How many times do you reload your cases?


November 27, 2007, 12:55 PM
I'm sure this has been asked about a billion times, but I did not find the threads when I did a search.

I realize that there are many variables such as load pressure, chamber variations, etc, that will make it impossible to predict the the number of lives that brass cases will have, so I'm just looking for some experience-based estimates. My goal here is to start discarding my brass before any problems begin to develop.

What is the typical number of times you personally reuse brass before you begin to find signs of wearout in a particular lot of handgun or rifle brass?

9mm, .45ACP, .357, .44, 500S&W, .223, .308, etc...:)

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November 27, 2007, 01:25 PM
You can continue to reload handgun cases until neck cracks develop, or in Magnum calibers, loose primer pockets develop.

Rifle brass wears out from stretching during firing & resizing it. A lot depends of the condition & design of the action.

Once you can feel a ring forming inside the case about a half inch from the head with a bent paper-clip, toss it. It's going to crack or break on the next loading or two. Many bolt-actions are kind to brass, and they can last for 5+ loadings. I usually lose my .223 semi-auto brass in the weeds before it wears out.

November 27, 2007, 01:54 PM
If you're talking normal loads and not hot ones, they may last 5-6 times and some claim even more times reloaded for the same cases.

November 27, 2007, 02:39 PM
There are many factors that come into play when considering how many times you can reload a cartridge case. Are you full lenght sizing or neck sizing only? How hot are the loads?

I was once given some .243 rifle brass for reloading. According to the writing on some of the boxes alot of it had been reloaded 11-12 times already. I trashed it all. Wasn't worth the risk of injury to myself or damaging a rifle.

I had a friend who was a competition bench rest shooter. He loaded for 22 PPC and was a near perfectionist at loading. I asked him how many firings he got out of a case. He told me that the current lot of brass that he was reloading had 171 reloads on each case. Hard to believe but I don't think he was lieing.

Learn to read your brass....

November 27, 2007, 03:33 PM
in my experience, pistol brass loaded light lasts a long, long time. I ususally lose it before it cracks.

November 27, 2007, 04:34 PM
Low pressure pistol brass can be reloaded many times.

For example 3 years ago I bought 300 .45ACP Winchester cases. Still using them. I've been using the same .45LC cases for almost 5 years.

Been using the same .44Mag (not low pressure round) cases for about 3 years.

Some of those .45LC cases are probably on load 10 or so and the .45ACP probably 8. The .44's are pushin' 5.

November 27, 2007, 05:15 PM
I still use brass pistol cases/38 and 45 acp after 20 yrs.38 =2.8 of 700x 45 = 3.6 of 700x.more likely crush the case or in 45 the rim gets damaged by extraction.:uhoh::confused::)

November 27, 2007, 05:24 PM
What about .308 and .223 shot out of a semi auto?

November 27, 2007, 05:32 PM
I currently only reload straight wall pistol. As a rule, I reload em until they look scary.

November 27, 2007, 05:49 PM

I am currently experiencing with 45acp, 9mm, 357mag and 44mag. Each time I am done tumbling the brass, I use my dremel and make a very small notch at the foot of the case. That way, I know exactly how many times I reloaded it.

I read too many contradictory statements and decide dto make my mind on it.

On the other hand someone I was talking to a while ago told me his 45acp cases begin to fail at the mouth after 12 loads and he discard them at the 8th load for safety.

Thank you

November 27, 2007, 05:58 PM
his 45acp cases begin to fail at the mouth after 12 loads and he discard them at the 8th load for safety.There is no safety reason to discard any straight wall pistol or revolver brass until the neck cracks from being crimped & resized too many times. After they crack is the time to throw them away.

A cracked case mouth is in no way dangerous or a hazard.
They just won't hold a bullet anymore.

November 27, 2007, 06:25 PM
Like most everyone else here, I load em till they split. :)

November 27, 2007, 06:31 PM
Until they show damage.

November 27, 2007, 07:51 PM
I load pistol until they split and rifle until they look unsafe.

November 27, 2007, 08:20 PM
'Till they split. I've not been reloading long enough to have "new" brass die on me, but have acquired some old brass a while back that looks strange. Never seen "western" round, but have "western" and "frontier" brass that look odd, but haven't failed yet. Until they show some serious signs of failure, I'll keep using 'em.

Jacka L Ope
November 27, 2007, 08:54 PM
What about .308 and .223 shot out of a semi auto?

