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Old 05-10-2018, 07:17 PM
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Default Good reason to plunk all reloads......

I made about 150 rounds of what was probably the best batch of 9mm I've ever done. They were so good I thought I'd plunk test a sample. I'm going to a far way range Saturday and I decided to plunk all of them to avoid trouble when I was miles from home. Three cartridges wouldn't plunk. I examined those three and they were cracked from the mouth to the head of the case. Two of the cases were Remington and the third was a no name with W M A L something something.

I probably get misc. brass when collecting my stuff at the range, and I wonder if these were already cracked before I tried to load them.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:35 PM
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Default PROBLY, I THINK.

I wonder if these were already cracked before I tried to load them.[/QUOTE]

I suppose it's possible they split when seating the bullet, but I'd bet they were split to start with. A progressive press? I even put my reloaded revolver rounds into a cylinder. Better to find a problem at the bench, & NO it doesn't take all that long.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:48 PM
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Good reason to QC even your own reloads.

We expect it from the factory don't we..??
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:59 PM
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This is why I like single stage or turrets. I can be intimate with each and every load. I will take quality over quantity. Plus it is relaxing.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:12 PM
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I hate to tell you this, but any of my brass left on the deck, has a black felt marker mark on the outside of the back rim, letting me know it is on its last round, for one reason or another.....
be it revolver or pistol cases.

Lots of my cases have gone ten rounds.............
but this is where I use them just for target ammo for the kids
or target training for grip, stance etc. for others.

I never reload a case over three actual firings if I want top accuracy and fps.

All my cases to be loaded are cleaned and inspected before reloading.
I also turn the case with a section of cotton at the front , to detect a slight case split, if present.
Sometimes over looked by the naked eye.

Safe shooting.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:15 PM
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I have had cases split when fired, but never while reloading.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigggbbruce View Post
Good reason to QC even your own reloads.

We expect it from the factory don't we..??
ESPECIALLY one's own reloads.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:16 PM
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That's why I still use my single stage Rock Chucker. I can actually feel if the bullet seats too easily which causes me to examine the case and 9 out of 10 times find that it's split.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:18 PM
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^^^ With a single stage press I can easily feel if the case is split (or splits) while sizing the case or seating the bullet.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:21 PM
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and YES;
some of us try to get the most out of our cases............

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Old 05-10-2018, 08:21 PM
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Loading on a Redding T-7 turret I usually feel it when a case splits. Every now and then though one does get past and I find it when the pistol won't go into battery. I do use my Dillon case gauges when shooting a match. I keep saying I'm going to buy a EGW case gauge that lets you do 7 at a time to speed things up. One of these days...
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb07 View Post
This is why I like single stage or turrets. I can be intimate with each and every load. I will take quality over quantity. Plus it is relaxing.

^^^^^ What he said ^^^^^
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
I probably get misc. brass when collecting my stuff at the range, and I wonder if these were already cracked before I tried to load them.
Myself as well as a lot of other people handle brass a lot from picking the brass up all the way to loading. I usually find cracked brass before seating the bullet, however I have caught them during bullet seating. When seating the bullet on my LCT I have felt an initial tightness then the ram just basically goes limp,(something I like about the LCT I can feel each process and stop immediately if something doesn't feel right) then I check it and sure enough it is cracked. If you have a progressive press you may not noticed a crack when seating the bullets. I have had/heard them crack when sizing. I have even I will tell you though I did catch a cracked case once when loading a magazine. More importantly you caught it.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:59 PM
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Default I usually catch them empty..

When I'm handling them it's usually easy to tell if they 'ting' like a bell then they're cracked. It bothers me that I didn't catch these until the last step.

I was using my Lee Hand Press instead of the Rockchucker so I could sit inside and take it easy. It's 'tighter' than my RC so I couldn't 'feel' much difference in the cases.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb07 View Post
This is why I like single stage or turrets. I can be intimate with each and every load. I will take quality over quantity. Plus it is relaxing.
You're missing out.

I can't speak for other progressive presses, but the Dillon 550B provides for excellent feel. I can easily feel a case with a split neck when seating, in the rare instances where I don't notice it when inspecting the powder just before seating the bullet.

