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Thread: Do you sort your revolver brass by head stamp??

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    NW Alabama

    Do you sort your revolver brass by head stamp??

    I just received a shipment of cleaned brass in .357 Magnum (looks like new) containing mixed head stamps. I'm in the process of sorting the brass by head stamp. I just don't know if it's necessary.
    Does anyone else do this or do you treat all .357 magnum brass the same???

  2. #2
    I have always tried to keep the same head stamp in a box of reloads. I don't think that it makes that much difference, but it is just that I am a little AR and like it that they are all the same.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Unless you have extreme accuracy requirements like long range competitive shooting sorting has little benefit.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    I'll sort in batches of 100 to load for rifles, except 5.56.

    Handguns I don't, but I also keep everything under max. too.
    If I really want to try for my best groups, I'll sort out a few by head stamp from a (same lot) bag of ammo at the range.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Jal5's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Eastern Ohio
    I sometimes do it like for load development.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Burleson, TX
    I'm not OCD but I do separate all my brass by headstamp. When I reload, I pick a sack of whatever I have the most of and load them.

    My off the wall headstamp brass is good swapping material.


  7. #7
    In Remembrance Reverend Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Victoria, B.C., Canada
    I tend to load a big batch all with the same load and then sort by headstamp as I put them into range boxes ...
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    NW Alabama
    Thanks, for the replies. I normally shoot my 686 at 25 yds. and my Henry with a ghost ring sight at 50 yrds.
    These are some of the head stamps I should have put them in the original post. Anyone know about their quality??

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy DAFzipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I use to. Not for practice. Hunting and load development only.

    Sent from my LG-H700 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Foothills, NC
    I do for revolver brass, not auto. Once and done. Although even then, you can feel differences in brass hardness. Likely from different lots.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Bookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Central Oklahoma, on a dirt road.
    I sort all my brass for headstamp. Rifle, revolver, pistol. All of it.

    Does it help ? Well, it doesn't hurt.....
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    I’m of the sort and group camp for all calibers. It may make no difference but it keeps me from having surprises at the range

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    I do both. I sort brass but I also have a mixed bag of odd stuff for plinking ammo. I shoot for accuracy so I use sorted brass. If I'm doing defensive training or killing coke cans up close, that's where the mixed brass comes in. I trim my revolver brass for consistent crimps.

    GFL is Fiocchi and is good stuff. I'll load anything if I have a decent batch of it but I don't really care for S&B or PMC much. The way they feel. My favorite is winchester.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Carmel, Ca
    I used to but it's been years since I've seen 44 brass discarded at the range. Best deal on new brass seems to be Starline 1,000 boxes. I checked and every last one of them has the same headstamp so I guess I do sort after a fashion.

    Well there was that one guy that left 44 brass that he shot in a 45 long colt ......
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 05-19-2020 at 09:18 PM.

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Dead center of Alabama
    I started sorting a few yrs back after the public range was a gold mine of once fired brass. Only problem was, the lengths were different by a few thousandth's. It really showed up on the crimping for revolvers. I was a notorious brass hound. It allowed me to shoot a bunch for cheap but I finally gave up and over the years I steadily replaced it with new Starline and now the length problem is a not-so-fond memory.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    South of the (Canada) border
    When I shot revolver matches, pretty much all shooters reserved their "best" brass for competition. The theory (??) of the day was that revolver brass all was pretty much too short to be annealed by reloader, and the "tightness" of the brass, which has an affect upon the bullet's release had most consistency with relatively new brass, all of same manufacturer and if possible, lot, as well as number of times it had been shot. We used to colour our primers with magic markers, also: unmarked was virgin brass; then yellow; then blue; then red; and finally, black. After five firings -- the remaining non-split brass was reserved for practice...
    To be 101% honest, I do not know if it made a bit of difference -- but... that's what we did (early 1970s)...
    and... why.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Lebanon, NY
    For my revolvers when I buy new brass I keep them together in 50 round boxes. That way each 5o gets reloaded the same amount.
    On assorted head stamp pick up brass I sort by head stamp and swap out head stamps I'm not familiar with or don't like for stuff I do.
    On rifle brass I do the same but try not to buy assorted brass. If used I try to buy all one head stamp. I then sort the 1000 by weight. Lots of +or- .5 grs. This may improve accuracy and ii only cost me a bit of time. It only has to be done once.
    Being retired it gives something to do when it's to dark to do other things. I don't have TV, to cheap to get cable and since it went digital I don't get any off the air.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    west central Illinois
    Only when super match accuracy is wanted for either rifle or handgun. It makes more difference in rifle than handgun but the difference is still there.
    The testing I have done for handgun, was with 38 special(many guns but mostly S&W 14) and 9mm(S&W 929) for revolver. I also tested in 45ACP. In every case the difference was there. Unfortunately, I am not a good enough shooter to make use of it without a rest.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    With my hunting revolver, I need it to be precise. I can see why many mix brass for their self defense handguns; but I keep my brass separate no matter what firearm it is for.

    Having said that, I do have loads that are the same powder and charge weight; but use different cases, bullets, and/or primers... and they aren't always as precise, or hit in the same spot as the original load.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    OKC , Oklahoma
    Some I do and some I don't , 32 s&w , 38 and 357 are mixed 32 h&r and 44 special are all star line 327 is almost all federal 45 colt I sort.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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