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How Many Reloads for Brass?

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by SlowShootr, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. SlowShootr


    May 11, 2008
    I recently purchased a Glock 20SF, which now is my number one favorite gun. To have some brass for immediate reloading I bought 50 rounds of the factory Remington 180g ammo. (I've since ordered a batch of Starline brass.) I have reloaded the Remington brass at least five times and can see no visible signs of weakness or cracks or "smilies." I've been conservative thus far and most of my loads are less than about 1150 fps according to the manuals.

    Does anyone have a point at which they retire brass, or should I just inspect carefully at each reload and continue to use the brass until cracks appear?
  2. attrapereves


    Sep 11, 2011
    I've got about three loads out of my set of Starline brass. No problems so far. My warm range loads are around 1150fps as well. I like to keep the velocity well above 40SW, but below nuke loads to make it easier on my hand and to prevent wear on brass. For nuke loads, I will only use new brass, never used.

    After tumbling brass, and while depriming and sizing, I inspect each piece for splits or any other deformations. The only pieces I've thrown out so far were damaged from hitting the slide or getting stepped on at the range. However, I've noticed that brass colored holds up better than nickle colored because it resizes multiple times with ease.

    I have a feeling that I will lose a piece of brass before it becomes worn.

  3. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Just keep shooting them and then cleaning and inspecting them before loading back up. I have around 1000 10mm cases and I'd say that 600-700 of them have seen nearly 10 loadings ... some more, some less. There are some beat up looking cases but I don't see why they can't still keep getting used for target level stuff. I will usually load them very warm even for the first 2-3 loadings and then usually with lower charges after that....

    Keep shooting them until you split em, then toss em! (and yes, you will lose them before you kill them, I'm guessing)...

    Just keep inspecting them well and only use them for HOT stuff for the first load or three. After that, let them rest. :)
  4. scccdoc


    Dec 28, 2011
    Overflaring the mouth of the brass decreases the lifespan. Get just enough flare to hold projectile in place.................... DOC
  5. ModGlock17


    Dec 18, 2010
    Look at it from the economic side. Brass costs 15cents each. Reloading them 10x takes cost per loading down to 1.5cents!

    Good bargain already.

    There isn't much savings going beyond 10x, so use them but don't try to push them.

    At 10x, your cost per round is already down to near $0.25 or so. Pretty good already. Pushing them can end up costing you a lot more.
  6. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Mod is right.... don't EVER push old brass... there is no need. Use new or almost new brass for any powerful loads... however, feel free to use older brass for mousefart loads if you wish. Don't throw them out just to throw them out. They can be fired until they split at the case neck or show some other sign of failure....
  7. TDC20


    Apr 11, 2011
    All good advice here for you SlowShootr. I'll just add one more thing since no one has mentioned it yet. Don't ever reload brass that has been Glocksmiled. Sometimes hot commercial loads or overly hot handloads will cause a Glocksmile. Pitch that brass with extreme prejudice! One of the patrons here on the forum did a nice job cross-sectioning a piece of Glocksmiled brass, and there's no way it's safe for any loading after a Glocksmile.

    Good luck and be safe!
  8. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    9 loads on average with Starline brass through my G20. The lifecycle starts with a max load in new brass. It is then relegated to "range/IDPA" fodder that would typically be a 180 @ 1150 fps. I do shoot a variety of bullets and velocities though, but that is my most common everday range medicine.

    The limitation to life is most often the result of cases shrinking over time to below specs. Realistically, I could keep loading brass that is a bit shorter than standards, but I like to keep things by the book. At that point, the brass has taken a fair amount of punishment anway so out it goes. Splits are rare in my G20, and when they do show up it is typically in the first or second load due to incorrectly annealed brass.

    The other limitation would be nickel plated brass. I have noticed a shorter life due to compromised neck tension that enables setback. Longer bullets with more bearing surface can load more cycles, but shorter bullets have been a problem earlier in the nickel plated brass life.

    TDC20 is exactly right about Glocksmiled (frowned) brass. Those are severely compromised. No "bulge buster" or "pass through" die can remedy the problem.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012