How big a dent, is too big a dent????

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Rogeritall, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Rogeritall

    Rogeritall New Member

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    Simple question, but one that I imagine will be difficult to answer via computer....

    Back story: I'm brand new to reloading and bought a bunch of equipment off of a friend of mine. I'm wanting to reload some .223 and .44 mag to start out with. In this bunch of stuff is a box full of .223 brass (likely over 1000 rounds), so I think "great I'm set for brass for years"...

    Upon close inspection of the brass, it seems each one has a dent (in varying places) of some kind on it, of varying severity and depth. I wish I could take a photo of some of them to show you all, but I don't know if the camera would be able to focus on the dents or not: I may try and see how they turn out and hope to post later.

    The dents vary from what looks like would happen if a person just lightly dinged the case sidewall with a center punch, to what would look like if you shot it with a BB gun. Some have a scrape with a bit of a crease, or almost like if someone tried to cut the case with an knife and dented it.

    Some of it I just don't trust to load at all, but with the little dings and dents, how big is too big before you guys won't reload it anymore? I'm beginning to wonder if I have inherited someones junk brass collection, because I'm sure my buddy didn't shoot all that brass, and he got it from some body else. So that's the main trouble I don't know any of the history of this brass at all. Recycle and start with new, or load a few of the lesser damaged ones???

    Any thoughts on the matter would be well received... Thanks.
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    As you said it's hard to say without looking at the case, but in general I don't worry to much about ejection dents as long as the brass is not kinked or creased.
  3. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    you will be suprise some will straight out when you run them through the resizer die.But if your not comfortable dont reload them.dont throw them out cause you can sell scrap brass for 2.50 a lb.
  4. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    what part of indiana are you from?
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    the dents will shoot out.
  6. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 New Member

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    I would just do a sort of the worst brass and chuck it. It's not like .223 brass is hard to come by these days either. Anything you introduce to your reloading setup for the first time should get a full-length sizing. If you are loading it to just go "bang" in an AR then I would plan on FL sizing every time. If you are loading for a bolt gun you can back off of the FL sizing die to better fit your chamber (for overall accuracy).

    Dings are normal to common on brass fired from a semi-auto. Some are worse on brass than others (the H & K 91's and 93's were awful).

    Have fun!
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    mini 14s are bad about putting a nice dent mid case upon ejection.
  8. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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    As they eject form an AR they hit the deflector thingy? It leaves a mark. No biggy. My LR-308 puts a big ding in each case as it is ejected. Thats how I can pick out my brass from all the other brass I pick up. My other AR's also leave a dent somewhere on the case.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    That shell deflector thingy always catches the casemouth for me. plum flattens it on one side.
  10. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I put a dime sized stick on pad on mine, no more dented mouths.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    thatll work steve. I have a few rolls of felt tape. maybe cut a small piece and give it a try.
  12. Rogeritall

    Rogeritall New Member

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    Thanks all for the replies, I think I'll use the ones that have the smallest dings and discard the rest. (recycle) It will take two days to short through them all probably. I'll be shooting my .223's out of a single shot, and a bolt action at Coyotes, so they shouldn't get any more major dents in them. I've noticed that the dented brass does have heavy extractor marks, so it may have been shot from an AR 15 type rifle with a brass deflector of some type.

    ryan42... I'm in the Grant County area as well. :)
  13. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Do you have any pics of your pad ?
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    that's the biggest issue I see case mouth errors.. :)

    I toss any big dents or creases.. they go into the future recycle box
  15. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    I remember from days gone by when I was into reloading that a lot of wildcat rounds were made from standard cases but were cut down and "fire formed" by firing them in the new gun if the shoulder was a different but larger size.

    I would think that if the brass will run through your dies and there are no actual cracks in the case then you should be fine.
  16. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Set your camera to 'macro' and don't use the flash
    to keep the glare down.
    Most .223 semi-autos leave some dent damage behind,
    and almost all are re-usable.
    Sharp creasing can split when fired.....but dents will
    'shoot' out from the pressure.
    Using a single shot you are even at a better advantage
    as the brass will be encased without movement when fired.
  17. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    It's just a card of stick on pad I buy at the Hardware store. These are foam. I have tried the felt ones, but the don't stick as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  18. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Don't know why all my photos from Photobucket are all upside down and backaswards. They have the correct orientation on my PB page.
  19. Ledslnger

    Ledslnger New Member

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    Dad has a mini-14 ranch rifle and I am not sure I have ever seen a dented case fly from it. And, they fly from it! :) I have only shot his mini though, no others.
  20. ozo

    ozo Active Member

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    Ya, my Ranch Rifle slings some brass.......20+ feet or more.
    No dents except for [if] the brass hits something after
    it is slung away....
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