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· Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I screwed up. I was in a hurry, paying too little attention, and had my seating die way too low in the press. About a dozen .243 Win cartridges ended up loaded before I noticed that the necks look a little weird. Specifically, the neck is too long, and instead of a smooth taper to the full cartridge diameter, there's a step in the middle.

After safely removing the bullets and powder, I ran the cases through a full length resizing die and got the primers out, too. Everything looks fine, except for this weird step. I'd add a picture, but I don't know how to do so in this forum yet. But picture an empty case sitting, neck up, on a table top. Up the side of the case, all is normal, and the shoulder is nicely formed. But on the way to the neck, the brass takes a vertical turn for about a mm, then rolls over to continue on its way to the neck at a reasonable slope. Since it fits through a full length resizing die without binding, I assume that it will chamber in a rifle just fine, as well.

But is it safe to do so? On one hand, I'm thinking that a light load in one of these cases might be safe to fire, and the pressure developed might re-form the case to a normal profile. Then I could resize the fired cases and have them to use safely in the future. But on the other hand, the whole dang thing might blow up in my face, or expand too much and be difficult to remove from the gun. I just don't know...

With brass so darned hard to come by these days, I hate to waste any that might be recovered, but I also don't want to do anything unsafe. What's the opinion of the group here?
 

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A pic would certainly help, if you have the file on your computer, just click the paperclip icon above the text box (in the Advanced post, it doesn't show in Quick Reply view)
Then just find the file and upload it.

Most likely you'll be ok with a starting load. You should be able to get a good seal and not have too much bypass gas around the neck. From what your describing, it seems to me that you've bumped the shoulder too much.
 

· Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, I found the clickety to add the image, and it should be attached. I don't see an attachment, but I'll assume it's there somewhere and will be visible once I've posted this.

By the way, though I'm fairly new to reloading, I am an engineer with 30+ years of experience in everything from designing missile guidance systems to steel and concrete electrical substations, and I do all my own math, and most of the fabrication. So I'm not terribly dumb, but I am, perhaps, overly cautious; I've seen far too much of what can go wrong with a perfectly good plan.

If it will help, or make the process safer, I can re-anneal the brass easily. That would probably reduce the possibility of rupturing the case by increasing the ductility of the metal to the new state. But I figure that a gun made to handle a 50,000 psi loading should be safe with the 30,000 - 40,000 psi that a minimum load will produce. It actually would be more dangerous if the pressure is too low to fully reform the case in the chamber; blowby gasses could be a hazard to me!:eek:
 

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No picture yet.

See if the damaged cases actually chamber in the rifle itself.

If they do and they are not damaged to badly you can try and fire-form them without a bullet. If they are actually folded and creased, I would toss them in the recycle bin.

I fire-form 308 to 30-06 sized cases with 14-18gr of Red Dot topped off with Cream of Wheat then capped with a bit of paper towel to hold in the COW. Load, point in a safe direction and fire, should iron out (fire-form) the case back to normal.
 

· Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know why the photo won't display - it shows that it's uploading and no errors are reported, but nothing comes out. Oh well...

That's an interesting idea... It turns out that there really is a use for Cream o' Wheat! :) I'll give this a try if they actually chamber okay in the rifle. There are no creases, by the way, and no folds, just a second neck between the true neck and the shoulder.

Thanks for the idea!
 

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What type of die were you using when you got that step? A full-length sizer or just a neck sizer?

Beware that if you set the shoulder back too far by oversizing the case it won't headspace properly. If that's the case, Steve's CoW buffered fireforming loads will probably work fine to restore the shoulder. The firing pin will probably drive the casing forward into the chamber a bit farther than normal so you MIGHT get some extra casing stretch near the head. I'd try it once or twice to see if it'll restore your cases.

Otherwise, another method to salvage brass that is short-sized is to neck it up one caliber larger and then neck back down to the proper length. That'll give you a tiny little shoulder at the correct length for your chamber and the rest of the neck/shoulder will fireform out when yo fire the cartridge.
I've done this to make "custom" brass for a couple of rifles that had excessive headspace too. Just beater rifles that I wanted to fiddle with without spending the time & money to setback and rechamber the barrel. Same concept, but different reasoning. One is a normal chamber with short brass, and the other is normal brass with an oversize chamber.
 

· Philogynist & Sycophant, Looking For Work
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh well, the point is moot. Only one of the 10 damaged casings will chamber in the rifle, so I'm tossing all of them in the recycle coffee can. Thanks for the great suggestions, though. I appreciate it! :)

Next time I'll pay attention.
 
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