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Brass and Equipment questions.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Arkarayne, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    Hoping to doing some reloading myself at some point, so I had a couple questions:

    1: the "reusable" portion, the brass case, how many times can you "reuse" one before it's a bad idea to use it again? (rule of thumb, personal experience, etc.)
    PS: Is there "better" brass or is a case a case and any works?

    2. and, working with a budget, What's the bare-bones items needed to reload?
    I did some searching wrote down some items, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

    Much appreciated.
     
  2. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    rifle,pistol,or both? rifle will requrie case lube,and a case trimmer.
    >>pistol calibers
    press,dies,caliper,manuals for loads,scale,powder measure or dippers,blocks for standing the cases up while addidng powder.flashlight for checking the height of the powder in EVERY case...twice.

    >>for rifle
    same as above,but will need some sort of case trimmer,case lube for sizing is a MUST. If using military brass,a crimp ring remover of some sort.Neck chamfering tool for use after trimming...rifle brass often 'grows' when fired.Measure then trim after sizing them.
     
  3. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    Straight wall cases such as most handgun and .45-70 etc stretch less than the rimless bottleneck cartridges such as .223 and 30-06. Because they stretch very little you don't have to trim them nearly as often. Brass work hardens as you move it. Rifle cases will not last as long as pistol cases. With pistol cases, you do a good inspection on them before reloading looking for cracks or worn cases. When you find one, it's time to throw it out. Otherwise you keep using them. I can't put a number on how many times you can reload a pistol case but it is generally more than 5 or 6.
     
  4. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    Thank you for the info. I'm a long way off from having my own setup, but knowing what I need helps. I plan on doing pistol first, then move to rifle.
    I was curious about the brass for long term reloading, saving money and all.
    So I guess brass is brass and brand doesn't matter too much?
     
  5. toolfan

    toolfan North Portland Member

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    Brass is pretty much brass,

    but for the best performance, you're going to want to sort by headstamp at the least. Different brands/lots will have slightly different internal dimensions, and will yield different pressures because of this.

    The number of times you can reuse depends on the caliber and the gun. I'll lose brass before it splits on my 45. Some magazine or another reloaded some 38 special brass 30 some times before they started getting splits back in the day.
     
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    How many times a case can be reloaded depends on many factors, not the least of which is how hot the load is, Rifle cases should be checked for OAL (Overall Length) after 2 to 3 firings. Pistol cases after 4 or 5 firings. Several manufacturers make case trimmers tools, so when you have a big pile of too-long brass sitting there, you can justify buying one

    You'll need a good micrometer to measure OAL, or a case gauge
     
  7. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    I have a pretty decent engineer's caliiper from back in the day, that should serve the purpose?
     
  8. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Sure, as long as it has precision increments and is large enough
     
  9. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    it's plenty long and goes to .001". Now I just need equipment and money.
     
  10. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Money is an issue for most of us. I am glad i bought most of my stuff long ago

    A neighbor gave me a wheelbarrow load of reloading supplies and a Dillon RL1050 a few years ago.. that helps! He's not into reloading and his Gpa left him all of that
     
  11. Arkarayne

    Arkarayne Medford, OR Member

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    ..My neighbors aren't that generous, or nice... or, social. it's an apartment complex and I think they wonder why I have steel pet cage panels lining my 2nd floor patio opening. (It's honestly to keep the cats in, but, still looks [And is] rather break-in-proof, which limits entry zones to 1) I don't know if anyone in So. Oregon's in a donating mood, so I'm probably buying from the Ground up.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I have more money tied up in brass, primers, powder and bullets than I do equipment. I'd guess I have about $1,000 in equipment because I require a chrony and tripod, a tumbler and media, and a case length trimmer to be "sure" my loads are in spec. My press is a Lee Classic Turret + I have one single stage for swaging primer pockets, pushing out military primers etc. At some point case cleaning and other case preps have to be done before you're ready to start with the reloading part.

    Dirty brass can cause FT feed or FT eject. I shine mine well in the tumbler.

    One more time. If your case lengths aren't all the same, even with pistol, your crimp die will contact each one differently and your crimps won't be even. Some might be under and some over crimped. I use my trimmer to "measure them" after I get the trimmer set right. After trimming you need a chamfer tool(s) to ease the inner and outer edges of the case.

    If a bullet isn't well crimped it can get pushed back into the case either from recoil while in the mag, or from being pushed against the feed ramp while feeding. A bullet pushed back significantly lowers the volume in the case. That causes a much faster buildup in pressure and a higher overall pressure when that round is fired.

    I believe that's the cause of some kabooms or if lucky, a blow out at the bottom of the case at the unsupported portion of the case in the chamber at the feed ramp.

    I will admit I'm pretty picky, but most kabooms happen with reloads. They don't need to. A reload should actually be better, more accurate and at least as safe as factory ammo. :thumbup:
     
  13. das_napeth

    das_napeth Snohomish, WA Member

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    I ordered a Lee kit from cabela's for $130 after tax I think, had to pay tax now that they have one up here in washington. When down at Cabela's this past sunday poking around there was a 50th anniversary kit for just a pinch over $100 if that fits your budget, no one on this board advised me against Lee as a brand so I figured i'd mention it to you
     
  14. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    The really cheap Lee cast zinc presses are junk. Their higher end units are OK. The cheap Lee Load All shotgun press is a great value, however. Lee dies are good, too
     
  15. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    IMO, nothing wrong with LEE. I just started reloading a few months ago...put on hold at the moment for scuba equipment... I went with the cheap single stage LEE press. It's all the money I had at the time. I have loaded up about a 1000 rounds of 38/357 and de-primed/re-sized around 5000 rounds with it. Still working strong. And am looking for a deal on a 1000 or turret at the moment or a single stage that can do rifle. My scale I went with a RCBS 505 tho. But figure around 100-150$ you can get into reloading for "pistol". Good Luck.
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I bought one of the cheap LEE single stages back as a newb, for a depriming station. After about 2,000 rds of depriming 7.62 and 5.56 military brass it literally fell apart
     
  17. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    Hmm. Well that would blow! I haven't done rifle with it. Well I actually tried a 300 win mag...but just won't do it. Only pistol.
     
  18. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    The Lee Reloader basic press is only about $30 and can't be expected to deprime military brass. It's a light duty press. The Lee Challenger press for about twice that price would handle it.

    These aren't the best prices but it was a quick find on google.

    http://www.a2zoutdoors.com/lee_reloading_presses.htm
     
  19. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Lifetime LEE warranty means little if

    1) Your project is put on hold

    2) You have to pay repeat shipping for breakages
     
  20. MrFlyRods22

    MrFlyRods22 Amity, OR New Member

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    Good Evening, I have a complete reloading set up for sale, or I will piece it out as well...