The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 21, 2009, 07:39 AM   #1
Dodge DeBoulet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Posts: 181
Disassembling FTFs

From my first reloading attempt last week, I wound up with 8 FTFs. I'm quite sure the cases were properly charged with powder, and that the reason for the FTFs was a light strike . . . most likely due to either an improperly seated primer or an aggressive crimp.

So now I have 8 .40 S&W cartridges with "dimpled" primers, a minimum recommended charge (5gr of WST, 140gr Cast Lead conical flat point). I want to "safe" them, but I suspect the only prudent way is to use a collet-style bullet puller, and I currently own only the impact-style.

Can anyone address the danger of using the impact-style bullet puller on FTFs such as these? I'm not interested in reusing the components, I just want to dispose of them safely and I need to pull the bullets to deactivate the primers.

Thanks . . .
Dodge DeBoulet is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 07:59 AM   #2
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,971
I`d first try hittin em again with the firing pin if they don`t go bang then I would pull em with my impact puller.
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 08:03 AM   #3
rwilson452
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,633
Concur, pulling them with an impact puller is safe.



Quote:
I`d first try hittin em again with the firing pin if they don`t go bang then I would pull em with my impact puller.
_
__________________
USNRET '61-'81
rwilson452 is online now  
Old December 21, 2009, 08:08 AM   #4
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
I agree with GP100man. Run them through the pistol again. If the problem was improper primer seating they will probably go off with the second hit. An aggressive crimp will not keep a cartridge from firing unless it allows to cartridge to fall so deep into the barrel that the firing pin can't reach it. In that case the extractor claw usually holds it close enough to the breech to fire.

If they don't go off the second time around I'd toss them in the dud bucket at the range and be done with it.

The only way I know of to deactivate a primer is to set it off. Water, oil, snake milk, etc. just aren't reliable primer killers. The foil covering protects them pretty well from solvent attack. When I need to dispose of primers that are still active but not usable for some reason I just toss them in the trash.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 11:05 AM   #5
CraigC
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2001
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 4,300
"FTF" is autospeak for Failure To Feed. If you pull the trigger and it doesn't go bang, it's a misfire or "dud".
CraigC is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 04:16 PM   #6
Dodge DeBoulet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Posts: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC
"FTF" is autospeak for Failure To Feed. If you pull the trigger and it doesn't go bang, it's a misfire or "dud".
Oops. Handgun newbie here that assumed it meant "Failed to Fire."

All of them fed just fine . . .

I eventually just clamped the bullet end into a vise and slowly (and carefully!) twisted the shell off with pliers. I was concerned that the dimple might still contact the anvil with enough force to cause ignition from the use of the bullet puller.

I did salvage the powder, but the bullets were a total loss . . . pretty well mangled. Interestingly, the primers all fired when I inserted them (still in their cases with bullet and powder removed) in my S&W .40 Compact and fired them. One of them took 2 attempts.

On the range, however, a 2nd attempt had done no good. It was around 12 degrees here in Maine that morning, though; perhaps the temperature had something to do with it.
Dodge DeBoulet is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 06:09 PM   #7
tom234
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 753
IMHO collet pullers don't work on lead bullets as they generally destroy the bullet. Better to use a kinetic [hammer] puller.
tom234 is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 07:01 PM   #8
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,971
What brand??? don`t like cold weather??
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old December 21, 2009, 08:30 PM   #9
Dodge DeBoulet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Posts: 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP100man
What brand??? don`t like cold weather??
Why, they were genuine Dodge DeBoulets(R), loaded in my very own press.

The components were:
  • Wolf SP Primers
  • 5gr WST Powder in 6 of the duds
  • 5.9gr AA #2 in 2 of them
  • S & S Casting Lead Bullets, Conical FP, 140gr
  • Some "found" brass plus a lot of my own salvaged Federal
Dodge DeBoulet is offline  
Old December 22, 2009, 06:37 AM   #10
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,971
The sp primer I like is WW standard.
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old December 22, 2009, 07:52 AM   #11
mongoose33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 228
I can relate to the experience.

