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Old 01-02-2017, 12:34 PM
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Default Thought this was kind of interesting...

Ran across this whilst plinking on the interweb. This ?? pops up occasionally.
How many times can you reload a .45 ACP case? - MassReloading
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:41 PM
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Great article. I noticed that sometimes if I use my Lee FCD on .45 you can feel that some cases may be a tad shorter than others as there is les resistance in the die. This article confirms that the brass does shrink.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:03 PM
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Back when I was competing in and practicing for IPSC and IDPA, there were a few years that I shot upwards of 30,000 times per year. I never had more than 500 rounds of 45 acp brass dedicated to this effort. I reloaded cases until they split. Many cases went into the 30 count and a few went into 40 times. Mind you these loads were all loaded to make the 'major' category in muzzle energy. I was using a taper crimp and loading with RCBS carbide die on a Dillon 550. When 10 or 20 cases were split and tossed I would add that same amount of new cases to the lot. There was a definite difference in longevity with regard to the manufacturer. I had my best performance with Winchester Western and Remington brands. Up to about the number 10 I could count the number of times a brass had been fired by counting the imprints of the Colt M 1911 ejector rod on the rim of the case. After that it became too obliterated to read much of anything. I used WW and Rem. primers thru that time and never had one slam fire. But I kept on top of my M 1911 maintenance and always had strong firing pin springs installed.

An aside; I saw two 45 acp barrels break off at the first locking lug and spit out on the ground during competition. I saw several frames that cracked usually at the opening for the slide stop. I saw one slide break at the ejection port opening. I saw many extractors and ejectors break. Front sights were always disappearing. Most all those problems were solved within a few years after USPSA/IPSA competition began.

My last two years of competition I used .38 Supers. That brass lasted about 1/2 to 2/3rds as long as 45 acp did on the average. And the locking lug area of the 38 Super barrels showed considerable more battering than the 45 acps did.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:25 PM
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Back when I was loading 45acp for Thompson SMG's I loaded some enough times you couldn't read the headstamp any more.


That is where I learned the "Jingle" test. If you grab a loose handful of brass and rattle it, if you hear a sound like a little bell you had a split case.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:26 PM
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Until it is worn out.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:48 PM
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For the amount I shoot I'm pretty certain I'll be worn out long before my brass.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:13 PM
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I learned how to reload from that guy. He also did a similar test using a .38 special;

Cartridge Case Longevity - Part 1 - MassReloading

It makes you wonder why some re-loaders prefer to use nickel plated cases, and even pay more for them.

Last edited by eo1bart; 01-02-2017 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eo1bart View Post
I learned how to reload from that guy. He also did a similar test using a .38 special;

Cartridge Case Longevity - Part 1 - MassReloading

It makes you wonder why some re-loaders prefer to use nickel plated cases, and even pay more for them.
They sure look purty but not practical for reloading. I didn't know that about nickel plated, Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:30 PM
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OK, it was an interesting article. But I'm not changing anything about the way I reload or my components. If I've got nickel plated cases, I'll use them. They do look pretty and they seem to resize easier. I attribute that to the plating that seems to work as a lubricant or maybe its just slicker.

I'm an old scrounger. If I see and can pick up empties, I do it. It doesn't make one bit of difference to me.

There was a time, long ago, when I was kind of particular. I'd even sort my brass by headstamp. These days, I'm lucky to find the 9mm and 380 junk and separate it out.

Yes, I liked the article. I also like to see an article about some rifle ammo. Say, .30-06 and 7mm Mag. With that, even the primers can make a difference. Mag vs std.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:29 PM
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I can't really tell you how many reloads of 45acp I get, I just reload until I find a defect in them or I hear the "bell". 25 or 30 times is not out of the question, but then again I don't load max either. I shoot with a guy who refuses to pick up his brass and only shoots it one time. We made friends immediately!
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:29 PM
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Both of these articles confirm what I've observed in reloading the 38 special and 45 ACP. Fact is I have yet to have one single 45 ACP case split. What I didn't catch on to was the reason why I would find some cases with the primers sitting slightly "proud". Always thought it was either a poorly machined case or me "limp gripping" my hand primer. Thanks to this article I'll know to mark the cases for disposal when I find a primer sitting "proud". As for 38 special, I'll just keep shooting until they split. Because once a case splits the resistance felt during sizing drops to near zero so they are really easy to sort out for those of us Single Staging our reloads.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:25 PM
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Interesting reads , and their results may show trends. However as the writer himself points out, he is using one particular brand of brass with one selected load. As an engineer, I'm cautious of reading too much into these findings as the test and data samples are too small.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:55 PM
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Yeah, I figured out real quick that nickel cases are pretty but they work-harden and split a lot sooner. I keep my nickel cases separate from my plain brass, and I'm reloading them to failure first, just to get rid of them.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:26 AM
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On straight-wall pistol cases, I would say that my practice is to load them until they split at the neck, but the reality is that I only recover about 60% of my brass, so statistically it's pretty much all gone by the fourth or fifth reloading.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:35 PM
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Never have had a 45 case split whether brass or nickel. I've mushed a few and retired a few that the headstamp was unreadable on. As someone else stated I don't load to max and use a lot of 200 gr lead bullets. As far as nickle cases I use 'em until they do split mostly in the 38/357 and others. I have some nickel 44 mags that have been loaded so many times half the plating is gone..again not max loads either. My max mag loads get done 5 times and are disposed of. Don't even cycle them to the blow away ammo. The cases that seem to last the shortest period of time(for me) is the 45 Colt. And I don't load 'em really hot. Momma shoots most of 'em and she is the chief cook. I am the chief bottle washer. Or so I've been told
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rburg View Post
OK, it was an interesting article. But I'm not changing anything about the way I reload or my components. If I've got nickel plated cases, I'll use them. They do look pretty and they seem to resize easier. I attribute that to the plating that seems to work as a lubricant or maybe its just slicker.

