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Reloading questions...

Can't go wrong with a Dillon either, I bought a 550B around 1995 when I was shooting comp matches alot. I sold it around 2005, still regret that.
 
Great post. Casting, too, is a hobby in itself.

AA
It really is!

I've accumulated a disturbing number of NOE and MP 4 cavity molds, several hollowpoint, and a few out of production BRP molds, a few custom ones from Accurate ( .351 Winchester SLR anyone?) and quite a few more mundane Lee and Lyman molds. I'm a tool junkie and molds are tools...
Buy once cry once. They last a lifetime taken care of and don't depreciate much.

I recommend anybody starting in casting think big! When you're making them economy of scale is huge. Being able to smelt larger amounts of wheel weights is very helpful, for one thing.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
Make sure this WWs aren't zinc! I almost never come across lead WWs.

Molds. I love buying used steel Lyman molds... For who used them? Someone with advanced ballistics knowledge and quite likely cared for guns and tools well.

He might be DEAD now, but hey. I use dead guys razors all the time, too!


AA
 
I have one or two H&G molds, a real Cadillac from the past! Ballisticast took them over when they retired, I have a 4 cavity 45 swc mold from them that I like but we did a group buy for a 7mm mold that they screwed the dimensions up on 3 times, so they're kinda hit or miss.

Arsenal Molds started off as I understand it producing molds for NOE but after he moved it in house they saw a niche and stuck out on their own. They make a nice mold too.

I've been fortunate and caught the few zinc weights that I missed in the initial culling floating on the surface when I'm scraping the steel clips out.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
I know there will some variance, but how many reloads can one expect to get out of good handgun brass? Will you get less reloads of a .357 magnum vs. .38 special, or are the cases made thicker?
 

Rudy Vey

Contributor
Vendor
I know there will some variance, but how many reloads can one expect to get out of good handgun brass? Will you get less reloads of a .357 magnum vs. .38 special, or are the cases made thicker?
Until it splits!! I read of some guys on the reloading fora that load major and they have used brass a dozen times or more.
Bought some used 38 spl a few years ago and have reloaded them at least 5 times, and have had maybe some 3-5 cases that split in total. So not many. For 357 mag I bought new Starline brass and this is as good as one can get.
 
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oc_in_fw

Contributor
Until it splits!! I read of some guys on the reloading fora that load major and they have used brass a dozen times or more.
Bought some used 38 spl a few years ago and have reloaded them at least 5 times, and have had maybe some 3-5 cases that split in total. So not many. For 357 mag I nought new Starline brass and this is as good as one can get.
Thanks
 
I’ve encountered plenty of 38spl, some 357mag and a handful of 45acp cases that are just plain worn out and never failed by splitting. 38/357 nickel plating nearly 100%worn away. All 3 calibers I’ve experienced them worn to the point the case walls are so thin they are unable to retain a projectile after sizing.

But yes, straight walled pistol cartridges get loaded til they fail which is 98% of the time a split.
 
Not a bad idea to anneal the 1/4 around the case mouth, but most people don't bother with pistol. They'd probably go a very long time if you did.

357 (or really anything) will depend how hard you hotrod it. If you are hotrodding it you may loosen the primer pockets well before you split the necks.
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
I’ve encountered plenty of 38spl, some 357mag and a handful of 45acp cases that are just plain worn out and never failed by splitting. 38/357 nickel plating nearly 100%worn away. All 3 calibers I’ve experienced them worn to the point the case walls are so thin they are unable to retain a projectile after sizing.

But yes, straight walled pistol cartridges get loaded til they fail which is 98% of the time a split.
Thanks. I was about to get all anal about keeping track of how many reloads with color coded boxes and such. :)
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Not a bad idea to anneal the 1/4 around the case mouth, but most people don't bother with pistol. They'd probably go a very long time if you did.

357 (or really anything) will depend how hard you hotrod it. If you are hotrodding it you may loosen the primer pockets well before you split the necks.
Probably won’t get too crazy. :)
 
I was laughing to myself about a friend of mine's adventures with a 357 Maximum Encore as I typed that. He ALWAYS gets carried away. Fortunately not so far WE have had to carry him.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador
I think 45 Colt can be reloaded forever ... I don't even count with 38 Special.

Rifle rounds - which stretch - are another story.


AA
 

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
Contributor
I have some .45 ACP cases that I have shot for decades, wore off most of the nickel plating, some of the primer pockets are a little loose, but I reload them anyways. More likely to lose them in the grass or accidently crush them in the reloading process than to wear them out.
 
When I had my Dillon I was shooting IDPA like an addict! I bought 1000 pieces of .45ACP Starline brass and went to town! I know for a FACT that I went thru 15000 Laser Cast (Back before the take over. Good people!) 200gr SWC bullets. Figure lost and stepped on cases and I'm sure I had 16 to 18 reloads per case. I am not a fan of reloading nickel plated due to hydrogen embrittlement (Had a .357 Sig P229 and it split every Gold Dot case it ate!). As @Ad Astra mentioned rifle cases are a different beast. I can load light and might see .001" of stretch. Loading the hotness? I've seen .010" stretch. This is where it gets scary. Is that the case neck thinning out and getting longer? Or is it coming front the web? I have yet to experience incipent case head separation (AKA Tearing a case in two and I would like to avoid it! All that pressure is not going where you want it to.) and would like to avoid it so I mic at the point where failure should occur and if I see more than .002" growth I chuck the case (Remember that paranoia comment?). Anyways... 15 reloads should be doable!
 
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