Brass questions.


July 25, 2007, 02:19 PM
I've been reloading for about six months now. I've got some .41 mag brass that's been fired 7 times. I use mild loads and haven't noticed any damage to the brass. How many times is it safe to reload brass?

What needs to be done to new brass? I got 100 new .44 mag cases today. Do they need to be re-sized before loading? Trimmed to length? Tumbled for a bit to remove any oil, lube or other contaminates from the manufacturing process?

What's the best long term storage method for new brass? Leave it in the bag it was shipped in? I store my components in surplus ammo cans with some desiccant packs thrown in. Would this be okay for the brass too?

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July 25, 2007, 02:32 PM
Keep loading the .41 Mag brass. I've loaded .460 cases probably 15 times so far with HOT loads and I am just starting to see failures. I had one that developed about 1/4" crack in the side and one other one that split in two - all the around about 3/4 of the way down, just the bottom 1/4 ejected and I had to push the rest of the case out with a allen wrench I happened to have. Came out very easily.

Neither of these failures were even noticed by the shooter and did not damage at all to the gun.

I would resize and tumble the new brass. I've gotten new brass for rifles - 8mm Lebel and .300 Rem Short Action Ultra Magnum - they both needed resizing and tumbling is a good idea.

Until you open the bag, I would leave the brass sealed in what it came in. Once the bag is opened, store it just like the other brass.

July 25, 2007, 03:31 PM
New brass shouldn't need to be trimmed, but it should be run through the resizing die. I wouldn't tumble, unless it looked like it needed it.

July 25, 2007, 03:32 PM
As noted, with pistol brass you generally load it until it starts to crack. You should get several more loads from your .41 brass.

With new brass, particularly bulk brass shipped in bags, it will need to be sized to get the case mouths round again, it takes quite a beating in transit. I also tumble mine, just because I like really bright brass. If you're concerned about uniform crimping, then it should also be trimmed, but I usually don't trim pistol brass. I load pistol rounds by the thousands per year and it would take forever to trim it all.

With bulk rifle brass, I always tumble, size and trim it before loading the first time, the same as I do with fired brass. For one thing, it's sometimes brass from different production lines and different forming dies. There will be slight variations in the brass and running it through one sizing die helps to uniform it.

Hope this helps.


July 25, 2007, 03:45 PM
I shoot autoloaders mostly, I'm lucky if I can find my brass in the grass 7 times in a row. ;-)

The Bushmaster
July 25, 2007, 04:49 PM
Kellyj00...Now you need a lawn mower to go with that tumbler...New brass? As Fred said. I would measure each case to insure that they are the same length for the first loading...41 Magnum brass will stretch some after firing if you load any where near hot and will need to be measured just to be sure and to insure a uniform crimp every time...

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