The sorting of my large bucket of all 45 ACP brass according to headstamp is done.
If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know I’m doing this so I can separate out the Aguila that seems to have been having high-primer problems.
With the baggies of brass arrayed before me, here’s what is in my pool.
The most common headstamp in my collection is Winchester of which most was saved from ball ammo purchased at Walmart back when I first started shooting the 1911.
Second and third most common are StarLine purchased at the Dillon store and the Aguila of which I’ve been writing most recently. The Aguila is also from ball ammo but purchased from a different source.
Here’s the complete lineup and for the “rare” ones, the count:
- AP 02 (qty 1)
- CCI (qty 4)
- Midway (qty 1)
- PMP (qty 1)
- S&W (qty 1)
- Speer (qty 4)
- Texas 45 Super (qty 1)
(click for larger image)
My original plan was to discard the Aguila. But with it now separated out and in its own baggie, I realize I can give it the extra little attention it needs in reloading. That is, when I decide to reload the Aguila, I’ll just remember that this brand needs an extra firm push in the 650 reloader to fully seat the primer. (And I’ll restrict its first couple of uses to Slow Fire just in case a high primer sneaks through.)
So, what have I learned from all this?
First, all 45 ACP brass is not the same. Although all of my supply is of the reloadable variety (brass not steel), some of it needs a little extra oomph when reloading.
Second, keeping brass sorted by headstamp is a good idea. Doing so from the beginning might have saved me a couple of days of headscratching and testing.
Third, top competitors use new or once-fired brass in competition. I assume there’s a valid reason for that but exactly why, I don’t know. If it makes a difference, then some of my tired old brass isn’t gonna cut the mustard, but I don’t know which shells those are. Although this experience didn’t “teach” me this lesson, it did point out that, by storing brass in a single bucket, keeping track of firings for the brass was impossible. But by sorting the brass and storing it by headstamp from here on, this becomes possible. So, as I buy new brass in the future, I’ll start doing this additional level of documentation — each purchase will get its own baggie and I’ll start tallying the number of firings of each such purchase.
And fourth, I still enjoy recognizing a problem, gathering evidence, conducting experiments and drawing conclusions. In software, we call that “debugging” and it’s why I’ve been a software engineer (and software teacher) all these years. I do love the chase.
10s and Xs … and no high primers!