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Old December 27, 2008, 08:50 PM   #1
DaveInPA
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Rifle brass - Why sort by times fired?

I know it's common practice to sort rifle brass by number of times fired. I do it myself. But it occurred to me today that I'm not really sure WHY I do it. What would be the problem with doing rifle brass like I do pistol brass, i.e. just load it until it shows problems without worrying about sorting by number of times fired?

Thanks
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Old December 27, 2008, 09:03 PM   #2
BobCat45
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I sort it by times fired so I know when to stop trusting it.

If I start seeing cracked necks, or see an incipient head separation, that batch of brass gets relegated to "practice only" - I won't load it for a match.

Can't think of another reason.

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Andrew
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Old December 27, 2008, 10:04 PM   #3
FredT
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Most pistol brass is not operated at 50,000 cup or 60,000psi. Like stated before, once some of the lot fails, the rest will be right behind it.
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Old December 28, 2008, 01:17 AM   #4
Crankylove
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I sort mine into two groups: Reloadable , and not. I have no idea how many times its been fired, but I keep reloading it untill it cracks, then toss the offending cases.
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Old December 28, 2008, 07:46 AM   #5
10 Spot Terminator
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One of the primary reasons is due to hardening of the brass after repeated resizings . Even with neck sizing dies this tends to occur and can lead to neck splitting . If you track the number of times you have resized and insert an annealing of the necks every 3rd time you resize you will prolong the life of your cases greatly. Of note also if you full length resize your brass and find you have to trim very much brass each time after sizing then you are working the brass pretty hard and it will thin fairly quickly. Waiting for case head seperation or thin / brittle neck signs to show up doesnt appeal that much to me. I have too much $$$$ tied up in some of my firearms to risk damaging them over a couple of bucks worth of brass. Tracking the number of times reloaded and making notes gives me some idea of when the brass is due for early retirement.
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Old December 28, 2008, 08:44 AM   #6
DaveInPA
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Ok so after how many firings should I get rid of brass fired through an AR-15 and full length resized after each firing? I really don't want to get into the whole annealing thing.
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Old December 28, 2008, 09:28 AM   #7
dahermit
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Quote:
Ok so after how many firings should I get rid of brass fired through an AR-15 and full length resized after each firing? I really don't want to get into the whole annealing thing.
It depends. If it is for competition target shooting, I would not trust it for more than 3-4 times reloaded because you do not want a case head separation during a match. However, if you have invested in a headless case remover and it is just shooting for practice, I would reload the cases until they begin to have neck splits or the primer pockets begin to loosen, then pitch that lot.
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Old December 28, 2008, 01:04 PM   #8
joneb
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Quote:
Can't think of another reason.
Consistency. As the the brass is worked by resizing it becomes harder, if the the brass is not sorted by # of times fired the loads will have various degrees of neck tension on the bullet, annealing can restore the brass to it's proper hardness.
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Old December 28, 2008, 01:04 PM   #9
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I re-anneal match brass after 5 firings. Some people do it more often. Some people never do it. Some people know how to do it. Some people repeat old wives tales about annealing. Some people don't think you can restore the original ductility of the neck annealing at home without a double torch machine and so just retire match brass after 2 to 4 matches, depending upon the caliber.

Me, I think I'm doing a proper job with a single torch on something like a small bore .223/5.56 case. I use the machine on other cases.



http://www.lasc.us/CartridgeCaseAnnealing.htm
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