new brass vs once fired?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by rnshooter, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. rnshooter

    rnshooter New Member

    May 25, 2003
    New Orleans
    just a quick question...what is better, once fired or new, or does it even matter since you probably reload the brass many many times anyway. what brass is best? i have heard a lot of good things about starline, but i have not heard much about others. isn't brass all the same? also, when a company says that .40 S&W cases are roll sized, what do they mean? thanks for all of the input.

    be safe
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Hi rnshooter and welcome to TFF. For an explanation of what roll sizing does, see the following:

    All brass is not the same. Each manufacturer has dies that make the brass to his dimensions. Case wall thickness and web area are the most important due to the fact that this controls the volume of the explosion upon detonation. With thicker case walls, you have less volume and therefore more pressure when detonation occurs. Same with the case head and web area. The smaller the area the more pressure develops with the same amount of powder charge.

    Military once fired brass is usually the thickest case walls and web area and will cause the most problems in this area.

    A way to measure this is to take several cases from different manufacturers and fill them to the very top with water. Then weigh and record each measurement and you will get an idea of the volume of the case. You can even take the same manufacturer and measure different lots (made at different times) of brass and see a difference also. That is why a lot of people who reload, make sure that all their brass has the same volume prior to loading. It can make a big difference on the range and in your weapon. Sometimes, in cases of maximim loads, can be down right dangerous.

    Once fired brass is fine if you know it all came from the same lot and manufacturer, or if you are only loading reduced loads for enjoyment.

    Serious shooters in competitions will most usually know the exact lot numbers for the brass and manufacturer that they are using.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2003

  3. Cow Caregiver

    Cow Caregiver New Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    Once fired brass versus new....

    I buy new brass, as a rule, but a lot of what I am shooting is wildcat stuff, generally Improved so I have to fire form it for loading, but I can fireform from factory ammo as well, most of the time. All of my hunting loads are fired, therefor, from brass that has seen at least one prior use.

    This gives one advantage over the use of new brass. Generally, if a case has metal problems, it will fail the first time it is used, and that will keep me from aiming it at Mr. Grizzly Bear and discovering that the rest of the case is still in the chamber while I am trying to get Round 2 into position. Mr. Grizzly Bear is not easy to deal with, particularly if you have poked him in a place that has added to his irritation at being hunted by hurting him. An unservicable arm is a poor club, and I don't carry as big a knife as Hugh Glass did.

    All levity aside, the use of once-fired brass that has no further wear on it is probably the best thing you can do for yourself if you are using a rifle to hunt things that will hunt you back. And, if you get in the habit of using those rules, you will avoid surprises at the range, too.
  4. rnshooter

    rnshooter New Member

    May 25, 2003
    New Orleans
    hey thanks guys, that helps me a lot. so if i understood you right, once fired brass is ok, as long as it is the same headstamp as to make sure i get the same results in the field, on the range, and in my gun's barrel. thanks again.

    be safe
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