Posted: 12/28/2003 11:52:44 AM EDT
30 years reloading, this is a first. Hand loaded Winchester brass, supposedly once fired, separates three quarters of an inch above head. Not a hot load and I've been using WIN brass for four loadings in my V Match. I've run this load for several hundred rounds without incident until this batch of brass.
Think I'll go back to using virgin brass in my AR although I've loaded thousands of rounds for my MINI 14's with whatever I find on the ground at the range without incident.
My question is; Has anyone seen brass separate in the middle of the case like this one? I never had a case break and the ones I've seen seemed to separate closer to the head.
Thanks for reading this and Happy New Year
Originally Posted By mildbill39:
supposedly once fired
That would be my guess on the brass.
If in doubt, toss it out.
A RCBS precision mic might be in order, helped me save lots of brass, and headache.
Brass that has been fired threw a M-249 with a worn barrel/chamber will blow/expand the hell out of the brass. Since the case webbing never expands, the case just above the web budges, and when resized, that area of the case is paper thin, and splits during the next firing. Since the primer may still be staked in on once fired brass, the dead giveaway is when you go to resize the brass, it will take a lot more effort to size back down.
Also, brass that has been worked (read reloaded several time after being fired in a loose chamber) will have been overworked, and just waiting to split. On this type of brass, you get a clue when you go to seat the primer, it will nearly just fall in.
Note: If your running a progressive press, you never get the feed back that you would if you loaded on a single stage press.
The .223 tends to seperate further up the case than the .308.
Same thing happened to me about a month ago. Once fired .223 Winchester brass (I know because I fired it) separated just like yours.
Upon closer inspection, I saw the tell-tale ring of incipient head separation on other cases of the same batch. The odd thing is that they were further up the case, as you noted, not where you would expect to see them.
Since this was a small group of 100 cases, I decided to trash them, rather than take chances.
I've always used Winchester in the past 30 years, myself. Since I've never seen this occur before, I'm chaulking it up to a defective lot of brass.