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Old August 3, 2011, 03:18 PM   #1
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Scorched brass

Does anyone have a good reason for this. I noticed it more on some 38 special and someone told me that the case wasn't sealing well in the cylinder and letting the burn come back and scorch the brass. I also see it on some 9mm, not sure if it is my brass or not, I'll start paying more attention. There is usually a lot of 9 on the ground and I'll pick up anything. I certainly see a lot of brass that looks perfectly clean. Would it make a difference if I crimped my 9mm thus assuring a more even seal all around the case? I have the Lee FCD but seldom use it because I didn't really see any difference. Any thoughts will be appreciated. It's not a problem, usually cleans off when I tumble, just curious.
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Old August 3, 2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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Usually a sign of a low-pressure load that doesn't cause the brass to seal well against the chamber wall.
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Old August 3, 2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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I usually get some of that with my med. to light loads in my 9mm,they just don't generate enough pressure to fully expand and seal the case to the chamber compared to factory loads,it's not a big deal and tumbles off fairly easy.

I don't put any extra crimp on 9mm,I adjust the taper crimp on the seater die so that it only sized the case mouth down about .001" smaller than one that just resized with no flair. All I want to do is just remove the flair and straighten the case back out so it feeds and chambers easily. In general if the expander plug is correct and taper crimp is set correctly and bullet dia. is correct you have sufficient bullet tension.
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Old August 3, 2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Are you using Titegroup powder? It does that; try using Bullseye, 231, Red Dot, Green Dot, or American Select. If you're not using Titegroup, you probably are loading them too light.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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It is not so much "scorched", as it is "sooty". As mentioned above, too light of a load will delay the sealing of the chamber and the combustion products begin to blow between the brass and the chamber wall before the brass case seals. It happens mostly in handgun cartridges but does also happen in some too lightly loaded (with slow burning powders), rifle loads also.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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"Scortched" exterior? I can assure you the outside doesn't get the heat the inside does.
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Old August 3, 2011, 11:09 PM   #7
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Looks like the consensus is light loads and I probably agree. I'm shooting a S&W 952 which is a great gun but being a little heavy you don't feel the recoil as much. I'm loading 5 grns of w231 with a 115 bullet which I don't consider to be light but the results speak for themselves. Next round I'll bump it up a little
and also try some Bullseye and see what happens.
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Old August 4, 2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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I had read the reason for the soot was my rounds were not sealing properly because they were low - medium pressure. I upped the powder charge a few grains (Still no where near max) and tried them. Soot is gone and the brass is shiny.

Now that I know what causes it, it does not bother me. I do not enjoy shooting full powered rounds. As far as reloading them, I use a tumbler to make the brass shiny again, so it all gets cleaned off.

Find a power level that works for you and then just tumble the soot away.
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Old August 4, 2011, 11:21 AM   #9
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+1 on the low pressure. When I loaded my first low pressure rounds in 38 spl the brass was so sootie I just new I done something wrong. They shot great so I soon discovered it didn't hurt a thing. They cleaned up just fine when I tumbled them.
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