Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Keeping track of once, twice, thrice fired brass??

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,416

    Default Keeping track of once, twice, thrice fired brass??

    Do you guys keep your brass organized by how many times you've loaded it or just keep loading and inspecting it until the cases show signs of wear? I've heard of guys doing it both ways but using only new or once fired brass for say full power/hunting loads.

    At this point what I have is organized by once, twice thrice, etc.

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,736

    Default

    I have tried to organize brass by marker on base. Now what I do is sort out hunting loads by working up that load with say 20 once fired brass. Then I will take 50 or so more once fired brass and load the whole bunch up and label them as hunting only ammo(should be enough for several years). The rest of the brass I just shoot and look for signs of excess wear. The only loads I load to max are hunting loads.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Perry,

    The secret is Zip Lock bags. Batches, batches, batches. With handguns I do 50 or 100 round batches, Kept in a plastic ammo box or quite often just some mid sized industrial Zip Locks. I take ammo to the range with bags of a few rounds or a whole batch of a 100. I often mark on the bag with a sharpie what the load is if it is an experimental or test load and usually just five rounds and may have twenty bags each getting tested by the end of the day. Those rounds are then drop in the case tumbler and kept together in a bigger bag or one of my many plastic tubs. Usually the bags are mark with times fired (not times loaded).

    With handguns it isn't so critical how many times they are fired but with rifle hunting loads, they are only fired once then inspected and loaded for hunting ammo. Anything fired more than once is just practice or test ammo. I will usually exhaust forty rounds of test brass developing loads then load the desired quantity from once fired (moderate) brass, from the same lot, for serious duty applications.

    I am starting on a new project this week and will begin with 100 pieces of new brass, will form and fire that once with a fire forming load then use up forty or more peices in the development of two good hunting loads. I'll load five of my best guess load the incrementally increase with each bag of five. I will use the forty pieces over and over until they begin to fail with split necks or stretched primer pockets. I'll then toss into my scrap brass for recyle bucket. I don't really care how many times the cases are fired but I clean and inspect each case befor reloading.

    I will then load at least twenty rounds each of the two loads (two different bullet weights) in the unused, fire formed brass. Then delivery the ammo, any good brass and in this case the dies to the owner. I guess I have to give the rifle back, too.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In an easy chair in Cyberspace
    Posts
    2,316

    Default

    Since I only load for target rifle, each round, after firing, is carefully placed back in its original box, which is marked with the date of loading and the number of times reloaded. There they nestle, until loaded again.

    And even I manage to screw that up.

    The worst was I had 50 cases lovingly prepped for My M41B.....I have gotten as many as 13 loads out of these Lapua cases with trimming and annealing and this set was on load 6....

    I lost one. Now, I have an odd number. Its horrible. No symmetry.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    I am a sort of fanitic when it comes to brass for my hunting rifles but this is what I do.

    First thing I do is buy 100 cases and then I get an ammo box that will hold 50 rounds. I fire form the cases with a middle load taking the opportunity to get in some off hand practice. Then I take a small amount of these cases and work up a hunting load. Once I have a hunting load established I fill up a plastic ammo box with 50 rounds of ammo. 30 rounds on the left side of the case have only been fire formed onced and then loaded. The 20 on the right are kept for sighting in the rifle. Once I shoot any of the 30 on the left they go into the junk pile or replace one of the sight in loads.
    Just my $.02's
    Tennessee

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,802

    Default

    I must be doin some things right because, like Murphy, I use a lotta Ziplock bags.

    Talkin about Rifle Cartridges here.

    I keep track by putting a dot on the case head with a sharpy pen, for every time fired. First on the R, then the E, then the M, etc. for example.

    On the label of the box, I write "Firing 1", or "Firing 2", or "Firing 3", and so on.

    After a round is fired, before it leaves the box, I put another dot on it, and when I load a Fired 2 dot case I write "Firing 3" on the loading label.

    I usually store them in a bag, that is marked "Cases Fired __ Times.

    This doesn't mean I know what I'm doin, but at least I have some clue.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  7. #7

    Default

    I reload mostly for handgun calibers. When I first started reloading I was real particular with each piece of brass...cleaned the primer pockets, reamed the case mouths, measure the OAL, a spin thru the tumbler, etc. Grew out of that after a while when I realized it took up a lot of extra time and didn't seem to make any difference at all. Now I sort my brass by caliber only...I keep it all in 5lb coffee cans without regard to maker or how many times it's been fired. Sometimes I run them through the tumbler if they get real dirty but even that isn't often necessary. I have cases that have been reloaded dozens, maybe hundreds of times. When the case starts to split I throw it away. If I were loading more rifle calibers I might take a little more time, but not much. I'd certainly check the OAL every few times since that is more critical with a necked down case, but I don't think I'd do much more than I do for the handgun brass, except lube of course.

