The Firearms Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have started picking up range brass but I have several questions about the different kinds of cases I've gotten already.

Some background info:
I am not a competition shooter, I am a personal defense and fun times shooter. Accuracy is important of course but I am not at all worried about getting sub 1/2 inch groups. Two roughly center mass and one in the head is accurate enough for what I want to do.

Question #1.
Different manufacturers of ammunition would naturally use different brass to make their products. They would also use different thickness of brass. When sorting range brass is it necessary to separate the same caliber brass into the different manufacturers. I other words say I am loading .40 S&W using 180 gr Flat Nose FMJ Speer bullets, CCI primers, and Hogden powder. Would I need a different recipe for Federal Brass as opposed to Winchester. Or can I just load the .40 S&W in what ever brass happens to come to my hand. Assuming I used proper prep for the cases of course.

Question #2.
If I need to separate brass by manufacturer should I also separate by different products for the same manufacturer? For example I have in front of me two cases. On one the head stamp reads WIN 40 S&W on the other the head stamp reads WINCHESTER 40 S&W. Obviously these are both made by Winchester but even the primers are different. One is a brass color and the other is silver colored. After proper prep of the case do I need to keep these separate when loading

Keeping in mind that I do not need to drive tacks with the rounds I will make I just need not to blow my hands and face off. That's really sort of important to me.

Question #3.
At this point in time I do not have dies for 9mm. Eventually I will get some but I need to let the budget recover from the beating I gave it last month buying equipment. I do have a 9mm shell holder for my press. Can I use the sizing die for 40 S&W to deprime the 9mm cases? so I can at least get them cleaned properly or should I just bag them and wait till I get the right dies. I know that I would need to run them through a 9mm sizing die before trying to load them. At this point all I am interested in doing is DE-priming them and getting them clean.

Question #4.
Many of the head stamps are easy enough to identify. But some just baffle me as to who the manufacturer might be. Is there a web source that details what markings each manufacturer uses for their head stamps?

For example:
*F C* 9mm LUGER. I am guessing Federal Cartridge 9mm?
R - P 9mm LUGER. Possibly Remington Performance 9mm?
MFS 9X19... Haven't got a clue.

These are all just guesses. And, that is a problem. It makes sense to me that in any aspect of reloading guessing is a really BAD idea.

Ok that's about it... for now. As always thank you very much for any information you can give me. It is deeply appreciated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,532 Posts
Mix em, and match em! The only thing I look for is damage. If there's no damage, then it's going home with me! I don't sort them out, I just reload them. Now if I were reloading rifle ammo, and I wanted to make my reloads as accurate as I could, then I would sort cases, but not for pistol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,556 Posts
I have started picking up range brass but I have several questions about the different kinds of cases I've gotten already.

Some background info:
.powder. Would I need a different recipe for Federal Brass as opposed to Winchester. Or can I just load the .40 S&W in what ever brass happens to come to my hand. Assuming I used proper prep for the cases of course.
.
..
For example:
*F C* 9mm LUGER. I am guessing Federal Cartridge 9mm?
R - P 9mm LUGER. Possibly Remington Performance 9mm?
MFS 9X19... Haven't got a clue.


.

Ok that's about it... for now. As always thank you very much for any information you can give me. It is deeply appreciated.
You are correct on FC (Federal)
R-P is Remington
MFS 9x19 Hungarian Ammunition Manufacturing Inc. (Matravideki Femmuvek Sirok
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
I just throw mine in the tumbler. I rarely bother with the primer pocket as I have never had an issue. If you knock out the primers and tumble them, now you have media stuck in them and have to clean that out. Why do everything twice.
I'm with Carver, mix and match.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,283 Posts
#3 - absolutely. The 9mm brass will not touch the sizing die - just go up in the center of it. It would be, basically, like using a universal decapping die. It'll work great.

At one time there was a company called Western Cartridge Company. Winchester bought them, and Winchester's ammo company became W/W - Winchester Western.

There was a company called Union Metallic Cartridge. Remington bought them, and Remington's ammo became Remington UMC. Later Remington bought the Peters ammunition company, and their ammo became Remington Peters - RP. Although they still make REM UMC. It is their cheap ammo, in the yellow box. Their equivalent of Winchester White Box.

MFS - Magyar Löszergyártó Kft., Mátravidéki Fémmüvek, H-332 Sirok, Hungary

I know it's Hungarian. I believe it is branded "Monarch". But I've never used it. Don't know if it's any good or not.

