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Old 11-08-2012, 09:48 PM
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Default Do sized cases re-expand after time?

Weird things happened at the loading bench this weekend.
I had been meaning to get around to loading several hundred 44 Spl. and 44 Mag cases I've been saving for the last 4 years or so. I finally had accumulated enough bullets, primers and powder to do all of them. Well this week I decided it was time since my wife was gone to visit dear daughter and I had the whole week to play without huny-do's getting in the way.

At some point it the past I had sized and de-primed all of them so all I had to do was put in a new primer, bell the mouth and throw in some powder and seat the bullets. This process generally went as planned but along the way I came across some cases where the bullets just fell right in with no resistance at all. This wasn't good, so I ended up pulling the decapping stem out of a sizing die and resizing quite a few that failed the bullet test.There also were a few that seemed to have oval mouths almost like they had been stepped on. They were all in bullet trays in a box so I know they didn't get banged around. After resizing, they all then loaded normally. During resizing it was noticeable that they were larger than the die and sizing marks were visible.

Now, I'm 99% sure I had sized them at one time as a batch and none of the entire group had primers in the pockets.
Is it common for sized brass to spring back to un-sized condition if left sit for several years? Would this also happen to reloaded ammo, thus losing neck tension or become out of round and cause other problems?

Last edited by 125JHP; 11-08-2012 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:04 PM
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When I first started reloading I worked everything in batches. I deprimed and resized a huge bucket of .45 ACP and then stored them. I'm still using some now and then from that bucket a couple of years later and not a single one has ever had this phenomenon happen to it where it springs back out again. I would hazard you must have either used a universal decapper die or otherwise popped out the primer and not resized them. I was going to say you could check the bullets to see if they are in spec but that would ignore the missing primer.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:21 PM
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Short answer, and there is no other for this, is no. You simply did not size them originally.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:33 PM
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I'm shooting some reloaded 44 mag that are over twelve years old. No problems with loose cast bullets, but the recoil is a bit stiff. I didn't have arthritis in my wrists when they were reloaded.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:57 PM
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Thanks for the replies,

I agree that it seems that they were not originally sized, just don't know how that could have happened as I normally process cases in batches by step. I just don't see how I could have not re-sized any of them, since the primers were gone. My dies are RCBS (2 sets), neither is universal. The bullets were a new box of 200gn XTP. Cases were all sorted by head stamp and the offending ones were PMC and R-P. None of the primer pockets seemed loose or blown out (used up some Alcan primers I had on the shelf... for a while).

I had gotten about 700 cases from a guy back in 2001 and reloaded some of them in the interim but thinking it over I suppose its possible there could have been some of those that were already decapped by someone else and those are the ones I found this week. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me.

Last edited by 125JHP; 11-08-2012 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 125JHP View Post
Thanks for the replies,

I agree that it seems that they were not originally sized, just don't know how that could have happened as I normally process cases in batches by step. I just don't see how I could have not re-sized any of them, since the primers were gone. My dies are RCBS (2 sets), neither is universal. The bullets were a new box of 200gn XTP. Cases were all sorted by head stamp and the offending ones were PMC and R-P. None of the primer pockets seemed loose or blown out (used up some Alcan primers I had on the shelf... for a while).

I had gotten about 700 cases from a guy back in 2001 and reloaded some of them in the interim but thinking it over I suppose its possible there could have been some of those that were already decapped by someone else and those are the ones I found this week. That is the only explanation that makes sense to me.
While reading this thread I was also thinking some brass that wasn't resized got mixed in with your resized brass because brass doesn't just expand all by itself while sitting in a bucket. The second part of your thread makes sense, the brass you got from someone else was most probably decapped but not resized. I know some reloaders like to decap before they tumble their brass although I'm not one of them.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:21 PM
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I'm with AA;

I like to tumble with the fired primer in the case so I don't have to check each primer hole for little chunks of walnut or other cleaning materials. Then with the case as clean it will get without getting a brass cleaner out, i either lube on a pad or use the "Super" dies to resize and then deprime the cases, since I have a really old RCBS set of dies, I have to give a grease job to my cases.The final step is cleaning the primer hole and a wipe with a clean rag with a check for cracks any where on the case.
Then I put into zip-lok bags or into the plastic 100 pak shell holders that I have with the word "Ready" placed on it.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 11-09-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
I'm with AA;

I like to tumble with the fired primer in the case so I don't have to check each primer hole for little chunks of walnut or other cleaning materials. Then with the case as clean it will get without getting a brass cleaner out, i either lube on a pad or use the "Super" dies to resize and then deprime the cases, since I have a really old RCBS set of dies, I have to give a grease job to my cases.The final step is cleaning the primer hole and a wipe with a clean rag with a check for cracks any where on the case.
Then I put into zip-lok bags or into the plastic 100 pak shell holders that I have with the word "Ready" placed on it.
Ed,
In your case I would use One Shot spray lube. While I'm not a fan of that or any other spray on lube for rifle cases it does work well for straight walled handgun cases. It will save you a lot of time cleaning off the lube after sizing since you have no need to remove One Shot.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for the heads up on the spray lube...................

I have stopped getting magazines on guns,loads etc for a couple of years, so I am not up on the new stuff out there that makes life easier for us.
I might look up bullets, maybe a powder but otherwise I just waunder back to my "Man Cave" and get away from everything for a while, unless I'm sitting at the PC.
I might start watching tv again now that the elections are over........??
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:50 PM
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I pretty much use the same process as you two. clean before decapping, sort by head stamp, package in plastic bags until re-sized then into cartridge trays, then primed & belled, then store trays or bags for use in Folgers cans. uncleaned brass is just thrown in a Folgers can loose by caliber. I often also put a note on a strip of paper to indicate my last operation with that set of cases.
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