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  #1  
Old 02-06-2017, 08:11 AM
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Starline brass - length variations


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I picked up a couple bags of Starline 44 Magnum brass to load for my new lever carbine. Price was good, and I wanted to use a different case make than the Remington brass I use for my Smith M29.

Problem is that I opened one of the bags, and miked about 20 cases. The OAL was all over the map, by as much as .0045". Not impressed - it's going to make getting a consistent crimp impossible without trimming. The last new Remington 44 Mag brass I tested about two months ago varied less than .0015" out of the bag.

Anyone else experienced this?
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:05 AM
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Not specificly with Starline 44 Magnum brass, but in general I've experienced that with bulk brass from a number of makers in assorted cartridges. There are folks that prefer random length brass cases. I seems to keep thier firearms "more honest" it seems. Examples can be found here.
https://www.shootersforum.com/handlo...se-length.html
Cheezywan

Last edited by Cheezywan; 02-06-2017 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Examples can be found here.
https://www.shootersforum.com/handlo...se-length.html
Wow, the OP had twice the variation I did. Starline obviously doesn't consider OAL an important QC criteria. .008" variation is way too much for a consistent roll crimp. I'm not really looking forward to trimming and chamfering 300 new cases, even if it is a one timer. The price doesn't seem such a bargain at this point.....
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2017, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnbo View Post
Wow, the OP had twice the variation I did. Starline obviously doesn't consider OAL an important QC criteria. .008" variation is way too much for a consistent roll crimp. I'm not really looking forward to trimming and chamfering 300 new cases, even if it is a one timer. The price doesn't seem such a bargain at this point.....
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:05 PM
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Unfortunately, Remington brass supplies are drying up here (Canada) and I was lucky to even have found one 100 ct. bag.

I've never found more than about .002" OAL variation on any new brass before, with any cartridge or brand, until this first experience with Starline. The cases appear to be very well made, so this length issue was completely unexpected.
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2017, 09:03 AM
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case length

I don't mind trimming new cases at all. I'd like to think that my custom quality hand loads are just that. To get there required a lot of touch labor. Gains in performance are well worth the time.
I even use a hand cranked Forster trimmer. I get it set where I need it. Take it out to the back porch with a marguerita and a cigar and trim to my hearts content. One cigar lasts about 500 .270 cases. Every case I reload gets a trim. If its too short to begin with I don't use it. I want consistent internal pressure and am concerned less with the crimping aspect of the process. The only brass I never had to trim was Lake City it was always within .001 of where I wanted it. I do crimp my .44 mags. That is more of a pain because the inside of the case needs to be beveled ever so slightly, otherwise the brass at the crimp is too thick.

I'm in love with StarLine's .308 brass, very consistent. It is thicker at the base end than other brass so I had to experiment with water to get the same internal volume. I need those cases .004 longer to get the same internal volume. Still within the SAAMI spec for case length. Gives me very similar MV as my Federal and Lake City brass.

Can't wait for them to start producing .243
I'll stock up on those as well.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnbo View Post
I picked up a couple bags of Starline 44 Magnum brass to load for my new lever carbine. Price was good, and I wanted to use a different case make than the Remington brass I use for my Smith M29.

Problem is that I opened one of the bags, and miked about 20 cases. The OAL was all over the map, by as much as .0045". Not impressed - it's going to make getting a consistent crimp impossible without trimming. The last new Remington 44 Mag brass I tested about two months ago varied less than .0015" out of the bag.

Anyone else experienced this?
A while back bought some Starline .44 brass. I measured them but didn't trim. Just out of curiosity I just now measured some fired ones. Of the cases I checked they were all within .002".
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by emp1952 View Post
I don't mind trimming new cases at all.
Well, my friend, on that we differ. I think case trimming is the only facet of handloading that I truly don't like. Having to trim new ones is doubly distasteful.
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2017, 09:36 AM
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Sorry to hear it. I have not purchased from Starline in a couple of years but past purchases (10mm, 357, 38-55, 44Mag and 45-70) were good in all respects. I did spot check lengths upon delivery and variance was less than a couple of thou as I recall.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2017, 09:53 AM
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With a new bag of handgun brass I size, trim, de-bur and expand. All set and ready to prime and load. I do this because I have noted a small number of cases are long. Makes for a fast set-up when ready to load a batch.
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2017, 09:08 PM
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My Last Buys of Starlie brass (Via Midway) was a Lot of .327 Fed. Mag. cases that I immediately Swaged to >32 Long/Short Colt Diameter to use as Parent Brass for Experimental .32 Extra Long (CF) Replacements after Trimming to 1.150 case Length.
Sample cases checked after my swaging process yielded Length Measurements o f1.203" to 1.205".
The After Trim length Variations will depend upon my process Accuracy and personal Tolerances.

