The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 14, 2010, 10:13 AM   #1
Field
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 295
sorting your brass?

does anyone here who shoots handgun sort thier brass by brand? i think much of the inconsistencies with my ammo that i might get is simply a result of different types of brass fired out of different guns
__________________
iPSC=A66009
iDPA=A38321

http://www.youtube.com/user/FieldBoy111
Field is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 10:27 AM   #2
cwok
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2010
Posts: 316
Sort of an answer - but not quite

I recently started reloading after a gap of a few decades.

Now I'm reloading both .45 ACP and 10MM. Sorting the 10mm is easy because I'm normally the only one shooting it.

A fair number of people shoot .45ACP, and I will ask for their brass if a shooter is headed for the "dump brass here" bin at the range -- I get it everytime.

Since I wind up with lots and lots of brass, my sorting consists of separating brass into four categories:
Winchester brass
Remington brass
Federal brass
..... those three are the most common cases I find at the range I shoot at.

The Fourth category is "Everything Else".

Oddly, I've only been reloading the "Everything Else" since I'm still getting a feel for reloading and I guess I'm saving the stuff sorted by headstamp for later use, after I'm I satisfied that my loading technique is consistent enough so that type of brass might make a difference.
cwok is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 10:30 AM   #3
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,829
Or inconsistencies may be from choosing too slow a powder or using too light a crimp. But, there is some tendency of the brass thickness at the mouth to change with brand, and that can affect your loads. I gave up on R-P brass for the .45 ACP long ago because the thin case mouths didn't want the same crimp or sizing, but I haven't looked at them for about two decades, so if that's changed in the interim I wouldn't know? I also find I have to sort military brass by headstamp, including both make and year, before swaging crimps out of the primer pockets because of the differences in head thickness that need different swager settings.

I find both Starline and Top Brass .45 ACP cases have about half the weight variation of the common commercial and military brands.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member

Last edited by Unclenick; April 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM.
Unclenick is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 10:39 AM   #4
uncyboo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 7, 2008
Location: Shelby, MT
Posts: 1,013
Rifle brass yes. Pistol brass not so much.
uncyboo is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 11:05 AM   #5
joneb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2005
Location: Central , OR
Posts: 1,829
Quote:
does anyone here who shoots handgun sort thier brass by brand?
I do, just too much variation between certain brands. I use the R-P brass for lead bullets that are sized .001" over. Some Federal brass with loose primer pockets takes a CCI primer very well, and some Winchester brass with tight primer pockets receives a Federal primer well. I'd would not be a happy re-loader with mixed brass.
joneb is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 11:34 AM   #6
GeauxTide
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2009
Location: Helena, AL
Posts: 3,570
I keep brass for plinking loads separate from HP designated brass. All HP brass is one flavor and I don't care about the plinking brass.
GeauxTide is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 11:36 AM   #7
sonick808
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 396
i must be one of the few that just batches mixed headstamps. EVen with mixed headstamps, my batches can tear ragged holes in the 10 ring all day, so i'm not sure how much it really matters.

If i had my druthers, i would have ALL S&B brass. Once you throw a small chamfer on the primer pocket, it is the most resilient stuff i've ever seen.

Now that someone mentions it, I can tell the RP stuff is pretty flimsy after seating a few times. The lee factory crimp die helps.
sonick808 is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 12:30 PM   #8
jal5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 418
I started separating brass for my handguns and it makes the roll crimping function much more uniform due to different thickness at the mouth for each brand. Not sure how it affects my accuracy if at all though! For hunting purposes it makes sense at those ranges but for plinking I guess it doesn't matter as much.

Joe
__________________
We live in the greatest country on Earth- always be thankful!
jal5 is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 12:35 PM   #9
rjrivero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2008
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 1,399
I separate brass by caliber.

If I was doing Hi Power matches, I suppose I would be a bit more picky about my brass sorting. With 3 gun, it's not so much of a concern. I am not trying to split x's from bullseyes playing run and gun.
rjrivero is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 12:46 PM   #10
BigJimP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,922
I shoot at indoor ranges .....and pick up all kinds of different headstamps ...

I reload for 9mm, .40S&W, .45 acp - and .38spl, .357mag and .44 mag .....and I don't see any difference in the performance of my reloads between the various headstamps. I sort only by caliber ...and toss out brands I have trouble with like Amerc in .45 acp ......but I usually clean, then inspect ---and dump them into a clean box, by caliber and just run them thru the press. I'm running 100 boxes of 9mm right now .....with at least 6 different head stamps in the mix....

I see a difference based on the bullets - a cheaper plated bullet like Rainier vs a true jacketed bullet like Montana Gold ...with the plated bullets being a little more erratic ( but not that much to care about on range practice ).
BigJimP is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 02:37 PM   #11
qcpunk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Farmsville, AZ
Posts: 305
I do sort my handgun brass by headstamp, but only to keep track of my different batches.

