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Does Federal .40 brass have any problems?


MickB
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I've had issues with Federal brass in 9mm with thin walls and not enough neck tension to properly hold a bullet tightly in place, and others have had issues with Federal .223 brass and loose primer pockets.

Is Federal .40 brass also to be generally avoided?

Mick

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I like federal 40 brass. I'm mostly loading minor tho. It is a little bit thinner, which I think may be an advantage if you are loading moly-bullets. I've read that there can be problems using the lee FC die with moly bullets, because the final sizer can swage the bullets to a smaller diameter and cause moly/lead buildup, but with the federal brass the sizing ring barely even grazed the shell. When I shoot moly, I only load it in federal brass for that reason.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a kaboom in a Glock 35 in 2010 with FC marked hollowpoints. This was new-old stock duty ammo, not reloads. The case head separated and the extractor went into orbit. the gun was about two weeks old and had never fired a reload at that point. so I also recommend against the old FC marked cases. I have used and reloaded other cases marked "FEDERAL" with no problems. YMMV.

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Years ago we got in a bad bunch of Federal hollow points of some sort and had to shitcan the whole lot cause of case head separations. No problems since.

I have the casing and case head somewhere. I'll find them tomorrow and post a photo. I never did find the extractor. Glock did not charge for repairs (I had to pay about $80.00 for next day air).

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Have you measured the case wall thickness and compared it to the same measurement on cases that have worked well?

Two possible causes of poor bullet tension (besides thin case walls) is that the sizer is not adequately sizing the cases, or the expander ball is too large.

Will a bullet slip into the case after it is sized, but before it has seen the expander ball? If not, that suggests the sizer is doing OK.

Measure the diameter of the expander ball. It should be about 0.002" smaller than the bullet diameter.

Guy

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I have never had any problem with Federal in 9mm, .40 or .45. The only brand I have had trouble with is PPU; the factory primers seemed to "stretch" out of the case and the primer pockets seem very tight.

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I had a Federal Hydrashock in .40 fail on me a few weeks ago. The case failed at the bottom and the whole back of the casing blew out in my Beretta 96. I needed pliers to extract the brass tube that was left in the chamber and my extractor was hosed. It was a factory load in nickel plated brass. A little old, maybe 20 years old, but that shouldn't make a difference.

Anyone else had something like this happen with Federal factory ammo? I'm wondering how common this is.

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I had a Federal Hydrashock in .40 fail on me a few weeks ago. The case failed at the bottom and the whole back of the casing blew out in my Beretta 96. I needed pliers to extract the brass tube that was left in the chamber and my extractor was hosed. It was a factory load in nickel plated brass. A little old, maybe 20 years old, but that shouldn't make a difference.

Anyone else had something like this happen with Federal factory ammo? I'm wondering how common this is.

Had this just happen this weekend with an older Federal case. There were spiderweb cracks all thru the sidewall so I'm not sure what's going on. Bullet fired fine and didn't notice anything was wrong until I couldn't get the next three rounds to chamber.

IMG_13721.jpg

Edited by azrik
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I won't use the old federal brass in 40. It is marked "F C".

Please state your reasons why.

Newer Federal brass in not marked "F C".

I might leave something out. If you do a search you can find where this has been covered before.

It was just bad brass. Too thin. That is probably why they changed it and the head stamp (I'd hope, but don't know)

I know of 2 cases where Factory Ammo blew up guns. One I heard first hand (Para) and the other I saw (Glock).

After this, one of our locals took various 40 brass and sectioned it. There were variations in brass thickness from brand to brand...the "F C" marked stuff being the worst of the bunch by far.

That's been years ago now. Hopefully that stuff is gone.

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Anyone else had something like this happen with Federal factory ammo? I'm wondering how common this is.

What was the headstamp marking..."F C"?

If so, that is the old stuff. I think they have changed the design and it's now marked FEDERAL? (I've been shooting mostly 9mm for a few years now...so take that with a grain of salt)

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I believe the FC stamp on the federal case is their Non Toxic Ammo. Those cases will always cause me a malfunction trying to seat a new primer. I usually toss those to the side, Federal brass is all Ill use, the nickel cases I wont use just because I don't see nearly as many as them as I do the brass Federal cases. Ive used Federal for years and still see some FC cases pop up, they are still around.

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  • 2 months later...

I believe the FC stamp on the federal case is their Non Toxic Ammo. Those cases will always cause me a malfunction trying to seat a new primer. I usually toss those to the side, Federal brass is all Ill use, the nickel cases I wont use just because I don't see nearly as many as them as I do the brass Federal cases. Ive used Federal for years and still see some FC cases pop up, they are still around.

The old junk is "FC". The new stuff says FEDERAL. Their non-toxic is FEDERAL NT, and has a crimped primer.

If you look in the old stuff and the NT you will see that the bottom has a counter bored look to it. The new regular stuff doesn't have that.

I will try to take some pics when I get a chance. I have an FC case that has 2 reloads on it and is split from end to end and halfway around.

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