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Reply with quote  #1 
I am using Lapua brass, 46gr. Varget and 168 SMK. The Lapua brass has been reloaded 9 times. Should I be concerned with case head separation with 9 reloads? How many reloads have you guys been able to get out of Lapua brass? Thanks in advance.
Reply with quote  #2 
has your case formed a visible shiny line at the case-head body junction. Have you straightend out a paperclip and passed it over that junction on the inside of the case. If you feel it catch what feels like a crack then it might be time to retire that piece of brass. If you don't feel a crack, reload it. I personally think your primer pockets will loosen and your necks will give out and split before you start to get case head seperation even though you are loaded on the upper end. Are you full length re-sizing every time? Do you have the means to anneal your necks?

I have a matched set of 50 pcs of Hornady brass that has been reloaded 14 times and is still going strong.
Do a visual inspection before each reload and cull suspect brass.
Reply with quote  #3 
Hey scout1,

Thanks for the reply. I did seem to feel a slight indent but nothing like a crack. Does that count? And I do full length re-size after each firing and I don't anneal the necks.
Reply with quote  #4 
John1c, Case separation is not caused from the number of times your brass has been reload, it's cause by overworking your brass by not having your die set up properly. You would be surprised how many folks just take a standard full length die and screw it into their press until it touches the shell holder and then back it off a little and believe they should be good to go. What's important is that you DO NOT BUMP THE SHOULDER OF YOUR BRASS BACK TO FAR CAUSING EXCESSIVE HEADSPACING BETWEEN THE BRASS SHOULDER AND THE FRONT OF YOUR CHAMBER. Because when you do that you cause the brass to become overworked from the constant stretching when fired and being pushed back excessively everytime you resize it. You need to purchase a tool if you don't already own one that will allow you to measure the length of your rireformed brass from the shoulder to the base of the case head, preferably after depriming the case. Then measure a couple of your full sized resized brass, this will tell you exactly how far your bumping back your shoulders. Then set up your sizing die to bump the shoulder back no more then .002. There are various tools sold that will allow you to do this. The best I've found to date is the new Digital Head Space Gauge sold by Innovative Technologies. It's simple to set up, easy to use and fairly priced and will also performs other necessary measurement functions. This tool sure beats attaching a comparator body to your caliper and then inserting the correct size bushing in the body and fussing around trying to get the brass aligned perfectly straight to insure a correct measurement. I sure hopes this helps to point you in the right direction. Their web suite shows the tool and explains the process. Wishing you good luck and safe reloading.

Reply with quote  #5 
Do you have a link for them?
Reply with quote  #6 

Not the calliber you are using but it's the right tool

RCBS - Precision Micrometer 270 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM)

Product Number: RC88315
Web Product Title: RC PRECISION MIC 270 WSM
Item Price: $50.74
Availability: In Stock
Shipping Weight: 0.57 lb.

few twists of the Precision Mic and you'll know your chamber headspace and bullet seating depth to 0.001". The Precision Mic measures from a datum point on the case shoulder to the base, giving you the exact SAAMI tolerance readings. An indispensable tool for safe, accurate loads that extend the life of your brass and firearm.
Reply with quote  #7 
John, you can use a 40 s&w case or a 41mag or 10mm case to get the same measurement just make sure the mouth of the case is square and decap it. it'll work fine untill you can get the proper tool.
Reply with quote  #8 
any body got an empty 40 s&w case they can send me?
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