Active TopicsActive Topics  Display List of Forum MembersMemberlist  Search The ForumSearch  HelpHelp
  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin  

Home | Load data | Articles | Ballistic Calc | Energy Calc
General Discussion
 Handloads.Com Forum : General Discussion
Subject Topic: Brass Life Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
richhodg66
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3993
Online Status: Offline
Posted: July 25 2017 at 4:15am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I loaded up and shot 50 rounds of .44 Special last night and then loaded them again. I'll probably shoot them today some time.

Funny thing is, that box of PMC brass is a box of 240 grain copper washed SWCs I bought from Starkey's Gun Shop in El Paso to go with a Charter Arms Bulldog I bought that weekend from a gun show in '89 or '90. First handgun I ever bought, Dad had one when they first came out and I liked it. I don't shoot it but a few times a year, but it always works and is a good gun for what it is. It sits loaded in a drawer in easy reach and I'll keep it til I die.

For years, that PMC brass got loaded five or six times a year, sometimes more. Been a lot more the past few years as I got another .44 Special.

As I was loading these last night, I could tell primer pockets are getting looser, but all the cases are still good, haven't lost a single one out of that box. There is very likely 100 or more loadings and firings on that box of brass and PMC isn't generally considered high quality stuff. Granted, it was all low pressure stuff, but that's pretty amazing when I think about it.

__________________
"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
Back to Top View richhodg66's Profile Search for other posts by richhodg66
 
Old Ranger
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: April 11 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 3105
Online Status: Offline
Posted: July 25 2017 at 6:52am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rich, I agree that if loaded to mild to moderate working pressure, cases can and will often last for decades. There are .44mag cases here that are 20 years old and have been loade dozens of times. .30'06 cases are still being loaded from 1960 here that have been,in one set, 53 times with about a 10% loss due to failure over the years.

On the other hand is some .357Mag that are splitting and weakening from full heavy loads that are relatively new with under 10 loads each and maybe 2 years old.

I'm firmly convinced that cases will last for years if loaded wisely and with moderate loads.

__________________
"I ain't doin' nuthin' I can't do from a horse."

Monte Walsh
Back to Top View Old Ranger's Profile Search for other posts by Old Ranger
 
richhodg66
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3993
Online Status: Offline
Posted: July 25 2017 at 11:15am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

One thing too, I believe the .44 Special/Magnum dies I have, which are carbide, helped. I started .357 with a set of steel dies and I believe steel dies are harder on the brass.

But yeah, a .44 Special in a Bulldog gets unpleasant pretty quick so I've been known to load some rather mild .44 Specials.

__________________
"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
Back to Top View richhodg66's Profile Search for other posts by richhodg66
 
M700
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: June 12 2004
Location: Washington
Posts: 5989
Online Status: Offline
Posted: July 25 2017 at 11:23am | IP Logged Quote M700

I've found my .38 Special & .45 ACP brass lasts, and lasts...

Some of my .44 mag brass has been used only for mild loads, and is also lasting about forever.

Rifle loads? Not so much... I do tend to load them towards the max. Not all of them, but... Ya, many of 'em are right up there at or near max book loads and they certainly seem to deliver, either on targets or on game.

That brass has a more limited life.

Guy
Back to Top View M700's Profile Search for other posts by M700
 
richhodg66
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3993
Online Status: Offline
Posted: July 25 2017 at 12:05pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Loss and damage from being thrown about and such is what kills auto brass. I've never kept track of loadings on any of it, and probably wouldn't have on this except it's what I started with and only had the one gun in it for years that I did pretty limited shooting with.

Rifle brass either splits at the neck or the primer pockets loosen up. Had a full case head separation the other day, only the second or third one I ever had. It pays to DX rifle brass before it wears out.

