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Thread: separated casings

  1. #1

    separated casings

    I went shooting today after quite some time of work schedule not allowing it. I had fifty 45-70 shells and twenty five 45-90 shells that had been sitting in my garage for about a year and a half. half of the 45-70 casings were loaded with schutzen and half with goex. the 45-90 casings were loaded with schutzen. I also had twenty five 45-90 casings loaded with goex just last week.I had two 45-90 casings and one 45-70 casing break about half way up there length and lodge in the barrel just in front of the rifling lands.all of the casings that separated were loaded with shutzen and had been sitting around for a year or two.These loads were compressed with a wad and no seated bullet. could the powder have corroded the casings to the point where they were weak enough to break.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The grains of BP are sharp and tend to grip the brass when fired. If you have an oily chamber with the first few rounds fired or wet from wiping the liquid acts as a lubricant between the case and the chamber. So you get the grip of the burning clod of BP gripping the case enough to tear it off.
    EDG

  3. #3
    I figured it out today. I sliced a 45-90 case lengthwise that sat in my garage through the winter of 2017. the casing was loaded with shutzen lightly compressed with a veg wad. the casing was eroded right in the area that the casings separated. I have never had this happen with any other powder and I have loaded thousands of bpcr loads. could this be an example of me just getting complacent about my loading habits.

  4. #4

    Edg

    I was wipeing the bore quite liberally with prestone which is slick as a whistle. one more piece of the puzzle.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    Sounds like the cases were not clean before reloading. I have 45-70 B/P loads that are 7 yrs. or more since being loaded and all shoot just fine and clean up like they were loaded yesterday.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    I've taken old black powder factory ammo apart for the components and never seen any corrosion on the inside of the cartridge that would cause a failure. Sometimes the powder near the bullet base forms a sort of "cement" with the bullet lube, but after washing and tumbling, there are no rings or pits inside.

    On the other hand, a wet chamber will yank a case in half easily, especially with paper patch boolits. Happens most easily on the longer shells, but I've had a .45-70 separate too.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    You need to keep the chamber as dry as desert dirt.
    LG
    Hav'n you along-Is like lose'n 2 good men

  8. #8
    I'm going to go out behind the garage and shoot some of these loads into the cedar stump just to see what they will do with a completely dry chamber. That might just be my problem. the day that my casings separated I was wiping the bore with prestone after every couple shots and i'm sure the chamber was wet. I'll report back with the results in a few days.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Your use of prestone anti freeze to wipe down your barrel is a new one for me. If you have ever changed out the anti freeze in a radiator and get it on your hands, its fairly hard to remove. Quite possible that you are not getting all the af out off the chamber. Windshield washer fluid or windex would probably work much better or just plain old water. Use oversized cotton mops to throughly swab out any and all moisture. Frank

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Just make sure the antifreeze you use is not the poisonous type.
    The smell attracts animals.
    LG
    Hav'n you along-Is like lose'n 2 good men

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    One of the top bpcr silhouette shooters uses volkswagen antifreeze for his wiping solution. Using 50-50 antifreeze and water has been a favorite of a good many shooters for several years.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    Starvnhuntr, you might check with the guys over at the Shiloh forum. Someone there might have encountered this case problem.
    http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have fired a bazillion rounds of 45-70 with smokeless. I have fired my first box of WW brass bought in 1972 about 30 times in maybe 10 different rifles over the years. I have over 1000 other 45-70 case bought both new and fired once or many times. I have never had to wipe a chamber and leave it wet.
    I have never used BP or a wet chamber in these loads I have never had a tube pull off. That only leaves BP itself and BP loading and shooting techniques as the only culprits.
    EDG

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starvnhuntr View Post
    I'm going to go out behind the garage and shoot some of these loads into the cedar stump just to see what they will do with a completely dry chamber. That might just be my problem. the day that my casings separated I was wiping the bore with prestone after every couple shots and i'm sure the chamber was wet. I'll report back with the results in a few days.
    This is a good place to start looking for the trouble.
    It is not the antifreeze specifically, but any wet chamber wall. I had a shooting partner years ago that had this problem to the max! It was not all his fault. It may be that two or more things conspire to yank the front half of cases off the rear. Some chambers, loads construction or brass condition mixed with damp or even wet chamber walls give trouble.

    I can tell you from match shooting, as in - just being around a LOT of people and their loads and rifles, that those who have too wet chambers and just the right chamber geometry regularly have this problem with their ammo.

    The 125 year old Springfield broken case extractor has come to the rescue of a lot of them. But that is a different story.
    Chill Wills

  15. #15
    I finally got out and shot those same shells in two different rifles with totally dry chambers. The same casings loaded with schutzen separated again. I went home and bent a 90 on the end of a rigid wire. Everything was smooth except for the casings that sat loaded with schutzen for at least one full year. They were deeply corroded from the over powder wad for about 3/8 of an inch down into the powder column. I threw all of the questionable casings in the scrap bin and I will never let charged casings with no bullet set around soaking up moisture again.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Don't over look the lube causing corroding. Just pull a bullet and see if there is some green. As far as the corroding in the powder stack could be from oil contamination. Some even some popular commercial lubes I will not mention will leave a green ring inside the case neck even if they were only loaded for a week or two.
    Lube made with stuff like Crisco or any cooking oils that might possibly contain salt or acidy will give you problems if you have aged loaded rounds

  17. #17
    There was no bullet lube involved. I hand seat the bullets as I shoot. I compress the powder with a wad just to the point the the bull it of choice is just kissing the lands.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I just reread your OP and missed the load with out a bullet. A year or two sitting in a ammo box or what ever in the garage where moisture and temperature varies the powder can draw moisture even through a wad and that powder will be as hard as a rock gripping the case wall. If you have more unfired and you don't want to dig the powder out compress the wad a little (.010") that is enough that it breaks the contact and you should solve some of the problem.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    I think you have a handle on your problem but add one more aspect to the corrosion; the wad itself. Many (most, all???) cardboard is acedic and will corrode brass if left in contact for any period of time as old ammo in old cartridge boxes. I don't know if this applies to the commercial "vegetable fibre" wads but home cut wads from tablet backing or similar material is very acedic.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds more like the insides of the cases need better cleaning.

    LG
    Hav'n you along-Is like lose'n 2 good men

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check