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How many times do you reload your cases?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by IMtheNRA, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Well-Known Member

    I'm sure this has been asked about a billion times, but I did not find the threads when I did a search.

    I realize that there are many variables such as load pressure, chamber variations, etc, that will make it impossible to predict the the number of lives that brass cases will have, so I'm just looking for some experience-based estimates. My goal here is to start discarding my brass before any problems begin to develop.

    What is the typical number of times you personally reuse brass before you begin to find signs of wearout in a particular lot of handgun or rifle brass?

    9mm, .45ACP, .357, .44, 500S&W, .223, .308, etc...:)
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You can continue to reload handgun cases until neck cracks develop, or in Magnum calibers, loose primer pockets develop.

    Rifle brass wears out from stretching during firing & resizing it. A lot depends of the condition & design of the action.

    Once you can feel a ring forming inside the case about a half inch from the head with a bent paper-clip, toss it. It's going to crack or break on the next loading or two. Many bolt-actions are kind to brass, and they can last for 5+ loadings. I usually lose my .223 semi-auto brass in the weeds before it wears out.

  3. Hikingman

    Hikingman Well-Known Member

    If you're talking normal loads and not hot ones, they may last 5-6 times and some claim even more times reloaded for the same cases.
  4. Yosemite**Sam

    Yosemite**Sam Well-Known Member

    There are many factors that come into play when considering how many times you can reload a cartridge case. Are you full lenght sizing or neck sizing only? How hot are the loads?

    I was once given some .243 rifle brass for reloading. According to the writing on some of the boxes alot of it had been reloaded 11-12 times already. I trashed it all. Wasn't worth the risk of injury to myself or damaging a rifle.

    I had a friend who was a competition bench rest shooter. He loaded for 22 PPC and was a near perfectionist at loading. I asked him how many firings he got out of a case. He told me that the current lot of brass that he was reloading had 171 reloads on each case. Hard to believe but I don't think he was lieing.

    Learn to read your brass....
  5. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Well-Known Member

    in my experience, pistol brass loaded light lasts a long, long time. I ususally lose it before it cracks.
  6. Werewolf

    Werewolf Well-Known Member

    Low pressure pistol brass can be reloaded many times.

    For example 3 years ago I bought 300 .45ACP Winchester cases. Still using them. I've been using the same .45LC cases for almost 5 years.

    Been using the same .44Mag (not low pressure round) cases for about 3 years.

    Some of those .45LC cases are probably on load 10 or so and the .45ACP probably 8. The .44's are pushin' 5.
  7. TEDDY

    TEDDY Well-Known Member

    case life

    I still use brass pistol cases/38 and 45 acp after 20 yrs.38 =2.8 of 700x 45 = 3.6 of 700x.more likely crush the case or in 45 the rim gets damaged by extraction.:uhoh::confused::)
  8. Bowfishrp

    Bowfishrp Well-Known Member

    What about .308 and .223 shot out of a semi auto?
  9. Noxx

    Noxx Well-Known Member

    I currently only reload straight wall pistol. As a rule, I reload em until they look scary.
  10. kestak

    kestak Well-Known Member


    I am currently experiencing with 45acp, 9mm, 357mag and 44mag. Each time I am done tumbling the brass, I use my dremel and make a very small notch at the foot of the case. That way, I know exactly how many times I reloaded it.

    I read too many contradictory statements and decide dto make my mind on it.

    On the other hand someone I was talking to a while ago told me his 45acp cases begin to fail at the mouth after 12 loads and he discard them at the 8th load for safety.

    Thank you
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    There is no safety reason to discard any straight wall pistol or revolver brass until the neck cracks from being crimped & resized too many times. After they crack is the time to throw them away.

    A cracked case mouth is in no way dangerous or a hazard.
    They just won't hold a bullet anymore.

  12. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    Like most everyone else here, I load em till they split. :)
  13. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Well-Known Member

    Until they show damage.
  14. RustyFN

    RustyFN Well-Known Member

    I load pistol until they split and rifle until they look unsafe.
  15. Eightball

    Eightball Well-Known Member

    'Till they split. I've not been reloading long enough to have "new" brass die on me, but have acquired some old brass a while back that looks strange. Never seen "western" round, but have "western" and "frontier" brass that look odd, but haven't failed yet. Until they show some serious signs of failure, I'll keep using 'em.
  16. Jacka L Ope

    Jacka L Ope Well-Known Member

    Not sure about the .223 but for shooters of the 7.62/.308 in military-style autoloaders, this article (Reloading for the Match M14) is well worth the read:

  17. Luggernut

    Luggernut Well-Known Member

    Well it hasn't happened much but I've had some .45 ACP cases that didn't have enough neck tension to hold a bullet good. I check for that as well. Like everyone else said- when it looks ugly- it's gets trashed.
  18. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    Loading for Bullseye, I feel short changed if the neck splits while I can still read the headstamp.
  19. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    I load pistol brass until they split or the primers fall out.

    I haven't started loading bottleneck rifle cartridges yet.

    .30 Carbine is a little tricky. I probably should start checking them for case head separation when I trim them... Since I'm shooting them in a revolver, I'm not sure a case failing would be dangerous, but it would sure be unpleasant.
  20. muscles

    muscles Active Member

    i started reloading about 4 years ago and only reload 45 acp. ive been using the same bunch of brass for 4 years. i use bullseye and titegroup loaded fairly mellow. im up to at least 10 reloads on the initial batch of cases. of those thousand or so, ive pulled 2 nickel cased speer shells as a result of splitting at the mouth. all the others appear good. ill keep them in the rotation until they split.

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