How Many Loadings Are You Getting from Your .223 Brass ?


August 13, 2010, 01:46 AM
I was just wondering how many times you more seasoned re-loaders are getting out of your brass for 223 loads . Been loading pistol and rifle for a while , but recently started shooting LOTS and LOTS of 223 . I know there are so many variables involved , type and brand of brass , how hot it is loaded , how much crimp , full or neck sizing ect ... I load primarily LC mil brass , FL size for semis , very light Lee crimp , and both my accuracy and my plinking loads are mild compared the the maximum published load data . I have ramped up a few loads , but the groups went away when I started getting close to the maximums , as sometimes faster isn't always better . I do trim every firing out of habit , seems to help in the accuracy department and keep things consistent when loading , seating , and crimping , but I was thinking that might shorten the life of the cases . After sizing they only seem to grow maybe a thou or two at most . I'm up to the forth loading on my first set of 500 , and no loose primer pockets yet , and not one split neck either . Just wondering what your experiences are , and what to look out for .

If you enjoyed reading about "How Many Loadings Are You Getting from Your .223 Brass ?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 13, 2010, 07:50 AM
I usually get 2 to 3 reloadings before I lose them in the grass. :)

Hondo 60
August 13, 2010, 08:26 AM
I'm in the same boat as 67rschev.
Been loading pistol for a while but fairly new to 223 ( for an AR-15 ).
Been mostly using 55gr Rem bullets over 26 gr of Varget.
So they're not very hot.

I've got 5 reloadings on my oldest brass.
FL resize & trim every time. So far, so good.

August 13, 2010, 08:29 AM
My 5 pices of brass I shoot off the bench now have 60 + loadings and still going.

Shot in a bolt action Remington using 22 & 1/2 grains of 2015 AA, with a 53 grain Sierra HP Matchking. Case neck sized only.

August 13, 2010, 09:58 AM
Somewhat off topic but I'm getting 0 (zero) reloads from some PPU, Privi I think, brass from range pickups. This brass simply does not fit in my shellholders. LC rims are tight but this stuff is almost will not go in and won't come out of the shellholders w/o prying with a small slim blade flat screwdriver.

Any other brass I should avoid?

On LC and other commercial I'd expect 5-10 reloads with modest pressure loads. Really depends on your crimp. Too much crimp will result in split necks.

August 13, 2010, 10:25 AM
Might be as simple as a tight shell holder. LC brass is good stuff.

I recently did some testing with 8 .223 cases. I lost one around eight firings due to a loose primer pocket, another around 11 firings. I gave up on them at 14 firings. No sign of case head separation, but the primer pockets were getting loose enough to trash for when using in an auto. This was with close to max loads.

August 13, 2010, 11:03 AM
I seldom shoot the Matty Mattel gun as much as I used to, but I think I have some brass up to eight reloads.

If you ever shoot .223 in highpower you are always shooting maximum loads with the things. As Walkalong has noted, your primer pockets are likely to be the first things to give out.

I tossed a bunch of Federal cases out around five reloads. Darn Federal brass has soft case heads and the pockets expand a lot faster than any LC I have ever used. Good thing was the Federal brass was free, once fired stuff I got from service rifle team members when I was squadded with them at Camp Perry. I would never buy the stuff myself.

I bump my case shoulders back .002 to .003, size with a small base die, and the stuff goes bang.

Unlike M1/M1a's, the AR15 opens up much later in the pressure curve, that the brass is not stretched as much. To take brass longer than five reloads in a M1a, I had to take the extraordinary measure of lubricating the cases before firing them. This extra step is a bother, but 308 brass is very expensive, so a penny saved is a penny earned. .223 brass is cheap and lasts a long time.

August 14, 2010, 01:35 PM
If I load 66kpsi and full length size to push the shoulder back to SAAMI specs on cartridges, I can get one or two loadings before I have to trim.

But if I neck size, then I can get 20 loadings before trimming.

August 14, 2010, 02:26 PM
Loading LC brass in my AR, I loaded cases 8 times before getting some head seperations. The whole batch was recycled after they started seperating, but only had a few primer pockets get loose. AD brass had loose pockets after 3 loadings. I'll report back on the Lapua brass that I recently started loading for my R700, so far its 4X:)

August 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
I loaded cases 8 times before getting some head seperationsI do not know how hot you are loading, but it sounds like you are pushing the shoulder back too far. After 14 firings (with that brass of course) I had zero signs of any case head separation even starting, only loose primer pockets.

August 14, 2010, 04:49 PM
I do not know how hot you are loading, but it sounds like you are pushing the shoulder back too far.

This is possible. I adjust the shoulder on my Lee die(Bolt action) untill the cases just chamber. I used the same setting on the AR, without any issues, or so I thought. The Load was not near max by Sierras data, 24gr H335 pushing 60gr Varminters, max is 25.6gr. I need to build one of them case shoulder tools I seen you make. I traded the AR for my newest rifle, so seperating brass is no longer an issue.

August 14, 2010, 08:40 PM
I have 55 GR FMJ - LC brass - Light loads - Fl size = So far 15 reloads with a dozen bad out of 500 lot. Mostly primer pockets loose - may have reamed too much off when removing crimp in these however. 1 split neck. 1 stuck in die.:(

August 15, 2010, 12:24 AM
I dont get anything out of ppu either, they have such a soft rim that they are wrecked before I get my hands on them. I throw them away as soon as I see them.

August 18, 2010, 02:12 AM
I have 6 reloads on some brass right now and there is no signs of any problems yet. They are fired in a bolt action rifle though.

If you enjoyed reading about "How Many Loadings Are You Getting from Your .223 Brass ?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!