How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Extend your shooting experience while reducing the cost of your ammunition!

How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby LowKey » 25 Jun 2018 12

A friend whom I respect says he will only reload once fired pistol brass.

I've reloaded my 40 S&W pistol brass with light loads several times and with no problems (so far).

I do inspect each round before labeling and boxing them up.

So how many times is too many?
LowKey
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 204
Joined: 18 Feb 2016
Has thanked: 190 times
Been thanked: 92 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: New Rawlins, WY

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 25 Jun 2018 12

With 9mm and 45 ACP I've lost count of the cycles. I've probably lost more in the grass at the range than I've thrown out for wear. With the 357 and 45 Colt it's usually splits at the case mouth and that depends very much on load intensity, but it seems that the least I've managed has been 5 loadings with hot loads in the 357 and 4 in the Colt, those that failed were from hot loads of H110 and fat cast bullets that resulted in more work at the mouths and those were Winchester cases that started out as factory loads.

Make smoke,
Curt... makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time Image
Ohio3Wheels
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: 31 Jul 2014
Has thanked: 157 times
Been thanked: 190 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Dayton Oh

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby mikld » 25 Jun 2018 12

How high is up? :lol: Not meant to be offensive! There are many, many variables involved in brass life it would be difficult (impossible)to give a definitive answer. The key is inspection, inspect every case before it's reloaded and the most common defect for handgun ammo is split necks. Examples from my reloading experience; 38 Special, I have some 38 brass I picked up at a police range in the late '60s and I figger I have reloaded some over 25 times. Also some 357s that have gone 20, but also some that only went about 8 reloadings (hot loads, heavy crimp). Same with some 44 Magnum brass; some have gone 15+ and some only last 5-8 reloadings, depending on load and gun. I have some 45 ACP that's at least 30 years old that have many reloads on them (I know of some reloaders that have reloaded WWII brass several times). My 9mm also gets many, many reloads and those reloaded to "sane" levels last the longest (I have "the load" for my 9mm and use mixed brass and don't remember any split necks in several months or reloading them). And for me it's difficult to say about my semi-auto reloads as I don't count. I use/have purchased a lot of "once fired" brass (aka "used") and have had no more problems than I have with my once fired cases...

For your 40 brass, inspect them before any processing to make sure the necks aren't split, and look for anything that just don't look right. Handgun brass is easy to find, inexpensive and often free, so if you question the condition of any brass, just set it aside.
mikld
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 47
Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 8 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Orygun

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby Iplayfarmer » 25 Jun 2018 14

I'm in the camp with most of the other replies. I have dozens of reloads on much of my 357 brass. I load for cowboy action shooting, so it's not heavy stuff. I just load them until I see splits or dents in the case.

With pistol brass you're not bumping the shoulder or working the brass in other ways like you do for bottle neck rifle cartridges. I keep my flare to a minimum. I may throw away 2 or 3 cases from every batch of 200-500 rounds I load. As my brass ages I may see more.
Iplayfarmer
 
Posts: 58
Joined: 27 Jun 2015
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 9 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Idaho

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby Archer » 26 Jun 2018 00

I don't reload .40 yet but if and when I do...
1) TOSS any pregnant brass. Don't iron it out (no bulge buster die from Lee or Redding) just get rid of it.
2) Load it more or less just like everything else. Toss anything that splits on resizing.
3) toss anything that looks like it has a loose primer pocket.
4) toss anything that won't hold tension on the bullet.
5) limited flaring of the case mouth, limited turning the case mouth back to the bullet or crimping, factory duplication loads within pressure specs.
6) repeat until and unless you notice a certain headstamp or batch giving problems and IF and when that happens toss that lot and start over.

All brass is not created equal. Some brands or lots will hold up better than others but the same techniques of sorting, processing, culling and loading apply.

45 ACPs I've done dozens of loads with at around 850 FPS 230 grain bullets. Still using the brass. I've tossed several from the 1960s or earlier that probably had tens of loads on them when I got them because they either split, wouldn't hold neck tension or I got tired of filing the rims so they'd fit in the shell holders.

9mm 10+ times, still loading it. Tossed a couple with either thickened rims maybe one with a loose primer pocket.

.38 Special tossed a couple many fired when they cracked on resizing.

.357 several times tossed a few that split on reloading.
.44 Mag a half dozen plus with heavy loads.

10mm just got started on it so I haven't reloaded any and only have a couple hundred empties to start with.
Maybe I'll get on it after I dump another 3-5 hundred.
Same basic thing with .32 ACP and .380 ACP.

