Best brass to keep & reload?


September 20, 2003, 10:57 PM
I'm a member of a club with a range less than a mile from my house where the local LE folks shoot their annual qualification. Since it usually sounds like a war is going on when they qualify so I know when this occurs, I reload for several handgun calabres and I have a key to the range, I manage to pick up several thousand rounds of brass every year. I usually clean the brass, separate it by calabre & headstamp, & reload it for my frequent trips to the range. The problem is that now that I've been doing this for several years I'm finding I have much more brass than I'll ever be able to reload. I haven't really paid a lot of attention to which brass seems to work best in my press, although I've discovered some brands are more difficult to prime than others. My question is : Which brands of brass would be best to keep for reloading? This year, the most common brass left behind was Winchester and Federal, Remington, Speer & S&B. I seem to remember some problems priming S&B in the past, so I probably won't keep those, but am wondering which brands of brass seem to reload the best for folks on this board?

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September 20, 2003, 11:06 PM
I like Speer in 45 and 40, Winchester next and Remington is decent also. Federal is one of my last choices but I have never had trouble with it. 9mm I like it all. Most of the domestic brass is pretty comparable.

S&B is GARBAGE! VERY tight primer pockets and HARD brass.

How much 40 and 45 are you going to get rid of? I would be interested in all but S&B brass...............

September 20, 2003, 11:24 PM
Don't know yet. I'm sorting the 40's by headstamp now & it's looking sort of overwhelming as there seem to be at least a couple thousand more than I'll ever need. I haven't even started on the 45's or 9's yet. I carry a 40, so that's what I shoot the most. .....then there's a bunch from last year that I sorted, but haven't touched yet Guess I need to dig that out & see what's there. I do remember it was mostly 40's & 9's last year, but this year there is quite a bit of 45.

September 20, 2003, 11:44 PM
S&B have crimped primers? It's not available up here as far as I know. I only use my own reloaded ammo and none of the brass is less than 20 years old. I have lots. Pitch it when it cracks.
With your source, I'd just pitch the S&B if it's giving you grief. Then just load 'em. Bench rest shooters sort brass. I just load it and shoot it again.
Had a bunch of 9mm I got after the Ontario Provincial Police SWAT guys had left a big mess on a CF range I was RSO after them. Primers were lacquered in. Came out of SMG's I think. Couldn't get them out. Period. The base of the primer broke off leaving the body in the hole. PO'd to say the least. Wasted shooting time cleaning up after a bunch of flatfeet and the brass they left was no good.

September 21, 2003, 02:11 AM
Sunray.....those 9s maby berdan primed ? That'll eat a decapper.


September 21, 2003, 12:02 PM
Hey, if you run across any S&B 45 brass that you don't want, send it my way. Stuff is great, lasts forever. Primer pockets are tight the first time, but that's because the head is so heavy (but then again, the pockets don't get loose over time).

Look for the squarish firing pin strike that has a "smear". That's from a Glock and many don't like to reload Glock fired brass (esp 40SW) because the chambers aren't fully supported.

September 21, 2003, 02:04 PM
Darnit, Larry beat me to the offer - then again, I could probably just dip into larrys bucket o' brass if I ran out, which I doubt I will now that I religiously scour the floor for .45 bras....

September 21, 2003, 05:42 PM
Ditto on the S&B brass... those are right up there in strength, with the IMI brass.
I'll take the ones that larryw doesn't take :D

As for 40S&W brass, I'm very particular to my scrounged 40S&W brass. It can't be from a Glock and their unsupported chambers. I had a kB! with scrounged 40S&W brass from a Glock fired from in a Sig. Load was a light <1000fps load, using lubed lead bullets and 5.6gr Unique. Gun was a Sig P226 with a FireDragon ported barrel. Had a blown case, and lucky the only thing that got hurt was the Sig P226's extractor.

September 21, 2003, 09:14 PM
Thanks guys! Give me a couple of weeks to get everything sorted out & see what I have & some idea of what I'll be getting rid of. I'll hold onto the link to this thread & let you know then.

Most of these 40's have been through Glocks, since that's what most local LEO's carry, but the cases don't seem to be buldged any more than they do through my Keltec P-40. I haven't noticed any with that little "pregnant buldge" about the width & location of where the round would line up in the feed I used to see 4 or 5 years ago in most Glock fired 40 brass, & I use a 2 1/2 power optivisor to look at the brass as I sort it. Humm..... Maybe they didn't use full power loads for qualification, or has Glock changed their barrels?

