How often do you reload 223/556 brass before it's scrap?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Rule3, Dec 16, 2013.

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How often do you reload 223/556 brass before it's scrap?

Poll closed Jan 15, 2014.
  1. 1-2

    3 vote(s)
    3.7%
  2. 3-4

    9 vote(s)
    11.0%
  3. 5-6

    11 vote(s)
    13.4%
  4. 7-8

    3 vote(s)
    3.7%
  5. 9-10

    5 vote(s)
    6.1%
  6. untill it splits or is lost

    51 vote(s)
    62.2%
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  1. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    As I had my first case head separation I wonder how many reloads others get out of 223/5.56 brass?

    This is for semi auto and full length sizing.
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    When sizing .223 to fit a Wilson case gauge, I am getting 8 to 12+ loadings with no signs of incipient head separation in my guns. The brass gets scrapped due to loose primer pockets. Pressure will make a difference here as well.
     
  3. ess45

    ess45 Member

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    You may be bumping the shoulder to much.
     
  4. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    As with most of my reloaded calibers, I will load them until they split the neck or primer pockets get loose. I don't keep track of all of them. I do all the case prep, whether new or found, then shoot, inspect, reload, repeat.
     
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    With AL actions I usually don't get as many cycles before it begins to show some signs of incipient separation. But in general I can get at least 6 or 7 runs for most AL actions.

    For bolt actions, this number goes up pretty significantly, 10-12 times, and even more if the primers pockets will cooperate. And in this respect, primer pockets will usually go south before I experience incipient case head separations. Proper resizing is the key to extended case life.

    GS
     
  6. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    I'm basically cheap, and keep it as long as I can (without problems, like loose primers or split necks). However, the more loadings it has, it gets relegated to lesser functions. Maybe 5-6 for target/prone competition, 7-10 for groundhog hunting, practice, and offhand shooting. After that, blaster ammo for my M4 when there's a good chance they'll be lost.

    Knock on wood, but I've never had a separation (I wish I hadn't said that).

    Laphroaig
     
  7. gahunter12

    gahunter12 Member

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    I agree with Walkalong. I usually check all range brass I pick up with a paper clip, if its not true once fired. I only bump my shoulders back .002" where it's flush with the top of my Wilson case gage. I usually find myself tossing it because the primer pocket gets loose.
     
  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    For me, case life depends.

    In ARs, the primer pocket gets loose generally before anything else gives up. Anywhere from 4 to 8 loadings or so. This is with 223 Remington, 204 Ruger, 17 Remington and 300 BLK.

    My Garands get up to 10 loadings or so.

    Sometimes I will retire cases from AR use early and move them to bolt rifle use. I have no idea how long they last yet in this service. Unfortunately, I generate more of these cases than I can use so i use the excess up in the ARs.

    So, I could not vote, i would need to check several choices.
     
  9. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I shoot outdoors 100% of the time so I usually lose them before having problems with worn out brass.

    I did once load a single pc of LC brass (out of curiosity) 13 times before it split.
     
  10. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Come on now, we need Voters, get out to the polls Look what happened you know when:eek:
     
  11. forestswin

    forestswin Member

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    I didn't vote prior to your last request, because I haven't started reloading 223 yet and didn't think it was "right"

    but now that you are making a clear comparison I feel an urgent need to vote.
    I should be reloading them over the Christmas Holiday
    I voted 3-4 because that will be my plan

    that would be for use in a semi-auto, by then with once fired cases at $100 for 1000 are down to $0.03 each, about as much as primers

    My opinion - toss them or retire them to use in a bolt
     
  12. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I was referring to another voting event, hint, hint.:uhoh:

    No loading till you get that case gauge, I can't tell you if they fit by e mail.;)
     
  13. A Pause for the Coz

    A Pause for the Coz Member

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    I load mine as follows.
    Full power loads= 3 to 5 loadings.
    Reduced plinking loads= Until I loose it or split the neck.
    Even after I split the necks I cut off the shoulder and make 300 black out brass and shoot them some more.
    I also do anneal them about every three loadings.
     
  14. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I've had 8-9 separations in 223. I was concerned at first. But over time, I became aware that every single separation happened on the first loading of a new pickup. I now put new pickups into a case gauge prior to sizing and toss any that are grossly too short or long or fat. No more problems.

    My 223 cases tend to reach end-of-life when they lose neck tension. My 223 die doesn't size the necks particularly tight, so when the expander ball slides through without dragging, the case gets tossed.

    Sidenote: with my rifle, I found the most expedient way to extract a broken case is to jack the next round in and manually eject it. It comes out wearing the broken case.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  15. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    I see just 4 to 6 with LC brass before the primer pockets get loose but up to 10 with most LC brass and other brass so I voted 10. This varies so much it's hard to vote correctly.
     
  16. Ranger Roberts

    Ranger Roberts Become a THR contributing member!

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    I voted "until split or lost". I am pretty bad about keeping track of loading with my target brass. I've noticed that the primer pockets usually get loose before I split the case.
     
  17. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    Guess I'm terrible. I know that I'm OCD.

    I full length size every .223/5.56 case, check the insides for smoothness, trim to length, clean not less than twice, sort by head type and year.
    If I wasn't feeding several weapons, I could cut back.. a little... nope not going to happen.
    All shot brass goes into a common plastic cat litter bucket and gets the same care.

    When I jack-up a case mouth or neck or the neck splits, it gets put in the 300 Blackout box for my next conversion session. Any other type of case failure and it get tossed into the scrap brass box. About the same for .308/7.62 and '06 brass except for the conversion to .300 Blackout.
     
  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I have been using Wolf primers for so long that anytime I use a Winchester it feels like it will fall out as it is so much easier to seat.
     
  19. Weber

    Weber Member

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    Op, are you annealing your brass?
     
  20. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    No, Why?
    some of the 5.56 military stuff has the neck and case mouth annealed.
     
  21. Weber

    Weber Member

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    Annealing will extend the life of the brass.
     
  22. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I do not think it will help that far down the case, maybe the case mouth and shoulder.

    Even if it did it is not worth the effort.
     
  23. Weber

    Weber Member

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    A case head separation is normally an indication of excessive headspace in the gun, either from a mechanical issue with the gun itself or from the reloader pushing the shoulder back too far during reloading.

    If you are seeing this, you need to look for a cause.

    Annealing the brass will stop the case mouth and shoulder from splitting. If you are never getting to that happening without annealing, but having case head separation I would be looking at my reloading process or firearm.
     
  24. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    We are talking about one random case out of a 500 or so., in one caliber from one gun, reloaded 3-4 times. I am not to concerned.:)
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't be either. Like all things man made, there is a bad one every now and again.

    Weber has given some most excellent advise by the way.
     
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