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9mm Brass vs 40S&W Brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TreeFarm, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. TreeFarm


    Apr 29, 2010
    I have been reloading 223 ammo this past summer but just starting with pistol ammo. I seem to recall reading alot of posts that people say you can reload 9mm almost as many times as you want but with 40 it seems like people want to limit how many times its reloaded. I can understand being able to reload say 45acp more than both of them since its much lower pressure but the listed pressures for 9mm and 40 seem similar. Is it able to be reloaded less due to case size or something I'm missing? Also is more to do with high power loads versus more moderate practice rounds.

    I have some once fired brass that I've been saving from factory ammo I've shot and also range pickup brass and trying to figure out if I should keep track and discard the brass after a few reloads or just inspect it and keep loading it if it looks good, I will be shooting weaker loads as they will just be for practice and not going for max loads. The location I shoot is out in the woods and is a great area for keeping track of brass, I dont think I've lost a piece of brass there all summer as its a nice gravel area. I know some have said you would lose brass before you reload it too much but since I rarely lose any I'm not sure that will be my case.

    I tend to overthink things and trying to decide if I should keep track of each firing or just keep tossing it all together as long as its still in good shape, would make it easier for cleaning,loading, organizing ect as long as its just for reduced loads, but I also dont want to overuse the brass. I plan to reload both 9mm and 40S&W so some input would be appreciated.
  2. steve4102


    Jan 2, 2009
    I'm pretty new to handguns and handgun reloading myself, but I think it could be that many of the 40 S&W pistols out there do not support the chamber as well as other cartridges resulting in weakened brass sooner.

  3. FLSlim


    Apr 12, 2010
    FL W Coast
    I've never kept count, but have reloaded both 9 and 40 brass more times than I can keep track of. In terms of brass failure, I have that happen a bit more often with 40 brass. Note, however, when I reload the 40 it is at a moderate pressure (I avoid max loads).
  4. firefighter4215


    Nov 2, 2009
    When you say "brass failure," what exactly do you mean? Is the case mouth developing a split? Is the sidewall splitting? Or what? I also tend to reload moderate or less as far as powder charge and pressures go. For example, using a Precision Delta 165 fmj, I just loaded a batch with 7.1 grains of Power Pistol. For a Gold Dot bullet of the same weight the max charge is 7.8 grains. Loads for the wife are significantly reduced. I expect to get many loadings from those brass.
  5. 4Baldy


    Apr 11, 2009
    If you test and build a good target load for the distance you want to shoot, you can use brass for a very long time. On the other hand if you are going to shoot full power or mag loads all the time, you will use the brass up quicker. It's just that simple. Good luck...
  6. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas

    I'm very new to reloading, and am still in the experimental phase of things. I've researched all my load manuals, plus wrote down load information from the bullet and powder manufacturer sites.

    For 9X19 , I shoot a lot of 115 and only some 124 & 147, and those were only to validate the SD ammo through the guns.

    For .40 S&W, it's mainly 165 and 180 gr. ammo, and all have been at whatever the factory velocities are as listed.

    I've recently bought a chronograph that I'm excited to take out tot the range to test out my "minimum" reloads, and to check the factory ammo velocities so that I can be in the neighborhood of what I've been shooting.

    None of my reload brass has been damaged by anything I've loaded, but then again, I'm currently on the minimum load side of the scale. I check the brass for obvious deformities or failures and just keep those for recycling and selling back later on. I'm just punching holes in paper and am not trying to take down wild boars or black bears with my ammo, so I think that I should get more useful life from the brass.

    What bullets are you going to be loading up for each caliber?

    What are your intense targets and distances?

    What powders will you use?
  7. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Oh yeah, I also listen to the voices of experience and reason from the GT Reloading forum. They have been a valuable source for guidance and mentoring, and are very helpful, as well as entertaining.


    Dec 20, 2002
    I think as long as you aren't pushing the pressure limits with the .40 brass and your gun has a well supported chamber, it will last as long as any other brass.
    My .40 brass doesn't seem to get worked much at all.
  9. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    I reload 40 S&W and like R-P brass. I do not keep count just inspect the brass thru each step of reloading. I do like new or once fired brass for max reloads. :supergrin:
  10. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Typically, 9mm brass is thicker than most 40 brass, so at full pressure loads, it sis likely to last a few more times than 40. Load either off the max loads, easily done w/ medium burners, then your brass will last a long time. Most guys having 40 brass failuers are running high pressure loads & cheap brass like Federal. Stay away form Fed brass & uberfast powders running hard & you'll lose the brass before wearing it out.
  11. firefighter4215


    Nov 2, 2009
    Fred, you mentioned Federal brass. I've noticed two different headstamps recently. One is used in the cheap fmj ammo at Walmart. The other is used for the HST ammo. Have you noticed the difference? I wonder if the HST brass is higher quality?
  12. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Shoot it till it splits. It won't hurt a thing. Don't load max loads but even then a split case with a max load won't blow up the gun. Split cases happen all the time. It's just not a big deal.
  13. justinsaneok


    Jul 13, 2010
    I use 9mm and .40 brass till it splits the 9mm splits more for me than .40. I don't care because my glocks have chambers. When they spit I pitch them because the poor case neck tension might cause bullet setback. :whistling:
  14. skeeter7

    skeeter7 Brass Vulture

    Nov 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    This. I realized I am usually only shooting at paper most of the time so I scaled it back and don't go anywhere near max powder levels when reloading 40. I have used the same brass countless number of times with no issues.
  15. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I have seen mostly the FC marked brass in handguns fail sooner than later, some even case head blowouts (9mm once fired, std pressure load). I bought some 308 & 06 FGMM, supposed to be the best they make, the cases started giving out in as little as 3 firings. Primer pockets would stretch in the Fed brass long before if ever in other brands. It tells me the brass is quite soft in the critical head area. So I shun All Federal brass for high pressure loadings. It seems to run fine @ 45acp vel, but I'll use Fedral brass for lost brass IDPA matches before anything else.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  16. TreeFarm


    Apr 29, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies. I think what I will do then is just keep my factory once fired brass seperate till I want to load some higher power rounds and use my range pick up and just add to it as I get more. My loads for now I plan to load using WSF, I have shot a few reloads of both 9mm with 4.5gr WSF and 40S&W using 5.0gr of WSF a month or so ago but havent reloading many at all. The bullets in each where both Berry's HPs, 124gr 9mm and 180gr 40s. I pretty much just loaded a few to try them out then went back to trying to work up a load for the AR.
  17. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    I shoot it till I lose it or it splits.