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Old August 28, 2012, 05:20 PM   #1
El suave
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Brass usage

How many times can you reload brass before it has no more life
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Old August 28, 2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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Depends on the brass, the load, what firearm it's used in and how it is resized.

Heavily "worked" brass will have a much shorter life than brass which is minimally resized and where minimal expansion/stretch occurs upon firing.

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Old August 28, 2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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as stated it all depends on the type of brass and how much it is worked. Also how big of a charge you use. I get about 10 reloads with 45acp brass (winchester large primer). rifle brass is a bit different.
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Old August 28, 2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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I've reloaded .45acp and .38Spl. scores of times and the brass is still good.

Hot .357 and .44 Mag. loads I've seen a few splits after 10-12 loads.

In other words, don't worry about brass life. You'll get your money's worth.
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:07 PM   #5
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How many times can you reload brass before it has no more life
Maybe twice, maybe more than 50 times?

Rifle brass or handgun brass?

If rifle brass, how much are you setting back the shoulder when you resize, or do you neck size between full length sizing?

What are you firing the brass in? Semiauto's are harder on brass than bolt actions.

Do you anneal case necks when they become work hardened?

How high of pressure do you load to?

How much do you flare the necks (in thousandths)?

The bottom line is is depends a lot on what you are loading for, how you load it, and what you fire it in.
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Old August 28, 2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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Been getting anywhere from about 12-16 loads.
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Old August 28, 2012, 08:52 PM   #7
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I started reloading a short while back but I am now on my 6th reload of a set of 50 pieces of 223 LC brass and they are still looking good. This is with an initial full-size and five subsequent neck-sizing (fired in bolt-action rifle).

I have other types of 223 brass that have been reloaded more than once (FC, PMC, PSD, WCC) and I have yet to dispose of a single case, however as mentioned I am fairly new to reloading.
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Old August 28, 2012, 09:05 PM   #8
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People say neck sizing is easier on brass. I bought 5 sets of neck sizers and never used none. I can get single hole or almost with full length so that's all I do. 223 are plentiful where I live at the range. I have thousands stockpiled so if I get around 15 and necks split or bullets are loose doe to walls so thin from stretching- Im happy. Tons more put up. All free anyhow.
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Old August 28, 2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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You can reload revolver brass until it splits or the primers fall out.

Autoloader and rifle brass; it's best to retire those *before* they fail.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:25 PM   #10
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I'm loading some what light loads in .45 and I seem to lose cases before it is time to toss them.

Most of my .45 cases are either Winchester or RWS. I have been seeing lately how the Federal Champion cases hold up (small primer) so far they have made it at least 6 reloads and doing fine.

My brass is cleaned and then I use carbide dies. Occasionally I even lube the cases.

I have too many 9 mm cases to worry much about how long they will last. I have several thousand to shoot before it is time to reload them. That is not counting several cases of factory ammo to become once fired brass. I may never know how long the average 9 mm case will last for me. I have a several thousand cases that have been loaded several times so far. I have tossed less that 6 cases so far due to cracks/splits etc.

Someone posted a chart with how long different brands of pistol case stood up to testing a while back. Winchester cases were near the top of the list for the ones that held up the longest. RWS were fairly close if I recall correctly. Starline may have been above Winchester.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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I have some .45ACP loads that the headstamp is getting hard to read..... loaded at least a dozen times.....

I have some nickel plated .357 brass that starts to have a few split at the mouth after the 2nd firing....
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:17 AM   #12
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What moxie said.
I started out recording my loadings with batches of brass but gave up.
Mostly loaded .44 mag. and 30-06, the life seemed almost indefinite. And, I am very picky about brass condition. Smallest sign of failure and it was trashed.
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Old August 29, 2012, 04:19 PM   #13
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I and others have got several dozen max safe pressure reloads per .308 Win. case full length sizing with a bushing type die and setting fired case shoulder back no more than 2 thousandths. Best I got was 47 and a friend got 56; we both ran out of our test powder at those counts. Most I've heard of was 87. And never annealed a single case neck. My friend did his case using his match rifle (SAAMI chamber) in a free recoiling machine rest. All 87 shots went into .350 inch at 100 yards.

With belted 30 caliber magnum cases with the same type of full length die and a body die to get that ridge in front of the belt back down to new case diameters, 18 to 20 reloads per case.

Nay sayers beware. I've done this. It works. Just don't reduce fired case diameters more than a couple thousandths.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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I have 5 pcs. of LC .223 cases that have now been reloaded over 70 times. They are only neck sized and loaded for accuracy in a bolt action rifle. Five shot groups measure 1/4 inch or less. I do not full length resize till needed/bumped.

Handgun cases get reloaded till they split, get lost, or primer pocket gets loose.
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Old August 30, 2012, 04:54 AM   #15
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7mm rem mag -I usually get 5-6 loads before I have to work it.
.243 & .280 - I can't remember the last time I purchased new .243/.280 brass. Been using the same 50-75 pieces since I started reloading in 2008. Been used many times.
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Old August 30, 2012, 03:26 PM   #16
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Gosh I have some old Lake City Match brass that has been shot several time as 30-06 and now is formed and been used as .270 win brass since early 90's ..... been loaded and shot probably twenty or more times.. might need to check those suckers,, for stress cracks tommorrow....
Thanks for coming!
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Old August 30, 2012, 03:52 PM   #17
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About 10 years ago I did a test of some new Starline Brass in 9MM and 45ACP (10 rounds each). I knew what I picked up was mine as it had the magic marker line across the primer. The 9MM brass went 15-16 before the primer pockets would not hold a new primer. The 45 brass went 20 or so times before a split in the top of the case developed. 3 of the 45 brass would not hold a primer at the end of 18-20 reloadings as I could not tell which was which, but that number is good in my book any day.
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