I EXPECT to Trim my New Brass, either Unfired or Once-Fired as the case my be.

Best Regards,
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2017, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by shawnbo View Post
Wow, the OP had twice the variation I did. Starline obviously doesn't consider OAL an important QC criteria. .008" variation is way too much for a consistent roll crimp. I'm not really looking forward to trimming and chamfering 300 new cases, even if it is a one timer. The price doesn't seem such a bargain at this point.....
I've done weight testing on the new .308 brass, it to varies widely compared to Norma. Haven't done Lapua yet.
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2017, 02:01 AM
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Not sure the problem. Trim all new brass from any manu before loading.
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Old 02-11-2017, 05:21 AM
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I do the same. Anyone who hates to trim like me, would be a likely candidate for a powered case trimmer. Some are expensive, but if bought early in their reloading career, well worth the cost over a lifetime of use. My son has an inexpensive one, an attachment that works with his electric hand drill. I should have followed my own advice long ago.
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Last edited by Marshal Kane; 02-11-2017 at 05:25 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2017, 06:50 AM
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A new batch of brass always gets a once-over before being prepped, which includes any necessary trimming. Quite often I will set up the 3-jaw chuck for the Lee case length gauge/cutter system and run each piece of brass from a new lot through it...the ones that actually get trimmed go in a separate pile to be chamferred and deburred. If they are bottle-necked rifle cases, they will then be sorted by weight, with those varying by more than 1 grain from the mean being set aside.

For new brass in 9mm, 380 and other rounds that headspace on the case mouth, I check to make sure the length isn't TOO long, then load them. If I had a revolved in 44RM, which headspaces on the rim, I would just make sure they were all within a length tolerance of +/- .001"...that's close enough for consistent crimps.

I'm also surprised to see you listing case lengths in ten-thousandths of an inch...that's way more precise than you need to be to ensure the mouth falls in the crimp groove.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:00 AM
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A drill press and the Lee cutter chucked in it makes short work of trimming
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  #17  
Old 02-24-2017, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
A If I had a revolved in 44RM, which headspaces on the rim, I would just make sure they were all within a length tolerance of +/- .001"...that's close enough for consistent crimps.

I'm also surprised to see you listing case lengths in ten-thousandths of an inch...that's way more precise than you need to be to ensure the mouth falls in the crimp groove.
Read my OP again. If the Starline brass had had the same variation as the Remington brass I mentioned, then this thread wouldn't exist. My question was about Starline specifically, not the entire boards' opinions on case preparation.
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2017, 02:15 PM
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For your original question I have not noticed Starline having any greater variation than any other brass, quite the opposite. Norma or maybe Lapua is more uniform but not by much, imho. For a consistent Crimp your going to have to trim all brass new or used to length, any reloading manual will tell you that.

Measure a random sample then trim all to the shortest measured and drive on.

If everyone is telling you to trim to the shortest length and not worry about it then maybe there is some words of wisdom being given without coming right out and saying it.

I use a Lee Quick Trim. One of the best tools I've ever seen created for this. Cheap and accurate.
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Last edited by JonP; 02-25-2017 at 02:17 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2017, 07:08 PM
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If your going to crimp, its always a good idea to trim or at least trim the long ones..Ive seen that with all makes of brass...I prefer a file trim die as they are more accurate and you get better consistency with your crimp.
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  #20  
Old 02-26-2017, 10:14 AM
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[QUOTE=JonP;1550210]For your original question I have not noticed Starline having any greater variation than any other brass, /QUOTE]

In weight variation it does. Haven't mic'ed it's OAL.
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