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Case head separation
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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squirrelbait
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Joined: Sep 23, 2005
Posts: 220
Location: Nottingham, NH

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject: Case head separation Reply with quote

Ok, maybe I'm the only one but I have had a couple of case head separations........I believe due to number reloads, but here is the question:
What should I do, if anything, about the ring in the chamber where the separation occurred? Probably brass deposits from the hot gases burning the brass?
I really didn't think it best to try to scrub it out......don't want to scratch up the chamber. Any ideas?
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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 3245
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Case head separation Reply with quote

Chamber and shoot a clean never fired case. Is there any visible ring on the side of the case where it would deform due to buildup? If so ya you should try to clean it... if not you are gtg.

I clean my chambers with nylon shotgun brushes.

-DallanC
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Blaine
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Joined: Feb 24, 2005
Posts: 260
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Case head separation Reply with quote

I don't believe a bronze chamber brush would scratch the chamber. I'd use some Break Free and brush, then a cottom swab to clean and dry out any residue.

Blaine

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mc223
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Location: S/E Kansas

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Case head separation Reply with quote

www.varmintal.com/a243z.htm
You may find the above interesting about polishing chambers. Might ease your discomfort of overdoing it when removing the residual brass.

It has become a practice of mine with cases that are nearing retirement to inspect the inside of the case at the point where the thick and thin of the case meet near the base. I use a small fairly blunt with slight bend dental pick to reach into the case and feel for a slight depression. Since you have already experianced a separation, this is the place described.

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Spacedone
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Joined: Nov 04, 2005
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Location: missouri

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Case head separation Reply with quote

i do my reloads in batches and keep the cases sorted into the same batches.

i like batches of 50 because thats what my loading block holds.

i make different batches for different loads.

when one case failes in a batch i dont reload that batch any more.

lose alittle money that way from buying new cases more often but i think its a safety issue.
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BillPa
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Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: Case head separation Reply with quote

squirrelbait wrote:
Ok, maybe I'm the only one but I have had a couple of case head separations........I believe due to number reloads, but here is the question:
What should I do, if anything, about the ring in the chamber where the separation occurred? Probably brass deposits from the hot gases burning the brass?
I really didn't think it best to try to scrub it out......don't want to scratch up the chamber. Any ideas?

Generally speaking, casehead seperations are due to (1) chamber headspace, (2) excessive FL resizing or (3) a combination of both. Seperations generally occure at the forward portion of the web, but on ocassion along the body or shoulder. From your discription I assume its at the forward portion of the web.

If you suspect any brass buildup in the chamber, it can be removed with most bore cleaners,just takes a bit longer than copper, but I seriously doubt thats your problem.

I guess the first questions to ask, what is your die setup...how much shoulder bump are your using? Standard dies are quite capable of creating excessive cartridge headspace if improperly adjusted.

What is the length (casehead to shoulder) of your fired brass compared to the resized cases? Anything greater than around .006" would be approching excessive cartridge headspace and needlessly over working the brass.

A set of GO - NO GO gages will confirm the boltface to shoulder headspace of the chamber. There are some simple methods of measuring case length. A chamber cast would confirm chamber diameter at the web area.

I suspect more than anything, your over sizing the brass.

Bill
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squirrelbait
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Joined: Sep 23, 2005
Posts: 220
Location: Nottingham, NH

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Case head separation Reply with quote

Billpa, I believe you are correct. I have been playing, over the last couple of years, with my die. They are Hornady FL die. I don't have all the gages but am now set so the die is coming down the case neck about 1/4 inch. In other words I don't think the die touches the shoulder. The only place where I see the die actually compressing/resizing anything is along the body of case just up to the webbing area. Course this is not where i started and the separations occurred on older brass. I just bought some new brass. I will try Spacedone's approach. mc223, rather detailed article but the guy has done one heck of a lot research. Thanks for the inputs.
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