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Old November 3, 2011, 03:11 PM   #1
THORN74
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sorting brass ???

ok i am about to start loading for the first time. Im looking to reload quantity for plinking. starting out with .45auto... at first the 600 free bullets i got from hornady 185gr xtps, after that it will likely be plated lead 230gr rn.


i have already cleaned and polished my brass, 5 gal bucket of mixed mfr brass. do i need to srot this stuff? i have read pple sorting by wheight and by mfr... does it really matter?
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Old November 3, 2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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Not so much for plinking. Just make sure to check the cases for any signs of problems, like cracks or splits. I'm not much further ahead in the game than you so others with more experiance might chime in, but the reason to seperate is for accuracy and consistency for shooting those half inch groups.
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Old November 3, 2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
does it really matter?
Not for pistol, rifle yes.


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Old November 3, 2011, 05:09 PM   #4
THORN74
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ok thats what i thought .... since im not overly concerned with bullseye shooting and just rec/fun shooting it doesnt concern me too much right?

and yes i am hand inspecting them for damage
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Old November 4, 2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Especially so for .45 which is a real low pressure round. I don't sort nor have I ever trimmed any pistol brass of any kind. It just never needs it. Rifle does, but not pistol.
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Old November 4, 2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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In .45 acp ...I don't sort by mfg ....but I do toss out anything that says "NT" on the base ....like WIN NT or FED NT --- the NT is for Non Toxic / lead free primers - and they're always primed with a small primer hole...so they will jam in your press.

The other case I toss out is AMERC headstamps ...they claim its brass - but if it is, its an alloy that does not resize well ....and it causes issues.

So I do sort it quickly - to eliminate any of that brass.
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Old November 4, 2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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I guess I think alittle different here. ESP do so for developing your sweet load and when you practice, plink. Do so as if your life was depending on it or you are I'n competition. Practice should be just as the real deal and everything you do should be beneficial. Would sorting show any difference I'n pistols? Probably not but i choose to be alittle anal
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Old November 4, 2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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If you are just starting, probably the best thing to do at this point is pick out 20 or 30 cases of the same kind and load just those for now. Don't go into bulk production mode until you've assembled a few and have sent them downrange. Then go back and sort, process, etc. The key is to make baby steps while you're learning.
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Old November 4, 2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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If you're not aware by now much of the cheaper ammo is loaded with small primers, not just NT. Nothing wrong with it, just treat it as a different batch and load them when you have enough to make it worthwhile. Most range brass won't have splits but it will often have dings, most will be smoothed out in the sizing and belling stages.
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Old November 4, 2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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I sort my brass by headstamp and do my load development. Then I try with mixed cases, if there is not any difference, its mixed cases from there on. With plinking ammo, mixed cases are just fine for the 45 ACP. I would not do that with, say the 9mm unless it was a light load.
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Old November 4, 2011, 10:05 PM   #11
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Pretty much like everyone else... I cull out the wierd headstamps and the small primer stuff. If I have bigger lots of one brand of brass (for me that would be RP and Winchester) I segregate that and load those in lots, everything else gets thrown into the 'other' pile.

I also cull out nickel brass, most nickel brass is from defensive ammo and may include +P or other oddities.

Quote:
I would not do that with, say the 9mm unless it was a light load.
Amen! to that. I had some bad experiences with mixed brass in the 9mm.
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Old November 6, 2011, 09:48 PM   #12
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Charlie_98: I also cull out nickel brass, most nickel brass is from defensive ammo and may include +P or other oddities.
i did seperate them by headstamp while i was waiting for some replies, mostly for the hell of it and really to visually inspect them.

i did notice i have about 50 speer +p cases.... i dont shoot +p so im sure it was just stuff i scrounged while at the club. they all passed physical inspection, but is there anything i should be worried about??
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Old November 6, 2011, 11:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
i did notice i have about 50 speer +p cases.... i dont shoot +p so im sure it was just stuff i scrounged while at the club. they all passed physical inspection, but is there anything i should be worried about??
I understand that most if not all +P brass is the same except for the +P stamped on it.
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Old November 7, 2011, 07:56 AM   #14
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There are some certain cases (snicker) where a +P headstamp has an actual difference in construction... but for the most part (and for the purpose of this thread), the only difference is in the head stamp, just as Miata Mike said.

I am one who will always separate head stamps in all my brass, and I do it every single time and I load a heckuva lot more handgun than rifle.

There is the possible accuracy/consistency angle to it... I'm not sure there's going to be a discernible difference with the guns and ranges we shoot it.

