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Old May 1, 2012, 05:08 PM   #1
Edward429451
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45 Colt Rem UMC Brass Problem

I'm used to the thin rims of 45 Colt brass and not had a problem with it. I suppose the REM UMC brass has thicker rims? I got ahold of 20 pieces of it to reload, and when I went to de-prime it, none of it would seat into the (#20) shell holder.

Anyone else have this happen to them? I guess I'll pick up another shell holder and see if it works in it. I'm just wondering if this is common or un-common. The brass brand known for this? Fluke of tolerances?

I'm newish to loading 45 Colt so wouldn't know. Enliighten me if there is something there beyond fluke.
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Old May 1, 2012, 05:19 PM   #2
steveno
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I gave up on Remington brass a long time ago because it would split after 4 or 5 loads. I never had a rim thickness problem like yours with Remington , Winchester , Federal & Starline. shellholders aren't very expensive so trying or borrowing another one would be the way to go first. you might measure the rim thickness on some the cases and compare with what a loading manual says it should be and go from there.

the rim thickness should be .049 -.060
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Old May 1, 2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
I never had a rim thickness problem like yours with Remington , Winchester , Federal & Starline.
+1.
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Old May 1, 2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Balloon Head Cases?

Currently made Remington 45 Colt cases are head-stamped, "R-P". I used to have some marked, "Rem-UMC", and they were old, "balloon-head", cases. Lacking extractor grooves ahead of the rim, they would hardly fit modern shell holders and absolutely would not fit my Lee case trimmer. I used them for BP loads for a while before selling them to someone else to continue the experiment. Look inside the cases to see if they are solid-head or balloon head. Beware of balloon-head cases.
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Old May 1, 2012, 11:31 PM   #5
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New brass from RP or Starline isn't that hard to come by. If it's a ballon-head case save it for the shadow box, not the range box.
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Old May 2, 2012, 12:33 PM   #6
Edward429451
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I took a closer look at them and that's exactly what they are. I have some balloon head cases. No extractor groove and some weirdness going on in the bottom of the case. They're def not solid head.

I never seen balloon head before. I suppose someone slipped these in on me when I was trading for 45 Colt brass. If they even knew.

Dangit.

Thanks guys.
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Old May 2, 2012, 04:44 PM   #7
zippy13
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Beware of balloon-head cases.
That's the typical warning, in the .45 Colt section, in reloading manuals I've seen over the years. I've some old .45 Colt brass, but it's still of the "R-P" era. How about some pics of your balloon heads?
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Old May 3, 2012, 10:36 AM   #8
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Allright, I'll try to get a few pics today. It kind of looks like a brass rivet in the head of the case.
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Old May 3, 2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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I'm kind of curious as to how you came across the balloon head cases since they haven't been for at least 90 years or so? I have seen pictures of them but I don't expect to ever come across one so I don't even bother looking for them
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Old May 3, 2012, 12:32 PM   #10
Edward429451
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Horse trading. I bought my Son a SA 45 so he bought me a Ruger BH convertible. I trade my un-needed brass for calibers that I do need. I don't remember exactly who traded this to me, I just set it aside until I went to de-prime it for cleaning and the fun started there.

It's a nice set of 20 pieces, all matching. I'm guessing it is once fired because it is in such good shape. Too bad because the plan was to load them hotter than blackpowder loads.

I wonder if any CAS shooters would trade me good brass, er I mean modern brass for them?
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Old May 3, 2012, 12:58 PM   #11
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I have some old Remington loaded JSP ammo in .44-40 that was bought in the late 1950s at a local gun shop. They turned-out to be balloon head cases, so I guess that they have been around more recenty than 90 years ago. Maybe 50 years old?

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Old May 3, 2012, 02:37 PM   #12
steveno
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I would have thought that balloon head cases would have went away when the ammo companies changed from black powder to smokeless.
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Old May 3, 2012, 04:15 PM   #13
Pathfinder45
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They still turn up.

I found mine at the Portland gun-shows. I had 49 once-fired nickle Remington-UMC that looked like new. Also some WRA & Co. I even had one WRA black-powder round that I took apart to investigate. The smokeless ones I dismantled had hollow-base bullets. Not so with the old BP round: It had a 255 grain flat based bullet over a compressed charge of BP so compacted it took a screw driver to dig it out. The charge weighed 38 grains. The powder was still good and the primer went, "Bang!". The powder texture was engraved by pressure into the base of the bullet.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:31 PM   #14
Edward429451
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Here's a pic of the Balloon head brass:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Boolits 025.jpg (224.5 KB, 56 views)
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:53 PM   #15
Pathfinder45
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My Opinion and Experience with Balloon-head Cases

