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Thread: The mother of all stepped 9 mm brass cases

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
    WheelgunConvert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Watson Louisiana
    The ones I have found are brass washed steel. They did jump onto a magnet. I have added a magnet pass over my bulk 1x and cleaned brass in case I pick up a stray.
    Stronger, Prouder and Greater!

  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy Time Killer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    I need to find me some of these. I have a hankering to try and she how they do swagging them into a bullet. The step may affect the expansion into a 40 cal bullet though. Let me know if someone has tried this. I would like to know the results. If they are steel they would not work for swagging though.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    I've seen a lot of the Freedom Munitions versions of stepped brass (FN, IMT and Ammoland) in 9mm. I ran a little experiment: I loaded a batch of it that chrono'd 900 fps over a 147 gr. cast slug, shot them, recovered the brass and repeated 19 more times. No failures like head separations and no warning signs of over pressure or case ringing. Just a few minor case mouth splits. The velocities were in line with the same load in regular unstepped brass. So, for MY LOADS in MY GUNS, I don't cull out these headstamps.

    The extra thick step in the Maxxtech cases I see very rarely. I'm guessing the internal and external ballistics would be very different, so I don't load them. The interior and headstamp of all the cases I use normally get inspected in processing, so no biggie.

    ETA: Time Killer, if you want a few of those Maxxtech cases I'll check my bench for them. Just let me know.
    Last edited by kevin c; 02-25-2019 at 04:39 PM.

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    New Jersey
    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    I would think the stepped case should mean less powder capacity. Therefore less powder needed to maintain the needed pressure to cycle the action sufficiently.
    Even though more brass is used to manufacture the case, maybe that's cheaper then using more powder for the same pressure level.
    I'm not sure I agree with this statement. Amount of gas produced by either cartridge would still be the same the only difference would be a sharper pressure spike. You would need to increase powder charge in order to produce more gas to drive slide back farther / faster. This is why when we develop new reloads we start low and work your way up until you get consistent function and accuracy. When you start low and have poor extraction and stove pipes you add more powder but not seat deeper.

    Limiting case capacity is a good way to blow up your gun and 9mm is small enough where small things like stepped brass can put your reloads over the edge. Manufacturers of course take that into account but reloaders many times dont or just dont even know the difference. This is why so many people are sensitive about these stepped cases.

    I've seen guy blow up Sig P229 with his reloads and it wasnt fun. I bet he probably didnt even know what a stepped 9mm brass is neither. Be carefull this little 9mm round can be very deceiving and it absolutely can and will blow stuff up if not charged correctly.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy gnostic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Somewhere over the rainbow...
    Last summer without notice I tried resizing a stepped case, what tipped me off that something wasn't right was the extra effort to resize. I'm a little wary when resizing 9mm range pick-up brass. If extra effort is required, I stop and inspect all stages on my Dillon...

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Pleasant Hope MO
    If something does not feel right I also stop and check all stages on my Dillon 550, reloading requires one's full attention.

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by kayala View Post
    I shoot 380, 9x18 and 9x19 so I've developed a habit to stand all my cases after pin tumbling to sort them out by height and I always do a quick look inside to cull those stepped cases.
    I've been joked with and even ridiculed some for sorting 9mm cases. This is one of the reasons that I do it. I use loading trays to do what you describe doing.

  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So. Orygun
    Just my opinion; there's a lot of "Odd Ball" brass out there and my very first reloading step, when I pick up a case at the range is inspection. When I pick one up, I glace at the headstamp/primer, flip it over and glance at the rest of the case (interior included). Not really any time wasted, the first inspection takes about .2 second. This immediately rules out any Berdan primed, steel cases, known junk brass and damaged brass. After tumbling/cleaning I give my brass a closer inspection, then proceed to reload. I've been reading about the stepped 9mm cases for a while, which sticks in the back of my mind and reminds me to glance at the interior...

    A couple posts mention less powder, functioning the gun, etc. The way I see it is a step reduces the case capacity, thus requiring less powder to produce the same pressures needed. This is why "normal" 9mm powder charges are dangerous in a stepped/reduced capacity case, acting like a setback raising pressures...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    North Central Arkansas
    It's just good loading practice to always inspect your brass. There isn't a significant amount of those cases, in circulation, to fret over their reuse...............just toss them in the scrap container and recycle them.


  10. #30
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    I just ran across one of those Maxxtech 9mm cases. It was an incredible *^%#! to resize. I took it off the press and dumped it into the brass recycling jug.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Yeah, I ran into these while sizing too. When it required extra force, I stopped and noticed the step. There are threads about this on other forums too. The only head stamp I've seen so far is MAXTECH. I also found through research they are made in Eastern Europe. I just toss them in the scrap bucket. I think the step is included to reduce powder capacity and maintain pressure and velocity.

  12. #32
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I sort cleaned 9mm with factory trays. Fastest way for me to sort out steps and 380. Youtube (sorting 9mm brass)

  13. #33
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2019
    I also toss all of the stepped cases I find into the scrap bucket so that it does not get reloaded. But there is one thing that I have noticed about the 9mm maxtech rounds with the factory load. I have fired plenty of these over the last few years as just cheap plinking fodder and they all run OK in a short-recoil operated pistol.

    For some reason the cases like to shear and separate at the step when running them in my blowback operated mechtech. This leaves a "ring" of brass stuck in the chamber which is so much fun to remove

    Im assuming its because the bolt on the blowback is beginning to cycle (or trying to cycle) to the rear while there is still some pressure in the barrel/chamber and this is causing the weak link to break or be pulled apart (the spot where the step ends and the thin portion of the brass begins).

    This is 100% just an assumption using the SWAG method.

    I have never had one of these cases separate in anything else other than a blowback operated firearm so that would be where my guess is coming from.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Lebanon, NY
    A thought occurred to me about these stepped cases. I was reading about using Dacron filler when using small amounts of powder in large cases.
    Without the filler the powder can be anywhere in the case. At times near the primer, others near the bullet or evenly spread between those to extremes. These variation in powder burn can effect accuracy.
    The filler holds the powder near the primer consistently thus more consistent powder burn.
    Perhaps these stepped cases were designed to account for this. This smaller combustion chamber holds a smaller charge near the primer in a more consistent way than a regular case.
    Also on pistols that have a portion of the chamber cut away for the feed ramp the step makes the case stronger in that area so it won't bulge.
    Just more guesses on my part.

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy Newboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    South, by God, Carolina
    As long as they are brass, I load em up like the rest.

    I shoot a lot in IDPA, nothing close to “hot”.

    I adjust the seating depth so the base hits the shoulder. No worry of set-back.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  16. #36
    Boolit Master

    tomme boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Clinton, Iowa
    I don't separate them. No need to. I have run them from mild to +p+ and have not had any problems. They hold up way better than Federal and Win brass. Both of them start to have primer pocket issues after about 4 medium loads.

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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