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  #41  
Old 02-08-2017, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheezywan View Post
What he said goes for nickle plated brass cases too.

Cheezywan
I think you can get by reloading nickel plated brass so long as the case is tapered. A tapered case has either light or no contact with the steel sizer die until the case neck starts being sized. The length of time the nickel plated case comes in contact with the steel die is limited compared to straight-walled cases e.g. .38 Special/.357 magnum etc. where the die has heavy contact with the case starting at the case mouth and continuing for the length of the case. What I'm trying to point out is a tapered case takes less abrasion than a straight wall while being resized hence the plating lasts longer.

My experience with Remington .357 magnum nickel plated straight-walled brass and a steel sizer die is a sad one. Cases sized fine for about three reloadings then, the nickel started flaking off the brass scratching the sizer die which only aggravated further resizing. On further sizing, the nickel began to blister and I sent the die back to RCBS for polishing. Continued use of the die was a repeat of what originally happened so that was the end of my steel sizer die. Yes, I may have gotten a batch of cases that were not properly plated but after buying a new carbide die, I have never resized with nickel plated brass again. YMMV

Last edited by Marshal Kane; 02-09-2017 at 05:29 AM.
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  #42  
Old 02-08-2017, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheezywan View Post
Case in a firearm acts as a gasket (aside from being a self-contained cartridge container). Brass is simply a superior material for the job. Steels only real attribute is cheap. Use it once, and pitch it. Sorta similar to an engine in a torpedo. Nobody has a job re-building torpedo engines. Intended to run like he-ll once.

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That's the specialty code I'd like to have if I were in the Navy, CPO torpedo engine rebuilder specialist. Softest job in the Navy!
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  #43  
Old 02-08-2017, 07:48 AM
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Scored dies with nickel plated brass

Scored Dies: In the time before T/C dies became common it was nothing special to see standard dies deeply scored by resizing nickel plated brass. The scoring appeared to be deep scratches extending up into the inside of the die. At time the damage was attributed to the nickel plating. When presented with problem the reloader turned into a poor historian not being able to tell us how many case he had resized. Might do well to size a case in a modern tungsten carbide die to see what degree of taper you really have. Is there such a thing as a tungsten carbide die for 7.62x39?
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Last edited by William A. Reed; 02-08-2017 at 07:55 AM.
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  #44  
Old 02-08-2017, 11:20 AM
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Wonder what the case forming process looks like at the factory that makes steel cased ammunition? Are they just "stamped out"? Are they annealed? Quality control of the alloy of steel used a concern?

For those of you that do reload them, how often must you trim to length? How do you trim to length? Lathe? Trim die? Cutting torch?

Case cleaning: Sand blast, or just tumble in sand?

Do you put a lacquer coat back on, or just wax like a car?

How many reloads are possible? For example; a quality steel cased round of 7.63X39 from a reputable Chinese manufacturer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William A. Reed View Post
An experiment-for the Skeptics : How about somebody with the gear make up and shoot some steel case reloads. Show us how it is done. Show us the results. My take on it is when the push comes to shove it's possible to reload those cases. It would be great to prove this thing one way or another. What we did last month or last year does not count. When finished forward a box of twenty to the naysayers.
Purdy good challenge there.

Cheezywan
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  #45  
Old 02-08-2017, 11:28 AM
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I think there is some confusion here about things, so I'll see if I can sort it out a bit.

First, can a steel case be pushed through a carbide pistol die? Yes. I've done it by accident on a Dillon 1050 before, and the cases in question were boxer primed Steel .45 Auto cases (Wolf, I think). The amount of pressure that had to be applied to the press handle was significantly greater than normal and so was withdrawal.

Can you get away with this because carbide is the toughest material on the block? No. Sure, carbide is super hard, but are "solid" carbide sizing die parts pure carbide? No. Carbide itself is very hard and strong, so it doesn't wear or scuff and its presence protects dimension. But the sizing ring and the few carbide rifle dies available are made from cemented carbide. This material gets its name from how concrete is made. For concrete you have an aggregate of stones and gravel that is cemented together with Portland cement. In carbide tooling, very fine carbide dust fills the role of the aggregate, and a metal like nickel, with a lower fusing temperature, is mixed with it, pressed very hard in a forming die and is fired until the nickel fuses into a web that contains the carbide, sticking the aggregate together. So the tensile strength of the final material is limited by that of the cementing metal. This is why carbide sizing rings have been known to crack. I had that one happen to a Lyman carbide .45 ACP die I bought long ago, and I had not even put a steel case through it. Given the added effort needed to force a steel case through a carbide die, I wouldn't be surprised if it ultimately cracked a good number of sizing rings every year.

