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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reloading 357 Mag for a couple of years and, to be honest, can't count how many times I've reloaded my brass. I probably have several hundred cases that don't appear to have any problems. I usually load lower to mid range mag loads.

Last night, however, I was priming and the primers seemed to be seating very easily with my Lee hand primer BUT I ran out of my usual CCI primers and started using my stash of Remington primers. Could the difference in seating "feel" just be from switching brands, or is my brass finally ready to retire?
 

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Nah, just keep shooting them until the necks split or the primers fall out. I've heard about some people using the same 38/357 brass for 30 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nah, just keep shooting them until the necks split or the primers fall out. I've heard about some people using the same 38/357 brass for 30 years.
The primers seem to be seated fine but sure did seat easily.

I actually did take a few cases and light tapped the rims on the table just to see if they would fall out!
 

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There is a noticeable difference in CCI versus Winchester small rifle primers. Not huge but noticable. I suspect mostly the result of how stiff the sides of the primers are but could also have something to do with the precise dimensions.

As for brass wearing out l think one thing you may check for is thinning of the wall in the web area near the head. From what I have read this is more of an issue with rifle cartridges pushing max pressures.
 

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.357/.38 Special brass, loaded to mid range or less, last pretty much forever. If they're not split or deformed, you're fine.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice. I'll continue to monitor the brass. Hopefully it's just the new primers.
 

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Not .357 but .45 Colt. I got tired of trying to keep track of how many times I've reloaded some of my cases because after an outing they all get de primed and cleaned then tossed in a box to fill em' up again. Some I know have been loaded at least 10 or 12 times. I just check em' over good when seating primers and toss em' if they are bad. in the last year I've junked 2 cases.
 

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There can be a great deal of difference in how primers seat. I once had some CCI550 magnums that were hard to seat. When I started using a LEE autoprime I realized more differences. Today I loaded some with Winchester WSP and Federal 200 primers. The Winchester were easier to seat.
I shoot my 357 brass until it splits. However, for some reason my brass gets shorter most of the time instead of needing trimming. The short brass does not crimp the same so I measure and keep the shorter brass separate and load it together. It is not to short to load, just shorter than most of the rest.
 

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I've reloaded some of my .357 Mag brass more than 20 times without any problems except for the occasional split at the case mouth - that's where it gets the most work. I've never even had to trim the brass, since it never seems to get too long.

In my experience, the brass that has the shortest life (in my collection) is my .22 Hornet. I got tired of the cases splitting after only a few reloads (and it's not a high pressure round), so I had it re-chambered for the .22 K-Hornet and just neck size the brass.


Jim
 

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Not .357 but .45 Colt. I got tired of trying to keep track of how many times I've reloaded some of my cases because after an outing they all get de primed and cleaned then tossed in a box to fill em' up again. Some I know have been loaded at least 10 or 12 times. I just check em' over good when seating primers and toss em' if they are bad. in the last year I've junked 2 cases.

+1! I am the same way with 9mm & .45 acp. I could not keep up with it, so as a matter of preventive maintenance, after 12-18 months, it all goes in the recycle bin & I get out another 250 cases. I have them primed, sized, flared & ready to load. When I put a new batch of whatever size in the rotation, I get another 250 ready again.:cool:
 

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Following up on the responses (not wanting to hijack this thread).

Do all of you decide to trash (pistol) cases based exclusively on what you see (split neck, deformation, ...) or are there people who also have a rule of thumb to throw out cases based on nr. of reloads regardless of how the case looks?

E.g. One of my friends keeps his .357 in batches, if one case of a batch shows signs of being overly used, he throws out the whole batch regardless of their condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Following up on the responses (not wanting to hijack this thread).

Do all of you decide to trash (pistol) cases based exclusively on what you see (split neck, deformation, ...) or are there people who also have a rule of thumb to throw out cases based on nr. of reloads regardless of how the case looks?

E.g. One of my friends keeps his .357 in batches, if one case of a batch shows signs of being overly used, he throws out the whole batch regardless of their condition.
I'm like the others and have just thrown all my brass together and will continue to use it until obvious signs of wear appear (splits mostly ). I have yet to see one and bet I have 20 reloads on some of my brass.
The primer pockets are a bit concerning for me. I'll be monitoring closely.
 

