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After a recent range session with my Taurus .45 I decided to prep some of the casings I had picked up. I had gathered most of my own, and as usual a few other 'strays' as well. After I resized and decapped one of the cases I saw it was trouble. Looking closely at the case mouth, I noticed a 1/16" or so ring all the way around where the brass was brighter from being repeatedly stessed by resizing, belling, and crimping. This case had been relaoded several times before. To verify this I flipped it over to examine the case head, and sure enough there were at least 5 seperate extractor marks! As I did this I felt a rough spot on the opposite sidewall of the case. Spinning it around I found something very frightening indeed... a hole in the side of the case, about in the middle, which was approx. 1/16th" long. A crack extended from the hole all the way to the case mouth.

I don't even want to think about what would have happened if I had reloaded that case and fired it in my pistol.

Lesson learned... I have always inspected my cases very carefully prior to and during to the reloading process, but will be even more vigalent now!

Reload with care and safety; don't become a statistic!
 

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i always thought this went without saying? but good catch, i throw away at least a dozen cases every time i reload from the range you just gotta be consistent
 

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I find this effect unfortunately quite frequently with 10 mm brass, I'm sure it has to do with the higher pressures of 10 mm ammo. And, due to the scarcity of 10 mm cases, I'm sure the term "once fired" is an oxymoron. Once fired is probably equal to ten firings.

So many times I'll hold my brass up to a light to see if I can see light "leaking" through a ctack into the case.

John
 

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I've loaded and fired many cracked .45ACP cases.

It's not the end of the world and you may not even know you did it.
 

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You're preaching to the choir. I inspect every case before they go into the case feeder. It's not only split cases you have to look out for, but those NT and Amerc's sometimes sneek in there. I inspect after tumbling so my hands don't get quite as dirty.
 

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I don't even want to think about what would have happened if I had reloaded that case and fired it in my pistol.

QUOTE]

So, what would have happened? Do you think your gun would have blown up?
 

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"I don't even want to think about what would have happened if I had reloaded that case and fired it in my pistol."

Not a while hell of a lot would happen.
The biggest change is often from the loss of hold on the bullet that can allow it to set back on chambering.
You should nitice it when you size the case also. Split cases usually take VERY little force.
If you missed it there, setaing the bullet will also feel wrong with about zero force to seat a bullet.

You would not want ANY of my range brass.
If I leave it behind Uinless it just got lost) it was on its very last legs. Think 15 or more loadings.
 

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Its always a good reminder to check the cleaned cases .....stuff happens.

I would also recommend using a "case gague" as a final check on all of your finished rounds as you box them up. Little cracks will sometimes appear / and the cartridge will not drop in or out easily on a case gague - causing you to take a better look at the round.

I doubt seriously anything would have happend if you had reloaded and fired this round / but no reason to chance it either.
 

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I inspect all my cases. But I have had three recent cracked cases. They make a ring when they hit the ground. No big deal. Also when sizing a cracked case or seating a bullet in a cracked case you can tell something is up. Seating a bullet.... is really easy. I mean through the whole process you can tell something is a miss. Even if you shot a cracked case what would happen? Nothing really. When I get a cracked case I look at it, that I got my money's worth. My reaction is, "will you look at that..."
 

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This is a big part of the reason why I clean my brass... these problems are way easier to see.

Reid
 

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Brass inspection

I found a cracked case recently picking up range brass. You do have to be careful. A magnifying glass is essential.
 

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I find and toss cracked cases after tumbling. I do not inspect each case. A cracked case has a distinctive "bell ringing" sound when tumbled in the separator or if you pour the brass from hand to hand. Try this. Toss a known cracked case in your media separator with good brass and give it a few spins. Listen carefully and you will hear the ringing sound of a cracked case. When I hear this sound I then reach in and pour a hand full of brass from hand to hand until I find the cracked case. Only takes a couple of minutes to check brass this way. Edited to add I only do this with pistol brass.
 

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I'm confident I've shot many rounds that had cracks in them. When I find them - I toss.

But I do not inspect each case under a light.
 

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You can hear the cracked cases....

take a handful and bounce the cases around. If one is cracked you will hear it. This is very noticeable with .45 cases, but all will do it if you want to find them before you load them.
Another trick for catching case mouth cracks is to use a case gauge or a barrel. With the .45 if the case mouth is cracked, the case will not drop out of the case gauge/barrel.
Give it a try!

See ya,
DougC
 
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