View Full Version : How many times do you reuse your brass?

08-19-2015, 08:08 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, feel free to move it.

I have a simple question with many answers, and wanted to see what some of you had to say.

How many times do you reload your brass?

Now, I'm not talking about the cheap stuff like 9mm or 223 Rem. I'm asking about the stuff that cost .50 cents or more. Like 300. Ultra Mag, Weatherby Mag, Norma Mag, or even 35 Remington. How many times do you feel comfortable reloading your Win Mags, like the 300 and 338?

I'm just being curious.

I've shot the primer pockets loose using light cast loads in the 308 Win. I stopped counting after 15 reloads. With full loads in my 338 Win. I start looking at them really close after around 3 reloads. I'm still not sure about my 7mm ultra mag, I'm up to 3 reloads on a batch of 30. I'm not sure how much more I want from them. Brass is expensive, but so is plastic surgery.

08-19-2015, 08:18 PM
I use them until they are wore out. I have some that I'm sure have 50+ reloadings.

country gent
08-19-2015, 08:47 PM
Alot of case life depends on intensity of the cartridge ( operating pressures make a big diffrence in case life), firearms used they are used in ( semi auto, bolt, pump, lever) and last is intended use of the cartridges ( plinking informal target, true target or matches, hunting). A benchrest shooter may wear out a barrel with under 100 cases in the tight chamber used. A NRA high power rifle competitor shooting a semi auto match rifle or service rifle may need 1500 or so cases to accomplish the worn out barrel. Cases that see all light target loads will last way longer than the same cases with full power loads. The way cases are sized affects case life also. if the cases are ever annealed will affect case life also. I have 38 spl cases that have only seen light wadcutter loads ( 2.6 grns bullseye) that any have yet to fail in 15 years or so of being loaded. +p loads maybe 7-10 loadings. On the belted mags full length sizing 6-8 loads may be all you get size to just bump shoulder back .001-.002 and life increases to 10-15 loadings. Load down to 30-06 pressures life again increases. I hve seen military teams thats 600 yd load in 308 was a one loading in new federal brass. Pressures rifle type and powder type all affect this.

08-19-2015, 09:04 PM
most of what I shot is straight walled cases, I use them until they won't hold a boolit securely.

Petrol & Powder
08-19-2015, 11:30 PM
Until I can't reuse my brass

08-20-2015, 01:57 AM
till the break at the range, or when they break in the press.

08-20-2015, 02:43 AM
Think of brass as a gasket. It serves to seal the chamber. Use it till it won't seal any more.

08-20-2015, 02:51 AM
Depends on the shape of the brass, the rifle or pistol, how hot I load it, how often I anneal it, who drew the brass originally and so-on and so-forth.

Greg S
08-20-2015, 02:52 AM
A word of wisdom from an old Speer maual said to start looking closely after trimimg .030 of a case. Generally, pistol brass I shoot it till I loose it or crush it in a press, 223/308 for jammomatics 3-4 times or when the pockets get loose. I carefully FL size my auto brass and only bump it .002. Bolt I neck size 2-3 times then FL size when chambering gets tough. I get alot more mileage from Lapua 223 and 308 in my bolts then standard american fare. If your getting worried, try the paperclip hook to see it a weak spot is forming by the base or split a couple of cases and look at the web.

As CG said though, alot has to do with pessure intensity, type of platform and I'll add manufacturer. You don't see too many m1a shooters loading their brass more than 3-4 times before they leavem.

As you say, brass is cheap in the long run. Stock up now that its available before the next election. I haven't evr seen brass prices decline in the past 30 years. Look at it as a long term investment just store it carefully and use what ya need.

Teddy (punchie)
08-20-2015, 04:43 AM
Brass trimming is one of the best after the normal inspection. Brass flow is one thing that effect it the most. The shoulder helps this some. Body taper is an other one.

