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How do you track your brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gspn, Dec 1, 2009.

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  1. gspn

    gspn Member

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    How does everyone keep up with how many times a particular piece/batch of brass has been fired?

    I'm just starting with loading rifle and at some point I'm going to have different boxes of bullets that have each been reloaded and fired a different number of times. Do you just put a lable on the outside of the box each time it's fired? Keep them in bags with markings? Mark on the brass itself each time it's reloaded?

    Just looking for some ideas.
     
  2. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    9mm- I don't track it at all

    7mm Remington Mag- I load all my rounds very carefully and I trim and thoroughly inspect the brass every time I load it but I have no clue how many times they have been fired.
     
  3. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I'm loading 7 mag as well. I keep reading that I shouldn't expect more than 3 reloads out of these. Does that sound reasonable?

    I don't track my pistol brass or shotshells...just inspect it and throw it out when it has issues.
     
  4. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    Ziplock baggies with notes inside.
     
  5. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    I reload untill I see a reason not to use a case anymore.
     
  6. woods

    woods Member

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    First step after depriming with a Universal deprimer is to mark the case head with an engraving tool
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    and fill in the mark with a magic marker
    [​IMG]

    I don't tumble so the marks are permanent and it is easily recognizable how many times each case has been fired
    [​IMG]
     
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I simply assign a batch of cases it's own cartridge box and note the number of loadings on the label. Cases then stay with this one box till worn out and never get mixed in the tumbler with cases from another batch in the same chambering.

    This helps me track case life and when it's time to anneal. It also makes keeping cases sorted by weight.

    I have one batch of 7.62x39 cases that are on loading 14
     
  8. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    For .44 Special (as an example), I buy 500 brass cases from the same manufacturer (and the same lot # if possible). They're all prepped as a group, and then placed in a plastic box labeled "Ready to Load". As they're loaded and fired, they're dumped into a second plastic box labeled "Processing Needed". Once the second box is full with all 500 cases, then they're all deprimed, primer pocket cleaned, and finally polished in the vibrating cleaner. When placed back in the "Ready to Load" box, the index card kept in that box is marked to indicate another loading cycle for that group of brass has been completed (the card is also used to record other case prep work). A little over-kill perhaps, but I really like to know how many loadings any piece of brass has been subjected to, if I'm going to trust it...
     
  9. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    I reload for 44 magnum and 44 special. After firing them I inspect them all before reloading, discarding any cases with signs of wear, cracks, or stretching. After 5 years of reloading I have yet to run into a single case to discard. I use mostly Remington, Hornady, and Federal brass.

    -MW
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't track my reloads at all. For rifle brass I throw them away when the primer pockets get loose or crack develop in the neck.

    As for handgun brass, most of my brass lasts forever. I have 1200 pieces of Remington .38 Special brass I've been reloading for almost 5 years now. I can't even guess how many times they were reloaded. .45 Auto brass doesn't last as long but my .45 Colt brass is very old. (I don't load them over 900 fps)
     
  11. helg

    helg Member

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    Soon all ammo will have microstamps imprinted, it may become illegal to possess unstamped ammo. With the microstamps all you need is a microstamp reader that is connected to your reloading database.
     
  12. rskent

    rskent Member

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    For pistol: I don’t keep track of my brass at all. I just throw it in a bucket.

    For match rifle: I buy new brass. I load in 100 lots. I keep the cases together for life. After about three firings
    I stop using that batch for match ammunition. I just use it for practice. After I wear out a few pieces, I trash the lot.

    For other rifle: I am still using ammunition from the CMP. When I run out I guess I will do something similar to above.
    I probably won’t be so anal about it though.
    Steve
     
  13. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Keep a logbook and number your ammo boxes.
     
  14. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I've reloaded my 7mm mag several times each. I bought them used so I have no idea how many times they have been fired. I haven't found any brass that show any signs of cracking. I trim and inspect my brass every time but it all looks good so far. I only full length sized it all once and its been nick sized for the rest of the reloadings.
     
