Marlin Firearms Forum banner

61 - 80 of 96 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I'm am a relative newcomer to reloading, only starting in August 2012. However, I am anal-retentive about inspecting brass to avoid nasty surprises. Being a scientist (PhD in Organic Chemistry) I have a detail oriented approach to everything I do which has naturally been applied to my reloading. My 3 step brass cleaning procedure (1. tumble walnut, 2. tumble corncob, and 3. ultrasonic bath cleaning) forces me to inspect every casing at least 3 times which has caught every crack, split, and unsightly bulge before the brass ever makes it to my single stage press (plus the brass looks brand new). I have had a couple of cases split during resizing, so you have to be cautious even then. I keep good notes in an Excel workbook on my reloading trials and they have proved invaluable in avoiding repeat mistakes (or even less critical problems, for example I separate 32 ACP brass manufacturers into 3 categories based on brass thickness, the optimum bullet diameter is different for each category, and I have bullet resizing dies to tailor the bullet to each category of casing to give the perfect neck tension). The results of this meticulous approach is 100% chambering and 100% firing for every round I have handloaded so far. That does not mean I have not broken down bad rounds for a number of reasons (like buckled casings during crimping, remember I am a newbie), just that by the time the rounds pass my inspection and make it to a box they are reliable and work flawlessly. I prefer using powder scoops for charge to charge consistency. So, I make my own custom powder scoops using aluminum 25/32/380 casings with a straightened large paperclip wrapped around the base and trimmed down to hold various oddball volumes that I commonly use (like 0.47 cc). All of these things together assure good safe results (the most embarassing thing I have done so far is forget to put a primer in and have the powder dump all over the place through the primer hole). Perhaps it is misplaced confidence, but today I have "more" confidence in my reloads than I do in factory ammunition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Marshal,

What do you use as a cleaning solution in your Ultrasonic?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
@MBDiagMan,

I go simple. I use several squirts of regular diashwashing liquid (whatever the wife has bought) in warm water plus a squirt of 3M Tarni-Shield Copper/Brass Polish if I want it to really shine (only place I have been able to find this great but slightly smelly polish is here: http://www.handyacehardware.com/product-detail.aspx?pid=193954 ). After buzzing the casings for 5-10 minutes, I wipe out the inside of each case with a giant quetip made from a cotton ball and a bamboo skewer before rinsing with warm water. So, I have literally touched and inspected every casing individually during this cleaning step. I lay out all the clean casings on papertowels to dry overnight before putting them into ziplock bags for storage. If I am in a hurry to get them dry, I have been known to dry the inside and outside of every casing with a papertowel. Because I deprime and resize after tumbling, the primer pockets are cleaned during the ultrasonic bath step. The results are like new brass both inside and out. Hope that information helps.

Marshall
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Thanks Marshall!

I bought a tumbler when I did a lot of pistol shooting and was reloading lots of .45 ACP. Tumbling was adequate because it cleaned out the inside of the open mouth cases and you can see in them well for inspection. I have started back on rifle reloading and ordered an Ultrasonic this past weekend. I'm trying to come up with a good process for tumbling and ultrasonic cleaning to try to get a better process for case inspection. With rifle cases, I've always deprimed and resized before doing much of anything else. A hard habit to break. I would think that a deprimed case would be better cleaned in the tumbler and ultrasonic alike.

Your link to the brass polish didn't work. I will go to the URL and search for it. Edit: I found the polish.

Thanks for your response.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I was surprised that my link didn't work. However, a quick check on Google showed that the hardware store I had ordered the polish from was completely destroyed by a fire last December. I guess its a good thing that I ordered a case of 6 bottles last November. Its not cheap stuff, but I have not found anything that works as well in the ultrasonic bath.

MBDiagMan if you find another place that sells this polish, please let me know. I am already beginning to suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
664 Posts
Marshall,

From my google results, it appears that you can get it at Sears and Wal Mart.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,782 Posts
I guess I must be getting old or something because I am having a hard time comprehending how anyone could let some of that stuff slip through the process and out onto the range. I'm either too anal or too much of a perfectionist to ever even imagine allowing any of my reloading work to turn-out like some of that you've offered up as examples PJ. Thanks for sharing. It blows my mind .... pardon the pun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Measuring your cases is also critical especially if they headspace on the case mouth. Every reloader should own a caliper, I also like to weigh the cartridges when I'm done to see if there's any discrepancies. That might be going a little overboard, but I once found a 22lr case in a loaded 357 round. I have no idea how that happened but weighing the bullet saved my butt and I've been doing it ever since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,379 Posts
Measuring your cases is also critical especially if they headspace on the case mouth. Every reloader should own a caliper, I also like to weigh the cartridges when I'm done to see if there's any discrepancies. That might be going a little overboard, but I once found a 22lr case in a loaded 357 round. I have no idea how that happened but weighing the bullet saved my butt and I've been doing it ever since.
9mm cases like to hide in 40 S&W brass too!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,026 Posts
Discussion Starter #70
I'm trying to figure out how you can deprime a piece of brass with a 22 casing in there!

You say it was in a loaded round?

That's just plain weird.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
Well, now, here's a "fun" one.

Thanks to the fine folks at Marlin Owners I've been paying extra care with case inspection.

