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Old August 21, 2000, 03:37 PM   #1
jthuang
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Brass was from 3D remanufactured rounds (I should have known, eh?), loaded three times by me. Load is 4.8-4.9 grains of Winchester 231 under a 125 grain Star JHP bullet, Remington small pistol primers. These cases did not show any other overpressure signs (primers not flat, no flowback, etc.).

Revolver was S&W M342 AirLite Ti. Gun does not seem visibly damaged. Although I would appreciate any input from experts as to potential damage to the gun.

Just thought I'd share. I also had my first squib load last year, during an IDPA match. I was lucky that I heard the primer pop and stopped shooting before I put another round through the barrel.

Justin

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late of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania


[This message has been edited by jthuang (edited August 21, 2000).]
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Old August 21, 2000, 08:02 PM   #2
griz
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I'll second what xxero said. One thing to add, if you look carefully at mouth of the case on the right, you will see a split. I usually pitch them when I see that. Those splits (at the mouth) are from belling and crimping, not high pressure.
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Old August 21, 2000, 09:58 PM   #3
Mike Irwin
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I'm into the dozens, if not hundreds, of .38, .357, and .32 Long cases which have done the exact same thing.

It's normal, and a sign that the case is simply worn out.

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Old August 22, 2000, 12:01 PM   #4
Southla1
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FWIW it is possible to anneal pistol cases also and this will eiminate the kinds of splits shown. It's difficult to do it due to the proximity of the area of the splits to the case head which should never be annealed. Do what this old Cajun does when that starts happening " Mais me I jus chunk em in the bayou chere" Pistol brass is too plentiful to worry about trying to stretch the life on.

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Old August 22, 2000, 12:44 PM   #5
jthuang
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Thanks, guys. I thought I almost blew up my gun. I ended up pulling the remaining cartridges in that lot of 100 (there were only 20 rounds left, not a big deal), firing out the primers and trashing the brass. Now I know for next time.

One question though -- do you load your autoloader cartridges until they split as well?

Justin

[This message has been edited by jthuang (edited August 22, 2000).]
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Old August 22, 2000, 01:15 PM   #6
Hutch
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Autoloader cases NEVER split. You lose 'em first! Seriously, I don't know anybody who has issues w/ serious case failure in repeating handguns that are not traced back to horrendous overcharging. In these instances, a brand new case would have failed as well. Ya generally lose 'em in the weeds before anything bad happens. Plus, if you scrounge brass the way I do, almost all of it is of uncertain origin, anyway. When you see brass advertised as "once-fired", all you can be really certain of is that it's "AT LEAST once fired". Best...
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Old August 22, 2000, 06:07 PM   #7
WESHOOT2
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Cases are relatively cheap, while most of our guns are fairly expensive.

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Old August 22, 2000, 11:24 PM   #8
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I concur that the gun is likely okay, and that it was the cases wearing out. However, since I started inspecting cases closely after re-sizing, this kind of failure has not happened after firing. I dispose of any cracked cases, even if there is only a small crack at the case mouth since belling and loading a bullet will surely make it worse. I get maybe 2 or 3 failures for every 100 reloaded rounds.

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Old August 23, 2000, 12:36 PM   #9
Patrick Graham
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This is very typical of 38 brass.
Sometimes you can catch this before it happens by looking at the case neck, if it looks ratty don't load it again.

Nickle brass truly doesn't last as long as regular brass.. having said that, I love nickle brass because it's slick in dirty chambers. I can live with short case life.

357 mag brass has a similar problem.

Sometimes you can split the case in the reloading process by adding more flair to the case before the seating process. If it's going to split it may do it at this point.
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Old August 23, 2000, 03:42 PM   #10
Paul B.
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This does not always happen with old brass that has been reloaded a few times. I bought 10 boxes of factory match grade ammo(not nickel plated type)with wadcutters. One firing, no sign of any problem. At the first reload, I got a 20 percent plus case split rate, exactly as shown in the pictures. Remember, this was on the first reload after firing the factory ammo. Reloads were mild target grade wadcutters at the same velocity as the factory stuff. Needless to say, I will not buy that brand of ammo again. (It comes from one of the top 3 ammo makers.)
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Old August 23, 2000, 07:27 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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I've had a few .38 Spl cases split; no problem during the firing; just tossed the cases.

