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Hornady Superformance worries

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2012 at 12:07
stork23raz View Drop Down
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These are spent cases from Hornady Superformance 53gr vmax.
I am worried that these are signs of excessive pressure. Am I right?
I still have several boxes of these left, are these safe to shoot? or what should I do with the rest?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2012 at 12:40
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The cratered primers are a bit worrisome, but I do not see a ejector mark. If your are worried about it though, I suggest calling Hornady. They are aware that their Superformance line builds to much pressure in some rifles. They will take care of you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2012 at 12:54
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I agree, contact Hornady, they should fix you up.

I would not continue shooting that stuff.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2012 at 13:06
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Thanks fellas, that's all I need to hear. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2012 at 22:09
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Definitely talk to Hornady.
Primers are cratered all right, but other pressure signs aren't obvious.
Does any of your brass from other loads also exhibit that cratering? It almost looks like there is too big of a hole in the bolt face for the firing pin.
If you mic the case heads, is there any expansion over unfired rounds? .0001" is too much.
Actually, that may not be a valid test as you really should make a before/after measurement of individual cases.

Here's a .45 case showing everything except crater.... striations from mill marks in bolt face, "top hat" primer, primer wrapped around anvil, flattened lettering, deep ejector mark, etc.

I found 6 of these cases at the range and thought they'd serve as a good reminder of what not to do. I've a .45 that will do +P+ stuff- like .45 Super- and they don't reach anywhere near this pressure...  it's a wonder that the guy didn't get a slide sandwich for lunch.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2012 at 00:38
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The problem might be with your rifle.
 
I don't see any signs of excessive pressure other than primer cratering and that is not uniform. The cases look almost new.
 
Clean out the insides of your bolt to assure a uniform and hard firing pin strike.
 
When the bolt is removed from the rifle uncock it by rotating the bolt sleeve and cocking piece to expose the firing pin inside the firing pin hole in the bolt face. Check out the fit of firing pin inside the hole in the bolt face to see if is reasonably tight. When you recock the bolt by rotating bolt sleeve and cocking piece back you can get some indication of firing pin strength.
 
I have seen some post 64 push feed Win M70 rifles with excessively sloppy bolt face firing pin holes that allowed for cratered primers at normal pressures. To diverge, in the mid 80's S&W produced a run of 586 revolvers that needed bushings installed to reduce the size of their firing pin holes. Firing moderately hot .357 loads locked the cylinders with extruded primers.
 
Satisfy your curiosity with a trip to the gun smith.
 
Any chances those .45 Auto cases were too short and had excessive head space?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2012 at 09:40
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Stevey Ducks asked:

"Any chances those .45 Auto cases were too short and had excessive head space?"
__________________

They're ok, measuring 1.888" and 1.892".
Gave some of the cases to the instructors at the range, who wanted them for their reloading classes.

Can't say I've ever had problems with .45 cases getting too short, but did have some issues once with range pick- up PMC brass which was as long as 1.92"... caused failure to go into battery. They had to be long from the factory.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2012 at 00:54
Stevey Ducks View Drop Down
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The only thing (end point) else I can guess at, other than high pressures, is that excessive taper crimp was applied preventing normal headspace and the extractor held the case up close to the slide enabling firing.
 
I have had very flattened rifle primers with normal loads due to excessive head space - no other signs like cratering, shiny marks on brass, difficult extraction and expanded primer pockets.
 
No matter what I would not like to fire those .45 auto loads! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2012 at 09:52
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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I mis- stated the OAL, should read, .888 (a wee bit short) and .892.

Stevey Ducks said:
"No matter what I would not like to fire those .45 auto loads!"

No kidding! One of my .45s is a Ruger P90, which may be the strongest .45 ever made, and I would not want to run those through my gun.
Did you see the ejector mark? The extractor made a nice cut, too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/09/2012 at 20:08
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"Any chances those .45 Auto cases were too short and had excessive head space?"
 
More than a chance, it's a virtual certainty.  Pressure would blow the handgun apart before flattening a primer like that.   Ditto a rifle for that matter.  And the chamber comes into headspace as well as the straight wall cases you know!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2012 at 06:09
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I shoot Superformance in my .257 Roberts and in my .270 and my wife shoots Superformance in her 6.5 Creedmoor, no problems yet. My .257
is a model 7MS out of the Custom Shop at Remington and my .270 is a
BRNO CZ 600. Her 6.5 is one of the new Savage Lady Hunters.

