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Old October 9, 2002, 04:54 PM   #1
Torquemada
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Help w/ headstamps and brass manufacturers

I have inherited a variety of brass: some of it once-fired, some of it previously reloaded (I don't know how many times). Headstamps are all over the place, including:

Western, Peters, Rem-UMC, UMC, R-P, WRA, W-W, H-P, Zero, W-W Super, Winchester, Super-X, Remington, Speer, Federal, IMI, S&B, etc.

W-W, W-W Super, Super-X, Winchester, WRA, Western all the same?

Rem-UMC, UMC, Remington, Peters all the same?

Zero? (one case, .38spl +P)

Any real difference between .38spl and .38spl +P cases? Or .45ACP and .45ACP +P?

What should I do when reloading for .38spl, .357mag, .45ACP and 9mm and the brass manufacturer isn't listed besides start at the "start" or "min" load? Should I just toss any of them?

Any manufacturer that makes "bad" brass that I should just avoid? Besides Berdan primed, of course (since I don't have a setup for them).
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Old October 9, 2002, 05:54 PM   #2
blades67
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I don't bother sorting headstamps with my .45 ACP and 9mm brass because I have mild loads for them. I generally toss any military cases I find because I don't feel like jagging with the crimped primer pockets.
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Old October 9, 2002, 09:58 PM   #3
Archie
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Expanding on what Blades said...

Except for full power loads in 357 or 44 Mag or maybe Super 38, the mixed bag of handgun cases should present no problem.

Use these for general loads and practise stuff.
The "+P" cases are the same, perhaps a little better quality brass, but probably exactly the same.

If you have a 357 or 44 Magnum, buy new brass for heaviest loadings and high end development.
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Old October 9, 2002, 11:37 PM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Toss the case marked Zero, and reload the rest.
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Old October 10, 2002, 07:06 AM   #5
stans
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Don't waste your time trying to reload Amerc brass. I have also found that S&B brass has very tight primer pockets.
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Old October 10, 2002, 09:49 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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I missed the IMI brass in there.

I had a bunch of .38 Spl. IMI brass that was EXTREMELY difficult to reload due to eithe tight primer pockets or a light primer crimp. I just ditched the brass.

I've had nothing but wonderful success reloading S&B brass.

Also, toss Norinco brass.
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Old October 10, 2002, 01:03 PM   #7
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Mike,

I usually swage the pockets on IMI and PMC B4 even trying to load them. After swaging, no problems whatsoever.

Blades,

If you toss the GI brass, you're throwing away the highest quality, longest lasting brass in the world. Get a Dillon Super Swage, and save all of that good stuff.
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Old October 10, 2002, 02:34 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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The headstamps you list are good quality brass. If you have a lot of GI or some brand with tight primer pockets, invest in the swaging tool, it will get you the use of good quality brass.

You do not mention it, but if you turn up any A-MERC brass, ditch it. I do not bother with Norinco or Hansen (nny headstamp). I will go ahead and load an isolated Fiocchi (G.F.L. headstamp) case but do not bother with any amount of it.

Remington, Peters, and UMC are all owned by Remington now; and Winchester and Western are both under the Olin headquarters. This does not mean that brass of those headstamps of different ages is the same. Usable but not identical.
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Old October 11, 2002, 05:47 PM   #9
Torquemada
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Thanks for the info.

I may use the "Zero" case to make one of those drill-a-hole-through-the-case-after-seating-a-bullet-no powder-no primer dealies.

I'm definitely going to be loading "lite" for a while - I don't know anyone with a chronograph and have to learn how to read cases first, but I do have an experienced father-in-law for assistance.

Most likely, I'll sort by headstamp to more positively identify different loadings. I decapped/sized all the .38 and .357, I need to borrow his (F-I-L's) 9mm and .45 dies...and purchase primers (Winchester most likely), powder (Hodgdon HP-38 or HS-6 most likely) and bullets (Rainier plated, most likely).
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