Bad batch of Lapua Brass

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Greg Duerr, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I purchased some .243 Lapua brass for my .243 AI I fireformed the cases shooting the 80gr Berger loaded with 39.0gr of IMR 4064 While fireforming I noticed smoke coming from the around the bolt. I could see where there was some black marks around the Primer.
    The Smith that built the Rifle chambers his Ackleys so that you don't need to seat your bullet out into the Lands, that way you can load up and go shooting.

    Now that the brass is fireformed I was loading up tonight and found that 30% of the Primer pockets are so large that I can drop the Fed 210's right in .............the rest have the normal seating pressure .................

    The last batch of Lapua brass I put through the ringer running some really hot loads and all the primer pockets stayed tight...................

    Im going to contact Lapua and see what they have to say.


    What experience have you had or did I do something wrong............................................

    I talked to my Smith right before he shipped me the RIfle and asked about using Lapua brass....... his comment was that he found Winchester brass to be just as accurate and a whole lot less expensive..........................
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014

  2. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Did you chronograph these loads?
     

  3. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    I just looked at Hodgdon's load data and a max load for a 243 and a 80 gr bullet with IMR 4064 is 36.3 gr. You used 39 gr. The black around the primers is because you have gas leaking there. I think you destroyed your brass with too hot a load.
     
  4. d11r529

    d11r529 Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea of what's going on in your rifle but I've been using 38.5 gr of IMR 4064 with a 87 gr V-Max in my 243 win for years with no problems. My old Sierra manual lists the max load for a 243 win with a 85 gr bullet IMR 4064 at 85.6 gr
     
  5. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    The Smith test fired the Rifle before it left his shop and he was shooting 49.0gr of RL 22 and the 105gr Berger. He advised that I start out with a load of 47.5 After fire forming...............Which I did. The Berger manual gave a max load of 40.0 IMR 4064 shooting the 80gr Berger Varmint Bullet, I was using 38.0....................I did notice that when seating the primers that on a lot of cases the primers went in with very little resistance.
    Today I found 20 cases that you could just drop the primer into the primer pocket. In all respect this is just bad brass. I would not have thought much about it but at $1 a case. That's inexcusable.
    Travis told me that he shoots Winchester brass and finds that it shoots just as good as Lapua.

    Saturday I will be shooting with 48.7gr of Reloader 22 and Cronographing the loads. Four five shot groups and then four five shot groups shooting 49.0gr.

    I have mixed feelings about the Lapua brass but will give them the benefit of my bad experience.
     
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why you're fireforming with a max load.
    Would the cases not form with a lower load?
    Is this a new barrel/first firing with the load?
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    If your swelling the case head on Lapua brass your running significant pressure and should stop doing what your doing and do a proper load development before you hurt yourself!!!
     
  8. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I rechecked the Berger manual and it shows a Max load of 39.7gr of IMR 4064 shooting the 80gr bullet. My load was 38.0 Not all the cases had this issue but only about 20............all the others look fine and the new Primers went in with the normal amount of Pressure.
    I do feel that Lapua Brass has a huge following on this sight and appears to be the holy grail. In all honesty its no different than anything else...................there will always be some Crap Brass mixed in with the GOOD lapua brass................all things considered me don't live in a perfect world.

    I seen some pretty impressive groups shot from a 20 Var targ that went .165 and lots in the low .2's No Lapua brass in sight.........................
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  9. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    Fireforming with a max load for a standard 243 chamber in an Ackley chamber SHOULD NOT produce any where near excessive pressures and enlarge primer pockets.
    I cannot tell you HOW/WHY your cases have done this, but have you tried a different brand of primers to see if they fit a bit tighter?
    I have a few improved cartridges, I moved away from fireforming with bullets a long time ago. I use a fast pistol powder (Clays), this normally almost fills the case and no 'filler' is required, a little tissue paper followed by a plug of soap, fire, and a case comes out nicely formed to the chamber. It takes a near full power load with a bullet to finish forming 100%, but has no effect on accuracy that I've ever seen. This method is better because you can fireform where ever you like and don't burn up barrel life. There is a reason that it is advised when fireforming with a bullet that use a milder load, it reduces excessive case stretching, my method eliminates this completely.
    There is an underlying problem with your rifle, it could be many things, such as a too tight chamber or excessively tight neck, or the throat wasn't cut correctly.
    Have your gunsmith check it out.

    Cheers.
    gun)
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    You have something creating pressure spikes, you don't magically blow primer pocket on brass NO MATER the brand without significant pressure!!
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts too. Normal pressure will 'seal' the primer. Excessive pressure will force it through.

    I'd back off and employ a chrono. Until you know how fast they're going, it's all an assumption. It is VERY common for min loads to be over pressure in custom barrels and snug chambers.
     
  12. WapitiBob

    WapitiBob Well-Known Member

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    "The Smith that built the Rifle chambers his Ackleys so that you don't need to seat your bullet out into the Lands, that way you can load up and go shooting."
     
  13. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    How do I explain the lack of resistance when priming the original cases.............Some had normal pressure and some had little if any.

    I still think it was the BRASS..................


    Or I might use what the Smith recommended for fireforming......


    40gr of H4350 and the 105 seated .001 off the lands....................


    That's what I will do the next time.
     
  14. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Your probably right..........................Im going to pull the bullets I have loaded up with the same load as before and try some H4350 as Travis Recommended.