Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 1/5/2014 2:45:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2014 3:56:01 PM EDT by Scorpius]
So reading lots of threads and seeing people like dryflash reload it. found some steel in my junk brass bucket and pulled it out. Going to reload it and see how it goes.

Observations thus far.

- Primer Pocket uniforming works with the steel just like brass, no wear noticed on the cutter, figure carbide blades are meant to take it anyhow.

- sizing, well I did notice that brass forms much better and that while for brass my dies are nuts on where I like them I was actually getting higher readings from the steel, thus I had to turn then down slightly more to get the sizing I prefer. I take it this is due to brass being softer and easier to form and less springback than steel.

Tumbling the lube off now. can't wait to load em.

btw....read up on testing here. interesting article.

I imagine since I'm using copper jacketed 55gr FMJ's from hornady I won't be dealing with the same bi-metal rounds mentioned :-) however interesting pics, pretty much all the barrels look bad for the wear.
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 3:55:34 PM EDT




Not too bad. Other differences I noticed.

- Primers seat more firmly

-definitely bevel case mouths, or you'll shave brass

-seating was a little more firm as well.

Not sure if I'd do this often, but it's definitely doable. Perhaps I should just pick it all up throw it in buckets and store in for the event that brass becomes extinct / hard to find / costly or people start paying for steel for reloading :-)

I'd be willing to bet some rust preventative in an ammo can would keep these just fine over the years.

Link Posted: 1/5/2014 4:08:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 4:29:22 PM EDT
I really want to try this
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 4:29:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2014 4:30:12 PM EDT by Scorpius]
have you ever tried to wet tumble the rusty brass from the range? I'm thinking

- grab up with magnet

- deprime

- throw in wet tumbler just like brass

- dry in dehydrator (I'd think this would ease any rust formation)

- the dry tumble to put some 'coating' on it from the polish (nu-finish)

- inspect..toss out any that are pitted badly. (could do this up from, but might cull out too many that just 'look' ugly but once cleaned aren't).

Anyone try this? I might just for the heck of it next time I hit the range. worst case...they hit the trash.
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 5:21:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Scorpius:
have you ever tried to wet tumble the rusty brass from the range? I'm thinking

- grab up with magnet

- deprime

- throw in wet tumbler just like brass

- dry in dehydrator (I'd think this would ease any rust formation)

- the dry tumble to put some 'coating' on it from the polish (nu-finish)

- inspect..toss out any that are pitted badly. (could do this up from, but might cull out too many that just 'look' ugly but once cleaned aren't).

Anyone try this? I might just for the heck of it next time I hit the range. worst case...they hit the trash.
View Quote


This is one of my questions as I only own a wet tumbler at the moment
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 5:50:08 PM EDT
Scorpius, I assume these are berdan primed?
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 5:50:16 PM EDT
I would be very careful of rusted cases. It would not have to be very deep to cause permanent defects in the surface. If you give any metal a starting point or weak spot to start a  crack it is a bad thing.

Personally I don't see any reason to mess with steel .223 cases. You could stash away enough brass to last a few life times.

dryflash, How many cycles to you get from your steel cases? I would think it is much less than brass.
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 6:18:07 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jailer:
Scorpius, I assume these are berdan primed?
View Quote


nope. boxer. Those berdan's appear to be more trouble than they are worth to me.
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 6:18:43 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Motor1:
I would be very careful of rusted cases. It would not have to be very deep to cause permanent defects in the surface. If you give any metal a starting point or weak spot to start a  crack it is a bad thing.

Personally I don't see any reason to mess with steel .223 cases. You could stash away enough brass to last a few life times.

dryflash, How many cycles to you get from your steel cases? I would think it is much less than brass.
View Quote


yup definitely....I'm thinking surface rust only. any pitted stuff I'd want to steer clear of.
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 7:20:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 7:26:30 PM EDT
Maybe its just the pics, but it looks like the varnish has been removed from the steel cases.  Do you guys remove the varnish first or just go with it?
Link Posted: 1/5/2014 7:31:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2014 5:45:10 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jasonsbeer:
Maybe its just the pics, but it looks like the varnish has been removed from the steel cases.  Do you guys remove the varnish first or just go with it?
View Quote


Reload the steel .223 cases a few times and whatever finish is on the outside does wear off from the shooting, tumbling, and resizing.  They actually get slicker, and I have one bbl that while factory steel case ammo can stick in the chamber after firing, my reloaded steel cases do not stick in the chamber after firing.  My reloading shed is dehumidified, and I've had no problems with rusting cases.  As others have said, inside chamfer the neck or the sharp edge will shave off bullet jacket material.  I use the same load as with brass cases.  Go for it, but make sure you are using boxer primed cases or the cost of broken decapping pins negates any savings!  Bonus:  Some folks get bent out of shape that you are reloading steel cases.  When the steel cases finally need trimming, I toss them, as trimming steel cases is harder on your equipment than trimming brass cases.  
Link Posted: 1/6/2014 6:31:45 AM EDT
Should the MFS Zinc(coated?) cases work fine just as well? I had been getting rid of them..I didn't really know any better.
Link Posted: 1/6/2014 6:41:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 2:33:46 AM EDT
Whats the case capacity like for steel?  More or less than brass?
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 4:47:33 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lte82:
Whats the case capacity like for steel?  More or less than brass?
View Quote