__________________
"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
Back to Top View richhodg66's Profile Search for other posts by richhodg66
 
Old Ranger
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: April 11 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 3105
Online Status: Offline
Posted: July 25 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

When loading for local PD's, I had 5gal buckets of the same empties brought to me about every four months. This went on for eight years until when I got sick of loading for everybody else. But in that time I inspected every case and culled the bad ones. Out of 4 to 5 big buckets there would be not even enough to show hardly in a coffee can. It is remarkable the heat, stress, and strain placed upon the humble cartridge case and it, unless abused, may last for several loadings over a span of many years. Simply remarkable. Non-loaders toss empties aside without a second thought.

__________________
"I ain't doin' nuthin' I can't do from a horse."

Monte Walsh
Back to Top View Old Ranger's Profile Search for other posts by Old Ranger
 
375supermag
Senior Member




Joined: January 02 2008
Posts: 133
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 02 2017 at 9:18am | IP Logged Quote 375supermag

Hi...
Brass can last for many loadings if cared for and not
loaded to maximum pressures.
I have .357Magnum cases that I have been loading a
couple of times a year since the early 1980s. Most of
those loadings have been in the mid-range power level.
Out of several thousand cases of mixed head stamps, I
haven't needed to toss more than a couple.These cases
cover the gamut from R-P,Federal,PMC, etc.
The only cases I load heavy loads(near book maximum) in
are a few hundred nickel-plated cases that I have have
kept segregated for just that purpose. I have not lost
a single one of those cases due to loose primer
pockets, splits, etc. despite being reloaded at least a
few times a year for many years.

I can only remember ever having a single split case in
35+ years of reloading quite a few different calibers.
That was a .45Colt case that split down the side for
over half its length. None of the other cases in that
batch of several hundred have ever split and all have
ever been loaded with only one load...8.0grs of Unique
with a 2555gr commercial cast LSWC. I have no idea to
this day why that case split...that case was probably
loaded a dozen or more times before it failed and none
of the others in that batch have ever showed any sign
of weakness despite being reloaded quite a few more
times since that one case failed.

I also have several thousand .45ACP cases that have
been reloaded many times with 4.5grs of Bullseye with a
commercial cast 230grLRN bullet. A fairly mild load
that provides fine accuracy and functioning in several
.45ACP pistols.
Back to Top View 375supermag's Profile Search for other posts by 375supermag
 
Atavist
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: August 04 2017
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 170
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 04 2017 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote Atavist

Leave it to the new guy to be the hot head.

Being in Montana I literally load most of my ammo for bear and often push my loads until I buckle cases from compressing loads, they start to stick on extraction or i get primer bulge... even so I've been impressed how much abuse brass can take... the best I've found to date is definitely Hornady brass... that stuff is hard to wreck and thick enough that after a buckling you can anneal it and resize and put back in action... Herters, PMC, and mystery brass often don't survive such mal treatment.
Back to Top View Atavist's Profile Search for other posts by Atavist Visit Atavist's Homepage
 
Paul B.
Senior Member




Joined: March 12 2002
Posts: 2365
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 05 2017 at 1:04pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

Dunno about Hornady brass. I haven't used it. My choices are
Winchester first, Remington second and Federal in last place. About
the only Hornady brass I might play with would be their .275 Rigby
AKA 7MM Mauser.
I can understand loading hot as I push a .35 Whelen quite hard. (225
gr. TSX at 2710 FPS) There isn't a critter anywhere on the planet
excepting elephant, rhino and Cape Buffalo I wouldn't take on with that
load and I'd even try the buffalo if African game laws would allow it.
Dunno how long you've been reloading ammo but some of your
comments lead me to believe you might be pushing the envelope a bit
too much. And yes, I do load past what some manuals state as max
but only in cartridges like the 7x57, .257 Roberts and .35 Whelen, all of
which are underloaded by the factories.
I've been reloading ammo since 1954 including a small commercial
handloading business during the mid 1970's as a part time business.
Dunno if you have a chronograph or not but I find mine to be one of my
handiest reloading tools I have. It's kept me from going too far more
than once. Handy gadget to have.
Anyway, welcome to the site.
Paul B.
Back to Top View Paul B.'s Profile Search for other posts by Paul B.
 