  8. #8
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default Am I the onley one to anneal??

    I anneal them every time I load fired rifle rounds and discard for anything off. They last a heck of a lot longer when annealed.

  9. #9
    Member markopolo50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Fenton,Michigan
    Posts
    838

    Default Anneal?

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    I anneal them every time I load fired rifle rounds and discard for anything off. They last a heck of a lot longer when annealed.
    ADfields, how do you anneal the cases? Do you heat the necks with the bases in water? Mark

  10. #10
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by markopolo50 View Post
    ADfields, how do you anneal the cases? Do you heat the necks with the bases in water? Mark
    Never tryed water as I think it would boil, but it may work.

    Midway USA has a kit by Hornady that will get you started.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=360902

    The kit will get you going but basically heat the bullet end with a plumbers torch to around 475f and then cool it rapidly to soften or "anneal" it. The kit has a fluid that you stand the brass up in exposing only the top half to the heat and when the flame is removed the fluid cools it fast. Most non ferrous mettles soften when quenched (cooled fast) and temper or harden when cooled very slowly. Ferrous mettle like iron and steel are exactly the opposite and become very hard or brittle when quenched and must be cooled very slowly to anneal.

    Andy

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    257

    Default

    water works.

    I stand cases up in a pan of water filled to cover about 1/2 of the case. Heat them up 1 at a time and tip them over. I try to do this every 3rd firing for my neck sized 338 nickle brass. I've got cases that have 20+ loadings on them. IF I skip a trip to the water, I get a total of 5 firings and the necks split and I start cussing! HA

  12. #12
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Yup, I was getting some split at 3 and by 5 it was like 40% with .357Mag plated brass. Thats why I started to anneal back about 1985. I have brass still today, about 40, from the first batch of 100 I ever annealed. They been loaded 30 or 35 times at least now. It's well worth the time to anneal brass, and I will give water a shot next time, thanks for the info.

    Andy

  13. #13
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    I anneal them every time I load fired rifle rounds and discard for anything off. They last a heck of a lot longer when annealed.

    No, but the question was how do you keep track of times fired brass and keep separated.

    I anneal new cases to be formed into another cartridge and sometimes after firing but I'm quite sure annealling isn't necessary every time the brass is fired. Also you description of the process is good but the temperature is 650F not 475F and you didn't mention how you know it is 475 degrees and know to dunk in water (or the juice you use), and you need to knock the cases over. Also it is important to soften only the neck and upper shoulder area.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Do you guys keep your brass organized by how many times you've loaded it or just keep loading and inspecting it until the cases show signs of wear? I've heard of guys doing it both ways but using only new or once fired brass for say full power/hunting loads.

    At this point what I have is organized by once, twice thrice, etc.
    With both handgun and rifle brass, I keep it segregated by purchase date, then write the date of the latest loading right on the box, whether a factory box or my own.

    I only load magnum handguns brass 3 or 4 times with hot loads, then relegate it to loads at moderate pressures. Once it has lived out its term using hot loads, I simply dump it into some 12"x12"x6" boxes I made out of 1/4" plywood with hinged lids and latches. Once a box is full of empty brass, I reload it all and carry that to the range along with an empty box. Then the cycle goes on. I keep using that till I start seeing small neck splits, then I do a careful sort before loading again. At some point (usually a dozen loadings or so), te splits become too consistent and I dump the whole box.

  15. #15
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    No, but the question was how do you keep track of times fired brass and keep separated.

    I anneal new cases to be formed into another cartridge and sometimes after firing but I'm quite sure annealing isn't necessary every time the brass is fired. Also you description of the process is good but the temperature is 650F not 475F and you didn't mention how you know it is 475 degrees and know to dunk in water (or the juice you use), and you need to knock the cases over. Also it is important to soften only the neck and upper shoulder area.
    True, every time is not needed, but if you do it every time there is no need to keep track of how many times they have been fired, so I don't see how it's off topic here.

    As to the other stuff, I am a certified welder, and a mechanist with blacksmithing and gun hobeis. I do know a little about metallurgy form doing all this stuff. Anything over 475f will anneal coper. As to knocking them over I said . . .

    "heat the bullet end with a plumbers torch to around 475f and then cool it rapidly"

    Take your pick on the thousands of ways to rapidly cool (quench) them, do it your way.

    I was just sharing in an attempt to aid fellow gun people. I thought that was what this forum is for.

    I,m not one of them guys who wont tell fellow enthusiasts where my fishing hole is, are you?