I was sorting my headstamps to avoid variations in case volume, but found that I was actually just keeping tabs on different batches as a result. But I was not sorting headstamps because "federal is better than winchester" or whatever (with the exception of Starline). The system works for me.
__________________
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it." --Abraham Lincoln
qcpunk is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 03:11 PM   #12
Fishslayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2010
Location: San Diego, PRK
Posts: 182
When I started out loading my .357 with taper crimped powderpuff target loads, no.

Now that I've started "warming up" to some magnum loads, yes. I've found that there is sometimes enough difference in case length between brands to affect the roll crimp. I also sort "off" brands to the target brass box.

.45ACP I generally don't bother. It's all taper crimp and it's a low pressure round anyway. I'll be putting together some HD rounds soon & may buy new brass for that just because.

Quote:
Now that someone mentions it, I can tell the RP stuff is pretty flimsy after seating a few times. The lee factory crimp die helps.
I can also tell an R-P case right away, but I don't think it's flimsy. It hardly touches the sides in the sizing ring. I weighed some cases once and the R-P was the heaviest of them all.
__________________
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

Last edited by Fishslayer; April 14, 2010 at 03:17 PM.
Fishslayer is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 04:14 PM   #13
iblong
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2008
Location: MN
Posts: 559
For target and Idpa I run mixed head stamps.
working up hot loads I will sort them,If I shot bulleye I would definately sort.
iblong is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 08:58 PM   #14
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,317
For 9mm it is pretty close to cwok's method:
Quote:
Since I wind up with lots and lots of brass, my sorting consists of separating brass into four categories:
Winchester brass
Remington brass
Federal brass
..... those three are the most common cases I find at the range I shoot at.

The Fourth category is "Everything Else".
However, I have thousands of cases on hand (aside from a few thousand in the "current" reloading stash). So, I have a large enough sample size to sort a bit further.

I also add the following categories:
Nickel plated (I just like to have it separate. If there's enough, a particular brand might even be separated from the rest.)
Speer
CCI
S&B
Fiocchi
Military (Anything goes - I only use these with really low pressure, plinking loads)


When I have the time and motivation, I also sort by color and condition.
Dark, long-forgotten-in-the-desert-sun brass is saved for winter shooting (the "winter brass" contrasts better in the snow, than yellow brass).
Well-past-its-prime brass gets tossed into an "everything" bag to "shoot-it-and-leave-it" - unless I have enough of a particular brand, then I'll even sort this.

If I'm really, really bored ... I'll sort the "water spot" brass (slight spots from sitting on the ground) out of the super clean yellow brass, and tumble the yellow to a high shine. ...If I'm really, really bored. It serves no purpose...
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 09:18 PM   #15
big 76
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2010
Location: Cypress, Tx
Posts: 9
Iblong said "If I shot bulleye I would definately sort."

Why is this? I am new to reloading for pistols. I load light plinking loads for my .38 special, .45 acp and was going to start loading .40 cal with bullseye. Why is brass separation by hradstamp so important with this powder?
big 76 is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 09:26 PM   #16
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11,034
I think he meant if he shot in Bullseye competition -- where you are shooting for score, not for speed. Hits not on metal plates or anywhere on the target, but in the 10 ring, and better yet, the X-ring portion of the 10 ring.

He wasn't referring to Bullseye powder.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 09:35 PM   #17
Slamfire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 5,106
Unnecessary to sort by headstamp.

I have chronographed all mixes and matches of ammo, caliber, bullets, primers, powders.

Changes in powders have the greatest effect in standard deviations. Case changes are undetectable.

Maybe someone might see something out of a Ransom rest, but in a hands held environment, accuracy is more dependant on the skill of the shooter than anything else.
Slamfire is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 09:38 PM   #18
big 76
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2010
Location: Cypress, Tx
Posts: 9
Thank you. As soon as I started reading your answer I realized I shoud have known that. I just got nervous there was something I was missing in what I was using.
big 76 is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 10:03 PM   #19
sonick808
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 396
big 76:

NOTHING wrong with verifying EVERYTHING when it comes to reloading!

far better to ask and be safe!

