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What am I seeing here? Cracked 38SPL cases

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Twmaster, Mar 21, 2013.

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  1. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    Went to the range last night. Shot some reloads in my S&W Model 10-8.

    After sorting and inspecting my brass today I found these two cases. Both have fractures almost completely around the circumference of the case.

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure these cases have been fired at least twice.

    Load data:

    148 grain Hornady hollow base wadcutters, Tula magnum SPP, 2,7 grains of Red-Dot. These are very mild shooting loads.

    I have previously found fired reloaded cases with similar fractures that may have been shot in this gun with other loads.

    So what am I seeing here? Tired brass? Too tight a crimp? Detonation?

    Thanks.
     
  2. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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    any idea on how many times they were possibly fired?
     
  3. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    No exact count.

    More info: All of the cases are Federal headstamped. I just dug through my junk brass bucket. The other brass with failures like this are also Federal.

    I guess this is just a lot of junk brass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  4. Match10

    Match10 Member

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    Was it shot in an old S&W Victory Model rechambered for .38 Special from .38 S&W?
     
  5. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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    If you have unloaded brass around the same age or can pull a few look for a ring "cut" around the inside of the case about a 1/3rd of the way up. Looks like a seperation starting. Not exactly something to mess around with. Ive never seen a pistol round do it, but anythings possible.

    Match 10 also poses a good question here.
     
  6. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    The pistol is a 1982 S&W 10-8 factory 38SPL.

    After comparing the other broken brass I'm leaning toward a batch of junk brass from Federal.
     
  7. Clippers

    Clippers Member

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    I don't think you can crimp it enough that it causes the case to crack. Federal usually really good brass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    ZActly!!

    These are once loaded Federal 9mm from my junque collection.

    [​IMG]

    Its bad brass, not bad guns.

    rc
     
  9. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    Thanks RC. That's my thinking after looking at the other cases. Just found two more bad Federal cases in my collection.
     
  10. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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    wow RC what year was that 9mm brass if you know. Thats some bad stuff.
     
  11. afponiky

    afponiky Member

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    Might be from when he was born!

    :evil:
     
  12. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    They were shooting metallic cartridges back then?

    :D
     
  13. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    When I see failure on what looks like relatively new brass I usually suspect that the failure was caused by exposure to ammonia. If you keep your brass near cleaners or solvents with ammonia does your wife cleans around the area with such cleaners like Windex, etc. the exposure can make the brass brittle and cracks will be the result. Since ammonia is gaseous it doesn't require direct contact to combine with the brass.
     
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    In 38/357 my federal and R-P brass always fails before the others. My winchester brass always lasts the longest.

    It seems the RP brass always cracks vertically, the Federal will crack however it chooses to, usually. Nothing set in stone there. Funy thing is, I prefer to reload the RP or Federal in 38 because the cases resize with less effort, the bullets seat with less effort, the primers seat with less effort, etc. Mainly because of thinner brass. They just dont last as long. Thats OK though, because in 38 special I have enough of it to last a lifetime and a half.
     
  15. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Can't a light load with a fast burning powder actually cause excessive pressure? I seem to recall reading that somewhere. 2.7gr Red Dot might be a little light. I load 3.2gr with a 158gr LSWC from MBC, data from Lee 2nd Ed.
     
  16. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    It does my heart good to wear brass plum out.

    38's last a long time though.
     
  17. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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    Just read article last night saying that ill see if i can find it for you guys. It was in reference to light charges of fast burning powders. ill be back in a few hopefully with the goods
     
  18. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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  19. hAkron

    hAkron Member

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    somethings is up. Notice how the cracks are around the circumference. Most case cracks I've seen generally follow the length of the case.
     
  20. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    It has been rumored to happen in big rifle cases, but it cannot and does not happen in pistol cartridges. Otherwise there would have been millions of blown up 38 specials, etc. Most every pistol caliber loaded with AA#2 or Bullseye or titegroup would be blown up.

    Its a myth. Those that claim that it happened to thier 38 or whatever handgun are not willing to admit that they accidently double charged a case. The fact is small charges in any case are harder to detect a double charge. People have egos that wont allow them to admit that they made a mistake.
     
  21. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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    ljnowell thats exactly how i feel. Im not even sure I believe it in a rifle case to be honest. Never tried it and probably never will. But I do agree with you it was a double charge and that would be nearly indetectable especially in a .30-06 or other fairly large long shell. I only supplied the link for the fella who mentioned it. I think it was someone who didnt want to admit a mistake due to pride or ego
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Those cracked .38 cases had nothing to do with 'detonation', double charges, over-size chambers, or anything else.

    It is simply bad brass.

    Here is my take on SEE, or Secondary Explosion Effect in over-bore rifle calibers.
    But, I DID NOT stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=6976324#post6976324

    Dang guys!
    Cut me some slack. :D

    It happened about 3-4 years ago as I recall.

    As near as I can remember, we did actually have metalic cartridges back then.
    Just not auto pistols or 9mm Luger. :confused:


    rc
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  23. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

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    RC thanks for the link. You really applied some thought to that. It makes sense actually as compares to the other theories out there. Learn something new everyday
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Hey!
    I didn't say it was true, or proven.

    I said I personally think it is true.
    And I could probably, maybe prove it, if I wanted to blow up a Magnum rifle bad enough..

    But lots of folks smarter then me think it isn't true, so who knows.

    Only the Shadow knows!

    rc
     
  25. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Strange, I don't think I've ever seen a 38 spcl. separate like that. I have Federal that has been loaded who knows how many times, and it's still going strong through my 10-5. I would certainly scrutinize my brass a bit more aggressively after encountering failures like that.
    I inspect the internals of my straight wall brass very carefully, as this is where the initial signs of a separation will appear 99.9% of the time.

    GS
     
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