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Hello from Scotland

From my question you may guess that this is a bit new to me, i just fired factory ammo up to now.
Could someone tell me how many times a straight walled rifle case can be reloaded ??
Thanks guys.

Best wishes from across the pond

Englander
 

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i've never used straightwall rifle cases but generally straightwall pistol cases can be safely reloaded until the case neck splits when you prep them for reloading [providing you find no incipient case separation, primer pocket enlarging etc. in the meantime].  I would imagine rifle cases of the same type would probably follow just about the same rules [at least for the ones operating at lower pressure. Higher pressure rounds would probably show emminent failure signs earlier].  One thing i've found is that it can be possible to 'neck-size' straighwall cases [at least in some circumstances] and it does seem to increase usuable case life in some instances.
 

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Morning from the capital of the Confederacy.
I'm still shooting some of the cases I bought 25 years ago for my 45-70 bolt gun. I have no idea how many times they have been fired, but they are still doing their job. I have lost some while hunting, given some away, crunched some in the loading press, stepped on one or two, but I cannot recall more then one or two splitting.
I used a fairly heavy load of IMR 4064 behind a 445 grain cast slug. I kept using these same cases until they became truely disreputable looking, filed a notch in the rim and used them for plinking loads. I had an old Lyman 45 Colt bullet mold that threw perfect 255 grain SWC, sized at .457. A thimble full of Unique, a bit of Dacron or paper towel tamped down on the powder, made a wonderful plinking load. This load was a great way to introduce, wives, girl friends, {Here I offer a bit of sage advice. I've found it safer to not teach the wives and girl friends at the same time. I know it's more efficient to do so, but those ladies and a loaded rifle combined seems a mite brave and foolhardy to me.} daughters to shooting large caliber rifles. It has the noice and recoil of a 22 RF and would be able to punch through a small tree.
I'd say that if you limit the pressures that you are shooting the 45-70 or 444 Marlin cases will last nearly forever.
I'm still using the those cases I bought those many years ago. They are in the top drawer of my loading cabinet ready to load up when I get around to casting up a bunch of those 255 SWCs.
Jim
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Englander,

As you might expect, "different strokes for different folks" is applicable here.  Arkypete has given you a good idea of the potential repeat usage for your brass. I take a little different approach. I use my .44 and .454 brass three times with full loads and then downgrade them to practice and then plinking loads. My definition of practice loads is 80/90% of max. loads and plinking is loaded light -- about cowboy shooting level. I have containers marked with "New", "1st fired", "2nd fired", etc. so I know exactly how many times the brass has been fired, as well a not mixing brass fired a different number of times.  I typically pitch the brass after 6 firings and never go past 8 firings. But there's nothing scientific about those numbers, just personal preference. I've only had one brass split and that was during firing and not reloading.  No disagreement with arkpete's approach at all, just always figured the newer brass is better and I need all the help I can get with my limitted ability.

Dan
 

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Dan
With my high intensity rifles ,25-06 and 243, I get 4 ot 5 reloads before them get thrown into the recycling can. My pistol cases 45 Colt, 44 Special all last a long time, because I don't load them real hot, some where around 900 to 1,000 fps.
I think a 350 grain bullet moving a 1947 fps is fine for my needs and a 445 grain at 1800 fps will handle most anything I'm likely to bump into.
Neither of these loads are setting the world on fire.
Jim
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Jim,

I'd say with bullets that size, even if you missed 'em, you'd scare them to death!

Dan
 

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Dan

I see firearms as energy delievery systems. The energy can be delievered by a light bullet at high velocity or a heavy bullet at a more moderate velocity.
The 350 grain at 1947 will deliever 2947 foot pounds and the 445 at 1800 will deliever 3202 foot pounds. Not much of a difference between the two how ever the momentum of the 445 will carry it through most anything it hits. That big old bullet gets rolling, it just does not like to stop.
Both of these loads are launched with moderate pressures, easy on the brass and on the shooter.
Jim
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Jim,

Excellent summary and couldn't agree more -- certainly supports what James has been saying. More than enough energy and good controllablitiy combination.

Thanks,

Dan
 
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