steel cases


pastor paul
April 12, 2007, 05:51 PM
Can steel cases be reloaded (i.e., Wolf)? Any extra steps or precautions?

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April 12, 2007, 06:26 PM
In a war, or other emergency, yes! Otherwise, it's not worth the hassle. Trust me on this one. I've done it!:(

April 12, 2007, 06:39 PM
98% of folks won't do it. I'm one. :)

Welcome to THR.

April 12, 2007, 09:30 PM
wolf ammo is berdan primed, right?

pastor paul
April 12, 2007, 10:23 PM
cheygriz and walkalong - thanx for the replies. I don't think i'll attempt it based on your input. sounds to be more of a headache than i want. if you don't mind, what is the main problem?
schnieder38 - i have been reloading .38/.357, 9mm, .40 and all my rifle rounds for about 25 years now but i am far from any pro or expert, thus my question to you; what is "berdan primed"?
thanx guys. your advice is greatly appreciated.
j in J - pp

April 12, 2007, 10:40 PM
Steel is very hard on dies for starters. It also is not as mallable and flexable as brass. Brass expands to seal the chamber and keep powder gases going forward driving the bullet and not back through the action where they can wreak havoc, even blinding a person!! Brass can do this over and over, within reason. Steel cannot. Just not worth the risk. Once fired brass is to cheap to risk it. My 2 cents. :)

Berdan primed brass has two or three small holes around the perimeter of the primer pocket instead of one larger one in the middle. Also the "anvil" is built into the primer pocket instead of being a part of the primer. You cannot decap by the usual means. A pain, but reloadable.

Oh Yea.... Welcome to THR pastor paul.

April 13, 2007, 12:35 AM
"...Can steel cases be reloaded..." No. Even though the steel is mild, it is not elastic like brass is. They can damage your dies too.
Berdan primers, like Walkalong says, have the anvil built into the case. You need a special tool to decap them and the new primers are expensive and difficult to find. They're a whole lot more trouble to reload than they're worth.

April 13, 2007, 01:44 AM
Lots of regurgitated uninformed opinions here as usual.
Many have been reloading steel cases for years with no ill effects even before "the web" existed. The best forums in those days were on usenet news and a few dedicated bbs's. I hopped on usenet the other day for old times' sake and it's now full of gar-bage like the web *sigh*.

(And yes, you can load cast bullets using pistol powder for, god forbid, semiautomatic rifles as many have been doing for years.)

April 13, 2007, 06:05 AM
wow helpwanted a little harsh don't you think.

yes you can reload steal. it is not likly that wolf pistol cases are berdan primed unless they are about 7 years old or older. the rifle cases maybe depending on age/type. i have reloaded many thousand steal cases mostly in 40s&w. i have never had gas blow past the case mouth, nor seen any damage to my carbide dies (maybe you could damage non carbide but i don't load with them so i don't know). they last about as long as most brands of nickel plated cases. if you inspect your cases before loading them (as you should) then you are unlikly to have any problems. happy shooting :)

April 13, 2007, 06:25 AM
NO.. the steel work-hardens quickly and becomes brittle. (won't stretch) this causes case head/body failure(very bad thing):what:

April 13, 2007, 10:34 PM
I tried reloading Wolf steel cases, until I ran into 2 cases with extra small flash holes, which removed the decapping pin from my die. The pin caused the case and shell holder to tie up the press until some clever work with a screw driver forced the case and pin out. I immediately placed the Wolf cases in the trash.

April 13, 2007, 11:25 PM
I knew the die hard steel loaders would object. Good to hear from you.:)

Lots of regurgitated uninformed opinions here as usual.

Niether regurtitated nor uninformed. Some would tell you many things that are unsafe. Doesn't make it a good idea.

April 14, 2007, 08:47 AM
wolf ammo is berdan primed, right?

Some is berdan primed and some is boxer primed. Unlike many other ammunition manufacturers, my experience with Wolf ammunition (so far only with 7.62x54R) has been that the primer type is listed on the box somewhere.

As far as reloading steel, I wouldn't simply to avoid die damage. The dies are steel, and while it's possible that steel cases are softer than the die, I feel that the hardnesses would be too close for my comfort level. I want my cases to be much softer than my dies to prevent die damage. I can always throw out a case or two if the case gets damaged, but once the die gets damaged I'd need to replace the die.

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