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Author Topic: Case separation...
Lonny
PANTS ON THE GROUND
Member # 19

Icon 1 posted August 27, 2018 03:28 PM      Profile for Lonny           Edit/Delete Post 
Took the deer rifle out today (270 Win) to do the obligatory check to see if all is well for hunting season.

About the sixth shot in, I had a case separate and no tools with me to get it out. Shooting that rifle was done for the day.

Later, at home, the case came out with a 50 cal. brush and pistol cleaning rod.

While I don't really keep track of stuff like how many firings for cases or even shoots down the barrel, I'd guess this batch of brass has been fired 6-10 times. Winchester cases that were purchased new when the 270 was rebarreled in 2006.

Dies are plain 'ol RCBS and I need to check on the resizing process also.

So is it time to scrap the lot and start over with new cases? I'd sooner throw away a bunch of used cases to not have it happen again.

Other suggestions?

How often, if ever, have you guys had cases separate?

I've had it happen twice now with the last time being 25 or so years ago when I often used a bunch of mixed brand cases.

I hadn't thought about it in a long time how this could really ruin a hunting day...

[ August 27, 2018, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: Lonny ]

Posts: 1146 | From: Lewiston, Idaho USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
NVWalt
Knows what it's all about
Member # 375

Icon 1 posted August 28, 2018 01:58 AM      Profile for NVWalt           Edit/Delete Post 
Had that problem with 30-30 cases in the ol TC. Had to full length size them for that particular gun.Just too many full length resizeing usually does it. Have you just tried neck sizeing only?
And yes,can that brass and get some new stuff. You shouldn't have that stretch ring above the web that is a good indicator that you are at the end of the life of the case.

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I love beautiful women,fine wine and poking dead things with a stick.

Posts: 239 | From: Tellico Plains, TN | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
DAA
Utah/Promoted WESTERN REGIONAL Hunt Director
Member # 11

Icon 1 posted August 28, 2018 02:48 AM      Profile for DAA   Author's Homepage   Email DAA         Edit/Delete Post 
Never had it happen, but have had brass where you could see it might be about to happen. I threw them away first.

But yeah, toss 'em.

You can check to see how close they are getting with a bent paper clip.

Over sizing is the cause. Sometimes you have no choice, like a TC or in my case it was a 788.

I rarely have to bump a shoulder on anything I shoot anymore. My .17P in particular, have never had to shoulder bump or FL size a case for it, never anything but neck sizing and only very minimal neck sizing at that. Never trimmed a case, ever, for any of my currently used rifles either. Loose primer pockets are the only thing that will kill that brass.

- DAA

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"Oh yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em." -- George Hanson, Easy Rider, 1969.

Rocky Mountain Varmint Hunter

Posts: 2542 | From: Salt Lake City, UT | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
knockemdown
Our staff photo editing Guru, par excellence
Member # 3588

Icon 1 posted August 28, 2018 04:57 AM      Profile for knockemdown   Author's Homepage   Email knockemdown         Edit/Delete Post 
Factory rifle/chamber, Lonny?

SAAMI is a spec that can have enough wiggle room, to where running brass sized via minimum SAAMI spec dies, then fired in a max spec chamber, results in 'overworking' the brass....

When brass is fired, it 'stretches' to form to the chamber.

Then, ya re-size it down more than that large chamber, requires.
So, you're pushing brass back & forth...kinda like how ya bend wire back & forth to weaken it and get a break...

Or, simply setting the sizing die incorrectly will do the same thing. That being, overly sizing brass more than necessary.

Anyhoo, that's kinda what's happening. All that stretching happens in the web area of the case, so that's where it's gonna develop a thin spot, and fail...

[ August 28, 2018, 05:03 AM: Message edited by: knockemdown ]

Posts: 2087 | From: behind fascist lines | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted August 28, 2018 11:03 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
The only time I ever had it happen, I was about 600 miles away and ultimately, it was the result of incorrect headspace. Not really the end of the world as I had my 6mm with me and I used that empty cartridge, jammed into the chamber, telescoping in to the '06 Ackley and then whacked the bolt handle and kinda surprised me that it worked. A certain Utah gunsmith got a piece of my mind.

