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Old June 4, 2008, 02:14 PM   #1
mikenbarb
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Rifle brass, How long does it last?

I am new to this and wondering how many times rifle brass can be reloaded? I am wondering about 30-30,223 and .300 Win.Mag. Also, Can you reload the nickel plated cases from Winchesters Supreme line of ammo, If so, do they require special treatment vs regular brass and do they last longer?
I forgot to add that all are being shot out of bolt actions.
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Old June 4, 2008, 02:33 PM   #2
Scorch
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Generally, brass lasts longer when loaded to lower pressure. In your case, 223 will last longer than 30-30, which will last longer than 300 WinMag. Typically, I get about 8-10 reloads out of my 223 brass, with a few cases failing before that. I no longer load 30-30, but I remember getting about 5 or 6 reloads out of the cases (the brass is fairly thin and the rifles that shoot it don't generally ahve the tightest lock-up). I do not load 300 WinMag, but I suppose you will get about 4-5 loadings out of it.
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Old June 4, 2008, 02:50 PM   #3
ginshun
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The ever present "how many times can XXX be reloaded?".

Very common question.

Unfortuanatly there is not real good answer. What Scorch said is about how it goes though. The hotter you load your ammo, the shorter the life span of the brass will be. It you are not loading things really hot though, I would say that 5-6 loadings at least is common for most calibers.

Basically just make sure you are inspecting your cases thouroghly between each loading and watching for signs of overpressure when you shoot them. Get the calipers out and measure all the case dimensions before you load the case. If everything is close to where it is supposed to be and there are not cracks or other obvious defects in the case, load it up and shoot it.

Some will say that accuracy will decline when the cases get worn, but unless you are a competition shooter or plan on shooting game out at 4 or 5 hundred yards and beyond I don't think it is enough to worry about.
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Old June 4, 2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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Depends on if you full-length size or only neck size, and if you don't mind annealing the necks every few loads.

.223 and .308 out of an autoloader is lucky to get 5 loads before getting lost or stretched too thin.

If you neck size your .223, .30-30 and .300winmag rather than full size and shoot them from bolt guns rather than autochuckers, you should be able to get at least a dozen loads. If you're willing to anneal after every half a dozen loads, maybe 20?

Re: Nickel cases. Nickel is harder than brass, and will wear your dies harder. I used to reload nickel .357 magnum cases but I started noticing a change in resistance while re-sizing after several thousand, even with my carbide sizing die. I got rid of all my nickel brass and now only use "yellow" brass.
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Old June 4, 2008, 03:15 PM   #5
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I have gotten 12 plus out of mild loaded 6.5x55 neck sized Lapua brass

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Old June 4, 2008, 04:19 PM   #6
Ifishsum
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I'll reload nickel plated pistol brass if I have it, but it seems to me they split sooner than the regular yellow brass. I avoid nickel plated rifle cases, however. I've had the nickel flake off, and I'm pretty sure the nickel cases caused a scratch in one of my sizing dies. I would also expect them to have a shorter loading life, as the nickel seems to make the case more brittle.
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Old June 4, 2008, 06:48 PM   #7
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Sometimes you can load it until you just plain get bored with that old case. I load a lot of .223 and discard after the 2nd trimming. For me that is about 10 times.
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Old June 4, 2008, 07:47 PM   #8
mikenbarb
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Best brass

Next question, What brand of brass is good but dont cost a fortune to buy?
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Old June 4, 2008, 10:22 PM   #9
ginshun
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I don' t know if I would say that any of the brass out there is really "bad" some of it takes more prep than others though and the expensive ones will be more uniform and better prepped out of the box. Winchester and Remington are both good brass, but you may have to clean up the primer pockets and flash holes before you load them. They will also not be as uniform in length and weight as Norma brass. I have not tried Nosler custom brass, but have heard good things about it.

I always full length size any new brass that I get before I load it. Norma brass seams to come a little softer than the others so I think it lasts a little longer if you don't anneal the necks. Its also a lot more expensive though. I think most compatition / bench rest guys use Norma, but for hunting loads it probably doesn't really matter.
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Old June 5, 2008, 01:47 AM   #10
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I always buy Winchester if I can. It lasts a long time, it is strong enough the primer pockets don't grow, and it has very consistent internal volume between lots.
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