There is the OCD/pride angle to it, where all your ammo looks proper. (for me, that's important)

But the biggest reason that I do it has not yet been mentioned by anyone. I do it for ultimate consistency at the bench and through my loading dies.

All you have to do is take 3 pieces of R-P brass and run them through a flare die and then run 3 pieces of CBC/Magtech through the same sizing die with the same settings and you can easily feel the large difference in resistance in the press lever.

The cases do NOT have a consistent thickness nor malleability between mixed head stamps. When you simply go with mixed, you open yourself up to much more possible case mouth tension issues and your risk of unintended bullet setback raises dramatically. (in my opinion, of course)

Don't get me wrong... I use most all head stamps... it's quite simply that if you open one of my boxes of ammo, you are going to see 50 rounds and only one headstamp. You open the next box and you may find an entirely different headstamp, but there will be only one kind in that box -- and 50 of them. I will sometimes make slight adjustments to either my flare die or my crimp die (or both!) when moving to different headstamps.

(typically, I'll do a run of about 200-500 loaded rounds, usually all with the same head stamp, but that has more to do with my brass supply in that caliber than anything else)

We can all agree that in some chamberings... when using certain brass... and a particular bullet, you will get a particular "feel" in that press lever when seating and crimping, yes? There's a "feel" that speaks to you and says, "dead solid perfect" and there's the lever feel that also says, "holy hell, is there even a bullet in there? Why is there no resistance? Will I have ANY case mouth tension or is this bullet going to fall inside the case?"

Do it for enough years and you'll be able to predict your lever "feel" before you even powder charge a case simply by the bullets you have, the brass headstamp you are using and the feel from the lever on the flaring stage.
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Old November 7, 2011, 09:22 AM   #15
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It was my understanding that some +P brass actually has a thicker web... more brass = less volume, less volume = higher pressures with the same load in normal brass.

It may not make much of a difference in, say, .45ACP brass (unless you are running max loads of PowerPistol or something...) but it sure would in a small case like the 9mm.

YMMV...
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Old November 7, 2011, 09:52 AM   #16
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They can be heavier. I have some Starline +P brass that is a little thicker. From Starline's site:
"The {Starline} 45 Auto+P is a strengthened version of the 45 Auto with the same external dimensions. A thicker web and heavier sidewall at base strengthens the case in potentially unsupported areas. This case has approximately 2 grains less internal water capacity than the standard 45 Auto. "
Two grains of water capacity in the .45 ACP shooting Bullseye is equivalent to about a third of a grain less powder to reach the same peak pressure. Since the specific gravity of cartridge brass is 8.53, such cases weigh about 17 grains more than standard cases, if you want a way to check.

I don't recall anyone recommending running a magnet over the brass yet. I do that because some of the varnished steel cases I pick up resemble the patina on brass that's been on the ground awhile, so I sometimes miss culling them on visual inspection. Steel cases are hard on your dies.

Sevens is correct on accuracy. Years ago National Match shooters observed military issue match ammo was more accurate than commercial. It turned out the pitch seal in the military cases improved start pressure which improved ignition consistency. I don't intend to start putting pitch in my brass (be useless with lubricated lead bullets anyway), but this does tell you consistent grip on the bullet contributes measurably to accuracy in a gun that's accurate enough to let you see it. In a gun that's not match accurate, I don't expect to be able to see the difference, so this is a judgement call.

I always use brass that I purchased originally new in bulk for match shooting, and have been careful to put through the same number of load cycles, so work hardening is evened out among the lot. For my school gun and shooting steel plates and silhouettes and running dueling trees and whatnot, I just load whatever I pick up and don't worry about it.

I used to sort out and toss or leave behind any R-P brass ran into. The mouths are so thin it doesn't size down much and would often work harden to the point it wouldn't resize enough in my old Lyman carbide die to hold onto a bullet at all. In my Dillon carbide die (narrower) it seems to work OK, and the same might be true of other current production dies. You'll have to try this for yourself.
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Old November 7, 2011, 05:36 PM   #17
THORN74
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thanx guys ... i did run a magnet over the odd headstamp ones, even found a few berdan primed ones i had to pitch ....


as for matching the headstamps, if there isnt a safety or consistancy aspect that will effect normal plinking then im not too worried ... my std MO is to fill up a .30 cal ammo can with each calibur i plan to shoot that day and bring that to the range .... i usually quit when im tired or when i run out of ammo.

so now intead of dropping boxes of store bought ammo into the 30cal cans im just gonna fill it with reloads. I plan on filling 50cal cans with my stock pile quantities once i figure out my specific loads.
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