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Old 04-04-2017, 09:53 PM
domyalex domyalex is offline
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Default Issues loading 357 HBWC

Hello all,

I have been reloading for a few years now (mostly 9mm, but also .45, 223 and 308) but only recently started loading 357 and I'm facing some issues. I'm loading plated HBWC but fom time to time (2 or 3 times per 100) I'm getting some crushed cases when seating (I seat and crimp separately). I have loaded 2k TC 357 and never had an issue.
I have tried expanding a bit more, but the issue persists. I'm using RCBS dies with Lee FCD. I currently have the round nose seater plug in, but I see that both seater plugs engage the bullet the same way on the outer rim.
Am I doing something wrong here?

Thanks


Last edited by domyalex; 04-04-2017 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:24 PM
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Set the expander slightly deeper to increase the flare. You need to flare enough that a bullet can be started in the case mouth jest enough that it won't catch the bullet base.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:18 AM
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+1 on more belling of the case.

Mostly if you are loading new or once fired brass from another weapon.
I was loading 100 new once fired brass and the first five test loads were
"Funny" with the bullet not seating right.

The cases were almost spotless, close to new, which threw me a curve.
I had to resize and bell the case before things worked out.
Without the resizing, the case was too large from firing to put
enough pressure on the bullet.

I also noticed that one bullet took a lot of pressure to seat.
I took the other 95 cases and increased the belling for later loads to work without any problems.

There are no short cuts........
Now I know that I need to size all of my acquired brass before using it......... then a case flare that is enough for the bullet to start, not just sit on top of the case.


Good shooting.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 04-05-2017 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:18 PM
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Adding a little to what's been said...
As you increase the flare, try seating the bullets by hand, off the press.

For some bullets, the case should be expanded enough for the bullet to firmly stay in the case and not force it on the press.

The whole bullet depth is being seated.....so, it's expanding a pretty good length of the case.

I hope you get it to work.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:20 PM
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When you put the bullet in the case,does it sit slightly in the case on all of its circumference?
Are your cases new or used?If used and they are not the same lenght,you are to get the shorter(less used)ones not flared enough.
Qc

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Old 04-06-2017, 04:57 PM
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Yep, as the fellers said above, more flare. Just looking at the pics show the case is being pushed down by the bullet base. Perhaps in addition to more flare a touch with a chamfer tool on the mouth will aid in the bullet seating...

Last edited by mikld; 04-06-2017 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 04-08-2017, 07:49 PM
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Thanks all for your replies, much appreciated! I tried flaring a bit more and the issue is less frequent but still happens.

At this point I believie Qc Pistolero is right (merci!): I have noticed that sometimes I have a slightly shorter case and I can tell as I place the bullet that it is sitting more tightly. Sure enough out comes the crushed cased.

Really not looking forward to trimming 1000 pieces, alas seems the right thing to do at this point (mixed brass, fired 1-2 times).

WCs allow me to use less powder, but they sure are a pain in the butt compared to the TC 158gr I was using before, which worked fine without having to worry about case length, as the cannelure is pretty generous.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domyalex View Post
Thanks all for your replies, much appreciated! I tried flaring a bit more and the issue is less frequent but still happens.

At this point I believie Qc Pistolero is right (merci!): I have noticed that sometimes I have a slightly shorter case and I can tell as I place the bullet that it is sitting more tightly. Sure enough out comes the crushed cased.

Really not looking forward to trimming 1000 pieces, alas seems the right thing to do at this point (mixed brass, fired 1-2 times).

WCs allow me to use less powder, but they sure are a pain in the butt compared to the TC 158gr I was using before, which worked fine without having to worry about case length, as the cannelure is pretty generous.
You are welcome my friend!
Qc
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:51 PM
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As an alternative, you could sort your cases by headstamp.....hoping that like headstamps have the
Same case wall thickness....then sort by case length
Then adjust dies for each group.

Or trim 50 to 100 cases and see if that resolves your issue

Or run them all through the case trimmer at trim to length......it's likely some will not be trimmed at all
But they would all be the same length...... and if a length is cut off......as mikld says....chamfering the inside and deburring the outside helps

And you can lock down your dies for one length.