Very early after I'd received my LNL AP press I had a couple fail to fires. Turned out I hadn't fully seated the primers. I was too relaxed in how hard I was pushing the handle of the press during the primer-seating step.

When you seat the primer w/ the LnL AP, you need to give the handle just a little extra push at the end of the seating operation. When I feel the primer contact the case, I give it a little extra push with the handle to ensure I'm seating it fully.

It'll become part of your muscle memory and routine.
mongoose33 is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 09:10 PM   #12
David Wile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2001
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 584
Hey Dodge,

You mentioned that you may have been using "an agressive crimp," and that may have been the problem. The .40 S&W (like most other semi auto pistol calibers) headspaces on the case mouth and should not have any more than a hint of a taper crimp. Like someone else mentioned earlier, the cartridge may have been going too far into the chamber to be struck properly by the firing pin. You really need to be careful when seating and crimping these types of cartridges. All you need to do is remove any belling of the case mouth and then perhaps just a hint of a crimp may be added. Like you, I seat and crimp these types of pistol rounds in one operation of the same seater/crimp die. When adjusting the die to seat, remove any belling, and put a hint of a crimp on the mouth, I examine the case mouth with a magnifying glass to make sure the mouth is just right.

I would have pulled the bullets by running the cartridge up on the shell holder till the bullet just stuck out of the top of press, and then I would have firmly bit into the bullet with a dykes type pliars and pulled the case back down with ram leaving the bullet behind. Then I would have emptied the powder and resized the case without removing the primer, replaced the powder and a new bullet (making sure I did not crimp the mouth), and then I would have tried shooting the remade shell. If all of the "bad" cartridges fired after being reloaded with the same primer, then you could be pretty sure your problem was the crimp trashing the headspace.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
David Wile is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 11:40 PM   #13
Dodge DeBoulet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Posts: 181
Thanks, David. I don't think it was the crimp at this point. The duds all seated properly in the chamber (I brought them back home from the range to check them out). I think the issue was either primers that weren't fully seated or defective primers. I bought (a lot of) Wolf primers when they suddenly appeared at Widener's a couple of weeks ago, and a couple of folks I've communicated with have a relatively low opinion of Wolf.

Regarding pulling the bullets: I didn't have anything that would reach far enough down through the die mount to grab the bullet, thus the vise and pliers solution. Crude and slow, but effective, and it's not like I had dozens of bullets to do.
Dodge DeBoulet is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 11:55 AM   #14
David Wile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2001
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 584
Hey Dodge,

Seating easily in the chamber is not the criteria to determine whether or not your crimping is affecting headspace. If you seat a bullet and do not remove any belling you may have used, the finished round will probably not seat in the chamber. The case mouth will be too large to allow seating. If you remove the belling properly and have a perfectly straight case mouth, the round should fit in the chamber with ease (assuming of course the case length is correct for the caliber). If you were to seat the bullet and then put a heavy crimp on the mouth, you can effectively shorten case length, and that will affect the headspace. Such a shortened round will still likely seat in the chamber very easily, but the case mouth of the round will not be stopped by the front of the chamber, and the round may essentially be too short to be struck properly by the firing pin.

Maybe the crimp was not the problem, but keep in mind for the future that such rounds headspace on the case mouth, and you need to be careful when seating and crimping such rounds.

When I mentioned about pulling cheap bullets with a pliars and your press, I did not think of the bullet not reaching through the top of the press. In addition to my LNL press, I have several single stage presses that I can go to for pulling bullets in the fashion I mentioned. After reading what you said, I need to check if I have some short pistol cartridges that do not reach through the tops of my single stage presses. If you can reach the bullet with a Vice Grips or dykes and you do not care about destroying the bullet, you can remove bullets very easily that way.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
David Wile is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 12:36 PM   #15
Dodge DeBoulet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2009
Posts: 181
Perhaps "seating" was the incorrect term, David. I meant that the cartridges inserted into the chamber to the correct depth, as compared to factory ammo. I also checked the rounds with a Lyman .40 S&W gauge and found nothing out of the ordinary.

I'm suspecting the primers, or the seating (I believe I am using the term correctly this time ) thereof . . .
Dodge DeBoulet is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07062 seconds with 10 queries