.45 Auto Brass...Help!?!?


PDA






holdencm9
November 16, 2012, 09:41 PM
I recently got a reloading press kit to reload .45 auto, and although I haven't had time to actually begin reloading, I have slowly been collecting brass during the past few months. In the meantime, I have also been researching online and reading a few books before I get started.

Initially I thought brass was brass...then I hear people say "brand x reloads great, brand y is crap..." et cetera.

Then I discover that blazer brass is small primers. I had no idea any .45 auto used small primers! ...sort those out.

Then I hear that people have had issues with Herter's Brass...primers are somewhere in between small and large? So I sorted those out.

Recently I read that for best accuracy you should sort brass by brand...Speer together, Winchester together, Federal, et cetera. For general range practice is this really necessary, assuming I am not approaching max loads? Or is it just for people looking to really fine-tune loads for bullseye? How much volume do different brand cases differ by?

I guess my other question is, which brands of brass are better or worse than the rest? Here are the various assorted brands I have (by headstamp):

Large Primers
Winchester
R - P
CBC
PMC
Federal
Speer (regular brass and nickel-plated)
MFS
S & B
Federal N-T
Herter's (seems smaller than large, but closer to large than small)

Small Primers
Blazer
-Federal- (dot before and after)

I think I will start with the Winchester Brass since I have the most of it, from a couple WWB I burned through, but long-term, it would be nice to know I can mix and match so long as I am not going for utmost accuracy or max charge.

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 Auto Brass...Help!?!?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
ColtPythonElite
November 16, 2012, 09:49 PM
The only think I sort out with .45 is the small primer from the large. Other than that, I used mixed brass that is as much as 50 years old and had been shot umpteen times....I can't tell a performance difference between and brand new stuff.

ImjinScout
November 16, 2012, 09:50 PM
Yes you find more MFG's are using SPP in the .45ACP and you will need to sort these out when it comes time to reload. As far as sorting brass by brand, I don't do it and load mixed brass all the time. If it's LPP I load it and shoot it, :) and load it again.

medalguy
November 16, 2012, 10:00 PM
The only pistol brass I throw in the scrap bucket is AMERC. It is absolutey, positively crap. Everything else works, including the SP stuff. Unless you're an olympic-class shooter, I think sorting brands is a waste of time.

JLDickmon
November 16, 2012, 10:13 PM
the only .45 brass I sort out is the Winchester, which I use for my hollow point loads.. and the Blazer, which I pitch because I don't feel like jacking with it..

everything else gets crammed full of powder and lead and shot 'til it cracks..

mbopp
November 16, 2012, 11:40 PM
I crush the Amerc and toss it in the scrap bucket.
I've found R-P cases to be thinner and have less case neck tension. The really loose cases (referenced by how it feels when I expand it) get set aside. I haven't found a good use for them yet.
SP gets segregated but I still load it. Actually I find the SP cases to be a bit more accurate when shot from a rest.
The rest get lumped together then loaded. If I were to shoot 50 yard bullseye I'd be a bit more pickey about sorting by manufacturer but at USPSA-ranges it doesn't matter.

Steve2md
November 16, 2012, 11:40 PM
Sort small primer from large primer. Then load until brass failure. It all shoots better than we can

holdencm9
November 16, 2012, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the responses guys, it is reassuring that sorting by brand won't be absolutely necessary.

JLD, why do you use Winchester for your hollowpoint loads? Any particular reason?

I don't have any AMERC so no worries, but if I encounter any I will be sure to discard.

Has anyone had experience with Herter's? I have a fair amount of it.

rikman
November 17, 2012, 12:51 AM
Only sort out SPP(Blazer mostly). S&B has tighter primer pockets but is good brass. Otherwise I load it all mixed.

