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Savvy Jack

How Do Folks Determine The Strength Of A Case?

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Howdy, just wonder how folks determine the strength of one case over another. Sometimes it is obvious, some it's not.

 

Two of these is 44-40, one is 44 Magnum, in no specific order...

1. Starline 44-40

2. Winchester 44-40

3. WW Super 44 Magnum

 

Vote - Which is the 44 Magnum?

 

1. Left - Three Foot Johnson,

2. Center - Griff - WINNER

3. Right - Assassin 

 



 

121613907_3411066812318015_8774934953457461949_n.jpg

Edited by Savvy Jack

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Left is .44 mag.

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The case is not as important as the chamber is it fired in.

The chamber holds the pressure, not the case.

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1 hour ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

Left is .44 mag.

 

Noted

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1 hour ago, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

The case is not as important as the chamber is it fired in.

The chamber holds the pressure, not the case.

 

So which one do you think is the 44 mag case?

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Immaterial.  Actually.  I've found when judging the strength of the case, so long as the 6 pac's make it all the way to the car, it doesn't matter.  :D

 

 

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I  think the 44 mag is far right. Too much pressure could blow the head off a case. I've seen it happen with really old brass and overloaded rifle cases.

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I'm going to say center is the 44Mag... but.... why didn't you cut them all in half at the same point.  Center & right don't have a flash channel showing. Or is that a trick from the lighting?

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Oh yeah, I determine the strength of a case by when it cracks.  Either longitudinally or mouth... then it's time to replace it!

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7 hours ago, Griff said:

I'm going to say center is the 44Mag... but.... why didn't you cut them all in half at the same point.  Center & right don't have a flash channel showing. Or is that a trick from the lighting?

 

I just didn't cut the right two all the way to the flash hole. They are all basically the same with large pistol primers,

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Of the FEW folks who might subject the 'strength of case' into their reloading process, I would say its determined

by reputation because 999 out of 1000 reloaders probably don't know how strong their brass might be.

 

BUT, one of the determining factors of that reputation is the number of usages a reloader can get before the case

starts showing signs of weakness.

 

As for actual strength of a case, I 'think' its determined by the thickness of the web.

I shoot a lot of HOT .45 Colt loads but I don't use .45 Colt brass.   I use .454 Casull brass that has been trimmed down to

.45 Colt length.    The .454 uses small primers and therefore, its web area is much thicker to help keep its integrity under

higher pressures.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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12 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Immaterial.  Actually.  I've found when judging the strength of the case, so long as the 6 pac's make it all the way to the car, it doesn't matter.  :D

 

 

12 packs come in a stronger box!

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Note the rate of taper on the case wall from the base. The left has almost no taper, while the right has a long taper.

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8 minutes ago, Lazy Eeyour said:

Note the rate of taper on the case wall from the base. The left has almost no taper, while the right has a long taper.

 

So I am putting you down for the left case.

 

Actually the taper on the left and right case are both long tapered. The center case is also tapered but it just looks odd in the photo. All sides on all cases are symmetrical, just the guy that sanded them didn't do a great job. Looks good from the naked eye but up close...no so much...sorry!
 

Edited by Savvy Jack

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57 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

As for actual strength of a case, I 'think' its determined by the thickness of the web.

..........Widder

 

 

So I need to add your name to the left case since it has a thicker web?

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Okay, after 307 views, I will post the answer. Doesn't seem very many want to play ;-)

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Left - Winchester 44-40

Center - WW Super 44 Magnum

Right - Starline 44-40

 

Winchester has the larger, thicker web

121970777_348116703081111_2473702466522294119_n.jpg

Edited by Savvy Jack
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Actually, all three are VERY weak cases.

 

I've tried those split cases wouldn't even hold powder!!!

 

:D:D

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Hey Jack ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, you're really bored aren't cha' ? What's next ? :D

Isom

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2 hours ago, Savvy Jack said:

 

So I need to add your name to the left case since it has a thicker web?

 

No, its not that simple because you ask 2 questions.

First, you ask how do folks determine the strength of a case.

Secondly, you ask your readers to choose the case they felt was the .44 magnum, of which I did not choose any of them.

 

Web thickness can help to determine the strength of a case, but it doesn't tell me which case was the .44 mag because

the manufacturers 'specs' for their brass can vary depending upon caliber.   Just because a case is headstamped as

'Magnum' doesn't mean it has a thicker web than a case without the magnum designation.

 

I didn't pick any of those cases because I didn't have a clue which was which based on that picture.    Sorry.

 

..........Widder

 

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2 hours ago, Isom Dart, SASS#8096 said:

Hey Jack ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, you're really bored aren't cha' ? What's next ? :D

Isom

 

Just took the wife flying to see the Fall Foliage.....I am thinking!!!

