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Reloading Berger Bullets


How do you tell a rifle case is unsafe?

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Unread 12-17-2009, 07:25 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Re: How do you tell a rifle case is unsafe?

Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
I measure how much thinning there is at the bottom of the case wall.
How did you do that?
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Unread 12-17-2009, 08:58 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
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Re: How do you tell a rifle case is unsafe?

I use the RCBS Cace Master Gauge, I zero the indicator on the pin then put the case on and slide it down to the cup then come back up to the neck watching what is indicated. I have been doing this before I prep cases for the next reloading, I do a few just to monitor that group of cases. It is real interesting to see what is going on as the case moves, mine are moving too much and I need to address the situation.
I'm novice to presision reloading so there is probly a better way but this seems to work.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 11:43 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Re: How do you tell a rifle case is unsafe?

you did say you loaded your brass 4 or 5 times so thats experiance if you ask me novice or not. One would have to define novice. I have been loading several rounds for years but only loaded this one for close to a couple hundred shots over the years and it is a round I am concerned with and consider myself novice but smart enough to read allot and ask questions. There just isnt that much on it and its not like all I have to do is just go to the range and reload. I have to get a little at a time over the year and years. I bought this gun when it came out and am just now where I am. Thanks for your inputs. I feel safe going on my 3rd round with the brass I have after looking at it all real close. I will have to get the gage you speak of as I understand you to say thats when you reject yours when you get a large difference.

Thanks for the info
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Unread 12-19-2009, 02:56 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
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Re: How do you tell a rifle case is unsafe?

+1 on the Casemaster. Once you can feel it with the paper clip it is probably very near the end. The fast way to tell if your cases are going to last is to pick out a single case and keep loading it with any other loadings you are doing at the time.

For example since I buy in to the shoot clean method of barrel break in, I shoot and reload the same case for the process. Shoot 1 clean reload 5x, shoot 3 clean reload 5x. Usually by this point I see signs that all is well with cleanup/copper fouling and the starting case has 10 shots on it. To keep track of the rounds fired I put a new hash mark on the side of the case with a Sharpie, then document neck growth, thinning, extraction feel and ease of priming.

I also do this again once I find the load or loads I intend to use. Each outing comes with the first shot fouler being the same case. So If I have 100 cases of which I do minor load changes to and load 10 shots to a time, the single case will have 10 shots on it while the other 99 are one time fired. It just gives me an idea of when to expect loose primers/hard extraction/case neck growth/doughnuts/seperation so you can either change something to fix it, or in my case rechamber the rifle.

I HAD a 300 weatherby that no matter if I full length or neck sized the case, it developed .002 of "thinning" with each shot. And as bigngreen said at .010 "thin" the case was done. At 0.012 "thin" the crack is there. With most all of my other loadings the case master dial continues to rise until the inside pointer reaches the case head. The thinning measurement starts when the measurement no longer rises, falls and then rises again. And it was always just infront of the belt. On my 30-378 I get a very small thinning effect and lose those cases to loose primer pockets.

I suspect that since both cases were Norma, the difference was due to the strength of the 700 vs the Weatherby Action but I doubt I will ever actually know. There are now alternative cartridges to those with belts and I do not forsee myself having any more belted cartridges chambered for 700 actions. Just a personal mind made up ain't gonna do it thing.


Last edited by HoytemanPA; 12-19-2009 at 03:01 AM.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Re: How do you tell a rifle case is unsafe?

Thanks BigNgreen and HoytemanPA and anyone else that threw in on this subject.

I will be geting me a case master as son as I can find it. Also I will be loading a single case and watching it as I go along. Never thought of that!

Its good to take everyones info and go away from here good to go.

Thanks for all the help.

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