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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had a 200rd Lot of LC 73 that had been through the dies 6 times and I figured I could get a 7X reload. Lucky both pieces ejected because I didn't have a broken shell extractor with me.
Moral of the story is when the Brass gets tired throw it away. Nuff Said
 

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You used your brass about 3 more times than I would have.GI3 Glad it worked out for you.
 

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Yep after I re load it 3 times it goes in the scrap bucket or gets left at the range. That is 4 firings on the brass, I won't go any more then that.
I find a lot of range brass that some one has reamed the hell out of the primer pocket crimp to where it won't even be able to hold a primer on its second re load. Swaging is the way to go.
 
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Brass is an expendable, just like a bullet, a primer, a powder charge, a barrel, and even the pickup you use to haul everything to the range. Most shooters never do the math to see exactly how much a case costs after 1 firing, 2 firings, etc. You may be surprised how cheap they are.

Now, having said that, cases don't wear out from firing. They are destroyed in the re-loading process. The head separation shown is the result of too much re-sizing. I agree that there may be a need for extreme re-sizing for certain weapons but not always. I once ran a test with 20 new cases that I shot over 50 times each and they were almost as good as new. Of course, I only neck-sized and the chamber was custom reamed, but it proved to me just how durable a case is if it's treated right.

Ray
 

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A 5gal pale full of .308 brass weighs in at about 65lbs +/- X 1.00+ per lbs. at the recycling center. You just made back a few bucks for more powder/primers/bullets, a tank of gas or a real nice lunch at the booby bar.........
 

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I went your route several years back and had a few case head separations so now I go 3 maybe 4 and toss for scrap.
 

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Did that case show the ring that develops inside? I'm at 5 reloads on my GGG brass & still no ring with 41.5g IMR 4895 & 150g fmj. I always carry the broken shell extractor just incase.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Did that case show the ring that develops inside? I'm at 5 reloads on my GGG brass & still no ring with 41.5g IMR 4895 & 150g fmj. I always carry the broken shell extractor just incase.
No exterior ring was observed, and I use a 90 deg Pick to check for inside pre separation ring. I knew that I was pushing my Luck. No harm to me or the Rifle. Just an example of Poor Reloading by a Guy who has been doing it for 40+yrs.
 

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How do you guys set up your dies? Im on my 9th reload and the only issue im having is that the primer pockets are starting to loosen. I measure my fired brass on the datum line and set the should back 2 thou.
 

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How do you guys set up your dies? Im on my 9th reload and the only issue im having is that the primer pockets are starting to loosen. I measure my fired brass on the datum line and set the should back 2 thou.
For some reason brass life arguments get very heated pretty quickly so I might as well get the flames started.

Brass, like any other metal, is effected by any forces applied to it. Depending on how much force and what kind it is, the metal will either recover it's original shape and size or not but whether it does or not it will always go through some molecular changes.

If the load we used was hot enough then the brass will exceed it's elastic stage and permanently deform in which case the process of resizing the brass will displace metal and start the thinning process that occurs in the area of the base of the case.

If the load is light enough then the metal stayed within it's plastic stage, it returned closer to it's original dimensions, it's worked less during resizing, and the thinning action at the base is lessened.

No matter how hot the load is the brass becomes work hardened from having been heated, cooled, and resized which makes it less elastic over time and increases the chances of it cracking. But lighter loads will lessen the degree of work hardening each time the brass is used and resized.

Headspace also adds to the problem because the brass will stretch toward the bolt face the distance of the headspace and that's just more work hardening of the metal. Less headspace will help lengthen the life of the brass but can cause other problems when fouling begins to build up.

And finally, all brass will crack eventually because of the work done to it over time. As it is work hardens the elastic stage becomes smaller which causes the brass to become brittle and then it takes very little change (stretch) in the metal to cause it to crack.

So the question becomes one of "What is a light load?". It's difficult to state exactly what chamber pressure constitutes a light load, there seems to be no direct relationship between the calculated yield strength of brass and chamber pressure, but yield strength does provide an easy to use generalized guideline. Depending on the hardness of the brass, the yield strength can vary from around 15,000 to 63,000 PSI so for me I consider a light load one that produces no more than about 40,000 PSI max chamber pressure. That would be, depending on the case capacity, about 39 grains of IMR 3031 (or about 41.5 grains of IMR 4895) under a 150 grain bullet which would produce about 2575 fps at the muzzle. This load is light enough to not stress the brass very much and yet the gas system will still function and the accuracy is still very good. Any equivalent load is just as easy on the brass but anything over these kinds of pressures is going to start to shorten the life the brass very noticeably.
 

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I bump my shoulders back to SAAMI 308 Win. Therefore my brass doesn't last. Prefer reliable function over brass longevity.

Probably not optimal, but FTE failures are intolerable.
 
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I bump my shoulder back .003" and load (4) times and toss, I am a lefty and my face is pretty close to the bolt and my handsome good looks are worth more than a few extra fireings.
 

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Ok, that went pretty well so I'll add some more fuel to the fire.

Rather than just arbitrarily sending the brass to the recyclers after X number of reloadings, I recommend looking for the thinning ring that will develop around the base of the case. When you can actually see this ring starting to develop inside the case you are getting close to the end of the case's life. I've found that you can wait until the ring extends to about half the diameter of the case but not much more than that.

The ring is easy to see on a .30 caliber or larger case but it gets difficult on smaller mouthed cases. I use a small pen light and look inside the case with my unaided eye. You are looking for a small indention about 1/8" up from the bottom of the inside of the case. This is the ridge that some people try to detect by dragging a bent paper clip along the inside of the case, I find it easier to look for the ridge rather than dragging a piece of wire along the inside of the case.

With some loads I've tossed brass after just two firings while other times I've used brass as many as a dozen times. If you've got the time it's worth the effort.
 
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I've been having fun with the "0" fired LC pulls from Wideners. They are about LC'03 to LC'11. They ship with the primers intact (no hazmat reqd) Since they are "0" fired, the cases are about the same dimensions of the FGMM cases, trimmed length and all. I tumble in Flitz and Walnut media, load with powder, and seat.

Since neck sizing is not controlled, (no sizing with the primer intact), I use (actually make) cannelured bullets out of Nosler 168 OTMs. Then, I apply a generous roll crimp. I do not trim, but do a chamfer to facilitate seating. I run an oversized bore brush in the neck to knock loose any powder stuck to the residual neck sealant.

Yeah, that is going cheap, and it is not FGMM ammo, but I am left with some good cases to work with, and so far so good.
 

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Brass that is no longer suitable for a gas gun gets 1-2 more firings out of a bolt gun.
A lot of my hunting sight in ammo and practice ammo is this as is plinking ammo.
 
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