    Andy

  16. #16
    Member markopolo50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Fenton,Michigan
    Posts
    838

    Default Sorting shell casings

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    True, every time is not needed, but if you do it every time there is no need to keep track of how many times they have been fired, so I don't see how it's off topic here.

    As to the other stuff, I am a certified welder, and a mechanist with blacksmithing and gun hobeis. I do know a little about metallurgy form doing all this stuff. Anything over 475f will anneal coper. As to knocking them over I said . . .

    "heat the bullet end with a plumbers torch to around 475f and then cool it rapidly"

    Take your pick on the thousands of ways to rapidly cool (quench) them, do it your way.

    I was just sharing in an attempt to aid fellow gun people. I thought that was what this forum is for.

    I,m not one of them guys who wont tell fellow enthusiasts where my fishing hole is, are you?

    Andy
    Andy, I haven't been keeping very good track of my reloads, meaning the # they have been reloaded. I certainly need to get more organized but that is the reason I asked about the annealing process. You have it down but one question is how do you tell the 475 degrees? By the color? I know certain oil hardened steel can be judged by the color of the steel as you heat it. I would appreciate any help and will start sorting my cases, probably with ziploc bags. Thanks, Mark

  17. #17
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Don't know that I have it down, the more I learn the more questions I have.

    Color will work but the anneal liquid I use will start to bubble when its hot enough. If you are doing nickle cases they will go purple or blue (I'm red green color blind so cant tell them apart) if you get to hot and stay that way. It won't harm them just ugly and takes a long time tumbling in walnut hulls to get them looking new.

    Andy

  18. #18
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    759

    Default

    i keep once fired brass in a big plastic pail and load them as needed. generally they go in another pail when fired and these are inspected before reloading again. using standard brass (for 06,whelen, and 308 i can get 7 or more reloads. the primer pockets usually tell me when to quit.....as the case necks last a long time.

    who the heck says thrice???

    happy trails.
    jh

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    True, every time is not needed, but if you do it every time there is no need to keep track of how many times they have been fired, so I don't see how it's off topic here.

    As to the other stuff, I am a certified welder, and a mechanist with blacksmithing and gun hobeis. I do know a little about metallurgy form doing all this stuff. Anything over 475f will anneal coper. As to knocking them over I said . . .

    "heat the bullet end with a plumbers torch to around 475f and then cool it rapidly"

    Take your pick on the thousands of ways to rapidly cool (quench) them, do it your way.

    I was just sharing in an attempt to aid fellow gun people. I thought that was what this forum is for.

    I,m not one of them guys who wont tell fellow enthusiasts where my fishing hole is, are you?

    Andy
    OK. I wasn't pickin' on ya. You said heat to about 475 I wandered how you know when you reach 475 as there is no color change in brass at 475F. Also, every thing you will find written about annealling cases requires heating to 650 degrees. I will contend that very little softening is taking place by heating to 475 and allowing to cool while standing in the liquid. I have foir about 40 years used plain cold water to rapidly quench and soften cases also the cases are heated to 650 by watching for the red color or using a temperature crayon found at welding supply stores and of course they come in 475 degree sizes too and it would seem a much better way to determine the temp. And as far as cases lasting a long time, my cases last for twenty or more loadings without annealling, often many more. And where they wear out is in the primer pocket stretch, more often than not, and that part isn't annelled. The point being, there is much more to making caes last a long time than just annealling.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  20. #20
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    OK. I wasn't pickin' on ya. You said heat to about 475 I wandered how you know when you reach 475 as there is no color change in brass at 475F. Also, every thing you will find written about annealling cases requires heating to 650 degrees. I will contend that very little softening is taking place by heating to 475 and allowing to cool while standing in the liquid. I have foir about 40 years used plain cold water to rapidly quench and soften cases also the cases are heated to 650 by watching for the red color or using a temperature crayon found at welding supply stores and of course they come in 475 degree sizes too and it would seem a much better way to determine the temp. And as far as cases lasting a long time, my cases last for twenty or more loadings without annealling, often many more. And where they wear out is in the primer pocket stretch, more often than not, and that part isn't annelled. The point being, there is much more to making caes last a long time than just annealling.
    Not a problem. If you want to the primer pocket can be fixed also with a primer pocket crimper for military Braden (sp?) type priming rig and a reamer. There are a bunch of little tricks like this that extend the life of casings. When I was a kid and no one was into the cowboy shooting yet I was into old oddball lever guns I could get at a pawn shop for 8 to 15 bucks. Then go scrounge around for brass for them, one here, five there, and so on. Like for a 45-65 Winchester. When you only got 11 brass and are a kid that loves to shoot ya got to learn to fix brass.

    Andy

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •