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Sorting brass by # of firings

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Krzyshng, Oct 12, 2011.

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  1. Krzyshng

    Krzyshng Member

    May 29, 2011
    Hi all, still relatively new to reloading and had a question regarding sorting brass. Do you guys try and keep track of the number of reloads/firings for each lot?

    I started by picking up my own brass and reloading while collecting more from when I shoot factory ammo. Currently I'm trying to keep it separate which isn't too bad. But I've only got two caliber at the moment. Is this a worthwhile endeavor or do you just dump them all together and examine each piece as you go, which I do anyways.
  2. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    I sort that way if I know how many it has been loaded when I got it. With "once fired" brass that was not mine originally, I usually assume it's been fired 3-4 times and mark it as such.

    For high-power low volume rounds, I sort by number of times fired and by headstamp so I can keep track of any differences I believe I detect.

    If it's for light loads that I have used before and can be sure of, or for practice/plinking, I usually don't bother sorting beyond number of times reloaded. Still, each time you reload you must examine every piece of brass as you clean, size, and prep it. Even with volume loading you get enough opportunities to see and feel for defects to avoid inadvertently loading a bad piece.
  3. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    I sort and maintain a record for rifle brass although I usually pitch the whole batch when the pockets loosen up a little or, at least relegate it to "one more time" practice rounds.

    Pistol brass, especially 45ACP and 38Spl, I just keep cleaning, inspecting and loading.
  4. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    The only reason I've ever had an interest is keeping track of how many times it's been loaded, was to see how many times it will load before expiring. Other than that, there is no real advantage in tracking it. I inspect each and every piece of brass, each time it goes through the reloading process, and each time I handle it. Once it has been resized and tumbled I do a very close inspection both inside and out.

    I do however keep high powered rifle brass separated specific to the action it has been loaded for. The action my high powered rifle brass is first fire formed in, is the only action it will ever be loaded for and fired from. I've handled my brass in this manner even before I started necking some years ago.

    Now regarding my pistol brass, I don't worry too much about keeping it separated according to firearm, I haven't really found a reason to.
  5. nambu1

    nambu1 Member

    May 12, 2008
    West Virginia
    I keep shooting the same brass. I clean, resize and cull the bad ones. I add pieces to replace the ones I toss in the scrap bucket.
  6. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    South Texas
    I actually do both for pistol.
    I inspect every time I clean and when I load.
    To avoid shooting the same brass over and over until failure, I store my cleaned 9mm brass in coffee cans 'labelled' "A", "B", "C", etc, and use them sequentially . I "X" them off my list as I empty one and go to the next one. I refill the empty one with tumbled brass and won't use these until after I've gone through all the other containers first.

    With some of "my brass" that I don't find at the range and the many newer (hopefully) range brass I pick up, it will take quite a while to get many failures. I'm up to "F" with my WIN brass favorites--approx 7000+ cases.:D

    I also have FC, R&P and PPU that I don't cycle this way, cuz they are my fallback choices--4 coffee containers each.---13000+

    Being retired leaves plenty of time to be OC.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  7. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
    I use the MTM boxes & labels.
    They allow me to sort by headstamp & by number of firings.

    I do this for handguns & rifles alike.
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    I have never kept track of how many times I fire brass. Most handgun brass will last a very long time. I have been reloading the same 1,200 pieces of Remington .38 Special brass for the past 6 years or so and have not had to scrap 1 piece. I'm guessing some of that brass has well over 30X reloads already.

    Rifle brass won't last as long especially without annealing but I still don't track the loadings. I can get between 8 to 12 reloads from most rifle brass. When the neck splits or the primer pocket gets loose I throw it in the recycle bucket.

    I know I should probably track the numbers better but I'm not in competition and not shooting Benchrest so I don't feel the need. I do keep meticulous records on powder charges, primers, OAL and even the temps when I shoot but not brass numbers.
  9. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

    Apr 24, 2009
    Magnolia AR
    I'm with ArchAngelCD on this one.
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