Brass/Silver/Green cases?


May 4, 2008, 01:48 PM
I don't even have all the pieces to make my reloader work yet, but I'm trying to learn as much as I can before I even attempt a reload. I was out shooting .357 the other day, and the ammo I was using was a mishmash of all different brands. I saved the brass, and now I'm wondering what can be safely reloaded. Some of it was brass, no question there. A few rounds of it was aluminum, and I already know reloading that is a *bad* idea. But some of the shells are silver... or at least look like some kind of shiny metal. Not brass, not aluminum... something else. Is it safe to reload this kind of casing (assuming anyone knows what I'm talking about)?

And then there are the green colored cases (Wolf ammo). Is that safe to reload as well?

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May 4, 2008, 02:28 PM
Brass or nickel plated brass is reloadable if it is boxer primed, the green steel wolf cases are most likely Berdan primed and are not easy to reload if at all, Aluminum cases are non-reloadable and will often have a NR stamped on the case head.

May 4, 2008, 02:56 PM
The green wolf stuff is made of steel. It CAN be reloaded, but you need special primers, special decapping equipment, and honestly, steel is rough on dies. It's not worth it. The shiny stuff is probably nickel, but it's possible it's nickel washed steel. Nickel is OK for reloading, but nickel washed steel is essentially the same stuff as the wolf. If the nickel stuff is from a big name brand (winchester, federal, etc), it will be fine. European brands, not so much.

May 4, 2008, 06:26 PM
Yup, ran the green stuff by a magnet and it stuck right on. Definitely steel, and not worth the trouble (which sucks because I picked up *tons* of it off the ground). Thanks guys!

May 4, 2008, 06:47 PM
Why did you think there was so much of it laying on the ground? :D

Seriously, look down the mouth of the case, and if you see one central flash hole, and it is non-magnetic, it is Boxer primed, and reloadable.

If you see two off-center holes, it is Berdan primed, and it isn't reloadable, regardless of what it is made of.

Yes, I know people do reload Berdan primed steel cases.
But I sure don't know why!


May 5, 2008, 02:19 AM
Some people like to do things simply because they can. Is it economical? No. Personally, the cost of berdan primers alone, provided you could even find the correct type, would be less than going out and buying new primed brass, most likely. False economy.

May 5, 2008, 03:27 PM
cartridges for which boxer-primed brass is either unobtainable, or so difficult and/or expensive to get that dealing with Berdan primers is worth the trouble.

Me, if boxer brass isn't available, I'm not interested in the gun.


May 5, 2008, 06:32 PM
True, but for me, most of those folks fall into the "because I can" category, unless you are talking about a family heirloom, or a similar situation. Nothing wrong with it. Actually sounds kind of fun. But reloading berdan TO SAVE MONEY is a waste of time these days, with so many oddball cartridges available from Grafs, etc.

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