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Old February 25, 2005, 12:34 AM   #1
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Examining brass : post resizing.

Ran my first ever batch of cases (45 ACP) through the resizer/decapper tonight. In the interest of continued learning, I thought I'd post some pictures of some of the cases for opinions on reloading suitability.

First up : general dings. My 1911 tends to batter the brass a bit. Some of the dings and gouges can be substantial. Are these anything to be concerned about? Do they weaken the case or otherwise shorten it's life?

Next up : One or two rounds had some real screwage around the necks even after resizing. Should I just toss these?

Next: Saw some real oddness on the inside of a bunch of cases by the flash hole. Basically, it looks like the decapper maybe caught the edge of the flash hole on the way down and smooshed the brass a bit. Looking at them from the rear of the case, these little divots do obstruct the hole ever so slightly. Is this normal?

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Old February 25, 2005, 12:41 AM   #2
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Next: How much obvious stretching and resizing should be visible near the case head? Most of the rounds had pretty visible bands post-resizing.

Next: Maybe one or two rounds exhibited what looked like it -might- be the beginnings of head seperation (this is only once-fired brass). But I dunno what's considered acceptable...

Next: Battering on the case head. Most of the rounds have decent indentations on the edge of the case heads. Is this a headspace issue, or just normal for a 45/1911?

And finally: Dings on the case lip. Quite a few rounds have some nice little gouges on the lip of the case. Not too deep, but not exactly shallow either. Acceptable?

Ok, that's all for now. Thanks for any reloader wisdom you can impart. You guys are a great resource!
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Old February 25, 2005, 03:42 PM   #3
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Most of this looks to me like normal wear and tear shooting a AUTO.But can't say I have seen that ring in the last photos.Could be you are belling the case to much,or it catching some when ejected.Most will come out in the resizing and reloading.
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Old February 25, 2005, 07:34 PM   #4
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Note: These are all post-resized/decapped.
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Old February 25, 2005, 10:08 PM   #5
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There a two things that I see in the pictures that I question. First is the pic of the "screwage" of the case mouth after resizing. It looks like the die should have taken that out.
The ring that may indicate case head separation. Its not easy to see in the picture but it could possibly throw it out!
What did the primers look like before sizing/decapping? This is important! The dings in the side shouldnt be a problem. I reload for a 8mm Hakim that dings them up bad but the neck dings should come out with sizing.
I know a 45 auto can be rough on brass. I've loaded many of them but I would check the dies first. It seems some of the case mouths should have sized better.
The other pictures look Ok to me...just wear and tear on a 45 case.
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Old February 25, 2005, 10:53 PM   #6
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The dings in the side of the case will not be a problem as long as they are minor , The case mouth being dinged will come out usually when the 2nd die is used (expander and the bell for the case mouth ) It also appears that maybe you have the decappping pin set to go to deep , it should just barley push out the spent primer , As for the ones that you think may have the start of a head seperation I would just toss them , 45 acp brass is cheap.
For less stress on my brass I give them a quick spray with one shot case lube prior to sizeing , You dont need to with carbide dies but it makes it much smoother .
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Old February 26, 2005, 12:59 AM   #7
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I don't see anything to get excited about.

The rings you are seeing are marks from the chamber of the pistol and running the case through the resizing die, absolutely normal.

45 ACP brass lasts almost forever, the typical failure is a split in the case running lengthwise, easy to spot when sorting.

Be aware that nickel plated brass doesn't last as long as regular brass, it is run through an acid etching process during the plating, which affects the life of the brass. It's fine for new ammunition, but nickel plated brass will fail much faster in reloading.
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Old February 26, 2005, 02:59 AM   #8
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If all your cases have this mark about mid length it would probably pay to check you chamber. Those marks look too consistent in size and location to be caused by anything other than a machining defect. (Assuming that is 4 different cases photographed)

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Old February 26, 2005, 03:03 AM   #9
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I have to agree, they look pretty much normal to me.

The spots on the back of the rim of the case you are describing (as seen in the photos) come from the ejector hitting the case rim.

Nothing to be concerned about, I've had some that where beat up pretty bad before (you almost couldn't tell what the headstamp read).
I usually save those cases for use where I don't care about recovering the brass, then sometimes I trash them.
As long as the edge of the case rim isn't jagged (feeding problems), I wouldn't worry about it.

The case mouth bends are pretty much normal, I've noticed them before on my brass. I've also noticed that sometimes the expander in the die doesn't straighten them out.
You can usually straighten those right out with a wooden dowel rod of appropriate size.
A lot of times, they'll come out when you bell the case for the bullet.
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Old February 26, 2005, 05:54 PM   #10
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I have reloaded ratty 45ACP brass that looked a lot worse than what's in these photos. I don't think you have anything to worry about in using this brass. I have some brass that has been reloaded 6 or 7 times.
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Old February 26, 2005, 08:30 PM   #11
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After looking at those pics once again, I think I have determined where the marks on the case wall are coming from.

As they are all in pretty much the same place, it looks to me like as the slide comes back, the cases are hitting the ejector, then tipping up and dinging the the slide near the top of the ejection port.

Check those marks against that and I'll bet they'll match pretty darned closely.

Also, if that's the case, I think you can have a smith adjust the ejector (file it? I think that's how they do it.) and maybe stop it from doing that.
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Old February 27, 2005, 01:58 AM   #12
Robert M Boren Sr
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My son was haveing problems with his 1911 springfield and went with a wilson ejector and that fixed the problem. Before that he adjust it by bending it slightly until he got it the way he wanted it.
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Old March 7, 2005, 12:08 PM   #13
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Kayser, excellent job showing your concerns with the pics. The dings on the side should, as pointed out, be gone after expanding. Still something to keep your observing eye on to confirm this. The mark on the rims will not be detrimental, but could also be explained as a slight flaw in the machining of the breechface. Most pistols these days seem to have their little quirks. If the pistol had come from Les Baer, Ed Brown, or even a + $1000 pistol from Kimber, I would probably give them a call, but I wouldn't be very excited in doing so. It is not something you would likely ever see from EB or LB anyway and if the pistol was competitively priced, I would say it's a quirk of the individual pistol. A good gunsmith or machinist could could put a mirror smooth finish on the breechface if you find it necessary. If the case is hitting the top of the ejection port, getting a very high quality custom ejector should eliminate it anyway.
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Old March 7, 2005, 03:14 PM   #14
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I wish my Springfield Milspec .45 were so gentle on my cases.

I lose from 3 to 5 percent of them to case mouth tears when they get caught in the port during ejection.

Mine doesn't have a lowered or flared port, so that's a known issue.

Others have had substantially dented case mouths, but if they're not torn, I simply iron them out with the expander ball and go foward.

I've also had many with mid-body case dings, but have never had a single case fail at the site of the dent.

I know I've got better than 20 loadings through some of the cases, to the point where the head stamp is virtually unreadable anymore.
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