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Not Mixing Headstamps

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hondo 60, Jul 14, 2011.

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  1. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    I'm sure most of you have seen my "Reloader's Shame" thread.
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=603222

    I found I had 5 boxes of ammo on my reloading shelf.
    The thought of having to pull all 250 rounds was a downer.

    To back up a bit, I bought some 45acp ammo to have the brass.
    And I'm very anal about keeping the original brass together as much as possible.
    I use those plastic MTM ammo boxes to help.

    Well because I don't mix headstamps, I found that 98% of the reloaded ammo
    weighed within 1 grain of each other.

    So instead of having to pull all that ammo, I pulled anything that was 1.5 grains away from the average.

    Out of 5 boxes I only pulled about 10 rounds.
    None of them were double charged, infact, the ones I pulled all weighed less than average.

    And after pulling & weighing the charge they were all OK.
    So it looks like I only had one mistake.

    But that's all it takes!

    I also found a chip in my shooting glasses!

    So please my friends, be VERY, VERY careful!!!!!
    I pray that my shame is enough that this never happens again.
    AND that reading this helps someone else dbl check if they think they might have made a mistake.

    Stay safe!
     
  2. Gr8apmech

    Gr8apmech Member

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    Thanks for sharing Hondo. As a new reloader myself, I will definitely learn from this.
     
  3. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Try pushing the bullets into the case. You should not be able to move them by hand.
     
  4. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    nope, they don't move.
     
  5. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I would not consider weighing the completed rounds as a reliable way to tell if they are overcharged, especially in a pistol round where the charge is so light. Have you weighed the brass and bullets to see what the variance is? I bet if you stack those up, it is more than the weight of a powder charge.

    I think the key is just paying real attention when you need to. Right now I think this is one of the nice things about an auto indexing press; it should be pretty much impossible for one case to hit the powder station twice. I still look into each case as a visual sanity check as I place the bullet.

    When I charge manually, I look into each case to make sure the powder levels pass a visually sanity check when I am done charging a block of cases.

    Also, unless you are going for bullseye grade accuracy out of a match gun, there is no reason not to mix headstamps on pistol ammo. I wondered about this myself for a while, but have come to the conclusion that stock service type pistols are just not accurate enough for it to really matter much at all.
     
  6. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    ny32182:

    If you're looking for lightly or a bit heavily charged rounds, you're correct.
    Weighing each round is not going to give you enough accurate information, especially with mixed headstamps.

    But, by keeping headstamps separate it will help with no charge, or double charge.
    Atleast it helped me.

    I noticed that the Federal headstamps were about 10 grains heavier than the Fiocchi headstamps
    Now if I had mixed them, I would've had to pull all 5 boxes.

    I fired 100 of those Federals this morning & they did just fine.
    But I certainly wouldn't think twice if someone would've pulled all of them & started over.

    That's just me, of course YMMV
     
  7. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The only time I sort handgun brass by headstamp is when I'm going to use it for a special purpose, such as neck it down to another caliber. I only neck down Winchester and Federal .45 acp brass to .400 Cor-Bon because it's the thickest of the commercial brass, and is consistant. Some PMC brass is thicker in this caliber, but it may have been made in Boulder City, NV, or Korea, depending on when it was made. In 10mm, I only neck down Winchester brass to 9x25 Dillon, since I find it consistant in wall thickness in this caliber.

    For all other shooting from handguns, it's mixed brass. I like to check every case to ensure the powder charge, whether it's loaded on my progressive or one of my single stage presses.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  8. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Aside from my lapua 308 cases I have yet to see a batch of like headstamped brass that DIDN'T vary by at least 3grains in weight from high to low.

    Sometimes much much more than that. IME weighing loaded ammo tells you nothing


    Tapatalk post via IPhone.
     
  9. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I don't worry about matching headstamps, and everyone I met that does was desperate in trying to get better groups than someone else.
     
  10. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I found if I look at the powder level in every case before I set the bullet on then I can avoid a squib or double in every round mixed head stamp or not.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, and even with matching headstamps, weighing rounds is not 100% reliable.
     
  12. Tom609

    Tom609 Member

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    Yup, a quick glance here too. It leaves me much more confident of my reloads. i angle a gooseneck lamp overhead to shine as much light into the case as I can.
     
  13. gamestalker

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    If it were me, I would pull every single one. I load with nothing but the slowest burnng powders and still the variance in weight is often more than can be trusted. Now, if your using a rather fast burning powder with a rather light powder charge, you can be easily fooled by that variance in brass weight.
    I just tried weighing some .357 rounds the other day that were loaded with H110 because I was trying to separate 110 gr. XTP's from the 125 gr. XTP's that got mixed up when everything spilled out of the boxes in my ammo bag. That turned out to be impossible. I weigh every powder charge on my RCBS scale, so I know each case is quite precise in regard to the powder charge weight. Brass is wherer the big variance seems to be, even with same headstamped brass the weight difference can often be extreme, and as much or more than the powder charge. Some were easily identifiable, but many were absolutely impossible to call it on. If I had been searching for double charged cases I would have pulled every single one.
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    The old saying "You roll the dice --you take your chances". I always inspect for primer problems--for propellant charge accuracy--for bullet seating accuracy. No problems that have gotten by me yet. This is why I load on a single stage with the batch method. Hope that the run continues forever.:cool: Paying attention IS the most important tool in reloading ammo. YMMV:D
     
  15. mallc

    mallc Member

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    I have to agree

    I have to agree. I don't see much reason to:

    1. Segragate pistol brass by head stamp
    2. Clean primer pockets
    3. Crimp

    I don't batch charge when I hand load rounds. Pick, charge, check and seat one round at a time.

    Scott
     
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