If you come across any range brass marked AMERC, toss it. It is the crappiest stuff in existence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,066 Posts
siplace:

Here's the story on range brass:

Why was it left behind? Was it just brass from a non-reloader or is it so used up by a reloader that he left it behind to get rid of it? If it is obviously the first case then use it but inspect it first (more on that later). If the second case determined by inspection then throw it into the trash can. If in doubt at all throw it in the trash can.

To answer your questions:

1). & 2). Brass has to match SAMMI (an industrial organization) specification. You can mix and go but....... Today there are three different kinds of brass with different primer pockets. For cartridges that use large primers some newer ammo may use small primers instead (9mm & 40S&W uses small primers by design). Then there is the European primers (Berdan) that use two small primer holes. Mix those in and you will break the decapping stem of your sizing die.

If the brass is obviously military it might be thicker and needs to be loaded well below the maximum loads listed for commercial brass.

So the inspection should be not only for condition but for the primer pocket size and whether it has a single hole or twin holes. Toss it if it is Berdan primed and determine what it is by looking down into the case with a light. In addition there is some ammo that is loaded in steel or aluminum cases which are NOT reloadable.

3). Using the wrong die might work or the die may get damaged in the process. I think it wiser to wait until you have the right dies.

4). The common Head stamps are Winchester WC, Federal FC, Remington R-P, Starline, Hornady, Speer. If it not one of those I do not use it. Unknown brass is risky to use.

An additional comment about depriming before tumbling. If you do that you risk getting media stuck in the prime hole. I tumble the size/deprime. After I had a Failure to Fire with a bullet stuck half way down the barrel from media in the primer hole, I no longer deprime first. The whole point of cleaning the brass is to keep the dirt on the cases away from the sizing die ground internal surfaces.

One additional point: you need one or more reloading manuals where most of this is covered. The Hornady manual is the best to learn by as it includes the how and why of all the processes as well as illustration.

LDBennett
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,034 Posts
I'd like to chime in.

On the decapping? it might be nice to purchase a lee universal decapper. they are cheap. 10-15$ and have a collet help decap pin that.. if it hits a stuck or onstructed case/primer/flashhole. GENERALLY does not break.. but rather slips.

next. range brass. be carefull. you may find lots of berdan and steel cases these days as ammo is in short supply and people may be shooting military surplus.

for the most part.. berdan brass will be useless to all but the special relaoders that have the tools to rip out the berdan primer and have berdan primers on hand. or those that actually modify the case head/web for boxer.

put a small bucket in your relaod romm. 3 actually.

when i sort thru my range brass i dump non relaodable aluminum in 1 bucket, nr steel in another, and bad brass in the third.

all those bad cases can be recycled. in a year.. you can pickup POUNDS of bad brass. free money at a recycler.

lastly. if you get some boxer milspec brass. watch out for crimped primer pockets. many may hav ethem. it is a small lip that holds the primer in. they decap with a lil mor ethan normal pressure. almost unnoticeable on a large press. but repriming can make for some pop=bang as the lip generally catches the new primer and crushes it.

there are commercial tools, primer pocket crimp remaers you can get as hand tools or heads for automatic centers. some also simply buy a countersink cutter for a drill and give it a second or so bevel on the primer pocket. this reams out the crimp so you can reload it. if you pickup rnage brass that has the indented lip of a crimped primer.. or a bevel cout out where a crimp primer was.. but you see no lip on deprime. you know the brass is at leas 2x shot. keep that inmind and inpsect accordingly.

for more $$ there is a primer pocket crimp swage tool the rolls the primer crimp out without removing the very small amount of metal that a reamer does. some people prefer this. for the average relaoder. it's a toss up. the hand tools are cheap compaired to the swage tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Here is a link to the international ammo assn. head stamp codes. It lists most headstamps you are likely to find.
http://cartridgecollectors.org/?page=headstampcodes#C

