Wear leveling of rifle brass.


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Crashbox
March 2, 2013, 07:11 PM
I've been reloading for a little over three years now and only recently have taken up reloading for rifle (only one so far). With my handgun brass, I just shoot it until it wears out and then replace it as needed with new stock- I don't bother keeping all of my brass in circulation as I have about 2000 spare pieces each of .357 Magnum and .40 and about the same number active.

With my rifle reloads, however, I plan on tracking the number of times fired, etc. but the question I have is: should I put all of my brass in circulation (currently about 450+ pieces for my rifle) and distribute the wear across the entire stock, or should I keep about 25%-50% active until it wears out, then replace it...? From a technical standpoint it probably doesn't make any difference but the main reason I'm asking is if any of you have found that one method works better than the other.

The headstamps are all of a single brand (Hornady) and is a cartridge that I don't plan on shooting more than 10 to 30 in any one day (.405 Winchester).

Thank you very much in advance.

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arizona98tj
March 2, 2013, 07:22 PM
For my .308 rifle brass, I keep track of how many times the brass has been loaded. I typically process and then eventually reload a 50 round box. While I have several plastic boxes of 50 rounds in use, I usually have no more than 2 or 3 in use for any one rifle unless I am heading off to a training class. When I detect a failure or determine the brass is near end of life, the box of 50 goes into the recycle bin and is replaced. Not saying it is the best way, but this method has worked well for me over the years.

06
March 2, 2013, 07:33 PM
I use a turret press (sometimes a single) and get to hand inspect the casings several times. I use them till there is a split or possible seperation. Am a scrounger and do not toss an entire lot over one failure. All of us will get old and weak if used enough--same with brass--do not want to be thrown away prematurely and will not do brass either---LOL.

rcmodel
March 2, 2013, 09:13 PM
Unless you shoot 450 rounds of .308 a weekend??

It would be far easier to keep track of how many times you reloaded 25% of 450 then 100% of 450 rounds.

Load what you plan to need and keep the new brass in reserve.

Check the old brass with an L-bent paper-clip for stretch rings every time you resize it.

If you can feel the stretch ring starting, toss it out.

rc

Crashbox
March 2, 2013, 09:23 PM
Sounds like my gut instinct was correct. I'll put 200 in circulation and keep at least 250 in reserve. If I purchase even more brass I'll probably set aside 100 or more rounds just in case something other than air hits the fan.

RCmodel- if I try to shoot .308's in my .405 the end result won't be pretty :D but thank you for the advice on checking for stretch rings, reloading rifle is new to me. Reckon I'll be perusing "The ABC's of Reloading" again.

rcmodel
March 2, 2013, 10:09 PM
Reckon I'll be perusing "The ABC's of Reloading" again.I have never read the ABC's of Reloading, so I don't know how it addresses case stretch.
Or even if it does?

Read post #1 & #2 in this thread and you will know all you need to know.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=684123&highlight=stretch+ring

rc

Crashbox
March 2, 2013, 10:57 PM
Yep- the book does mention to watch out for signs that case head separation lurketh. Thank you for the link rcmodel, that photo in post #2 was real helpful.

edfardos
March 3, 2013, 12:00 AM
I keep boxes of brass together, and write the number of times loaded on the box. After 6 reloads, theyget scrapped (30'06 and .223rem). Don't mix'm up at the range!

edfardos

4895
March 3, 2013, 01:43 AM
I don't know how much you plan to really shoot, but from my experience, you will be better served to load up say 50 pieces and shoot those. The rest should be processed (resized, trimmed, deburred) and ready for loading when the time comes. If I can tell you my story regarding my .22-250 rifle it may help you decide.

