Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sorting 9Sillymeter Quickly...

Sorting through a pile of brass is relatively easy when you have the awesomely useful Shellsorter tool. .45 and .40 (thank you that .357 Sig is not more mainstream!) separate easily in the sorter, and while there may be a "Russian Nesting Doll" effect sometimes, with a .40 wedged into a .45, it is pretty simple to correct in the final sort.

9mm is a different story sometimes: .380, 9 Makarov, and 38 Super (of various flavors) can be a pain to easily sort and can gum up the works pretty well when they make it all the way to the shell plate...

Especially frustrating is when Berdan-primed NATO brass makes it to the recapping pin...  :[

Here's a simple trick to handle it: Using a .40/.45 caliber ammunition box and a dental hook we can quickly check heights of the casings and also check the flash holes to see if there are Berdan-primed pieces or not.

Step 1

Get a cheap 10mm/.45 plastic case. Cabela's has 'em for cheap... I use a dental tool as a "pry-bar" to pull the short .380's

Step 2

Over your 5 gallon, or whatever bin you use to hold the sorted brass, lightly toss a few handfuls of brass over the plastic case and gently shake the case. The brass will generally fall in base first.

Step 3

Eyeball the case from all sides, viewing "in profile" to inspect the heights. Taller cases are probably 38 Super of some variety. The shorter cases are your .380 or 9Mak.

38 Super - Kozy's brass!

Step 4

See the face? Berdan!
Inspect into each casing to see if the brass is Berdan-primed. If you see two little eyes, you found some Berdan-primed stuff...

If you get a few pieces that are bottom-up, just eye-ball the headstamp. If it isn't NATO, you're probably in the clear. If it is NATO, specifically POF 88 (Pakistani, I think?) turn it over and inspect the flash holes.

Step 5

Done! If you're just prepping brass, grab another beer. If you're reloading, dump it into the hopper and get to work!