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S&B 9mm RangeSafe (Steel Case)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Trent, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    So I've been reloading S&B 9mm off and on for a few years.

    I had some of that FACTORY ammo (not handloads) out this last weekend shooting a qualifier course, and the rounds weren't cycling the action of my Taurus PT92 fully; was annoying as SOME of the time I was shooting single-action, and some of the time I was shooting double-action. Fortunately I'd been practicing a lot, recently, with double action, and was holding a good group. I think whatever powder they used in the factory ammo was heat sensitive, as the S&B tends to shoot pretty weak when it's cold out.

    I got to reading the box later while waiting for another group to shoot, and notice that the S&B is steel cased.

    I'd been shooting the ammo (and reloading some of it) for several years and never even noticed. ?!!!

    This made me raise my eyebrows as I've reloaded quite a bit of this ammo in the past. Aside from S&B ammo squeeking (audibly) when running it through a carbide sizer, and the primer pockets being pretty dang tight, I never had any issues with it going bang or shooting well.

    Should I segregate this steel cased S&B out from the rest of my 9mm, or just keep loading and shooting it?
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I'd keep it seperate but load it/shoot it. Very lightly lube it with like One Shot prior to sizing though.. who like squeeks!? A big Harbor Freight magnet makes short work of sorting and even picking up piles of steel (put some twine on the eyebolt and drag it).
     
  3. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I think I'll separate it out, like you suggested. That way I can more carefully hand prime them. The Dillon will occasionally crush primers when it runs an S&B through (which I now understand WHY, given they are steel cased). Hasn't detonated one yet, but it's just a matter of time...
     
  4. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Also, they're not especially hard to sort by hand if they haven't been decapped, the base is slathered with bright red sealant, really makes them stand out.
     
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Yeabut there's nothing easier than the old honking magnet trick.. it's fun, too!
     
  6. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Haha, true. :)

    I should get one one of those to pull my 45 steel cases out of the bin anyway. I have a ton of copper washed steel cases from the 40's mixed in with the rest of my stuff. I bought a couple sealed tins of WWII era 45 ammo years ago and shot it all, but didn't realize that a lot of it was brass washed steel cases.

    Guess they were making war materials out of whatever materials were available at the time.

    Aside from the occasional split necks or loose bullet fit from thin cases, never had much of any problem reloading that WWII stuff.

    I didn't even realize it WAS steel until a different thread on here last year was talking about it. :)
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I use a big magnet to check all 9MM brass. I toss the brass washed steel cases.
     
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    Walkalong,

    What really surprised me here is I've been shooting that S&B rangesafe crap (yes, it's crap ammo) since 2006 and never KNEW it was steel cased.

    With the ammo getting dirtier and shooting less potently, I'm almost wondering if they used those same types of primers that Fiocci used in their 5.7 ammo. That crap had a shelf life of 7-10 years, after which it was pretty useless.

    There's a LOT of unburnt powder in that Taurus PT92 barrel and the gun is filthy. I'm thinking it wasn't the cold affecting the powder, I'm starting to think it was the PRIMERS not firing full strength.

    This ammo was approx 7 years old from the time I bought it, imported not too long before that. So maybe 8 years old max?

    If it was using the unstable (degrading) primers they'd be reaching the end of their shelf life.
     
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    There have been both steel and brass S&B casings show up lately around here. That said in the past I have reloaded steel cases (usually Wolf/Tula) on purpose to see if they will fail faster or not as an experiment. The surface will wear off eventually and then they will rust if not kept in an airtight container. Otherwise the steel has reloaded the same as brass to me as long as it is boxer primed. FWIW 9MM brass is so plentiful I just recycle the steel stuff these days but know it can be done if it is ever needed.
     
  10. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I have been loading TW 5 steel 45 cases for years, have yet to wear one out. They are zinc plated and load as good as brass. I have tried a few Wolf steel cases but have not loaded them enough times to pass judgement.
     
  11. jbauch357

    jbauch357 Member

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    9mm S&B range safe is junk, even in their brass cased offerings - I've had cycling and failure to fire issues with it in 3 different pistols.
     
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