richhodg66
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3993
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 05 2017 at 1:23pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I've never been the sort to load things to teeth rattling levels. It's both unwise and unnecessary. The past seven years I've been deer hunting with cast loads in rifles that don't even match factory .30-30 loads power wise and they work fine. Deer don't tend to go any farther than they did with full power .30-06 jacketed loads. Seems I remember a member on here shot the old Elmer load of a 250 grain Keith and 21 grains of 2400 in an attempt to examine the expansion of the bullet and it went through all 18 milk jugs of water he had set up and was lost on the far side. Really makes a guy wonder "what the hell are these guys planning to hunt with some of these handgun loads they have nowadays?" I'll keep loading my stuff to sane levels. Easier on guns and components, not to mention the shooter, and neither paper nor game seems to be able to tell the difference.



__________________
"The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage."
Back to Top View richhodg66's Profile Search for other posts by richhodg66
 
Atavist
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: August 04 2017
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 170
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 05 2017 at 3:30pm | IP Logged Quote Atavist

Paul B. wrote:
Dunno about Hornady brass. I haven't used it. My choices are
Winchester first, Remington second and Federal in last place. About
the only Hornady brass I might play with would be their .275 Rigby
AKA 7MM Mauser.
I can understand loading hot as I push a .35 Whelen quite hard. (225
gr. TSX at 2710 FPS) There isn't a critter anywhere on the planet
excepting elephant, rhino and Cape Buffalo I wouldn't take on with that
load and I'd even try the buffalo if African game laws would allow it.
Dunno how long you've been reloading ammo but some of your
comments lead me to believe you might be pushing the envelope a bit
too much. And yes, I do load past what some manuals state as max
but only in cartridges like the 7x57, .257 Roberts and .35 Whelen, all of
which are underloaded by the factories.
I've been reloading ammo since 1954 including a small commercial
handloading business during the mid 1970's as a part time business.
Dunno if you have a chronograph or not but I find mine to be one of my
handiest reloading tools I have. It's kept me from going too far more
than once. Handy gadget to have.
Anyway, welcome to the site.
Paul B.


Paul, only recently got a chronograph and am loving it...it's what reinvigorated my interest in reloading vice just loading for economy...   I do load hot a lot but i'm conscientious about the weapon it's being used in... my 44mag is a super blackhawk and my 45-70 a sabatti sxs.... i'm confident both can take more abuse than i can pack into their cartridges... I don't load crazy on my autos ...especially my EDC a Kimber micro 9... 8 grains of blue dot behind a 124gr hollow point for 1100fps and I'm happy. and even keep the 357 moderate as it's for my wife and is a sp101, one day i'd like to get a heavier frame and really see what I can make her do but for now I'm happy with my two pet cartridges.
Back to Top View Atavist's Profile Search for other posts by Atavist Visit Atavist's Homepage
 
Buffalogun
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: April 27 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 3330
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 06 2017 at 6:48am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun


My practice sort of parallels Paul's. I have used chono's for many years and find them to be a very valuable tool for loading.
They are particularly useful when working with a cartridge for which there isn't much available data.

I also prefer Winchester brass followed by some of the other brands. And, I don't load to max. I've gotten long brass life by loading to less than max and haven't lost any body parts or firearms.

What animal knows the difference between 3,000 fps. and 2,900 fps.? There is however a significant difference in pressure.

More important than the velocities I am getting while working up a load are the increases in velocity with the addition of more powder. It keeps me out of dangerous territory.


Mike

__________________
"Please Mr. Custer.......I don't want to go" Larry Verne
Back to Top View Buffalogun's Profile Search for other posts by Buffalogun
 
Old Ranger
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: April 11 2010
Location: East Texas
Posts: 3105
Online Status: Offline
Posted: August 06 2017 at 7:08am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Hey Rich, I used to shoot water buffalos with a.30'06Spr at our firebase up near the Ashau Valley when they'd stumble into the wire. Troop in the tower would holler down to get me and I'd pop em with the M70. Only one round of LC match ammo, and our cook was cutting meat with the MP's and a couple of grunts for security. Most shots were 200m or better. Our source for fresh meat.

