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Old August 29, 2015, 12:51 PM   #1
jeeptim
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.45 Colt brass when is time to replace??

I have a lot of colt that has been reloaded a lot 10+ times all still works holds the bullet no cracks but some is getting tough to remove from the cylinder once fired. Is this a sign of thinning brass? The primer pockets tight no cracks in the mouth. I do load light 6gr of bullseye under a 200gr SWC.
I am very familiar with bottle neck rifle reloading, this is the only straight wall pistol i load and like i said only issue is the cases (some) are a lil tough to remove once fired.
Thanx
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Old August 29, 2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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When they crack or split. Even if they do while firing, it is not going the hurt the gun.
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Old August 29, 2015, 01:26 PM   #3
jeeptim
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Kinda what I thought. Also was kinda wanting to replace with new, just cause I like bran new brass once in a while. So we will keep a loading till we get a crack split or loose primer pockets.
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Old August 29, 2015, 01:54 PM   #4
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I agree with "when they split" and it's good you watch the primer pockets. I'd check the cylinder for cleanliness and make sure the cases are fully resized when troubleshooting the hard to extract brass. But ultimately, it's up to you. If you get uncomfortable with multi-reloaded brass, then yes, toss it. Reloading and shooting should be fun and if one thing is "worrysome", it can take away from the joy...
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Old August 29, 2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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Case life with handguns is the same as it is with long. Depends on the load. As mentioned, shoot 'em until they crack. You could anneal the rest when you get one, but it's probably not worth doing for handgun cases.
Your 6 grains of Bullseye is actually below minimum according to Alliant. Isn't enough to worry about though.
Max for a cast 200 is 7.5. Start load is 6.8(10% less). Max for a jacketed bullet is 7.9. Start is 7.1.
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Old August 29, 2015, 06:42 PM   #6
SlamFire1
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Quote:
I have a lot of colt that has been reloaded a lot 10+ times all still works holds the bullet no cracks but some is getting tough to remove from the cylinder once fired. Is this a sign of thinning brass?
No, it is an indication of work hardening. The clearance between case and chamber is something that must be engineered into a weapon. For pre history cartridges and guns, I have no idea what they did, but there is evidence in the cartridge design that they had rules of thumb.

Both the case and the chamber it is fired in expand during combustion. One is steel and the other is cartridge brass. They retract different distances when the pressure is zero.



What this chart basically shows, is that if you change the material properties of the case, then you can get an interference fit between case and chamber after firing. In your example, as you resize that brass, you are changing the material properties of the brass, through work hardening. The brass is becoming less ductile.

You could compensate a bit by finding a sizing die that sizes the brass down a bit more. I don't think anyone makes a "small base" die in 45 LC, but that would be just the ticket.

Eventually you will work harden the brass to the point that cracks will develop, typically in the case mouth, and if you see a crack, toss the brass.
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Old August 29, 2015, 07:19 PM   #7
Walkalong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
When they crack or split. Even if they do while firing, it is not going the hurt the gun.
This, although Slamfire is correct about the work hardening. I haven't had any get hard to extract yet though.
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Old August 29, 2015, 08:47 PM   #8
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I shoot them until they split. I do clean the cylinder very good and make sure the inside is polished.
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Old August 29, 2015, 08:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jeeptim View Post
Kinda what I thought. Also was kinda wanting to replace with new, just cause I like bran new brass once in a while. So we will keep a loading till we get a crack split or loose primer pockets.
If you like new brass buy some. I buy brass when I find good deals. Currently have around 1500k of .45 Colt to reload. Most of it new. You will need it some day so buy it while you can.
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Old August 29, 2015, 09:36 PM   #10
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Not 45, but I shoot 357 till it splits.
I used to dump all brass in a can and separate splits back at the bench, but I found I was reloading splits again.
So since the split cases usually extract hard (revolver), I now pull them as they develop at the range and smash them with a hammer there.
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Old August 30, 2015, 10:07 AM   #11
Don McDowell
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When is it time to replace 45 colt brass? I don't really know, I have Remington and Winchester cases I've been shooting for 40 years,,, and they're still going strong, some of them needed a trimming along the way, but other than that, they're still good except for the lost ones...
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Old August 30, 2015, 10:51 AM   #12
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I shoot it till it splits. I have 10 loads on some starline brass and its still good to go. 7.2 gr. Titegroup with 200 gr. Lrnfp.
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Old August 30, 2015, 09:11 PM   #13
Jesse Heywood
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I shoot it till it splits.
I shoot it after it splits. Save the cases, when you have enough trim to 1.095 for Schofield loads, .888 for Auto-Rim loads. Both work great for cowboy stuff.
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Old August 30, 2015, 11:10 PM   #14
Arkansas Paul
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This may be off, but just a thought here.
The OP is loading light loads. If the cases are getting dirty from the pressure being too low to seal it off that could very possibly be causing the more difficult extraction. Gritty cases cause friction.

And that brass you've got 10+ reloads on........meh. You're not 1/4 of the way through that brass' case life. Not with those loads.
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