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.45 Auto Brass...Help!?!?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by holdencm9, Nov 16, 2012.

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  1. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    I recently got a reloading press kit to reload .45 auto, and although I haven't had time to actually begin reloading, I have slowly been collecting brass during the past few months. In the meantime, I have also been researching online and reading a few books before I get started.

    Initially I thought brass was brass...then I hear people say "brand x reloads great, brand y is crap..." et cetera.

    Then I discover that blazer brass is small primers. I had no idea any .45 auto used small primers! ...sort those out.

    Then I hear that people have had issues with Herter's Brass...primers are somewhere in between small and large? So I sorted those out.

    Recently I read that for best accuracy you should sort brass by brand...Speer together, Winchester together, Federal, et cetera. For general range practice is this really necessary, assuming I am not approaching max loads? Or is it just for people looking to really fine-tune loads for bullseye? How much volume do different brand cases differ by?

    I guess my other question is, which brands of brass are better or worse than the rest? Here are the various assorted brands I have (by headstamp):

    Large Primers
    Winchester
    R - P
    CBC
    PMC
    Federal
    Speer (regular brass and nickel-plated)
    MFS
    S & B
    Federal N-T
    Herter's (seems smaller than large, but closer to large than small)

    Small Primers
    Blazer
    -Federal- (dot before and after)

    I think I will start with the Winchester Brass since I have the most of it, from a couple WWB I burned through, but long-term, it would be nice to know I can mix and match so long as I am not going for utmost accuracy or max charge.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The only think I sort out with .45 is the small primer from the large. Other than that, I used mixed brass that is as much as 50 years old and had been shot umpteen times....I can't tell a performance difference between and brand new stuff.
     
  3. ImjinScout

    ImjinScout Member

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    Yes you find more MFG's are using SPP in the .45ACP and you will need to sort these out when it comes time to reload. As far as sorting brass by brand, I don't do it and load mixed brass all the time. If it's LPP I load it and shoot it, :) and load it again.
     
  4. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    The only pistol brass I throw in the scrap bucket is AMERC. It is absolutey, positively crap. Everything else works, including the SP stuff. Unless you're an olympic-class shooter, I think sorting brands is a waste of time.
     
  5. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    the only .45 brass I sort out is the Winchester, which I use for my hollow point loads.. and the Blazer, which I pitch because I don't feel like jacking with it..

    everything else gets crammed full of powder and lead and shot 'til it cracks..
     
  6. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    I crush the Amerc and toss it in the scrap bucket.
    I've found R-P cases to be thinner and have less case neck tension. The really loose cases (referenced by how it feels when I expand it) get set aside. I haven't found a good use for them yet.
    SP gets segregated but I still load it. Actually I find the SP cases to be a bit more accurate when shot from a rest.
    The rest get lumped together then loaded. If I were to shoot 50 yard bullseye I'd be a bit more pickey about sorting by manufacturer but at USPSA-ranges it doesn't matter.
     
  7. Steve2md

    Steve2md Member

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    Sort small primer from large primer. Then load until brass failure. It all shoots better than we can
     
  8. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys, it is reassuring that sorting by brand won't be absolutely necessary.

    JLD, why do you use Winchester for your hollowpoint loads? Any particular reason?

    I don't have any AMERC so no worries, but if I encounter any I will be sure to discard.

    Has anyone had experience with Herter's? I have a fair amount of it.
     
  9. rikman

    rikman Member

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    Only sort out SPP(Blazer mostly). S&B has tighter primer pockets but is good brass. Otherwise I load it all mixed.
     
  10. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Herters .45 brass has no chamfer to the primer pocket. It can make primer seating a little difficult. I sort it out from the rest of my LPP brass, very lightly chamfer the primer pocket, and toss it in with the rest of my brass. I actually think its pretty good brass. It just needs that chamfer once and it's good to go after that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  11. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Sorting handgun brass for accuracy is --deleted--. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2012
  12. Hit_Factor

    Hit_Factor Member

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    No time to sort handgun brass. If primer wont seat i can feel that on my 1050 or 650. The 1050 swages primer pockets, so if the brass has correct size pocket it seats easily.

    I only sort rifle brass if i need sub moa and since my longest hunting shot is 300 yards i dont need that often.
     
