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Seasoning Brass, any sucess?

 
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:51 AM
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Seasoning Brass, any sucess?

I have been playing around with some brass trying to "season" it. Basically just trying to shoot a couple of low pressure shots through some new brass hoping to work harden the case heads without expanding them, with plans to anneal the necks and then fire full pressure loads. Anybody else played around with this? I have a couple of really tight chambers, very close to the unfired case diameter. I tried small base body dies with little sucess. I find that when I fire full pressure loads without "seasoning" the brass I get the dreaded click. Anybody useing this work around for overly tight chambers? How well is it working for you?
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:45 PM
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Re: Seasoning Brass, any sucess?

I've never tried 'seasoning' or cycling cases as you're describing. But the need is not due to tight clearances. It's due to excess pressures.

I've had a couple reamers/chambers cut to 1thou over new brass -everywhere. It has never been an issue for me, because I keep pressure below a point where it does cause an issue. And this happens to be SAAMI MAX for most cartridges. Not book, but actual. Makes me wonder if case growth beyond normal springback(yield) is actually a factor in determining SAAMI MAX.
I never have and never will FL size, because I mind this.

You can find it at the range with calipers just forward of the webline. As you go up in load you'll see the case grow just a little(about a thou) and settle there. Then as you keep going up, eventually there will be a distinct point where it grows another .0005". This is MAX, the point where brass has yielded beyond springback and will leave an interference fit once the chamber snaps back onto it. It will have to be body sized..
That is MY max, and it's so far coincided with SAAMI(based on calibrated QL indicated pressures).

Anyway, seasoning sounds like it could boost springback to reach a little higher in pressure before excess sizing is needed. Maybe using a FF'ing barrel. Can't see how it would hurt anything.
The PB BR shooters have taken to hone the chamber out to the webline, as much as 10thou over, to avert the interference fit(click). With this they can continue to run excess pressures(IMO), and get by with milder FL sizing(milder than small base sizing).

Last edited by Mikecr; 03-02-2011 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:49 PM
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Re: Seasoning Brass, any sucess?

Mike you would usually be correct on the pressures I have been known to push pressures up there with BR rifles.

How many chambers would you have to cut with a reamer with .001 over to wear to a point where you only have .0005 over assuming zero runout? I have a chamber cut with a borrowed reamer that I am pretty sure is a little tight.

I very seldom have a click with any of my rifles barring many firings. But have one with what I assume is a particularly tight chamber as I have 2 other rifles chambered in the same chambering but done with my reamer. Brass fired in both of my other rifles will not even come close to fitting in the chamber of the chamber rifled with the borrowed reamer.

Even with just fireforming loads estimated by QL to be within sane pressures and chronograph readings that are in line with Ql predictions I am getting a slight click. (actually hard to get a good QL prediction forming cases) I do not have a blade mic handy but best I can tell I am getting less than .0005 expansion. It is hard to tell because of a slight crush fit with bullets jammed, but I think virgin 220 russian cases are tight.

I am using my usual lot of 133 that I have been shooting for a long time with 66gr knights and am loading them light to fireform. I really do not think pressure is the culprit. I have a die that will remove even bad clicks with my other brass, not so with this rifle. Problem is the darn thing is the closest I have ever had to having a hummer barrel. I guess I will continue to try and season brass or live with the click, but it slows me down. I think part of the problem may be primary extraction of the action. It is an old schillen, actually I think it was a prototype as I have never seen another.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:39 AM
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Re: Seasoning Brass, any sucess?

Well when you've got something working so well otherwise, it likely pays to work through it.
There are fantastic discussions on this at BenchrestCentral, if you haven't read em.
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