KansasSasquatch
November 17, 2012, 08:33 AM
Herters .45 brass has no chamfer to the primer pocket. It can make primer seating a little difficult. I sort it out from the rest of my LPP brass, very lightly chamfer the primer pocket, and toss it in with the rest of my brass. I actually think its pretty good brass. It just needs that chamfer once and it's good to go after that.

hentown
November 17, 2012, 08:40 AM
Sorting handgun brass for accuracy is --deleted--. :rolleyes:

Hit_Factor
November 17, 2012, 08:44 AM
No time to sort handgun brass. If primer wont seat i can feel that on my 1050 or 650. The 1050 swages primer pockets, so if the brass has correct size pocket it seats easily.

I only sort rifle brass if i need sub moa and since my longest hunting shot is 300 yards i dont need that often.

ATLDave
November 17, 2012, 08:44 AM
I sort brass on every caliber I load because there are big weight differences between different brands of brass. At max loads, this may change the pressures substantially (more brass with same external dimensions means less internal space).

More importantly for my purposes, I use the overall weight of the finished cartridge as a QC check. If brass from a given mfg has, say, a 2 gr variance, and I'm trying to load a 10 gr charge, the finished weights won't all match, but they'll be in a narrow window, and any zero charges or double charges will jump off the page. If I've got brass mixed in that has a 10 gr variance between brand A and B (not uncommon), then suddenly the window of correct weights is so big that a double charge in the lighter brass or a zero charge in the heavy brass falls inside the window.

Make sense?

dragon813gt
November 17, 2012, 09:10 AM
Sort small from large, load and shoot. Anything more is a waste of time. Fiocchi is another brand that uses small primers.


Brought to you by TapaTalk.

rfwobbly
November 17, 2012, 09:58 AM
Thanks for the responses guys, it is reassuring that sorting by brand won't be absolutely necessary.

Mr Holden -
There is one time that sorting brass pays off and that is when you get around to placing a chrono on your test loads. Most serious reloaders will turn to a chrono at some point in their load testing. Typically these loads are shot/tested in 5 round groups. Due to the varying internal volume of different manufacturers brass, sorting by make for this single exercise will lower your standard deviations by 10-20 points and give you a much tighter range speed and SD report.

Otherwise I agree with the other comments.

holdencm9
November 17, 2012, 10:32 AM
rfwobbly, I agree, even small deviations in the case volume could affect the range of velocities, and at some point I would like to get a chrono and get serious, especially down the road when reloading rifle ammo. But at this point I am just getting into it with .45, mostly to save money but also as just another hobby.

ATLDave, how much have you seen volumes vary? I guess if I had time I could zero some empties on my scale and fill them with water to check the difference, but would you say it is 1-2%, 4-5%, up to 10%? Like I said, I can see how it will affect velocities but starting out I am more concerned about pressures and such. The manuals usually say what kind of case was used but not how to adjust any of the loads when using different cases. But I think your method of final weigh-in of the loaded cartridge is a good one, and I understand what you mean that if it is over a couple grain difference then it is cause for alarm.

KansasSasquatch, thanks for the info on Herters. I guess I will just set them aside for now and put a chamfer tool on the list of things to get.

beatledog7
November 17, 2012, 11:26 AM
Though I have loaded a few without problems, I currently toss AMERC brass in all calibers just because I've read so much bad stuff about them and I have plenty without the handful of those I'm likely to come across.

For .45ACP I sort only SP and LP. Though I know others exist, every piece of SP .45ACP brass I've ever seen has been Federal. If I shot lead bullets in .45, I'd sort out the RP brass for lead loads as I do for 9mm and .40S&W.

cactus02
November 17, 2012, 04:57 PM
I sort everything by brand , is that why my wife calls me OCD?

EddieNFL
November 17, 2012, 05:33 PM
Amerc, S&B and SPP go in the scrap bucket.

dragon813gt
November 18, 2012, 08:30 AM
I don't know people scrap the SPP brass. There are people like me that will gladly trade you LPP for your SPP brass. I hate having to stock LPP for one cartridge. It's the only one I reload for that takes it. As soon as I use up my current stock I'm done and hopefully will have enough SPP brass to last a lifetime by then. Don't scrap it. Sell it or trade it as people do want it.


