Reloading steel case…?

ma96782

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I thought about it (long ago) but.....
Try finding Bedan primers (in America and at reasonable prices). LOL.

Aloha, Mark

PS.....or one could modify the primer pockets like on YouTube.

Rrrrright.....

Or one could just buy some brass cases made for boxer primers.
 

CLT65

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It can be done, it is simply not worth it.
I agree completely. I've reloaded a fair quantity of steel cases over the years. I started out with a bunch of USGI steel .45 acp cases. If you're careful they won't damage your dies, since they're soft steel. The WWII and '50s USGI .45 steel cases were all boxer primed, and some of the Wolf steel cases are also. The low pressure .45acp cases load fairly well, and you'll get a couple loadings out of them. I even loaded a few of the boxer primed Russian steel-case .223 cases just to see how it worked. I would never bother again unless brass was completely unavailable.

The bottom line is that while it works OK in some circumstances, brass is a far better material for reloading, and while most common caliber cases are cheap and plentiful, loading steel cases is just not worth bothering with.
 
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I've done it. Made a batch of 20 or so just to do it. Running them through walnut/corn cob media with polish really gave them a shine and a smooth finish, totally different from what you'd normally get from the factory box. I used a liberal amount of sizing lube despite having a carbide die set as insurance and filled them with a fairly light charge of HS6. Cartridge in question is .40 S&W, Wolf cases. They all fed, fired and ejected like you'd expect brass to. I personally wouldn't go out of my way to do it, but wouldn't hesitate either.

I have yet to try reloading aluminum. My balls don't clank that loudly.
 

CLT65

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I have yet to try reloading aluminum. My balls don't clank that loudly.
Been there, done that- worse than steel.

It does work if you're careful. Most of the higher pressure cases (9mm and .40 S&W) tended to split, but the low pressure .45 acp worked ok for at least one reload. I'd only bother with aluminum again if brass was unavailable. Aluminum seems to get brittle real fast.

On another note- I found these while cleaning out some old junk at work. They're big and they clang, and I've heard that it's manly somehow to have a pair, so I brought them home...

IMG_2171[1].jpg
 

Goodknight

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Lol
I've done it. Made a batch of 20 or so just to do it. Running them through walnut/corn cob media with polish really gave them a shine and a smooth finish, totally different from what you'd normally get from the factory box. I used a liberal amount of sizing lube despite having a carbide die set as insurance and filled them with a fairly light charge of HS6. Cartridge in question is .40 S&W, Wolf cases. They all fed, fired and ejected like you'd expect brass to. I personally wouldn't go out of my way to do it, but wouldn't hesitate either.

I have yet to try reloading aluminum. My balls don't clank that loudly.
Lol! Thanks for sharing!
 

gmerkt

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Don't be tempted to use adapter rings on primer pockets to get Boxer primers to work in Berdan. Way not worth it. Some of those adapter rings are aluminum, won't take the pressure. Brass isn't the hard to get component, so far, it's just not worth fooling around with.

There was a time when Rocky Mountain Reloading was selling CCI aluminum cases. They were primed, unfired, the bullets had been pulled. I bought about 1,000 of these in .38 Special. They are fine to load, only good for one shot, then put in recycling. I bought them because they were cheap (at that time) and eliminated the case preparation phase.

I have experimented with CCI aluminum 10mm Auto cases, they were good for a second firing but had no advantage over brass other than being free. And you didn't have to look for them, which can be a challenge for recovering 10mm. For those, look on the Moon.
 

CLT65

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Don't be tempted to use adapter rings on primer pockets to get Boxer primers to work in Berdan. Way not worth it. Some of those adapter rings are aluminum, won't take the pressure. Brass isn't the hard to get component, so far, it's just not worth fooling around with.
You've been down that road too? :)

I've tried all kinds of things with converting berdan brass to boxer. It can be made to work sometimes, but mostly it's just a bit of a fool's errand. Huge waste of time unless it's impossible to get brass otherwise, or at least that's what I concluded.
 

gmerkt

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You've been down that road too?
Oh yeah, and not afraid to admit it if it will help others. The guy who sells those adapter kits, and also kits for re-priming .22 cases, his materials and his web site don't give a physical address. For good reason. I'm thinking those adapter rings might work better if they get sealed into place with some of that primer sealer. But he doesn't tell you this. I'm still not up for aluminum rings at typical bottle neck rifle chamber pressures.

It was never necessary for me to get involved in this, it was "just because" experimentation. It cost me the price of an M14 Rifle bolt that got ruined from hot plasma gases escaping from a burned-through adapter ring. You can still buy a lot of 7.62 NATO brass for the price of an M14 bolt.
 
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I managed to get 1 reload out of aluminium cases that I picked up in the woods. They split very easy. But hey, its one less round of brass I have to buy or scavange.... Steelcase... man I would only try that if I had 0 ammo.
 
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Been there, done that- worse than steel.
Aluminum worse than steel? How so?

Once clean they resize slicker 'n snot and a low end charge makes great, one time, 'let em fly' plinking ammo.

Been doing this longer than some have probably been shooting.

I don't shoot them often due to the only occasionally finds of cases so I save them up for special occasions like chasing jack rabbits on the desert, impromptu shooting when i don't want to mess with brass, etc.
 

fstdraw

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Sure, brass is a bit easier. Once you have Berdan primers and a way/system to decap, it's the same a reloading brass boxer primed. The difference is in the extra elbow grease needed to size the case. Follow the data for reloading, but be careful of powder choice. Berdan cases like different powders than boxer cases. I don't find the need to crimp steel cases. I loaded 250 7.62x39 cases Saturday and shot half of them Sunday. I've never reloaded aluminum cases, I don't trust them.
 

CLT65

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Aluminum worse than steel? How so?

Once clean they resize slicker 'n snot and a low end charge makes great, one time, 'let em fly' plinking ammo.

Been doing this longer than some have probably been shooting.

I don't shoot them often due to the only occasionally finds of cases so I save them up for special occasions like chasing jack rabbits on the desert, impromptu shooting when i don't want to mess with brass, etc.
It seemed to me that the aluminum was much more likely to crack and split. I reloaded a lot of steel cases, mostly USGI .45 acp back in the day, and actually it worked pretty well, and I loaded many of them numerous times. Some Russian .45acp is boxer primed and I had good success loading a couple boxes of those. I think I still have a gallon or so of them that I picked up at the range. If I ever run out of brass, I'd have no problem using them.

I've reloaded a fair amount of aluminum .45acp though not nearly so much as steel. It worked OK as I recall, but the aluminum split easier and I never bothered to load them more than once. 9mm and .40 cases split a lot anytime I tried them.

Light loads, loaded once and tossed- why not? If it works for you that's what matters. :) Nowadays I don't have anywhere to shoot except the range. The family property at the coast is gone now.

Added: I just remembered that I had these .45acp aluminum cases in a drawer in my garage. If I ran out of brass, I'd load them too, one time use.

IMG_2203[1].jpg
 

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