Have you ever had a carbide sizing ring come out of a pistol sizing die? I have. It's just a mater of fatigue loosening the crimp in the die body retaining it. Again, the fact it is harder to withdraw steel cases than brass cases after resizing in a die, I would expect that damage to occur more frequently with steel cases.

In the last year or so, board member Lacopari (IIRC) had a post up (try searching) in which steel cases had spoiled a pistol chamber. The cases looked fine to the naked eye, but in fact, because steel can't be worked much without fatiguing, they had developed micro cracks all around the pressure ring area. When he fired the gun, these gas leaks pitted his chamber. Here's one of his photos. Though you can't see it in this one image, those pits make a 360 ring around the inside of the chamber:



Those little pits didn't stop the gun from functioning at that point, but eventually they would have gotten to the point that brass would flow into them enough to resist normal extraction and cycling failures would occur. The problem here is not that the cases didn't work, but rather that they looked fine. The flaw was only indicated by the pits left behind. I can only imagine with a higher pressure round that the little gas leaks could suddenly become big in the course of one firing event. So I am careful to use a magnet on range brass now and cull all the steel out.

Can steel be reloaded? Yes, but it's best left for a SHTF emergency scenario as the life of the loading tools and the gun can all be adversely impacted by it.
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Last edited by unclenick; 02-09-2017 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Fixed typo.
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  #46  
Old 02-08-2017, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonP View Post
Despite the dire warnings you can reload steel cases at least one time and it will not wreck your firearm. What trash.

With the cost of used brass, however, you are much better off buying it and reloading several times.

Seriously, guys. "It will wreck your rifle"....."It will wreck your reloading tools".."It will cause sunspots".."It will raise zombies from the grave"!



I only reload the .45acp and my standard load is 4.5 grains of Bullseye. I load them with either 200 grain SWC or 185 grain WC.

The zombie statement is true; I've seen them whenever I shoot my M25. Sunspots? Naaah...; has no effect.
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  #47  
Old 02-08-2017, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William A. Reed View Post
An experiment-for the Skeptics : How about somebody with the gear make up and shoot some steel case reloads. Show us how it is done. Show us the results. My take on it is when the push comes to shove it's possible to reload those cases. It would be great to prove this thing one way or another. What we did last month or last year does not count. When finished forward a box of twenty to the naysayers.
I'll take that challenge. What are you looking for? If you don't believe me and a few others that have done it "just because" what do you need? A few pictures of reloads in steel cases?
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  #48  
Old 02-08-2017, 05:17 PM
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I shoot steel a couple times a year and enjoy it a lot. The range guys almost fight over the brass so I tried loading some steel 45ACP. Loaded them the same as my regular ammo and you could tell no difference in performance. The brass hounds probably didn't like the fact that I didn't leave them nice shiny brass but to bad. I keep some stocked up for steel shoots only and this is once fired steel cases. I loaded some 9mm and got the same results. Now mind you I only use this one time for throw away cases.
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  #49  
Old 02-09-2017, 01:10 AM
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Asking for more details.

JonP: I had asked for more details. There was no intention to questions anybodies word. More details would have included, for example, what steel cases do you use? What cases do you cull? Can taper crimp dies be used? Is extra lube necessary? How do you handle crimped in primers-is this a problem. Do you chamfer the case mouth? Is there any problem running these cases in a progressive press? My original post in this thread shared about reloading steel cases successfully. All this was for the benefit of the naysayers.

Last edited by William A. Reed; 02-09-2017 at 01:19 AM.
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  #50  
Old 02-09-2017, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William A. Reed View Post
. . . Is there such a thing as a tungsten carbide die for 7.62x39?
I see carbide sizer dies for .223, .30 caliber M1 carbine, .308 and straight walled rifle cartridges but can't seem to find any for 7.62x39 as regular production.

