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.357 brass life

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by beefyz, Feb 5, 2012.

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  1. beefyz

    beefyz Member

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    I was jus wondering... have reloaded my .357 brass a couple of times already and have not lost 1 case yet. What sort of case life should i expect? Do i just look for enlarged primer pockets & split mouths ? I remember reading somewhere that only new brass should be used in reloading .357. This brass will be shot out of a rifle only.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It all depends on how hot you load it.

    Mild to mid-level loads will last indefinitely until the mouth splits.

    MAX loads hard to say, because it all depends on how loose your chamber is and how tight your sizing die is.

    If you work it a lot, it will split in the body somewhere.

    Loose primer pockets would not normally be a problem unless you just wear them loose re-priming them too many times.
    But in general, the mouth will split from crimping way before that.

    rc
     
  3. BigN

    BigN Member

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    I load 357 for handguns, not rifles but I'd think the basic premise would apply. I've got cases I've shot 20 times with no signs of pressure or other degradation. I look the cases over closely before loading, if they appear ok, load them, if not, they go in the trash. I'm guessing if you load your cases to max, the case life will be shortened greatly. Mine are mostly midrange.
     
  4. beefyz

    beefyz Member

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    Thanks, rc.
     
  5. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "I remember reading somewhere that only new brass should be used in reloading .357. "

    Someone wrote BS. If that were true it wouldn't be 're' loading, would it? :)
     
  6. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    True enough.
    357 is one of those cases that just lasts forever.
    I have some that's around 30 years old, no idea how many reloads on it, but a bunch.
    Those are getting to the point now that each reloading I'll find one or two cases cracked. Not bad mileage!
    I just picked up a thousand once fired, I figure those will last me a looonng time. :D
     
  7. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I have loaded my .357 mag. brass so many times that I can't even guess it's number. And to top it off, I only use H110/296 exclusively! If I had to guess, and I am, I've probably get 30+ loads on it.

    But I believe I may get a few more loadings because I never bell my mouths, ever, therefore I don't experience mouth splitting issues. And the primer pockets, though they do get a bit loose, I still load them. As long as the primer will stay put, it has always sealed 100% and I'm thinking it has somehting to do with the high pressures forcing the seal. But when my brass goes, it's head separation that puts it in the recycle bin, nothing else.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The only .357 Magnum brass I've lost are cases that weren't mine in the beginning. All those I shot or bought new are still in service. Only brass given to me or found have failed. I also shoot fairly hot .357 Magnum loads but still have all my brass.
     
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I have one lot of 357 brass that has at least 25 reloadings on it and still going strong. FYI the nickel plated will always split much sooner so I use mine for ammo I put away for a rainy day. It is usually only twice fired at most then.
     
  10. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I don't actually know how long it will last. I'm still working on some brass from the 70's. When new I do a couple of firings (full house Mag) with the 296, then I rotate the brass to 2400 and lead. I loose the primer pockets before any thing else if I shoot to much mag loads.
     
  11. Ranger J

    Ranger J Member

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    Gosh, fellows. I was going to comment but pretty well have it covered. I have lost very few 357 or 44 cases when loaded to reasonable level.

    RJ
     
  12. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I just finished resizing about 1200 cases.
    I ran across 2 that cracked.
    Both old nickle plated.
     
  13. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I to have noticed the nickel will go first, but it still lasts a very long time. I use my nickel as my carry rounds because it doesn't tarnish.
    So, don't toss your brass out just because it has been loaded a few times, it's still good to go as long as everything is holding together and primer pockets are still in spec.. If there is no obvious signs it has expired, it is still A-OK for loading.

    If you are going to toss them out without good cause, just mail them to me for disposal.
     
  14. beefyz

    beefyz Member

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    Thanks to all.....
     
  15. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Since the OP states he is reloading for a rifle, I'll quote this from the Speer reloading manual........

    Doubt very much if Speer is writing BS. Just sayin'. This is why folks need to take reloading advice given to them on internet forums with a grain of salt and a reference book beside them.
     
  16. meleors

    meleors Member

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    Speer is right. Note that it says 'for maximum loads'
    This is good advice for any caliber. If you are making maximum loads you should only use new or 1x fired brass.
     
  17. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I'll take all the twice fired brass off your hands you want to send me.
    I'll put it to good use. ;)
     
  18. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    I'm curious how many loadings of 357 mag people have been getting in their 1894c lever action rifles. I plan on shooting standard velocity 38 special 158 gr (Bullseye 3.5 gr) LSWC and the same bullet from 357 brass with Unique, looking to make 1100 or so from the rifle barrel. I'm figuring those should be mid range loads.

    Does the lever action really beat up the brass more than a revolver?
     
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    If by "beat up" you mean the kind of wear that occurs when a cartridge makes its way through a gun's action, then yes, since a revolver doesn't put the cartridge though any sort of action in the way that a lever gun does.

    If you mean expanding when fired, it depends on the pressures generated and the tolerances of the gun's chamber(s). Pressure levels being equal, loose chambers always lead to the brass being worked harder than tight chambers, regardless of the type of gun.
     
  20. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    As long as you're not using LIL-GUN powder brass will likely last for the better part of forever.

    I had lil gun loads straight out of the manual have such pressure spikes it would render a new starline case unreloadable in either my 1894 or my rolling block
     
  21. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I honestly don't know how many cycles iget out of my .357 brass, but I know its a lot. I load exclusively with H110 / 296 and I still manage to get countless loads off of my brass. So if I were you I would just load it until it either splits, or primers won't stay in the pocket, other than that it's still fine for reloading. And I've been doing it this way for several decades without ever rupturing a straight walled magnum cartridge.

    GS
     
  22. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    Sounds good. I will be working on those economical lead loads for 50 and maybe 100 yd plinking. I'll post data when I'm done.
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I never did count the loads on my handgun brass but if you're loading .357 Magnum brass to .38 Special pressures it will last a very long time. For example, I have been loading the same 1200 pieces of Remington .38 Special brass for the better part of 8 years now and I have not had one fail yet.
     
  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    "Beat up" is a relative term I suppose.

    As far as dings, dents, bent rims and the like, my 1894C does not do any damage to the cases. It may put a few light scratches on the case as it cycles through the action but they are mostly cosmetic and, if I remember, they buff out in tumbling.

    I have seen steel 357 Magnum resizing dies (yes they used to make steel dies) with something embedded in the sizing ring scratch a case worse than anything I have seen out of my 1894C

    Granted my 357 Mag shooting is way off in the last 10 years or so of what it used to be but I still have four or five hundred brand new, never fired cases purchased 30 years ago on the shelf just waiting to replace failed cases.

    I generally shoot mid level cast bullet loads.
     
  25. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Lever guns do have a tendency to have oversized chambers. My old Marlin would yield oval, slightly bulged brass from full power loads. My single shot Handi is as tightly chambered as my revolvers.

    Otherwise my brass just keeps going and going and....
     
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