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I check my brass for signs of cracking, as long as I don't see the start of a crack I continue to reuse them and depending on the loads, the brand of brass, and the amount of cartridge headspace, I can get as little as 5 loads and sometimes as many as a dozen. From my very first loading I start culling out brass that looks suspect and the more times I reload the brass the higher the percentage of rejected cases. Usually by the 5th loading I'm culling a pretty high percentage of cases, probably at least 30 - 40 percent.
 

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brass life

.30-06 or .308 in a gas gun (M1/M1A) 6 loads on virgin brass 5 on once fired then discard. Bolt guns do not stretch the brass as much so 8 to 10 loads.
I accidentially loaded 50 rounds 1 time more and had 14 cases crack on the body and 4 head separations. I was very fortunate the separations were during single loading not sustained fire.

Had to clear a jam for a shooter during a match once where a case separated during rapid fire and the live round jammed into the remainder of the separated case that stayed in the chamber. Not an easy thing to do...
 

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With 1x fired Lake City brass, I see signs of case head seperation after 3x additional firings.

With Norma commercial brass, I've gove 7x in an M1A with no signs of seperation. Norma .308 brass can be over 2 times the cost of LC brass, so it all evens out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I figure I would go 5 in my M1a and M1 garand. I separate my bolt gun brass since I only neck size. I rather can it than push the envelope and maybe have an issue.

KurtC I just bought some nosler brass. Around A buck each. Going to use them in the bolt gun
 

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I like the idea of a small notch on the rim, I sometimes get confused when I'm sorting brass; I try to take the same "grade" ammo (once fired, twice fired, etc) when I go to the range, but this simplifies things.

Related question, don't want to hijack the thread, but wasn't worth starting another one:

What company makes the brass headstamped with "Nugent"? (I know who TN is, but who makes his brass?) A friend of mine, who doesn't reload, gave me 60 once-fired cases that he fired at the range our last outing. He was shooting it in a Ruger Gunsite .308, and the brass looks pretty nice. Is it worth getting a couple of reloads from for the M1A, or should I relegate it to my bolt gun?
 

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All my brass is GI. I size the brass slightly long...just so the bolt will close with no resistance. My dies, like most, work the necks hard. I size and load in segregated batches of 100 rounds. One neck crack and the whole batch of 100 gets tossed. I have 1000s of pieces (of new brass) from years gone by, so I don't anneal or try in any way to save the brass.
 

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I don't count reloads so I can't say how many reloads I have on some cases.

I've never had a case head separation.

I've had cracked necks (on firing and when resizing and I save them if possible - .223 goes to .300 black out and 30-06 goes to .308.)

I never load maximum loads. I load accurate loads (accurate loads that feed/function).

With my M1A I used to set the die up to barely resize (left a small dark ring of powder residue/resizing oil where the neck met the shoulder. My "match barreled" M1A chambered these just fine. Now that I have multiple M1 Garands and AR15's I set the die up to touch the shell holder and that may/may not cause issues as some point (working the brass more than necessary for some rifles).

Just my experiences.
 

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Call me crazy but I anneal every third firing. It returns the brass back to like new softness. resizing is much more precise for both headspace and neck tension. I use the Redding body die followed by the Forster neck/shoulder bushing die. Case headspace -.001 from chamber headspace. Forster die is precise enough to do that but the metal must be in the proper condition. I also turn necks and ream flashholes(its my time i'll use it how I like).I am using recent LC brass. 10 shots in an inch have been seen. 10 firings seem OK. Twice fired and annealed is best of all!
 

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If your dies are set properly and your loads arent thru the roof there is no reason you shouldnt get 10 plus reloads out of your brass. I just thru out my 3006 garand brass with 12 reloads on it. After i get 2 or 3 neck splits i scrap the whole lot. I did only get 7 reloads out of my sbs 762 brass till the primer pockets got loose tho.
 

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I had a problem one time shooting my enfied one time...seemed like every case was broke to wear it looked like a 45acp coming out with the bolt. This was factory sellar &ballet. I just figured the chamber is just too worn.
 

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If your dies are set properly and your loads arent thru the roof there is no reason you shouldnt get 10 plus reloads out of your brass. I just thru out my 3006 garand brass with 12 reloads on it. After i get 2 or 3 neck splits i scrap the whole lot. I did only get 7 reloads out of my sbs 762 brass till the primer pockets got loose tho.
Is this the same ratio for GI brass?
 

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Sbs is military brass. Santa barbara systems. Its known for loose primer pockets. I get a few more loads on lc 762. And about the same in 06 with hxp and lc. After a dozen plus reloads i dont have any hard feelings about putting it in the scrap bucket
 
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