I'm an old scrounger. If I see and can pick up empties, I do it. It doesn't make one bit of difference to me.

There was a time, long ago, when I was kind of particular. I'd even sort my brass by headstamp. These days, I'm lucky to find the 9mm and 380 junk and separate it out.

Yes, I liked the article. I also like to see an article about some rifle ammo. Say, .30-06 and 7mm Mag. With that, even the primers can make a difference. Mag vs std.
I actually find nickel cases MORE diff to size, the nickel seems to create a bit more friction.
I have loaded 45 brass until the headstamp can't be read, maybe 20x?? They seem to last almost forever. At some point they will split, just takes along time.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:55 PM
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I split .38 cases all the time and I split .327 Federal more than anything, but that is a 45k psi max round. I rarely split .45 and I only lose them when I shoot on an indoor range. I shoot handguns across a dozen calibers but 9/.38/.45 the most and somewhere just over 10k annually.

You know what I never wear out? 9mm. I lose a heap of them for sure but I have enough to last 3 lifetimes... I am seriously to the point in life at 44yrs old where I could honestly NEVER pick up a piece of 9mm again and probably not run out (but I always pick 'em up haha) but no, I never wear them out. I have run a few "sketchy" loads a few times that makes the brass bulge and I always cull out any brass that has been treated this way. But to actually split or wear out 9mm? I just don't think I have done it.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:37 AM
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I guess I should replace all of my (several thousand) Nickel .38 Spl. cases, many that I have had since the 1960s and have loaded I have no idea how many times. Yes, they split sometimes, throw them away, get over it and keep going! Plain brass cases split too, almost as often as Nickel.

You want to how how to keep .38 Spl. cases from splitting? Size them in two steps by neck sizing only and post-sizing the rest of the body with a Lee CFC die. Or buy the fancy Redding die that does the same thing for $150 or so. The body split problem really began when standard Carbide sizers were introduced and people used them to full-length size their brass. This excessively works the case body! The second thing is stop using Remington Nickel cases, they often split on first firing with factory loads.

Is two-stage sizing a pain, absolutely, but I have Nickel cases that have been loaded and tumbled so many times most of the Nickel has worn off, and it is unusual for even one of them to split!

Or you can just quit whining and accept the fact that cases wear out and fail eventually. They were originally intended to be disposable, remember?
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:34 PM
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Default Nickeled 357 mag cases

My 38 Spl / 357 Mag reloading is easy for sorting. All brass is 38 Spl, if it's nickeled it's 357 mag. Some of my 357 brass has been tumbled so many times that the nickel plating is starting to wear off, but there is no neck or body cracks.

Maybe my 357 nickel cases lasted so long because they are old -- not that new fangled thin wall case that slits after 1 firing.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:27 PM
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.45 ACP is a low pressure round with very little cold-working of the brass (taper crimp only). It should withstand may reloading, half a dozen at least.

That said, I lose 25% or more of my brass each time I shoot indoors, and 100% when shooting outdoors. In other words, mine doesn't stay around long enough to keep count.

That may change now that I have a 625 revolver. Now all I need is time to go shooting.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeintexas View Post
I can't really tell you how many reloads of 45acp I get, I just reload until I find a defect in them or I hear the "bell". 25 or 30 times is not out of the question, but then again I don't load max either. I shoot with a guy who refuses to pick up his brass and only shoots it one time. We made friends immediately!
My son brought me almost 2K of 223. A man he works with is the same way. Only new ammo. He keeps the brass and when he gets a bag full he gives it away.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
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I can't really tell you how many reloads of 45acp I get, I just reload until I find a defect in them or I hear the "bell". 25 or 30 times is not out of the question, but then again I don't load max either. I shoot with a guy who refuses to pick up his brass and only shoots it one time. We made friends immediately!
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My son brought me almost 2K of 223. A man he works with is the same way. Only new ammo. He keeps the brass and when he gets a bag full he gives it away.
We all need friends like that
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:20 PM
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I can't tell you how long 45 ACP brass will last but I do have some brass from my Army days headstamp WCC 66 which is still good. Headstamp hard to read.
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