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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just found/ and saw my first split case. I guess the scary part is it made it to my tumbler without me seeing it. It did not make it to sizing, my first loading step. Its also a range find case and its a Winchester, my least favorite case, and not anything that I loaded or fired as Ive only bought RP`s. Think this is a sign of too many times loaded or a poor powder load?
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Could have been caused by a few things... Many times loaded, constant working of the metal causes brittleness. Over loaded. Chamber oversize from wear. Wrong diameter bullet... You'll never know...

This is a perfect tool for you though... Take a handful of good cases and hold them in both hands and shake them... Listen to the sound... Then add the split case to your hands and do the same thing... You should hear an off key clinking sound... Now you can clear your future brass the same way before you dump it into the tumbler...
 

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The split cases are easy to miss. Don't beat yourself up over it. Scorpius' suggestion is a good one. Learn to hear the sound of a split case.

If you reload and shoot enough, you will find many such split cases. Just weed them out and throw them away. Handgun cases are so common and inexpensive that I wouldn't bother trying to anneal them.

I use a progressive reloader, and I have had split cases run all the way through it. But split cases will not seat or crimp the bullet appropriately. At the end of each 100 cartridges, I stack them into a factory ammo loading block. This gives me another chance to check every cartridge before they go into the magazine. I handle the cartridges and also get to examine the primers as well make sure that all cartridges are the same length (height) in the loading block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, thank you for that lesson. I`m gonna try that right now. Maybe its a good thing I came across that now and learned this. I`ll be doing this test the next batch I get that is going to the tumbler for sure. :top:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All great info, thanks to everyone. I learn something every day on here. Just finished loading my first box with the new Everglade bullets I got. Gonna try them this weekend. Mixed brass, some my once fired RP and some range brass I picked up. I really check this stuff out good while reloading, and using the single press plenty of chances to inspect. The pistol brass seems kinda crude compared to my 30-30 rifle cases. Each headstamp feeling different while priming, 1 fiocchi I just gave up on and threw in the scrap bucket, tried twice to get a primer in it.

Ive yet to see a rifle case split, guess someday I will. First ever case though to see with a split. Kinda of a big moment for me, and I learned a bunch about it.
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hikayaker nailed it....’listen to your brass’ i always do this and catch them all by ear. same with 9mm, 38 spec, etc....easy....listen for the “off pitch” sound and you will clear out the cracked.

bob
 

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My primary pistol caliber is 45ACP, and it's a rare thing to find split cases, though they do wear out eventually. The rule of thumb, which is nothing but common sense, is that the harder you push your loads, the sooner the brass will wear out. In the case you cited, it could have been a bad piece of brass (which is rare, but it happens) but I'm betting someone used it for max loads one time too many, and that's what you get when you try to make a round do something it wasn't designed for. The 45ACP operates at a Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) of 21,000 PSI, while +P loads can go as high as 23,000. In modern terms that isn't very high, but bear in mind we're talking about a cartridge that was designed in 1904.

It's good that you found that one early, and now that you know about the "bell test" as I call it, a split case will likely never escape detection ever again. I dump my brass out of the tumbler into a Dillon media separator and if there's a split case in there I know it instantly. Visual inspection is also a valuable tool, and something I do at several points in the reloading cycle, but especially when repriming.

Surprises can be a good thing, but not when you're dealing with fire, pressure, shrapnel and such. :bandit:

 
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I simply don't use what you referred to as a "range find case." Nope.

My 45 cases, and I shoot a lot of 'em, are from either cases I bought new, or from factory ammo I fired. In my guns. I have one 45 1911 with 85,000+ rounds through it. I trust my handloads, and I trust decent quality factory ammo. Not ALL factory ammo. The 45 ACP is a low pressure cartridge, and responds very well to factory level loads.

Regards, Guy
 
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