I'm with you. Shot placement, and not sheer blasting power, is what counts.

__________________
"I ain't doin' nuthin' I can't do from a horse."

Monte Walsh
Back to Top View Old Ranger's Profile Search for other posts by Old Ranger
 
Kosh75287
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2005
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 458
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 06 2017 at 7:49am | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

I've had primer pockets loosen on pistol & revolver brass, from being reloaded over a dozen times. I just throw them in a box marked "loose", and only use them for ow-pressure loads. I've never had a primer pocket fail to retain a primer before I lose the case, or something else occurs. I make it a point to keep pressures low with brass like this, just in case it DOES fail.
Back to Top View Kosh75287's Profile Search for other posts by Kosh75287
 
RT58
Senior Member




Joined: August 04 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 390
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 06 2017 at 11:42am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I don't load anything hot, I have no reason to. If I need something more powerful, I reach for a more powerful cartridge.

Chronographs are great for giving you velocity information, but are not a good idea to use for internal ballistics. Large increases in pressure can result in small increases in velocity, especially with top end loads.

The relationship between pressure and velocity in firearms are not the same as it is with a pop-gun. Maximum chamber pressures are reached at about the same time as the bullet starts to move and the velocity at the muzzle is more the result of how much powder burned after it starts to move.

Edited by RT58 on September 06 2017 at 2:20pm
Back to Top View RT58's Profile Search for other posts by RT58
 
Kosh75287
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2005
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 458
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 06 2017 at 8:46pm | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

If I read any of the technical stuff right, the chronograph serves as an indicator of when to quit increasing the charge, rather than providing discernible signs of excessive pressure.

The plot of velocity vs. charge weight should have a fairly positive slope from the starting charge weight, upwards. Somewhere in the work-up the slope of that line will approach or even decrease below zero. In the absence of other more classical signs of excessive pressure at that point, it's difficult to say if pressures are safe or excessive. But in either case, it's probably wise to not increase the charge weight. Any further gain in velocity will probably be lost in the the variance.
Back to Top View Kosh75287's Profile Search for other posts by Kosh75287
 
Atavist
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: August 04 2017
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 170
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 06 2017 at 9:21pm | IP Logged Quote Atavist

You nailed it. Perfect example. When I load
my 44mag blackhawk with lasercast 300gr swc
with 10.5gr of blue dot I get 1098fps average
... when I go up to 11.5 it drops to 1023fps.
... droppING .1gr at a time I keep a 1090
average down to 10.2gr.... ideal max killing
power load found.... now most accurate load
is a whole other discussion
Back to Top View Atavist's Profile Search for other posts by Atavist Visit Atavist's Homepage
 
RT58
Senior Member




Joined: August 04 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 390
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 07 2017 at 5:45pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

Kosh75287 wrote:
If I read any of the technical stuff right, the chronograph serves as an indicator of when to quit increasing the charge, rather than providing discernible signs of excessive pressure.

The plot of velocity vs. charge weight should have a fairly positive slope from the starting charge weight, upwards. Somewhere in the work-up the slope of that line will approach or even decrease below zero. In the absence of other more classical signs of excessive pressure at that point, it's difficult to say if pressures are safe or excessive. But in either case, it's probably wise to not increase the charge weight. Any further gain in velocity will probably be lost in the the variance.


That makes sense, for what it's worth. As the charges increase the velocity increases. But what is missing there is the plot of pressures. As the charge goes up they increase at a greater rate than the velocity does. As you stated it's hard to tell if the pressures are safe or not, but it's also hard to tell if they were even safe when you started and the chronograph won't give you any clues about that.
Back to Top View RT58's Profile Search for other posts by RT58
 
Kosh75287
Senior Member


Avatar

Joined: December 13 2005
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 458
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 07 2017 at 7:11pm | IP Logged Quote Kosh75287

RT58 wrote:
Kosh75287 wrote:
If I read any of the technical stuff right, the chronograph serves as an indicator of when to quit increasing the charge, rather than providing discernible signs of excessive pressure.

