Neck expansion

Discussion in 'Guns - Blackpowder' started by canebreaker, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    I picked up a bunch of brass at a local range, mixed cal., 3 different times.
    I loaded some 9m and 380s for the kids for christmas, to see how they liked them.
    I'm on my thrid loading session of the 380s, loading about 100 at a time.
    For some reason the neck splits on about every other one, on this session.
    The good cases are taking the bullit about 1/32 to 1/16th. That shows me that I'm not over expanding the necks. I haven't changed settings since I loaded the first.
    Lee 380 ACP, 90625
    I guess I need to take it apart, clean and lube.
     
  2. Kip Brandel

    Kip Brandel New Member

    Messages:
    502
    State:
    Glasgow, Kentuc
    Some cases just seem more prone to cracking, Working them more causes this to happen faster. Make sure that the cases are lined up with the die and not bumping it as they go in. You can also anneal them with a water pan method. http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

    If they were hotter factory loads the can be pretty hard from the start. I have actually lost more smaller cases than larger ones while reloading. 380 and 32 were the worst for me.
     

  3. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Just a thought here on the neck splitting,I know that my .223 cases will do this after a few loadings,It can usually be rewsolved by anneling the case mouth. The brass in some cases is harder than others,and repeated firings make it even harder ,More or less "tempering" it. Anneling will soften it back up.
     
  4. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    Picked up another 150 .380 cases this morning off the range. I washed, dryed in oven, tumbled, decapped and expanded necks. Lost 14, seems all the cracks are in the 7 o'clock position. If looking down on press and handle is at 6.
    I took the expansion die apart this morning and washed it with Rem oil and reassemblied.
    Seems like everything is going good til that last little bit to expand the neck and snap.

    I picked up last wednesday morning, then this morning. We've had lots of cool damp weather lately. Brass was muddy and tarnished, nothing was bright. When I was leaving, a guy drove up and we talked. The smallest thing he reloaded was 9m. He had a few that would crack when expanding. Good thing these are free except for the drive and walking to get them.
     
  5. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Drying cases in the oven weakens them...from what I've read. Don't know it to be a fact, but more than one book says it's a no-no.

    For my rifle, there is no way that I would reload shells from the range, or any other unknown source. Again, maybe with handgun ammo, it's no biggie, but for my rifle...no way.

    I'll shut up now. Just my .02
     
  6. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    I've never loaded anything smaller than .38 special, and don't really have any info on the .380's.
    However, I've dried "washed" rifle cases, at low temp, minimum , in the over for years..
    chances are, the cases get hotter when fired, or in ambient temp, than in that oven heat..

    Annealing, is a much higher temp, and uses a fairly intense heat source, played on the brass before you tip it over into the water the cases are standing in..

    Dig up some, OLD reloading manuals, they will explain all sorts of "NEW" stuff!!

    Especially, any that cover using military brass , and/or converting one caliber to another, by reducing, or expanding neck diameter..etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  7. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    To start with, oven is turned on 350 degrees.
    Brass is placed in plastic jar with water, lid screwed on and shock.
    Water dumped out, repeted til water is clear.
    When oven reaches 350, it's turned off. When all brass is
    finished, like 9m and 380s, They are layed on a cookie sheet and placed in oven.
    Check brass every 15 minutes for dampness. When there is no water on cookie sheet,
    remove from oven and let stand.
     
  8. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I'd bet it's remington brass. I've had a lot of remington brass do exactly what you're experiencing. It's good brass, I can only get about 3 or 4 loadings with them. Winchester is softer but thinner, I get alot of loadings out of them. Federal is soft, but thicker. The primer pocket usually wears out and primers get loose before the brass. Starline is excellent brass. It is soft and thicker than winchester, i get more loadings than federal. Magtech is also good soft brass, just very thin. I've loaded mine several times with no splits. The seller and bellot brass is thin but soft. However, the primer holes don't always line up in the center of the case.

    Alot of my loading experience is with 9mm and 38 special. I was loading 50,000 rounds a year for about 7 years when I was shooting PPC. I have noticed over the last 28 years in my rifle loads that I'll get significantly more loadings with the same load out of winchester brass than remington.
     
  9. NJ CLAD

    NJ CLAD New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Arizona
    I've loaded my current batch of .380 6 times, and have lost no brass to splitting, so something is amiss. Since you are using mixed brands of brass, the brand cannot be the problem. I would be surprised if the oven treatment is the problem. Remember to keep the mouth expansion minimal, for starting the bullet, when I load .380 or 9mm I find that I can't tell by looking, that the mouth is expanded, I can just barely feel the expansion with my fingers. When you adjust your neck expander die, don't tighten the nut any tighter than necessary, to keep it from changing depth. I mean not even finger tight. If there is a little "wobble" in the expander, inside the die, it will allow it to center in the mouth, before expansion. With brass as short as .380 annealing will be difficult, but will probably help. Just my $.02!
     
  10. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    While looking over the parts from the expander die layed out on the bench, the son comes into the room. Oh, I was showing my girlfriend something about reloading and 1 of the cases snapped. That was 2 weeks ago.
    He doesn't know or care about reloading. I don't think he cares about anything, but himself. And very little about that.
    I found a ring of a case in the die that was hard to dig out. After getting it out, back in production.
    Mom is tired of this crap. Instead of saying anything to him, she tells me. Which doesn't work well between us.
    I think I'll move.
     
  11. Kip Brandel

    Kip Brandel New Member

    Messages:
    502
    State:
    Glasgow, Kentuc
    Thanks for keeping us updated!! On the other, I understand my ex is that way with our son! She calls me 800 miles away and tells me what he did and wants me to talk to him about it. He is just waiting to get old enough to choose and he want to move in with me. He knows it is not as easy as he has it now as I work him pretty good when he comes up during the summer but I think that is what he likes as they live in a populated area and there is not much to do. He told me last summer that he hated mowing the lawn at home and liked it here, They have a 1/4 acre lot and I mow 5 acres.
     
  12. BubbaCat

    BubbaCat New Member

    Messages:
    5,868
    State:
    Arizona
    I feel your pain.
     
  13. TJD

    TJD New Member

    Messages:
    258
    State:
    Missouri
    There is alot of difference the different brands brass. Have some brands split more than others? I have more trouble with S&B brass than other brands.

    I load 380 and 9x18. By using a champering tool I cut a very "Slight" bevel in the case mouth. Not only does it remove any burs but I don't have to inside size them as much. I think they last longer.

    I sometimes dry cases in the oven also, but I set the temp. on the lowest setting which is between 200 and 250 deg. It takes longer but it works. On range brass I remove the primer first so water doesn't get trapped under the primer. I really like the Lee universal decapping die for removing primers in range brass. I want these cases clean before they get sized.