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Jiminy Crickets!! FIVE case splits!!


Cemetery

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Holy Moly!!

 

Got five split pieces of 44.40 brass today, all on one stage!!  All filled with real black!! 

 

Luckily nobody hurt, nothing stuck in chamber, and where that brass went who knows!?!  Last three stages rode the rifle hard and fast with no problems.

 

Case on right for scale.

IMG_5538.JPG

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16 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Do you clean your cases between loadings?  Do you have any photos of your loaded rounds?  I would like to see how far back the shoulder is.

 

Wet tumble between loadings.  Rinsed after each match.

 

photo of random cartridge.  Lee dies used.

 

EDIT: been using the same reloading technique for seven years.

 

IMG_5540.JPG

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Looks and sounds like everything is OK.  I have forgotten to clean a few rounds of BP loaded shells and when I finally got around to cleaning them they were severely corroded on the inside.  The shoulder does not appear to have been pushed to far back.  (Although the only sure way to tell is to gauge them.)  Have you checked the headspace on the gun?

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2 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

 Have you checked the headspace on the gun?

 

No.

 

Is there an easy way with cartridges, or are tools needed?

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Cemetary, When you wet tumble do you use Lemi Shine?

 

The reason I ask, is because last year I switched to wet tumbling and started using Lemi Shine and Dawn.

I started having LOTS of split brass... Like as many as 10 in a 20 round stage.

I was like ... What The Heck is going on ???????????????

 

I spoke with several folks and figured out that a heaping tablespoon of Lemi Shine was Way Too Much.

I cut it back to about 1/4 teaspoon per batch and ... No more Split Brass problem.

 

Apparently a strong solution of lemishine can make the brass brittle.... who'd a thunk.......

Anyway thats what I'm attributing it to.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Cemetery said:

Holy Moly!!

 

Got five split pieces of 44.40 brass today, all on one stage!!  All filled with real black!! 

 

Luckily nobody hurt, nothing stuck in chamber, and where that brass went who knows!?!  Last three stages rode the rifle hard and fast with no problems.

 

Case on right for scale.

IMG_5538.JPG

 

 

Holy Crappa-Moly!  I usually toss about two from each batch for case mouth splits due to flaring, but I've NEVER had anything like that happen.  In fact, aside from case mouth splits, I've never had even the tiniest of splits or cracks.  Is this Starline brass?  I've had nothing but the best of luck with theirs.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Kind of fuzzy, but it looks like I am seeing a whole lot of space between the back of the barrel and the front of the rim.

 

It does, but the case is all the way in.  I'll try other rounds, and compare to my other 44.40 rifles.

 

 

IMG_5544.JPG

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11 hours ago, Lazy Eeyour said:

Perhaps there is a chemist here who can comment on the other chemicals and their effect on brass.

 

Not a professional chemist, but took several chemistry classes thinking I was gonna be one.

 

The LemiShine that most folks use is the Dish washer booster, not the dish washer detergent which is what you provided the ingredients list for.

 

So, I looked up the dw booster ingredients - https://www.lemishine.com/products/detergent_booster/  and click Ingredients.   Virtually all citric acid.  Meant to dissolve carbonate scum on dishes and glasses.

 

The citric acid can be rough enough on brass to dissolve it if concentrated enough and left in contact with brass long enough.   Since the booster appears to be a heavy concentration of citric acid (nothing much else listed but fragrances) , I would suspect that acid corrosion has thinned the cases to the point that firing pulled the case apart just below the shoulder.   Put a mike/caliper on the brass right at the fracture.  Then measure the thickness of brass at the mouth of a new case.  If used case is much different (thinner)  then there is probably corrosion damage.  

 

How does it damage brass?  Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.  The zinc is very easy to dissolve even in weak acids.  If the zinc is pulled out of the brass, the remaining copper is fairly weak.    Salt (sodium chloride) doesn't attack brass very much at all - that is why marine hardware (like propellers, window frames, etc) on sea-going vessels has been made of brass for a long time.  Marine grade stainless steel is even better, but the old ship makers didn't have much of that.  ;)

 

Good luck, GJ

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Wow!