I loaded up a batch of Speer 130 grain Hot-Cor in 30-30 today to try out before deer season here in Missouri.

I was doing a final cartridge inspection when I was all done and found this dandy. This was not caught on my case inspection, it was caught after the cartridge had been assembled. :(

The black line is deep enough to catch my fingernail by a good bit. Not sure what the end result of firing this thing would be but I'd guess it would split all the way up to the mouth and probably back past the shoulder and make for a hard extraction. It's in the junk pile now and I will be reclaiming the bullet.

I am *so* glad to be here and have been able to pick up some great knowledge here from you folks. If I hadn't, this piece of garbage would be getting cycled through my 336 this week...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
cthulhufan, I was helping a friend sight in a 1972 30-30 his grandfather gave him with some reloads that came with the gun.
After we were done, I was going to reload the brass for him and found 50% of them looked JUST LIKE THAT. Scarey......

BTW, I have some of those Speer bullets but could not get them to group worth a hoot. What powder and charge are you using?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
769 Posts
If you do not know how to anneal brass you will get a lot of this. Brass is the opposite of steel. When you heat it t gets softer. If you stretch it (fire it) it gets harder. Case neck splits are from very hard brass that won't stretch anymore. Some guys anneal every time they reload a round. I anneal after 3 times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
GJinNY, I have yet to test the 130s since I'm having amazing luck with the 170gr deep curl out of my SUPER picky remlin 336. However, my first batch of 130s in the test queue are:
Brass: R-P
Bullet: 130 grain Speer Hot Cor
Powder: 34.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget
Primer: CCI 200 LR
COAL: 2.540"

When the weather gets warmer I'm going to group and chrono them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M and GJinNY

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
QA Job One in reloading

There is no question that Quality Assurance is job one in reloading, the most common errors are getting in too big a hurry and skipping inspection steps and taking too much for granted. Quality results are contingent upon quality processes. Focus and eliminating distractions pay big dividends. Be safe out there.
Hi PJ, Great write up , thanks for posting,. Every now and then we all need a reminder of what we are doing and what a small distraction or a minor miss can do. These guys were lucky. I have sometimes but very rarely miss puting powder in a case, and I "DO" a manual inspection of every case under a light. Shadows on the inside of the case can look like powder. So even a cursary glance along 50 cases in a block can miss some powder. I have the same as you only had to use a cleaning rod down the barrel to remove the bullet
Again great post.
Moofy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,026 Posts
Discussion Starter #77
If you stop to check each cartridge, how the heck can you crank out 600 rounds an hour with that new Dillon press and one up some other Dude ?
Thank you for making my point.................again.

Even with a progressive press, it is not that hard to inspect your brass as it comes out of the tumbler. Mine comes out of the barrel into a Dillon separator, then gets dumped into a beer flat. If there's a split case in there you can hear it, and shaking the rounds in the box under good light will make any flaws readily apparent.

Bottlenecked rounds with shoulder splits are the hardest to see, but that explains why I tumble my brass until it gleams........even a tiny black line on a glowing brass case is obvious under good light. I just finished tumbling a batch of around 600 45 ACP cases today, I pour in the brass, then fill the barrel to the top with media and seal it up. This batch had been tumbling for about a week, and they came out nice and clean, though not very shiny. If the tumbling motion is too violent or you leave them in too long, the nickle-plate will be rubbed off, but if there is very little airspace (hence less movement) in the barrel you can tumble brass for as long as you feel like letting it go.

My honey finds the sounds of the tumbler very relaxing, so I try to keep it full and working.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin.M

·
Registered
Joined
·
628 Posts
Really this is a thread about things that very often go wrong when reloading. When ever shootin at the local ranges if there is a bit of brass no one claims near by I take it home. I be danged but recently found fired brass on the range that suffer from most of the problems discussed here. Saw some brass that looked like they where near to letting go. Flatten primers with firing pin scrapes, badly swollen bases and neck splits. A lot of the range pickups get trashed along with my brass with any of the discussed problems. Since all my shootin is with guns that are not stiff bolt rifles I am pretty careful about brass condition. My sixguns and levers can be hot rodded a bit but, brass loss and gun wear seem to increase. Since most times the target is just a bit of paper figured why would I need to load like the target was a moose. Now I load light half jackets and lead slugs with conservative careful charges and my groups have improved and the trash see less of my brass. The pictures here are by all are great and I am glad safety is a active topic here, some reloading sites been to over time do not seem to be has concerned about such topics in that for all need constant re-enforcement for the thick headed like me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
I was reading threw this thread and thought that I had remembered loading some Hornady 30-30 brass so I went and checked it out. I only had about 20 rds and they were not LE, on about half of them I found this indentation shown in the pics, it does not appear to be a crack but definitely a small flaw in the case. These cases have only been reloaded once. I also found some FC cases with a similar mark in the same place on the case but a bit smaller. I don't think this defect was caused by sizing the brass, I checked several hundred rounds and it seems to be brand specific. In the past I wouldn't have been as concerned, but after seeing what happens when a case lets go, I might want to tighten my standards a bit. I am sure some of you guys have experienced this before - Would you shoot these rounds and continue to reload these cases
ammo.jpg ammo1.jpg
 
61 - 80 of 96 Posts
Top