It appears to be less in that the same powder charge used in brass fills the steel cases higher (in .223 cases).  However, I use the same powder charge and have not noticed any shooting or fired primer appearance differences.  I've not chronographed to see if there's a velocity difference.  Still using the same set of Lee dies I started with 6 years ago, so I don't feel the steel .223 cases wear out sizing dies prematurely.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 6:08:55 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WholeBunches:


It appears to be less in that the same powder charge used in brass fills the steel cases higher (in .223 cases).  However, I use the same powder charge and have not noticed any shooting or fired primer appearance differences.  I've not chronographed to see if there's a velocity difference.  Still using the same set of Lee dies I started with 6 years ago, so I don't feel the steel .223 cases wear out sizing dies prematurely.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WholeBunches:
Originally Posted By lte82:
Whats the case capacity like for steel?  More or less than brass?


It appears to be less in that the same powder charge used in brass fills the steel cases higher (in .223 cases).  However, I use the same powder charge and have not noticed any shooting or fired primer appearance differences.  I've not chronographed to see if there's a velocity difference.  Still using the same set of Lee dies I started with 6 years ago, so I don't feel the steel .223 cases wear out sizing dies prematurely.


Do you find that you have to turn your dies down further to get the same sizing measurements that you would for your brass? That's what I found, would just like to see confirmation. Pretty sure lube's not the issue as I have .223 so down pat I could process it beginning to end in my sleep.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 7:57:34 AM EDT
Generally I just dry tumble for half and hour or so.

While I have not wet tumbled 223 cases, I have wet tumbled 45 acp for a short while, maybe 30 mins just to get the carbon off.

I toweled them off and baked at really low temp to dry. A few might get some rust inside if you don't shake them up good on the towel.

I had 1 reloaded steel case split because it had pretty deep scratches from the manufacturing process.

I think I had one other split like a brass case after 2 loadings.

Reloading these 2 or 3 times is probably all they can handle.

I had maybe  2 cases with light rust off the range which I wet tumbled to get the rust off. They look great now, minimal pitting present. Reloaded them. I'm sure there isn't any coating left, though.

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Stiles1410:


This is one of my questions as I only own a wet tumbler at the moment
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Stiles1410:
Originally Posted By Scorpius:
have you ever tried to wet tumble the rusty brass from the range? I'm thinking

- grab up with magnet

- deprime

- throw in wet tumbler just like brass

- dry in dehydrator (I'd think this would ease any rust formation)

- the dry tumble to put some 'coating' on it from the polish (nu-finish)

- inspect..toss out any that are pitted badly. (could do this up from, but might cull out too many that just 'look' ugly but once cleaned aren't).

Anyone try this? I might just for the heck of it next time I hit the range. worst case...they hit the trash.


This is one of my questions as I only own a wet tumbler at the moment

Link Posted: 1/7/2014 8:19:24 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
If you were to wet tumble steel cases, it would remove the rust protection from the case.

There isn't all that much Lacquer or Poly to start with.

Dry tumbling in walnut with a little brass polish works very well, and any light rust spots will be removed.

Just a couple of hours tumble, a long tumble will take the coating off. BTDT.

Steel cases 40, 45 ACP, and 223 can be Boxer primed, but best to check because 223 comes both ways. Tula 223 Boxer, Wolf 223, Berdan.

The 7.62x39 cases in my previous pic are Berdan primed.
View Quote


There is boxer wolf out there also.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 5:17:15 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Scorpius:


Do you find that you have to turn your dies down further to get the same sizing measurements that you would for your brass? That's what I found, would just like to see confirmation. Pretty sure lube's not the issue as I have .223 so down pat I could process it beginning to end in my sleep.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Scorpius:
Originally Posted By WholeBunches:
Originally Posted By lte82:
Whats the case capacity like for steel?  More or less than brass?


It appears to be less in that the same powder charge used in brass fills the steel cases higher (in .223 cases).  However, I use the same powder charge and have not noticed any shooting or fired primer appearance differences.  I've not chronographed to see if there's a velocity difference.  Still using the same set of Lee dies I started with 6 years ago, so I don't feel the steel .223 cases wear out sizing dies prematurely.