Peddler CoolCoolCool
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/10/2012 at 08:15
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no worries just a little headspace, the case is against the bolt face when you fire, the firing pin pushes the case so the shoulder touches the chamber, primer ignites pressure increases until high enough to push the primer out, (but still relatively low). As the pressure rapidly increases the case is now forced back against the face of the bolt seating the primer and sealing out gas leak. If pressure were excessive the primers would have piercedd when extending out of the pockets. this is common with each and every round fired in a revolver. When bushing are replaced in the recoil shield of handguns, they are usually replaced with smaller firing pins, such as the 1911. This is common in guns set up for action shooting, but the reason is to prevent small half moon fragments of primer from jamming the firing pin and turning the the slide into a closed bolt full auto. When the extractor of an auto holds the round back against the slide face- this is a good thing, and the basic reason replacement barrels in 9mm glock will fire in a 40 glock. Autos such as Ruger and others that use castings for their barrels are among the weakest of the auto group. Barrels milled from bar stock such as Bar sto are the "strongest". In either case the weakness in a 45 is that the ramp undercuts the web of the case, and unless the barrel has a supported ramp, the statement is meaningless. I use the powder in a 243, 87 gr at 3300 fps and a 300 wsm 155 gr amax at 3400 fps with outstanding result.
the 45 case in the photo was not excessive pressure, 45s will blow before the primer.
Here is a trashed out kimber frame from non-supported (ramp frame)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2012 at 01:47
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Thanks Dale and Crosswire for the good info.
I figure the OP cases aren't really overpressure.

The shortest of the 2 .45 cases I kept was only .002" below .45 trim length, at .888". As deep as the ejector marks are and the bolt face marks, those cases were hitting hard. Neither case exhibited a bulge, like one might see on a Glock fired case, or "ramped" 1911, so they were fired in a well- supported chamber.
Could it be that those primers weren't seated to depth to start with? And flattened because they stuck out the back a bit?
Since I only found six of the cases close together, I thought they they may have been fired in a Blackhawk with acp cylinder- but then that wouldn't explain the ejector mark... maybe it wasn't an ejector mark, beats me- better him than me.

I don't know- I've fired/loaded .45 for over 30 yrs and have never had a case like those I found.

@ Dale- I never heard of a cast barrel in a Ruger. Perhaps you meant a cast slide?
Info on the web says that the P90 barrels were designed by BarSto and the P90 is known to be very accurate and strong. I've seen load data out there which expressly says "P90" only. Mine handles +P w/out a sweat, but I don't shoot much of the real hot stuff in any of my .45s. All Ruger .45 models I own have a supported case. I've had .45s that would bulge a case with mid-range loads, due to the unsupported case.

AFAIK, you guys are right about the .45 s blowing up before the primers blow. I've never blown one, but that's what the knowledgeable people have always told me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2012 at 01:59
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Readers might consider looking at the "Pine Tree Castings" link on the Ruger website to learn more about investment castings and why they are used in firearms and other complex shaped parts such as revolver frames. An itemization of investment casting strengths is also provided. 
 
Drop a .45 round into a 1911 .45 barrel that has been removed from slide and it can be quickly determined if the cartridge head is supported or not and some indication of headspace..
 
I have been told Glock barrels don't support cartridge heads but have never checked this out but have been warned not to load cases more than 2X for a Glock.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2012 at 08:44
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with rugers investment in investment casting (they also do joint replacement parts) I doubt there barrels are turned the old fashioned way. most barrels today are cast and then cleaned up on machines. as far as the web indicating barsto helped ruger, I would have to hear from barsto to believe it. I rarely use or am around rugers much as they are not used in action shooting so just a guess on my part.  In any case the term strong has not been defined here, castings can certainly be harder, but doesn't make them stronger. Ive had the lugs shear from 45 cast barrels in 40 loaded to major because the lugs either had stress cracks from casting or were brittle or something.
my guess on the 45 was a smith with moon clips and the cases were used previously in an auto that didn't have all the metal taken out of the recoil face on the slide, I had a smith sc lightweight that made the same marks.
glock fired cases can certainly be reloaded more than 2x, in fact just as many times as any other auto, just loaded 1k 9mm for a glock 17L on their 8 or 9th cycle.
standard 45 runs around 17k and a plus load about 19000 which is still nothing compared to 9 major, 38 super and 40s. this is a 9 by 26 I use for hunting, a 45 mag case cut and necked to .355 and runs about 40k, 147 gr. around around 1500 fps in an series 80 colt. this is high pressure loadand the barrel is not ramped.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2012 at 11:37
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Dale and Stevey,
Thanks for your informative posts.

Dale,
Your earlier post prompted me to do a lot of research, where I learned that Ruger P series (and likely, other model) pistols do indeed use investment cast barrels... I had no clue.
All apologies for questioning your knowledge.

 Not being a participant, why are Rugers not used in action shooting?

My Ruger P97 and P90 will feed anything- my son once loaded some magazines with empty cases and laughed while he ran 'em through the Ps by hand.
My son and I are usually the best shooters at the (paper punch) ranges we frequent. Well, my son is, anyhow... he out shoots me. I realize that doesn't mean much in a non- competitive setting.

Stevey,
One can overcome issues with brass fired in Glocks or throated/ramped barrels by running all range brass through a Lee Bulge Buster, or similar die made by Redding. If you see Glock brass, you'll understand why they don't recommend loading it more than twice for use in a Glock. I've no idea how long Glock- fired brass lasts in pistols other than Glock; after de- bulging, it just goes into the brand- sorted bins with everything else.
Cases generally split or get lost before getting too short, for me.


