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Brass shells


Cutthroat Cody
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if you start off with new brass, how many times can you reload it before the shell "wears out"

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If you're going to shoot shoot, don't talk.

 

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One where between 1 and 1000. Too many variables to give a definite answer. What are the pressures, what are your chamber dimensions, how much is the brass being resized?  The list goes on. That being said I still have a fair bit of brass in use that I started with 4 years ago. 

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You said "brass shells", so I am presuming you are talking about rifle, and handgun shells, and not shotgun shells. Although one can buy brass shotgun shells, but at about 8 bucks a piece, unless you have deep pockets, like as not, one would not have very many of them.

 

So...presuming we are talking about rifle/handgun brass shells...the answer is...it depends. 

 

It depends on:

The caliber.  The .38 and .44 w.c.f. brass has thin wall mouths, that may not last but a few reloading sessions, before being dented, or splitting.

The powder charge.  Heavy/maximum powder charges may cause the bass to fail, split, or dent, faster.

The reloading equipment.  What are the condition of your dies? Do you use carbide dies for straight-walled brass, or just standard dies?

Do you correctly lube your brass?

Are you careful, when reloading, or are you like a bull in a china shop?

Do you use your main reloading set up to de-prime and re-prime your brass, or do you have a hand de-primer/primer? 

Are you crimping the bullet correctly?

 

Lots to think about, and consider.

But, I have found out, from reloading since the 1960's, that you can try and do everything as right as you can, and the brass case may only be loaded, or reloaded once before it splits, or dents, or becomes useless for reloading. 

 

Some believe the brand of brass has a lot to do with it. Some believe certain brands of brass last longer, than others. Could be. 

 

The short answer is: There is no telling how long a brass shell will last. There are too many factors that come into play to make any reliable predictions. 

It could be the brass quality, or lack thereof; the re-loading technique; the experience level of the reloader; the reloading equipment; the powder charge; the brand/type of powder; the crimping of the brass to the bullet; the lube you use....or just plain dumb chance. 

 

You buy your brass, and re-loading equipment, do the best you can, and you take your chance. 

 

 

 

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I've been reloading the same .44 mag brass since 2006. Doubtful I've split five or six. .38 brass I split a bunch but it still lasts years and years. 

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I get about 15 reloads from .45 Colt brass (Starline or Winchester) with cowboy match loads, and never annealing the mouth.  Brass will be a small expense when cowboy shooting, unless you never get to pick it up.

 

good luck, GJ

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I have some magtec 12 ga. brass hulls that have been reloaded multiple times over about 10 years and I've only lost one. It was due to being stepped on and unable to reform. Most of my .45 brass has been reloaded multiple times as well.

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Well Gosh

 

Waxahachie, hate to disappoint, but Magtech 12Ga All Brass hulls still go for around 25 Bucks a Box of 25.  Bout a dollar a round.  Unless some Ham Hock steps on em, shooting Subs, the life is indefinite (a long time).

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2 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Well Gosh

 

Waxahachie, hate to disappoint, but Magtech 12Ga All Brass hulls still go for around 25 Bucks a Box of 25.  Bout a dollar a round.  Unless some Ham Hock steps on em, shooting Subs, the life is indefinite (a long time).

I do have some brass 10 G that run $8 each, but yes the magtech 12 g are around $1 each 

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The expensive ones are made by Rocky Mountain Cartridge Co. https://www.rockymountaincartridge.com

They are heavy, full thickness so you use the same gauge wads, and they use 209 primers.  Their 12 ga shells were $6 each 20 years ago!  Stepping on them will just hurt your foot. :D

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PLUS ONE for Abilene  :)

 

About 2 maybe 3 seasons ago, I got bitten by the "10Ga" bug.  Went seriously hunting an exposed hammer 10Ga double.  I found one.  Then I went sourcing Al Brass 10Ga hulls.  7 - 9 bucks a pop.  Absolutely now way says I.  Called the guy with the 10Ga back and expressed my reluctance.  Admittedly, those machined 10Ga Hulls would last several lifetimes, but that is a bunch of dinero.  So I recovered from the 10Ga illness quickly.

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