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Old 07-17-2017, 08:42 AM
andy52 andy52 is offline
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Default Rem-UMC

I picked up 500 once fired brass for my 24-3 and noticed when I was sorting them there were a few Rem-UMC balloon head cases. I'm not loading hot rounds so they should be safe but the questions is should I reload them or set them aside as a collectable.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:02 AM
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Are you sure they are "balloon". I have a lot of REM-UMC 44 Special cases that are modern solid head design.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:28 AM
andy52 andy52 is offline
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Yes I'm sure they're balloon heads.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:48 AM
Jetman22 Jetman22 is offline
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What is a balloon head ?


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Old 07-17-2017, 10:03 AM
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pics of the cases and pic of a balloon vs solid head, balloon is on the right.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:31 PM
hdwhit hdwhit is offline
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Quote:
andy52 wrote:
...when I was sorting them there were a few Rem-UMC balloon head cases. ... should I reload them or set them aside as a collectable.
REM-UMC balloon head cases are fairly common so while I think any serious collector would like to have one for his collection, they are not rare enough to command any sort of premium price that would make it worth your time to segregate them.

In my opinion, if you think your loads are light enough to be safe in them, I would load them up and shoot them until the necks split or the primer pockets loosen up; enjoying the sense of history each time you pulled the trigger.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:41 PM
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I once had a fairly large amount of such REM-UMC cases in .44 Special. I used them for CAS, never had any problems. Of course they were fairly light loads.

There are a lot of interpretations as to exactly what the term "balloon head" means. You might want to do some research as it is sort of a long topic to discuss.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:51 PM
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I'm shooting a 255 gr Keith SWC over 6.5 grs of AA#5. It's a pretty light load haven't chronographed it but I'm guessing 750-775 fps.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:57 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Balloon head vs. solid head; the balloon heads have a greater volume! so lower pressure and lower velocity with same powder charge. No U.S. company has made balloon headed cases since before WWII, so your used cases are at least 75 years old!

If you have to load them keep to low pressures as close to Black Powder (13,000) as possible. I only load mine with Black Powder or a substitute and lead bullets.

Ivan
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:10 PM
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If you picked up 500 cases and only a few are balloon head, than I would cull them out and not reload the. They are probably safe, but why look for trouble.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:37 PM
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I have segregated the balloons in my brass accumulation, and load them light, a box at a time, for rough-and-tumble plinking sessions. After this second firing, they go into my scrap brass bucket. Just for fun, I loaded some up with Elmer's full-house load (that's what he used early on) and they performed without issue. Scrapped them afterward, of course.

Larry
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:24 PM
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Anyone know how old the newest REM-UMC brass is? I'll bet many would be surprised at how ancient these cases are. I was given a quantity of REM-UMC .38 Special brass a couple of year ago. It appeared to be in good shape, maybe once-fired. I loaded it several times with moderate loads then discarded it. I don't think mine were balloon head cases, but I didn't check.

However, the case walls were apparently thicker than more modern stuff as it took noticeably more effort to seat bullets (cast). Guess I should have weighed them and checked water case capacity as I suspect there was a measureable difference in comparison with contemporary brass.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:57 PM
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Remington used the REM-UMC headstamp (and Peters used PETERS) until the early 1960s, when they went to R-P. As the old headstamp bunters wore out they were replaced with the new R-P ones, so some calibers may have used the REM-UMC headstamps longer. Sort of the same timing when Winchester and Western went to W-W headstamp.

Regarding the foregoing discussion about "balloon head" what many today call balloon head are what the factories called "solid head." What happened was that the very earliest inside-primed cartridges were all made of thin brass or copper sheet. When the factories changed to the use of Boxer primers, the case construction was changed to the solid head (which the manufacturers usually abbreviated as "SH"), which was fairly shallow with a protruding primer pocket. Later the solid head base was made thicker, like the ones in use today. That became a necessity for most CF smokeless powder rifle loads. Those provide a reduced case capacity vs. the earlier solid head case style but are stronger and better able to withstand higher pressures. The early SH cases are perfectly safe to use when reloading standard velocity handgun loads if you happen to have any. But as they are all fairly old and may show cracking, corrosion, etc., they should be carefully inspected first.

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Old 07-17-2017, 08:40 PM
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I have a few REM-UMC cases in 38Spl, with large primer pockets. The first one I saw, I didn't realize what it was, and marveled at what type of overload it would require to blow the pocket that large.

Any ideas how old these are ?
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:53 AM
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I have some early .38 ACP cartridge cases (U.S.C.Co) which also have the LP primer pockets.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:59 AM
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I have more then enough brass that loading the Rem-UMC is not a issue.
I think I'll just set them aside as a nostalgia item. I've looked at some of those early Keith loads and I don't think I'll go there even though my 24-3 could handle them. It's a 6 1/2 target model and all I use it for is punching holes in paper.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:17 PM
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As has been mentioned, the "balloon" head cases will actually run lower pressures with the same load.
I have a couple of boxes of these same cases and have shot them but they now reside at the bottom of the "pile".
Elmer Keith started up-loading the 44 special with them as that's all there were.
I'd shelve 'em.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:26 PM
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I have about a hundred .45 Auto Rim balloon head cases that I load light charges in for my Colt 1917, and my (converted) Webley Mark VI. They have been reloaded many times without incident. I enjoy the sense of history with these old cases. They are nickle plated also.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:44 PM
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How does Nicole feel about that?
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:35 PM
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Thanks, Nemo!!!

I love "auto-spell"!! Duly corrected!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:48 PM
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Shucks. Now my post is an unintelligible orphan!

I, too, appreciate the historical side of anything useful that is 100 or more years old.
The 30 USA brass I cut down to make .445 with could easily be that old.
They were extra thick 30-40 and I have to reduce charges in them to keep the performance the same as the "regular" cases.
More work but as far as I can tell they are just as reliable as any other I use.
I did anneal them which no doubt helped a lot with that.
I run the .445 in Encore barrels up to the pressures the 30-40 and 303 were designed for; roughly 45 kpsi as a do not exceed.
The related histories of the 303 and 30-40 are interesting to read about.
We (the USA) basically got lazy/pragmatic and just ripped off the 303, changing the diameter just enough to make them incompatible.
This was our first smokeless military round and I think our military brass (pun intended)
realized the Brits were way ahead in that department and so emulated their effort.
It was actually a good call.
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