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Is there a time to toss out all the "old" brass and start over again with new?

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Is there a time to toss out all the "old" brass and start over again with new? Empty Is there a time to toss out all the "old" brass and start over again with new?

Post by mikemyers on 6/13/2020, 11:50 pm

A few years ago, I was shooting Winchester White Box 230 grain ammo in my Colt, then my Les Baer.  I gathered two or three hundred rounds of cases, and have been reloading them since then, marking the cases so I pick up my own cases.  If this case was already cracked before I shot it, I think I'd have noticed it before reloading it.  I clean cases in a tumbler, remove them one at a time, then put them in loading trays where I can spray them with lube.  All my reloads are light, currently 4.4 grains WST.  When I used Bullseye powder, I was using the light loads recommended here, by Terry, and by Dave Salyer.  I thought I was doing OK at tossing out the few cases that looked worn or damaged in any way.  But, after shooting two days ago, I found this round, split down the side.

Should I just toss this one round out, or is it maybe time to toss them all out and start over again?  They've probably been reloaded 10 to 20 times by now.  


Is there a time to toss out all the "old" brass and start over again with new? Img_6211
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Post by zanemoseley on 6/14/2020, 12:45 am

I'm all for shooting till they split but if you've just got a few hundred and they've been loaded that many times you might just bite the bullet and drop the cash for a case of 1000 direct from Starline, good price and free shipping. I've got a new case yet to be used. You might also post a WTB for once fired Starline.

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Post by James Hensler on 6/14/2020, 5:40 am

Reload until they split
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Post by messenger on 6/14/2020, 7:05 am

I have about 1500 45 cases I have collected over the past decade. I just keep reloading. I never used to get split cases but over time now I average one or two split cases per hundred. They are easy to find. After tumbling I just rake my hand through them and you can hear that tell tail sound a split case makes.

Bill
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Post by CR10X on 6/14/2020, 7:09 am

Reload in batches (500, 1,000, 2,000, whatever)  (I do about 5,000 which is about a season.) 

Shoot until you start getting splits.  (When I see a split in a batch from a 2700 (about 1 in 200 rounds) a couple of times, its done.)  

I start new batch and use the old brass when I don't want to or can't pickup. (Tossing the already split cases before reloading the last time and using the last firing for mostly TF / RF shooting)

I find that somewhere between 10 and 20 reloading most brass will start to split. (I said most, not all, it can go either way. Some brass and some lots do better, some worse, I don't even mess with nickel for .45)

CR

PS:

Mike, get a media separator, dump the brass in and separate.  Dump the cases on an old towel, make sure they all lay flat, spray with your lube and then grab the towel at both ends and make a "hammock" and shake back and forth a few times.  Then just dump in your case feeder.  Everything can be purchased except time.  Time can't be purchased, only wasted.

CR


Last edited by CR10X on 6/14/2020, 8:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by bruce martindale on 6/14/2020, 7:30 am

Mike, you sound like a rifle reloader! 

I have a batch that has been in circulation since 1993 with newer stuff added. Yes, I know which is which due to the headstamps. I get the occasional crack that I catch in the press as it comes around either through visual or by feel ( bullet startes in too easy). Now the long life is set by a couple things: One is my resize die doesn't shrink shells down so far that jkt is super tight. The other is crimp. For the longest time, I only crimped to 0.470 or so, now I am going down to 0.463-5 and that may be a factor. Light loads? May be a factor too. Don't know since I was never a heavy loader for anything.

You use 4.4 wst but don't state which bullet. That may not be so light. I was loading 3.8 with 200s

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Post by mikemyers on 6/14/2020, 7:56 am

Bullet is Magnus #801. 

A friend of mine from the range is likely to bring me a lot of once-fired good brass.  If that happens, I'll start over again.  If not, the WTB post sounds like a good idea.
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Post by Axehandle on 6/14/2020, 11:21 am

So, you guys aren't going to tell are you?  Smile 
At 25 yards pretty much anything works fine within reason.  For my slow fire match ammo  I use matching headstamp once fired.

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Post by radjag on 6/14/2020, 12:15 pm

Mike, I would not waste the money on new Starline till you start to get serious groups at 50 yards. Winchester brass is fine and seems to last a long time. You will occasionally discover splits no matter which brand and age. If your pal can provide you with decent range brass, use that. If not search online for used brass. I recently bought a load of once fired Winchester from Shooters Connection (sorry - I bought all they had in stock), it looks great, deprimed and clean, good price.

In the meantime, if you do start shooting matches with 50 yards Slow Fire, buy a few boxes of Federal Gold Medal Match 185 ammo, shoot that for matches and occasional serious practise and keep the brass to reload for the long line.

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Post by mikemyers on 6/14/2020, 1:24 pm

bruce martindale wrote:Mike, you sound like a rifle reloader! .....
Thank you!  .....I think??


For better or worse, I figure if I shoot 50 or 100 rounds at the range, I should load another hundred rounds that same day.  
I've followed just about all the advice in this forum, sometimes grudgingly.

