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Old March 5, 2011, 01:32 AM   #1
chris in va
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Glad I caught this!

I use a Hand Press and homemade dippers, looking at every single case throughout the process.

Dropped the charge into a 9mm case, noticed it was higher than the others, which led me to believe I overcharged it somehow (unheard of). Dumped the powder and discovered DIRT in the case. Even after sitting in the vibratory cleaner for two hours the dried mud still didn't loosen up.

Good thing I triple check everything.
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:40 AM   #2
Sport45
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Glad you caught it. I normally notice things like that when the decapping rod grinds into "stuff" remaining in the case.
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Old March 5, 2011, 03:03 AM   #3
chris in va
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I know, that's what caught me off guard. You would have thought decapping would have alerted me to it.
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Old March 5, 2011, 11:21 AM   #4
jwilson48
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wow, i always remove my primer and resize before i tumble so i wouldn't have caught it by doing that, glad you did. why was there dirt in there to begin with?!? reloading can certainly be dangerous if you do not pay attention. it pays to have a little ocd sometimes
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Old March 5, 2011, 11:27 AM   #5
serf 'rett
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It pays to pay attention.

Since I've often dug up old brass out of the mud, I've wondered if a vibrating tumbler would remove the packed in dirt. It's not an problem for me because I wet tumble with Thumler and sst media.

Now I know.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:00 PM   #6
Unclenick
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I've found a number of old cases over the years that had mud insect nests in them. That mud is glued in place by insect saliva, so you often need a soak in water or even hot water and soap to clear it. During the case inspection stage of the reloading process is when you are supposed to catch these. That's the step between cleaning and actual reloading where you look the cases over inside and out. I fear that progressive reloading causes many to skip this step or just glance as they insert another empty. One plus for the progressives is if they have a fifth station for a powder level checking die, it will catch these automatically.

I once had a .30-06 LC case I brought back from Camp Perry, having fired it as new ammo myself. It felt "funny" when I picked it up. Looking inside revealed the bottom was dark, but then, so is carbon deposit, so I wasn't sure I was seeing anything. But it didn't balance right, so I weighed it and found it was about 35 grains heavier than the rest. Poking a stick in did nothing. I finally took a dental pick and succeeded in peeling a flattened lump of lead off the inside of the head. It must have been bullet core metal that got in with the bullets and fell into the case and worked its way to the bottom during transport. Not enough volume to cause a pressure hazard with the load LC put in, but I was glad to have it out before I put a hand load in that was nearer maximum.

Always look. You never know what you'll find.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:44 PM   #7
SilentVectorX
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Quote:
It pays to pay attention.

Since I've often dug up old brass out of the mud, I've wondered if a vibrating tumbler would remove the packed in dirt. It's not an problem for me because I wet tumble with Thumler and sst media.

Now I know.
Same here. I can pick up all sorts of range brass caked in mud and dirt. SS media and wet tumbling gets it all out. (Although I do have to check every case for stuck pins )
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:51 PM   #8
Ozzieman
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I use a single stage press also, and its one reason I use loading blocks that hold 50 cases.
The first thing I do is place the cases in the loading blocks so that I can take a flash light and check each one. Actually look down and see the primer anvil. This makes it very easy and fast to check every case. Then I load powder with the case in the block. I inspect each case with a flash light held at a 45 deg angle and that makes it easy to see the height of the powder in the case.
Your example is a good one to remind everyone to keep their heads out and eyes open when reloading.
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Old March 5, 2011, 02:01 PM   #9
Miata Mike
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I inspect cases before priming, and before loading I dump the primed brass open end up and reinspect all 50 pieces of brass with a flash light before loading any of them. Good catch!
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