Regardless of trimming the cases.....you'll still need to expand the case mouth enough to start the bullet in the case.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:35 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't ammunition loaded with 140-gr Hornady FTX ammunition, as well as Leverevolution ammo, trimmed to 1.240" to account for the longer bullet profile? Normal .357 Magnum brass is trimmed to anywhere between 1.280-1.290", so it might not be immediately obvious.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:01 AM
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The round nose seating punch may not have anything to do with the issue, as I agree that more flare is needed, but I would put the wadcutter punch in anyway. I suppose it is possible that the round nose punch could catch an edge and misdirect the bullet.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't ammunition loaded with 140-gr Hornady FTX ammunition, as well as Leverevolution ammo, trimmed to 1.240" to account for the longer bullet profile? Normal .357 Magnum brass is trimmed to anywhere between 1.280-1.290", so it might not be immediately obvious.
You are onto something here. Most of my brass is in the 1.282-1.286 range; those hard to seat are often as low as 1.273-1.276 Is this... normal?
I can work around this by flaring more, but then I'm over-working the longer cases. Throw away short brass or resize a _lot_ of pieces, hummm.
Base of the projectiles sometime is as high as .359, so combined with the shorter cases it can lead to the issue I think.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:57 AM
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I would suggest trimming the cases. If you don't start with consistent cases, how can you get a consistent product ?

Once the brass is all a more consistent length, you can get a consistent crimp.

I trim all the "new to me" cases I get. Decap, tumble, size, trim/chamfer. It's somewhat of a pain, but normally, with straight-wall revolver cases, is something that needs done only once.

I use a Lee hand trimmer, and chuck the case holder into a cordless drill. It's cumbersome and slow, but it's cheap. I plan to replace this trimmer with something else in the future. I've only been using this method since the late 1980s, so I don't want to move too quickly to change it....

According to my notes, the Lee hand trimmer trims to 1.278".
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domyalex View Post
You are onto something here. Most of my brass is in the 1.282-1.286 range; those hard to seat are often as low as 1.273-1.276 Is this... normal?
I can work around this by flaring more, but then I'm over-working the longer cases. Throw away short brass or resize a _lot_ of pieces, hummm.
Base of the projectiles sometime is as high as .359, so combined with the shorter cases it can lead to the issue I think.
*shrugs* I don't load .357--I just know me some bizarre case trivia. It's also possible that the cases in question are work-shortened, which is a thing that happens.

Sorting by length would be an option. You wouldn't have to trim it or pitch it, just sort it out.

I would honestly just expand a bit more. Look at it this way--you've already roached a bunch of free brass and some bullets trying to expand as little as possible, because you're worried about cases failing from using them too much. You're already exactly where you didn't want to go, and you're out some bullets.

I expand as much as I need to get the bullet to set down into the case. I don't want the bullet to sit on top of the mouth at all--I really want the whole base down inside. Expand as much as you need, up until the case mouth starts "trumpeting".

I've got ~150 pieces of factory Starline .44 Mag brass in circulation, atm (out of a 500-box). Those 150 cases have been loaded a total of 1000 times between them--500 plinking loads, and 500 full-power loads. I haven't had a single one fail, although I'm thinking about dumping the batch. The primer pockets are starting to feel a bit loose.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:12 AM
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Why are the sides of the plated bullets so ugly? I had a problem with some 200 grain plated 357 bullets putting a wrinkle in the case. I re tumbled the brass and added a little liquid car wax and that slicked it up.

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Old 04-11-2017, 12:13 PM
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Set your expander to flare the case for the correct amount for the "shortest case". The longer cases may be a little over flared, but as long as they fit in the seating die there shouldn't be a problem.

