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Brass Reuse & Getting Started

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by s0nspark, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. s0nspark

    s0nspark Talk is cheap!

    Jul 3, 2009
    The Old North State
    I am gearing up to reload for the first time and was curious as to how many reuses I can reasonably expect out of my brass, shooting a stock G20 with fairly hot loads.

    What signs do I look for to determine when to retire a case... aside from the obvious (bulges, splits)?

    My initial goal is to try and approximate my carry ammo (165gr Bonded Defense) for practice ... can anyone suggest a good starting point to work up from?

    I feel like I'm jumping headfirst in the deep end :)
  2. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    It is hard to say as some of my cases have been loaded 5 to 15 times. Some have been reloaded to upper levels several times with no signs of being bad.

    Other things to look for...
    SMILED - damaged the metal has started to shear, no amout of sizing will repair this. However they can be used to make die adjustments, dummy rounds.

    Case neck tention - bullets are loose or will spin or move in or out after they are finished.

    Primer Pockets loose - when seating primers they seem to fall in the pockets no longer hold tight, leaking primers allows gas to escape.

    Extraction rim damage - if they are hard to place in a tight shell holder, bent

    Brittle or corroded casings - these can case damage to dies especially nickle plated

    But I will say, I take plenty time inspecting my cases and use the LEE FCD as a "Pass-Thru" sizer to recondition all of my brass. I have had brass split (while being shot and while being re-sized) because they got work hardened over the many uses.

    Good luck and happy safe reloading! :)

  3. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    S0nspark, welcome to they forum.

    A good place t start for load development is to get a couple of quality loading manuals. It is better to wade out into the shallow end than to jump in the deep end. There is plenty of time to get to know the cartridge and to work up to warmer charges.

    As far as brass life, I load hot charges in new brass or once used brass only. The rest gets placed into my reload assortment for range ammo. I don't load bunny farts for range loads, but they are not hot either. That strategy yields an average of about 9 loadings through my stock G20 barrel.

    Shadow pretty well covered what to look for with brass wear and tear. I would add that straight wall cases tend to shrink over several reloads. That is typically the limit to my case life with Starline brass. They eventually shrink below minimums. That is not a safety issue per se, but die settings will not be optimal if brass length is all over the place. Case mouth expansion and crimping are directly related to brass length.
  4. s0nspark

    s0nspark Talk is cheap!

    Jul 3, 2009
    The Old North State
    Cool, guys, thanks... I will add a couple of reloading manuals to my shopping list.

  5. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    I've not yet had any case splits in nearly 9-10 loadings of all of the 10mm brass I own. I expect that my day will come sooner rather than later. :)

    That being said, 67% of my 10mm pistols have full case support now so maybe I'll get a few more loads out of my brass.

    Great information here.