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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 06:49 PM
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I picked uo a half dozen Hornady 44 mag cases last time I went to the range. Earlier today, I was reloading the 44's we shot, including those 6 or 7 Hornady cases. I never have problems with any other brand of brass, but seems Hornady always has it's quirks. When I went to seat the bullets in those Hornady casesm using Hornady 180 gr XTP's, those bullets refused to seat. I ended up pulling the bullets, first rerunning those cases thru the expander die with a larger expander plug. Then recharged the cases and tried to reseat fresh XTP's. Again, still a "no go" situation, I next resized the cases, re-expanded them, then used a chamfering tool on the case mouths. After this, 3 of the XTP's seated, albeit with more effort than normal. the rest required more work on the case mouths with the chamfering tool. Those 6 or 7 rounds ended up taking an hour to reload, plus wasting 5 XTP bullets (their jackets were trashed, so they go into the scrap lead bin to melt down later) I've got 25 year old 44 brass that loads easier than these new (once fired) Hornady cases. Yesterday I was reloading 30-06 and weighed several brands, Hornady included. The Hornady 30-06 brass I weighed all were 18-20 grains lighter than R-P brass (which are the same weight as mil-spec 30-06 and F-C ). Then there's the "short" 444 and 45/70 Hornady brass. I've also had problems priming 308 Hornady brass. So just FYI for whoever reads this, just be prepared to have problems reloading Hornady brass. Will I continue to use it ? Yea, but from now on, I'll segrigate it from all other brands in the future, but I will never buy it new. I'll buy their bullets, but never their brass. Everything I've noticed as differences in their brass I think comes down to some "bean counter" having a heavy hand in their manufacturing processes.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:22 AM
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I loaded some Hornady .308 brass a few weeks ago and didn't have any difficulties with it. But that's the only time I've used it. I love their bullets though, both rifle and pistol. I always buy Winchester brass. The Winchester stuff involves some prep work as the cases are different lengths and need to be trimmed. But quality is good and it lasts. I have used Starline brass for some of the cowboy cartridges, 44/40, 32/20, and .45 Colt. It is excellent brass and lengths are more consistent, but I check them all anyway. Remington brass is some of the thickest out there, so it would weigh heavier.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
I next resized the cases, re-expanded them, then used a chamfering tool on the case mouths. After this, 3 of the XTP's seated, albeit with more effort than normal. the rest required more work on the case mouths with the chamfering tool."


"Then there's the "short" 444 and 45/70 Hornady brass."

" Everything I've noticed as differences in their brass I think comes down to some "bean counter" having a heavy hand in their manufacturing processes.
All new brass should be iside and outside chamfered prior to use. With some thin brass you an get away with not chamfering but you stand the chance of collapsing the case mouth or shaving bullets.

The 444 and 45-70 brass you have picked up is "short" because it was loaded with the longer LeveRevolution bullets. The brass must be shorter to keep the COAL short enough to feed through the action.

Hornady brass is simply a different spec.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:42 AM
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If you have Hornady brass in 44Mag and didn't buy it new, most likely it came from their Leveroution line and is quite a bit shorter than normal brass. That is because of their rubber tipped bullets are too long and they won't fit in the loading mechanism of a levergun! CRAZY, I know, but true.

As for their XTP bullets? Oh, baby! 240gr XTP over a healthy dose of WC820 (MILSURP Powder that loads like H110/W296) and my carbines are in a happy place! Shot two hogs and two rams with them, DRT and the exit wounds, monstrous! Of course, the Marlin, Ruger M77/44 and Encore rifles let that 240gr pill get a little bit more of a running start than a handgun, 1800fps or so, but, they sure worked and worked well on that game!

