brass question...strange deformity


January 8, 2004, 03:03 PM
I'm just getting started in reloading. I pulled out the 45 ACP brass I've saved over the years, and noticed some have a strange dent, which makes the cross-section at the case mouth look like a "D". The straight "leg" of the D is about 1/4 inch long. Can this brass be run through the sizing die, or is it a total loss?

I can tell this brass came from a single gun (not mine) from the firing pin and other marks on the brass...

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Brian Williams
January 8, 2004, 03:08 PM
That is probably from the brass hitting the slide on being ejected.

January 8, 2004, 03:13 PM
Can I resize it, or is it ripe for the chucking?

January 8, 2004, 03:25 PM
You can resize it. The worse deformity that I have seen are 45 cases where its about to make the shape of a B. In that one, you can get a wooden dowel (or a chopstick) and force it to the semblance of a circle again.

45ACP is pretty low pressure round anyway, so you should be fine. The ones to watch out for are bulges near the case head. Usually you see these from brass fired off of Glocks and their unsupported chambers.

They are worse in 40S&W, where now, if I see 40S&W with that distinctive Glock firing pin primer imprint, I chuck it, or use it as targets.

Smokey Joe
January 8, 2004, 03:28 PM
RomulusÑBest answer is, try it and see what the results look like. Discard any that show signs of cracking/splitting at the case mouth. If many of 'em split when you resize, I'd scrap the lot of 'em. Brand new brass (Starline is the best for pistols, IMHO) is a LOT cheaper than a ruined gun, ambulance ride, ER session, losing argument with spouse about safety, etc, etc.

When you bell-mouth the cases, again scrap any that crack or look in any way odd. Bell-mouth as little as possible. Good brass will put up with an amazing amount of reloading if treated gently, but when it gets tired, it's time for it to retire.

In short, go ahead and try 'em, but if you err, err on the side of prudence.

January 8, 2004, 03:43 PM
Many thanks, gentlemen. I'll size and bell these guys separately and check them out. I've also found a bunch of Amerc brass, which I hear should be discarded right away. Just curious, the brass seems thicker than say a Win case, but it also seems cast (?)

January 8, 2004, 06:49 PM
"Amerac" :what:

That stuff is junk. The trash can is the place for it. :cuss:

January 8, 2004, 07:01 PM
Your dented brass should size up just fine. Toss the Amerc stuff. Not worth the trouble.

Good Luck...


Mike Irwin
January 8, 2004, 08:03 PM
I only chuck them if the sides of the case mouth are so flattened that the sides touch, or if the case is actually ripped.

My Sprinfield MilSpec will do both, depending on the load and how it's feeling on any particular day.

January 8, 2004, 11:40 PM
Thank you all

January 9, 2004, 12:30 AM
I'll third Amerc being utter junk. Case thickness is horribly inconsistant, makes it very hard to get the bullets to seat right. I'm dunno what metal they used to make the cases, but it sure doesn't look like the brass we are used to. Just to add a "nice finishing touch" the headstamp looks horible too. Looks like it was cast in a 9th grade metal shop class..... no wait 9th graders could do far better, my bad. :p

I am amazed that this suff went bang as loaded by Amerc. They were very light on the power factor, nice mild recoil though. :D

January 9, 2004, 07:20 AM
Please don't get me started on Amerc brass!:cuss:

January 9, 2004, 09:55 AM
I'll thankfully confess I have never ran into Amerc cases, that I know of.
And, if I do I will treat them as brass for the recycler.

But, just for satisfying my curiousity what is it about Amerc that makes it considered a bad case?

Is it the case strength (or lack of), short life, hard to size or prime, size inconsistancy, etc?

I'm just curious so if the subject every comes up in my circle of relading friends I can give them a somewhat intelligent arguement against using it.

Fal Freak gave opinions and comments. Are these the main ones or are there other reasons too?

Johnny Guest
January 9, 2004, 11:31 AM
Due to the .45 ACP being a relatively low pressure cartridge, it can stand almost indefinite reloading. Only one that MAY exceed it is .38 SPL with light target loads, and then only if care is taken to not over expand. The .45, OTOH, can take ball-equivalent loads for a long, LONG time, unless the pistol has problems with ejection.

Again - - I'm not talking about Cor-Bon pressure levels here. Use something like a 230 LRN at perhaps 820 fps, and you'll lose the brass before you wear it out, if you use an outdoor range. I keep a FMJ ball round on my bench and use the bullet to remove serious dents.

I have a lot of .45 brass on which I can't make out the headstamp, it's been loaded so much. The brass that I see with case mouth splits but few ejector marks has usually been fired in a MAC 10 or the like. Strangely, even cases fired in a Thompson SMG usually last a long time.

TIP: If you're running across some cases with splits at the mouth, take a handful and drop them on a table or hard floor from a few inches up. The cases that produce a musical DING will usually have a split or crack. Intact ones usually just click or clank.

Ditto on the AMERC cases. FAL_Freak nailed it with "inconsistent." Thickness of case mouth, rim thickness, primer pocket size - - All of these. And I'd imagine that case capacity varies wildly as well, though I've never checked this. There must be something about the heat treatment, too. Some cases size easily, some too hard. Some show cracks with a single firing.

All in all, not worth the trouble. If you're scrounging brass, you'll find you resent the time you wasted in picking it up and looking at the headstamp. As a courtesy to others, I try to go ahead and put it in the trash, rather than leave it on the range, to waste someone else's time. Us scavengers gotta stick together. :p


January 9, 2004, 06:55 PM
I started 25 years ago using a brake wheel cylinder pushrod which was a little smaller than 230 gr. bullet with a longer radius.

If I didn't have it I might think about putting a handle on the base of a .40 round nose of some sort to salvage cases dimpled too far for the 45 bullet.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
January 9, 2004, 10:06 PM
I have collected tools all my life and have three tall rollaway mechanic's cabinets full and other tool boxes by categories. A handy pair of needle nose pliers I ran across instread of having flat gripping surfaces and rounded on the outside of the blades were completely round on each of the blades. I wondered what it was for and have never figured it out but they are ideal for gripping dented in pistol brass to straighten out inside dents and to open up stepped on rifle casing mouths. I also collected a series of different diameter rod pieces that can be tapped in a case to do a similar job but then you have to get it out without using a pair of pliers to hold the outside of the case. So start collecting pieces of rods fellows.

John Paul

January 10, 2004, 11:14 PM
I have a box of american ammunition sitting in my reloading area right now. The brass has "chunks" missing out of the case mouths, it looks like a hole saw that you'd put in a drill.

Smokey Joe
January 11, 2004, 01:12 AM
Paul "Fitz"ÑThe funny pliers you describe sound like jeweler's pliers. If so, they are made for bending wire into small circles, for making chain links and the like. The pair I "liberated" from my wife's Art Metals toolbox gets used for all sorts of odd bending chores.

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