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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought two boxes, 100 cases each, of Starline brass in 454.  I opened both boxes and randomly checked case length on about a half dozen cases.  My measurements were between 1.370 and 1.371.  FA's website states a min of 1.380 and a max of 1.383.  I know Starline has to be full-lengthed sized, before use.  Is that going to lengthen the case to be in spec?  Thanks in advance.

God bless,
 

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They will grow a little when sized, I trim all of mine to 1.375" hodgdon manual shows 1.380" hornady shows 1.373" a little to short is better than to long.  I have seen some new win cases at 1.368-1.371"
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jim, thanks for the quick response.  My big concern is higher than normal/dangerous/damaging pressures when working up loads from the reloading manuals, which should be based on SAAMI specs.  Do you think that's a concern, or is the case length difference is not enough to worry about?  Again, thanks.  I just want to understand before I do something I shouldn't.

God bless,
 

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Hi southpaw, a little short by only .003-.010" will not hurt anything. there is no problems in shooting the parent cartridge in the mag. ie 45colt in 454 or 44 spl in the 44 mag except after lots of rounds you could etch the cylinder wall or get a build up of powder flash and other junk that either wont allow the longer case to chamber or be removed after being fired in which would cause pressure problems. as to your loads a chronograph will tell you much about your load given the barrel lenght of your firearm vs test barrel. load and enjoy.  Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jim, thanks again.  I appreciate your help.  This morning I took some more random measurements. The low was 1.368 and the high was 1.375.  I'm going to resize and then sort them by size (as long as I don't end up with 200 sizes ...ha,ha).  I talked with Starline, and they said the cases will grow from .002 to .004 in length after sizing.  I'd like to be about at your trim length, no less, when I'm done.

God bless,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I sized 400 Starline cases, in .454 Casull, this weekend using a Lee carbide die. When I started the trimming process, I couldn't get the Lyman pilot into the case mouth.  I tried a Lee trimmer that I had custom made and had the same problem.  I called Lyman and verified with them that there was not a special pilot for the .454.  I called Lee and they said that the case wall thickness was the problem, saying that it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.  They offered to  machine down the Lee trimmer for free, if I would send them a sized case.  Has anyone had a problem like this?  I'm going to have to machine down the pilot of the Lyman, too.  I've had case lengths, AFTER sizing, ranging from 1.370 - 1.385.  At this point, I'm not impressed with Starline.  I'd appreciate any input.

God bless,
 

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I recently read somewhere that recommended trimming fired cases prior to resize, to avoid exactly the problem you are having.  I have had this problem with 9mm cases, but nothing else.  I always believed that resizing would stretch the case, so it makes sense to trim after resize rather than before.  

You might consider running the cases through your expander die, set high enough not to bell the mouth, but low enough to open the case mouth to just under bullet diameter.  I would think your trimmer pilot would fit fine then.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Southpaw,

Todate, with approximately 500 .454 Winchester brass I've not had that level of variation. I also use several thousand new Starline brass for the .44 each year and have not had that level of variation before or after sizing with any of their shipments.

I'll watch the postings to see what other .454 Starline brass users tell you.  If you don't any responses, I'll order a batch since I need new brass and I've been wanting to try .454 Starline. You know, we're a particulary clean living group here in Ioway and that might help?
(we're also apparently poor spellers/typists -- had to edit 3 times!)

Dan

(Edited by DOK at 1:31 pm on June 25, 2001)


(Edited by DOK at 1:33 pm on June 25, 2001)


(Edited by DOK at 4:59 pm on June 25, 2001)
 

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Good evening Southpaw,
Over the years I went crazy with trying to get the pilot to fit in the brass so I could trim it.  I, like you, ran into it with both a Lyman and a Lee trimmer.  If you trim before you resize the case, it pretty well fixes the problem.  My problem was I wanted to trim the brass to a known length after resizing.  Finally I put whatever offending pilot (numerous calibers and kinds of brass) that would not fit in a resized case easily and I ground it down to size.  All I did was put the stem in the chuck of an electric drill and grind it to a custom fit size against a whet stone.  Use a little water or oil to keep things cool and in a few minutes you have a custom fitted pilot that works for your sizing dies and your brand of brass.  So far I have never had a problem with this procedure.  Hope this helps.


God bless......................  Bill M
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Bill has it dead on.  Most of my pilots (RCBS) won't go in the case mouth after resizing unless the neck is expanded again.

If you don't have the tools or inclination to do this, send the pilot and a few sized cases to me.  I have both a drill press and a lathe.  Let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Everyone, thanks very much for your help.  And thanks for your offer MikeG.  I'll try grinding it myself.  Based on your responses, I can accept the problem with the trimmer pilots, but I still have a big problem with the case lengths.  I justdidn't expect this kind of variation in lengths with Starline.  Anyway, thanks again.

