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When should I throw away my brass?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/25/2013 at 22:18
Gil P. View Drop Down
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As im sure all of you know there is component deficit going on right now for reloading, so I was wondering, how many times should I reuse my brass?
I bought a bag of 50 winchester 308 cases a little while ago and I have used each of them 10 times. They arent cracking or anything yet and still seem useable. How do I know when to stop using them? The primer pockets are getting looser but are not too loose.
 
Do you other reloaders wait until your cases fail, or play it safe and just toss them after a certain number of firings? Im not loading my cases really hot, im staying under the max pressures listed in my Lyman manual. I have other newer brass but, I wanted a more experienced opinionso I can save my components and use them a little longer if its safe.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/25/2013 at 23:30
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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I never throw them away until they crack or become destroyed then I throw them in a bucket  because scrap brass is worth money recycled.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2013 at 01:46
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If your loads are not hot you should get more then 10 reloads, maybe up to 15+
 
I keep reloading as said above: When primer pockets are very stretched. That is for me the first place that goes.
 
If you anneal the case necks evry 5th reload, they last longer too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2013 at 06:17
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Thanks for the replies, ill keep using them until they fail. There is a recycling place near my house I can take my old brass to as well.
 
8shots, im happy with the number of reloads im getting out of the cases now and I dont want to buy more equipment to anneal the cases. Is there an easier (cheaper) way to do it?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2013 at 07:54
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Use Lapua brass, my friend. You will be glad you did. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2013 at 08:33
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Originally posted by 8shots 8shots wrote:

If your loads are not hot you should get more then 10 reloads, maybe up to 15+
 
I keep reloading as said above: When primer pockets are very stretched. That is for me the first place that goes.
 
If you anneal the case necks evry 5th reload, they last longer too.
 
 
     ^this.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2013 at 09:54
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Resizing is really what wears the brass out fastest.  Sizing it back and forth by firing then resizing work hardens the brass.  The neck is typically the first place to fail.  You have done well if you have reloaded 10 times and not annealed and are not having problems yet.  I anneal every 3 firings so the neck material stays soft.

Hornady sells an annealing kit, I think it is around $60.  It just comes with the brass holders you can chuck up in your drill to spin them, and some paste to put on them that melts at a certain temp.  You then need a little propane torch to heat them up.  I have found it takes about 9 seconds for the neck to get to the proper temp.  Then you just drop them into a bucket of ice water, to cool them quickly.  That way the heat does not keep moving up the brass body toward the head as you do not want to soften up the head.   Having them in a spinning drill makes certain you are annealing them evenly. 

I have 100 fed brass I have been experimenting with.  I don't load them super hot either, and have reached 15 firings now.  I have annealed them every 3.

As far as the hornady kit goes, I am sure those little things you chuck up in the drill could be make pretty easily.  I bought them because I am lazy Wink.  The paste you really only need to use a couple times just to see how long it takes for it to melt.  It really makes a mess on the brass and is hard to get off once it is melted on the brass.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2013 at 20:42
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Thats a long time for federal brass, I might try annealing later on down the road and see how it works. How close do you put the case to the flame?
 
Will Lapua brass last much longer than my Winchester brass?
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