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:04 AM
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Since the advent of leverevolution ammo I now have three extra shell bins to keep the 44 mag, 444 marlin and 45-70 separate from the rest. I don't do much real accuracy shooting anymore, mainly bang and clang, so I can't see paying the premium for Hornady brass. The XTP-HP bullet is one of my favorites for hunting and concealed carry. Consistant accuracy and expansion. I have killed everything from hogs, dogs and deer with them.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:42 AM
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Ok, as for their 44 mag brass being shorter ? Nope. It's the same length as everyone elses brass., unless this brass was loaded with XTP's and not FTX's, I have no way as yet to answer that question. Based on weighing cases, R-P 44 brass is thinner than all others. But it's never been a problem as far as loading goes, I use it for all my "magnum" level 44's, simply due to the little extra case capacity. And as for having to use the chamfer tool on once fired brass ? Never had to do that with any other brand, but did have to use it on new Nickel plated 44 brass. (Starline) I figured out the reason for their short 444 and 45/70 brass long ago. That was done to accomodate the FTX bullets in Marlins. Wouldn't have been a problem in a Winchester 86 action.
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:34 PM
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I don't think that you had the expander plug set correctly. Maybe that was because those cases aren't at the exact same length at your other cases, just a thought.

The clue is that you had to chamfer. Most expanders are flared out on the top and if you get the case far enough onto it, it will be flared out in excess of the bullet's diameter.

It's true that brass of different lengths can be a pain. I recommend the Lyman "M" die for that reason, and others as well.

Good luck with your future reloading.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2013, 01:21 PM
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I think Mike's right, but I'll go a step further and recommend specifically that you get a Lyman M die or the Lyman multi-expander die (includes .44 but several other sizes, too). These dies will put a step into the case mouth over the last few hundredths of an inch below the flare that is actually wider than the bullet and that will allow you to set a bullet into it so it sits straight upright for a straight start into the case (the reason I like the design). You will see the bullet base bulge looking much more uniform around your cases because the bullets are seated straighter. That contributes to accuracy. Your crimp die removes the step.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2013, 02:35 PM
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I don’t have a wide variety of 44 Magnum loads in my cartridge collection, it not a cartridge I have specialized in.
I load for the 44 Magnum, both handgun and rifle.
The case drawing shows the case mouth just under the crimp to be .456”. I have never encountered a case this large at the mouth - and I shoot many bullets as-cast which should give me a good sample of measurements.
I find most brands of 44 Magnum to have a rough 25.0 grains of water case capacity. It you get a chance fill one of your Hornady cases and let us know the water capacity of the case.

Thinking of thick brass I measured a few factory cartridges and Handloads at random, just below the crimp with the thought of looking for brass thickness variations..
A 1950’s vintage Rem-UMC factory load measures .452” just below the crimp.
A 1960’s vintage W-W Super measures .452”.
A PMC factory load with a solid copper JHP measures .450”.
A handload in a F C 44 Mag case with a 310-grain Lee bullet seated as-cast measures .451” just below the crimp. This Lee bullet typically measures .4295” as -cast.
A Gates 445 Super Mag with a Lyman 429421 sized .430” measures .451”.
Just for fun a R-P Proof load with a Remington 240-grain JFN bullet measures .450”.

What do your cases measure, just below the crimp, with the .429” Hornady bullet seated?
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:05 PM
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I've not loaded that many Hornady (pistol) cases, but those that I have used seemed "harder". Parhaps they are work hardened at the factory more than other brands and perhaps has more springback?
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I don't think that you had the expander plug set correctly. Maybe that was because those cases aren't at the exact same length at your other cases, just a thought.

The clue is that you had to chamfer. Most expanders are flared out on the top and if you get the case far enough onto it, it will be flared out in excess of the bullet's diameter.

It's true that brass of different lengths can be a pain. I recommend the Lyman "M" die for that reason, and others as well.

Good luck with your future reloading.
I had the expander set correctly. Been loading 44's for 25 years now. I think I know when it's set. I belled the case mouths and the XTP's still wouldn't seat without using the chamfering tool. The RCBS expander also has a flare as well. I've got three of these and all have flares. Lee's do not.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludge View Post
I've not loaded that many Hornady (pistol) cases, but those that I have used seemed "harder". Parhaps they are work hardened at the factory more than other brands and perhaps has more springback?
I've run across cases that take more effort to seat bullets too, but these Hornady's take the cake. Federals are harder, as are some others. I'll bet I've got nearly every brand 44 brass ever made too. This is the first time in 25+ years I've had to use extra effort to seat bullets into once fired brass. IMI cases are heavier, but they're the softest as are Browning 44 brass.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:30 PM
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Chamfering would not have any effect if the case mouth were already larger than the bullet. I think that we're missing something in the description.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by baddad457 View Post
I had the expander set correctly. Been loading 44's for 25 years now. I think I know when it's set. I belled the case mouths and the XTP's still wouldn't seat without using the chamfering tool. The RCBS expander also has a flare as well. I've got three of these and all have flares. Lee's do not.
I'm losing you, here...If the case mouth has been belled properly, it is going to be much larger around than the .430" XTP bullets you're seating, so how could chamfering the case mouth make any difference, at that point?

