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August 1st, 2008

TECH TIP: Check Your Cases for Signs of Over-Pressure

With the relentless pursuit of more velocity and the “next higher node” by many reloaders, it is important to pause and think about safety. And one has to remember that most brass will not hold up to high pressure the way Lapua or RWS does. Many readers have asked us: “How does one detect excess pressure?”. Well first, one can obviously monitor the primer pockets and measure the diameter of the case near the web. Excessive stretch or pocket loosening is a sure sign you’re running too hot. There are also many visible signs of over-pressure which you can see. Reader ScottyS provided this comparison photo of cases, showing the tell-tale signs of over-pressure.

Scotty tells us: “These samples were from a lot of Federal soft-point hunting ammunition that were fired in a custom .308 with a chamber on the tight side (although still allowing a .308 Winchester GO gauge). Among the pressure symptoms were heavy recoil, sticky bolt lift, and the left case had to be manually removed from the boltface. This demonstrates why: 1) you should never assume that all lots of factory ammo are the same (and safe); and 2) you should ALWAYS wear eye protection. This also shows how high pressure can spike once you approach maximum load levels.”

Scotty noted that there was a big pressure difference between the left case and the right case, although both were fired sequentially, and both were from the same lot of ammo. So take heed–always take precautions when testing new ammo, even if it is factory-loaded.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 1st, 2008

Notice for Daily Bulletin Readers — About those Photos

The best way to view the Daily Bulletin is on the dedicated page: This way you can see the full width of the photos.

Many of our readers prefer to view the Daily Bulletin on our website home page. Unfortunately the width of the home page is fixed, and it is not easy for us to change that right now. We have recently “super-sized” our Bulletin page layout, but this means some of the photos may be partially obscured on the home page. You can still read the text just fine. But if you want to see the photos in full width, just click one of the links on the home page to go to:

We suggest you may want to bookmark the Daily Bulletin Page for your convenience.

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