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1 hour ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I didn't have a clue which was which based on that picture.    Sorry.

..........Widder

 

 

That was the whole point 

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I was wrong again, I hear that alot. 

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1 hour ago, Assassin said:

I was wrong again, I hear that alot. 

 

Personally from what I always hear, I would have chosen the left one!!!

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Several things interest me here.

 

1. Brass mixture used to make a specific caliber case? Is there a difference?

2. The design of the inside (cavity) of the case.

3. The design of the web (thickness), strength is interesting since the Winchester 44-40 has a thicker web than the WW Super 44 Magnum. I will check some more modern brass maybe but nevertheless, modern or old, the 44-40 Winchester web is thicker.

 

4. The 44 Magnum is obviously "stronger" thicker at the neck, but I am not buying that it is stronger at the base. Other than that, they are "visibly" essentially the same.

Educate me please.

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Savvy Jack,

Your #4:   you have to take into consideration the integrity of the brass.   There could very well be a 'strong', more resilient 

thin brass that would actually make it 'better' for its intended purpose.

In other words, the thinner base of the .44 mag could actually be stronger, or have greater integrity, than the thicker brass

of the .44-40 depending upon how its made, the inclusion of other alloys, etc......

 

..........Widder

 

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6 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Savvy Jack,

the inclusion of other alloys, etc......

 

..........Widder

 

 

Yeah, thems the words I was look'n fer!

Edited by Savvy Jack

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Usually cartridge cases are made from "cartridge brass" (30% zinc, rest copper) alloy.  Differences in "temper" (hardness) of various sections of the finished case is built in by the case maker during drawing (which adds hardness) and annealing (softens the case) operations.  A case like .44 WCF goes through a bunch of those steps due to different diameters in the case and the very thin neck design of the case.   If you had a hardness tester, you might find the .44 Mag case web is much harder than the .44 WCF case web, thus better suited for the higher pressures.  And the HEAD of the case is usually high hardness to resist recoil against the recoil shield or bolt when fired, and protect the rim from damage by extractors..

 

The cartridge companies usually don't specify a different alloy for different cartridges.   Too much hassle trying to get the brass makers to tailor a roll of cartridge brass sheet to each of the different cartridges.  They just draw and anneal to the recipe for each cartridge design, that has been developed though the years.

 

Good luck, GJ

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

Usually cartridge cases are made from "cartridge brass" (30% zinc, rest copper) alloy.  Differences in "temper" (hardness) of various sections of the finished case is built in by the case maker during drawing (which adds hardness) and annealing (softens the case) operations.  A case like .44 WCF goes through a bunch of those steps due to different diameters in the case and the very thin neck design of the case.   If you had a hardness tester, you might find the .44 Mag case web is much harder than the .44 WCF case web, thus better suited for the higher pressures.  And the HEAD of the case is usually high hardness to resist recoil against the recoil shield or bolt when fired, and protect the rim from damage by extractors..

 

The cartridge companies usually don't specify a different alloy for different cartridges.   Too much hassle trying to get the brass makers to tailor a roll of cartridge brass sheet to each of the different cartridges.  They just draw and anneal to the recipe for each cartridge design, that has been developed though the years.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

THAT is the information I like to see!!!

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Oh I forgot to add, look at the color change on the 44 mag case-head from when it got hot from the cutting/grinding action. The 44-40s did not turn colors.

Edited by Savvy Jack

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A number of years ago, the question of case strength of various belted magnum rifle cartridges came up. A number of cases were sectioned, including IIRC, Weatherby, W-W, and Remington magnum brass, as well as .30-06. Since the magnum cases were intended to hold at higher working pressures (65,000+ psi), it was assumed the belted magnum brass would have a thicker web, especially at the belt.  Surprise, surprise, surprise! The magnum brass showed the web forward of the belt was actually thinner than a .30-06!  I don't know what conclusions were drawn from that study. It has been too long since it was done. I'm not sure that web thickness is the true indicator of the maximum safe operating pressures for a particular cartridge. Other factors determine that. The relationship between the initial diameter of the base of the case versus the inside diameter of the chamber. Many of the older Colt's SAA's chambered in .45LC had very generous chambers compared with the diameter of the cartridge. As a result, the brass had to expand quite a bit before it hit the chamber wall.  If the pressures generated in such a situation caused the brass to expand beyond its ultimate tensile strength, the case could rupture, allowing the expanding gas and the flame to act like a cutting torch on the chamber wall. This can be seen in some of the guns that suffered a catastrophic failure. Tighter chamber/cartridge case relationship decreased the likelihood for case failure (within reasonable limits, of course).  In that instance, web thickness was less important than the amount the case had to expand before contacting the chamber wall. In fact, the slightly thinner web might actually allow the case to expand against the chamber wall more quickly, so the chamber itself would resist the pressures. 

Stay well and safe!

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