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Old January 22, 2019, 05:44 PM   #1
cdoc42
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This is a First!

I started preparing some new Winchester .45 Colt cases today for reloading at a later date.

I wasn't sure if I had expanded the mouth of the cases earlier, so I put a Hornady 250gr XTP into the mouth of one case and it slid right in as if it was a previously fired case. I tried another and it fell in so deeply I had to use a hammer type bullet puller to get it out. Some of the cases would not allow the bullet to enter, signalling the need for mouth expansion.

So I ran them all through the resizer, none obviously had primers, then expanded the mouths and I was set to go.

In all my years of loading 9mm, .38 spec., .357 mag, .44 mag, .454 Casull, .45 APC I never had this happen.

I do remember, about 10 years ago or so, running in to a bunch of Winchester cases in .44 Mag that had incredibly large primer pocket holes. If I recall correctly, a 5/32" drill should fit the hole; these were much larger than that and I just trashed them.
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Old January 22, 2019, 08:17 PM   #2
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Interesting read. I even FL size new brass for my rifles. A few years back I had a bunch of 300 RUM brass that looked real good from the bag. So I chamfered them, seated primers, charged them and then went to seat bullets and the case necks were all loose. Everysingle one of them. Almost as though they were fired cases.

Wasted a lot of time. Had to dump all the powder. Remove the decapping pin and size all 50 pieces.
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Old January 22, 2019, 08:54 PM   #3
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One of the reasons I always resize (chamfer too) the cases right out of the bag. It not only fixes what you ran into, but also makes the cases 'consistent' for that first time.
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Old January 22, 2019, 09:01 PM   #4
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The brass was probably sized for the older 0.454" bullets instead of 0.451". That makes sense if you want brass for either, as you don't want bullet fit so tight it is prone to deform the base of softer swaged bullets.

As to the flash holes, about 0.069" to 0.081" is the normal range. 5/64 inch is inside the range. 5/32 is way too big, except for some non-toxic primers that want about 1/8 inch flash holes.
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Old January 22, 2019, 09:33 PM   #5
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Last new Win. .223 were that way, had to size them.
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Old January 22, 2019, 09:38 PM   #6
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I'm not sure why you'd think that just because the brass is new it doesn't need to be sized. After over fifty years of reloading it's been my experience that new brass isn't sized. It comes off the last press operation and goes into a bin to be washed, bagged, and shipped. Various inspections occur during the batch run on the press to make sure it's not out of the max/min spec for the product. If so, adjustments are made. It's not made to loadable specs.
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Old January 22, 2019, 10:23 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why you'd think that just because the brass is new it doesn't need to be sized. After over fifty years of reloading it's been my experience that new brass isn't sized. It comes off the last press operation and goes into a bin to be washed, bagged, and shipped. Various inspections occur during the batch run on the press to make sure it's not out of the max/min spec for the product. If so, adjustments are made. It's not made to loadable specs.
My experience in 50 years of reloading has been the exact opposite. In fact, I have had to expand case necks on new Lapua rifle cases due to too much neck tension.

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Old January 22, 2019, 11:35 PM   #8
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New brass is sold "for reloading", its not sold "ready for reloading". Might be, might not be, I run into both in my over 50 years of reloading. Also found out of round / flattened case mouths in some calibers.

