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Discussion Starter #1
I was loading some .44 mag today and ran into some brass for which I could not seat the primer. At first I thought it was large primer vs small primer issue, but a little research revealed that S&B brass is notorious for having tight pockets. I actually damaged a primer trying to get it in. For now I've set them aside and will swage them at some point. Always a surprise around the corner....
 

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Welcome to S&B brass. It's notorious for this. Their .45 acp brass sucks in this regard too. I got tired of breaking levers on Lee Auto Prime tools trying to prime this stuff and consign it to the scrap bin these days. Two commercial loaders I know who will reload customers brass have prominent signs: NO S&B BRASS!
 

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My press had been totally ignorant all its life, nobody told it S&B brass was hard to load. So it has been reloading S&B like all the other brass. But now that it is enlightened on the matter I guess it will give me trouble now. Dang, I shouldn't let my press read this Forum. :)

Some primers are fatter, some skinnier. Some pockets are fatter, some skinnier. You work with what you got and you can use all your components successfully if you wish. But it is true that some high volume handloaders routinely discard certain components so they can continue at high speed with no disruption. I certainly understand that. There is no right or wrong, it's an individual choice.
 

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Being a reloader I pick up some SB 45acp brass. To make it useable I have to ream it with a Redding tool and bevel the cup with a Lee tool. Since it's only 5 or 6 a week it's not bad.
 

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I've had the same experience with S&B cases (in .45acp). Since I only occasionally pick up a couple I just set them aside until I swage cases, then I run them through. If I didn't already have a swager I'd just toss them into the recycle can.


Grumpy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I never ran into the issue before because I was using new Starline brass. But I've since accumulated several hundred cases from the range, so this time I decided to clean and use them for my powder-puff loads (185 gr DBBWC bullets from Penn backed by 5.5gr of HP-38, Win primers).

.44 mag is the one caliber where I not only inspect the cases before use, but I also check headstamps because, invariably, .45 Colt and .44-40 cases sneak in there. In the future I'll know to set aside S&B cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So what kind of groups are you getting with that Penn wadcutter load in your .44 mag?
I haven't shot them a lot (yet) but at 10 yards I can do silver dollar sized groups. At 25 yards I'm in the 4" range. A better shooter could be tighter I'm sure. Next time I shoot the gun (S&W 629) I'll do some from a bench rest so I can give you a better idea of what they are capable of.

I know a few people who use this bullet for target shooting.
 

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Stay far away from PPU 44 mag brass. I think the casewalls are very thin or just really sh***y brass.

I could push the bullet into the casings after sizing and expanding. Never had this issue with any other 44 mag headstamp. I even tried backing out the expander die which did not help.

Also had issues with PPU 357 mag brass.
 

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I load on a 650, and I can always tell when an S&B case is being primed. I have not needed to discard them, but always know when they are in the mix.
 
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