I bought a .22-250 rifle back in 2006 and at that time started reloading. I purchased 200 new cases for this rifle (Remington brand) and thought to myself I would keep track of how many shots fired and blah blah blah. I loaded up 45 rounds to shoot but only shot 20 to break in my rifle (cleaning after each shot).
Well, my plans were put on hold when I started raising a family. Recently I started reloading again. I went back to that .22-250 and decided to work up loads for hunting and target shooting. I found an excellent load with target bullets and an okay load for hunting. I decided to load up some 55 grain fmj plinkers since they WERE cheaper than anything else at the time to get some trigger time. So now I have 45 pieces that were once fired with different powders. I also have 50 or so that I neck-turned the brass (minus one that split at the shoulder upon firing). Another 50 or so were shot with about 8 different powders in .5 grain increments to find an accurate load. Then we get to the last 50 pieces....I chose to use the 55 grain fmj bullets with H380 powder. The load data shows 38.0 grains to 41.0 grains per Hodgdon. I load up 50 rounds with 39.0 grains at the cannelure and go shooting. They kicked pretty hard...the bolt was hard to open...the primers were flattened. I kept shooting. I thought about pulling the bullets...I kept shooting...I shot them all...
Later I got home and threw them all into the tumbler. Now the pieces that were over pressure with a near starting load won't hold a primer after only once fired. And I don't know which ones they were because they all look the same except for the ones I neck turned....
Point is, keep good records. Don't shoot all your brass at once. Don't put all your brass in the tumbler at once when using different loads. Color code them if you can, put them in separate coffee cans, etc. Labels. Labels. Labels.
The brass I once bought for $25/100 is at least $45/100 and out of stock.
What kind of a headache did I create for myself? I get to deprime and resize how many pieces of brass to see which 50 or more have loose primer pockets after only once fired?

Of course its your choice, but if you just keep grabbing a new piece of brass to load up the same load just because your gun didn't blow up, you may find out that your brass is really...shot.

Crashbox
March 3, 2013, 05:36 PM
Many thanks for the advice y'all. I'll prep and set aside some for reserve, load and set aside some more for reserve, and circulate the rest.

fguffey
March 3, 2013, 06:40 PM
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Crashbox
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Posts: 235 Wear leveling of rifle brass.

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The headstamps are all of a single brand (Hornady) and is a cartridge that I don't plan on shooting more than 10 to 30 in any one day (.405 Winchester).

Thank you very much in advance.
__________________

Head stamps of a single brand would slow me down. There is no such think as having too many different head stamps, military, Lake City separated by years, old arsenal head stamps DE. DEN, DM, SL, TW FA etc., etc.. Commercial case head stamps: FC, Federal, Win., Winchester, R-P, Norma, Hornady etc..

I dump 5 boxes of 20 cases each from a box of fired cases into the tumbrel, after tumbling I sort cases, all 20 cases that come from one box go back into the same box. I do not entertain any fantasy about setting a record for the number of times a case has been fired.

F. Guffey

fguffey
March 3, 2013, 06:42 PM
Extending case life: I am the fan of reducing case travel, I determine the length of the chamber first, then adjust the die to and or off the shell holder to prevent excessive sizing. Time is a factor.

f. Guffey

Coltdriver
March 3, 2013, 08:16 PM
If you have that much brass take the time to separate and group it by weight. You might as well, it would be a one time exercise and the pro's do it. Its a nice cheap way to add one more tool to your consistency kit.

Crashbox
March 3, 2013, 08:27 PM
Head stamps of a single brand would slow me down.

AFAIK, Hornady is the sole current manufacturer of .405 WCF brass. There may be a few specialty shops that make it as well, but for now I'll stick with Hornady.

Extending case life: I am the fan of reducing case travel, I determine the length of the chamber first, then adjust the die to and or off the shell holder to prevent excessive sizing.

With respect to avoiding excessive sizing, it may be possible to neck-size the .405 even though it is a straight-wall case. I have two sets of dies, so I could back one of the sizers off until I get the top-squeeze I need. Of course, this goes out the window if reloading for more than one rifle unless I segregate the cases accordingly.

If you have that much brass take the time to separate and group it by weight.

I might just do that, thanks for the tip.

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