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Old December 15, 2009, 05:01 PM   #1
StainlessButcher
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Starline Brass?

Hi folks, I'm new here and even newer to reloading...as in, I haven't even purchased a press yet. I was wondering if anyone on here uses Starline Brass and if they do, could they give some feedback on the quality of it. They seem to be the only folks around that produce the brass I need and I was curious as to how many reloads I can expect from them and any other information you might think important. For clarification, the rounds I will be loading are .41 Long Colt. I'd also like to know if anyone else is reloading this caliber and what resources are available for it.

Butch.
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Old December 15, 2009, 05:19 PM   #2
the_right_reverend
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Starline is quality brass use it in my 45-70, 45 long colt and many times in .357/38 you will very satisfied the company has been around for years
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Old December 15, 2009, 05:52 PM   #3
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Starline is one of very few companies out there that simply makes brass and not ammo. They also produce brass for some of the ammo companies.

It's likely not the greatest brass EVER built, but it's as good as most anything... and in a chambering such as your .41 LC, which is an old time low-pressure round, it'll likely last as long as anything out there made by anyone in that caliber.

It's life span will depend more on the stiffness of your loads and the amount of roll crimp you employ as it will be about the name stamped on the case head.
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Old December 15, 2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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Starline produces some of the best quality brass available and it's affordable. I use lots of it in various chamberings.
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Old December 15, 2009, 06:51 PM   #5
That'll Do
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Starline makes a quality product. I use it for some of my 357 Magnum loads (the hot and heavy ones) and it holds up quite well for full powered loads.

Thumbs up for Starline.
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Old December 15, 2009, 08:57 PM   #6
John D
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Starline is high quality brass - I've never had any problems with it in at least 8 calibers.
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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Yep! They are correct.
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:16 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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Another vote for excellent quality brass.

I'll take Starline brass over Remington or Winchester any day, and put it in the same category as Federal or Hornady.
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:19 PM   #9
Tony C
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Ditto Again...

Starline is quality and welcome to the forum. I have learned TONS about reloading here, these are a great group of people.

Best Regards,
Tony C.
NW Oregon
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:39 PM   #10
Slamfire
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I have used Starline brass for 44 Spl and 45 LC. It is excellent brass.
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:52 PM   #11
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I am in the process of running my starline brass through the vib. as i type. Good to hear all the good reviews. I am going to load 45-70 gov. with mine. will be my first attempt with the starline looks like very good brass.
Thanks, Brent
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Old December 15, 2009, 09:57 PM   #12
islander
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I purchased Starline based on good opinions online, and wasn't dissapointed. In fact I checked the thickness of the case against my Remington cases, which are also considered very good quality, and the Starlines blew them away. Surprisingly they are also the most "affordable".
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Old December 15, 2009, 11:31 PM   #13
StainlessButcher
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I'm not sure what you guys consider affordable, but for the .41, it's 133 bucks and change for 250 shells. That's not nearly as cheap as the 41 mag or pretty much anything else. As it is, I spend about 2 bucks to pull the trigger on that gun one time since a box of 50 ultramax rounds is right at the 100 dollar mark. Looks like about 53 cents each on the brass. If the bullets aren't terribly expensive, I might get to shoot this thing for less than a buck a shell...that would rock. This gun was originally purchased by my grandfather in 1909...if he were still alive, I'd kick him in the butt for not getting it in .38 spl.

Butch.
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Old December 16, 2009, 06:14 AM   #14
hodaka
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No, you need to thank him. If it were a .38 you wouldn't need to reload. With the 41 the only way you can afford to shoot it is by reloading. You're gonna be glad he has openned that door for you.
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Old December 16, 2009, 06:39 AM   #15
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Butch, The problem now will be you can not get enough shells to reload.
The initial outlay of funds will quickly pay off the more you shoot. I ran into the problem of .83 cents a round when I began shooting .45 LC with factory ammo. My costs are now down to somewhere in the .20 cent area, if not lower, and I am on my fourth and fifth reload on some of my brass.
Welcome to TFL and, if you are new to reloading, you'll find lots of useful help here.
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Old December 16, 2009, 10:24 AM   #16
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StainlessButcher -

You asked about the number of reloads you could expect from brass and the "standard" answer is, "It will vary depending on how hot your load is and how much you bell and crimp."

I only shoot cast bullets, don't load "hot" ammo, only bell only enough to get the bullets to seat, only crimp enough to take out the bell and show a "light" crimp.

With that technique, your brass should last a long, long, time before they develop split necks. If you really want to keep a batch of brass going forever, you can re-anneal the necks to keep them soft (do a search on the tools and techniques).

I am currently running a test on 50 rounds of Starline .357 Mag brass and am on reloading #16 with no failures.

I am expecting to get over 40 reloads before the first failure (based on some tests I did with .41 Mag brass back in the 70's), and would not be surprised if the majority of this batch of .357 Mag Starline brass make it to 100 re-loadings. Time will tell.

