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Black Mike

What is going on with my 44-40 casings

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I have been loading 44-40's a long time.  This particular batch of brass has at least ten reloads on them.  This time around when resizing I had about a dozen or so out of about 400 crush right at the bottleneck line.  My die is clean.  My dog Buck and I just can't figure this one out.

 

Anyone have any experience like this? 

 

 

IMG_0859.jpg

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The one on the right looks like it has a split case. Are you sure they are 44-40, I don't see any bottleneck.

   FWIW, when I start having this happen I anneal them, seems to keep them going longer. I assume they get so work hardened that they resist sizing and crush instead.

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Try Imperial Sizing wax for a lube. If that doesn't help you need to anneal or buy new brass.  Annealing brass without the right equipment ruins more cases than it helps. Be aware of that.

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Only time I've seen that happen to me the timing was off on the carrier of the press. I've had it happen on both a lee pro1000 and a loadmaster. 

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+1 on annealing.  I tried to do it by hand, then a home made machine, then I bought an Annealeez and haven't looked back.

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Your a lucky man!!   You got better helper than I do    GW

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Posted (edited)

Mike, I have found that Bag Balm is the best I have used over several decades. Just one LIGHT swipe with your index finger and thumb.  No crushed cases either FL sizing or reforming

 

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Vermont-s-Original-Bag-Balm-Moisturizer-Ointment-for-Pets-8-Oz-Canister/152299244?athcpid=152299244&athpgid=athenaItemPage&athcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020&athguid=97b27500-006-174326a4abd511&athancid=null&athena=true

 

image.jpeg.b3160ceea0552dc2bb25d51e7ea23352.jpeg
 

 

Edited by John Boy
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Perhaps not going into the die straight? Some crud in the shell holder or shell plate maybe?

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I've been loading 44-40 for 20 years no annealing no lube. It looks like what has been said, something is out of alignment causing an off center result.

IKe

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What press are you using. If it is a progressive you should make sure the shell plate is tight and that it is properly indexing. Sooner or later things wear and adjustments move.

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Thank you all for your thoughtful comments.

 

I will let you know how I have loaded these casings for the last ten years or so. After ten or more reloads on this batch they have been starting to split at the case mouth more often.

 

I shoot black powder and APP substitute in the 44-40 exclusively.

I never rinse or clean my brass after a match.

I first resize and deprime the dirty casings on a rock chucker with RCBS cowboy die.

Next, I wet tumble in a Frankford Arsenal tumbler.

Then I reload on a Dillon RL 500.

First station I bell about half way and seat the primer.

Second statiion completes the bell and powder put in case.

Next The bullet is seated, finally at last station crimped.  

 

I did clean the rock chucker seat and Die.  Seems aligned. 

The crushed cased are definately 44-40.  They crush at the point where the case necks down. 

I may try cleaning and lubing next go around before I size and depriime and see if I can squeek  out a few more loads.

Have plenty of Bag Balm for my hands.

I have broken out 500 new casings and have put an order into Starline for 500 more..

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BM

 I think you are livin too close to the salt water, yer gonna have to move farther inland.

kR

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I have that happen with split cases. when trying to seat the Bullet.

And with casings that were too long .

Mite need trimming .

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Zooming in on the image, the mouth of the case is taking a beating. Don’t know what kind of press you have, but guessing the die is either out of alignment with the case or something else is out of whack with die itself besides dirt. 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/27/2020 at 4:40 PM, Black Mike said:

I have been loading 44-40's a long time.  This particular batch of brass has at least ten reloads on them.  This time around when resizing I had about a dozen or so out of about 400 crush right at the bottleneck line.  My die is clean.  My dog Buck and I just can't figure this one out.

 

Anyone have any experience like this? 

 

 

IMG_0859.jpg

 

It looks to me that either the cases have become longer or the dies are out of adjustment.  

 

Try resetting the adjustment of the decapper/resizer die and powder drop die.  You may also want to check for crude in both dies.  While in theory the dies shouldn't become out of adjustment, in practice I found, at least on a Dillon 650, that sometimes the dies need to be re-adjusted and cleaned.

 

Per wikipedia & Cartridges of the World:  44-40 Case OAL is 1.305 in (33.1 mm)

 

 

Edited by Chantry

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Try lubing the cases the easy cheap way:

 

Put a few hundred cases in a cardboard box about 8”x14” and about 6” deep.  Pour the brass into another cardboard box while spraying Hornady spray lube into the stream of brass.  Five seconds and you’re done.