Brought to you by TapaTalk.

Kp321
November 18, 2012, 09:43 AM
I load everything I find, sorting only by primer size. I too use the spp brass on lost brass matches or in tall weeds. To other's horror, I even load Wolf steel. I have hundreds of rounds of TW 5 steel cases I have been loading for 20 years with no problems so I will use the Wolf and Tula till I have a reason not to. Word of caution, don't try to load EC steel, they used an odd sized primer.

srtolly
November 18, 2012, 09:51 AM
I only sort out the spp and herters. Spp gets loaded and shot as does Herters after a chamfer on the primer pocket.

FROGO207
November 18, 2012, 09:59 AM
About the only thing I don't bother reloading is the A-merc brass in 45 ACP. I load the steel (horrors:what:) with no problems. I also reload the aluminum---but only one time for these and use them where I can't recover the casings. :evil: YMMV

EddieNFL
November 18, 2012, 03:52 PM
I don't know people scrap the SPP brass.

You're welcome to come by and sort it out of the scrap bucket.

blarby
November 18, 2012, 07:18 PM
Bout the only difference you are likely to encounter are length differences in the .001's and .002's.

Doesn't matter a heck of a lot unless you have a really picky firearm, with non FMJ shape bullets like SWC's for instance. They often require a very particular length, which can be hard to do on occasion with mixed headstamp brass.

In general, everything you have is 100% functional.

Sorting by brand is useful for accuracy and consistency. Sorting by weight is substantially better than that.

Unless you are bullseye shooting, or just plain persnickety, neither is really required.

ATLDave
November 18, 2012, 10:36 PM
ATLDave, how much have you seen volumes vary? I guess if I had time I could zero some empties on my scale and fill them with water to check the difference, but would you say it is 1-2%, 4-5%, up to 10%? Like I said, I can see how it will affect velocities but starting out I am more concerned about pressures and such. The manuals usually say what kind of case was used but not how to adjust any of the loads when using different cases. But I think your method of final weigh-in of the loaded cartridge is a good one, and I understand what you mean that if it is over a couple grain difference then it is cause for alarm.
I've not done the actual measurements, but I have seen data from others who claim to have done the work. Not much of a concern unless you're working near max, I think. But if I'm working close to the edge, I want every component to be the same. If I change something, I'll work up again.

But the QC is the main reason.

grubbylabs
November 18, 2012, 11:17 PM
Yes you find more MFG's are using SPP in the .45ACP and you will need to sort these out when it comes time to reload. As far as sorting brass by brand, I don't do it and load mixed brass all the time. If it's LPP I load it and shoot it, and load it again. and again and again and again......:):)

Coldfinger
November 19, 2012, 12:25 AM
Spp brass is a pain. Sort large from small find someone that wants the small and trade. As long as you are not loading near Max you should be fine. As posted before, sort large from small load and shoot until the case fails. All I reload is .45 and have done so on some case as many as 20 times.

holdencm9
November 19, 2012, 09:55 AM
Coldfinger, I didn't think sorting the SP's was too bad...Sorting brass is the one thing my wife doesn't mind me doing in the living room whilst watching TV. Now if I tried to start depriming she might take issue. I just don't want to have to sort SP/LP and then Brand, every time. I will do it the first time because I am a little OCD that way, but it is good to know that if I am just running some plinking light-to-medium loads I can mix-n-match LPP brass with no concern.

The thing I just don't get now, is when some people say they keep x-brand brass for loading hollow-points or y-brand for loading lead, why is that? Is some brass known more for holding on tight to the bullet (something good in defensive ammo I presume) or easier to load lead into?

I'm sure some of these things I will just discover for myself as I go, and I will probably develop personal preferences and quirks too, but I'd be interest to know the reasoning (if there is any, not that there has to be) for some of these practices.