I've had more splits with .45ACP brass. Back in my IPSC daze, I was shooting several hundred rounds a week. While I always inspect the brass before reloading, an occasional split case got through. If it held the bullet in place, I just loaded it as the first round in the chamber and shot it during practice.

With relatively light loads, it's no danger to the gun or the shooter, based on my own experiences.

I'm always extra careful on the hot-load brass, like the .357 or 44 Maggies--different deal, entirely.

FWIW, Art
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Old August 24, 2000, 01:04 AM   #12
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The effect on accuracy of even a small mouth split is severe. I clean/wash the brass and ditch any with a hint of a split as through the reloading process it can only get worse. Slack chambers and higher loads can cause failure in only a few reloadings. We have club members who use .38Spl for pigs in .357 chambered L/A Rossi carbines and they don't even bother to pick them up as they are ALL split anyway at max loads they use!One fellow can catch the ejected case before it hits the ground and still hit the target...I suppose the trajectory helps!

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Old August 24, 2000, 10:39 AM   #13
ArmySon
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WESHOOT2:
Cases are relatively cheap, while most of our guns are fairly expensive.

[/quote]

AMEN!

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Old August 25, 2000, 06:57 AM   #14
Fred S
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Justin:

Without my load books in front of me (I'm at work) it seems your load may be on the hot side. I use 3.1 gr Win 231 with a 148 gr. Bull-X DEWC. These are purposely light loads for a 50 ft competition. The three loads you put it the cases may have gradually stressed them.

I doubt you hurt your gun

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Old August 25, 2000, 07:48 AM   #15
jthuang
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Fred,

Thanks for the concern. It is true, my loads are intentionally on the hot side. Lyman's 47th edition shows max for .38 Special, 125 grain jacketed bullet at 5.0 grains of Win 231. Max for +P is 5.4 grains of Win 231.

Since I carry the Federal 125 grain Nyclad load, I wanted my practice load to be as close as possible. I decided that 4.8 grains (which means 4.9 if you allow for +/- 0.1 grain) would be right under the limit.

I appreciate the responses here. I don't know if I'll be shooting my cases until they split, but it seems like most of the shooters here agree that it's no problem. Extraction was difficult with those split cases and I'd rather not have that difficulty during an IDPA match.

Justin
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Old August 26, 2000, 06:54 PM   #16
Watchman
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jthuang:
Fred,

Thanks for the concern. It is true, my loads are intentionally on the hot side. Lyman's 47th edition shows max for .38 Special, 125 grain jacketed bullet at 5.0 grains of Win 231. Max for +P is 5.4 grains of Win 231.

Since I carry the Federal 125 grain Nyclad load, I wanted my practice load to be as close as possible. I decided that 4.8 grains (which means 4.9 if you allow for +/- 0.1 grain) would be right under the limit.

I appreciate the responses here. I don't know if I'll be shooting my cases until they split, but it seems like most of the shooters here agree that it's no problem. Extraction was difficult with those split cases and I'd rather not have that difficulty during an IDPA match.

Justin
[/quote]

Ive had brand new factory loads split upon the first firing. As stated, 38 and .357 seems to be the worse,but splits in .45 acp are not uncommon. I got smart one time and bought all my brass nickle plated, I figured it looked good and would be easier to find on the range in the grass.

I also noticed that for some reason nickle plated brass seemed to split alot more often the just regular brass. I talked to a guy that worked at Remington's ammo plant in Lonoke,Ar. at a gunshow and he confirmed that the nickle plated stuff is definatly more brittle than the brass stuff. It seems that the plating restricts the ability of the brass to stretch upon firing. AS a result, I no longer buy nickle plated brass in the quantitys that I used too.

Anyhow, I ve split lots of cases. It's no big deal ,sometimes you can tell that they sound a bit different than the rest and sometimes it'll affect the accuracy. Ive had more than one decent group ruined by a flyer due to split brass.

Hope this helps
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Old August 26, 2000, 07:08 PM   #17
DaMan
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Excellent quality photo, Justin!

It just looks like these cases had been resized and fired a couple too many times. That's the problem with many of the commercial reloads. They might load cases discarded by some reloder who thought it was time to retire his cases after umpteen times of reloading. If they aren't split, the company will reload them.

I don't think this caused your revolver any harm.

Once fired .38 SPC cases used to be fairly common. But they're becoming harder to come by now that the military and police no longer use them (or at least very rarely). Reloading companies are going to try to get the most milage out of the cases they have.

Regards! DaMan
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