God bless,
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Southpaw,

As previously indicated, I've been using Winchester brass, so I've checked some measurements which are posted below:

Sample size: 20

New Win. brass: 1.37875" average length
New Win. brass sized: 1.3816" average length
Win once fired brass: 1.37815" average length
Win once fired brass sized: 1.3813" average length.

So, based on your earlier post indicating the FA recommendation of 1.380-1.383 spread, if the Starline doesn't work out, it appears Winchester should.

I should also mention one of my favorite sayings, "definition of the word 'average' is a man standing with one foot on a cake of ice and one foot on a hot stove, with an average temperature of 98.6". With that in mind, I should also indicate the new Win resized ranged from 1.380 min to 1.383 max.. The resized once fired ranged from 1.379 min to 1.385 max..

I should also mention that my RCBS trimming apparatus fits the Win. brass. However, with all this said, I suspect the Starline brass is noticeable cheaper. and from experience with their .44mag brass, may last longer. I only use my Win brass for 3 full loads and then discard so I can't vouch for it's longevity.

Dan

(Edited by DOK at 8<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->6 am on June 27, 2001)
 

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I still have some new, unsized Starline .454 brass from a 500 pc order about a year and a half ago, so I made some measurements for you.

sample size = 50
mean = 1.37134"
standard deviation = .00167"
max = 1.375"
min = 1.369"
observed range = .006"
6 sigma range = .010"

For comparison, I also measured some new, unsized .475 Linebaugh cases from Hornady.

sample size = 50
mean = 1.39336"
standard deviation = .00305"
max = 1.398"
min = 1.382"
observed range = .016"
6 sigma rnage = .018"

You can draw your own conclusions from this information.  

As for me, I would characterize the Starline brass that I have as very consistant.  From the measurements you have made, it looks like yours is not statistically different from mine.  The fact that it is shorter than the trim length in the manual is not a concern to me, in fact I consider shorter to be better because it will grow over time and I'm not in a hurry to trim it.  I am more concerned with the length consistancy, as that will affect crimp consistancy, which leads to inconsistant bullet pull and the potential for bullets to jump crimp under heavy recoil.

The Hornady .475 brass is another story.  Now that I have measured it I am quite concerned with the inconsistant length and will be trimming it back.

Hope this helps.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Southpaw,

I got my 250 Starline .454 brass today and it matches your results.

Sample:                                   Qty 20
Average length before sizing: 1.3700
Average length after sizing:    1.3754
Std. Dev. before sizing:             .00187
Std. Dev. after sizing:                .00189
Max. length before sizing:       1.373
Max. length after sizing:          1.378
Min. length before sizing:        1.367
Min. length after sizing:           1.373
Extreme Spread before sizing:  .006
Extreme Spread after sizing:     .005

These figures are not a good as I get with my Winchester brass which is more consistent and conforms to the FA recommended lengths. I don't require trimming with Winchester new or once fired brass. But the difference in price will pay for my trimming the Starline (my labor's pretty cheap).

I don't know the impact of a .005 variation in brass length on my crimping and resulting accuracy. If time permits, I'll load some without trimming and some with trimming and test for velocity, ES and accuracy.

I do think I'll use all my Winchester brass before I begin using my Starline -- I anticipate the .006" shorter Starline would affect the cylinder over time such that the longer Winchester brass might not chamber very well.

Oops, forgot to mention that my RCBS trimmer does fit the Starline brass after sizing.

Dan

(Edited by DOK at 7:37 pm on June 29, 2001)


(Edited by DOK at 7:41 pm on June 29, 2001)
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Southpaw,

In my last post, I said, "I don't know the impact of a .005 variation in brass length on my crimping and resulting accuracy. If time permits, I'll load some without trimming and some with trimming and test for velocity, ES and accuracy."

The more I think about it, the "curiouser" I get. So I will load some shortest and longest Starline brass based on the seating/crimping set at the shortest length, and then reverse the setting to the longest brass length. Testing for the impact on velocity, consistency (vel.) and ES is easy. I'll do my best to see if I can test for accuracy also -- with iron sights, that typically takes me a larger number of rounds to determine.  Should be able to work it in next week.

Good shooting,

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
DOK, great work and a lot of effort!!! Guys like you are who make this such a good forum.  That was a lot of effort of your part.  Husker, thanks for taking the time for your measurements.  What that tells me is that Starline has trouble staying within spec in more than just their 454 brass.  As I found out from a inquiry to Tim Sundles, the Win brass is made to the original FA specs.  For a while, apparently, they had been making thicker walled brass.  New brass will probably not have the pilot problems that Starline does have and older Win 454 brass might have.  Personally, I want to trim to no shorter than min for a given caliber, as recommened by the mfg, in this case FA.  I'd be concerned about excess pressures, compressed loads,  powder buildup, etching. A grain is 1/7000 of a lb, so .003" - .005" is a lot of case to give up.

God bless,
 
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