When to retire brass casings?

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When to retire brass casings?

Post by beeser on 1/27/2015, 5:41 pm

A while ago I posed this question to Starline and they said I would loose them in the grass before they need putting out to pasture.  Well,  I'm able to recover almost all of my brass because of our desert terra firma.  I read somewhere that brass should be thrown away after about 6 reloads.  When do you retire brass?

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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by Dr.Don on 1/27/2015, 6:49 pm

Shooting low pressure target loads?  When it splits at the mouth.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by Rob Kovach on 1/27/2015, 6:57 pm

For .45acp brass you shoot it until it splits from the mouth to halfway to the rim.  I've even had rounds that I didn't notice the split until after I reloaded it...the rounds shoot just fine even with the big split.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by dhenry132 on 1/27/2015, 7:26 pm

Or when the primer pocket will not hold the primer
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 1/27/2015, 7:44 pm

I've loaded nickel plated cases so many times that the plating has worn off.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by Deerspy on 1/27/2015, 8:16 pm

I would watch that nickel close I had some one time that did not wear down smooth and started flaking off ruined my dies so I don't reload nickel any more and run brass till it splits.

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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 1/27/2015, 8:30 pm

I don't worry too much about my carbide dies but have a ruined .357 sig sizing die reminding me to NOT reload any nickel bottle necked cases
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by DavidR on 1/28/2015, 10:00 am

With our low pressure target loads loading it twenty times is no issue long as its still not split or cracked, but I only use the veery old stuff for the short line.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by tjpepitone on 1/28/2015, 12:37 pm

Like many others I reload .45 cases until they split, however, I also check each round in a case gauge and I've found that after many, many reloads the case rim can actually get peened larger to the point where it will no longer fit in the case gauge.  It never seemed to be a problem in my guns but I suppose it's possible it might cause a failure to close on a gun with a tight extractor, maybe.  

I suspect that by the time the case has seen that much use it's going to split soon anyway, in the scrap bucket it goes.

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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by Vociferous on 1/28/2015, 3:52 pm

I agree with DavidR.  Nice, new stuff on the long line, old stuff on the short.  I case gauge every round, even practice.  Shot 15 matches last year (2700 shots); not single alibi with the 45.  I don't recall having an alibi in practice.  Hardball and 22, now that's another matter.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by jerry lehrer on 1/28/2015, 6:06 pm

Jpeptone has mentioned .45 case rim peening after many cycles..  To prevent this, many of us use the Lee Carbide taper Crimp die.  You pass the whole case thru the die. This burnishes the rim to exact size and removes burrs etc.

A Merit  .22 Rim thickness gage eliminates similar problems with 22 rim fire.

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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by kwixdraw on 1/28/2015, 9:23 pm

^ That's the trick. Probably a good idea on any once fired brass you buy too, if you don't know what it was fired in, I got a bunch of brass that was fired on the police range and it all worked great until Glocks became the most common .45 in the department.  I have occasionally found new  starline cases that had a rim that was not formed to full diameter and would pull out of the shell holder plate on the Dillon if you don't rotate them to where they hold. I've only caught a couple of them in 4-5K cases but it can happen.
                                                                        Cliff.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by beeser on 1/31/2015, 7:12 am

Thanks everyone for the comments.  This has certainly changed my thoughts and practices on retiring brass.  I keep meticulous track of how often brass is fired and will keep an eye on split cases and primer seating.

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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by dhenry132 on 1/31/2015, 8:52 am

after you take your brass out of the tumbler put them on an old towel and grab each end give it a working back and forth and the split necks will sing like little birds.
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Re: When to retire brass casings?

Post by LenV on 1/31/2015, 9:43 am

Hi Beezer,
  I posted this picture about a year ago but you may not have seen it. I have no idea how many times you can re-load 45 cases or how long they will last. Might have an answer in another 20 years.

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