Edited by Alan Robertson - September/11/2012 at 11:43
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2012 at 18:30
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Interesting cartridge Dale but I think I'll stick to my 45-70 Encore pistol for deer as we are limited to straight wall cases here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/12/2012 at 17:54
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Reloading for a Glock is sort of academic for me since I don't own one but if I did and noticed any bulging requiring frequent removal I would guess that some work hardening might occur followed by longitudinal stress cracking -- just an idle thought.
 
Specifially, the folks at Sierra advised me not to go over 2X for loading for the Glock .45 auto that I considered loading for that I had temporarily stored in my gun safe for a short time.
 
Except for certain springs it seems that investment castings can produce all sorts of gun parts from frames, receivers to extractors, bolts, bolt stops, triggers and such. Such alloy steel parts appear to be strong, resilient (M77 extractors) and not brittle like say a cast iron skillet.
 
Back to the .223 super performance ammo...
 
I have had sheared off primer fragments (half moon?) from .17 Rem loads partially block then block the firing pin in a Ruger M77 (custom barrel), some loads failed to fire and those that did were cratered. I cleared up the bolt with solvent and a pipe cleaner (now a normal cleaning proceedure). I have seen post 64 Win M70's with such sloppy bolt face - firing pin fit that big craters resulted with no other excessive pressure signs occured like the fired .223 ammo in the photos.
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2012 at 05:07
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OK i called hornady the other day. The gentleman there told me he had not heard of this happening in a bolt gun. He said it was common in AR rifles. He said it could be that my firing pin is too long. He said that I could send my ammo in for testing and they would swap it out if needed.

After he mentioned that the firing pin might be to long, so I decided to go shoot some different ammo. I took my rifle a savage 12 FV, some  PPU 75 match, and PMC 55.  The PMC was fine, no primers deformed in any way. The PPU however had cratering in all the primers. The primers did not change shape like in the Hornady but they did crater.  I shoot the PPU in my service rifle(223 wylde) and it works flawlessly in that rifle with no similar signs.

Any opinions?


Edited by stork23raz - September/14/2012 at 08:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2012 at 08:16
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most firearms out there are not shot very much. makers can "get away" with cast and mim parts because it gives a serviceable life time for the average gun owner and provides a reasonable price. It doesn't however cut it for heavier than average hunter- high volume shooters. Rugers both handguns and rifles are rarely used because the basic design doesn't deal with other needs used by competiitve shooters therefore no after market or secondary parts exist.
Instead of asking one man while still working as an expert in the field from one point of view and experience has limited practical knowledge, ask a group of people who have shot literally 10s of millions of rounds through glocks over a period of time begining with the birth of the gun that don't use sierra bullets and problably know more about them than the maker.  Brianenos. com.
If you have ever broken an extractor in a glock (several here) the term I would use is brittle. I would never use a 77 as a competitive gun so don't know if the term brittle applies, however I would never use that term for a rem 700 extractor.
shoulder headspace in 223 varies considerably between chambers not even considering the inclusionof 5.56 nato chambers. try miking a fired and unfired from your gun and compare the specs with published data from both chambers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2012 at 10:08
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

shoulder headspace in 223 varies considerably between chambers not even considering the inclusionof 5.56 nato chambers. try miking a fired and unfired from your gun and compare the specs with published data from both chambers.
forgive my ignorance, what do you mean "miking" a fired and unfired?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/14/2012 at 19:27
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with a good micrometer measure as well as you can the base to shoulder difference just as the shoulder begins its slope, and measure again the curve just as the shoulder curves to start the neck. I'll bet the fired case has a longer measure.
hornadys comment that this happens with ar is useless as it can happen in an ar even if the round is loaded well below hot. It means that the full length resizing dies the shooter is using is resizing to min. dimensions and the chamber of the gun used is probably max.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2012 at 02:38
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With the test of firing different brands of ammo in the same chamber producing both cratered and cratered primers I think a sloppy fit firing pin or weak spring can be ruled out. I don't think headspace issues are a factor either. How about the primers being softer in one brand as compared to the other?
 
The constant competitive goal of American manufacturing is to produce goods at the fastest rate with the least expense. Techniques such as computer aided manufacturing and investment casting are examples. My 44 year old investment cast Ruger M77 manufactured in 1968 is one example. Over 10 thousand rounds have been fired through it and 4 barrels have been fitted to it, including .22-250, 6 mm Rem, .22-250, and 6.5-.308. Other than lapping the bolt lugs one time and squaring up the receiver ring no work has been done to it. After 44 years every thing works just fine including the original firing pin spring and extractor. Ruger and other manufacturers use investment casting to produce affordable weapons. Possibly the weakest factor in the strength aspect might be considered the brass case that can be expected to fail at more than 70 psi. Possibly others might fund blowup tests with the Ruger M77 compared to the really high price actions used for bench rest competion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2012 at 12:16
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To measure headspace variations between fired and unfired brass try the Wilson headspace gauge used with dial calipers.
 
I think that there is little relationship between design features and manufacturing methods such as investment casting. I keep looking but have not found any documented failures of Ruger investment cast parts. I once swapped extractors on 2 push feed M77 actions one being a .220 Swift that seemed to work better with one extractor than the other.
 
How about a Remington M700 with an investment cast bolt vs multi piece bolt having brazed parts?
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