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Old April 28, 2010, 02:04 AM   #1
bfg9000guy
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Fiocchi 223 flash hole off-center

For some reason I thought Fiocchi was pretty decent quality stuff... but I bought some .223 the other day with the intention of reloading it once I used it. I gathered up the cases and cleaned them. Then I tried decapping- I broke the pin on my Lee universal decapper on the first one! It turns out that the flash hole was far enough off-center that I was hitting solid brass (That Lee collet holding the decap pin didn't break loose either, so my pin shattered). I decapped the rest with a punch, and discovered that about 40% of them had off-center flash holes. Has anyone else seen this with Fiocchi brass? I'm not sure if I will keep the ones with off-center holes, because when I trim them with the Lee case gage/trimmer, the mouth will end up with a slight "angle cut".

Here's a picture. The two on top are centered, the two on the bottom are seriously off-center.
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Old April 28, 2010, 07:08 AM   #2
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I just processed about 2,000 pieces of G.F.L (Fiocchi) .223 brass and didn't notice any problems. I didn't look at all of the flash holes, but didn't have any depriming problems and didn't notice any off-center issue with those I did happen to look at. I'm loading it up now, so I'll make a point of checking the flash holes as I do
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:25 AM   #3
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Yep I had a box of 50 and almost all of them are off center. I've been throwing all of them away that I get. It hurts wasting brass like that. I agree I thought it was good stuff but this doesn't make it seem so. I thought maybe I just got a bad batch.
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Old April 28, 2010, 03:52 PM   #4
5R milspec
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wow

man and I thought I wanted to try the brass out.even thought it was a good thing when I saw they annealed it.but if the flash holes are going to be oof center and make ne buy another decapping pin I do not want to try it.

thanks for the post.you have helped me alot.
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Old April 28, 2010, 05:14 PM   #5
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A lot of Lake City brass has off-center flashholes, too. In their case I think it is an artifact of drilling the holes without adequate lateral support for the drill. I don't know if the Fiocchi cases are drilled or punched? Being off-center won't prevent them from working, but can be hard on your decapping pin and on any attempt to deburr or ream the primer pockets to better uniformity. If you're not having trouble with decapping, just set them aside for practice or for shooting where you think you may lose the brass.
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Old April 28, 2010, 05:14 PM   #6
Loader9
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They brought me 5000 rounds of Speer 357Sig brass and about 1500 rounds are going in the garbage. The flash holes are so small a primer punch pin won't go in it. So yeah, there's a lot of garbage out there and a name brand doesn't buy you anything. Most of the Fiocchi brass I've gotten has been decent but I consider it one way brass....as in, don't bring it back.
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Old April 28, 2010, 06:14 PM   #7
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The price will usually clue you in to the quality.
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Old April 28, 2010, 06:21 PM   #8
vladan
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I have reloaded few hundreds rounds of fiocchi brass with no problems, didn't notice flash holes being off center.... might be just a bad batch ???
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Old April 28, 2010, 06:57 PM   #9
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At one time it was very common for flash holes to be off-center, especially with military brass. Most of the time the decapping pin will eject the spent primer anyway. Once the primer is ejected, there did not seem to be any problem using those cases. Now, that condition is much less common.

By the way, the flash holes are not drilled, they are punched(which is why they leave an irregular projection of brass into the case that is removed with various flash hole deburrers).
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Old April 29, 2010, 07:22 AM   #10
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With respect to the Speer 357 Sig cases

they are DESIGNED to have smaller flash holes. That seems to be unique to Speer in this particular cartridge, but it doesn't indicate that the cases are bad. Most reloading equipment manufacturers offer smaller decapping pins to work with these cases, and they also work with cases with regular-sized holes. I swtiched a while ago and have not had any problems. My Lee Universal Decapping Die came with the small (0.062") pin.

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Old April 29, 2010, 03:29 PM   #11
bfg9000guy
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Unclenick said:
Being off-center won't prevent them from working, but can be hard on your decapping pin and on any attempt to deburr or ream the primer pockets to better uniformity. If you're not having trouble with decapping, just set them aside for practice or for shooting where you think you may lose the brass.

I really like this idea. I decapped them with a punch... I can load them up and set them aside as "disposable rounds", to use in situations when recovering the brass might be difficult or impossible.
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Old April 30, 2010, 10:59 AM   #12
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This defect is not limited to their .223 brass, I have Fiocchi 9x18 Makarov at least haft of it has off-centered flash holes, 25% are way off
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Old April 30, 2010, 01:41 PM   #13
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No. No. No. No.

It cannot be true.

...Some one admitting that a Lee decapping pin broke...

Is this still The Firing Line? Did I take a wrong turn?

I thought they were indestructible, can never be broken, and "push through" like they're supposed to... to save the pin.

