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Steel case reloading !

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Duce1, Oct 2, 2009.

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  1. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    Pictured below are some boxer primed steel case rounds I reloaded today for something to do .

    For some . Yes steel case can be reloaded .

    There are arguments all over this that say it is OK to do so and others will tell you to not risk it . I am not posting this to start a thread on right and wrong ? If you should or should not ? or safety of reloading them .

    For the answer . Yes it can be done as you can see in the picture . I have been doing this to these rounds since they started coming out in boxer primed casings with no problems .

    I will reload them once and discard them after that . I have plenty of 223 brass casings to make up any difference if I need to . But I do like to reload these as well . Notice I have said one time reloading and then I am done with them .

    The trick to reloading them is to use steel dies and not carbide dies .

    Follow the normal lube the casing before running through the dies and you will have no problem doing it .

    They can and sooner or later will mess up your carbide dies so stay away from using the carbide .

    Pictured below .

    ( loaded with 55 grain Sierra soft point rounds with 24 grains of BenchMark powder and CCI small rifle primers . )

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I went around and around about this with .45 ACP steel and alu. cases about a year ago. You are correct, yes it can be done.

    BTW I reloaded them 5 times in my experiment.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Knock yourself out.

    Me? Nah, too much good brass out there to fool with steel.
     
  4. sonier

    sonier Member

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    i have 300 steel cases of 7.62x39, but i cant deprime them they dont have a normal falshole. only two side holes, any advice? I WANT THESE PRIMERS LOL.
    im in the process of resizing the bullets for .308 caliber use, some will feed my moisin nagant off course.
     
  5. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    sonier...Re-read Walkalong's post...Yes you can purchase the equipment to deprime those 300(?) cases and with a lot of luck you may find the primers too. BUT what for??
     
  6. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Some are boxer primed apparently.
     
  7. sonier

    sonier Member

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    i bet i can get the tools easier than i can primers lol, i have no money like lots do here to buy 1k primers. so 300 primers is 300 more i can use
     
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    Hey duce, There is a big difference between "can" be reloaded and "should" be reloaded,big difference.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    So, if I read correctly sonier, you pulled the bullets to use in another caliber and have Berdan primed cases left over.

    Those primers you want will only work in cases using Berdan primers of course.

    Two problems. How to get them out, and then they won't work in cases designed for Boxer primers. If you bought or made a tool to deprime with, and you didn't damage them too much, and if you have some cases that need Berdan primers you want to reload........then sure, go for it.

    You could use the water method to deprime, then let them sun dry thouroghly before priming those Berdan cases you have (7.62 X 54R?). They should still go bang.

    Do you not shoot 7.62 X 39? Just salvaging components from ammo you don't have a use for?
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    There are a lot of things in life that you can do that you shouldn’t.
     
  11. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    As I stated I knew some of the righteous would come out of the woodwork . Understand that steel casings have been used for more than a few years . ( see German and Russian WWII history ). And even then they where picked back up when possible and sent back to be reloaded because of steel and brass shortages during the war .

    I know there are arguments for and against doing it . I was trying to avoid it with this posting but I should have known that some would not resist the invitation to a disagreement .

    So I say .

    For the ones that are willing to try it and learn something and the little difference in the reloading process need to do it ( move on you have learned more in the world of reloading ) .

    To the ones who disagree I say . Stay in your little world of reloading and not be willing to learn new ways and add to the world of reloading .


    On a side not . I know of the arguments about steel weakness that same say will cause failer . And have had a discussion with a few that know more about metallurgy than I but they have failed to show me one time this has happen due to reloading the steel casings .

    So I invite you to show me one case in which reloading the steel casings have failed after being reloaded ?


    I have to come back and add that with the cost of new brass going through the roof and availability of used brass slowly drying up and steel casings are going to be the new cost savings for the ammo companies to survive and be able to pass some of the saving onto you you will see much more steel casings from all the ammo companies in the future . If you just want to stay with brass then reloading will only be a rich mans hobby in the not so near future .
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  12. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    Duce1, I don't think anyone is talking about steel cases failing after reloading.
    The problem with steel cases is the lack of elasticity in the steel compared to brass, and the case provides the chamber seal to prevent blow by of the hot gases.
    I'm not sure if you have fired any of your reloads yet, so it remains to be seen what the results may be. If the pressure is not right, the steel case will leak erosive gas.


    NCsmitty
     
  13. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    NCsmitty, I have reloaded around 500 of these so far and fired them off, They do fine but I am not a hot loader and load 90% of the time in the middle range of powder charges. So they do fine for what I am doing. These are not loaded for dead eye accuracy they are more for plinking .

    And for the steel there are many grades of steel these casings fall in lines with 1018 to 1020 grade steel that has a lot of the same property as brass does . They do have the elasticity to stretch and bend without cracking as brass does .

    A second question for you ?

    Are you a smith ?

    I am a tool and die maker with 40 plus years now .
     
