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Steel case vs Brass case - reloading

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  • Garand
    replied
    Decades ago I tried to reload steel .45 acp casings back when I was shooting IPSC, I found that I was never able to get a crimp that would hold tight.

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  • registror
    replied
    just tried it and the message is "you are not authorized to use this page"

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  • Armyjimbo
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    If you go to the forum topic it should be in look for this it has the new topic button right there

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  • registror
    replied
    hth do I start a new topic on this site? I dont see a way to do so?

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  • Armyjimbo
    replied
    Registror that's correct , however the weak point in the system is primer availability. I saw what happened last election, and stocked upon those. Brass can be salvaged (I do a lot of picking up at the range), powders can be switched, bullets can be cast. But primers unless your willing to really go down the rabbit hole are a 1 time use commodity. I have seen successful reuse of them on YOUTUBE but like reloading .22lr it really is a lot of effort.

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  • registror
    replied
    Originally posted by Defcon09 View Post
    Not new to reloading but am new to loading steel cases vs brass cases. Me and my boys have moved over to 223 AR caliber and was given a few different brands to break the gun in. Among these were a box of WOLF and TCW steel cases, nothing new there but, both are using boxer primers. I managed to pick up a box of TulAmmo small rifle primers at a good price. But, the box does not indicate if they were boxer or berdan. Since the box says "small rifle" I assume they were boxer. Fast forward - - - after shooting some brass and steel ammo I decided to look into reloading a few rounds of the steel stuff. Looks like nothing unusual. Primers fit so decided to try some of the brass cases. However, only 1 round of 10 allowed the primer to insert under normal squeeze using a Lee hand prime tool. After a few rounds of frustration I decided to measure the diameter of the primer and primer hole in both materials. The sr primers measured .0015 +/- larger than the primer hole in the brass. Evidently the TulAmmo primers are made for the steel cases and not the brass (USA made?) I tool a few brass cases and removed about .001" or just enough for the primer to insert under a firm but good install. Since then both the steel and brass rounds shot fine. On another note I did find the steel cases did not want to resize as easily as the brass case. I had to make small adjustments in the die to get the neck opening to resize and still used a lot of force on the handle! Thoughts and suggestions...……...
    I would think that the steel cases would wear out your reloading dies in short order. Every range I've ever gone to had brass 223 cases and 9mm cases laying everywhere, so I dont think that there's a shortage of either. I've always heard that sizing the steel cases removes the coating that keeps them from rusting and seizing up in your chamber, so I'd avoid reloading them. They are likely to cause breakage of your extractor/ejector. One if the cases are too hard to extract, the other if lube the chamber walls and the cases extract too easily.

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  • Defcon09
    replied
    Originally posted by Armyjimbo View Post
    That seems to be the rest of the story. Not malleable enough with the die pressure. I'm always interested if someone can make it work, but right now its a a fail.FIRST ATTEMPT I LEARNED!
    I am thinking about making a jig with a hole the size needed to resize the neck. This will be made from UHMW or HDPE to see if the case is easily removed.

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  • Defcon09
    replied
    Further investigation on the primer issue inserting my TulAmmo boxer primers into brass. If you remember in the first postings my comments on difficulty putting the primers in? I found a video about "primer crimps". It seems US makers of commercial loaded brass crimp the primers in the pocket. This leaves a small edge around the perimeter of the pocket that must be removed. When I did this the primers went in fine with what felt like a normal amount of pressure in the hand primers. Making progress.

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  • Milo Mindbender
    replied
    Ammo stored at proper temps, and humidity will last a really long time. .Mil spec ammo is sealed with a laquer on the primer and case neck for additional protection.
    IIRC ammo from WW1 is still being found across Europe, and passes fire testing.

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  • Armyjimbo
    replied
    That seems to be the rest of the story. Not malleable enough with the die pressure. I'm always interested if someone can make it work, but right now its a a fail.FIRST ATTEMPT I LEARNED!

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  • Defcon09
    replied
    Well, the grandson shot some of the reloads this week. I think we will NOT be reloading the steel stuff. Just can't rely on the resizing die to make a usable neck size. It appears the steel cases will not hold a size small enough to seat the bullet. When chambering a reloaded steel round the bullet gets pushed deeper into the case. Even though the die will squeez the neck to .221/.222 it will not stay there. Soooo, looks like we are sticking with brass.

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  • Armyjimbo
    replied
    I'm shooting ammo that was packed in 1987. As to DIY I am not sure but, I'm sure it's possible.

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  • Nik
    replied
    A lonnng-term question...

    As I understand it, primers are not something you can make yourself. Nasty, count-your-fingers, toxic chemicals, spontaneous combustion etc etc...

    What's the storage life ??

    So then you're down to flint/steel musketry ? Or is there a reliable way to initiate gunpowder in reloaded brass cases without primer ??

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  • Armyjimbo
    replied
    TBH I have no idea.im drawing a blank

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  • Defcon09
    replied
    Originally posted by herk7769 View Post

    My first thought.
    Well, it could be. But then why do the primers fit the steel cases perfectly? I mic'ed the primer hole in the steel and brass and get a different measurement.

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