I've been sort of obilivious to the KB! thing, but now you guys have me thinking perhaps I've been leading a charmed life.

I've been loading 5.0g Unique under 155g National copper plated lead SWC's, and since the range is just up the road & I can drive up there, put up targets & burn 50-100 rounds & be back home in 30 minutes. It's so handy that I shoot more days than I don't.....and I've never had any problems with KB! or any indication on any of my brass that I might be treading in dangerous waters. With all this extra brass, I really probably should quit tossing my used brass back into the progressive when I get home & loading it over & over..... Some of this stuff gets loaded 7 or 8 times.... maybe more before I toss it.

September 21, 2003, 09:29 PM
Those glock bulged cases are just about all I shoot in 40 cal. They don't concern me in the least.

Matt Dillon
September 24, 2003, 01:01 PM
If you have too much .40 S&W S&B brass, I'd be glad to pay shipping here to Texas for it. I like S&B brass, and load in 40 S&W, .32 ACP, .38 special, .357 Magnum, and soon will be loading 7.62X25 Tokarev. Any S& B brass in those calibers is OK by me.

September 24, 2003, 09:44 PM
Sunray.....those 9s maby berdan primed ? That'll eat a decapper.

Been there, done that.:rolleyes:

Damon of Baltimore
October 1, 2003, 11:03 PM
The only brass that I have reloaded that I don't like is the winchester 9mm brass. I always feel like the primers are about to fall back out because they go in with little to no resistance and I frequently have to check my rounds to make sure that they actually have a primer in them. And that just slows down production for me and by SDB.


P.S. I too love the S&B Brass(to the point that when I get low on brass and there's not enough to satisfy my appiteit at the range I buy the S&B ammo and create my own once-fired brass :D)

October 2, 2003, 12:54 AM
Hsmith said: S&B is GARBAGE! VERY tight primer pockets and HARD brass.

Had no problems with S&B tonight on the Dillon 550... once fired, now whole again. Now if my reloads only had that red primer seal...

I see IMI makes .45 brass - would be fun to try that out, just to mix things up. Been hearing good things about their rifle brass.


October 2, 2003, 05:00 PM
The IMI .45 Brass is excellent. Quality is better than most and equaled by few.

As for range pick up keep all S&B, Winchester, Speer, and Federals. Trash any Amerc you come across. PMC is okay brass, it loads fine just don’t like the way their flash holes always seem to be out of center. Remington brass I am not a big fan of either, in pistol brass it don’t seem to hold good tension around the bullet.
If you decide to buy new brass try out IMI or Starline you will not be disappointed in either.

Black Snowman
October 2, 2003, 05:11 PM
For volume reloading the Speer are the most forgiving in my cheapo Lee LoadMaster. The not-quite-flat bottoms with the radiused primer pockets make the primer seating uber-reliable. I've had .40 S&W cases I've realoaded for my Glock over 10 times with no signs of quitting but I threw them out any way "Just in case."

So, don't use Speer, sell it to me cheap ;)

Mike Irwin
October 2, 2003, 05:11 PM
I like Winchester, myself, but any of the big names will be just fine.

October 2, 2003, 05:57 PM
IMI... yeah, you think they would want uber-reliable ammo for when all of their neighbors start attacking for all sides? ;)

Strong brass too.

As for red primer sealant... you could use some nail polish. Just tell them that you are buying it for your girlfriend/wife. :D

October 3, 2003, 03:52 PM
Hard to resize, hard to prime, but last forever. Mostly use the 7.62X54R, have you priced Norma brass lately?

Gary H
October 4, 2003, 12:39 PM

Their Match .45 ACP is cheap... and really great stuff.. I started using it after reading a thread answered by weshoot2...


Usually folks can get a good price on this new, so see a good bit of it. I've reloaded a lot of 38 Special S&B. It didn't like CCI primers, but the WSP worked just fine.

I'm now buying Starline for most of my handgun shooting. Use IMI for .45 ACP.

October 4, 2003, 12:56 PM
There is only one kind of .45ACP brass you should keep.
Brass headstamped with ... *reaches into his "bucket o' cases"*

Send everything else to me.

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