Everyone here insisted on seating and crimping in separate stations, so I removed my RCBS LockOut Die.
To make up for it, I mounted a mirror on my press, so I can visibly see the powder level before placing a bullet on top of it.
I've never yet had a problem with this, but one of my friends did, when something blocked his powder from flowing freely.
If it wasn't for the RCBS Pro 2000, I'd still be loading with a single station press, like when I started.  I want nothing to do with "pipe b***s" a foot away from my face.
If I tumble for an hour, my cases are clean.
If I tumble for two hours, they're clean and shiny.

I used to be much dumber about all this stuff.  Back in the 1990's, my reloading bench was in my kitchen, and when I finished loading lead 44 bullets, my fingers had a mirror finish.

Nowadays, I prefer simplification.  Load only for one size round (45).  Never be in a hurry.  Load for an hour or so tops, then continue the next day.
.......and follow all the advice from you guys, from Terry at Magnus, and from Dave Salyer.  Once the rounds came out to everyone's satisfaction, the only control I touch is the powder dispenser control.
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Post by mikemyers on 6/14/2020, 1:42 pm

radjag wrote:Mike, I would not waste the money on new Starline till you start to get serious groups at 50 yards.


........if you do start shooting matches with 50 yards Slow Fire.....
I figure that a "serious group" for me at 50 yards would be for all the holes to be on the repair center.  There's no point in hoping for more than that, until I can get all the holes in the black at 25 yards.   As to shooting matches, when my club eventually starts holding matches again, I can shoot with any caliber gun I prefer - we only shoot one "round", so I've been using my new High Standard 22 X-Series.  My goal is to get the most points I can.  For the online scores we're posting each week here in the forum, I figure I might as well shoot the most difficult caliber for me, which is 45.  Just by forcing myself to do it, I'm learning.  

I think my friend from the range is just going to give me the brass, as he never re-uses it.  I offered to buy it from him, but haven't heard back yet.  The last thing I need is "better quality brass".  What I really do need is "better quality shooting".     :-)
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Post by rkittine on 6/14/2020, 2:09 pm

Just like my Benchrest Rifle rounds, I keep "Match Level Brass" to make up match rounds and fire brass that is still good for practice, but I never load a case more than 5 times and I color code them with a Sharpie to keep track.

Bob
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Post by mustachio on 6/14/2020, 2:49 pm

I toss brass when they split. Since I only load 38 wad cutters, the pressure is not high and I don't think poses and danger. As I load, I inspect the case. Occasionally, one or two has been missed, but did do anything bad. I tend to separate my brass by manufacturer. I have batches of Federal, Winchester, Speer and then mixed head stamps.
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Post by zanemoseley on 6/14/2020, 4:37 pm

rkittine wrote:Just like my Benchrest Rifle rounds, I keep "Match Level Brass" to make up match rounds and fire brass that is still good for practice, but I never load a case more than 5 times and I color code them with a Sharpie to keep track.

Bob

If you're only loading 45 brass 5 times you're missing out on a lot of brass life, they last way longer than high pressure rifle rounds.

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Post by Caster3845 on 6/14/2020, 8:35 pm

I asked the same question when I first started some 35 years ago. I was told to load in batches and when that batch started to have 10% splits, load that batch one more time and pitch it. That is what I have done ever since.
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Post by Sa-tevp on 6/14/2020, 8:38 pm

Dammit. The AMU Facebook page used to have reloading articles and their guidance for reloading 45 ACP was "If you can't read the head stamp anymore, toss it out" (probably half-tongue-in-cheek). I can't find a link.

Since I have to spend a certain amount of time at home due to pesky offspring issues I sort 45 ACP brass by length and 0.884" or shorter cases go into the reload-for-use-at-ranges-where-I-am-going-to-lose-the-brass-anyways bin. 

And yeah, I have a couple of bags of Starline brass that would make fair couch throw pillows if you put a nice cover on them.

Is there a time to toss out all the "old" brass and start over again with new? Big_376_216 Is there a time to toss out all the "old" brass and start over again with new? Jeramy+Printed+Throw+Pillow
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/15/2020, 7:43 am

Steve, i think all their reloading articles are under "notes" these days.. great series of articles
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Post by kjanracing on 6/17/2020, 7:31 am

As long as powder doesn’t come out the split, use it!


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Post by PMcfall on 6/17/2020, 7:47 am

When I grab a handful of many times fired brass to supply my brass feeder, I shake them.  If there is a cracked piece, I can hear it and discard it.  I load the rest.  That is for practice ammo.  Match ammo get brass fired 3 times or less.
Phil
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Post by Al on 6/17/2020, 8:26 am

I never throw brass unless it's split or amerc, both worthless. SPP I save for another shooter who uses it, but if he didn't I'd throw that too. I reload it until it splits, may be the 5th time or the 50th.  I've done enough testing to know anything outside the 10 isn't the fault of the brass.
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