I size all my new brass before loading the first time. Sizing is the first step of the loading process, and unless the stuff you buy says it is sized, don't just assume it is.
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Old January 23, 2019, 01:38 AM   #9
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My experience in 50 years of reloading has been the exact opposite. In fact, I have had to expand case necks on new Lapua rifle cases due to too much neck tension.
That's NOT the opposite, that's also sizing. Sizing isn't one directional. If you have too much neck tension and put it in the die and correct that with the die, you're sizing it.
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Old January 23, 2019, 01:40 AM   #10
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Yep, I treat new brass just like fired brass. It always gets resized before loading. In the case of revolver rounds, it also gets measured and trimmed. Like the OP, I recently resized 100 new .45 Colt cases. After resizing, the OAL's were all over the place...up to .014" longer than spec on a couple of cases. I had to trim them all.
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Old January 23, 2019, 08:44 AM   #11
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Good lesson. I have some new brass just waiting for me to screw up. Now I have the upper hand!
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Old January 23, 2019, 09:30 AM   #12
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Yep, I treat new brass just like fired brass. It always gets resized before loading. In the case of revolver rounds, it also gets measured and trimmed. Like the OP, I recently resized 100 new .45 Colt cases. After resizing, the OAL's were all over the place...up to .014" longer than spec on a couple of cases. I had to trim them all.
Read it again: the OP had the problem before he sized the cases. He took them right out of the bag/box and expected that they were properly sized as he received them. Unless the box/bag says "already sized", it's not. I've never purchased any brass that said that on the box/bag. There's no reason to think it's ready to go without sizing when you receive it.....NONE.
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Old January 23, 2019, 09:37 AM   #13
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My experience in 50 years of reloading has been the exact opposite. In fact, I have had to expand case necks on new Lapua rifle cases due to too much neck tension.

Quote:
That's NOT the opposite, that's also sizing. Sizing isn't one directional. If you have too much neck tension and put it in the die and correct that with the die, you're sizing it.
NSB,

You're missing the boat here. Those new cases were perfectly sized and would work perfect for the casual shooter as is. The reason I stated "too much neck tension" is, as a 1,000 yard F Class shooter I wanted .001" of neck tension which I solved by running a mandrel thru the necks. I have never had to resize new rifle brass, they all fit my chambers. If I come across a case with an out-of-round neck, I simply run the expander ball thru the neck and not resizing the case body at all.

Don
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Old January 23, 2019, 10:24 AM   #14
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You're missing the boat here. Those new cases were perfectly sized and would work perfect for the casual shooter as is. The reason I stated "too much neck tension" is, as a 1,000 yard F Class shooter I wanted .001" of neck tension which I solved by running a mandrel thru the necks. I have never had to resize new rifle brass, they all fit my chambers. If I come across a case with an out-of-round neck, I simply run the expander ball thru the neck and not resizing the case body at all.
I'm not missing a thing here. The OP DID NOT do any sizing on the cases and he expected that they should be fine right out of the bag. READ THE POST AGAIN. He said they worked AFTER he sized them. Nothing complicated in his post and it only shows that brass you buy isn't sized when you get it. I've actually been in plants that manufactur brass cases. They come off a press and are run down a chute into a very large bin. There are random inspection checks made during the run to make sure there are no problems with the dies, lube, brass, etc. They are not dimensionaly correct for loading purposes as they are made. Close, but no cigar. It's simply "luck of the draw".
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Old January 23, 2019, 11:38 AM   #15
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So I ran them all through the resizer . . .
.454 or .451 - but to speak generically: ALL new brass should first go through a sizer die (and then flaired, of course) before its first use. I'm speaking pistol here. Not sure about rifle. I suspect rifle is the same too though.
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Old January 23, 2019, 12:25 PM   #16
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I started reloading way pre-web ('69), so I never ran into this "problem". The instructions for my Lee Loader did not differentiate between new and used brass, so I sized everything. I still do...
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Old January 23, 2019, 01:44 PM   #17
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ALL new brass should first go through a sizer die (and then flaired, of course) before its first use. I'm speaking pistol here. Not sure about rifle. I suspect rifle is the same too though.
Nick is correct -- all new brass should go through the resizer first. Do not flare your rifle brass as long as you are using jacketed bullets. Do bevel the neck both inside and outside.

Sizing is not the only thing to check. Verify that the primer pocket is in spec. I had a bag of 100 30-30 cases from Winchester that had primer pockets way too small to fit a regular large rifle primer. I had to chuck up a Sinclair primer pocket uniforming tool in my drill press and uniform every single case primer pocket. I could not believe the amount of brass that the tool cut out. After that, the primers went in just fine.

I guess the point is that you should never assume a new case is ready to reload as it comes out of the box or bag.
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Old January 23, 2019, 05:37 PM   #18
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NSB,

I took your advice of "READ THE POST AGAIN". Thank you. I would suggest you read his post again where he states "In all my years of loading 9mm, .38 spec., .357 mag, .44 mag, .454 Casull, .45 APC I never had this happen". I find it curious that as a result of an obviously bad batch of new cases you are ready to state that it "shows that brass you buy isn't sized when you get it". That's simply absurd.