 

I, too was thinking of neck splits--I get a bunch but my brass is at least 6 years old and I've been known to reload those with 'tiny' splits for use in Rugers--yes, I know I might kill everyone in a 5 mile radius and the land will not be useable for 600 years...and it will glow in the night--my choice:  my injuries--if any happen; but I load at wimpy load-levels for SASS

 

I just throw the split ones away and fill in with new brass.  When I fill up a box or so take to metal recycling and get a like about in weight of lead.

 

cheyenne

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image.jpeg.52355446464331eed1c6d5fd622d3ed5.jpeg

 

A bit OT,but, is that ring at the crimp OK? I did that to some 45 colts and assumed I over-crimped and those cases have seemed to split prematurely. Picture borrowed from Cemetery!

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That crimp is tight, for sure.  But, safe.   Of course, over belling and over crimping both are hard on case mouths.

 

C -

Have you checked the bullet diameter you are using?   Those are the largest neck loaded .44 WCF's I've seen.  There's almost no visible bottleneck.  A really large bullet diameter could be contributing to a case failure problem.   In that pic, it almost looks like a 45 slug in 44 case.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

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20 hours ago, Cemetery said:

 

No.

 

Is there an easy way with cartridges, or are tools needed?

 

Good question, I have read various suggestions involving feeler gauges, tape, calipers, etc...

 

If I find out that I do have excessive headspace, how do I correct it?

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18 minutes ago, CodyMaverick said:

If I find out that I do have excessive headspace, how do I correct it?

 

With a 73 it's easy.   Ask for longer links to shorten up headspace  (you need the pair - right and left sides that match).   You can send the links to Cowboys and Indian Store or Pioneer GunWorks and they can measure and advise.    Pioneer if you need a different set of links for something other than the C&I short stroke kits, since they machine their own and can cut odd link sizes.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Thanks GJ,

 

Mine are all CodyMatics and I have one that's suspect and I'm going to give it to Cody at the W. Va state match and let him deal with it.  When I had him on the phone he didn't seem to be in a chatty mood so I didn't bother him with the question but I am curious.  I was guessing the answer would involve bending the lever but from looking at it I don't see how that would work.  Longer links would do it but since he doesn't use kits I can't guess what his method would be.

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Bending lever will do nothing for headspace.  That is controlled by the length of locked-up links plus length of bolt from front link pin to the face of bolt.  Period.

 

An old, very labor intensive way was to solder a shim on front of bolt face, then make a longer cartridge support tab.  And adjust the extractor hook.  Wow, a lot of work.  Links could be hot-forge-stretched (or even cut and rewelded) - but never seen anyone precise enough to get both links stretched the same.  And either would weaken the links - already the .... weak link of a 73 design. ;)

 

Or if you really want some work, turn the barrel shank and rotate barrel one turn tighter.   Then adjust all the things that THAT exercise puts into the wrong location.  Or sleeve chamber to make the chamber come to the bolt face.  Ugh.

 

Best to just get a set of longer links!

 

Good luck, GJ

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5 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

C -

Have you checked the bullet diameter you are using?   Those are the largest neck loaded .44 WCF's I've seen.  There's almost no visible bottleneck.  A really large bullet diameter could be contributing to a case failure problem.   In that pic, it almost looks like a 45 slug in 44 case.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

GJ,

 

Boolits are .429

 

~C

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9 hours ago, John Boy said:

Cemetery - if you annealed the cases, they look to be over annealed for 44-40's with thin wall diameters from the shoulder up to the mouth

 

Annealing? 

 

Sounds like voodoo to me.

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3 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Bending lever will do nothing for headspace.  That is controlled by the length of locked-up links plus length of bolt from front link pin to the face of bolt.  Period.

