you folks for all the advice. I feel better about them cases now, and y'all saved me from wasting some good brass. Thanks again
     
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  23. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I'm guessing you are using carbide dies. Since carbide is brittle, most carbide rings in dies do not reach all the way to the shell plate to prevent being cracked or chipped. Thus you end up with a slight bulge when the sizing stops above the rim....just like your picture shows. Case head separation is due to stretching of the case, not bulging. There is sometimes a ring, but it is generally a shiny spot on the case. Unlike others, I have has several case head separations with straight walled handgun cartridges in my .460 revolver when using upper end loads. Separation is slightly higher on the case than where your rings are.
     
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  24. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    When you paper clip check them I bet you find that the swell is at the end of the case head. Pistol brass, shoot it til it splits. It will split lengthwise.
     
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  25. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Just an expansion ring.

    Incipient case head separation occurs in BOTTLE NECK CASES.
    IT is caused by the shoulder being excessively pushed back upon resizing and then being blown forward during firing. Repeated excessive sizing results in case “growing” in length and the metal stretching above the head area.
    Practically never happens with straight wall cases.

    Those.44mag cases will crack in the neck area between the 30th and 110th loading, in my experience...
    I’ve got some .22Hornet and .303Brit cases with incipient case failure rings I’ll photograph later... It’s cold in the basement this morning...
    Some of the Hornet brass was new in 1977 when I bought my first Hornet.... still using it!
     
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