Winchester brass, small flash holes??

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by smlranger, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. I had ordered some Winchester 45 large primer brass from Cabela's one year was on BO and I forgot about it, ordered some Starline brass (great brass). Well, the Winchester brass arrived this week, one year after it was ordered :eek:.

    So, was loading up some ammo today and dang, put one of the Winchester cases in the LNL, pulled lever and bent the pin on my decapping die. I straightened the pin and tried again but none of the Winchester cases will go into the die. Apparently the flash hole is too small. I had already loaded all my Starline brass so haven't been able to confirm that visually.

    Anyone else had this issue with Winchester brass? I guess I could drill all of them.
  2. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Active Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    That's crazy!:eek: I tossed about 5 Winchester LP 45 acp cases about 3 months ago that seemed to be too big. The flash holes were nearly as big as the primer. It was range pickup, so I figured some one had drilled the flash hole out on them. This is a first for me

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    The Winchester brass with the overlarge holes.

    Winchester, a few years back, come up with what they called "Non-Toxic" primers. Primers use lead in the manufacturing process, and when you fire one some small amount of lead vapor is released into the air. Because of shooting at indoor ranges, with possible inadequate ventilation, they developed these new "leadless" primers, so you don't inhale as much lead.

    The new primers were not as hot as regular primers, so the factory ammo loaded with them had larger flash holes, to make sure you got a reliable bang.

    A friend of mine bought some and let me have the brass, so I had a hundred rounds of that stuff. I emailed Winchester and asked if it was safe to reload, since the flash hole was so large. They responded saying it was completely safe. I still did not trust it, and since it was only a hundred rounds, it went in the "scrap brass" bucket.

    A year or so later, Winchester changed that. Now their 45 ammo with the "non-toxic" primers has a small primer. The flash hole seems to be the normal size. But the small pocket is a pain in the butt, unless you have such a small amount of brass that you don't mind sorting it by primer size.

    I have no idea what is going on with under-size flash holes.

    There's this little tool called a "flash hole uniformer", that is a long drill bit with a wooden handle. Since the holes are punched into the brass, they are often not round and often have little pieces of brass on the inside edges. This thing drills the hole round and cleans all that flash off. It's designed more for people that want the most accurate ammo possible. Using it on your 30,000 rounds of 308 for your mini gun would get real old real fast.

    But, it would solve your undersize hole problem.
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    the NT brass has small primer pockets not small flash holes.
  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Big or small, I have found a large portion of win brass to have flash holes waaay off center, a decapping issue for sure.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  6. I do believe that is/was the problem. I think the first Winchester case was off center which bent the pin. Now that I've straightened the pin, I tried a few more of the Winchester brass and they are working. I will inspect them all for any with flash holes off center. No more Win brass for me for sure.
  7. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    smiranger, I have experienced off primer holes. The Lee decapper is designed to break free so the decapper does not break. Hornady is easy to change out and they always give you an extra decapping pin. I am not sure about RCBS, Redding, and the rest.
  8. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

    May 24, 2011
    Kannapolis, NC
    I've had several win's with small flash holes
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