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Old March 18, 2001, 08:04 AM   #1
Patrick Graham
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Last year I started shooting IPSC/USPSA. Before then I never sorted my 45 ACP brass, I would just toss it all in the tumbler, clean it, reload it and live with the occasional jam. Jams in a match are costly so now I'm getting fussy, perhaps too fussy. Here's my brass sorting process.

1. Sort to .897" max length (new Starline brass is .895" and reloading books max length is .898")
2. Discard any brass thinner than .008" at the case mouth.
3. Discard any badly "buggered" bases.
4. Discard any brass that has been used so much I can no longer read the head stamp.
3. File out any extractor dings from the head of "unfinished" extractors. (Someone out there has a home made 1911 with a new extractor that needs the finishing touches put on it.)

Does anyone have anything I can add to this list?
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Old March 18, 2001, 02:03 PM   #2
Johnny Guest
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Patrick--

Looks as if you're already doing a lot more sorting than I do--And you are either a candidate for a bad case of eye strain or must have a good magnifier.

Not having to do with brass sorting, but to avoid stoppages at inopportune moments---
Guage each of your match loads. Midway sells loaded round guages. I just use an extra barrel and drop each round into the chamber. If the case mouth goes click against the front of the chamber, then dimensions and taper crimp are correct. If you hear a thunk, then something is wrong. May chamber and fire properly, but then again, maybe not.

Have you tried IDPA matches? Lots of fun, and have quite a bit of real-life application, if you go at it in the proper spirit.

All best,
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Old March 18, 2001, 04:49 PM   #3
Patrick Graham
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I like the idea of dropping the finished round in the barrel, I've got several extra barrels. I'll add that to the "post processing" list that I'm developing.

I would love to shoot IDPA. I can't find anyplace around Indy that does IDPA though.
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Old March 18, 2001, 05:09 PM   #4
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I second the remarks above, Patrick, you are certainly doing much more in the way of sorting brass than I am.

After I load and clean my ammo, I take the barrel out of the gun I am going to use for the match and test the ammo in the chamber. A nice smooth drop into position is a go. If it won't go in without a little tap with my finger, or goes in too far, and I reject the round. I have never had one of those loads fail at the range during practice, but I don't like to take any extra chances at a match.

I load remington nickle plated cases exclusively with new winchester primers, so my brass is pretty easy to tell apart from the junk I pick up from the ground. Most pepole use brass colored cases, and a lot of the guys use CCI primers which are a different color.

While I do use the stuff I pick up, I keep it segregated from the ammo that I load for match use. It probably costs me a bit more in new cases every so often, but I trust the brass more when I know it's history. Again, it doesn't bother me to use an "unknown" for practice, but not for score.
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Old March 18, 2001, 10:13 PM   #5
quadcab
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Patrick; what about minimum length? QUADCAB
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Old March 19, 2001, 05:34 PM   #6
Patrick Graham
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I "hope" Minimum length isn't going to be an issue.

I haven't found any minimum length spec.

Does anyone know what the minimum lenght should be?
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Old March 20, 2001, 09:54 AM   #7
quadcab
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Patrick; I sort my .45 brass by length using .898" as the max. and .888"(SPEER Manual reccomended trim-to length after resizing) as my minimum length. The reason I prefer to do this is because your taper crimp consistency is determined by the length of the brass. I once got some once fired brass(headstamp HP) at the range that was incedibily short(.850"). I didn't realize it until the taper crimp stage of my process but the cases were so short that no crimp at all was being applied. Yes, I know I could have adjusted my die accordingly. I also sort by brand. I know this all seems a bit anal, but this is just the way I choose to do it and it works well for me. QUADCAB
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Old March 20, 2001, 05:39 PM   #8
IamNOTaNUT
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I don't think that sorting by brand is anal. While I have not encountered problems using .45 ACP, some brands of .38 special do not work with my HBWC's. The bullet is just slightly larger than the case which causes it to bulge. The only cases I will use for match-wadcutters is RP or Federal. Everything else is relegated to the spare coffee cans I keep under my bench.
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Old March 20, 2001, 06:34 PM   #9
MIKE14
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Patrick this is a little off subject but I'll put it here any way through the course of the winter I've picked up a 3# coffee can full of mixed pistol brass alot of 9mm,.40 and all kinds of stuff. its yours if you want it one of these days we'll hook up and I'll give it to you.
P.S. got a FN-FAL last weekend like it alot
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Old March 21, 2001, 08:06 AM   #10
41magFan
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I have so much .45 brass, this has never been an issue. I just make sure that it is all the same brand and I rotate batches when I reload. After tumbling, I will shake the brass in my hands before putting it away, listening for a "tin" sound. This means one of them has a crack in it. It's a superstition on my part but I always do better in matches when I'm shooting WCC Match brass.
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Old March 21, 2001, 04:54 PM   #11
renaissance7697
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Another solution

I've been down most of the roads mentioned so far, above.

Here is what I wound up with as a solution for me.

The LEE Factory Crimp Die ( FCD )!

I just load (On a progressive) any brand-Length I have.

After loading (seating a bullet and crimping just enough to remove any flare I put in to facilitate the seating of the bullet)

I arbitrarily run it ALL through the FCD.

1. It takes LESS time to do this than "check it" in a Max cartridge gauge

2. If there IS anything (bulges/or whatever) wrong it corrects it
and

3. I find the result to be 100% "Drop In / Fall out / click - click" in my Kimber 45 and S&W 52-2
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Old March 22, 2001, 02:44 PM   #12
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The main thing that I do when sorting .45 brass is to separate out all of the R-P brass. For some reason this particular brand doesn't seem to crimp as tightly as all the other brands. All other brands seem to crimp perfectly on one die setting. When reloading a batch consisting of only R-P brass, I just set the crimp die to apply more crimp.

Anyone else noticed this?

[as an aside: I notice the same thing with 9mm, except Win brass is the odd-ball with that caliber - all other brands (including R-P) seem very similar/consistent wrt crimping in 9mm]
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Old March 22, 2001, 02:47 PM   #13
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R-P brass has thinner case walls.
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Old March 22, 2001, 05:10 PM   #14
TEXAS LAWMAN
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I've experienced the same problem w/R-P brass in .45ACP but not other calibers. (Actually, I prefer R-P for rifle rounds.) I trade 'em off!
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Old March 23, 2001, 11:44 AM   #15
Patrick Graham
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YES.... Lee Factory crimp dies ....

I can't believe I don't have one for 45 acp..

I have a lee factory crimp die for every rifle I reload for but none for any handguns I reload for. They are great.

Next stop for me is http://www.midwayusa.com. I'm going to order lee factory crimp dies for 9mm, 40 and 45 acp.

RE: the R-P brass. I've noticed that also. I've seen some as thin as .007". that's almost half as thick as new starline brass. That kind of stuff makes sorting by brand a good idea.
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