Operating a progressive press does not mean you have to be any less "intimate" with each round, you still pay just as much attention to each round, just with 1/3 to 1/4 the number of required pulls on the handle.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Sear View Post
^^^ With a single stage press I can easily feel if the case is split (or splits) while sizing the case or seating the bullet.
So can I, and I use a Dillon 550B.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:27 PM
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Not only is it a good idea to plunk all your reloaded ammo, I've seen two instances where 2 brands of premium self defense pistol ammo wouldn't chamber. One case had not been trimmed and was about .100" too long. Gonna depend on factory ammo for your safety, plunk it too.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:42 AM
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Okay, I give up. Plunk?
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:23 AM
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Drop a loaded round into your barrel chamber (Barrel removed). It should drop in with a plunk and fall out when the muzzle is tilted upward. It's a case gage for your particular firearm. If it sticks or doesn't seat fully, there's a problem.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:39 AM
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Default GOOD FOR YOU, IF YOU CAN DO IT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
You're missing out.

I can't speak for other progressive presses, but the Dillon 550B provides for excellent feel. I can easily feel a case with a split neck when seating, in the rare instances where I don't notice it when inspecting the powder just before seating the bullet.

Operating a progressive press does not mean you have to be any less "intimate" with each round, you still pay just as much attention to each round, just with 1/3 to 1/4 the number of required pulls on the handle.
With 3-4 dies VS 1, your "intimate time" with EACH case is divided by the # of dies you are using.
IF you can watch/inspect/feel every case in the short time during each handle pull, more power to you. I can't, with only 3 dies. Now a Lee pro 1,000 is a far cry from a Dillon 550, but I only use the progressive with 2 dies (& remove the primers & powder drop) to deprime/resize the case (1st die), bell the case with the 2nd die, then use the rockchucker to finish them off. (pistol cases only) IMO the loading block is the cheapest & best way to inspect ALL primed, then charged cases. (all at the same time) It makes it MUCH easier to spot a high/upside down primer, or a case with less or no powder in it. Kind of hard to impossible (FOR ME) to do that in the fraction of a second between handle pulls on a progressive press. NOT TO SAY that a progressive & a good loader can't make excellent ammo with one, cuz they can & do.

Last edited by nachogrande; 05-11-2018 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:44 AM
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I use an EGW cartridge checker to checks the rounds although not everyone. may one in ten
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:10 AM
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What exactly is "plunking"?
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:49 AM
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A good example of why it is a good idea to plunk your reloads is provided by a shooter at a shoot I attended yesterday. This poor guy experienced multiple failures to feed on every stage even though he was using quality equipment. He said he had just loaded the ammunition the previous afternoon, and did not have time to check it.

I knew how the guy felt as I have made the same mistake. Kind of takes all the fun out of the activity.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:06 AM
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Default Plunking definition......

Testing the ability of a cartridge to chamber easily by dropping the cartridges into a cylinder to assure that they chamber correctly. I good 'plunk' drops straight in and 'plunks' when it hits bottom (or rim or shoulder in the case of rifle cartridges) They make gauges that are at minimum sizes to the if they will 'plunk' in that, they are supposed to chamber in any standard firearm chambered for that round. The barrel or chamber on the gun itself makes the 'best' gauge because some chambers are tighter than they are supposed to be.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:00 PM
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once in a while when using different cases I have come across a case that was snug in either the barrel (Springfield Range Officer) or the EGW cartridge checker. in either case they were snug in both. it is a lot easier just to use the checker.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:34 PM
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Sometimes even the most experienced of us forget some essential steps when reloading. Did you forget to inspect the brass before you proessed it?
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:18 PM
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Default Not closely, but....