I don't feel right. I need a drink....
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Old April 30, 2010, 06:57 PM   #14
vladan
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LOL, well once I have berdan primer case mixed in and the pin DID NOT break, just slid up, but luckily I realized what happen so I didn't just tightened the locking nut some more ...
So here you go, youre still on TFL
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Old May 1, 2010, 05:36 PM   #15
Unclenick
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It can go either way. The Lee pins do seem to be tougher than the replaceable pins in other brands, which I have broken a number of.


Dahermit,

Were you referring to Fiocchi flash holes specifically? Military specs call for drilled holes (which still get burrs because they drill pretty fast) while most commercial holes are usually punched. The Fiocchi in the photos appear to have a slight indentation around the hole, indicating a punch, but I've never seen punched holes that far off center before; just the drilled ones in Lake City cases.

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Old May 4, 2010, 05:03 PM   #16
bfg9000guy
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FrankenMauser wrote:

...Some one admitting that a Lee decapping pin broke...

Is this still The Firing Line? Did I take a wrong turn?


Sorry, I'm new enough to reloading that I haven't had time to develop any "blind loyalties" to any one company. Just give me a few more years...

Seriously though, I believe the reason that the pin broke has to do with the punched flash holes. The pin came down on the wrong side of the burr and "rode the slope", which deflected it ever farther off center. I'm sure the pin can sustain quite a bit of compression force, but once its off-center, then you've got some serious shear force which the pin is not designed for.
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Old May 4, 2010, 05:12 PM   #17
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I broke a few Lee pins early on. I think the problem in my situation was two-fold:

1) There's no firm guidance for how tight the collet nut should be (such as a torque specification), so I suspect there are a lot out there that are tight enough that they'll break before being pushed up through the die. Now, I loosen the collet so that even a normal primer will push the pin up, and then gradually tighten it until the pin stops getting pushed up. A particularly tight primer may still push up the pin, but at least it's not breaking.

2) I was initially using way too much force when decapping spent cases. So, when I hit a piece of Berdan-primed brass, the pin would pretty much instantly shatter. Now that I've realized how little force is actually required to remove a primer, I'm not breaking the pins when I come across a Berdan-primed case that I missed or a case with a flash hole that's way off-center.
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Old May 14, 2010, 03:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
This defect is not limited to their .223 brass, I have Fiocchi 9x18 Makarov at least haft of it has off-centered flash holes, 25% are way off .
Same here on some 44 Mag G.F.L.
Quote:
1) There's no firm guidance for how tight the collet nut should be (such as a torque specification), so I suspect there are a lot out there that are tight enough that they'll break before being pushed up through the die.
Also broke my Lee Universal decapping pin on one with the flash hole way off(struck solid brass). Lee replaced it for free. I have read of some polishing the pin shaft were it goes through the collet so it can still slip when tightened a lot. I really had to tighten mine to prevent slipping on crimped primers. From the factory it slipped on standard primers.
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Old May 14, 2010, 04:30 PM   #19
briandg
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there is no excuse for that. those things should have been dumped from production. US military brass would never have passed.

Did you by chance get that stuff from a dealer who bought the stuff as salvage metal and went on to sell it as brass?
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Old May 14, 2010, 04:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Did you by chance get that stuff from a dealer who bought the stuff as salvage metal and went on to sell it as brass?
My 9x18 mak brass is from Fiocchi loaded ammunition, I bought a 1K rounds for $150 a few years back. I guess I got what I payed for
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Old May 14, 2010, 04:55 PM   #21
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Voice from Italy.

Hello everybody,
I shot some 3,000 Fiocchi cases so far, a good bunch I bought at the range, but I never met flash holes like those posted. Maybe a bad batch???
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Old May 14, 2010, 09:46 PM   #22
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I got some Fiocchi .357 ammo and the cases are Starline brass. The stuff was on back order since 12/09. I just got it in about 2 weeks ago. it is the XTP 158 gr bullet. I was quite surprised to see Starline cases in the box.
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Old May 15, 2010, 08:53 AM   #23
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I at last broke open a old case of the .45ACP Fiocchi in maroon color boxes that Ammoman brought in 6-7 years ago, it was good, clean, cheap and always hotter then US commercial loads but the flash holes are so off center in 90% it`s almost impossible to decap primers. Too bad.

Last edited by Black Dog; May 15, 2010 at 09:03 AM.
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Old May 15, 2010, 03:34 PM   #24
briandg
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HORNADY XTP bullets?

Starline brass and hornady bullets? what part of this makes it Fiocchi?

This thread is enough to make me swear never, ever, to use a product of theirs at any point in my life. I can buy a bag of popcorn and there will not be a single grain of inferior product in it, but I could buy a box of fiocchi ammo, and the brass will be defective?

Never. Not in a million years.
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Old May 16, 2010, 01:10 AM   #25
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Starline brass and hornady bullets? what part of this makes it Fiocchi?
.... The name on the box ....


Not wanting to use anything Fiocchi is a bit much (in my opinion). I've had bad experiences with a few lots of brass, but it's decent stuff - overall.

And... it has a good enough record for factory ammo. It goes bang the first time. It's just the reloading part that sometimes makes people say, "What the *?".
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