I don't know of anybody that sorts pistol brass by headstamp, but I wanted to see if I could find any good reason to separate them. I Weighed and measured 150 pieces of 9mm pistol brass. Then I sorted them by headstamp and repeated the measurements. What I found was that there is as much variation within each headstamp group as there was in mixed brass. Part of the spread sheet is attached.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,532 Posts
If it's pistol brass, but not aluminum, or steel, and if it's a caliber I reload, then I grab it. I don't care why it was left at the range! I don't care what kind of head stamp it has. If it isn't damaged I can reload it. Shoot it, clean it, inspect it, and reload it again if it passes inspection. I don't keep count of how many times I've reloaded it, if it isn't split, or crushed to the point I can no longer use it, I keep dumping powder in it, and seating a bullet! Happy reloading!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,034 Posts
the only head stamp i worry about is hornady. sometimes they don't put the primer flash hole in the same place everybody else does :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,685 Posts
WoW! IMHO; much ado about nothing. When I started reloading (30 years ago) I worried about sorting brass. I sorted by headstamp and continued to do so for several years. I rarely sort by headstamp anymore. I have purchased "range brass" and "once fired brass" several times over the years, mostly for my handgun reloading. Now my semi-auto brass is loaded with mixed headstamps (45 ACP and 9mm). I have read a few tests of mixed brass vs. sorted (all the same headstamp and lot number) and the reported results show no difference in accuracy or functioning. My revolver ammo is reloaded with sorted-by-manufacturer brass, mostly out of habit, not necessity, and 95% of my revolver reloads are kept together in plastic boxes, and fired cases returned to the same box, so re-sorting isn't necessary (except my .38 wadcutter reloads which go in a big baggie).

I have had zero problems with range brass pickups and "once fired" brass (yeah I know, "how can you tell if it's only been shot once?"). I have never had a primer blow-out, first firing case split, or case failure.

You can sort by headstamp, weigh each case, clean and re-form each primer pocket and "uniform" each flash hole, if you want. But in the last 20+ years, I haven't found the need for any of these tasks for any handgun cartridge...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
WOW!!

Thank you. I have to go to work and there is such a volume of info here that it will have to wait till tonight for me to go through it and take notes. And probably ask more questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
I surmise by some of your provided examples you are going to be loading .40 S&W? I highly recommend doing some extra research on this cartridge before scooping up brass and simply running it through a sizing die and calling it good. Look around the web and TFF for a topic commonly referred to as the "Glock Bulge" or "de-bulging .40 brass" There are several unsupported chambers in the .40 playing field that will cause headaches unless the brass is first ran through a de-bulging die. Bulged brass in the .40 often times slips through the cracks undetected, a strong opportunity for case failure lies in the wait for those who think its OK to pickup brass from unknown sources.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,066 Posts
I generally recommend that reloaders NOT pick up random brass on the ground. If you see new brass left on the table (or observed it being shot) or given to you by another shooter then you know it is once fired. Brass on the ground has a risk to it especially 40S&W or even some 45ACP that came from an excessively throated 1911 barrel.

I bought a large quantity of new Starline and Winchester brass for my various semi-auto pistols over 20 years ago that I still reload for today. If it lasts that long (10 to 20 reloads on some of it!) it is easy to justify buying new brass, in my opinion and a lot safer.

LDBennett
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,760 Posts
I pick it up on occasion. Yesterday I picked up 20 cs of 30-06. They looked once fired, all nice and shinny, and the empty Remington box was in the trash.A couple of weeks ago I found 32 cs of 300 win mag, gave them to a fellow loader on this forum. I never seem to .45 colt, must everyone loads it, or it costs too much to shoot it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,034 Posts
one other thing. occasionally you will see spp 45acp. and apparrently it drives some reloaders crazy. usually the ones that don't look their brass over much while processing it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Lots of good info here. Only thing I will say is when running mixed headstamp pistol brass is I keep my load well short of "max" loads. That way even if some of the brass is a bit thicker, you still stay in accepted pressure specs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
LDBennett

Thank you.

I am currently reading The ABCs of Reloading but I have not cracked my Speer manual as of yet. I will before I buy my first box of primers.

Part of my reloading equipment is a 6 inch magnifier lamp that I will use for inspecting brass carefully. I work in the electronics industry and I am used to doing fine work under "The Lamp" And I will use the mantra, "When in doubt throw it out." I do have a question about Berdan brass. This is just curiosity not an intent to reload them. Can they be reloaded or does all of Europe just leave its brass on the ground? Seems a waste to me if they do. But you would need to index each shell for de priming so the rods would hit the holes. Is there a method for that? Again just curious. Berdan brass goes to the scrap bucket along with all the 22LR and other rim fire I might find. A 5 gal bucket full of brass has to be worth something at the scrap yard.

I have already learned a lesson about tumbling. Sort the brass first. <Big stupid grin>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Soundguy

Thanks. I know about the Mil-crimp issue. I bought an RCBS Case Prep Center and a primer pocket equalizing tool for it. Some of my .223 brass is military, or rather it will be once I fire it. I plan to hold that ammo back till I learn a lot more than what I already know. Or at least till I get a few hundred "regular" cartridges reloaded.

Thanks for the 3 bucket tip.

Now does anyone know how to make a magnet that picks up brass?:)
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top