7.62x25 annoyingly I loose more in the grass 30 yards to the right of the shooting position. I haven't reloaded much of it as quite a lot of what I've shot is not reloadable to start with.

Brass is expendable. Don't ditch it too soon but ditching it too late is perhaps a worse mistake.
Archer
2000 Shots
2000 Shots
 
Posts: 2697
Joined: 04 Feb 2014
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 365 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: SoCal Loco

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby Archer » 26 Jun 2018 07

P.S.
We all know commercial OFB is really usually MFB.
Commercially 'remanufactured' ammo is put into reconditioned cases of uncertain origin.
And even if we mean to only pick up our own spent shells more than likely we are going to get a mixture of our own and others over time.
Archer
2000 Shots
2000 Shots
 
Posts: 2697
Joined: 04 Feb 2014
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 365 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: SoCal Loco

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby GasGuzzler » 26 Jun 2018 17

Answer: Until I can't no mo.

I only pick up mine because there is no range to go to so I shoot in peoples' "yards".
__________________________________________________________________________________________
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane.
User avatar
GasGuzzler
Supporter
Supporter
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: 02 Nov 2015
Has thanked: 140 times
Been thanked: 211 times
My Rossi Choice: Revolver
Location: Cooke County, TX

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby ethang » 27 Jun 2018 15

I still have 45 ACP and 38 Special cases from when I first started reloading back in the late 80's. I would not even venture a guess on how many times they have been reloaded. Some years ago I found box left at the range with a note. "free. scrap only. loaded 18 times." Inside was almost 500 Starline 45 Colt cases...

Of course I took them home and started loading them...
Plastic has no soul...
ethang
 
Posts: 113
Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 27 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Mid Michigan

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby rondog » 27 Jun 2018 21

So there ya have it - a lot. They can be reloaded a lot of times. Until they split or the primers won't stay in.

It's hard for me to understand the snobbish "ONLY ONCE FIRED" attitude. I sell brass that I pick up at my club, and it sells cheap. REAL cheap. You'll damn sure get your money's worth!

It's a huge PITA to sell brass too, people can be real ignorant about it. Then there's sorting, polishing, packaging, shipping, lost/damaged packages, and on and on.

Last batch, I just sold it all for scrap. 500lbs of perfectly good .223 & 9mm, Berdan primered rifle stuff, nickle plated, minor dents, old primers, and outright NFG brass. Walked away with $800! That money's earmarked to buy my next Rossi with.
rondog
250 Shots
250 Shots
 
Posts: 270
Joined: 19 Oct 2015
Has thanked: 85 times
Been thanked: 59 times
My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: Colorado

Re: How Many Times WIll You Reload Pistol Brass?

Postby Ranch Dog » 28 Jun 2018 06

Archer wrote:I don't reload .40 yet but if and when I do...
1) TOSS any pregnant brass. Don't iron it out (no bulge buster die from Lee or Redding) just get rid of it.

Good point Archer, I've not used the Redding dies, but the Lee instructions are very specific about tossing brass that has failed due to an unsupported chamber. Toss them.

Bulge Buster Kit & Glock.jpg
The kit is made to correct the normal swelling at the web of a cartridge where a sizing die cannot reach.

I'm a Front Sight guy and used to roll up brass during breaks and send it home in USPS Flat Rate boxes. I stopped because the Glock is the most popular pistol shot at the facility and I was tossing to much brass. I have personally witnessed two Glock KABOOMs on the firing line; a 40 S&W and a 9mm Luger. After seeing the second, I sold all three of my Glocks. I will add that only factory new ammo could be shot on the ranges, the instructors inspect it, so the KABOOMs were from cartridges that had never been through a cycle. My range picked brass had plenty that would not make it through another cycle.

Almost all compacts are capable of giving the brass a fat belly as something has to give in the design to get a cartridge up to the ramp, and it is usually in the form of an unsupported chamber. Hot loads in my little 32 Auto Taurus TCP will do it. The load was not above but at max. Not worth the brass loss so I cooled it down a bit.

Image

I bet some of the Rossi "corrections" to get ammunition to cycle on the R92s will swell brass! At least from the pictures, I've seen fom returned rifles.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Michael
Image
User avatar
Ranch Dog
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8666
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Has thanked: 1436 times
Been thanked: 1952 times
My Rossi Choice: Rio Grande
Location: Cuero, TX


Return to Handloading

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

  • Advertisement