I've got a batch of ~50 Hornady 44Mag cases that a guy gave me and they size/load exactly like all of the other brass I've got. I'm sure you're seeing something funky about them, but can't think of what it might be, at this point.

Maybe someone had trimmed those cases, leaving a burr on the case mouth? That might explain why chamfering helps.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:43 AM
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The inside of the cases were rough, hence the need to use the tool. I have one tool that just surfaces the case mouth and another that reaches down deeper. I had the use the deeper tool to get the bullets to seat. My whole point is Hornady brass isn't worth buying new, in every caliber I've reloaded with it, every one has differences that may require more attention vs other brands. Just something I've come to expect with their brass. The only other 44 brass I've loaded that gave this problem was new Starline nickel plated cases, those too had rough case mouths, but it was new brass, not brass that had been fired. I suspect too that the brass itself is harder, that too would give more resistence to seating a bullet.
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:50 AM
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baddad,
Could you do me a favor please? Could you take a case, size it and then let me know what it is? And, then, after you seat a bullet, what the measurement is where the bullet is? Please?

Just trying to figure out in my mind what could be going on. Is it possible that your sizing die sizes the case smaller than, say, mine does? That would be one possible factor and, seeing that you are the one with the problem, it just might be.

I have loaded Hornady, PMC, Fiochhi, Magtech, RP, Federal and a host of others and never have had a problem with any of them myself.

What are you loading them one and what are the dies? I think you said RCBS but, don't recall offhand.

Thanks! Trying to help!
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:10 AM
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I don’t understand why the bullets won’t seat if you are using the same expander plug and the bullets are seating in other cases…

The cases would be expanded to the same diameter. And all the bullets would be the same diameter as each other…

They might seat harder, but they still should seat if the case mouth is flared—it would be the same as other cases that were expanded using the same expanding die…

The only time I have ever used a different expander plug is with cast boolits that I sized to a larger diameter than others. Then it can sometimes be needed…

Something else wrong here…

I contacted Starline some time ago as I was having problems with case heads on 45 Colt brass. The also informed me that much of Hornady brass was made by Starline—this I don’t know, but I guess I have to believe a Starline employed…

By the way, Lee expander dies for straight wall case do have the capability to flare the case mouths of straight walled-cases. I just pulled out the 9mm para and the 40 S&W and they can and do flare case mouths…

A Lyman M die is expensive and that would not be needed. Maybe if you are using it for cast, but that would be about it. I wouldn’t spend the extra money for it…

Good-luck…BCB
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2013, 03:38 AM
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My RP cases measure:
.456" Fired
.450" Sized
.452" With bullet seated with no crimp.

Thanks!
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:37 AM
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I just took a couple of pics of a 9mm and a 40 S&W to show the case mouth could be belled with a Lee die--these are the 3-die set...

How do I post a pic of them without saving them to some website and submittng the URL?...

Regardless: 40 S&W
Sized: .417"
Bell: .435" (Much over belled!)


9mm
Sized: .381"
Bell: .389"
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Let's try this: http://www.hunt101.com/showphoto.php?photo=785108


Good-luck...BCB

Last edited by BCB; 01-07-2013 at 04:45 AM. Reason: ADD PICTURE...
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2013, 07:01 AM
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So, the 'chamfering' tool that solved the problem was something like a VLD reamer, not an ordinary chamfering tool. Makes more sense now.

Do you still have any of those cases that have not been modified? It would be interesting to get a picture of the inside of the case mouth. Never have seen anything like what you described.
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