Average I would say 4-6 for normal hunting not annealed brass. 300 Ackley is somewhere around 7-9 reloads and going. Started with 50; 300 Weathby fire formed, bet I have 30 some left. Biggest thing here was learning to not F/L resizing and only neck sizing. I pressed a few shoulders way too far, live and learn.

08-20-2015, 06:35 AM
For my pistol brass...Til' they split. Don't shoot cartridge rifle.

The Muzzle Loader in me would say "Brass...What's brass?" :veryconfu

08-20-2015, 07:42 AM
Until it breaks, I see a fault, primer cup no longer holds primers, neck splits or some other defect shows up.

08-20-2015, 08:05 AM
Until it breaks, I see a fault, primer cup no longer holds primers, neck splits or some other defect shows up.

I do the same also, what others say they do also.If some are too short.Find other use for them or make up my own data to make it work depends on the type of brass it is.

08-20-2015, 08:55 AM
All of my brass is pistol and 45 colt,I load them until they split or some other defect shows.Inspect all for defects each time you load,look for minor neck splits,discard then.Some of my 45acp and 45 colts will collaspe some and I discard them then.

John Boy
08-20-2015, 10:02 AM
How many times do you reload your brass?Until a case splits
Unless the brass is over work hardened,which annealing will correct, or a case does not seal against the chamber wall due to dirty cases - moisture or lube in the chamber or plain loaded to high ... brass will last a long time

08-21-2015, 02:54 AM
I use them until I cannot find a lot of primers that will stay in the primer pockets.

I shoot low to moderate pressure loads so the primer pockets get worn out by priming and depriming. Somewhere between 35 and 50 loads.

08-21-2015, 05:23 PM
I agree with John Boy. I use them over & over until I see split neck or some other obvious sign of wear. I shoot mostly the old lever Marlins so CUP's do not get high. If I was loading the modern loads with higher pressures I definitely watch my brass for wear & showing signs of too much trimming. It would be safe to say watch the brass
closely with higher pressure loads.

08-21-2015, 06:00 PM
there is no shoot it X times and done, I have reloaded the same 38Spl brass for 25 years that comes out to about 20 times of reloading it, each time it is fired I cull out more for cracks, and have had 20-06 that was junk at 6 full power loads

08-21-2015, 06:33 PM
After trimming back 4 times. With 308 Win, 30-06, 35 Whelen and 6.5x55 about 25-30 loadings with cast boolits and a little less for full power jacketed loads.

08-21-2015, 07:03 PM
Until it's not useable anymore. The only ones I'm keeping track of at the moment is 327 Federal. Want to see how long I can go before, trimming, annealing and failure. I'm shooting near max loads w/ 115 grain bullets.

08-22-2015, 12:04 AM
I'll reload mine till is shows a defect that renders it unfit for reloading. Pretty simple really, applies to all my brass.

Kinda like asking low long is a piece of string? Dunno, insufficient data provided...

08-24-2015, 01:23 PM
I use mine till something "feels" or looks wrong. Often it's the beginning of a mouth split or a priming operation that doesn't feel right. Primer pockets that are either too tight or too loose will get that piece tossed in the recycle bin. Life's too short to spend any time dealing with problem brass.

08-24-2015, 01:43 PM
That is a question that definitely has more than one answer. I know some pedantic shooters that shoot every batch of brass f.e 5 times, then throw them in the pin. I also know couple that reload the batch over and over again until they find the first case with a defect. Then they discard the whole batch.

08-24-2015, 01:47 PM
A long time. 44 mag I reload until they split then trim down to 44 special.
When krag brass splits it gets trimmed and fire formed into full length 44 shot shells.
32 s&w long trimmed to shorts
357 to 38 spcl
Most bottleneck cases get trashed once splits occur.

08-24-2015, 07:12 PM
I reload brass until it fails. Usually neck cracks cause the case's demise.

Le Loup Solitaire
08-24-2015, 08:38 PM
When primer pockets no longer hold the primers correctly or the necks show splits/cracks then its time to toss. LLS