Once fired brass that can and cannot be reloaded....

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jlloyd73, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 Active Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    My brother and I have been talking about reloading for quite awhile now...so we are taking the first steps slowly to learn properly. I am a information hog, so I like to do as much research as possible before I jump into anything.

    Bob (aka American Leader) has been helping me with most all my reloading questions, but I thought I would toss this one out there for everyone. Now first, I have a couple of reloading manuals Like the ABCs and Lyman's 49th but I have this one pressing question that a few hand drawn or poor pictures in those books cannot answer.

    Reason for question...... I had a guy give me 1000+ 9mm once fired brass the other day and my brother bought 1000+ 45acp from a fella for $30. As I was separating the brass I noticed a few of the pieces we slightly dented, a few with slightly more than a slight dent ;), a bunch that had a little nick in the side from a extractor maybe...etc.

    Ok, guys........question....

    Can any of you submit pictures of different examples of brass that should not be reloaded.... that is ok to be reloaded....stuff like that. Even if it is something that my look obvious to a seasoned reloader but not to a newbie.

    I just thought it would be a great thread to start for information purposes...I am sure a few of you have a little scrap pile that you can show some great examples.

    P.S., I have not found anything on the internet with this type of information easily.
  2. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

    Oct 24, 2011
    I cant give you pictures because I throw away all my non reloadable stuff. Pretty much, as far as pistol goes, if the sizing die will straighten it up, it can be reloaded.

  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    If it has small little dings or the mouth is slightly bent, the resizing die will straighten out the 9mm and .45 brass. If my reloading stuff and brass recycle bin wasn't out in the back yard (out building) and it wasn't 11:00 pm, I would try to take a couple of pictures for you.

    If no one attaches any pictures by morning, I will go out there before I go to work and try to post some for you, if I can find any that I would not reload.
  4. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

    Oct 24, 2011
    If they are dings and not cracks, they should be fine. You can always touch them up with a case trimmer.
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    If it looks badly dinged, I won't even try it in the sizing die. If the sizing die doesn't "comfortably" start the case, then I'll toss the case. Cracks right at the case mouth can be hard to spot at first, they usually show up very evident after sizing if you didn't catch it the first time. Extractor marks will usually be taken care of by sizing. Look out for any holes, doesn't happen too often, but keep an eye on your 45's for pinholes in the side of the case. Will post up some pics when I'm able to.
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    Put on my jacket and grabbed a flashlight and I went out anyway and brought a few in here to take a picture. These are some that I will not try to load.

    Top row from the left

    1. Aluminium case

    2. Steel case

    3. That little ding would not come out when sized

    4. One of those NT cases with the small primer pocket

    Bottom row are some stupid little mistakes I made to ding up the brass so bad they couldn't be straightened out. Bullet turned when seating it or the brass wasn't seated right in the shell holder and dinged up on the bell mouth or powder drop die.

    Attached Files:

  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    If the sizing die takes out the major dings I reload it. But....

    Some guns I have put dings in the cases as the case exits the gun. My Colt 10mm hits the case against the slide ejection port edge so hard that the small dent is permanent. You can almost count the number of dents to determine how many times the brass has been reloaded. As I bought that brass decades ago some has upwards of ten tiny dings in it.

    I recently bought some Military Surplus once fired 308 brass. A bunch of it had the mouth of the case badly dented and nearly closed. I made a brass punch on my lathe that I inserted into the throats of these cases to open them up so that the sizing die could resize them. Almost every case came out well enough to reload. The simple act of firing the cartridge will totally reshape the case correctly assuming the chamber of the gun is correct.

    Then I have a couple of Military rifles that eject the cases out of the chamber area with such violence that the brass is totally unusable after one firing. The body is badly dented and the rim extremely misshaped. This brass is simple recycled for the price of brass. For these guns I shoot Mil Surp Berdan primed ammo and discard (recycle) the brass.

  8. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    Most folks don't bother with Amerc brass. Also be aware that military brass usually, not always, has crimped primers. The crimp needs to be cut away or swaged out before repriming. It's common in 9mm brass and somewhat less so in 45 brass. Commercial brass is usually not crimped.

    Note the recessed ring right around the primer. That crimps the primer in so it doesn't pop out in a combat situation or in a machine gun. You can't insert a new primer until that crimp is removed.

    Attached Files:

  9. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    Great example I have always never quite understood but that picture explains it all.
  10. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Thank you for the picture. I've noticed that on some of my GI brass but was not sure how to remove it. I just try to scrape it out but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    To remove the crimp there are hand tools made by RCBS and others. I have found those tools to not do a very good job. A better option is to use a common counter sink and remove just enough of the edge of the primer pocket to remove the crimp. I find it necessary to push a correctly sized plug gage into the relieved primer pocket to be sure all of the crimp is removed Failure to get it all results in the primer catching on the remaining crimp and getting crushed as that primer tries to enter the pocket cocked.

  12. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 Active Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    This is great information guys. I have also wondered about the crimping on primers. I have a bunch of 5.56 that I need to check for that.
  13. Regular Joe

    Regular Joe New Member

    Sep 28, 2010
    Keep in mind that with .45 and 9mm, you'll be "belling" the case mouth in preparation for loading, so that will work out any dents that go inward toward the center. You'll also be crimpimg the bullets, so there's one more operation that will straighten things out.
  14. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    For years, I used one of the little LEE chamfer tools to get the military crimp out of the brass. I also used this tool to chamfer and deburr after trimming rifle brass. It takes a lot of work to get the crimp out with this hand tool (left picture).

    For Christmas, I bought my self one of the LYMAN case prep centers which makes removing the crimp so much easier. Even though I have only done a couple of the crimp removals, just to try it out, it takes a tremendously less amount of time.

    Attached Files:

  15. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Case prep centers are almost a necessity......
    wow, what help they give, right there, right now,
    right in front of you.
    Once used, you can not do without !
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Once fired brass Sep 29, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Good deal on once-fired brass Jul 28, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Opinions on once-fired and range pickup brass Mar 10, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Once fired brass Feb 12, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Converting once fired military 7.62X51mm to USEABLE 308 or 7-08 brass Jun 17, 2015