How many reloads to expect from .45ACP brass?


May 1, 2007, 01:24 AM
I'm still (at least) months from assembling a reloading setup -- maybe more like a year -- but it's something I'm looking forward to when finances allow.

A question: While I know the answer is bound to be "well, that depends," a ballpark figure, or a reasonable range is fine -- how many times might I expect .45ACP brass to be reloaded before the brass is no longer usable? I have ("only" / "a huge stockpile") several hundred once-fired cases, and will likely have a few hundred more before I ever do any reloading.

My plan is to load well inside the normal range, but toward the left (gentler) end of the spectrum -- I'd like to have .45ACP ammo that is strong enough to reliably cycle my pistols, and accurate enough for an imperfect shooter at mild indoor-range distances. I don't *mind* recoil much in any of the guns I've shot, but could always do with slightly less.

Unless someone can tell me something glaringly wrong with that plan, I wonder if gentler loads will actually make the brass last longer, or if that's a hopeless fantasy, and I'll never really see a difference ;)

EDIT: there are three guns at present that I'd expect to shoot from; XD-45, S&W 625, and Ruger P345; since all I know is what I read in the papers, I understand that guns without fully supported chambers are less reload-friendly (correct?), but I think none of mine should suffer that way :)



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May 1, 2007, 01:48 AM
You should easily get 8 to 10 loadings out of your brass. It does depend on the brand of brass, since some is thicker than others. Winchester brass is the thickest, with Federal right behind it. PMC is a close third, but they've sold out to Jamison International, in Sturgis, SD, so any brass from them will be stuff already in the system. Remington brass is the thinnest, but still lasts well, especially with the medium loads you're contemplating.

Your XD is going to have a short throat, so don't pick a bullet with a shoulder that will have to be loaded outside the case. It also won't feed semi-wadcutters well, if at all. It's a service pistol, and as such, performs best with ammunition close to ball, or hollowpoint that is close to the same shape.

The 625 will shoot anything you can stuff in the chambers. I don't have any experience with the Ruger, so I don't have any comment on it.

Hope this helps.


May 1, 2007, 01:58 AM
I'll let you know when I wear some out. I've got cases I've been loading for 7 years. If you are gentle, use mild loads and your dies match your chamber well you can load .45 till the cows come home. The necks start to harden up and crack for most people around 10x, but I know that one lot of Federal brass I have has more than 15 loads on it. I've lost some and a few have given up on me, but most of them are going strong.

Load them 'till they crack.


May 1, 2007, 02:09 AM
I'm fairly good about chasing brass and I've never had a 45 auto case long enough for it to crack. Keep loading it until you lose it or it cracks. I have seen 45 brass reloaded so many times that the headstamp was completely gone. I wouldn't take brass that used anywhere important, but it's fine for the practice range. That's one big advantage of it being a relatively low pressure round; firing just doesn't stress it that much compared to newer, higher pressure rounds like 40S&W or anything magnum.

May 1, 2007, 07:30 AM
I shoot Bullseye, so most of the time I'm loading 185 grain SWCs with 3.5 grains of Bullseye powder. I've had cases go so long, as someone mentioned earlier, you can't hardly read the headstamp anymore. I always joke when someone asks this question, and say "I load 'em until they crack or they're so thin I can read a newspaper through them".
I have some WCC 72 cases that have been loaded at least 15 times.

Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC

Chuck R.
May 1, 2007, 10:46 AM
I agree with the others, .45ACP brass lasts a long, long time with reasonable loads. Iíve still got some liberated MIL .45ACP brass that I got back in 87 when we switched over to 9mm. The headstamps are barely readable, but itís still in good shape. I have no idea how many times I've loaded it.

I use my older brass for IDPA, and other matches when I canít or donít want to bother picking it up. I lose it long before it wears out.


May 1, 2007, 11:59 AM
Like the others have said, mild target loads hardly stress 45 ACP brass. Since you're firing a lot of it in revolvers, you won't lose it in the grass like you will from the autoloader.

May 1, 2007, 11:59 AM
Some of the guys I shoot bullseye with have reloaded their 45 cases many dozens of times for practice rounds.

I don't reload that much 45, but the cases I have reloaded probably have no more than 5 reloads on them so i have no first hand experience with them.

May 1, 2007, 01:59 PM
I pick up what I can find of my brass, but I lose it before I wear it out. 45 brass is hard to wear out.

May 1, 2007, 02:15 PM
I pick up what I can find of my brass, but I lose it before I wear it out. 45 brass is hard to wear out.

Idaho Sharpshooter
May 1, 2007, 04:57 PM
unlimited at 175 (bullet weight x MV divided by 1000) power level for IPSC with 200gr SWC's. I got some that has been shot so many times the headstamp is illegible.


May 1, 2007, 05:23 PM
Thanks for all the responses -- this is making me feel ever better about reloading. In the meantime, I'll just keep saving my brass -- maybe I'll soon enough have a lifetime supply for mild reloads ;)

May 1, 2007, 05:53 PM
watch E-bay. I picked up 1000 pieces for a little under 4 cents a piece (IIRC). Added to the 500 I already had, It's gonna take a while to shoot them till they can't be reloaded any more.

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