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Case Fatigue in .375..?

This is a discussion on Case Fatigue in .375..? within the Reloading forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; What are normally the first signs of fatigue in .375 brass and at which point should I chuck them in ...

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    DOC-404's Avatar
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    Default Case Fatigue in .375..?

    What are normally the first signs of fatigue in .375 brass and at which point should I chuck them in the trash can..?

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    How many times have you fired these cases that you are using?

    Are they splitting or do they need to be trimmed? Plus they may just be tired.

    What kind of Dies are you using RCBS or Forster Dies or something else?

    Have you read the reloading manual?

    Belted magnums headspace on the belt but can still suffer from having the shoulder bumped back too far also.

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    With most magnums and rimless cases too, the .375 included, the first sign is the dreaded "bright ring" just above the belt which is an indication of whats known as incipient separation, or "about to let go". The brass thins at this point after repeated firing and sizing especially if head space is on the long side and the die is setting the shoulder back on each sizing. If any sign of bright ring is seen, use the old bent wire probe and reach down inside and with a scraping motion see if you can feel the beginings of a crack that runs around the inside of the case. If you can, the cases must go. Most opine that belted magnums are only good for around 3-5 loadings but this is not really true as it all depends on the relationship between chamber length and die setting. In my own .375 I have never had a bright ring or separation, and usually throw the brass away when it gets dinged up alot or is just too old to trust. Nor have I ever had a neck split or longitudinal body split, using both Remington and Winchester brass.

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    Thanks,Gentlemen,I appreciate your help.

    James,I'm using Norma brass,3 to 4 times fired.I reloading with Somchem S335 (66gr) and Sierra 250gr GK's for plain's game.The loads are accurate and not too hot (2650fps).I neck-size only for plain's game,using RCBS and Redding dies.The cases have not required trimming as yet,and are treated with care.I use CCI 200 Br primers.Unfortunately,US manuals are scarce and not too much help to me,here in the colonies.

    Ses,if at all possible,could you post a picture of what I should be looking for? Also,what would be the consequences of a case 'letting go' just above the belt-sould I miss the sign?

    Thanks again,
    Doc.

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    Doc, Unfortunately I dont have on hand any brass showing the ring, but just about any loading manual will or you should be able to see a picture on the net somewhere. Just google it. As to the consequences, its not usually catastrophic but can tie up the gun for a length of time depending on what exactly happens. Usually upon extraction the forward part of the case ahead of the separation remains in the chamber and must be removed thru some means. Its no big deal at the range but should it happen while hunting it could be less convenient. If it were to happen often it can over time damage the chamber as well but thats unlikely.

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    Here is a picture of explaining what "sestoppeman was referring to.

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Docman

    For hunting i use new factory ammo...with quality bullets...I look at it this way if you are unable to afford the new quality ammunition on the market today...then you need to stay home...

    I have been with way to many hunters who reload and their pet reloads do not hold up...bullets pushing into the case, cases separated in the chamber, primers falling out, rounds not going off, and last but not least bullets stuck in the bore...I used to carry the tools and equipment to take care of some of these issues, while antelope, deer hunting in the states and while moose, caribou, Mtn goat & black bear hunting in Alaska.

    I usually will reload empty hulls 2 to 3 time for practice...one has to make sure you trim the brass between reloading if you are using near capacity loadings...This hold for shotgun shooting also...You are just asking for trouble when you reload cases and hulls more that 2 times...

    I do not like to sit at a bench and punch holes in paper and prefer to go Prairie dog hunting with my hunting rifles is at it best...Nothing like shooting prairie dogs with a large caliber gun...

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    For hunting I use NEW unfired brass in my handloads, which I trust. I also run every round, factory or handload thru the gun before going afield. I believe that properly and carefully loaded home loads are as reliable as factory loads. I do however agree with James (above) that many outfitters and PH's see more instances of handload failure than the rest of us will simply by the nature of their business.

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    Ses

    You said the magic words new unfired brass that have been check and rechecked in the chamber before going into the field...

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    Years ago we went with once fired, full-length sized brass on the theory that you knew it was good brass because it didnt fail on one firing. I still think that has some merit but feel that brass is now of such good uniform quality, if using name brand (US made) brass, that using NEW brass is the way to go, but again it must be cycled thru the gun.

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    Interesting!!I tagree with taking new brass hunting & checked to make sure they fit & cycle for smooth operation, but I totaly disagree with reloading 2-3 times. I have hand loaded for 25 years & shot metallic silhouette. A person would go broke if I was continually buying brass at the current prices. I have 7mm BR brass that have been reloaded 15 times & I still use in competition. You have to check the brass & trim as necessary. Brass now a day is very good & other than an occassional crack, I have had no problems using brass numerous times!

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    Default There's a better way ....

    I have been getting up to 20 reloadings per case with almost any belted magnum caliber. I use the Digital Headspace Gauge to accurately bump the shoulder back -.001" with a FL die. Then I use the Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die to reduce case diameter just above the belt. This picture shows the problem area of a belted case (from the inside).

    headspace-2.jpg

    I have several articles on my website that deal specifically with handloading belted magnum calibers. Your handloads should always chamber without any resistance at all - not even a little bit. They should also be MUCH closer fitting than factory loads.

    - Larry
    Visit our website at www.larrywillis.com
    It's devoted to helping shooters make the best handloads possible.

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