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Originally Posted by mikld View Post
Sometimes even the most experienced of us forget some essential steps when reloading. Did you forget to inspect the brass before you proessed it?
Inital exam, separating, tumbling, sizing, flaring priming, charging, seating, crimping and plunking I can usually weed out defects as I examine and feel each case. One thing I can say is that these cracks were hard to see. They may have cracked on bullet seating 125 gr SWCs with 4 grains HP 38. That's .4 gr. below max so I wouldn't think that the load was compressing.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:41 PM
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I was tying to figure out the "plunking" thing was too. I bought Wilson case gauges for my most common pistol cartridges whe I bought my press years ago. I used to use them regularly, and occasionally I would find one that wouldn't drop right in, but very rarely. I'm guilty on neglecting that step in the past couple of years. This is a good reminder to get back in that habit. And now I have a name for it!
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
and YES;
some of us try to get the most out of our cases............

Those are called cuff-links and tie tacks, but I have to admit to loading some less than perfect examples myself w/a small crack at the mouth in order to get one more shot out of 'em.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
rwsmith wrote:
I examined those three and they were cracked from the mouth to the head of the case.
This is just one reason why my written reloading checklist (as associated procedures) have a number of discrete checks on the condition of the brass and the assembled round.

By all means, visually and with measuring tools, perform a quality check on all your reloads.

For the record, however, I have NEVER used a case gauge nor have I used my pistol's barrel as a stand-in case gauge. Instead, I use a micrometer set to the appropriate dimension to perform measurement of several critical dimensions of my cases before, during and after the reloading process. In 40+ years of reloading, I have never had a failure of a round to go into battery.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:01 PM
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I sort my brass by headstamp and load on a turret so each piece of brass is handled multiple times. The odd split piece that makes it past gets caught in the sizing step when there is zero resistance.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:18 PM
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Default If you look in the SAAMI standards.....

....there is an entire chapter explaining the strict protocol for performing a 'plunk' test. Temperature and humidity as well as a host of other variables are taking into account.

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Old 05-13-2018, 12:28 AM
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I reload and shoot tens of thousands of rounds per year. I check every finished round in a gauge. I use a 100 round gauge that speeds up the process, it is machined to absolute SAAMI minimums, I get failures, but those I separate, check them with a barrel, and use them for practice. (Yes I do use a progressive) I spend quite a bit on travel, match fees, and expenses to ruin a trip due to bad ammo. The picture is of a failure.. That's a 9mm Makarov (9x18) that snuck past my inspection of the headstamps (I look at all of those too, there are brands I won't use) Every time I find one of these I start making comments about "Commie plots"
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkreutz View Post
I reload and shoot tens of thousands of rounds per year. I check every finished round in a gauge. I use a 100 round gauge that speeds up the process, it is machined to absolute SAAMI minimums, I get failures, but those I separate, check them with a barrel, and use them for practice. (Yes I do use a progressive) I spend quite a bit on travel, match fees, and expenses to ruin a trip due to bad ammo. The picture is of a failure.. That's a 9mm Makarov (9x18) that snuck past my inspection of the headstamps (I look at all of those too, there are brands I won't use) Every time I find one of these I start making comments about "Commie plots"
Funny you should mention the Makarov. I was loading 9 m/m Lugar yesterday. I use a Lyman plunk gauge after I crimp the bullet with a Lee Cabide crimp die. One case went well below flush. When I examined it , I found a Makarov. I was surprised one had slipped by me.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:15 AM
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Default New or once-fired brass only

I must be doing something right or wrong because I can't ever recall splitting a handgun case on reloading or even finding one afterwards. However, I did split some .303 British casings on firing and which had been converted to .30-40 Krag.

Often, when recovering brass from a range, you acquire a trained eye and can readily differentiate between once-fired and reloaded brass. I only recover shiny brass and as I said, I've yet to split one.

Last edited by federali; 05-13-2018 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:55 AM
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Split cases in 357 are pretty common, in 9mm not so much. Sometimes one will get by me too. I put it aside and go to the next one and don't think twice about it. I'll pull the bullet later, maybe a long time later.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:02 AM
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Nobody brought up Annealing huh?
Really?
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by federali View Post
Often, when recovering brass from a range, you acquire a trained eye and can readily differentiate between once-fired and reloaded brass. I only recover shiny brass and as I said, I've yet to split one.
Back in the days when I concerned myself with highly polished brass, my multiple-reloaded cases looked like NIB cases. Shiny has nothing to do with the number of firings.
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