If the question is simply, how to get the damned thing out? I think your solution is as good as any and probably what the professional would try. If there is any eccentric type of tool that grips the inside, I don't know but it probably exists?

As far as the cause, it could be a defective case, or as mentioned above, you might have your full length die misadjusted? However, some people are sold on small base dies for accuracy, and it seems to me that could be a source of problem, or just setting the shoulder too far back?

I don't see that the cases are too old but if you are concerned, it's not a bad idea to trash them.

However, I would still be worried and want to get to the bottom of the issue, so maybe you should have that chamber checked?

Most likely is misadjusted dies, second is your brass, although I have used brass 2x-3X older without a problem. Do you anneal your cases, ever? That could be a solution. Excessive headspace is unlikely since you would have noticed a problem a long time ago.

Chances are, you will never know, positively what the problem is? And, there is a problem, case head separation is a big problem when it happens, although arguably, it's rather rare.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Good hunting. El Bee

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 25571 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lonny
PANTS ON THE GROUND
Member # 19

Icon 1 posted August 28, 2018 04:11 PM      Profile for Lonny           Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the replies gentlemen. Really appreciate it.

The rifle is a Rem 700 with a Lilja barrel. I'm confident in the work that was done by the gunsmith. From having other chambers cut by him, they tend to be on the tight side, but work correctly with the go-no-go gauge.

I do think I'm guilty of over working the brass though. Not to mention I'm pretty vague on how many times cases have been fired. It could have been more when I think about it...

I FL resize, due to my fear from way back when of having something happen in a hunting situation where a case wouldn't chamber correctly in the heat of battle.

I need to check my dies and neck size.

I did pick up new cases so they will be what gets used in the near future.

Thanks!

Edit: No Leonard, I didn't ever anneal these cases.

[ August 28, 2018, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Lonny ]

Posts: 1146 | From: Lewiston, Idaho USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Eddie
Knows what it's all about
Member # 4324

Icon 1 posted August 29, 2018 04:27 AM      Profile for Eddie   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
I get 6 to 7 reloads out of my cases before they start to fail and just like you Lonny I full length resize my cases. I do this because me and two of my boys use the same brass to reload. I have had the case come apart 2 times in my old 788 in a 243. Both times I took a cleaning rod pushed it out.
Posts: 220 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 2 posted August 29, 2018 08:21 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
Well look. It should be pointed out that there are usually clues before you have catastrophic case head failure. That condition is called "incipient" case head separation, and it's fairly easy to notice, if you look for it. As Dave mentioned, if you suspect it, use the paper clip. That has been described elsewhere. What it looks like on the outside has also been described elsewhere. It's kind of a bright ring right ahead of the web. Point is, pay attention and you can take action before you are stuck with an inoperable rifle, in the field.

Good hunting. El Bee

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 25571 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
knockemdown
Our staff photo editing Guru, par excellence
Member # 3588

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 05:13 AM      Profile for knockemdown   Author's Homepage   Email knockemdown         Edit/Delete Post 
Lonny, for shits & giggles...
you could take ONE of those fresh cases, and test it for longevity. But first, if you're not doing so already, use your rifle as the 'gauge' to set your FL die. I.e., loosen up that lock ring and back it out. Take your 1x fired case, and try to chamber it. The bolt will likely NOT close on that fired case....
So, take that case, and re-set the die lock ring only when the die juuust barely allows the bolt to close on that, now sized, case...
Adjust die down down in small increments! Maybe only a1/16 of a turn at a time, until the bolt closes without any resistance, or feel of 'crushing' the shoulder. That process will help alleviate any 'over-sizing' you may, or may not have done on the last batch...
With that new setting established, you could take one piece of brass, and test it til it quits? Not necessary, but might be enlightening to see if a newly established die setting allows a few more firings???