 

This makes the handle easier to pull and works well with all pistol caliber brass (not so much with high pressure rifle brass).

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I don't believe anyone makes necked pistol cases in carbide.

kR

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6 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

Do you have to lube pistol cases if you use carbide dies?

No, that is why we love carbide dies. If the case is bottlenecked or has a taper the carbides have no effect, so you still have to lube.

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You have to lube bottleneck cases such as 25-20, 32-20, 38-40, 44-40, even if the cartridge only has a slight taper. I load 32-20 and I take about 10-12 cases at a time and put them on the lube pad with RCBS lube. Using a Hornady LNL press about every 4th case I insert one of the lubed ones, then run a few unlubed ones until you feel them begin to stick in the sizing die, then repeat. Works fine for me.

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5 minutes ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

You have to lube bottleneck cases such as 25-20, 32-20, 38-40, 44-40, even if the cartridge only has a slight taper. I load 32-20 and I take about 10-12 cases at a time and put them on the lube pad with RCBS lube. Using a Hornady LNL press about every 4th case I insert one of the lubed ones, then run a few unlubed ones until you feel them begin to stick in the sizing die, then repeat. Works fine for me.

I will have to try that. I have always sprayed, or in the past rolled, them all. Whoever invented spray on case lube is my hero!

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I'm puzzled: I do have to ask, what die are you using? 

 

I used a Lyman T-Mag press and LEE dies for 44-40. IIRC I also had a set of Redding. I lightly lubed my cases and after a few hundred, the die was seasoned and I didn't lube any more, unless it "felt" a bit off, and I'd lube about 5 and then back to treating it like a carbide die. 

 

I found 44-40 an easy caliber to load for, once the process was sorted. Ken Waters had issues with the 44-40, his dies were sizing the brass too small in the neck and shoulders, he bought a new die and things were golden.

 

Caveat: 44-40 brass is thin, every so often alignment would be off a bit and the case would be crushed. 

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Any chance you picked up some 38WCF cases?  

 

I have to watch Sawmill Mary's cases returned from a match because she comes home with 45 Colt and even 44 Magnum cases. 

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If the problem was misalignment of shell plate & die the case mouth opening would be crushed.  I occasionally crush the case mouths on 38SP & 45Colt when the bench my XL650 is mounted on wiggles. 

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OK thanks.  In my head I remember being told rifle cartridges had to be lubed, I'm sure I was told bottlenecked and misremembered since most pistol cases are straight. 

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5 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

OK thanks.  In my head I remember being told rifle cartridges had to be lubed, I'm sure I was told bottlenecked and misremembered since most pistol cases are straight. 

 

 

The 44-40 always has been and always will be a rifle cartridge, that is also used in revolvers.

For shooting at greater than 100 yards (200 yards to 300 yards)...slower burning mid-range rifle powders are a must in order to achieve overall best performance. When shooting this caliber in revolvers, a faster burning powder must be used to achieve best overall performance. Unique works fine in rifles out to 50 yards, but anything further, pistol powders will give less than desirable results.

Back to the crushing problem :-)

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If you’ve been loading 44 WCF for ten years with no problems - and are just now getting crushed cases, something has changed.  I assume you meant you reload on a Dillon 550 - the company makes an alignment tool for that press.  I’ll bet someone in your club has one you can borrow to check/realign your tool head.  Might make a difference.  I have realigned mine a few times.  
 

I’ve never resized brass that hasn’t been cleaned first.  If you’re not annealing, I’m wondering how good of a seal your cases have in the chamber after several firings and resizings.  Running carbon fouled brass into the sizer over time may have an effect.  And lots of folks here have mentioned proper lube for the bottle necked case. 
 

My $.02

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I have done the spray the cases in a box thing to lube them, but what I do now is similar to John Boy, lubing with my fingers, but I use Ballistol.  I start with my cases in a loading tray (easier to inspect) and lube at least every other one.

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Like another poster said, the cases have been misshaped at the mouth as if they are too long. I dont think lube is your problem and i never lube my 44 40 cases. I think people who keep saying  you have to lube  them have never tried without or dont load 44 40

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