Lazy as shoot reloader. What are my long term risks or consequences?


June 11, 2012, 11:12 AM
I have to admit (applies only to 45 ACP and 9mm)...

I don't sort the brass.
I don't clean or polish the cases.
I don't ream the primer pockets.
I keep new brass with range pickup brass.

I pull from the bucket. If it is too grungy, dented, burred, or the primer pocket is clogged, I just throw it in a second bucket and pick the next one.

I put them through a go-nogo template for length (20 at a time), but I don't suppose this is exact on the fraction of mm. I check OAL one at a time through a gonogo template.

Brass goes from the gun, to the floor, to the bucket, to the template, to the press and just gets a little finger wipe from me at the reloading bench if there is grime or sand. I use carbide dies.

I am pretty new to reloading, just a year. I shoot 100 pistol cartridges every week, sometimes 150.

Yep, they are not shiny pretty rounds, but I have only had one problem over those thousands because I compressed the case overseating the bullet (like a little ripple half way down the case).

They always go bang. What can go wrong in the long term from being such a lazy sob (about straight wall case prep - not other things) ?

(I am very careful about load and OAL)

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June 11, 2012, 11:30 AM
Most handgun brass does not need the primer pocket reamed. Very little new handgun ammunition has crimped in primers so no problems there.

If you pick up lots of range brass, be aware you may run into some once in a while and then you will need to remove the crimp. Without removing the crimp, you will not be able to seat the new primer.

Brass you shoot and pick up, no real problem without cleaning. Since most resizing dies today are carbide, they can handle a little debris without scratching the insert. If they were steel dies, you would not be able to get away with it.

Range pick brass if outdoors could be filled with all sorts of junk. At least clean out the dirt and debris and make sure the flash hole is clear.

Still, it would be better to run all your cases through a tumbler a little to clean out the loose stuff.

Handgun cases such as 9x19 and 45 ACP do not stretch much, if at all, on shooting. i stopped measuring my handgun brass 30 years ago.

Rifle is a different story on trimming.

June 11, 2012, 11:37 AM
You'll need to clean your dies now and then to remove gunk that would normally be washed or scrubbed away in the case-cleaning steps.

That's all I can think of.

June 11, 2012, 12:40 PM
No real problem for loading plinking ammo with straight cases like 9mm and .45ACP. when you pick up the range brass, watch out for the .45 cases that use small pistol primers instead of large, and keep them separate.

June 11, 2012, 12:52 PM
Most of the range brass I find has crimped pockets.

June 11, 2012, 12:54 PM
I wouldn't even bother with the checking for length, but I used a stubby bullet for 45 and it stayed well under the max oal. I'd run them through a tumbler occasionally, but in college, before I had a tumbler, I just wiped them down with paint thinner and on old sock.

long term risks? the occasional jam. worst case scenario: out of battery discharge that blows shrapnel into your eyes and blinds you.

June 11, 2012, 12:55 PM
I do clean mine with a vibratory tumbler, but that's about it. All the 9mm and .45 ammo I load is in mixed brass that includes stuff I've been shooting for 10 years and stuff that was swept off of various ranges. I give each piece a glancing inspection just before they go in the press, looking for heavy primer crimps, oddball primer sizes, known bad head-stamps, and cracked mouths.

No real value in going much more overboard for range and action-pistol match ammo in service sidearms.

Arkansas Paul
June 11, 2012, 12:59 PM
I clean mine in a tumbler, but I don't do any of the other stuff. I used to sort brass, but decided it wasn't worth it for my needs. There's not enough difference to matter for hunting purposes. I've never cleaned a primer pocket.

June 11, 2012, 01:14 PM
I tumble all my brass, but otherwise I load most pistol the way you describe. I have some primer loss because of crimped 9mm. I was loaded 9mm the other week and felt a lot of resistance on the primer. I went ahead and smashed it in and fired it (primer only) in a pistol. I was surprised it went pop! This thing was mangled in there.

June 11, 2012, 02:25 PM
I tumble my .45 ACP, but it's a mix of head stamps and number of firings. I just toss it all in a bucket.

I sort by primer size when I'm depriming. I load both large and small primers.

