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    Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    Newb Question... Case inspection

    So I'm pretty new to reloading. I know you're supposed to check the cases for a line going around the case head to avoid separation... My question is how obvious is this line? I of course check all my cases but even on brand new manufactured ammo occasionally see a faint line going around the case. Since its on ammo that's never been reloaded (Hornady, Federal) I'm starting to question my own judgement on the cases I do reload. How obvious should the line be before I discard the case?

    Thanks.

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    Really Senior Member mr.e moose's Avatar
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    You do not check visually. What you do is sharpen a piece of stiff wire and put a small right angle bend in it. Insert it into the case and drag it from the case head forward, if you have the start of a case head separation you should be able to feel it.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce McAskill's Avatar
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    If you see a ring about a half inch up from the base then check it out just as Mr. Moose suggested to you. It may or may not be a bright ring around most if not all of the case. If it appears after a few firings then be ready to discard the case as it's ready to let go. Some calibers stretch much more then others and are know for case head separation. The .303 is famous for it and most cases that are similar do to. The best way to increase case life is to neck size the brass and use it in just one rifle and works for rimmed and rimless cases. This works well for bolt action rifles but semi-autos require full length sizing. The less one works the brass the longer it lasts.
    Last edited by Bruce McAskill; 04-24-2018 at 10:50 PM.

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    Advisory Panel Parashooter's Avatar
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    The "line" being referred to is a source of confusion to many. In fact, it can be very obvious or quite subtle, depending on case condition and degree of stretch. It can also occur at divergent locations forward of the solid web, depending on a host of factors. Here are a few examples, plus a GI tool for dealing with one that's come apart -



    On the inside, incipient separations look like the Boxer-primed cases at right in this photo -





    Novices are often misled by the completely normal "line" appearing at the web/wall transition - a geometric illusion produced by reflective effect as seen in the 3 lower examples here -


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