 

An old, very labor intensive way was to solder a shim on front of bolt face, then make a longer cartridge support tab.  And adjust the extractor hook.  Wow, a lot of work.  Links could be hot-forge-stretched (or even cut and rewelded) - but never seen anyone precise enough to get both links stretched the same.  And either would weaken the links - already the .... weak link of a 73 design. ;)

 

Good luck, GJ

 

I've shimmed the face of a '73 bolt before, I wont be doing another one :wacko:

But it worked Great !!!!

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Maybe I missed it, but are you loading with black powder or smokeless?  If black powder are you sure the load is compressed?  Might double check your powder throw to make sure something didn't loosen up causing a light load.

 

I have seen cases like that separate before, usually because the brass is old and brittle, but five separated cases on one stage is unbelievable!  If you had that much old brittle brass you should have had the cases crumbling on the reloading press.  Headspace could be an issue, do the links on your rifle seem loose or excessively worn? If the bolt is squatting back too much after the round is fired this can cause the brass to stretch and separate.  Either way, if the cases were failing upon firing it should have been obvious with a lot of blow back.

 

I have seen cases sperate like this before for two other reasons.  One was a wet chamber, the shooter had been misting the bore with water in order to keep the fouling soft.  Apparently, a combo of water and grime made for a tight chamber and the case separated at the neck when the action was cycled.  Another cause is fillers such as corn meal on top of the powder and under the bullet.  Some fillers can pack like cement and get stuck in the bottleneck of the case, causing a case failure.  For this reason, fillers are generally considered unsafe for bottle neck cartridges.

 

 

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On 9/10/2017 at 9:15 PM, Cemetery said:

 

Wet tumble between loadings.  Rinsed after each match.

 

photo of random cartridge.  Lee dies used.

 

EDIT: been using the same reloading technique for seven years.

 

IMG_5540.JPG

 

 

What do you use for your wet tumbling?  As others have discussed, lemishine is citric acid and will leach the zinc from brass.  If you wet tumble this won't be too noticeable as the SS pins may clean the visible copper/pink tinted brass off, but if you let your brass sit in the solution and not tumble it, you will bring out lots of copper colored brass if your solution is too strong.  I switched away from lemishine  aka citric acid some time ago and now use a burnishing compound found at Rio Grande called Sunsheen Burnishing Compound and it has seemed to eliminate this problem. 

 

Also, I always give my BP brass a quick rinse in soap and warm water and let air dry when I get home to slow down the corrosion process.  I like to clean in big batches, 12 to 14 #'s at a time, and it takes a little while to build that up.  FYI, this works well for BP and Subs, though I stick to BP as I think cleanup of guns and brass with BP is easier.

 

WK

 

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A couple weeks ago I had the same thing happen twice during a match with smokeless .38 specials in a model 66. The front half of the separated case stuck in the chamber and locked up the rifle until I could dig it out. Figured I'd use the remaining ammo from that batch in pistols only. 

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11 minutes ago, July Smith said:

Citric acid was discussed pretty heavily in a thread over on the Cast Boolits forum.  The general consensus was that it would not harm the brass unless one used a very heavy concentration. 

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?83572-Citric-acid-brass-cleaner

 

I'll heartily DISAGREE with such a conclusion being applied to using it in a hours-long tumbing cleaner, however, having used it myself some. Those fellers are leaving brass in citric acid solutions just long enough to lift off the oxides and gunk.   Not for 2+ hour tumbling sessions.   When I've used it, it has ALWAYS been for not more than 2 minutes max.  Then rinsed off with clear water.   Never left to soak or even more aggressive, to tumble for hours.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Good points to keep in mind. 

 

I will say that personally, I have tumbled my brass for 2+ hours in citric acid and dawn with no ill effects to date.  I also load quite a bit of 30-06 and 223 ammo that has been treated with citric acid, and I have never experienced case separation like Cemetery.  The point I am trying to make is that I believe something else is wrong with Cemetery's ammo and or gun, but at this point is just all speculation on the internet.  Still, need basic load info, a general idea of the OP's loading practices/methods, and an idea as to the condition of his rifle.

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