Which casings can/not be reloaded?


December 27, 2002, 11:02 PM
I would like to eventually get into reloading, but one question I have now is this...how do you know what can and cannot be reloaded? Some ammo makers keep cost down by offering ammo that is non-reload able, like Wolf. But if they don't say so, how do you know? Are brass and nickel the only OK materials?

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December 27, 2002, 11:15 PM
Aluminum CCI Blazer is non-reloadable along with any brass or nickel berdan primed cases.
Berdan primers differ from reloadable boxer primers in that they have 3 holes instead of just one on the inside of the primer. You can see them if you use a light and look inside the case.
I've never shot any Wolf brand ammo, aren't they steel cased? If so, toss 'em.

Mike Irwin
December 28, 2002, 02:55 AM

Berdan primed cases ARE reloadable. It's just a pain in the butt, requires special decapping tools, and requires the use of Berdan primers (as opposed to the Boxer primers that we find in gunshops here).

Also, Berdan primed brass can have 1, 2, 3, or even 4 flash holes. 2 is by far the most common.

December 28, 2002, 02:59 AM
Any boxer primed brass, or Nickle-plated, case is reloadable. Aluminum and steel cases aren't reloadable.

December 28, 2002, 07:58 AM
I've run across one guy that picks up steel cases and says he reloads them. I've not seen the result but I wonder what he's doing to his resizing die? I don't think I'd try it, not with brass being available almost everywhere.

Mike Irwin, Berdan with one flash hole? I've only seen the two-hole variety. That would be interesting, are the primers pretty much the same diameter, I've never checked that.

December 28, 2002, 10:31 AM

Most Berdan primers use diameters differing form those used by Boxer primers. The single hole cases intended for Berdan primers that I've seen have a hole through the anvil.


December 28, 2002, 01:19 PM
Thanks, bfoster, I'd never seen a one-hole Berdan before and was curious. I don't mess around with Berdan primed brass since there's so much Boxer laying around. I had heard you could reload it but it's hard to come across the primers here.

December 28, 2002, 01:43 PM
On the steel case issue, I have reloaded one round in a steel case just to see. Lubed it and resized it and it worked fine. I would not make a habit of it cause brass is cheaper than dies.

The nickle plated brass is reloadable but doesn't last as long as the plain brass ones, in my experiance. Cracks alot sooner. I stick to plain brass now.

Mike Irwin
December 28, 2002, 05:03 PM
Reloading steel cases, especially bottlenecked steel rifle cases, is an horrendous pain in the ass. I've done it, and don't care to do it again any time soon.

I'm heading home tonight after a week at the Parent's in Pennsylvania. I'll see if I can find some different examples of Berdan flashhole configurations and take come pictures for posting.

Berdan primers, being predominantly European, are usually metric size. I THINK there are 4 or 5 different diameters. Old Western Scrounger normally carries RWS Berdan primers for European loads.

December 28, 2002, 11:40 PM
Looks like they covered it all.

December 29, 2002, 10:17 AM
the guys at 1911 forum say DO NOT reload any American brass it will be stamped AMERC dimensional differences and thickness variations cause big time FTFs:mad:

December 30, 2002, 05:30 AM
During WWII the Germans found their 8mm ammo unreliable in the Russian winter; erratic ignition which was a real problem in MGs, which was quickly fixed by one large f/hole. Not in the anvil but in the normal position. Should still be listed in collectors bibles.

December 30, 2002, 10:15 PM
Wolf 45 ACP is boxer primed. I reload them at least once and shoot them where I'm likely to not recover the casings. The ones I do recover (after reloading and shooting), I pass on to a buddy who reloads them 4 or 5 more times. (He modifies the Wolf cases and shoots them in a Webley revolver.)

I use carbide dies and haven't noticed any problem resizing except they require a little extra force. My reloads are light and I've noticed no problems at all in shooting the few hundred I've reloaded.

I actually prefer reloading the Wolf 45s, at least once, to the American brand (AMERC) brass. (I suppose the AMERC brass has some scrap metal value.)


December 31, 2002, 09:59 AM
Actually the primers are "Copper" Colored.
I find them on "NT" (Non Toxic?) headstamped ammo
Usually 9mm

They appear to be "Crimped"
Everytime one sneaks its way into my
Progressive press.........
It screws up the sequence.
It Appears not to want to seat the primer properly

January 3, 2003, 10:29 PM
I dont think that the NT is crimped. It seems like a 2nd band of brass around the primer hole. I took one apart and loaded a new primer then took the primer out(very carefully) and saw that one corner was completly destroyed. After that I threw the remaining cases out.

January 4, 2003, 12:15 AM
I had never heard of any problems with Amerc cases. Is it just with 1 caliber or all of them prone to the variation in dimensions.

The reason I ask is that I have been reloading Amerc 45 brass for some time and have yet to experence any problems.

J Miller
January 7, 2003, 12:37 PM
Loading steel cases is not only possible, but not really that different from loading brass cases.
I am refering to American Military .45 ACP cases. I don't know about Wolf or any other brand.

Years ago I found a quantity of the steel military cases. I was shooting a lot of .45 ACP in early IPSC matches and loading a lot.
I simply threw the cases into the tumbler and then segregated them prior to loading.
Then sized, decapped, belled, chamfored as usual. I was using a carbide die, and did notice a difference in force needed to size the cases. It wasn't enough different to case any worry.

The only major difference is that some of the cases, one brand (I can't remember which) used undersized primers. Just a couple thousands, but when I primed them I could tell.

Loading and shooting them was no different than brass cases.

I still have some left over and am currently shooting them out of my OM BH ACP cylinder.

Since I have now accumulated thousands of loadable brass .45 ACP cases I no longer load the steel ones. But I keep them just the same.

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