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  #26  
Old 03-20-2020, 06:39 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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"But lately I've just been using a Frankford Arsenal digital as a check scale
getting .5 grain delta (rounding error)."

Not sure what this means.

I can see .01 grain increments on all three of my balance beam scales as it will see movement when dropping 1 granule of 4064, 4895 sticks!

.5 grain variance of some powder drops can be problematic.

Smiles.
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  #27  
Old 03-20-2020, 11:12 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfitch View Post
"But lately I've just been using a Frankford Arsenal digital as a check scale
getting .5 grain delta (rounding error)."

Not sure what this means.

I can see .01 grain increments on all three of my balance beam scales as it will see movement when dropping 1 granule of 4064, 4895 sticks!

.5 grain variance of some powder drops can be problematic.

Smiles.

Sorry, Smiley.
Slipped a zero there.
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  #28  
Old 03-21-2020, 09:07 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Ok, so, the facts...
Powder burns normal
Each charge has been weighed, so we know it’s not an obstruction
CCI primers, it is not the primers. If it was, there would be widespread news

Either a whole bunch of your brass was contaminated with a significant amount of overspray, or A pile of brass you grabbed after cleaning had globs of Nu-Finish stuck inside because it wasn’t mixed well with your media?? Check your other brass to see if there is crap stuck in them.

This all points to moisture of some type......

I hope you find it, I wanna know!
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  #29  
Old 03-21-2020, 10:06 AM
4110mm 4110mm is offline
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Nufinish and case lube does not matter. Overspray from WD40 (silicones) maybe, I am not sure. I use lots of Dillon case lube spray and Hornady one shot cleaner on all the dies liberally and never any problem.

I never leave any powder in the measure overnight. Some powders, I forget which, can clump up in the measure and make incostistant drops. 0.5 is way too much variation. 0.1 is acceptable.

I use only Dillon machines.
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  #30  
Old 03-21-2020, 10:29 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4110mm View Post
Nufinish and case lube does not matter.
Nu-Finish sure can



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
brass you grabbed after cleaning had globs of Nu-Finish stuck inside because it wasn’t mixed well with your media?? Check your other brass to see if there is crap stuck in them.
This is a distinct possibility- I once purchased some "cleaned brass" and there were a significant number of cases with globs of cob & nu-finish dried up inside... some completely covering the flash holes.
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Last edited by flechero; 03-21-2020 at 10:31 AM.
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  #31  
Old 03-21-2020, 11:02 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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Slipped a zero!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
Sorry, Smiley.
Slipped a zero there.
Slipped a zero?

Do you have access to blocks of candle wax or even ordinary candles?

Load your cases as normal and instead of bullets push the case into the wax to form a wax bullet.

Now begin the process of elimination.

Lightly spray the inside of a few cases with the lube you suspect.

Make up a gob of NuFinish and add that with and with out the lube.

Now attempt to block the flash hole with some gunk.

Spray some primers with lube , oil or whatever you suspect is causing the low flash.

Each time firing the round in the suspect gun.

Through the process of elimination you may find the source of the squibs!

I had to go through a similar sequence to figure out another similar issue.

It takes time but...…..

All the best,
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Last edited by jjfitch; 03-21-2020 at 02:54 PM.
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  #32  
Old 03-21-2020, 12:21 PM
Lazer131 Lazer131 is offline
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Were the cases nice, bright and shiny with the squibs or smudged or blackened. Could be a sloppy crimp is not letting you get full pressure or combustion. Just a thought.
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  #33  
Old 03-21-2020, 01:19 PM
PBag PBag is offline
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Sympathies Cavelamb. For press covers I use cut off legs from old jeans and glue the one end shut
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  #34  
Old 03-21-2020, 06:04 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer131 View Post
Were the cases nice, bright and shiny with the squibs or smudged or blackened. Could be a sloppy crimp is not letting you get full pressure or combustion. Just a thought.

They were bright and shiny before and heavily sooted black with some
noticeable black grainy stuff.

*break*

As for the NuFinish clogging the flash hole, I doubt it.
The primers were still in place during tumbling.
They come out on the first station on the press.
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  #35  
Old 03-21-2020, 06:05 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBag View Post
Sympathies Cavelamb. For press covers I use cut off legs from old jeans and glue the one end shut
Good one.
I'm going to make some cutoffs again.
Will adapt your suggestion.
But I can sew (sailor skills).
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  #36  
Old 03-21-2020, 06:27 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfitch View Post
Slipped a zero?

