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 Post subject: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:54 pm
Posts: 6
Okay all you reloaders: how often can you reload brass cases for 9mm and .223? I've been reloading both (mostly 9mm) for five years or more and have no idea how many times any particular case has been reloaded. At first I heard it was three reloads then toss, then it was five times, etc, etc. I tried keeping track early on but it became a logistical quagmire-too confusing! I do check my used brass for damage prior to reloading and I shoot only quality ammo when using new store-bought stuff. I've gone through two Lee presses which I replaced with a Dillon 650 and have probably reloaded thousands of 9mm rounds w/o issues. (Well, there is the occasional squib but we're talking one squib out of 300-400 or less.) I do case-gauge my .223 brass occasionally while going through a batch and Super Swage all primer pockets. And what about those nickel/steel (?) cases? Are there resizing issues with them? All my powder loads are close to max allowed by manufacturers' data.Thanks.
v.[b][/b]




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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:49 am 
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Welcome to SGW.
You have asked a pistol/rifle reloading question in a primarily shotgun forum. You could get an answer as some of the members go both ways. If you don't, I seem to remember there being a Pistol World and Rifle World you could try.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:10 am 
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Although I don't swing both ways, I do reload Shotgun, Pistol and Rifle. If you do a REALLY good job of inspecting, you can load 9mm and .223 until you see signs of strain or possible cracking. A lot depends on the loads that you are using and the brass that you use. I will NOT reload any Steel / Nickel etc. Pistol Brass. Brass only. For handgun ammo, I never load more than 5 times regardless of everything else and mark cases with a colored sharpie. For rifle brass, I don't think it is truly fired to my chambers until it has been fired 3 times and then will reload another 5.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:47 am 
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Location: Neosho, MO
The question you ask has a lot of variables that affect the results. Both chamber dimensions and cartridge case dimensions have tolerances that greatly influence case life along with how the case is resized. If a minimum dimension case is fired in a maximum dimension chamber with maximum headspace and then full length resized, case life will be greatly shortened by overworking the brass. The failure most likely to be encountered in this instance is case separation just forward of the solid head of the case due to brass flow and resizing.

Conversely, if a match grade minimum SAMMI dimension chamber reamer is used and headspace kept at a slight "feel" on bolt closure on a "go" gauge, and then resized using a Lee Collet die or match grade bushing die, then case life will be much greater. Loading to maximum will likely result in the primer pocket looseness being the deciding factor on case life rather than case separation or split necks.

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:52 am 
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I reload metallic until they split (or in the case of 9mm, they get lost in the grass). I do the same for shotgun hulls

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 5990
Location: Newton Kansas
Anthonydaniel wrote:
Okay all you reloaders: how often can you reload brass cases for 9mm and .223? I've been reloading both (mostly 9mm) for five years or more and have no idea how many times any particular case has been reloaded. At first I heard it was three reloads then toss, then it was five times, etc, etc. I tried keeping track early on but it became a logistical quagmire-too confusing! I do check my used brass for damage prior to reloading and I shoot only quality ammo when using new store-bought stuff. I've gone through two Lee presses which I replaced with a Dillon 650 and have probably reloaded thousands of 9mm rounds w/o issues. (Well, there is the occasional squib but we're talking one squib out of 300-400 or less.) I do case-gauge my .223 brass occasionally while going through a batch and Super Swage all primer pockets. And what about those nickel/steel (?) cases? Are there resizing issues with them? All my powder loads are close to max allowed by manufacturers' data.Thanks.
v.[b][/b]

Depends.

I load handgun brass until it splits, and that takes A VERY LONG TIME for most rounds, ESPECIALLY AUTOPISTOL ammo (9x17mm, 9x19mm, .45 Auto)

Rifle brass, I load until I have had to trim .040-.050" of metal off the end as it grows.
Depending on die settings that can be as few as 2 reloadings (poor adjustment that promotes case stretch) or as many as 15 or 20.
Annealed about every 3-5 loadings.

If you REALLY want to "go as far as you can go", you can go until the case head separates, which, can be as few as 3 firings, or as many as 25-30 possibly.
I don't RECOMMEND this avenue, it is hard on bolt faces and removing the headless case is a pain in the behind (or SHOULD BE to help convince you this isn't the greatest idea).