I decided long ago that I only put HBWC bullets in 38 cases, as they shouldn't be shot at velocities greater than 38 Special, (and really not that fast). Cleaning the chamber after shooting 38's in a 357 chamber isn't a problem.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:37 PM
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I'd say put as much flare as needed to easily seat bullets in all your cases. Get good shootable ammo now, and worry about case life later. Cases may scrape the sides of the seating die with a lot of flare, but that won't hurt anything. The excess flare will be taken care of with the crimp. Bullets need a smooth, easy "entry" into the case so just flare as much as needed (you can't stuff a .358" plug into ta .355" tube without some "entry way"; a tapered flare). And 357 brass isn't hard to find so if you only get 15 reloads rather than 20, at least you will be able to shoot 'em...
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:03 PM
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Try this:
Get a Lyman "M" expander die.
It's made for loading lead and expands the case deeper.
What I use to load 357 wadcutters, Never a problem.
The RCBS die is made for loading jacketed bullets.
More "flare" isn't the solution.
Plated bullets are best treated like lead.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
*shrugs* I don't load .357--I just know me some bizarre case trivia. It's also possible that the cases in question are work-shortened, which is a thing that happens.

Sorting by length would be an option. You wouldn't have to trim it or pitch it, just sort it out.............(trucated)
Wise A, 357 brass doesn't shorten with use, it grows. And the same for 44 Mag brass too. It doesn't react like semi auto brass. As to the rest of your post I agree. I'm also thinking that domyalex needs to trim his cases to a uniform length or sort for different lengths. And a little more flare won't hurt either.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:59 PM
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So far we are assuming proper shell plate index. Im not at all familiar with your press. Is the shell plate indexing in such a manner that the case and bullet are properly aligned to the seating die? Any issues under the resizing die?
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:18 AM
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I've had a problem similar to the OP's, when loading DEWC bullets in .38 Special. Wonderful bullets with small loads -- but sometimes hard to fit into the case, doing the same thing the OP showed in his pictures. Sometimes a thin shaving of lead goes down the outside of the case, other times the rim of the case is crushed downward.

A possible solution for the OP -- addressing the problem differently, but perhaps involving less effort -- might be to try a different brand of wadcutters (i.e., sell the ones on hand and replace them). he OP mentioned some of the bullets he is using are .359 at their base -- whereas many manufacturers specify .358 for their lead ".357" bullets and presumably their bullets meet that measurement, making it a little easier to fit them into the case -- if it is belled just enough.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
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Wise A, 357 brass doesn't shorten with use, it grows. And the same for 44 Mag brass too. It doesn't react like semi auto brass.
Rimmed, rimless, necked--they all do both, depending on conditions. Sometimes I'm shocked at what people subject their brass to. Ordinarily, though--yes, you'd be more apt to see it in a mouth-headspacing rimless case.

Quote:
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Try this:
Get a Lyman "M" expander die.
It's made for loading lead and expands the case deeper.
What I use to load 357 wadcutters, Never a problem.
The RCBS die is made for loading jacketed bullets.
More "flare" isn't the solution.
I would typically agree, but the problem isn't that the expansion/belling isn't deep enough, it's that the case mouth isn't opened up wide enough. I'd have to be there to run my Finger-ometer over them, but the cases in the picture barely look like they've been expanded at all.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:01 PM
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Yeah, I believe it's a combination of slightly larger projectile bases along with shorter cases not getting enough flare (longer cases work just fine). This would explain why I get a ~2% failure rate, rather than all the time.

All right, I give up, got my Lee case length gauge and started trimming away =D
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:11 PM
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FWIW, I don't remember case lengths of revolver cartridges varying more than .008"-.010" (when I did measure some which has been many years ago) and that much is negligible as far as flaring is concerned unless the minimum amount of flare is being used on the "long" cases. I started reloading 38 Specials in 1969 and 357 in 1975 can't remember trimming one in all that time. I have measured some just out of curiosity and have never had a problem with roll crimping, profile crimping, taper crimping or flaring. Case lengths for revolver cartridges just aren't all that critical...

For the OP's problem, K.I.S.S. and just add some flare...

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Old 04-12-2017, 05:01 PM
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mikld, I've easily seen .020+ difference in my 357 brass, depending on how many times it's been reloaded and the power they were loaded at. I've been loading 357 and 38 Special since 1975 myself. I guess it all depends on how much stress you put on the cases as to how much they will grow. I will say that in my younger (and dumber) years, just about everything I loaded was pretty hot; when they get hard to extract back off .2 grains and call it good.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:43 PM
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Well, Houston...









158gr TC from the same brand are perfectly fine; time to send an email...

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Old 04-15-2017, 09:05 PM
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Oh my .......