Last edited by Marshal Kane; 02-09-2017 at 05:09 AM.
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  #51  
Old 02-09-2017, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by unclenick View Post
I think there is some confusion here about things, so I'll see if I can sort it out a bit.

First, can a steel die be pushed through a carbide pistol die? . . .
You had me reading this several times before the light came on. I think you wanted to say ". . . can a steel case be pushed through a carbide pistol die?" Good post nonetheless.
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  #52  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:37 AM
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Here's the thing as I see it.
Brass is preferred for reloading.
Brass or steel, if I can collect it after shooting it, I will, no matter if I can use it or not (hoarder, frugal or ecologically friendly, you decide).
If brass were not available and you desperately needed some reloaded ammo, modify it to fit boxer primers and reload the steel.

If it's between no ammo and undesirable reloaded ammo, something is better than nothing.

It's also better to more info on what will possibly work in a pinch rather than less.
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Last edited by Archangel2003; 02-09-2017 at 11:40 AM.
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  #53  
Old 02-09-2017, 12:15 PM
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Muzzle loader cap and ball black powder stuff would fill the gap between proper brass case and steel cased ammo here.
Next down the list might be to reload a steel case? Might also be a bow and arrow or sling shot too?

Sorta on/off topic; I have from time to time been known to reload an aluminum beer can from a 1/2 barrel of beer.
Point is/was, even aluminum is reloadable.

We have skills. Can do stuff that a "typical" Wal Mart shooter "might not" be able to do?

Cheezywan
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  #54  
Old 02-09-2017, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archangel2003 View Post
Here's the thing as I see it.
Brass is preferred for reloading.
Brass or steel, if I can collect it after shooting it, I will, no matter if I can use it or not (hoarder, frugal or ecologically friendly, you decide).
If brass were not available and you desperately needed some reloaded ammo, modify it to fit boxer primers and reload the steel.

If it's between no ammo and undesirable reloaded ammo, something is better than nothing.

It's also better to more info on what will possibly work in a pinch rather than less.
My wife's grandpa used to reuse his toilet paper too. Fold it up on the back of the toilet. Does that make it frugal or just plain wrong?
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  #55  
Old 02-09-2017, 12:51 PM
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I'll try some 7.62x39 reloads if I can fins some Berdan primers cheap. Might be a time consuming /difficult task to remove (hydraulically) and reseat Berdan primers (seating tool diameters?)...
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  #56  
Old 02-09-2017, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshal Kane View Post
You had me reading this several times before the light came on. I think you wanted to say ". . . can a steel case be pushed through a carbide pistol die?" Good post nonetheless.
Hah! Yes. The older I get, the better I am served by writing today then posting after a re-read tomorrow. Fingers typing faster than brain thinks sometimes. I went back and edited the post to correct it. Thanks for the catch!
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  #57  
Old 02-09-2017, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William A. Reed View Post
JonP: I had asked for more details. There was no intention to questions anybodies word. More details would have included, for example, what steel cases do you use? What cases do you cull? Can taper crimp dies be used? Is extra lube necessary? How do you handle crimped in primers-is this a problem. Do you chamfer the case mouth? Is there any problem running these cases in a progressive press? My original post in this thread shared about reloading steel cases successfully. All this was for the benefit of the naysayers.
Gotcha.
1) Tula and Wolf cases so far. It's all I've cared to try and I think most others if encountered would be about the same
2) I cull the same as brass. If i see stress of some type, cracks, splits etc
3) No extra lube needed that I have seen but definitely lube especially if using steel dies
4) All the commercial steel I've seen does not use crimped primers.
5) Never tried in a progressive. It was a "lets try and see if it works" experiment just because. Too much cheap brass out there to waste much time on it. My point was to see if it could be done just in case I had to reload some. It was a success at least for a few reloadings so I proved to myself that it could be done in a pinch.
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  #58  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:41 PM
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Steel Cased Cartridges . . . .

Steel cases vs soft steel extractors? How long will the extractors last?
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  #59  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:46 PM
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If the cases don't stick in the chamber, the extractor is under very little stress. For steel cases to work they have to be softer that spring temper extractors.
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  #60  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:57 PM
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That done it....The instructions are written on the heel

JonP: If that doesn't cover it nothing will. Job well done. Thanks for the information. Thanks for the help.
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