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Rifle Brass

One of the most common questions asked among reloading newcomers is how many times you can reload a specific caliber. Many times, this question will be asked in online forums and answered by many reloaders who say they can get “x” amount of reloads out of a specific caliber. Then, the beginner will expect to get that same amount of reloads out of their own brass only to have a good range day turn dangerous because they loaded the brass one too many times.

The answer to that question, however, isn’t so easy. The truth is there are so many variables that factor into how often you can reload a specific casing that it can’t be answered with a simple number. Let’s look at some of those factors.

Factors Effecting Reloading count

The factors effecting how often you can reload a specific casing are numerous. They include:

· Original Quality of the brass: If you are buying the cheaper brass ammo, chances are you won’t get as many reloads as you would if you purchased the higher quality.

· The caliber of the brass: The larger calibers undergo more pressure when fired, thus expanding the casings further with each shot.

· How “hot” the reload is: The more powder, and higher velocity, you shoot at, the more pressure that is put on the brass when firing.

· The equipment used: I.E. Full-length sizing resizes the entire casing while a neck sizing die only reforms the neck. Though which is better can be debated later, resizing the entire casing tends to put more of a wear factor on the brass.

· Primer Pocket Preparation: If you don’t clean the primer pocket, or at the very least inspect it, the primer pocket can get loose and cause gas and event he primer itself to fall out.

· And even the particular gun you are shooting from.

Always Carefully Examine the Casing

Reloading 101 states that you should be meticulous when examining the casing before reloading. This ensures the casing is strong enough hto withstand the pressure of another firing event. There have been times where the casing was only fired once but still showed signs of failure and, therefore, cannot be reloaded. Here are the points you want to look at when examining your rifle casings:

Case Necks: You want to make sure that there is no splitting, ragged edges, or any other signs of poor condition.

Case Rims: Signs of wear on this portion will be broken portions, chips, or other damage that effects the integrity of the casing.

Primer Pockets: You want to be sure the primers are still fitting snug, as well as making sure there are not tiny holes that have been burned through the casing.

Case Walls: This is the most important portion, and often most overlooked, in casing inspections. Often, the outer portion of the casing appears to be intact while the interior will begin showing signs of thinning. This happens as the brass expands after each firing. The best way to inspect the integrity of the inner portion is to take a bent paper clip and run it along the inside of the casing. Do so softly and slowly and, if there are thin areas developing, you will feel tiny ridges begin to form.