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Old January 23, 2019, 06:36 PM   #19
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First, I am not rooting for anyone.

I have new brass. If it holds a primer and a bullet, it holds powder.

I load it, shoot it, then bring it home for the full case prep routine that works for me.

Best I can remember, I have never resized new brass before the first fire.

After it is formed to my firearms chamber, it gets the full meal deal.
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Old January 23, 2019, 07:29 PM   #20
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I took your advice of "READ THE POST AGAIN". Thank you. I would suggest you read his post again where he states "In all my years of loading 9mm, .38 spec., .357 mag, .44 mag, .454 Casull, .45 APC I never had this happen". I find it curious that as a result of an obviously bad batch of new cases you are ready to state that it "shows that brass you buy isn't sized when you get it". That's simply absurd.
It's not absurd. I spent time in a brass plant that manufactured reloading brass and I'm also a retired quality engineer. Being a shooter and reloader, I watched the operation and asked a few questions. The brass cases are stamped on a progressive press and the operator makes random checks during the run to make sure the cases are coming off the press undamaged and within a very broad spec range. Most are close to spec, but the operator will at times have to adjust equipment to move the "drift" back towards center to keep the cases within the tolerance. If you have some fantasy that cartridge cases are precision made parts, held to exacting tolerances, you're mistaken. Also, the bin the cases goes in holds something like a hundred thousand cases all piled on top of each other. When the bin is full, it's moved to storage awaiting shipment to the customer or factory packaging area. You've made a bad guess here and now you're trying to express knowledge you obviously don't have. As others have chimed in, new brass should to be sized. If you're too lazy to do it, you probably will get lucky most of the time, but no guarantees. Sometimes those parts produced at the outer range of the specs (or beyond, not all operators report their lack of checking) get in the bin. That's just the real world. Best thing to do is use your equipment, including sizing dies, from the start of the process when loading ammo. Cut corners and have problems....don't blame it on "bad brass". They weren't "bad" after the OP sized them. Pretty simple.
Note: I'm not trying to argue with you on this, I'm just trying to explain to you why you're wrong.
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Old January 24, 2019, 01:37 AM   #21
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Remember, folks, in this situation, it's 45 Colt. Other calibers will often be different, but this is typical for the caliber. A lot of the soft swaged bullets were actually .456" diameter. Those cases were made for such bullets and, crimped over the ogive, the case length isn't particularly critical. I have loaded this caliber since 1976; more than all other calibers combined. I always size and trim new brass before loading it; modern bullet bullets demand it.
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Old January 24, 2019, 09:35 AM   #22
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Remember, folks, in this situation, it's 45 Colt. Other calibers will often be different, but this is typical for the caliber. A lot of the soft swaged bullets were actually .456" diameter.
Exactly! And SAAMI specs for the .45 Colt call for a .4560"-.0060" (.450" - .456") bullet, so case necks on the .45 Colt can vary quite a bit. Also, the specs that NSB referred to in his last post are SAAMI specs, not each individual manufacturers specs, so believe it our not, manufactured cases are of such a size so as to fit a firearm with a chamber that is within SAAMI chamber specs. So, resize new brass if you must, but is it really necessary? Most of the time not.

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Old January 24, 2019, 09:51 AM   #23
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So what do commercial operations do? Do they resize all the new brass before loading it or do they get a different spec brass thats already sized and ready to load?
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Old January 24, 2019, 04:00 PM   #24
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So, resize new brass if you must, but is it really necessary? Most of the time not.
That's about it. You'll find out when you didn't do it and it needed it. Just do it, it's not a big deal.
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Old January 24, 2019, 07:40 PM   #25
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So what do commercial operations do? Do they resize all the new brass before loading it or do they get a different spec brass thats already sized and ready to load?
Think about it. Are going to create cases that are not ready to load and on a separate line create cases that are ready to load, or are you going to have one line that creates cases that can be either sold for reloading or loaded by you and sold as ammo. I think you know the answer.

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