Speer nickel casings Smaller Flash holes! [Archive] - Glock Talk

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_The_Shadow
11-08-2011, 10:50
I was sizing some more 357Sig brass using the LEE die set, anyway I was sizing a Speer nickel case and the priming pin became stuck/broken in the flash hole of the casing. :steamed: The LEE pin is dsigned to pop up, but that didn't happen.

The pin stuck and broken was very tight inside the flash hole and I had to drive it out to remove it.

WORD OF CAUTION!
It seems that these flash holes are smaller in diameter on the speer than other brands of 357Sig brass!<!-- Signature -->


Well I sent LEE an e-mail via their website and here is their response...

We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will send you a replacement Decapping Rod in today's mail for you.
It has come to our attention that some cartridge cases have a flash hole of .050" or less. This is smaller than the diameter of our standard depriming pin, and consequently, if one tries to deprime/resize these cartridge cases, the depriming pin will get stuck and/or get pulled out of the expander. Our recommendation is to drill the flash holes to a uniform diameter with a 1/16" or a #52 drill. Most domestically manufactured cartridges are made with the SAAMI standard flash hole diameter of .062" and are not a problem.

Thank You,

Lee Precision
4275 Highway U
Hartford, WI 53027
phone: (262) 673-3075
fax: (262) 673-9273

Well it is another A+ for customer service from LEE :supergrin:

This makes me wonder if Speer is using smaller flash holes to better contain pressures with certain loadings. Oh well, I'll be drilling out the flash hole so it doesn't happen again!

This may have to do with the nickel plating process, which is building up inside and closing up the holes on some of them!:shocked:
Well I can rule out the nickel plating as the cause, all of the Speer 357Sig brass had the small flash holes, How do I know this? I just finished drilling every last one of them out and depriming by hand. A 3/64" drill bit worked way better than 1/16" for opening up the holes, Now the holes are the same size as all the rest of the other 357Sig Brass...

leeward419
11-10-2011, 03:38
I have a couple of thousand speer nickel plated cases, and havent run into the problem with the flash holes. Perhaps you got a bad batch?

_The_Shadow
11-10-2011, 18:29
All of the Speer cases I had, both Nickel and regular brass had the smaller flash holes. The LEE deprimer pin went thru most but tight with some extra effort till the pin broke and stuck hard inside. I actually found one Remington brass casing which had a smaller than normal flash hole.

I'll have to check if I get more of the Speer cases to see if they have small holes.

leeward419
11-11-2011, 14:21
I will ck mine next time I generate some empties, I will measure ad post here

Gary Davidson
11-16-2011, 20:56
I also use Lee dies to reload 357 SIG, but instead of enlarging the flash holes in all of my newer Speer brass, I used a grinder to reduce the size of my depriming pin. I have not had a problem with Speer brass since then, and I have loaded thousands of them.

I called speer and asked about the smaller than standard flash holes. The reason Speer Gold dot ammunition has smaller flash holes is because Spear had to replace a bunch of SIG slides for law enforcement agencies that had damaged breach faces ("peening of the firing pin holes") that were associated with the use of Speer Gold Dot ammunition. The blame was laid on Speer, and the Speer engineers came up with a simple solution: Make the flash holes smaller. I do not understand how this would help, and I am even doubtful that the Speer ammunition was to blame, but this is what happened. Why were other brands of pistols not affected, and why did other brands of ammo not cause the same problem? At any rate, that is the reason I was given for the change.

I have observed that Speer brass with the smaller flash holes can be easily identified in loaded ammunition by the existence of a small "S" on the headstamp between the words SPEER and SIG.

Gary Davidson
11-16-2011, 21:04
Here is a picture of the two types of Speer 357 SIG brass. The old style brass is on the right, and the new Speer brass with the smaller flash hole is on the left. I have circled the small "S" on the brass with the small flash hole.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=220438&d=1321502650

_The_Shadow
11-16-2011, 22:07
Gary thanks for that explanation! Yes it does make us wonder still why it was only Speer and not other manufactures as well.

I have aquired a Dillon set of dies for the 357Sig, :) it came with the large depriming pin. I'll have to get or make a modified pin for it.

The replacement deprimer I got from LEE was the smaller one, like the one which broke, which was still not small enough.

I have also modified a hand deprimer I made to do the job... :)

jeffreybehr
11-17-2011, 11:55
Here is a picture of the two types of Speer 357 SIG brass. The old style brass is on the right, and the new Speer brass with the smaller flash hole is on the left. I have circled the small "S" on the brass with the small flash hole.

I don't think so. I just measured the diameter of 3 Lee decapping pins; they're 0.062". I grabbed 3 Speer 357 SIG cases from a pile; they're all marked with the 's'. They decapped just finely, and the 0.062" pins fit loosely in the flashholes. There's something else going on.

_The_Shadow
11-17-2011, 17:22
Jeffery, the cases I had were range pick up, they did have the "S" stamped, but they were tight for the 0.062" pins, some were very tight and the pin actually broke in one of them! It was like 0.050" or less...They could have been a bad run, but I don't know.

It was that I had never seen the smaller flash hole being used, all the others brands have the larger holes and poss no problems. I was just bringing this to peoples' attention to inform them of possible problems!

I thank everyone for their input! :)

Gary Davidson
11-17-2011, 19:00
I don't think so. I just measured the diameter of 3 Lee decapping pins; they're 0.062". I grabbed 3 Speer 357 SIG cases from a pile; they're all marked with the 's'. They decapped just finely, and the 0.062" pins fit loosely in the flashholes. There's something else going on.

That is interesting Jeffery. Thanks for that information. All the 357 SIG brass I have looked at with the 's' mark had the smaller flash holes, but maybe either newer or older brass does not follow this pattern. I have not purchased new Speer 357 SIG ammo or cases lately.

Are you the original owner/purchaser of those cases you are referring to, or did you acquire them as used brass? If they were used, is it possible someone else already drilled them out?

jeffreybehr
11-18-2011, 11:09
Are you the original owner/purchaser of those cases you are referring to, or did you acquire them as used brass? If they were used, is it possible someone else already drilled them out?

I bought these from Brassman Brass. I've also bought (indirectly) a large batch from an Air Marshall shooting range; all are marked 's' and all have flashholes that the Lee 0.062" pin fits loosely.

I have a bunch of Speer Lawman 125GoldDot ammo #54234; those cases, too, are marked with an 's'. I had red-striped, for identification, the bottoms of those cases after I received them, and I just decapped one so striped. It too has a normal-size flashhole.

Gary Davidson
11-20-2011, 19:13
I bought these from Brassman Brass. I've also bought (indirectly) a large batch from an Air Marshall shooting range; all are marked 's' and all have flashholes that the Lee 0.062" pin fits loosely.

I have a bunch of Speer Lawman 125GoldDot ammo #54234; those cases, too, are marked with an 's'. I had read-striped, for identification, the bottoms of those cases after I received them, and I just decapped one so striped. It too has a normal-size flashhole.

That is very interesting. Now I am wondering if Speer got the message from us reloaders and found another way to solve the prolem their ammo was causing with the SIG slides. Maybe the small "s" on the headstamp now stands for "SIG Safe" instead of "Small Flash Holes"? :dunno: My 357 SIG brass is all several years old and I talked to Speer about this issue years ago when I had my first stuck decapping pin incident.