Now begin the process of elimination.

Lightly spray the inside of a few cases with the lube you suspect.

Spray some primers with lube , oil or whatever you suspect is causing the low flash.

Each time firing the round in the suspect gun.

Through the process of elimination you may find the source of the squibs!

I had to go through a similar sequence to figure out another similar issue.

It takes time but...…..

All the best,

Fitch, this was such an insanely obviously idea, I just got up and went
and did it.

I used 38 special since that is a simpler to load piece.

This wasn't any kind of double-blind scientific study.
But it was revealing.

Rem Oil pump
Tri-Lube spray
PB Blaster penetrating oil spray

Misting over bare primers - all fired quite normally.

So I hosed them down next time.
The only one that has any effect at all was the PB Blaster penetrating oil.
The primer fired, but the brizzance was markedly reduced.
RemOil and TriLube fired nicely.

Whod'a thunk?

I think I'll soak three more primers and let them set overnight.
See if that has any effect?
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  #37  
Old 03-21-2020, 06:36 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
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I like that you tested the powder by burning it but smokeless powder behaves far differently under pressure so the test may not be conclusive...I'm very curious to find out what the issue is!
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  #38  
Old 03-21-2020, 07:57 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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Make this a valid test!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
Fitch, this was such an insanely obviously idea, I just got up and went
and did it.

I used 38 special since that is a simpler to load piece.

This wasn't any kind of double-blind scientific study.
But it was revealing.

Rem Oil pump
Tri-Lube spray
PB Blaster penetrating oil spray

Misting over bare primers - all fired quite normally.

So I hosed them down next time.
The only one that has any effect at all was the PB Blaster penetrating oil.
The primer fired, but the brizzance was markedly reduced.
RemOil and TriLube fired nicely.

Whod'a thunk?

I think I'll soak three more primers and let them set overnight.
See if that has any effect?
You're boiling the ocean. You didn't start by soaking primers!

You should be looking to duplicate what you were doing not introduce a new hypothesis!

Your hypothesis was stated as lightly misted oil, some New Finish wax and pack a little in a flash hole and let it dry and ETC!

Smiles,

John
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Last edited by jjfitch; 03-21-2020 at 08:02 PM.
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  #39  
Old 03-21-2020, 08:03 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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I doubt overspray of case lube will inert powder.
I vote wet brass bypassing the oven.
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  #40  
Old 03-21-2020, 10:11 PM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
I doubt overspray of case lube will inert powder.
I vote wet brass bypassing the oven.



Starting to think this as well
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  #41  
Old 03-22-2020, 12:16 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post
I think I'll soak three more primers and let them set overnight.
See if that has any effect?
I'm betting they'll fire just fine. Kinda hard to "kill" a primer.
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  #42  
Old 03-22-2020, 04:43 AM
VF-1 VF-1 is offline
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I have three Dillion progressives. For covers, I use old bath towels. Works great, and protects the presses from dust or any other contaminants.
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  #43  
Old 03-22-2020, 07:48 AM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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How often do you guys do a deep clean on your press and dies? I try for every 1000 rounds. Sometimes less if I am seating a lot of cast bullets that were tumble lubed. Everything gets hosed down with brake cleaner. It may be extreme but for me it keeps everything running smoother.
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  #44  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:02 AM
Sr. Oso Sr. Oso is offline
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Had to step away from this thread for a few days. I’m impressed with all the suggestions to the OP, cavelamb. From what I’ve seen here, the culprit seems to be wet brass. I’ve been thinking about wet tumbling but the more I read, the less I want to add new capital equipment expenditures and new steps into my process.

With regards to complete press cleaning, I only fully clean my press when I think it really needs it. I regularly clean the dies and always vacuum after a long session. I will grease the piston on it, a Dillon 550B with electric case feeder, every 3-4K rounds.

