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Old May 31, 2000, 07:29 PM   #1
Peter M. Eick
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Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,991
Like probably most of you I reload a lot of older vintage brass from many different manufactures. Lately I have found it a frustrating time sink to sort all of my brass by make and nickle vs. brass prior to reloading in batches. Also, since I started shooting the 357sig and 10mm I started buying only Starline brass, so I do not sort any more, I just reload it (much more fun).

So, here is my question, for non-max loads, (I usually run 90 to 95% of the average max for all of the major reloader books) does sorting brass really matter? Otherwise, I am just going to shoot up all of my non-Starline brass, and replace it all with new brass. By the way I am only talking about 6,000 pieces or so mainly in 45acp, 40S&W, 38special and 380auto.

Comments or advice?

P229 Sport and 357 SIG, Perfection!
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Old May 31, 2000, 08:01 PM   #2
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If you're not going max, and it's nearing the end of it's service life, just load it and shoot it. That's my policy, and I haven't had any problems yet.
Yes, I would use new brass like you're doing, for my serious calibers, and bravo on the choice of Starline.


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Old May 31, 2000, 09:26 PM   #3
Steve Smith
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Actually, you need to send all that unsorted .45 acp brass to me. I happen to know how to dispose of it! (OK, so I'll just use it over and over...big deal!)
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Old May 31, 2000, 10:06 PM   #4
Big Bunny
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Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
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Powder capacity could vary between different brass makers which could lower or raise pressures, maybe to dangerous levels...who knows ? I personally find ex-mil brass the strongest of the lot, but a water weight test will show this easily.

My experience is that it matters not a jot for mild 'plinker' ammo to 'mix n' match' and I do same only for that purpose in the .38SPL I reload for.

For ISSF target(.32 revolver) and full loads on autos(40S&W) I only use the EXACT same brass(no..not even +9P.38SPL!)for safety and uniformity - IE when it really matters.

[Afterall...doesn't a box of own-loads look better in the box with all the same brass maker than many mixed headstamps ? Your choice...]

Old brittle pistol ammo usually splits at the rim before it is rejected, but faults in brass can occur at any time and failure can be dramatic at high pressures. So it is probably better to ditch a batch which is starting to go like that... as I did recently to 400 US made 1960s ex-bank 'Browning' .38 SPLs and they are now being used by a local pig shooter with a hory old Winchester M'94 lever rifle in .357 MAG.

He usually shoots his piggies out west on the run and doesn't pick up the (his overloaded)cases the 5c each he paid from me - who would !!

***Big Bunny***
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Old June 1, 2000, 12:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: July 16, 1999
Location: Olympia, WA
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Until the arrival of the .40S&W and especially the .40 Glock I never used to sort out my handgun brass. I just shot those .45ACP, .357, 9mm, etc cases until they failed. Of course, these were NOT max loads-usually mid range. For max loads I always used new brass. With the .40 Glocks the game got interesting. The damn "generous" chamber on these things let the rear portion of the cases swell so much that most would never again get re-sized back to SAAMI specs. Now my Glocks all have aftermarket barrels and lo and behold, the brass re-sizes back to spec just fine. So now all .40S&W brass gets re-sized, then checked with a case gauge before going any farther. Out of spec brass goes into the trash. It's taking a little more time, but soon all my .40S&W brass will have those "Glock bulge" cases culled from the flock. Stay safe.
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