>>NARRATOR: Starline presents: “The Brass Facts”
>>BRANDON: In this episode of “The Brass Facts”
we’re taking a behind the scenes tour at Starline with process manager Hunter Pilant,
as we learn how Starline manufactures the world’s highest quality ammunition brass.
So come along as we experience “The Process to Perfection”.>>HUNTER: Hi Brandon.
>>BRANDON: Hey Hunter.
>>HUNTER: Welcome to Starline. >>BRANDON: Thanks a lot man. Ready to do
the tour?>>HUNTER: Let’s do it.
>>BRANDON: Alright.>>HUNTER: This is 260 alloy, which is 70
percent copper, 30 percent zinc. This is standard cartridge brass; this will
be the industry standard.>>BRANDON: So this is how it arrives?
>>HUNTER: This is how we get our material.>>BRANDON: Where’s it go from here?
>>HUNTER: It goes into the first draw.>>BRANDON: The first draw.
>>HUNTER: This is the first draw press. Basically, you’ve got a punch that’s drawing
this cup into a longer, skinnier cup by pushing it through a series of carbide
dies progressively getting smaller.
>>BRANDON: So what’s it look like when it comes out of the first draw?
>>HUNTER: It’s taken this cup and turned it into that.
After the parts have been first drawn, they get washed and ran through our annealing
furnace. This furnace is running about 1130 degrees.
>>BRANDON: It takes it back to soft?>>HUNTER: It takes it back to dead soft.
That way we can work it again in the second draw process.
>>BRANDON: Where we heading next?>>HUNTER: We’re going to wash these
and then they will go back to the second draw.>>BRANDON: Alright, let’s go.
>>HUNTER: Alright, this is our second draw process.
Here, we’re taking our first drawn part that’s been annealed
and we’re going to go ahead and get it to the final diameter
and the finished wall thickness. It’s going to be the same process as the first
one was. Punch drawing the part through a series of
carbide dies. Here we have our first rim process.
They’re taking that second drawn part that they just washed
and they’re trimming the excess material off of it.
They’re checking the parts with a snap gauge to ensure proper length.
Alright, right now, what she’s doing is she’s sorting these parts
for the rings we’ve cut off at the trimmers and she’s also looking for any defective parts.
>>BRANDON: This is the first time it gets hand inspected.
>>HUNTER: This is the first hand inspection. Here are the headers.
Right now they’re forming the primer pocket, forming the rim, and they’re also putting
the head stamp on. 12 parts out of every tray are inspected for
about 13 different features. They’re going to check for primer pocket concentricity,
primer pocket depth, primer pocket diameter with a “go/no-go” gauge,
rim diameter, rim thickness,
length, and web thickness,
And web thickness is the distance between the bottom of the primer pocket and the bottom
of the case.>>BRANDON: That’s a pretty intensive inspection
process.>>HUNTER: It is. After that, we go to the
head turns.>>BRANDON: Alright.
>>HUNTER: Here we have our first head turn. We’re taking the headed part
and we’re going to cut some of the extra material off.
From here, she’s going to hand sort these cases
and they’re going to go to the second head turn.
At the second head turn, we’re taking our first head turn part
and we’re going to put the finished rim diameter, rim thickness, and extractor groove on that.
She’s sampling this. Every few hundred cases, she’ll sample four to five.
>>BRANDON: So through another inspection?>>HUNTER: Another inspection.
She’s going to check for rim thickness, rim diameter,
and extractor groove diameter. And she’s also going to check and make sure
that the rim is actually concentric with the body.
From here it goes back to the sorting table and is hand inspected again
before moving on to the venter. This machine is the venter. It’s actually
putting the flash hole into the primer pocket.>>BRANDON: It’s punched, not drilled right?
>>HUNTER: It’s punched not drilled.>>HUNTER: From here, we move over to the
final trim. The final trim is trimming that case down
to its finished length. It’s getting inspected in this snap gauge.
After final trim it will go back to the sorting table
and be sorted before moving on to the next process
which is the taper press.>>HUNTER: Several of the cases that we produce
are tapered cases. This is a taper press.
It’s got a carbide die that is actually forming the case to a taper.
They’re checking…>>BRANDON: Nine millimeter?
>>HUNTER: Nine Millimeter. They’re checking these with a plug gauge
to make sure that the mouth diameter is correct and not too large.
From here, these cases are going to go to our finish inspection machine called the eye.
The finish inspection machine the eye. The reason they call it the eye is because
of this fiber optic cable. If it doesn’t see a flash hole
then it’s hooked up to a magnetic brake that shuts the machine off
and they know they have a part that does not have a flash hole.
It’s also set up with ball bearing D pins on this arm.
So if a part comes through that’s too long or too short
it will kick out and they know they have a part
that’s the improper length.>>BRANDON: So it’s a real high level mechanical
inspection.>>HUNTER: Yes, it’s a mechanical inspection.
>>BRANDON: Where we heading from here?>>HUNTER: Polish.
Here we have our finished product. This product’s ready to be packaged and sent
out the door to the customer.>>BRANDON: Looks good man, looks really good.
It’s quite a process.>>HUNTER: It is. We do our best.
>>BRANDON: So how many pieces of brass are you sending out a week?
>>HUNTER: About 3 million cases a week.>>BRANDON: 3 million cases a week.
Well I tell you what, I thought it was an impressive tour.
Thank you for your time.>>HUNTER: No problem
>>BRANDON: I learned quite a bit about it. I never knew there was so much into making
a piece of brass. Thanks a lot.>>HUNTER: You’re welcome back anytime.