I hope you find the root cause to your squib problem and let us know how you resolved it and what steps you are taking to prevent it in the future. I’m sure it will be helpful to us all.
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  #45  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:26 AM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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I have followed this thread for a few days now, and based on suggestions and reports back from the OP, I see two likely sources of contamination: 1) Wet tumbling with the primers still in the brass, and 2) use of petroleum based products for lube. As to point number one, this method often leads to moisture being retained in the primer pocket, and even drying in the oven can leave some steam in the primer in the primer pocket to re-condense as the brass cools after drying. If you want to wet tumble, punch the primers out either before the wet tumble or just after it before you dry the cases in the oven. For point number two, use the Dillon or similar lube product made from anhydrous lanolin - anhydrous lanolin will not contaminate the primer or the powder if any residue is left on the inside of the case during loading; I have tested this after reading about it in the Corbin technical manuals on swaging many years ago. I have loaded stuff with such residue on the case mouth and swaged bullets, and they fired normally after 10 - 15 years of sitting after loading before firing them, no problem.

Anyway, that's my experience. I did have some primers about 30 years ago that failed to properly ignite the powder, and I was unable to determine whether they were contaminated by my use of petroleum products near the loading area or whether they were contaminated by my sister's dog having gotten some small amount of drool/saliva on them. That's when I changed primer brands and discarded the old primers, and switched to the Dillon lube based on anhydrous lanolin - no problems since then in hundreds of thousands of rounds.
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  #46  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:59 AM
cavelamb cavelamb is offline
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Not having found anything else that is repeatable, I'm inclined to think the wet case
theory is probably the best guess at the cause.

A few details that might help support that idea...

I've only recently - in the last few months - started using the Lee Safety Prime.
Before that I primed by hand with an RCBS hand primer, and would usually remove
primers before tumbling. But I was always concerned that grit or corn could block
primer pockets.

The Safety Prime system removed the pre-processing step since it is intended
to remove and seat the primers all in one 4-stroke operation.
That makes production a whole lot faster and simpler.

Wet tumbling seemed a lot cleaner (pun not intended) since there wasn't a lot of
primer dust and it should leave the primer pockets clear.

The first thousand or so have run just fine - until they didn't.


The other thing is that getting the cleaning solution just right in the wet tumbler
can make the brass really bright.

Did I mistake a load of freshly tumbled brass for a load of corncob polished stuff?
Possible.
But twice - once for 9 and again for 45?
I would like to think that would be a stretch, again but could be possible.

Since I haven't been able to identify a specific cause beyond a doubt I'm
going
to assume it's a process problem and revert to what I know worked in the past.

Pull the primers before tumbling.
Set up the old RCBS press in the garage just for depriming.
Extend the drying time in the oven. (Could I have skimped this lately?)
Clean the press, dies, powder dispenser, pans, et al.
WASH MY HANDS! (in case it was corona virus ??? )

And go back to work.
Run some small batches and see how it goes.
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  #47  
Old 03-22-2020, 09:28 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavelamb View Post

Wet tumbling seemed a lot cleaner (pun not intended) since there wasn't a lot of
primer dust and it should leave the primer pockets clear.




The other thing is that getting the cleaning solution just right in the wet tumbler
can make the brass really bright.
The only drawback to wet tumbling is the time spent decapping prior to cleaning... but the results far outweigh that drawback, IMO. And yes, the pockets are nice and clean & pins don't stick in the pockets.


No need for a specific solution, just dish soap or Armor All Wash & Wax and a tiny pinch of lemmishine. The pins do the bulk of the work. The soap and lemmishine help the rinse and prevent future tarnish. It's quite simple.
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  #48  
Old 03-22-2020, 09:57 AM
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I have seen numerous people new to wet tumbling their brass have this exact same issue. Even just barely damp brass will cause the powder to become something like a pellet inside the case and it will hardly light off causing squibs or low powered ammo.
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  #49  
Old 03-22-2020, 10:28 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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There was a dry vibratory step for all of your cases after the brass was out of the oven correct??
That would surely suck up any moisture that was left.
If ANY of the rounds fired correctly, I think we can assume the powder is fine.
I keep going back to the Nu-Finish (wet) because something is degrading the 💥.
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  #50  
Old 03-22-2020, 10:29 AM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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If you are concerned about the corncob media getting in the flash hole/primer pocket, do what my buddy did - he got larger grain media from the pet store that would not fit inside the primer pocket, I think he said lizard cage litter. It worked very well for him. you can try that at some point after the oven drying process.

Oh, and it only takes a small amount of polish in the media, and run it in for about 20 minutes before putting cases in; that helps keep the media dry the polish a bit so it doesn't stick when the cases go in the dry-polish tumbling. Works for both vibratory polishers and tumblers.
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Last edited by Grandpas50AE; 03-22-2020 at 10:32 AM.
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