Thanks again ya'll

ATLDave
November 19, 2012, 10:30 AM
The thing I just don't get now, is when some people say they keep x-brand brass for loading hollow-points or y-brand for loading lead, why is that? Is some brass known more for holding on tight to the bullet (something good in defensive ammo I presume) or easier to load lead into?

Well, sometimes it's just a way to decide which brass to load!

I load a lot of 10mm. I have a ton of brass with a "PPU" headstamp. It came from Prvi/Partisan ammo. For 10mm ammo, the PP stuff is very mild. I haven't read any opinions on that brass from others who are running at the top of the power range for 10mm. I have gobs of it, but have some questions about whether it's trustworthy for full-power loads. So it gets used for practice loads at or near start-load levels.

I also have some Starline brass, though less than I have of the PPU stuff. It has a good reputation. When I'm loading something reasonably stout, I use that brass. Not only do I have more confidence in it, I also know to inspect it more carefully for stretching, thinning, loose pockets, etc., since the demands on it have been higher. If a case looks dinged up at all, then I toss it.

Do I really NEED to do any of the foregoing? No. But it's a method. And it means I don't have to re-work-up for different brands of brass.

FROGO207
November 19, 2012, 07:40 PM
To the OP----There are some brands of brass that have a thinner necks and they are better for loading lead bullets because the have better neck tension. Also the ones with thicker necks will generally stand higher pressures as well as hold smaller diameter bullets tighter. That is the difference that matters for my reloading rather than case capacity as I do not load at max but for accuracy mostly.

Also the inspecting of the brass for safety is a necessary step and sorting by primer size while doing everything else is a non issue IMHO.

eam3clm@att.net
November 19, 2012, 08:14 PM
I do sort my 45acp brass by headstamp. I primary load a cast lead SWC bullet and I have found that it is easier to set the COL and crimp with one lot of brass at a time. All my 40s&w brass is federal headstamp because that is all we use for training at work. I also sort my 9mm brass for what I plan to load it with FMJ or cast. Some headstamps have thinner case walls making it better suited for cast. I have even recently went through the trouble to decrimp the primer pockets on some WCC 9mm brass.

Honest John
November 19, 2012, 08:19 PM
I've had a lot of problems with R-P (Remington) cases, but if they work for you then use them.

Coldfinger
November 20, 2012, 02:57 AM
Some people will swear by only loading top/name brand brass. I feel that if all your doing is plinking or even loading for accuracy (not done near max either) the head stamp doesnt matter that much. I mostly load to poke holes in paper, and have used my hand loads in ispc matches. If I were to test the pressure limits of a case (something I would never do or recomend) I would take my micrometer and determine for myself the case with the thickest walls and use them. As long as you follow published load data manufacturer shouldnt matter for most applications. If you carry daily for personal protection carry what you plink, or load as close as you can to your carry ammo. Hope this helps.

Clark
November 20, 2012, 06:22 PM
srtolly

I only sort out the spp and herters. Spp gets loaded and shot as does Herters after a chamfer on the primer pocket.

Herters went bankrupt in 1981.

I still have some powder and you still have some brass.
The stuff hangs around for a while:)

holdencm9
November 21, 2012, 09:10 AM
Thanks for the responses folks. Intuitively it makes sense to me that the headstamp doesn't matter THAT much, but I guess it may be something I start to do just because my OCD may get the better of me.

Clark, I don't know about srtolly, but the "Herter's' brass I have is just from Cabela's, not the original Herter's. Allegedly I have heard it is loaded by S&B, which is another company I have heard people complain about the primer pockets in the brass...so maybe they are related that way? In any case I will save those casings for last and start up this weekend loading the Winchester and Federal LPP cases.

Clark
November 21, 2012, 12:18 PM
I stand corrected.
I see the name is being resurrected 30 years later, possibly on the strength of his cook book and his sexist book.

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 Auto Brass...Help!?!?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!