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:16 pm 
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If you have excessive headspace then you might not even get one reload. So the chamber has an impact as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:22 pm
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Location: NE South Dakota
It will also depend on if you full length resize or neck size. Full length resizing work the brass harder. If you anneal the cases length or number of loadings will be increased as well.

I have seen as many as twenty reloading sand as few as two. Before issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:58 am 
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9mm, 40, 45 type brass, pretty much last indefinitely, so long as you are not pushing the loads to +p levels. Hence in the case of 9 major loads, it pretty much one and done, and the brass should not be used for those higher pressure loads, but live out the remaining of their life as standard 9mm brass isntead.

As for say 9mm brass, what causes the case neck to split, if over belling/flairing the mouths to start with. Hence bell the mouths to mins, which works the brass less, and the cases will last decades. As for nickle brass, the glitch is after enough tumbling, the plating will wear off the brass. You can keep using them, but will not be the pretties of cases.


223 on the other hand, all depends on the pressure you are loading the cases to, but really more about live of the higher pressure ammo cases isntead. So you have the initial trimming that has to happen even on the once fired cases (will not have to trim pistol brass), and need to check the stretch length of the case before the are reloaded again as well. Hence may only get 3 loads out of the cases before they need to be trimmed again, and maybe only 10 reloads on the cases until the primer pockets are too over sized to hold primers in instead. Truth is, with 223 type brass, once it has been tumbled clean, will run it through the press a first time doing just case prep like trimming and such, then it goes through the press a second time actually being reloaded.

So bottom line, pistol straight wall cases do not need to be trimmed, but bottle neck cases like 223 should be trimmed each time before they are reloaded isntead. Also, due to the thinner walls of the 223 brass, and it being loaded to 55K PSI, and that the brass does become worked hardened, it just not going to last say over 10 reloads.


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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 10:42 pm
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Location: In The Woods Of The SC Low Country
I load brass rifle/pistol to failure........IE when it gets loose primer pockets/splits etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:06 am
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I load my pistol brass until failure which is generally a split at the mouth. I load light, and bell the mouth just enough so that I can seat a bullet. As Dano said, over flaring will greatly shorten the life span.

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:35 am
Posts: 104
Location: Kansas
oneounceload wrote:
I reload metallic until they split (or in the case of 9mm, they get lost in the grass). I do the same for shotgun hulls

^^^^^^This^^^^^


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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:55 am 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 247
I have .45 auto pistol brass that has gone through 40 reloads or more at factory ammo load levels with minimal case cracking. Some good recent research has shown that semi-auto pistol brass actually shortens rather than lengthens with more firings. It will fail either by cracking the case body or expanding the primer pocket due to case head recoiling hard into the bolt face of the pistol.

Rifle brass like .233 will lengthen slightly every firing IF you are very careful to avoid setting the shoulder back to more than required to chamber the round. IF you are just using standard Full Length sizing die set, you will lengthen the case considerably by stretching the "web" of the case wall about 1/4" above the extractor groove. Even with case trimming, you will thin the case walls (shows as a bright shiny ring around case above the extractor groove) and even suffer case separation (with gas blowback and even sticking front half of case in the chamber) unless you watch for that stretching. I'd agree with an average case life of 5 loads when loading carefully, watching shoulder setback during sizing, and regular trimming to prevent case mouth getting into the leade area ahead of chanber.

Good luck, garrisonjoe


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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 4:41 pm
Posts: 547
Before I became a shotgun nut, I shot a lot of rifle competitions with a .223. I could get about 12 reloads out of Remington cases before neck splits started, provided I used old Winchester primers which were plated with some silver-colored material. With Remington primers (brass and not plated), I got loose primer pockets after 4 or 5 reloads. These were NOT hot loads.

Later I switched to a 6XC bolt gun. My 200-yard load was very low pressure and I have one box with 32 reloads so far. The 6XC sizing die does not have an expander ball.

So I can give you any answer you want.

All my rifle loads are full length resized. I've never loaded pistol ammo.


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 Post subject: Re: Case Reloading Life Expectancy
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 10:42 pm
Posts: 339
Location: In The Woods Of The SC Low Country
oneounceload wrote:
I reload metallic until they split (or in the case of 9mm, they get lost in the grass). I do the same for shotgun hulls


Me too.




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