This "torture test" is so I can honestly (if not scientifically) give a specific answer to the common question of, "How many re-loadings can I get?"

JMHO - YRMV
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Old December 16, 2009, 10:29 AM   #17
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Starline makes pretty good brass.

They are, however, the only company that has sent me cartridges with bad headspace. I've had one cartridge with a paper-thin rim, and one cartridge with an obscenely thick rim. The thick one would not chamber in a revolver, and the thin one would not have been safe to shoot.

I probably have about 2000 assorted Starline brass in various calibers, and another 3000 in other brands.

The only other round I've seen with a bad rim heaspace was a Winchester metric-line 7.62x54R cartridge, which Starline obviously didn't make.
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Old December 16, 2009, 10:59 AM   #18
CraigC
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Quote:
I'm not sure what you guys consider affordable...
Bear in mind that the .41Colt is a limited production item with a relatively small level of interest. I'd say consider yourself lucky that you can get it at all because before Starline started up, there was none.
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Old December 16, 2009, 09:37 PM   #19
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Reloading mild 45 Colt loads for Cowboy Action Shooting, I've gotten well over 25 reloads from Starline brass (which is all I use for CAS) with less than 1% failures. I also load their 357 brass to mild 38 Special levels and have easily surpassed 20 reloads on those.
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Old December 17, 2009, 12:08 AM   #20
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I've got plenty of Starline brass and use it in a variety of handgun calibers. I've never had a problem with it.
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Old December 17, 2009, 02:18 AM   #21
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Here's a guy that forms .41 Colt brass from .38 specials. They probably look funny, but it would be hard to beat the price!

What's the bore diameter on your handgun?
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Old December 17, 2009, 02:27 AM   #22
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Not to stray too far off topic, but have you considered putting grandpa's gun on display and buying something a little easier to repair/replace for range use?
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Old December 17, 2009, 08:52 AM   #23
David Wile
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Hey Butch,

I posted a response on your other thread about a shell holder, and then I noticed this thread of yours also. Now it is clear that you intend to load the .41 Long Colt. Not having any knowledge of the .41 Long Colt, I did some checking, and it would seem getting modern brass for that caliber is either extremely expensive as you have already mentioned.

I found an article the following web location (http://www.dnmsport.com/41LC/41%20LONG%20COLT.htm) in which the writer describes in great detail how he fireforms cheap and easy to find .38 Special cases into .41 Long Colt cases. I also noticed that Sport 45 also found the same article as he noted above.

While I would not bother to fireform one readily available case into another readily available case (such as making a .243 Winchester out of a .308 Winchester case), I have done such fireforming successfully for a few calibers when new/modern brass was no longer available at a reasonable price (one such conversion was making 40-60 Winchester cases from 45-70 cases).

The writer in this article describes in great detail how he converts .38 Special into .41 Long Colt, and he also discusses the power limitations of the .41 Long Colt as well as the use of smokeless and black powders. He also recommends several cast bullet moulds for the .41 Long Colt.

If you decide to fireform .38 Special cases for use in the .41 Long Colt, you would then be able to use any shell holder normally used for the .38 Special or .357 Magnum cases. Also, if you decide to try fireforming the .38s, I have a bunch of once fired 38 Special cases I would be glad to give you for the cost of shipping. My E-Mail address is davidwile@juno.com.

Like I said earlier, I am not wild about fireforming cases into new calibers unless it really is worthwhile from a cost factor. In the case of the .41 Long Colt, I would consider it worthwhile to do the fireforming rather than pay that much for new special order brass. Since you are so new to reloading, I would also suggest you try to find a local reloader or reloaders who have some experience and can help you get started.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old December 17, 2009, 08:58 AM   #24
David Wile
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Hey Butch,

I just read Sport 45's last post about making a wall hanger out of the .41 Long Colt and buying something else (more modern) to shoot and reload. I think Sport's advice is good advice. You certainly can get that old .41 Long Colt to shoot cartridges you reloaded, but you can probably get a modern .357 Mag which will be less expensive to shoot, and it will shoot much better than your old .41 Long Colt.

Best wishes,
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Old December 17, 2009, 11:43 AM   #25
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Thanks guys! @Dave...I considered using the old beasty as a wall hanger, but I just can't. It's a family heirloom and believe it or not, probably hasn't had a thousand rounds fired through it in it's lifetime. It was carried on the farm by my grandfather and all his sons down to my father. Tucked in the waistband for many years, then he was given an old holster so he put it on a belt that would fit him, punching extra holes where necessary for the boys to wear it....I wish I had the old belt and holster. It's not pretty, but it's got a really cool history and it's in remarkable mechanical and structural condition. Heck, I've even considered having it re-vamped into a 38 sp since the next generation of DA colts (police special I think) were built on the same frame and there are a ton of em out there, but I think I'm going to go with the 41 and start a new hobby of reloading. I've got other more common guns I'll be reloading for as well, this one is special to me though. Call it a labor of love/hate...LOL.

Butch.
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