Lastly, keep an eye on case length, too. The .270 has enough taper that it might require trimming after a few firings. So, if cases grow too long, they'll be jamming up at the top of the chamber, thus creating a pressure spiking condition. And, all of a sudden, your previously 'safe' reload, is now overpressure. (read: DANGER). Which, in turn, will strain the case & decrease usable life, at best, and potentially result in a DANGEROUS failure, at worst...

Good luck & be safe!

Posts: 2087 | From: behind fascist lines | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 07:10 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
Two of the more notorious cases requiring necks trimmed to length, are the 220Swift and 270Win. I've owned both and trimming necks are part of the equation. BC high pressures and case design.

One little factoid I have mentioned numerous times on this Board, being an early fan of the 22-250Ackley is that there is no trimming to length involved. The process of blowing out the shoulder causes the over all length to shorten and, (at least in my experience) it never grows, after repeated reloads. What's not to like?

Good hunting. El Bee

PS however, pursuing mule deer with a 270 Winchester is a nostalgia trip all by itself and worth the price of admission. I wish I had never sold mine.

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 25571 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
DAA
Utah/Promoted WESTERN REGIONAL Hunt Director
Member # 11

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 08:24 AM      Profile for DAA   Author's Homepage   Email DAA         Edit/Delete Post 
Pic posting ho alert!

Mule deer with a .270. Pre '64 Model 70, no less.

 -

I never trim anything. Including .270.

- DAA

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"Oh yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em." -- George Hanson, Easy Rider, 1969.

Rocky Mountain Varmint Hunter

Posts: 2542 | From: Salt Lake City, UT | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 10:20 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know what to think about that? Surely, you aren't suggesting that trimming to length is unnecessary for the rest of us? What's your secret?

Good hunting. El Bee

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 25571 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Leonard
HMFIC
Member # 2

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 10:25 AM      Profile for Leonard   Author's Homepage   Email Leonard         Edit/Delete Post 
OOH! I got it! You check the length and toss them if they are too long, right?

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EL BEE Knows It All and Done It All.
Don't piss me off!

Posts: 25571 | From: Upland, CA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
DAA
Utah/Promoted WESTERN REGIONAL Hunt Director
Member # 11

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 11:24 AM      Profile for DAA   Author's Homepage   Email DAA         Edit/Delete Post 
I ignore book trim length and instead measure the actual chamber length and to date have never had a case get that long. Not even very close to that long, really.

It has been 15, 20 years since I trimmed a case. Outside of forming brass from longer parent cases, of course. And sometimes that trimming gets extreme, as in, making the first rough trim with a hacksaw (one good swipe with a hacksaw will cut fairly flush with the top of a trim die).

An argument could be made for trimming them all to the exact same length for accuracy. But I'm getting the accuracy I want without it. On a new lot of brass I do check them all and simply toss the few shorties in the cull pile. So they all start out pretty close, and never get much if any further apart.

No big deal, either way. Just one less thing, know what I mean?

If a guy just screws a FL die down to hard cam and goes to town on them every loading, I suppose he just might grow them as long as the chamber. But I've never done that. My Dad taught me to setup a sizing die as Fred describes when he taught me to hand load when I was 12 years old. And for decades now I have mostly neck sized with bushings and no expanders. Cases just don't grow much at all sizing them like that.

- DAA

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"Oh yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em." -- George Hanson, Easy Rider, 1969.

Rocky Mountain Varmint Hunter

Posts: 2542 | From: Salt Lake City, UT | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lone Howl
Free Trial Platinum Member & part-time language police
Member # 29

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 02:10 PM      Profile for Lone Howl   Author's Homepage   Email Lone Howl         Edit/Delete Post 
Purty deer!

I do the same as described above...have also not trimmed in years.
Mark

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www.varmintsinc.com

When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

Posts: 1932 | From: Porterville Kalifornia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lonny
PANTS ON THE GROUND
Member # 19

Icon 1 posted August 30, 2018 07:49 PM      Profile for Lonny           Edit/Delete Post 
Fred, Thank you very much. I'm going to do that.
Posts: 1146 | From: Lewiston, Idaho USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged


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