Not sure about the .223 but for shooters of the 7.62/.308 in military-style autoloaders, this article (Reloading for the Match M14) is well worth the read:

November 27, 2007, 09:34 PM
Well it hasn't happened much but I've had some .45 ACP cases that didn't have enough neck tension to hold a bullet good. I check for that as well. Like everyone else said- when it looks ugly- it's gets trashed.

November 27, 2007, 10:35 PM
Loading for Bullseye, I feel short changed if the neck splits while I can still read the headstamp.

November 27, 2007, 10:58 PM
I load pistol brass until they split or the primers fall out.

I haven't started loading bottleneck rifle cartridges yet.

.30 Carbine is a little tricky. I probably should start checking them for case head separation when I trim them... Since I'm shooting them in a revolver, I'm not sure a case failing would be dangerous, but it would sure be unpleasant.

November 27, 2007, 11:09 PM
i started reloading about 4 years ago and only reload 45 acp. ive been using the same bunch of brass for 4 years. i use bullseye and titegroup loaded fairly mellow. im up to at least 10 reloads on the initial batch of cases. of those thousand or so, ive pulled 2 nickel cased speer shells as a result of splitting at the mouth. all the others appear good. ill keep them in the rotation until they split.

November 28, 2007, 12:24 AM
even with a hotter (not the hottest) load you can load pistol calibers at least
15 times.

November 28, 2007, 12:26 AM
Like most have said pistol (straight walled) can go till you see a problem. Rifle on the other hand is a different animal. You must read the brass more so then reading the primer. Primers have a habit of not always telling the truth.
Any funny looking stuff on rifle brass chuck it. The PSI is many times that of hand guns. A bright ring near the base, a slit at the neck, any streching above normal, any thing that looks out of place is. Mil. spec rifle brass , I have had as many as 5 loads before signs of problems. Good comercial brass
Win. Rem. etc. you should get a load or two more provided all is good at the die and the chamber. Mags. Better look harder. They never live as long.:)

evan price
November 28, 2007, 01:52 AM
I load 'em until they split or else I lose them (more likely). I find that I recover about 90% of my semi-auto brass when shooting outside in the grass. So far I have crunched more brass when I misfeed into the Pro-1000 than I have had fail due to age.

November 28, 2007, 07:47 AM
Til they split works for me. I lose them faster than anything else.

The PSI is many times that of hand guns.

Umm, no, usually about 2-3 times is all. Some whomper handgun rounds like the S&W.500 are up in the rifle range. WSM rifles seem to be about the highest PSI spec'd cartridges that I've noticed scrounging around the manufacturers sites for reloading data. Most WSMs run around 65kpsi at their max IIRC. No data in front of me now, please don't blast me if I misquoted.

November 28, 2007, 08:08 AM
AS many times as I can , until they look like they've had it, but 45 acp can be loaded many many times

November 28, 2007, 11:19 PM
I shoot all rifle and revolver brass until one of the three happens it either splits, the primmer pocket gets loose, or I loose the casing. However, pistol brass I only reload as long as it fits back into a gage block once it is resized. I have discovered after so many loads, varies with the quality of the brass, that all autos over time will allow the brass to belly like is commonly associated with Glocks but not to that extent. This bellying effect happens below where the resizing die can reach. When I had my first web blow out I noticed that the round was bellied so I started checking some rounds from other shooters at the range that also had web failures and all of their rounds were bellied too. Was it a coincidence or not, I don't know but I don know that since I started using a gage on all resized pistol rounds and toss those that no longer fit the gage I haven't had another web failure.

Guy B. Meredith
November 28, 2007, 11:30 PM
I shoot until the cracks get scary. :what:

When I started reloading I purchased 2000 pieces of Starline brass for .38 spl., typically load for 890 to 900 fps.

I am working through my 5th case of 5000 primers so they've all been reloaded at least 10 times and I've only lost maybe half a dozen to wear. I expect I'll be using most of them for a long time yet.

November 29, 2007, 06:02 AM

Idano, what is a web failure?

Thank you

November 29, 2007, 03:47 PM
My 308 brass is on its 10+. My 41 mag is at 8+. My 243 lasts between 5-8 then the case neck splits.

November 29, 2007, 04:05 PM
Having a complete head seperation on my .303 no5 mk1 I'm going to pull the bullets and save the powder and start keeping better records. I'm kinda new to reloading and have much to learn.

November 29, 2007, 08:25 PM

The web is the sloped area of the cartridge just above the rim. Here is picture of 9 mm web failure I had in a Beretta 92FS. The bullet fired normally however, the casing did not clear the action.

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