  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I sort brass on every caliber I load because there are big weight differences between different brands of brass. At max loads, this may change the pressures substantially (more brass with same external dimensions means less internal space).

    More importantly for my purposes, I use the overall weight of the finished cartridge as a QC check. If brass from a given mfg has, say, a 2 gr variance, and I'm trying to load a 10 gr charge, the finished weights won't all match, but they'll be in a narrow window, and any zero charges or double charges will jump off the page. If I've got brass mixed in that has a 10 gr variance between brand A and B (not uncommon), then suddenly the window of correct weights is so big that a double charge in the lighter brass or a zero charge in the heavy brass falls inside the window.

    Make sense?
     
  14. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    Sort small from large, load and shoot. Anything more is a waste of time. Fiocchi is another brand that uses small primers.


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  15. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Mr Holden -
    There is one time that sorting brass pays off and that is when you get around to placing a chrono on your test loads. Most serious reloaders will turn to a chrono at some point in their load testing. Typically these loads are shot/tested in 5 round groups. Due to the varying internal volume of different manufacturers brass, sorting by make for this single exercise will lower your standard deviations by 10-20 points and give you a much tighter range speed and SD report.

    Otherwise I agree with the other comments.
     
  16. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    rfwobbly, I agree, even small deviations in the case volume could affect the range of velocities, and at some point I would like to get a chrono and get serious, especially down the road when reloading rifle ammo. But at this point I am just getting into it with .45, mostly to save money but also as just another hobby.

    ATLDave, how much have you seen volumes vary? I guess if I had time I could zero some empties on my scale and fill them with water to check the difference, but would you say it is 1-2%, 4-5%, up to 10%? Like I said, I can see how it will affect velocities but starting out I am more concerned about pressures and such. The manuals usually say what kind of case was used but not how to adjust any of the loads when using different cases. But I think your method of final weigh-in of the loaded cartridge is a good one, and I understand what you mean that if it is over a couple grain difference then it is cause for alarm.

    KansasSasquatch, thanks for the info on Herters. I guess I will just set them aside for now and put a chamfer tool on the list of things to get.
     
  17. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Though I have loaded a few without problems, I currently toss AMERC brass in all calibers just because I've read so much bad stuff about them and I have plenty without the handful of those I'm likely to come across.

    For .45ACP I sort only SP and LP. Though I know others exist, every piece of SP .45ACP brass I've ever seen has been Federal. If I shot lead bullets in .45, I'd sort out the RP brass for lead loads as I do for 9mm and .40S&W.
     
  18. cactus02

    cactus02 Member

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    I sort everything by brand , is that why my wife calls me OCD?
     
  19. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Amerc, S&B and SPP go in the scrap bucket.
     
  20. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    I don't know people scrap the SPP brass. There are people like me that will gladly trade you LPP for your SPP brass. I hate having to stock LPP for one cartridge. It's the only one I reload for that takes it. As soon as I use up my current stock I'm done and hopefully will have enough SPP brass to last a lifetime by then. Don't scrap it. Sell it or trade it as people do want it.


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  21. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I load everything I find, sorting only by primer size. I too use the spp brass on lost brass matches or in tall weeds. To other's horror, I even load Wolf steel. I have hundreds of rounds of TW 5 steel cases I have been loading for 20 years with no problems so I will use the Wolf and Tula till I have a reason not to. Word of caution, don't try to load EC steel, they used an odd sized primer.
     
  22. srtolly

    srtolly Member

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    I only sort out the spp and herters. Spp gets loaded and shot as does Herters after a chamfer on the primer pocket.
     
  23. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    About the only thing I don't bother reloading is the A-merc brass in 45 ACP. I load the steel (horrors:what:) with no problems. I also reload the aluminum---but only one time for these and use them where I can't recover the casings. :evil: YMMV
     
  24. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    You're welcome to come by and sort it out of the scrap bucket.
     
  25. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Bout the only difference you are likely to encounter are length differences in the .001's and .002's.

    Doesn't matter a heck of a lot unless you have a really picky firearm, with non FMJ shape bullets like SWC's for instance. They often require a very particular length, which can be hard to do on occasion with mixed headstamp brass.

    In general, everything you have is 100% functional.

    Sorting by brand is useful for accuracy and consistency. Sorting by weight is substantially better than that.

    Unless you are bullseye shooting, or just plain persnickety, neither is really required.
     
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