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number of reloads

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by trainwreck, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. trainwreck

    trainwreck salem Member

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    how do you keep track of how many times you have loaded each case?
    or do you just load them till the start to show signs of failure?
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I use colored felt markers to mark the base of the shell as a way to keep them seperated into lots. In my reloading data book I log each time a casing has been reloaded and how. Should a lot suffer 10% or more cases sorted out for cause (either firing damage or detected wear) I will either retire the lot or depending on the caliber load it one last time and put it in the last ditch stock pile.

    You can also use patterns of colored markers if you have a lot of different lots.
     
  3. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I usually keep all my personal handloads in their own boxes, it's loaded into a box, and after firing is returned to the same box. Each time it's loaded another tick mark goes on the label. I tend to keep boxes of similar age (number of reloads) together in the same ammo can, and I keep a notebook of what it is, how it performed etc etc. This makes things much easier when you're doing load testing as well, as I've had loads that didn't perform as expected, for example the pressures got high and I got blown primers. All that brass goes in the scrap bin, or the loads get pulled (if I didn't shoot all of them).

    I usually scrap brass when more than 2 cases show signs of failure, as I figure the rest of them are in a similar condition.

    For bulk reloads that I run through my semi-autos, I usually don't go through the same rigorous process, and instead will simply scrap brass when it shows signs of wearing out. Typically in this collection I figure it's more constant loss, and when I have lots of brass that seem tenuous I won't bother picking it up next time it goes out, and will let it go on to be someone elses problem, or if I'm somewhere that leaving brass is frowned upon, I will pick it up and scrap it out.
     
  4. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    From what I have read no one seems to ever have a number for how many times brass can be reloaded. They say rifle brass is under so much more presser that it cannot be reloaded too many times. The presser on pistol brass is far less. I started keeping track of groups of brass, but I went with constant close inspection of the brass instead. After it is cleaned I inspect it, then again when it is resized and then when expanding and priming. And of course measuring many samples for length specs. I have not yet found any brass that is longer than the specs. So I have not yet purchased a trimmer. I also clean the primer pockets by hand and the inside of the brass with a brush. Maybe an unnecessary step, but it gives me one more time for inspection.
     
  5. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    There is no secret number, there are other factors to consider. Hot loads are harder on cases and shorten the life. Full length case sizing can also shorten the case life. Neck sizing works better, but... those case may only fit into the firearm that it was fired in (not necessary).

    Generally when a number is used, I have seen it from 7 to 10 reloads. As it has been mentioned, case inspection is key to deciding along with keeping your brass in lots. Using used brass save money, but the history of the brass may not be known. I like to use used brass in case forming. Such as 30-30 to 30 Herret. Or .44 mag to .44 Russian.

    Also type of powder, probably not a issue with most shooters is black powder metallic cartridges. Cleaning the cases is the most important aspect, the cases seem to last a very long time, if taken care of.
     
  6. chrislind2

    chrislind2 Springfield, Oregon Member

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    Any thoughts on reloading nickel casings? Is it about the same as brass? I come across one once in awhile when I'm reloading. I believe you can buy nickel casings to reload. I either pick them up at the range and they belonged to someone else or I might fire some factory loads that are nickel.
     
  7. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    I keep track for rifle rounds, but, just dump all my pistol brass into the "to be processed" bucket and inspect. I have some pistol with > 30 loads. I've never had that kind of success with rifle brass. I do treat all of my pistol brass as a single lot so I don't end up reloading some of it more than others.
     
  8. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I keep mine sorted in freezer type ziplock bags marked with a sharpie
     
  9. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    Since I don't shoot hundreds of rounds of ammo anymore,i will load and shoot one box at a time,and reload that same box until I see possible failures.If I throw one away,I grab one out of the can full of empties I have.I treat each case individually and don't count the number of times I reload it.
     
  10. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Nickel is no different really, it's just a coating on the brass casings that will eventually wear off
     
  11. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    My 45 loads meet major power factor, but still are light compared to store bought ball ammo. I have some cases loaded so many times that the headstamp is almost but gone.

    As long as your loads are not power house type, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  12. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    I love nickel-plated cases. It makes your reloads much easier to identify when you're picking up your brass at the range, they clean up faster in the tumbler, and they don't tarnish...in addition, they look great. I usually toss cases after 5 reloads, but they will last longer (I just get tired of keeping track of them after 5 trips through the tumbler). I have bought thousands of once-fired Ni-plated cases online from LEO brass. My last batch of 1000 .40 cases only cost me $25.

    For tracking, I use colored Sharpies on the bottom of the case, and sorting bins (Akrobins) to keep track of how many firings per batch.
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    My pistol cases are loaded and shot until they start to split (9mm)

    .223's for my AR's are loaded until the primer pockets get loose or they split.

    My .308 cases are loaded 5 times, annealed, loaded another 5, annealed, etc. Lapua Cases are tossed at 35-40 loadings and the other commercial brass after 25 times. Every case is inspected carefully at each loading. Any case that has a primer pocket starting to loosen up is marked with a dremel tool (a line etched from pocket to rim) and then discarded at the range after firing. Annealing the cases makes for a lot longer case life. I won't even pick up Federal Brass as their primer pockets seem to get loose after the 2nd reload. Why bother with them.
     
  14. Rammit

    Rammit Bothel Member

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    I think as long as you anneal the necks you should be fine with bottleneck cases, If your shooting expensive brass or calibers like alot of the 6.5s or 338lm based cases anealing every few times will save you tons on money, as far as straight walled cases go I keep a coffee cans full of each and just tumble them after i pick them up and mix em all back together, ive never had any of mine split but im fairly new to loading and most have only seen 3 years of shooting a few times a month
     
  15. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    lazer engraving works too.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty much what I do with the only pistol cases I shoot (9mm). I have some cases that I picked up back in the early '80s that are still doing just fine. About once per year I pick up one of my cases and it has split. 9mm brass is like the dandilions in my lawn, more than I really need and impossible to kill.
     
  17. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    I've always kept the number of times fired recorded in two places - on the loaded ammo label and in my records book.