  14. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    Duly noted, and pleased that you have had good luck loading steel cases.

    I was a Machinist/Machine operator for 25+ years, retired, and have been reloading for 45+years.

    I have a lathe, and I thread and fit barrels to my own actions. I guess that makes me an amateur gunsmith in my own mind.


    NCsmitty
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Be sure and look at U.S. military WWII history too.

    We used zinc plated steel case .45 ACP as a stop-gap measure to conserve brass for more critical uses, like 30-06 cases!

    It was found they caused gun malfunctions, hard extraction, and broke a lot of 1911 extractors.
    As soon as feasible, the U.S. went back to brass cased .45 ACP ammo.

    Your example of Russia & Germany using steel cases is correct.
    But they, especially Russia, designed the guns for them.
    Germany had major problems with steel case 9mm ammo breaking Luger extractors.

    rc
     
  16. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    NCsmitty. I am retired as well . Got bored with it and started my own machine shop doing Government contract work making parts for a couple of there weapons .

    I am not a licensed gunsmith as well but many people bring there weapons to me for small minor repair . No money to be made in it but fun to do .

    I have not been reloading as long as you have but I am close to you in years doing it .
     
  17. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    rcmodel you are correct with the Americans but they found out during there discovery that the " Zink " plating was the problem . Zink is a very hard coating put on steel and was the mayor problem with the casings . And for the times America was the major supplier of copper reserves and found no need to invest more into steel casings when they had a vast supply of copper for the making of brass casings .

    As for the Russians weapons being designed for the steel casings you are partly correct the standard " Mosin Nagant " was not designed for it but was such a robust weapon it could handle it with no problem .

    As for me I am not a power hungry loader and hold in the middle for almost all my reloads so it works well for me .

    I am not advocating reloading steel casings I am just saying and showing it can be done safely and with few if any problems .

    I have no real need to reload 223 steel casings I have a good supply of 223 brass casings stored away . I just do it to a few here and there for the fun of it . No problem with adding to the stores when you have 2 sons in the military who like to come home on leave and shoot your supplies up when your not home !
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Thanks for the insults Duce 1. We merely had comments, not insults. Did you start this thread merely to drum up an argument? See ya...........
     
  19. depoloni

    depoloni Member

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    If you're "into" taking an unnecessary risk, go for it. Steel cases would've been used since day one if they were superior in ANY way, but they're not. They're usable "because you can" but everyone from ALL major ammo and/or component suppliers, and the manufacturers of the ammo itself, recommend totally against reloading these cases.

    Now you've made the argument, although not a new one, that it can be done. Congrats, but you've proven nothing as to whether it should.

    You've made the argument that folks who are against reloading steel should not do so, which is admirable. Let the go on "not adding" to the reloading field.

    If you're really out to make something work "because it's possible" rather than whether it should be done, more power to you. Figure out how to swage bullets cheaply and simply, make our own primers, or powder, or just about anything and contribute there too. But don't get on a high saddle and expect that "the haters will come out of the woodwork" - what you're doing is patently against the recommendations of every component and ammo manufacturer whether it works or not.

    Darwinism does exist, and it does have a firm hold on things. But it doesn't guarantee that everyone who is begging to lose a finger or worse will. Even casinos have winners. Bet on!
     
  20. depoloni

    depoloni Member

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    Oh, my bad. I take everything back now having realized that I missed where the expert-at-hand is a machinist. What was I thinking, clearly his forum-stated expertise, even if valid (and I'm not calling anyone a liar) eliminates thousands of in-industry opinions. I didn't mean to pop in and cause a stir.

    I've only been reloading for about 10 years, and I'm only 30. And I've been hilariously taking on advice from the industry, trusted older and more experienced loaders, and firearm/component manufacturers. All the trouble I could've saved if I'd just known to come trust 16-posters in a public, free forum on reloading.
     
  21. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    Insult ?

    Was not trying to insult no one .

    I thought we where having a decent conversation with different points to bring out ?

    The only thing I was trying to avoid was a argument Walkalong ! If you take my words as a insult the I apologize to you . Was not meant to be a insult my words where to show a different point nothing more.

    I know that some do like to argue over steel casings and I was trying to have a decent conversation and avoid it .

    I am sure I failed now that you have spoken up .
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    This thread shows signs of getting ugly, or uglier.

    Folks, why can't we just get along!

    rc
     
  23. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    depoloni point taken and understood. Sorry to you that my posting count is so low and not worthy of a conversation to you .

    Have a good day my friend .
     
  24. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I dont understand how a thread in RELOADING forum goes so horribly wrong. I mean, this is about reloading, something we all like.
     
  25. Duce1

    Duce1 Member

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    ljnowell I agree . I got a private message already telling me how I will be ignored by him in the future while posting on this forum ?

    Some things people take to personally for now reason I guess ?

    I live by the rule . " To each his own " and afford each his own space and do my best to not take everything said to me as a personal attack .

    Now back to our love of reloading .
     
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