What brand were those bullets ?
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:28 PM
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CamPro, made in Canada. I like them because they have a 0.008" plate tickness, so they can be pushed up to 1500fps. I have loaded thousand of them in 9mm, .45 and .357 TC with very good results. But not these ones...
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:56 PM
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domyalex I ran into a box like that several weeks ago.

Ended up with a Large Tims cup filled to overflowing with slightly deformed Tops and oversized bases. Those oversized bases were causing the same thing in my cases.
This was the lot #213767, it's on one end of the box and they will require it.


I got a hold of Patrick at CamPro and eventually after a few pictures they sent me a box of 500 to replace them.
Let me know if you need his email and I will PM it to you.


Since then I bought another box and so far all the one's I randomly checked are ok.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:21 PM
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Thanks DBenn!

My lot is 218115, bought some 3 weeks ago. May I ask what lot # did you get afterwards and was ok?
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:35 AM
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For sure contact the manufacturer, but I would try running those through a sizing die. Maybe a Lee Lee Bullet Lube Sizing Die Kit
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:12 PM
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Thanks DBenn!

My lot is 218115, bought some 3 weeks ago. May I ask what lot # did you get afterwards and was ok?
lot#218108 is what I bought in another city as the original retailer had only the original lot # in stock.
I haven't looked at the bottom half of the box but so far all looks good.
The 500 replacements have no lot #.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:20 PM
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For sure contact the manufacturer, but I would try running those through a sizing die. Maybe a Lee Lee Bullet Lube Sizing Die Kit
Not sure if that would hurt the Copper Plating or not but mine seemed to have the copper plating pool around the skirting on the hollow base. The rest of the bullet was .358 but I did have a few that were .360 -> .361.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TAROMAN View Post
Try this:
Get a Lyman "M" expander die.
It's made for loading lead and expands the case deeper.
What I use to load 357 wadcutters, Never a problem.
The RCBS die is made for loading jacketed bullets.
More "flare" isn't the solution.
Plated bullets are best treated like lead.
The newer RCBS dies have a M type expander. These work real well but you should be able to start the bullet into the case by hand.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:24 PM
Jupiter01 Jupiter01 is online now
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Originally Posted by TAROMAN View Post
Try this:
Get a Lyman "M" expander die.
It's made for loading lead and expands the case deeper.

Plated bullets are best treated like lead.
"J" style bullets are not fragile except the lead nose, but plated are lead, just with a soft coating on them, and do have to be treated gently.

.38 Special/357 Magnum RCBS dies now have an "M-style" flaring plug that works just like my Lyman M die. I read that they had changed from the old-style flaring plug, and called to buy one. The nice lady sent me one...free! Can't say fairer than that! It seems to work well, just like the Lyman!
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:24 PM
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I read that they had changed from the old-style flaring plug, and called to buy one. The nice lady sent me one...free! Can't say fairer than that! It seems to work well, just like the Lyman!
I must have a dozen M dies.
Wonder what her response would be?
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  #37  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:58 PM
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Default You could try....

.... raising the sizing die so that it doesn't close down the mouth of the case quite so much. Generally resizing dies close down the case more than for what is needed to hold the bullet.

My favorite solution is the M die, though.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:39 PM
Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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I load 148 gn plated HBWC's in both .38 S&W and .38 Special loads using both a turret and progressive press. While round nose, truncated cone and semi-wadcutters move up into the seating die if tilted slightly in the case mouth I have found the HBWC must be verticals. If they lean off the vertcle the case mouth ends up crushed, even if the case is flared enough to seat the base of the projectile correctly.

I have now developed the habit when loading HBWC's of ensuring the projectile is guided up into the seating die with the hand that places the projectile into the case. No more crushed case mouths.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:20 PM
domyalex domyalex is offline
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Manufacturer replied to my email, and they are going to ship 2k projectiles free of charge. Happy to deal with reputable businesses!
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:49 PM
DBenn DBenn is offline
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Manufacturer replied to my email, and they are going to ship 2k projectiles free of charge. Happy to deal with reputable businesses!
WOW 2k I only got 500 but then I only had a large Timmies cup of bad ones. Can't complain about it though as it's better than nothing.
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