June 11, 2012, 03:42 PM
The only real area of concern is OAL being shorter than published for 9mm. 9mm is a high rpessure cartridge and if the bullet is seated deeper than should be (SAAMI) pressures can spike wuite high. Other than that I would say our OK. Oh, watch your crimp on those two cartridges, as they do head space on the mouth.

June 11, 2012, 04:02 PM
I do much like Sam, and not much more than you: I tumble them all to clean them since this requires virtually no effort on my behalf, and then I eyeball each one to make sure it doesn't have a primer crimp or a split wall. Then as long as it doesn't look like it has been through 84 9major firings, I load it. Never had a problem yet.

Trying to count number of firings on my handgun brass would be completely impossible, and I've never trimmed a 9mm case in my life.

June 11, 2012, 04:22 PM
If you give as much care to the charging of the case, and seating of the bullet as you do the rest...

I'd say death and dismemberment.

If you take good care of your charging and bullet seating, I'm sure you'll be OK.

June 11, 2012, 05:12 PM
The only risk that I see is that of scratching your dies.

Other than that, if you're doing a decent visual inspection, you should be fine.

June 11, 2012, 05:36 PM
It just takes one. I don't sort, I clean brass minimally, don't clean pockets and use range p/up brass. >50k and no issues. I've not reloaded my "one" yet... ideally never will.

June 11, 2012, 05:47 PM
This one can sneak up on you. I keep new brass with range pickup brass.

June 11, 2012, 05:51 PM
Thanks guys for the reassurance.
I double check powder messure - easy to do with short cases, and spot check dispensing every twenty rounds or so; same for bullets seating.

Will clean out the dies.

I was worried most about primer pockets, good to know it is not a problem.

GW Staar
June 11, 2012, 08:10 PM
You won't live as many years as the rest of us anal types.

Kidding of course.

June 11, 2012, 11:23 PM
The reloading accessory vendors are all about to converge on your residence...

When they're done with you, you'll be trimming and uniforming the flash holes of your 9mm plinking brass!

June 11, 2012, 11:54 PM
I had been loading for more than 15 years before I even heard of a brass tumbler. As long as you are careful about looking the brass over for defects you shouldn't have any problems. The main advantage of cleaning your brass is that it makes it easier to spot defects.

June 12, 2012, 12:54 AM
Really the only thing that concerns me with range brass is stuff that's been laying there long enough to get grit mud or silt inside, not too fond of lapping my bore with such abrasives. I usually separate that stuff and wash it. All my brass regardless of appearance gets pinched in the loading block with a straight edge and sweep a compressed air nozzle down each row.

June 12, 2012, 04:25 AM
I never re use 9mm or 45acp brass. It is only 16 or 18 cents.

But 7mmRemMag brass is ~ 75 cents, and worth my time.

June 12, 2012, 10:48 AM
Reloading, like many hobbies, provides a means for folks of all budgets to participate at their level of comfort and intensity in relative safety.

I reload low-mid range pistol ammo mostly for range plinking in 4 calibers, all with the same powder (Win 231/HP-38). Yep, I use a Lee Classic Turret with their very consistent Pro Powder dispenser, and verify weights now and then with my $30 MTM DS-1250 battery powered digital scale. I kept my Lee balance beam as a backup.

OALs are measured with a $10 Harbor Freight digital caliper - I like digital stuff cuz I have tired old eyeballs - lol -

I do tumble my non-headstamp sorted range brass before reloading, but that's about it for 'case prep'.

Ain't blowed up yet. Ain't likely to.

If others prefer or even demand NASA level accuracy on all their measurements and weights? Good on ya mates! There are any number of vendors happy to sell you measuring equipment to suit your fancy and be a perfect match to your needs.

June 12, 2012, 10:56 AM
For plinking ammo you are fine. I do much the same except I tumble the brass. makes it easier to do the visual check on the brass. I pick up indoor range brass or outside if it looks like someone before me just left it. If it has been out there for a while I leave it. I don't sort the brass for handgun I don't think its worth the time for casual shooting.

June 13, 2012, 01:21 PM
Never sort my 9 or 45 and sometimes do not clean it if it looks relatively good to begin with. Probably do several hundred a week and the only problem ever was a berdan primed 9mm that broke my decapping pin. Then I no longer wondered why I had that spare pin lying around for years.

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