[*]1. If you decide to use them, use mild loads only.[*]2. Don't use them in a rifle.
They are weaker than solid-head cases and can't take high pressure loads. I loaded mine with fffG black powder. The rounds that would fit in my tight-chambered Vaquero were fun and safe enough. Those rounds that were just a tad too tight at the case head to fully chamber in my Vaquero had no difficulty cycling through my Marlin. It has a bit larger chamber. And there lies a problem: These loads were fun to shoot in the Marlin until around the 25th round or so had a case fail where the rim and base portion sheared away from the rest of the case. Dirty gases blew back around the bolt and into my eye. My eye was not injured. But it could have been worse than a little dirt in the eye. The rifle was temporarily out of commission with a stuck case that no cleaning rod could remove since the case head was completely sheared off. If this had happened in a revolver, my eye would not have been at risk. Another lesson here is that safety glasses are more than just a good idea. I think I'm done with balloon-head cases. I sold mine to someone here that wants to carry on with BP load experiments. They haven't made them for many years so the are worth something to the BP cartridge enthusiasts. I wouldn't throw them away "cuz I can't bear to dispose of perfectly good antiques. Be safe now, boys.
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Old May 4, 2012, 02:55 PM   #16
F. Guffey
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“I suppose the REM UMC brass has thicker rims?”

You have a case that will fit, you have a case that will not fit? I would first measure the thickness of the rim, the rim should measure .060 thousands. The rim on the case is designed to hold the case to the rear of the chamber, thick him cases, be happy. Check to determine the effect the thick him has on on off setting head space. And, the most difficult thing to do is find cases with thick rims.





“I guess I'll pick up another shell holder and see if it works in it”

Again, one case will fit, another will not, I would measure the diameter of the case ahead of the rim, the diameter, in the perfect world should be .480 thousandths.

If I was going to purchase another shell holder I would purchase a Lee, the RCBS is loose fitting on most cases, the Lee is more generous when it comes to fitting more loose. I do ‘things’ with shell holders reloaders never thought of, different shell holders have different features that were not intended when manufactured.

Again, when forming cases for short chambers there is a –.005 thousandths advantage when using a Lee shell holder when forming cases with 30/06 case heads.

Then there is the Super-X by Winchester, in my opinion they often share the same problem you describe with the UMC_REM. Because the problem is not with all Super-X cases I spend extra time taking other measurements.

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Old May 4, 2012, 08:58 PM   #17
Edward429451
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Oh, no. Perhaps I was unclear. None of these 20 cases would go in the shell holder. That's what raised my eyebrows, at first I quickly chucked a couple cases aside as rejects without even looking close. I was de-priming a bunch of brass. When it became apparent that a lot of them were not working I looked closer and surprise, they were all the same.

White primers too, they pawned these off on me! I've decided that no way am I going to load these and put them in my gun.

fwiw, the rims are ~..055 and the case heads are .472-.479
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Old May 4, 2012, 09:01 PM   #18
Edward429451
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I'll trade the 20 Balloon head cases to one of you CAS guys straight across 1/1 for any modern brass 45 Colt/454 Casull if you should want them..PM me.
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Old May 5, 2012, 06:53 AM   #19
F. Guffey
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“Oh, no. Perhaps I was unclear. None of these 20 cases would go in the shell holder” and I will assume the 20 cases you have stamped UMC-REM are the only 45 Colt cases you have.

Point, the cases will not fit the shell holder, the case rim and case diameter are below published dimensions and then we go back to shell holders, shell holders fit where they touch, most shell holders allow the case to center in the die when the ram is raised.

After measuring the cases I would suggest measuring the shell holder. Most shell holders are numbered, you have not listed a brand and or number. It is possible your shell holder is not the correct one..

http://www.nij.gov/training/firearms...3_t06_02_e.htm

Then you say there is no extractor groove, then we go back to the part where the 45 Colt has a rim.

“I took a closer look at them and that's exactly what they are. I have some balloon head cases. No extractor groove and some weirdness going on in the bottom of the case. They're def. not solid head.

I never seen balloon head before. I suppose someone slipped these in on me when I was trading for 45 Colt brass. If they even knew”


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Last edited by F. Guffey; May 5, 2012 at 07:39 AM. Reason: remove you
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Old May 5, 2012, 10:20 AM   #20
Edward429451
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I have plenty of 45 Colt brass. I have a shell holder that is numbered #20, It is an RCBS. It works with any other 45 Colt brass so far, so must be the correct shell holder, but just not cut for the older brass. I'm going to take a couple pieces of it to my LGS and try more shell holders.

Last edited by Edward429451; May 5, 2012 at 10:32 AM.
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Old May 5, 2012, 10:54 AM   #21
Edward429451
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The Balloon head brass is on the smaller side of other brass I have. It will go into the shell holder about 75% of the way and stop. My FC brass has a .510 rim and it will slip right in to the back of the sh, vs .506ish for the bh brass.

It's the lack of a groove at the rim stopping it from seating in the sh. I couldn't get the inside measurement with my dial calipers but I can see that the way they cut that sh is angled inside and it needs that relief cut. There's plenty of play up and down. The angled inside edge on the sh fits nicely into the groove on other brass.

I need an extra sh anyway.
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:09 PM   #22
steveno
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I wouldn't hassle with the balloon head cases at all and especially if it is just 20 cases. I would either throw them away or find somebody else that will pay shipping for them and let them worry about them. just my opinion
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:39 PM   #23
Edward429451
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I hear you, I'm not going to use them. I can always use an extra shellholder though and besides, I can't rightly trade them off if they aren't reloadable. I have to be able to punch those primers out.
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