Acceptable denting for reloading?


May 3, 2012, 05:34 PM
I haven't started reloading, but I have been saving brass and I have some 223 brass that was dented by a Mini-14, upon ejection. My question is how much of dent is acceptable for reloading or should they not be reloaded at all?

Thanks in advance.

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May 3, 2012, 06:53 PM
So long as you can get the dented case over the neck-expander in the sizing die, the case is still serviceable.

May 3, 2012, 06:56 PM
It depends on where the dents are and how deep.

Dings of the case mouth can be fixed during the resizing process. If the expander button will not fit, use some other tool to get it "round" and resize as normal. If the mouth is creased to much, it will collapse on resizing.

Small dents in the shoulder will fire form at the next firing. These usually occur during resizing when using too much lubricant. The lubricant gets on the shoulder and causes the dents. If a should dent extends past the transition to the body, I scrap the case.

Body dents would form out during firing but are probably have the highest rate of discard than any other. Generally, a small ding, will ignor but usually the dent is more substantial and just do not bother trying to rescue the case. Usually, I find larger body dings come from other sources other than the rifle (size 13s come to mind) but i suppose the rifle could make some dents.

Some semi-auto rifles are hard on rims and tend to bend them up or tear them. The dents make inserting the case in a shell holder difficult. A little file work can improve the situation but it can get to be alot of work if your rifle is real hard on rims.

Hope this helps.

May 3, 2012, 07:21 PM
What CFULLGRAF said. If the case mouth is dented I'll usually take a punch and take the dent out so it fits in the sizing die. If the dent is located in the body I'll see how bad it is after the case has been resized before tossing it.

May 3, 2012, 07:38 PM
Anytime you feed a dented reloaded cartridge casing and fire it, one of two things will happen.

It will either be reformed by the firing process.

Or it will shatter and remain stuck in your chamber.

Personally I would not run the risk.

May 3, 2012, 08:15 PM
Or it will shatter and remain stuck in your chamber.Seriously??

Have you ever had a brass case shatter because it had a dent in it??

Thought so.


May 3, 2012, 08:25 PM
Where are the dents and how bad are they? I've seen very few cases that were destroyed/dented (upon firing) beyond reloadability.

May 3, 2012, 08:27 PM
Small dents from ejection are normal with some firearms. A crease (Sharp dent) is something else. A crease may have damaged the brass enough to scrap it. Small dings and dents will mostly iron out, and then form to the chamber when fired. No worries. A pic would help to be sure.

Shatter? Not possible from a dent.

To shatter the structure of the brass would have to be changed. The elasticity of brass is one of the qualities that makes it so suitable for reloading.

May 3, 2012, 10:21 PM
Not the best pictures, sorry.

May 3, 2012, 10:50 PM
You are right. Most of those pictures truly suck. Some of that brass I wouldn't reload on a bet. Sharp and deep equals bad. wow

May 3, 2012, 11:11 PM
I'd say those are done.

May 3, 2012, 11:38 PM
I see in the 3rd picture why you aren't sure if the brass is bad or not. To tell the truth, it looks pretty bad. At the least the top 2 pieces would be scrapped if they were mine...

May 3, 2012, 11:49 PM
My mini14 beats the heck out of brass too. Ones like in your pics i would scrap.

My mini is fairly new so i'm hoping after in gets broke in it won't beat them up so bad. Although i haven't had any quite that bad. What brand ammo was that?

May 4, 2012, 07:32 AM
Hard to say, but it looks like the brass is hitting a sharp corner. If you can figure out what it is hitting, and round it off, you may save a lot of brass. I concur that those look close to done, but need a clearer pic to be sure.

May 4, 2012, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the advice. The ammo is the Federal Value Pack from Wal-Mart. I will definitely try to figure out why my mini-14 is beating up the brass.

May 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
Unless the extracter is crapy I would think a bent damaged rim would be from to slow of a powder. Trying to pull the case out while it was still expanded to seal the chamber. Of course I'm just guessing. I don't know much about autos.

May 4, 2012, 09:44 AM
When I had a Mini 14, I remember similar dents. The nature of the beast, I think. They also fling brass into the next county. Between the dents and the 40 foot ejection, brass attrition was very high for me.

One of the many reasons why I went to an AR-15.

May 4, 2012, 11:48 AM
My dividing line is actual creases in the brass (or splits of course). Short of that I won't reject because of safey concerns. Dents in some locations will preclude sizing enough in the right places to properly fit a chamber.

May 4, 2012, 11:51 AM
On the Mini-14 specifically, the brass is probably being slammed against the top outside edge of the operating rod on ejection.. Radiusing of that edge won't affect function but will reduce creasing of the brass. You should see brass residue on the contact point. (Harder to see on the stainless version).

May 4, 2012, 03:35 PM
The cases in the 3rd pick are definitely round file candidates.

May 4, 2012, 04:13 PM
Thats why I put a reduced gas bushing in the mini that I had.

May 4, 2012, 09:00 PM
bah.. load 'em til they crack...

May 5, 2012, 12:07 AM
Unless the extracter is crapy I would think a bent damaged rim would be from to slow of a powder. Trying to pull the case out while it was still expanded to seal the chamber. Of course I'm just guessing. I don't know much about autos.
No powder, even the slowest powder will cause the case to be expanding while the case is being extracted. That is a dangerous situation that would never be allowed.

For the most part most powders are close to being completely burned before the bullet clears the case but in any event before the bullet leaves the barrel. When you see a flash from the front of the barrel that isn't the powder still burning, those are hot gasses reigniting when they hit the air where additional oxygen is available.

May 5, 2012, 07:51 AM
I have 3 Mini 14's and none of mine ding the brass like that. Mine throw the brass into low earth orbit BTW. All of mine barely dent the cases or do not do it at all. As to the dents and dings in a brass casing I will save any that are not gouged or actually creased. As to the necks if I size them and a crease still shows or the brass sags at any point I will scrap it. My thought is if the problem area has something that reduces the thickness of the brass casing it will fail under pressure so as such it is not safe. I would take some of the dented ones (10 or so) and load them up with a starting load and fire them. These may not eject with that low a loading. If they come out OK without any ruptures then reload a few more times at your standard pressure loadings to see if they fail any sooner than your "good" brass. If you do this let us know the results. I have found range brass that was all dented up and done as above and had no problems if the metal was not gouged deeply. I personally would be more concerned with a visibly creased or folded neck after resizing were they mine.

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