The plot of velocity vs. charge weight should have a fairly positive slope from the starting charge weight, upwards. Somewhere in the work-up the slope of that line will approach or even decrease below zero. In the absence of other more classical signs of excessive pressure at that point, it's difficult to say if pressures are safe or excessive. But in either case, it's probably wise to not increase the charge weight. Any further gain in velocity will probably be lost in the the variance.


That makes sense, for what it's worth. As the charges increase the velocity increases. But what is missing there is the plot of pressures. As the charge goes up they increase at a greater rate than the velocity does. As you stated it's hard to tell if the pressures are safe or not, but it's also hard to tell if they were even safe when you started and the chronograph won't give you any clues about that.


The velocity/charge weight increases with a positive and continually decreasing slope, until at some point the slope approaches or falls below zero. That's your point of diminishing (or zero or negative)return, which tells you that while the pressure IS increasing, velocity is not, and that's probably a good point beyond which not to go.

What I actually said was: "In the absence of more classical signs of excessive pressure, it's difficult to say if pressures are safe or excessive." I suspect it is unlikely that you'll have diminishing returns with the chronograph without at least 1 other warning sign, so vigilance is a factor.

Your contention that it's hard to tell if if they [charge weights] were even safe to begin with is without foundation. The starting loads in reloading manuals are put there for a reason. They're considered safe starting charge weights from which the reloader can then work-up the combination in search of best results. Same rules apply concerning the other signs of excessive pressures, so look for them, even with starting loads, if you are not sure if you are in safe territory.

Will a chronograph replace a piezo-electric pressure transducer? No, absolutely not. But it DOES give the reloader one more way of discerning when he is about to go too far.
Back to Top View Kosh75287's Profile Search for other posts by Kosh75287
 
RT58
Senior Member




Joined: August 04 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 390
Online Status: Offline
Posted: September 08 2017 at 6:18am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Kosh75287 wrote:

What I actually said was: "In the absence of more classical signs of excessive pressure, it's difficult to say if pressures are safe or excessive." I suspect it is unlikely that you'll have diminishing returns with the chronograph without at least 1 other warning sign, so vigilance is a factor.

Your contention that it's hard to tell if if they [charge weights] were even safe to begin with is without foundation. The starting loads in reloading manuals are put there for a reason. They're considered safe starting charge weights from which the reloader can then work-up the combination in search of best results. Same rules apply concerning the other signs of excessive pressures, so look for them, even with starting loads, if you are not sure if you are in safe territory.

Will a chronograph replace a piezo-electric pressure transducer? No, absolutely not. But it DOES give the reloader one more way of discerning when he is about to go too far.


First of all, "excessive pressure" depends on the cartridge being loaded and not necessarily on when the velocity no longer increases with an increase in powder. As the charge weights get higher and the velocities get slower, the pressures jump up a lot faster and there is no way to tell when you exceeded a certain point or by how much. Also, different powders have different characteristics and all of them won't act the same way in similar situations.

As far as starting charge weights in manuals being safe, read the warnings in those manuals again. There are a lot of things that affect pressure and any substitution of components, equipment or technique can make a difference. Look at the example Atavist gave. Lasercast doesn't have any data in their manual using Blue Dot with their 300 gr. bullet. Looking at Lyman they list Blue Dot with their 300 gr. cast bullet and started where Atavist did. They worked up to a max. load slightly higher than where Atavist got his lower velocity and decided to back down. He was right in going lower than his starting point as it may very well have been too high also. Regardless of what the manuals say their pressures were when they worked them up, there is no way of knowing what you are getting, even if you get the same velocity average. They follow certain criteria when they work up their loads in a lab environment, or at least they are supposed to, but not every handloader has a lab in their basement so they don't have any real idea of what they are getting, they just like to assume they are.
Back to Top View RT58's Profile Search for other posts by RT58
 

Home | Load data | Articles | Ballistic Calc | Energy Calc

Page of 2 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

Powered by Web Wiz Forums version
Copyright ©2001-2008 Web Wiz Guide

This page was generated in 0.1563 seconds.