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.