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Posted: 7/5/2012 11:45:53 AM EDT
Howdy all! I have been reloading for almost a year now, and I have gotten into high[er] volume shooting as of late. Today at the range I noticed that I had a nice split down the side of one of my .45 ACP Federal Small Primer cases. This disturbed me for a few reasons. First, because I run a powder puff load (230 LRN, 4.5gr W-231 CCI SPP) and secondly I have never had a case split before and I have not been very diligent about checking my brass.

When I first started reloading, I was perhaps overly careful about every aspect of brass prep and reloading but as I transitioned to high volume pistol (approx 2000 rounds/month), I find I need to streamline the process. My question for the experienced high volume reloaders are below

Q1. Do you hand inspect every case after tumbling?

Q2. If you missed a split case and sent it through the press, would you be able to tell that the case was damaged at the bullet seating station?

Q3. If the round made it through the press, would this be a recipe for KB?

Thanks in advance
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 12:07:24 PM EDT

Q1. Do you hand inspect every case after tumbling?   Inspect the finished, loaded rounds.

Q2. If you missed a split case and sent it through the press, would you be able to tell that the case was damaged at the bullet seating station?  Only on a single stage press.

Q3. If the round made it through the press, would this be a recipe for KB? If the split runs to when the brass is no longer supported by the chamber, it would not be a good thing. Not sure what would happen. Nice to have a steel frame to handle the pressure release.  

Thanks in advance
   photo albums  Edit/add. The 45acp is a low pressure round when compared to others like the 40 S&W. Less pressure = Less damage/danger.

Link Posted: 7/5/2012 12:34:51 PM EDT
I have been reloading the .45 small primer. I have found some that have split. I use a single stage press. I would find that when i would go to seat the bullet there was almost no resistance. Something just did not feel right. When i inspected these rounds that's when i found they were split. Pulled bullet put powder in another case and press. The cases i have that are split are Speer. And they appear to be once fired.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 12:38:57 PM EDT
Usually I catch 45acp splits at seating.

I check each completed round in a gauge or a barrel and I have caught splits there.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 12:44:28 PM EDT
Brass fatigue, you squeeze it when you size it, then you expand it to seat the bullets, its like bending a paper clip back and forth until it breaks.

Shit happens, you could have missed it even during a visual inspection if it was just starting to fail. The split normally starts at the mouth of the case and you might feel a split before you see it. Most times it shows up when you expand the mouth of the case and its staring you in the face. I see far more defects now that I clean my cases by wet tumbling and stainless steel pins which makes inspecting the cases far easier.

Your reloading and cases are going to fail and inspection is the only way you are going to find these defects.

The cartridge below had a hang fire or click...........bang during a mad minute shoot and the bolt was opened before the BANG!

Link Posted: 7/5/2012 12:50:51 PM EDT
If they don't split until you fire them there's no way to inspect for a split.  I've had cases split on the second firing.  Since the rest of the lot made many firings after the one split I assume it was due to a manufacturing defect.  I've never had any damage done as the splits I've expirienced have always been further up the body of the case than the unsupported portion of the chamber.
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 6:49:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/5/2012 7:41:49 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/6/2012 11:54:50 AM EDT
I've had a few FC cases split as well, but in 9mm for me.  I've seen a few split after their first firing and I've had some split on their second firing.  I certainly don't trust this brass much, but when they do split it's always been uneventful... meaning I usually don't even notice it until I'm sorting brass later at home.  For my 9mm loads WIN brass has always been my favorite, but ever since Federal champion became the cheapest stuff at wally world, i get a lot more of this brass than anything else.
Link Posted: 7/6/2012 6:31:51 PM EDT
I have seen Federal .45 match brass split on the first firing. Federal brass seems to be a little prone to this toss it and move on. Reload long enough and stuff happens, be safe and wear your glasses.

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