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.223 steel casings reloadable?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Nightwing, May 9, 2008.

  1. Nightwing

    Nightwing Well-Known Member

    I'm considering ordering steel cased .223 ammo for value, but am wondering if the casings are reloadable? When they;re fired they seem in perfect condition, but does anyone here actually reload steel casings?
  2. Halo

    Halo Well-Known Member

    It can be done, but they tend to split much sooner than brass cases. They're also more likely to get stuck in dies. Personally, I've still never come across any steel cased ammo with Boxer primers, but they do exist.

    The general consensus is that they're not really worth the effort, but it can be done.
  3. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    There is a guy over on AR15.com that has supposedly reloaded the steel cases about 3 times already.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    There is no value after one shot.

    Consider how many times a brass case can be reloaded and do the math on that.

  5. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Steel and aluminum cases can be reloaded quite successfully. After all, the original factory loaded them just like they load brass cases. All the principles are the same

    BUT it takes a different set of dies because of the 'spring back' for each material. When you form brass, you form it slightly smaller and it springs back a little when you pull it from the forming die. So you make the die to a specific undersize and the brass springs back to the intended finished dimension.

    Same with steel, aluminum, magnesium, and all other metals. But they spring back to different dimensions. The dies we buy for reloading are specifically brass dies, not steel or aluminum.

    Unless you have custom dies made in the right dimension, it isn't reasonable to try to reload steel or aluminum.

    Also, many steel and aluminum cases are berdan primed.
  6. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    I reload wolf in 223 with no problems. I have reloaded some 3 times and it will be 4 times soon. I have lost one case out of 60 so far. I shoot them in an AR and FN-FNC auto. Maybe I'm an exception to the rule, maybe just not enough people are trying it. If you don't wanna do it, I'll take all that junk steel off your hands. :)
  7. highbrow

    highbrow Well-Known Member

    I have reloaded Wolf .223 upto 7 times, using very light loads that would barely cycle my AR 15. At that point, about half of the case necks split. Have had no other problems with the Wolf cases. I have reloaded Wolf 45 ACP upto 10 times with no problems at all. Not even split cases yet.

    Now I reload them twice for the AR, then they are relegated to the bolt action. They shoot very well out of my Stevens .223.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Steel cases are generally considered non-reloadable, and for good reason. A few intrepid souls do it, but I recommend against it. Too much risk for too little gain. As rcmodel said, figure out the cost of brass cases factoring in how many times you can reload them. I have purchased once fired .223, but I also pick up a lot of free .223 brass at the range. Why bother with steel?

    I have shot steel cased 7.62 X 39, but I leave the cases. No steel .223, but I am loaded up with brass cases for it. Probably enough to last me till I'm gone, factoring in more range pick ups. Some folks will never reload, thank goodness. :)

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