Do you find that you have to turn your dies down further to get the same sizing measurements that you would for your brass? That's what I found, would just like to see confirmation. Pretty sure lube's not the issue as I have .223 so down pat I could process it beginning to end in my sleep.


My sizing die makes firm contact with the shell holder, the same as when sizing brass cases.
Link Posted: 1/7/2014 7:40:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/8/2014 6:20:25 AM EDT
I only reload steel 223 cases. I started because my saiga 223 ak is rough on brass and i didnt want to waste good stuff. Never had a problem except the neck splits after 1-4 loadings.
Link Posted: 1/8/2014 6:27:58 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WholeBunches:


My sizing die makes firm contact with the shell holder, the same as when sizing brass cases.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WholeBunches:
Originally Posted By Scorpius:
Originally Posted By WholeBunches:
Originally Posted By lte82:
Whats the case capacity like for steel?  More or less than brass?


It appears to be less in that the same powder charge used in brass fills the steel cases higher (in .223 cases).  However, I use the same powder charge and have not noticed any shooting or fired primer appearance differences.  I've not chronographed to see if there's a velocity difference.  Still using the same set of Lee dies I started with 6 years ago, so I don't feel the steel .223 cases wear out sizing dies prematurely.


Do you find that you have to turn your dies down further to get the same sizing measurements that you would for your brass? That's what I found, would just like to see confirmation. Pretty sure lube's not the issue as I have .223 so down pat I could process it beginning to end in my sleep.


My sizing die makes firm contact with the shell holder, the same as when sizing brass cases.


So you're saying if for example you are pushing back to 1.455 with brass you get that exact same measurement on your steel pushback without changing your die at all? strange cause it's not what I'm experiencing and my thoughts are the steel has more spring back than annealed brass would in forming.
Link Posted: 1/8/2014 7:01:16 AM EDT
I leave my die set the same way for steel, never have a problem, and i load them with the same charge weights as brass.
I thing i do is to stick a small pick in the case neck, the dia of wich is about the same as a bullet, i can tell right away if it's boxer or berdan primed, the small end of the pick will find the center hole if it's boxer., this way i dont have to worry about breaking decapper pins.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 11:11:20 AM EDT
So looking for steel on the range. Seems the ones marked Tulaammo are the boxer primed. Pretty much everything else is berdan (aka. PITA).

Anyone shooting steel boxer you can box it up and i'll pay the shipping :-) I'm going to load 2-3 ammo cans full and see how they look longer term.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 8:36:58 PM EDT
I've been collecting steel pistol cartridges, and I'm considering recovering .223 now.  In situations such as competitions, the opportunity to pick up brass afterward may not be practical.  Right now I'm having issues recovering brass when I shoot at our club's indoor range, since other members are saving brass.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 4:44:56 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Moondog:
I've been collecting steel pistol cartridges, and I'm considering recovering .223 now.  In situations such as competitions, the opportunity to pick up brass afterward may not be practical.  Right now I'm having issues recovering brass when I shoot at our club's indoor range, since other members are saving brass.
View Quote


If you have any public ranges in your area visit those from time to time. I had an opening in my day and it was warm the other day so I stopped by a public range. Two guys next to me were shooting .45s like it was going out of style. When they were all done they were about to toss about 400 factory brass cases in the collection bucket. I kindly asked if I could have it, they said sure and dumped it a pocket I have for brass in my range bag.

Link Posted: 1/28/2014 5:23:29 AM EDT
For lube, are you guys using and/or doing anything different than you would with brass?
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 7:03:39 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ch3no2:
For lube, are you guys using and/or doing anything different than you would with brass?
View Quote


Nope. Only thing I notice is that it appears to require your die be turned down a little further to get the same pushback as you expect on your brass.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 7:12:53 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hurtback:


If you have any public ranges in your area visit those from time to time. I had an opening in my day and it was warm the other day so I stopped by a public range. Two guys next to me were shooting .45s like it was going out of style. When they were all done they were about to toss about 400 factory brass cases in the collection bucket. I kindly asked if I could have it, they said sure and dumped it a pocket I have for brass in my range bag.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hurtback:
Originally Posted By Moondog:
I've been collecting steel pistol cartridges, and I'm considering recovering .223 now.  In situations such as competitions, the opportunity to pick up brass afterward may not be practical.  Right now I'm having issues recovering brass when I shoot at our club's indoor range, since other members are saving brass.


If you have any public ranges in your area visit those from time to time. I had an opening in my day and it was warm the other day so I stopped by a public range. Two guys next to me were shooting .45s like it was going out of style. When they were all done they were about to toss about 400 factory brass cases in the collection bucket. I kindly asked if I could have it, they said sure and dumped it a pocket I have for brass in my range bag.



If no one else asking, I could've got all the brass from the sweep up pile, but another member that was present wanted the .45 and 9mm (I shoot .40)
Top Top