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Following up on the responses (not wanting to hijack this thread).

Do all of you decide to trash (pistol) cases based exclusively on what you see (split neck, deformation, ...) or are there people who also have a rule of thumb to throw out cases based on nr. of reloads regardless of how the case looks?

E.g. One of my friends keeps his .357 in batches, if one case of a batch shows signs of being overly used, he throws out the whole batch regardless of their condition.
I use all my brass until it wears out. There's no need to throw away brass based on some hypothetical lifespan. I even do that for 223 brass. When the neck splits I chop it down and turn it into 300 aac blackout brass and use it until it wears out. To me it doesn't matter if it's pistol, revolver, rifle or even shotgun hulls. I use them until they wear out.
 

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It's funny that you mention Remington primers. I am not a fan and don't trust anything they make. Even my Remington .38spl brass is weird, it's the one brand that I can't reload along with all my other mix, I think it's too thin and gets over flared so much that bullets drop right in. Now on the other end of the spectrum, my CCI brass-that stuff is Boss, so thick that it's hard to work with some days. I have 1,000 assorted .38 brass and all have been reloaded about 4 times personally, and who knows how many times before I got it since it was factory reloads, and out of all that I have only gotten one split neck.
 

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If the brass isn't split, primers are not overly loose, as in signs of leakage AROUND primer, or extremely easy to seat...........the brass is fine. I have some 357 and 41 mag brass from the 70s and has been reloaded no telling how many times. I also load most of my stuff pretty darn hot
 

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GONRA has said this before - but its kinda "on topic" here:

Shootin' my .357 mag "modest land loads" in my S&W Scandium doped Aluminum Alloy light weight revolver,
had fired cases sticking in cylinder chambers!

Repeating the handloading exercise with BRAND NEW IMI Nickel PLATED CASES -
all other components / handloading specs the same - NO MORE STICKING CASES!

Maybe my randomly picked up over the years "range brass" was "WORNOUT" in some fashion?
Never really figgered it all out. You experts can do that...

So, just loaded piles of ammo in the IMI cases.
 

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Following up on the responses (not wanting to hijack this thread).

Do all of you decide to trash (pistol) cases based exclusively on what you see (split neck, deformation, ...) or are there people who also have a rule of thumb to throw out cases based on nr. of reloads regardless of how the case looks?

E.g. One of my friends keeps his .357 in batches, if one case of a batch shows signs of being overly used, he throws out the whole batch regardless of their condition.

I don't discard any brass unless it shows signs of damage. Splits, cracks or a shiny ring around the case head are what I look for. I do keep track of how many times I've reloaded my rifle brass just so I have some idea of how much work hardening the brass has. When I start seeing increasing signs of failure in a batch of rifle brass, I "retire" (send to the metal recycler) the whole batch.

Again, for pistol brass, I inspect it after I clean it, but I no longer bother to keep track of how many times it has been reloaded. The only exception is my .44 Mag reloads - my "full power" reloads are only in brass that has been fired at most twice and afterwards I put a mark in red lacquer on the base to show that it shouldn't be given a "hot" reload again. That's probably overly cautious, but it's what I do.


Jim
 

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I started recycling old brass after keeping it around for a while. I recycle, then i exchange for "once fired brass" from a guy who picks up from the ranges and sells on the Internet or other.....

Ive had 357 magnum cases necks become too soft? And wont hold the rounds in under recoil. (Recently : i was shooting my 627 and had the 7th 38 special round pop out and spill all the powder......not good!) Ive had hot 357 load bullets pop out more than 1/8th" even under a heavy cannalure crimp! When you see this; throw (recycle) out!

Lead will last longer with its lower velocities, but if you use plated or jacketed, then add high velocity (more powder) then it gets both dangerous and fun!

Ive re-used 9mm, 45 acp, 40 s&w!
Anything with a long neck? 38 specials, 357? Necks become weak or crack. Primers leak. I even tried annealing! I think the best bet is: if you find bad ones in a bunch, throw them all out!
I'll value your life more than a squib load! Loading is a dangerous art.
 
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