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Feeling stupid... #16034240 04/27/21
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Sheister Offline OP
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Getting ready for a varmint hunting trip and had to load some ammo for a new AR15 for coyotes. Had already loaded about 500-600 rounds last year for a 223 Ackley I had so I could fireform some brass, but they were too long to fit in my AR mags, so I thought I would load a few just for the AR... well, I get about 100 rounds loaded and trying to concentrate, but missed the fact that a bunch of the once fired brass I bought had split necks on them. Seems seating the bullets a bit deeper on some of the cases to accommodate the AR opened up the splits so they were more visible. So, I said a few adult words and went about putting my Kinetic bullet puller to work and unload about 30 of the 100 rounds I loaded.
After checking the couple hundred rounds I am taking up on the trip, I realized I still have about 500-600 to go through to check for problems and possible reload... but it will be worth it if we can find a good couple places to hunt this week ... now if I can just find a supply of small rifle primers...

Bob


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Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Sheister] #16048223 05/02/21
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Scott F Offline
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I have switched to the NOE expander and have been real happy with the results. I believe you would have noticed the splits much sooner if you use the NOE. If you want to try one you can borrow mine.


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Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Scott F] #16052832 05/03/21
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Sheister Offline OP
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Thanks, but I realized if I actually looked for them they were fairly easy to spot .... I just wasn't expecting once fired brass to have split necks so I hadn't been looking....

yup, feeling stupid again....


Never underestimate your ability to overestimate your ability.
Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Sheister] #16052866 05/03/21
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bsa1917hunter Offline
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That is strange that once fired brass would have split necks. Probably not really "once fired". Also, you should be able to feel the neck tension on the upstroke when sizing the brass, as the expander leaves the case mouth. If there is no or very little tension, I always check for split necks. I'm getting some with some FC range pickup brass that has 12 loadings on it now. If I get more, I'm probably going to toss those in the scrap bin and move on to some with less firings on it. Out of 300 rounds I fired a week ago, I found 4 with split necks. Of the 250 rounds I fired this last weekend, I found 2 split necks and 1 that I didn't find during the sizing process. I just got done loading up a couple hundred 223's for my AR a couple hours ago and found 1 that had a split neck. Felt it when seating the bullet. Again, no neck tension. You don't need a puller of any kind to get the bullet out. Just push on the bullet to open up the split more and take the bullet out, pour the powder back in the container, set the bad piece of brass off to the side and pop the primer out later. You can still use that primer in another case.


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Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Sheister] #16053690 05/04/21
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Originally Posted by Sheister
Thanks, but I realized if I actually looked for them they were fairly easy to spot .... I just wasn't expecting once fired brass to have split necks so I hadn't been looking....

yup, feeling stupid again....

Years ago I had a bunch of 1x fired Hornady that had split necks.

This was for sure 1x fired because I was the one who fired the factory ammo before saving it for reloading.


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Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Sheister] #16054590 05/04/21
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Seafire Offline
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Don't feel Stupid... anyone who reloads has been there.... doesn't matter how much experience one has had...

I'd bet based on experience that the brass you have may have been old and just with time, hardened some..

Anneal would have probably helped out by softening it...

I've been annealing a long time now... and now I do it every reload.... Prepping, I do that in my spare time... like when the wife has the TV on and is all wrapped up in a blanket on the couch.. so that is time to myself, and that is when I do that sort of stuff...which is usually after its dark outside so I can't get anything done...I love "spare time" its my time..

but back on topic... annealing it highly worth the time...

another thing I have had to do loading this 17 Fireball stuff I've been playing with, is to polish the expander ball...
can't find my drimmel, so I just called up RCBS and they are sending me a couple at no charge..

for 223, I just had one of my F/L sizing dies reamed out so that I don't have to use an expander ball when I full length size it...
In addition, I have a couple of Lee Collect neck sizing dies, so as not to work the brass as much..

a grain or a grain and half, less powder than max load, also doesn't expand the neck as much, so that also works the brass less,
and with annealing, in a test, I reloaded 10 cases of Rem range pick up brass, 101 times...no neck splits.. in that test, they necked sized only,
and about every 8th to 10th reload, I have to bump the shoulder back..

this was a Bolt action, so the ammo was loaded at around 45,000 CUP...

doing a light lube on the brass necks with a bore brush also helps the neck not being pulled on so much, when using the F/L expander ball...

Took a lot of casualties to get to the point, experience has me eliminating deal with much along the lines of neck splits anymore.
so passing it on to anyone who is interested...



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Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Scott F] #16054591 05/04/21
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Seafire Offline
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Originally Posted by Scott F
I have switched to the NOE expander and have been real happy with the results. I believe you would have noticed the splits much sooner if you use the NOE. If you want to try one you can borrow mine.


Scott old buddy, tell me more about what a NOE expander is?



"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Sheister] #16054653 05/04/21
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Jordan Smith Offline
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Winchester .223 Rem brass?

Re: Feeling stupid... [Re: Sheister] #16054940 05/04/21
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Sheister Offline OP
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Mostly Remington brass and a bit of Winchester. I used powder lube on the neck interiors to try to eliminate the sizer drag, but a lot of them still dragged really hard over the button..I even used my RCBS electric brass prep station to clean the necks inside and clean the primer pockets before sizing. I sized some of the range brass I had also that is mixed surplus, LC, and many other brands I can't identify and they were hardest to pull the sizer through and the least amount of split necks. Haven't loaded those yet as I'm trying to work up a good load for the AR before going all out on loading several hundred rounds.

I went through a few of the containers of range brass I have that haven't been run through a sizer yet and several of the first dozen or so I checked had split necks, so it was a problem with the brass I received as far as I can tell. Never had this problem with 223 brass before even in my 223 AI when fire forming cases in the rifle. I usually run them through the full length sizer the first time and then use my neck sizer only after that with the proper bushings. Very few issues that way so I will check my brass from now on much closer, toss any that seem to have problems, and go back to my routine again. This should keep this issue to a minimum IMO...

Last edited by Sheister; 05/04/21.

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