Separating fired cases


February 23, 2012, 10:05 AM
How important is it to really keep cases separated by number of times fired (or reloaded)? I've read about people who have had cases give away after the first firing, and others who say they have reloaded some cases 20+ times. If I am inspecting the cases for signs of wear 2 or 3 times during the reloading process what does it matter if a case has been fired 1x or 5x? I'd really like to have 2 bins on my bench since i only reload one caliber at the moment. One for dirty brass and one for clean brass ready to be primed and loaded.

Just being into reloading for a month or so iIve been reloading the same 60 pieces 4x now and do have them separated by number of times fired, and having just bought a large quantity of 1x fired brass could see the number of bins needed growing quickly Enlighten me if this is not wise.

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February 23, 2012, 10:13 AM
Straight walled handgun cases? I don't care. I keep batches together, but don't worry if some get reloaded a bit more. It won't vary much.

Bottle necked rifle cases? You bet, I keep them together so they are all fired the same amount. (Give or take one firing over the life of the case)

What caliber?

Striker Fired
February 23, 2012, 10:16 AM
I think that depends on what caliber.Some .like45ACP it doesn't make much of a diff.,other like maybe .357Mag or .44Mag it would be .I personaly try to keep the first 2 to 4 reloadings and certain h/s,mostly for hotter loads(if I have the room) seperate,then it's one big batch for mild plinking stuff.But thats just what I do for pistol. Rifle is different.

February 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
Sorry, should have specified, 30-06 so bottle neck rifle.

Striker Fired
February 23, 2012, 04:57 PM
30-06 most definately keep them in batches according to times fired.You'll know when they are getting weak when 1,2 or 3 have cracked necks after firing.Then its time to toss the batch.

February 23, 2012, 07:56 PM
i shoot everything till they crack. i do not keep records of how many times each case, or sets of cases get loaded. i simply do not have the time to be so meticulous. as far as case necks splitting, that is a good time to anneal the cases, not throw them out. but at least 30-06 cases are relatively inexpensive to replace.

February 23, 2012, 08:23 PM
All rifle brass is segregated by HS and number of times fired. Hight intensity pistol rounds likewise, light plinking brass is one batch.

February 24, 2012, 03:37 PM
Years back I used to keep my brass segregated, but I discovered the only effective means of clearing them for another reloading is inspecting them. My routine is to shoot, inspect, tumble, inspect, resize, inspect, trim and then load. Ecentially every time I handle the brass it gets inspected. This method hasn't failed me yet. I have tracked the life span of brass on occasion, but it just isn't a reliable means of determining the life span of the brass, that can only be decided by close inspection.

February 24, 2012, 03:47 PM
I load the same batch of brass and check after each cleaning. I toss the bad brass in my scrap bucket and replace the ones that I tossed.

Arkansas Paul
February 24, 2012, 04:15 PM
I've never bothered keeping up with it.

However, I do tumble before loading so they're squeaky clean and I can see any splits or wear rings around the bottom.

February 24, 2012, 04:32 PM
I sort by cartridge, 9mm in one bag, 45 in another and so on. the same with rifle brass - reload it until it won't go any more due to splitting. that doesn't mean you don't measure and trim when necessary, etc......

February 24, 2012, 05:19 PM
Are you firing these in a semi-auto or bolt gun?

tightgroup tiger
February 24, 2012, 05:42 PM
I have to say that I don't watch how many times any of my brass has been reloaded. I pick out the split brass on inspection and don't worry about the rest until I find more than one. I re-anneal them and keep going.

Some of my brass is over 30 yrs old and is still doing fine. If you shoot near or at maximum load consistantly you may want to batch your shells but most of us don't. I found one split 357mag last week. It's the first I've found in 25years.

After I bought 200 new 357 cases I decided to keep shooting the old ones and replace them as I find split ones. I'm not worrying about it.

My 30-06 shells have exceeded 20 loadings easy, I have not found a split one yet so I keep using them. My Browning has an extreemly tight chamber that is actually under SAMMI specs but I don't buy factory ammo anyways so I load them accordingly. I think because the chamber is undersized maybe it isn't working the brass like a normal sized chamber would, that may be why they have lasted for this many reloadings. I haven't even re-annealled them yet and won't until I see a problem.

February 24, 2012, 07:34 PM
Great info guys. Seems there are a couple different camps on this.

Shooting out of a bolt rifle.

Going through the lot of pr-fired brass I bought and found many different head stamps. Through looking up some of the ones I didn't know I found that the head stamp. "F C" is not only for Federal Co., but also some Yugoslavian military brass. There are some other Yugoslavia head stamps in this lot. I think its going to be difficult to tell the difference between the federal and the military brass.

February 25, 2012, 12:15 PM
I only shoot and reload pistol so I don't go crazy keeping track. After I shoot, I tumble, then inspect, then they get thrown in the "just fired" bin. I also have a "load next" bin. After that is empty, the "just fired" becomes the "load next" and I cycle through that way, because if I had just one big bin, I would always be loading the ones thrown on top after the last tumbling session.

February 25, 2012, 06:45 PM
I check all my cases before priming, with a short piece of piano wire bent at 90 deg. on one end. Simply insert bent end into open neck and rake down the inside of the case from bottom to top, (checks for case head separation) and visual inspect neck area. Seems to work, yet to have a failure.

February 25, 2012, 06:58 PM
i only load pistol, usually the primer pocket gives out first, i don't seperate. when the primer goes in way too easy i chuck them after firing.

February 25, 2012, 07:07 PM
Inspect, inspect. If he primer goes in too easily, mark it with a sharpie and toss after firing.

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