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Sorting through head stamps in 40


b1gcountry

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I have been spring my 9mm brass by wedding out certain head stamps before loading. It helps weed out the 380, the crimped cases, and the stuff that is really thick. It makes a big difference for me. I have never bothered with 40. Does anyone here sort through their 40 before loading? If so, what do you weed out?

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I sort 9mm brass and toss several head stamps and all military brass. This certainly improves my OAL variation, visual ability to determine continuing acceptable powder drop, and crimp diameter. I tend to use only FC, WIN, PMC, R-P, and Blazer. I do retain a couple of others for possible future use.

I recently started loading .380 because my wife got a Glock 42. Since .380 brass is nearly twice as expensive as 9mm and contains more rarely seen brands (and less of the premium head stamps), I tried loading without sorting and was unhappy with the result. Even when loading at a nominal OAL of 0.970 I would get some OAL's near the top of the spec at 0.984. I sorted out some WIN and Federal head stamps and OAL variance returned to my expected (from 9mm experience) +/- 0.005.

I have to believe that the variances result in accuracy variation. I have no data to prove that, but it seems reasonable enough for me to take the time to sort head stamps. Some people seem satisfied with whatever they get without sorting and I have no problem with that. I can prove higher measurement variation with mixed head stamps and it bothers me enough to sort. It's the engineer in me I guess.

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I found, through my own testing, that the variation is negligible sorting by headstamp.

I did it with 3 brands, FC, WIN and REM and sorted by headstamp, weight, inner diameter at the mouth and wall thickness. I also charged 10 cases using a GemPro 250 and seating the bullets within .0005" of each other with the same measured crimp all the way around. I also measured the diameter and length of the bullets used to make sure they were all within .001".

This was a long process, but in the end, ultimately useless. ES and SD came down a bit, but there was no epiphany moment of clarity to keep doing it this way. It was too long of a process with so-so results.

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Depends on where the brass came from. Brass picked up at a USPSA match, I never sort. However, I get brass from a Michigan police range twice a year. 50% of the last batch (40 caliber) was Winchester with crimped primers.

A crimped primer pocket going through my progressive press just ruins my day :angry2:

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The only 9mm brass I reject is AMMOLOAD. The inner ledge is too tight for the plunger on my 1050.

I don't reject any .40 brass. I check it for splits, cracks, and nested 9mm or 380 brass, but I shoot it all. Military brass is not an issue on a 1050.

The extreme spread on my .40 loads is a lot wider than I would like. Would hate to start sorting my .40 by headstamps, but I might try it to see if that is the cause...

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Heads up on the AmmoLoad, the last batch of brass 9mm brass I went through had IMI headstamp brass that was identical to the AmmoLoad. Have not seen any others yet but clearly whoever is making those cases now gas multiple contracts.

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I only sort brass if I'm going to sell it or if I know it's 1x. For practice; doesn't matter to me....

I shoot at a range wtih about 15 large bays and they are rented by the police every day. If I pick up after them, I'll often keep it seperate just because I know it's 1x. But if I walk through the bays and pick up random brass, I load it myself with no worry. Assuming it's not cracked or bulged of course.

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Thanks for all the replies. Just to clarify why I was asking the question in the first place, when I reload, I stop whenever something feels not quite right. Either too much force to resize a case, insert a primer, etc. I reload 9mm, and I sort through it to remove the 380, 38 super, split cases, etc. It doesn't take much longer to remove the cbc, nato, aguila, s&b, herters, ammoload, amerc, etc brass that takes either too much effort to resize, too much effort to seat a primer, or stuff I have heard bad things about safety wise.

I don't do it for consistency in the ammo, I do it to make the loading process smoother.

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I don't sort .40 brass and have been lucky in that I have received lots of brass (last batch was 2,500) from a police range and while it was almost all glock-bulged to hell, none of them had any crimped pockets.

That said, I'm always careful when priming new (to me) brass on my 650, any resistance and I check the case, but for me it's so far been a complete non-issue

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When I was shooting a lot of 40 in Limited, I would sort out, believe it or not, all the Winchester brass, even the once fired stuff from the police who use our range.

For whatever reason, I would get a lot of Winchester cases refusing to go into the shell plate of my SDB, binding in the extractor groove (and yes, I did check to make sure I had the right plate and that it and the brass were clean). Perhaps the brass in the head bulges more after firing.

Never any problem with other brands, or with Winchester brass in other chamberings. Folks always happy to trade or buy the Winchester off me.

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Until recently, I never sorted brass in any calibers. What changed that, is a new 9mm RO.

The gun locked up several times while trying to chamber a round. It seems that marked cases of Win, WCC are the problem in my 9mm RO. Perhaps a tighter chamber than the others???

9mm M&P and Beretta are no issue. So now I sort the all 9mm Winchester brass and always chamber check the RO with any rounds I plan to use. The rest get shot in the other guns.

PS. They are all getting run thru a SDB's also....No .40 or .45 brass issues.

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The only 9mm brass I reject is AMMOLOAD. The inner ledge is too tight for the plunger on my 1050.

Keep an eye out for IMT brass too then. It has the same interior ledge add ammoload.

Good tip, thanks...

Since I don't really care about the headstamp, I've started sorting .40 with the mouth of the case up... That way I can look for junk in the case or an AMMOLOAD type ledge... Should be able to see the ledge in IMT brass, too... but thanks for the tip.

I also inspect to make sure I don't have any Berdan primers, but I have never found one... Are there any Berdan primers in .40 S&W brass?

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For my level II and III matches I only load WInchester and Starline brass by lots of 1,000. I take my brass prep to the extreme for these with trimming cases, resizing flashhole and 2x wet tumbling.

Overkill much? You might be better off just buying new brass with all that time you put into it.
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