once fired brass

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  • once fired brass

    okay I am reading lyman's reloading handbook. This is the 48th edition so a little dated but not to bad.

    right there on page 32 i read

    CAUTION: Never load cartridge cases from an
    unknown source, i.e. cases picked up at the range or
    purchased as once-fired brass. Use only brand new
    brass or cases obtained as the result of firing factory
    ammo in your firearm.

    Now I have to ask as I was told this book was the bomb along with the ABC's of reloading, how hard fast is this rule. I know several gun shops that sell once fired brass. Is this stuff junk for target practice/hunting loads. Or does he mean you wont get the height of accuracy out of it. Or does he mean your gun will EXPLODE (dramatic pause) opinions, ideas, new book suggestions please insert them here.
    "He got the whole nine yards" - as it happens World War II (1939–1945) aircraft machine gun belts (US 50 cal) were nine yards long.

  • #2
    I've used loads of brass from unknown sources, for handgun.

    It really comes down to the loads your running, if its max .38 super loads then I would use brass with a known history, same for 5.7x28, but for light/mid range target loads in 9mm and .38 special loads its fine just check the brass after firing and before reloading.
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing” - Edmund Burke


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      Editing a comment
      Using others brass from the range would be ok if you inspect it properly & full length size it but I would only be using it for hunting of course!
      The only thing is you don't know is how many times it has been fired but there are normally a lot of people that leave their newly fired factory brass!
      Personally I wouldn't bother with it as I like to use cases of the same brand so they are close to the same case volume which helps with accuracy.

  • #3
    When brass is fired it expands to fit the chamber of the rifle before contracting slightly to allow extraction, otherwise it would get stuck in there with a press fit. Then when resized, whether partially or full length, it gets squeezed back down so it will fit back in the chamber easily. All this working of the brass with each reloadin cycle makes it harder, less elastic and therefore less able to withstand the firing and resizing process. After a batch of brass starts to get a few with some splits in the neck or thinner in the area just before the web, most reloaders junk the whole batch and start again. On my last firing I just leave them on the range. So when someone else picks them up, they may be on the verge of failure, anything from a minor crack in the neck area to a worse case of catastrophic head separation, which could cause destruction of the firearm or the shooters face. you can avoid this risk by using brass with a known history. Brass is relatively cheap, really. The initial purchase can be more than a $1 per case, but over 10 reloads, that's only 10c. Is it worth the risk, especially if you're inexperienced?

    If you are new to reloading I suggest that you just buy a new batch of brass, or fire a few boxes of factory stuff through your own rifle and reload those cases until you get more familiar with it all.

    But I reckon you're doing exactly the right thing, reading your manuals in detail and I encourage you to continue asking questions. You'll find a few common themes among all loading manuals, only using brass with a known history is one of them, never exceeding max loads, starting at minimum and increasing powder charges gradually etc etc. All good advice and I'd encourage you to stick to it until you gain more experience - and probably after you've gained said experience too.
    If I knew I was gonna live this long I would've taken better care of myself