kudos
sonick808 is offline  
Old April 14, 2010, 10:53 PM   #20
bullspotter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 304
I sort all my pistol brass. I have large lots so its easy for me. Ill mark them with colored sharpies to keep them in the same lots. for example my 9mm brass is sorted by HS and times fired. most all of my lots are 1000. My range pick up brass is also sorted, If i know for sure it was once fired brass it goes in bags marked 1x range, when I get several bags, Ill inspect it, and tumble it good, then sort out the winchester, and PMC. These are my 2 fave for 9mm, as it loads good and seems to be the most of my pickup for range brass. When I get 1k of one or the other ill load it up. and mark it with a green sharpie. green means once fired. When i shoot it, it goes in the green bucket. The next time i load it, ill mark it with a red sharpie. when fired, it goes in the red bucket. The rest of the HS brass other then pmc and winchester, or if im not sure if its already been reloaded and shot by someone else goes in a mix bag, some of this brass ill sell or give to freinds who reload who may want some more brass, I also make snow loads with it, a snow load is what ill shoot in the winter when I just need to go shooting when theirs a foot of snow on the ground, This way im not loosing my win or pmc brass. Ill also shoot it on lazy days i just dont want to pick up my brass, this however is not very often, i also do this with my .45 with win and pmc, and I only use winchester brass in my .40.
bullspotter is offline  
Old April 15, 2010, 12:03 AM   #21
vladan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2010
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 813
I do sort my brass by head stamp. different brass tend to have different tension and bullets seat differently.
vladan is offline  
Old April 15, 2010, 12:28 AM   #22
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,317
Quote:
Unnecessary to sort by headstamp.

I have chronographed all mixes and matches of ammo, caliber, bullets, primers, powders.

Changes in powders have the greatest effect in standard deviations. Case changes are undetectable.

Maybe someone might see something out of a Ransom rest, but in a hands held environment, accuracy is more dependant on the skill of the shooter than anything else.
While I understand your argument; I disagree with not sorting brass.

As vladan said:
Quote:
I do sort my brass by head stamp. different brass tend to have different tension and bullets seat differently.
...I, too, have found noticeable disparities in tension, length, and thickness of different brands. Even if my labor just makes reloading easier, and more consistent; it's worth it.

Some examples:
If I try to reload a bunch of mixed brass, for my normal 122gr LFP load - the S&W, CCI, Speer, and a couple other brands will totally screw me. They are shorter than some of the more popular brands, and don't get flared in my die (I flare as little as possible, to get maximum case life). When I try to seat a bullet, it grabs the case mouth. Then, it either shaves the bullet, or cocks it and seats it sideways.

Bullspotter likes PMC brass. Unlike him - I absolutely hate it. For me, PMC is almost equal to A-Merc. It goes in my "junk brass" jug.

I have also been finding more and more brass-plated steel cases stamped S&B, or steel-cupped primers in brass S&B cases. Not only are the steel cases difficult to size, but... the steel-cupped primers like to shear the bottom of the cup from the body (which is left in the pocket). The case is then useless, without a full primer pocket reaming. Sorting by head stamp allows me to use different magnets to later sort the steel primers from the steel cases. (So I can trash the steel cases, and put the steel-primed brass in the "when I'm patient, and can deal with steel primers" bag.)


I completely understand why some people don't sort at all. I used to do it, too. However, experience has taught me that sorting is definitely beneficial - especially when you start gathering massive quantities of range brass (those odd-ball headstamps, and stealth rocks always find a way to screw things up).

I prefer predictable loads, to loads that leave some degree of doubt in my mind.

...No squibs, overcharges, ruptured cases, or other mistakes I can attribute to reloading - in my entire life... Knock on wood....
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old April 15, 2010, 07:17 AM   #23
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11,034
I agree mostly with FrankenMauser (but I wouldn't temp fate by posted that LAST statement out loud! )

If you think all brass is the same then I would suggest you work with some older PMC 10mm brass -- case mouth flaring, bullet seating and taper crimping, and then mix a handful of nickel plated R-P in there. The difference is enormous... almost feels like working with two different calibers.

I also don't believe there is a heap of difference in practical accuracy from mixed brass when we are talking about short barreled handguns from 15 yards and in, shot offhand. But when it comes to case prep and bench work, and heck, I'll say it: pride in your ammo -- I sort my brass, all of it, every caliber.

And I also keep a pile of mixed headstamp brass for all the stuff that I don't have enough of to make a decent sized lot. In 9mm, I use this stuff in two ways... I use it for indoor range brass where I know I'm going to fling a bunch of it from hell to breakfast, and I also use it for shooting from my Kel-Tec Sub2k carbine. My mixed collection of 9 is heavy with S&B and Fiocchi, some Norinco (I'm culling that... it's bad) and others.

A-Merc is so very much the worst brass that to me, it's like a virus. It doesn't just need to be avoided, it needs to be eradicated.

And I'm not at all fond of R-P brass in any handgun caliber, but I will still use it, because I have a lot of it.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old April 15, 2010, 08:29 AM   #24
Locoweed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 8, 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 661
For range and plinking brass I don't sort them at all. Rifle brass is carefully sorted by headstamp as I want them all the same. If I'm developing hunting loads (or if I were using it for SD ammo) I usually buy new brass in that caliber and start from there.
Locoweed is offline  
Old April 15, 2010, 08:38 AM   #25
wingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2002
Posts: 2,090
I sort rifle brass only, with pistol I find it unnecessary unless one pistol is brass(brand) sensitive and I usually correct that or sell it.
wingman is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09816 seconds with 8 queries