  15. Hillbillyz

    Hillbillyz Member

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    Anyone ever have problems with the rings that signal case head seperation? I load 12 different rifle calibers and have gotten 8+ reloads from most cases. When I toss them is when the primer is loose or I see cracks in the neck. But I have yet to see the base ring that means the case is about to split. That seems to be the thing that most reloading manuals warn about the most.
     
  16. James2

    James2 Member

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    "Anyone ever have problems with the rings that signal case head seperation? I load 12 different rifle calibers and have gotten 8+ reloads from most cases. When I toss them is when the primer is loose or I see cracks in the neck. But I have yet to see the base ring that means the case is about to split. That seems to be the thing that most reloading manuals warn about the most. "


    Yes, I had one 30-30 Win 94 that the brass would get those visible rings, and occasionally one would actually develop a crack part way around. I was lucky, I guess, that not one ever came completely off and left part of the casing still in the gun.

    This is usually caused by excesive head space. I was very careful to check my 30-30 brass for the first visible sign of failure in that area. You can actually see what appears to be a stretch mark.

    To get back to the ops query, I really haven't developed any system for keeping track of how many times brass has been loaded. Pistol brass goes for a long time. I just inspect for problems and toss if something is amiss.

    Rifle brass tends to stretch, and when needing trimming, I will set it aside until I get a batch then trim and load it. I have no idea how many times most of my brass has been loaded.

    I usually load in batches of 100, but I seldom shoot in batches of 100. It may be one or two when hunting or 20 to 30 goofing off, shooting rocks or tin cans, or 10 to 20 sighting in. It would take some real effort to keep track of it all. I just don't worry about it. Close inspecton at loading time is my procedure.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I just inspect them every time as I deprime them. No problems after several hundred K of reloads both pistol or rifle. I am now annealing rifle brass every reload.
     
  18. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    If you can just resize the neck on rifle cases so you are not constantly resizing the entire case (obviously you need to use the same rifle chamber). I do resize the cases on my hunting loads 'cause I do not want chambering problems when it has to work.
     
  19. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I used to be very anal, all same manufacturer, tracking loadings, now I don't, but closely inspect after tumbling and again after depriming. Anything with what could be a crack in the case neck or body is in the recycle bin.
    As for loose primer pockets, I just started getting a few of those on some of my Winchester 7.62x39mm rifle brass, will discard after this firing cycle.
     
  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    If yuo neck-size the brass, you'll get more reloads. I have over a dozen through 7 mag brass. I stick with one brand - for me and MY gun, that's Remington; whatever you find to work well in yours, stick with it
     
  21. falldowngoboom

    falldowngoboom Member

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    Don't mean to hijack this thread, but this seems like a good place to ask... Is it normal to have some brass with pockets that are a little looser than others? Or is that always a sign of overpressure from a previous load? I have never loaded over published max, but I always load up to it when trying a new powder/bullet combo.

    I use a Lee hand primer and with most of my brass, I need to use both hands to seat the primer. Every now and then (maybe 1/20), I get a case that seats a bit easier than the rest, almost to the point where I can use just one hand to fully seat. I know that's not a very accurate way to describe pocket tightness, but should I be tossing this brass? It's otherwise in fine condition w/o any pressure sign. None of my brass has been reloaded more than 4 times thus far.
     
  22. Uncle Chan

    Uncle Chan Member

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    Same here. I just inspect my cases. I know some of my pistol has been loaded 20-30 times. Rifle? Who knows?
     
  23. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Hillbillyz
    I have run into them quite a lot. That is why I stopped using “range pickup” rifle brass.
    There must be some really big .223 chambers out there. I just pony up for new brass.
    It doesn’t cost that much and if you keep track of it you can get quite a few loadings out of it.

    Steve
     
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