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Nickel City Dude

Broken Cartridge in chamber

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I shoot a Uberti 1873 in 44-40.  Recently I have had two cartridges break on me leaving the top part of it in the breach.  I use Starline brass, 200gr molly coated bullets sized to .427 with 5.3 grains of Alliant Promo.  Anyone have any idea why this is happening and how to stop it?

 

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I can think of two reasons.

Well used brass. or when sizing the shoulder is moved too far down the case and as it expands the should is pushed up in to the chamber breaking the shoulder of the case at it's lower first bend.

(the fix for this is to readjust your sizing die to move the shoulder farther out to meet the chamber shoulder.

 

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To provide further info about the condition Cliff Hanger talked about, set both a resized case and a fired case with the head down on the table top.   Visually compare where the shoulder is.  If the sized case has a much lower shoulder, back the sizing die away from the shell holder/plate.  Back off sizer until a sized case will not easily chamber, then lower sizer half a turn.

 

Tell us what dies you are using to load these rounds!   When you have cases separating, it is VERY often a reloading problem.

 

I'd also recommend not overworking the neck during sizing and expanding.  First thing, I'd select a 0.429 diameter slug for use in modern made 44-40 rifles.   Crimping the mouth down to hold a 0.427 bullet in the case is an unnecessary amount of work hardening being done on the brass.  Most Uberti rifle bores are grooved to 0.429"    If you do that, then make sure you have a 0.429" expander button - the size that .44 mag and .44 special dies all come with.  Factory will provide one on request.  The RCBS Cowboy type pistol dies include a cast-bullet friendly 0.429 expander button in the expander die from factory.

 

Starline has occasionally made a batch of brass that is too hard and fails early.  You might have one of these lots.  (See next paragraph)

 

But to stop whatever is causing your cases to be brittle and separate early in their life, I'd do an annealing process on the neck area (only) of your cases.  Don't soften the shoulder intentionally - it needs to be a bit hard to avoid rolling into a wrinkle during bullet seating..

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

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I am starting to set up a reloading station in an shed. I will insulate and weather condition the space, including appropriate security locking.

 

So as a newbie I am asking, how do you anneal the neck of a pistol cartridge without affecting the base?

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CGC, you will get LOTS of bad advise on annealing cases.  Most overheat the brass thereby ruining it. Either use tempilac (available from Brownells) to make sure you get the temp right or use a commercial annealing machine to be sure. By hand with eyeballing the color is the easiest way to ruin brass. Especially short pistol brass. 

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Sit the case so it has the bottom 1/2"-5/8" in a pan of water, and you just want to see the case color start to change.

You anneal clean and deprimed cases. Better to see the color change.

If you let any part of the case go 'red'-It's ruined for sure, and you'll have to toss it.

Good info here-

http://www.texas-mac.com/Annealing_BPCR_Case_Necks.html

 

OLG

 

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Use Templaq to make sure your don't over heat.  Texas Mac's guide is spot on.

 

I built one of these to do all my rifle cases.

 

The cake pan they recommend is VERY soft aluminum and easy to warp out of shape. I wound up using a sauce pan I found at a thrift store. The key is that the corner where the sides meet the bottom has to be a close to a corner as possible. If it is a radius bend the pan will not work.

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

 

 

Most Uberti rifle bores are grooved to 0.429"    

 

 

 

 

 

I have an older Uberti ‘73. Does anyone have information by year, or ideally by serial number range, when they changed from .427 to .429?  Thanks

 

Seamus

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 Thanks for the responses and info.  I will try raising my sizing die up a tad and look into getting a unit to anneal my cases.  

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I have NEVER had to anneal any cases. I have loaded 10s of thousands of them. While there might be some advantage to it, it is not necessary in pistol caliber cases including Starline.

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8 minutes ago, Hillbilly Drifter said:

I have NEVER had to anneal any cases. I have loaded 10s of thousands of them. While there might be some advantage to it, it is not necessary in pistol caliber cases including Starline.

All cases work harden(become brittle)from firing and resizing.

That starts show'n up in case mouth splits from crimping.

The  thin walled bottleneck cases of the .38WCF & .44WCF calibers can show this issue far sooner than true straight wall cases(to a point).

FWIW: I anneal all of my bottleneck rifle cases, and the targets say to keep do'n so. ;)

OLG

 

 

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Just now, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

All cases work harden(become brittle)from firing and resizing.

That starts show'n up in case mouth splits from crimping.

The  thin walled bottleneck cases of the .38WCF & .44WCF calibers can show this issue far sooner than true straight wall cases(to a point).

FWIW: I anneal all of my bottleneck rifle cases, and the targets say to keep do'n so. ;)

OLG

 

 

too each there own Lumpy. I can buy new brass far cheaper than the time/expense of annealing equipment but have not had to do so yet. I am pretty competitive in our 600 yard and 1000 yard matches here in WV with a couple wins so far. There are clearly two camps in annealing.

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Just now, Hillbilly Drifter said:

too each there own Lumpy. I can buy new brass far cheaper than the time/expense of annealing equipment but have not had to do so yet. I am pretty competitive in our 600 yard and 1000 yard matches here in WV with a couple wins so far. There are clearly two camps in annealing.

Is this BP or 'white' powder matches?

Modern rifle or?

When I started annealing my BP rifle ammo. My groups got very round and much smaller. Flyers became almost non-existent.

The ES in crono testing drop about 20% also.

This is for my .45-70 and .45-90 BP loads.

I have found it also true for my  223, 308, 338 Lapua and 50BMG loading.

OLG

 

 

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I don't shoot BP so.......

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