Seek wisdom from those wiser on brass failure

NeedForSpeed

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Palm Beach Fl
I started loading for my Creedmoor rifle 2 yrs ago and have been shooting ELDX 143 gr with H4350 41.5 gr loads.
This week at the range I took a shot and extracted only the brass head from my rifle-the remainder of the case stayed in the chamber and didnt come out.
Called Seekins and they recommended returning the rifle for them to remove and inspect. They were great btw

So my question is this- I have never encountered this and have seen no signs of brass failure up till now. I full length resize have between 3-5 loads on the brass and have 200 rds loaded and ready to shoot. Is this likely to happen again? Should I scrap any unloaded brass and dismantle the rounds that I have made? Is this a freaky thing that I shouldnt ever see again? My understanding is that the brass would crack or primer pockets loosen when the brass started to show signs of failure but Id hate to get the rifle back and have this happen again when Im in the woods.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts and experience.
 

dok7mm

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You didn't mention the brand of brass or velocities, so I'll take a guess.

I suspect that you are bumping the shoulder too much on your brass. Do you know what the base to datum length on your fired cases is? Also the base to datum on your resized brass?

Could be something else, but that's the most likely. You should use a gauge to check your base to datum as stated.
That is a critical step in properly sizing your brass.
 

MagnumManiac

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The simple fact of the matter is that you have caused the issue by FL sizing the shoulder too much.
I would screw the die OUT and start again.
Without a comparator, the easiest method is to size a case gradually until it just chambers with a very slight resistance as the bolt handle snugs home.
If I could suggest the best tool for measuring your brass is the RCBS Precision Mic, it’s not cheap, but it is extremely accurate, which is why I like them.

Cheers.
 
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NeedForSpeed

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You didn't mention the brand of brass or velocities, so I'll take a guess.

I suspect that you are bumping the shoulder too much on your brass. Do you know what the base to datum length on your fired cases is? Also the base to datum on your resized brass?

Could be something else, but that's the most likely. You should use a gauge to check your base to datum as stated.
That is a critical step in properly sizing your brass.
Hornady brass
Forster full length sizing die
Why do you think it’s too much shoulder bumping? I set up the die as was recommended by Forster
 

MagnumManiac

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Hornady brass
Forster full length sizing die
Why do you think it’s too much shoulder bumping? I set up the die as was recommended by Forster
The die instructions can easily have you bumping the shoulder by .008”.
When setting the die up the first time, put the ram up, screw the die down until touch than back it OUT by half a turn. Then adjust IN by 1/12 if a turn until you get what I described above.

Cheers.
 

dok7mm

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FYI - The case should fill your chamber on firing, then reduce slightly on cooling so you can extract the case. Your brass should be bumped ONLY about .002" to .003", so it will chamber easily but not too much bump. If you bump too much you are causing the brass to stretch on every firing, thinning the brass at the case head or just above and it will separate.

With calipers and a Hornady gauge (there are several more brands) you can make your brass last longer and be safer. And yes, I would pull the bullets from your brass and check for thinning near the base. A paper clip can be straightened, bend an L on the end and sharpen that tip. Run it down the neck and feel for the deeper ring above the base. You probably need to junk the brass, but you'll learn by checking. Glad you came out safe.

If you have a borescope, check your chamber for damage. Seekins will probably do that though.
 
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jimbires

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if you resize the brass case by only bumping the shoulder back .002 - .003 you will greatly increase case life . these cases were loaded close to 20 times , 18 I think . the brass I'm using now is about used up , some of it's on cycle 15 . you should get the tools to be able to measure case length , and learn to set up your dies . from my experience the brass all seems to fail at about the same number of fires . meaning , your brass is probably about all used up , being it was all sized the same way .


I've removed a few separated cases , by using a large cleaning brush . pull the bolt , jam the big brush into the remaining case , and pull it back out . clean the chamber and get shootin .

P4090516.JPG


you can see the different stages of the cases . some have a smoke ring at the fracture . some show a lighter ring where the fracture will happen . some look normal .

P4300541.JPG


some separated cases with a tool I made to feel inside the case . I've never felt a sharp edge inside where they fracture . I'll feel a dip , a rounded out , or hollowed out , area where the brass is thinning at the place they separate .

P4300543.JPG


hope this helps . Jim
 

NeedForSpeed

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You didn't mention the brand of brass or velocities, so I'll take a guess.

I suspect that you are bumping the shoulder too much on your brass. Do you know what the base to datum length on your fired cases is? Also the base to datum on your resized brass?

Could be something else, but that's the most likely. You should use a gauge to check your base to datum as stated.
That is a critical step in properly sizing your brass.
Velocity is 2725 fps
 

Varmint Hunter

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The problem is almost always caused by repeatedly oversizing as stated above by others. My buddy has this problem fairly often with one of his Weatherby rifles.

Just use a brass brush that is larger in diameter then the case body and use your cleaning rod to push it into the case until it stops. Then pull the brass brush out. It should have the brass case stuck on the brush. I've seen this done many times.

Good luck.
 

jimbires

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clearfield county , Pa
the pictures I posted above are not pressure dented . I could feel the cases coming apart as I opened the bolt .

I wanted to show you one that's dented . so if you run into this your not wondering what's happened .
here is one that separated when fired , the pressure causes the dents . I also removed it using the big brush .


P2111109.JPG
 

RD57

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Oct 10, 2017
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East TN
I had some 4 times fired 270 Win brass (Winchester) from one rifle and accidentally shot it in another 270 Win that I own that has a .006" larger chamber/headspace. The results where insipient head separation with a nice 1/2 diameter crack forming in the brass. The same lot of brass used only in the larger chamber rifle and full length resized with a .001 - .0015 shoulder bump is going on 8+ reloads. Over resizing/shoulder bump can really shorten brass longevity.
 

baldhunter

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Jun 18, 2008
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Texas
I tried to get a stuck case out with a tight brush,patch and couldn't get the **** thing out.Finally I packed a patch inside the broken case from the chamber side.Then I put some JB Weld Kwik on a a small swab and carefully shove it inside the broken case.I waited about 30min for the JB Weld to set.Then I inserted a cleaning rod from the muzzle end and let it drop about six inches or so to the stuck case.On the second drop the case popped right out.
jb case 1.jpg
jb case 2.jpg
 
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