How many times can brass be reloaded.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by ryan42, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    Im sure its been discussed before but I cant remember the answer.I havent had any problems with ruptured cases but I dont want a problem either.Thanks
  2. carver

    carver Moderator

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    If it's pistol, just keep an eye on them for splits around the mouth of the case. Same for rifle. Most rifle will load a dozen times or so, and pistol will last a really long time. Rifle also needs to be checked for case length, but not so much with pistol. I don't even check my pistol brass for length.
  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Depends, what are you loading for and what are your loads?
  4. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    The hotter the load, the shorter the life. For rifle brass, there are many variables, so it pays to inspect it all closely. Straight walled pistol brass has a nearly unlimited lifespan it seems, I've got some that has been loaded at least 30 times and some guys have some that is probably over 100. I don't measure pistol brass much, just a few random samples. I will measure if I'm loading specific ammo, ie, I want the crimps to be highly consistent.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Steve pegged it. Depends. Caliber, how tight your chamber is, and how powerful you load is all have a bearing on how many times.
  6. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    .308 in my M1A? about 3 reloads... .45 ACP practice loads? been loading the same ones for 15 years and counting...

    straightwall and lower pressure rounds tend to do better. Brass likes to 'grow' or stretch, as it does you trim it. But the brass has to come from somewhere so the more you trim, the thinner the walls get.

    sometimes it just splits/cracks if you push it too far. When you start seeing that, you know that batch of brass is pretty much toast.

    There was a guy in the mid 1800's that supposedly loaded the same brass case something ridiculous like 100,000 times in an old black powder single shot rifle. Can't seem to find the story, I'll keep looking. Really want to find that; could be a tall tale but ya know...
  7. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    It was either Harry Pope or one of his rifles if I remember correct...
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    100,000 seems like a lot. If you fired it once an hour for an eight-hour day, every single day, it would take 35 years.
  9. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    no, he was reloading it on the spot, so really could have been loading them one shot every minute or less from what I understand. But I have to agree that 100k is a bit much. maybe 10k or something. Whatever it was, it was some insane amount of reloads on one case. Or maybe someone lied to me years ago. I'm on a mission to find out...
  10. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

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    My answer is simple. Until the brass tells you its done. I check all my brass. Cracks or bulges tells me its done. I have over 1200 rounds reloaded in bulk containers. I don't sort pistol cartridges. They go in bulk. My rifle brass I'm a little more careful with. I tend to keep them in their original lots. When one cracks I know the rest are going to do so soon as well. And spend more time checking them. One of these days I'm gonna learn to anneal to make the rifle brass last longer
  11. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    As a general rule, straight walled brass until it cracks or the primer pocket gets loose, bottlenecked rifle brass the same + watch for thinning at the web, and finally magnum brass that can reach excessive diameter just ahead of the belt. That can be cured with a special die 'though. I was always told magnum brass has the shortest life, but my .300 win mag and Nosler custom brass has yet to see a failure for any reason. Really premium rifle brass can also be annealed to avoid neck splitting and is a good idea anyway to produce even neck tension in the finished load.
  12. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    I should have told ya more.45 acp .I dont load them in the middle of the scale.230gr fmj titegroup 4.5 gr.I just load for target I carry hornady critical defense for personal protection. Before I reloaded I used to buy PMC fmj but I found my reloades are more reliable.Every box I bought i had one dud so I quit buying them.Ive got some brass ive loaded over 20 times and I always inspect them I just want to be safe.Thanks guys
  13. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    never realy heard why.. but why does bottleneck breass grow whereas straight walled stuff.. not really?

    is it the pressure on the angled neck pushing it out the mouth?
  14. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    This is a redneck answer because I am speaking from my experience, not from reading like I know I should.

    The high pressures. There are probably more answers to it but just looking at the data and seeing the results from the brass that I reload the higher the pressure the more expansion on the brass. I say it is a redneck question because it is what I have always observed but have never really "Officially" researched it. Now I am in trouble by Alpo for sure.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    youre right Jim. It is all about pressure. Headspacing and chamber dimensions also play a factor. But it all boils down to load pressure. the higher the pressure the more they stretch
  16. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    how do beltd magnums deal with this.. seems like thay would be by definition, rimless, and thus may have web and or stretch problems past the belting?
  17. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Hey, nice to see you posting. How's it going?
  18. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The belt area IS the web. Belted magnums are beefed up in this area to handle the extreme pressures generated by thier loadings. Its supposed to prevent casehead separations.

    Belted Magnums headspace on the forward edge of the belt leaving the rest of the case to lay where it lays. The one bonus to a belted cartridge is the same as with rimmed cartridges. you can necksize them and achieve 2 points of headspace.. the belt and the shoulder. which add to the inherent accuracy.

    But all belted and rimmed cartridges are still plagued by that 1st flaw. sloppy chamber fit with new unfired brass which causes alot of extra stretching on the first firing. Stretching you generally dont see with a non belted rimless rifle cartridge.
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    cant complain. Hows the healing process? Still sore??
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