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Steel Cases: Reloadable?

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  • Steel Cases: Reloadable?

    I was out and about today and found a handful of "Wolf" brand .45 auto cases scattered on the ground. They are made in Russia of mild steel, and appear to have a light coating of varnish or some other such rust preventive. The primer appears to be a standard large-size and is NOT a Berdan type....just single flash hole like normal. What are the pros and cons of trying to reload these, or other, steel cases? I'm curious...


    Marshall/Ak
    "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

  • #2
    You might find this video informative. Good info just skip the last minute.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mbf4C-8ViM
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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    • #3
      Yeah, you can but why would you want to? I don't have first hand experience in reloading steel cases, well I did load a couple just to see if it would work, but I think it would be hard on dies. The steel may work harden faster than brass and would rust if not recoated. The only reloadable steel cases I have found have been in calibers that is easy to get brass for so I don't see why you would want to.

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      • #4
        They will get harder once fired and will not resize very well. If you ever get one stuck in the die you will wish you would have never tried reloading steel cases. They are hard on the die's as they are hard on the chamber of you rifle.
        I still shoot a lot of them because they are cheap but they are still hard on the chamber. They will start rusting pretty quickly after you fire them so itís hard to keep them clean from rust.
        sigpic
        Sweepint
        Wasilla,
        '' Livn' The Dream ''
        26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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        • #5
          I reloaded them in .30 carbine and .45 ACP years ago to see if it could be done. They worked O.K. as I recall.

          Reason to reload them would to get around the weak link of the brass case esp. in a .45 ACP. I would also expect the case capacity to be significantly larger also. So in theory one should be able to shoot a hotter load in a .45 ACP and maybe other calibers limited by the strength of the brass.

          Originally posted by rbuck351 View Post
          Yeah, you can but why would you want to? I don't have first hand experience in reloading steel cases, well I did load a couple just to see if it would work, but I think it would be hard on dies. The steel may work harden faster than brass and would rust if not recoated. The only reloadable steel cases I have found have been in calibers that is easy to get brass for so I don't see why you would want to.
          Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
          ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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          • #6
            I suppose you could load steel to higher pressures for those guns where the case is the limiter but I don't think your gain would make much difference as to the effectiveness of the 45acp. I don't really know but I would think the added slide velocity would help shorten the life of the gun. They do make bigger guns if you need more power.

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            • #7
              Interesting comments. I suppose there could be a few reasons one might reload steel cases. For me I was just asking out of curiosity. Saw them laying there, and thought "hmm...wonder if these could be reloaded?", kind of thing. One reason to reload them might be to make yourself cheap ammo for one-time use only, where you have no intention of recovering the cases. Like when you are out on snowshoes or skiis out in the woods, and every shot you fire the brass flies totally out of sight into deep powder. It's frustrating and time consuming trying to find brass buried deep in the snow. In that scenario I wouldn't care if they work-harden more than brass, they wouldn't be reloaded again anyway. I would just load them to standard pressure....I think loading them hotter just because the case is (supposedly) stronger is asking for trouble. Like rbuck said, if you need more power then go get a bigger gun. I don't own a .45....I was just curious if anybody bothered reloading steel cases, and what problems they had trying it.

              Marshall/Ak
              "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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              • #8
                The only reloadable steel cases I have seen have been 45,223 and 9mm. There may be others that I'm not aware of. But, as I have several thousand of each of these in brass, I think I will go with Sweepint and not risk sticking one in a die.

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                • #9
                  I've never tried it, fortunately there is plenty of brass 45 acp cases lying around at the range to pickup and reload, I just need to train my kids better to scrounge brass

                  As to running higher pressures in a steel cased 45 acp, that may be possible, but the issue with a 45 acp isn't just the case failing where it isn't support, higher pressures result in the slide coming back harder and battering the gun. Lots of reasons not to hotrod the grand old acp.
                  Last edited by Paul H; 03-16-2011, 09:11. Reason: posted before finished
                  Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                  If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul H View Post
                    . . .higher pressures result in the slide coming back harder and battering the gun.
                    A change n spring rates would fix that though.
                    Andy
                    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
                    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
                    Call/Text 602-315-2406
                    Phoenix Arizona

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