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Thread: Has anyone ever had success with Starline brass for 309 JDJ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Has anyone ever had success with Starline brass for 309 JDJ?

    I'll admit, I've never been all that impressed with Starline in handguns, but it does work well enough. I recently got my first wildcat barrel, a 309 JDJ. I looked high and low, and the only 444 marlin brass I could find was Starline. According to JDJ, all you have to do is run 444 marlin brass into a 308 winchester sizing die. I've had nothing but problems. The cases either split or crinkle, or both. I've tried annealing, and it seems to kind of help, but this is brand new brass. It looks like guys who use Remington brass loose 1 in 100. I'm loosing 1 in 5 when annealed... and I haven't even fired them yet.

    I've taken the the expander ball out of my die, lubing with imperial sizing wax, and adjusted so it just chambers. I have no other rifle dies between 44 and 30. Would a handgun die of say 41 magnum help? Or should I just cut my losses, and locate some Remington brass. This Starline brass wasn't cheap. Something like $75 for 100.

  2. #2
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    If it was me, I think I'd try a different case lube before going any further. I'm not saying the Imperial lube is no good, but it might not be the best for your particular application. Might try some alcohol/lanolin based case lube, such as Dillon's and see how it does.

  3. #3
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    I've sized to 307 Winchester, but I stepped down, 358 Win Seater, 358 Win Sizer, 308 Win Seater, THEN the 307/308 sizer. Fired brass gets sized in a 444 Marlin Sizer. 44 to 30 is a too big of a jump, with any brass, to me. I then anneal before loading to avoid future splits. Neck expand with an 'M' Die. I use Hornady Unique lube, I also go slowly, maybe not a full thrust, in and out easy, pausing along the way. Handgun die would be of little use. I have a 444 Marlin, a 375 Winchester and a couple 358 Winchesters, finding Starline as good or better than Winchester or Remington.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I could try some other lube. I've got some spray lube, Lee case lube, Hornady one shot, maybe more. Do you really think it could help? I've found it rather easy to run the brass in, and found no problems with it getting stuck with imperial sizing wax.

    I hadn't even thought of trying a seating die for sizing. Would it be worth trying a 358 Winchester seating die, followed by a 308 Winchester seating die, followed by a 308 sizing die? Or should I get both the seating and sizing dies for 358 Winchester? Do you anneal before necking down, or just after?

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    I really like the lanolin based lubes, and I truly do think it would help. I agree with MostlyLeverGuns also, to size slowly. Go a little at a time, relax it, and then some more...repeat. It is a big jump, and incremental sizing would make things a lot easier although more expensive if you don't already have 358Win dies.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I've got no problem buying dies if need be.

  7. #7
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    Not knowing how your annealing your cases it might be a good idea to invest in some templac crayons in the correct heat range .

    Over annealing and making the cases to soft can cause wrinkles and splitting as easily as being to hard .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneck1 View Post
    Not knowing how your annealing your cases it might be a good idea to invest in some templac crayons in the correct heat range .

    Over annealing and making the cases to soft can cause wrinkles and splitting as easily as being to hard .
    What would be the correct heat range? I've tried a few methods of annealing. I've tried a torch in a water dish, I've tried a candle while holding by hand. The best result I had was when I heated a case up while it was standing in water, and heated until I saw the brass get nice and red. Anything less than red has failed. Even so, the brass itself is hardly discolored at all, maybe just a bit tanner. I've never got a case to turn colors like you see Lapua brass.

  9. #9
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    750` degrees is what your looking for , I like to use the Lee lock studs from the trimmers and spin the case slowly in a drill while annealing .

  10. #10
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    I have gone from 444 to 358 in one pass, but not to 30 cal. in one pass.

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    Ok, it looks like there is no way to buy a 358 Winchester seating die from anyone but Lee. I'll order a Lee 3 die set for 358 Winchester, and a Tempilstik for 750 degrees. I don't like how hard it is to get the entire circumference of the case equal with the water method. I don't have the holder like redneck1 says, but I've seen where guys have used a socket in a drill.

    Is it better to use propane or MAPP gas? I have both. Is it better to turn the flame way down, or leave it more of a medium burn?

  12. #12
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    Not to sound like a doubter, but after reading for 20 minutes on case annealing, my head hurts. It all just seems like a royal PITA. One guy say 750 tempilaq inside the case neck. The next says getting that paint off sucks, get 450 and put it half way down the case.

    Is there any reason I can't fire up my lead pot to 750F, and dip cases in that? I'm not scared to do it bare handed either to make sure I don't over heat them.

  13. #13
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    With clean shiny cases that you de-burr first you might have good luck with a lead pot .

    With a case mouth brush it shouldn't be much of a big deal to remove the tempilac , the few times I've used it it has came right off .

    You also more then likely won't have to use it on more then 4-5 cases either , once you do a few and get a visual and timing reference you'll be good to go

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I'll order templaq and see how it goes. Thanks guys.

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    After you size and fireform, be sure to anneal once more. I've had necks split with loaded 309JDJ ammo after sitting in an ammo box for a couple of years. It's been quite some time since I've shot it, but if memory serves me, I used Rem 444 brass and made one pass through the 308 sizer and only lost a few. I loaded with Rem 165 Corelokts and got great accuracy with the fireform loads.
    Mine started life as a 12" TC hunter bbl in 30-30. I've shot it one time without ear plugs and my ears hurt for about 2 weeks.

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    I just ran 10 Rem 444 cases into a Lee 308 die lubed with Hornady lube and didn't have any problems at all. My 358 dies are out on loan, so I just did it in one pass.
    FWIW

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lar45 View Post
    I just ran 10 Rem 444 cases into a Lee 308 die lubed with Hornady lube and didn't have any problems at all. My 358 dies are out on loan, so I just did it in one pass.
    FWIW
    It's likely Remington brass is better than Starline. Hopefully the 358 winchester die will let me get by, else I will have to resort to finding Remington brass.

  18. #18
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    I reform a few different cases and I have found as mentioned above is to only run the case in a little, then raise the ram and do it again. Some cases might take 10 times of doing this. Also watch for lube build up in the sizing die at the shoulder area. Lube in this area can cause dimples in the shoulder area.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadman View Post
    I reform a few different cases and I have found as mentioned above is to only run the case in a little, then raise the ram and do it again. Some cases might take 10 times of doing this. Also watch for lube build up in the sizing die at the shoulder area. Lube in this area can cause dimples in the shoulder area.
    Well a different lube did not help. The 358 Winchester dies should be here tomorrow. I haven't noticed any lube dimples. What I'm seeing is a crease at best, usually a split. Many times it just outright buckles the case. If I do end up with cases with lube dimples, will they shoot out ok?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Not to sound like a doubter, but after reading for 20 minutes on case annealing, my head hurts. It all just seems like a royal PITA. One guy say 750 tempilaq inside the case neck. The next says getting that paint off sucks, get 450 and put it half way down the case.

    Is there any reason I can't fire up my lead pot to 750F, and dip cases in that? I'm not scared to do it bare handed either to make sure I don't over heat them.
    In the past, I've used the socket and propane torch technique with decent success. A lead pot will work, but it's a PITA to get the cases clean. The lead sticks to them pretty good.

    This is something I want to try. The salt will still stick to the brass somewhat, but it's water soluble.



    https://ballisticrecreations.ca/

    $100 for the full kit, all you'll need is a LEE pot.

    https://ballisticrecreations.ca/shop/

    The 358 Win dies should help. Going from 44 cal to 30 cal in a single pass is pushing it. You might need to anneal multiple times. Once before going to 35 cal, and again before going to 30 cal.
    ______________________________________________
    Aaron

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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