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ARRRR-15
01-12-2007, 9:50 AM
How many time can you reload brass? Still trying to get all the cost together.

ocabj
01-12-2007, 9:55 AM
It depends. Straight wall pistol like .45 or 9mm? You'll lose brass before it goes bad.

Bottleneck rifle brass? It depends.

Non-magnum cartridges like .223 or .308 in a bolt gun? At least 6-7 times with normal loads and neck sizing.

Non-magnum cartridges in a semi-auto rifle? 3-4 times depending on the loads.

What are you loading for?

ARRRR-15
01-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Hope to be loading .45, 9mm, and .223. So how do you know when your brass isn't any good? Do you just measure it? How?

I guessing that every time you shoot a round the case expands and then the round needs to be trimmed down. Everytime you do this the case wall keeps getting thinner, correct?

eckerph
01-12-2007, 10:05 AM
It depends. Straight wall pistol like .45 or 9mm? You'll lose brass before it goes bad.


This is very true:D , as far as rifle brass it depends. you might want to do a google search, i use to anneal my swiss brass and i got 10 loadings before i sold the rifle to my brother so it all really depends on what you're loading etc.

tteng
01-12-2007, 10:45 AM
What's a good & cheap way to anneal your brass (especially around the neck area ?) It's for 30-cal rifle rounds.

ocabj
01-12-2007, 10:51 AM
Hope to be loading .45, 9mm, and .223. So how do you know when your brass isn't any good? Do you just measure it? How?

I guessing that every time you shoot a round the case expands and then the round needs to be trimmed down. Everytime you do this the case wall keeps getting thinner, correct?

Don't sweat 45 or 9mm. All you need to look for is neck/case splits.

As far as .223, if this is a bolt gun, you can neck-size to maximize brass life. You'll probably get 6-7 loads out of it before accuracy starts to go south.

If you're reloading for the AR or another autoloader, I typically don't reuse brass for more than 5 reloads. If I'm loading service rifle competition ammo, I only use once or twice fired brass. After that, it gets used for practice. After a few reuses as practice ammo, I watch to see if there are any signs of it wearing out (ie: neck splits, very loose primer pocket, etc). If so, the whole batch gets tossed into the brass recycling bucket.

FYI: I load ammo in batches of 50 or 100, but I keep brass in batches of 100. So if more than 2-3 piece of brass show wear, the whole batch of 100 goes. Usually if 1-2 pieces go bad, like a neck split, I'll just replace it with another piece of brass (assuming practice batch) and keep the batch.

gose
01-12-2007, 10:54 AM
9mm I dont really worry about, since old cases will be lost before they go bad. Except for S&B I have never had a case rupture. I load pretty weak loads though, but used to load/shoot ~20k 9mm / year.

For my .38 match ammo I count the number of times they've been shot and won't use them more than 7 times or so. After that they are moved to the "training" box. Cases from the training box are used until they rupture.

CAT_101
01-12-2007, 3:10 PM
I get well over 12 -20 reloads on pistol 9-45. my 223 in my SU-16 I only get about 3 -4 reloads in befor they start spliting. 308 6-7 times. hope it helps

Fjold
01-12-2007, 6:21 PM
Unless you have a good contact pyrometer annealing at home is very difficult. The visual difference between OK and all F'ed up is too hard to judge by eye.

The low number Springfield receivers were all ruined by professionals who did the heat treating by eye.

Saying that, primer pocket condition is a good way to judge brass life. You can feel how tight the primer pockets are when they are inserted if you use a hand priming tool. When they start to feel loose, chuck that bunch of brass.

I typically get 10-15 reloadings out of most of my brass including 223, 243, 308 7 mag and 300 WSM brass, 375H&H, and about 6 reloading out of my 6.5x286 (I load it right at max pressure)

I probably have some 45 ACP cases that have been reloaded 50 times (I don't lose too many)

eckerph
01-12-2007, 11:56 PM
What's a good & cheap way to anneal your brass (especially around the neck area ?) It's for 30-cal rifle rounds.


It is somewhat slow, but my approach is to hold a case in my
fingers and rotate in a torch flame. Do this in a dimly lighted
room so that you can see when the metal begins to glow a dull
red. This gives very good control and results in evenly annealed
necks. It is possible to burn the very thin brass neck with the
torch. As soon as it glows dull red, drop it into water. The
sensitivity of your fingers assures that you do not overheat the
case base. This goes fairly fast once one establishes a cadence.

I pulled this down from another site and it is exactly how i anneal my cases, use some spare brass to practice on first, then lightly squash the necks of you're practice brass and if they have a little spring to them after you squeeze them with pliers you're good to go. Also you only do the neck area, annealing makes the brass soft so getting the case head too hot is a very bad thing.

!@#$
01-13-2007, 7:07 PM
if you use starting loads your brass can be reloaded nearly forever i have read.

DV8
01-14-2007, 8:36 AM
I dont worry about 45 acp or 9mm brass. If its not split, its still good to go.

I used to have brass that was at least 3 years old, reloaded hundreds of times with no problem. Then the "bitter" half decided to clean out my domain (the garage) and threw it all out. Boy was I pissed, I never really counted but there must have been at least 4000 or so in that batch.