Case stretching and mix up problem

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Jubbles, May 20, 2009.

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  1. Ok i recently bought several hundred .303 PPU casing that had already been used once or twice (they were super cheap £10) and I thought I could reload them once or twice then get rid of them.

    Now I have a big problem, the damn things have got mixed in with my other casings :oops: which were carefully seperated into the number of times they have been used (between 1 and 3)

    can someone please tell me what the signs for case stretching are? as I imagine that this will be the best way to find the the odd casings, or any other ideas on how to seperate them would be great
  2. Depending what your rifle is, one way to detect the "new" cases is to compare where the shoulder is: your rifle will be slightly different to the donor rifle. Probably only work well if you have an old SMLE and the donor rifle was a No4...

    Ditto the firing pin marks.

    .303 cases do form a stretch ring about 5mm up from the base, but its going to be hard to distinguish the differences by looking at this part.

    If the cases are a mix of "one or twice" and "between 1 and 3", then you'll probably not see any difference in case life anyway. If all your cases finally separate, then I have about 11,000 more sitting in my garage....
  3. ok thanks for your help, I have trimmed several of the longer necked casses down to normal length so that provides a problem

    I will be checking for case stretches then and wont worry too much but will be checkinng for the case stretch length

    I've been told .303 will load up to 20 times, is that about right?
  4. If you just re-size the neck and are using the cases in the same rifle, then 15-20 is possible (10 is probably more realistic, but replacement cases are easy to come by). It depends upon the make of the brass and size of the chamber on the rifle: PPU/Privi, S&B, HXP are all good cases - most US brands are rubbish due to poor wall thickness... If your rifle is a No4, then the cases will tend to last longer than in a WW1 SMLE with an over-sized chamber.
  5. All my brass is PPU, and yes my rifle is a no4 mk2

    if i trim the case will that give it the case life desired or am i just going to have to fight with closing the bolt on older rounds?
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Dont waste money, I have shed loads you can have, collect or for postage!
  7. You MUST trim cases to the correct length! This is ABSOLUTELY vital when reloading rifle ammuniton.

    Using overlength cases will cause overpressures as by "fighting with closing the bolt" you are effectivley crimping the case onto the bullet by jamming it into the throat. The burning rate of smokeless powder is very pressure dependent and you will end up creating massive peak pressures.

    Apart from powder overloading, this is the main cause of breech explosions...

    Forget about case life - It's YOUR life you need to be bothered about (and the poor s0d lying next you you...)
  8. I know it goes against the grain to do it, but throw away your used, mixed cases and get some shiny new ones from Krank's. He's got brand new HXP for a tenner per 100.
    Alternatively, full length re-size the lot and start again.
    What I do is assign a batch of cases to each rifle and once they've been fired in that rifle segregate them and neck size only. If I get so much as one neck split in a batch, I bin the whole batch.
    Just don't use Sellier and Bellot brass, it's dog toffee!
  9. RCBS make a die that stops case growth/stretching. Works for my Springfield in 30-06. I have use S&B in 223 and it was as good as any other make in that calibre. Their 44 Mag brass is very good, use it in preference to any other make. I know that S&B has an allegedly bad reputation but my experience is that it is quite good or better.
  10. I've never used S&B cases in 223, but I can vouch for the fact that their 303 cases aren't exactly blessed in the logevity department.
    If you full length re-size them you'll be lucky to get 2 reloads out of them. This can be improved by neck sizing, but with S&B it doesn't give much of an improvement. In contrast HXP and PPU will easilly give 6 reloads, even with full length re-sizing.
    Most American 303 cases are pants.