How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

codyb

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

Depends on the brass and the loads. I have Lake City brass with 20+ loads on it.
 

Suasponte

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

Also depends on the rifle too. A good tight chamber always helps!

Annealing brass will extend case life too! With annealing about every 3-4 loads I can load the brass until the primer pockets get loose!

I have been using Winchester primers in my loads and when they start to get loose I switch over to the Wolf primers. They are approx .003-.004" bigger in diameter than the Winchester and CCI's. This will get me 4-6 more loads out of them. Sometimes even more than that depending on how hot my loads are!

This is where not shooting the Max load will pay off! A buddy of mine told me "If it moves you loose!!!". Neck sizing will extend your case life also. However, if your shooting it out of a semi-auto your pretty much stuck FL sizing!

Hope that helps!

Terry
 

rweldon

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

I'm looking at some brass that has been shot between 2 to 3X, it is Black Hills and FGMM. It was shot out of a GAP Crusader mostly and a Savage 10fcp. I was just wondering if it was worth buying.
 
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MitchAlsup

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

I have a set of Winchester cases with 24 load cycles on the brass. This set of cases is loaded to long range (i.e. stiff) conditions with 47.8 gr Varget pushing 155 scenars.

In order to get this number of reloads, one has to minimally work the brass. The sholders have been pushed back about 4 times, with neck sizing (with TiN bushing dies) the rule. Also, the necks have NOT been annealed.

The load shoots ever so slightly better than FGMM 175 in my gun.
 

Rafael

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

I have run them over 50 reloads without annealing and never had a neck split with them.
 

Asm1

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

As said depends on allot..and how you work what you have..

I have found the best way for me for longevity and consistent accuracy and zero holding ability this last one is most important to me because accuracy is nothing if zero must be set or siter used to re zero for operation. zero must be zero ..., here is what I do with the chamber I have.

#1 If your pockets get loose beyond use your load is to HOT to be a brass hugger. (back it off or ditch after its loose)
#2 I use lapua 3 reasons.Thicker necks for least amount of brass working in med to max sammi chambers.
AVALABILITY
quality
#3 I use a redding neck sizer bushing die and size from fired .344 to .339 Then I use a Forster bushing bump DIE and size .336 and I size the 2nd time shorter on the neck than the first step I have created donuts stoping in the same spot with bushings.
#4 I anneal after the .336 bushing will no longer hold .0005 to.001 NECK tension around the 4th or 5th loading.

I have 10 loads now and its a record for me,the pockets still hold like 1x and I think It will go twice again what it is,time will tell..

I wanted to ADD the forster bushing bump die is very nice it makes each round chaimber as if it where FLR,but works the body ZERO amazing peace of gear!.
 

RidgeRebel

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Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

Anybody had expirience with hornady or nosler 308 brass? Is it worth the extra money?
 

81sfo

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: elksniper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Anybody had expirience with hornady or nosler 308 brass? Is it worth the extra money?</div></div>
    I use Hornady, Nosler, Federal, Blackhills And Lapua ,out of the box Nosler competition is ready to go trimmed,sized, weighed.The most accurate loads have been out of Nosler brass.It last me about 12 loads and the primer pockets start to enlarge.No ruptures yet but i dont load hot.My hottest load is 46.5 grains of varget with 155 scenars.no problems for me out of Nosler brass.On down side is price a box of 50 pieces of 308 is about 45 bucks plus tax ,here local.
    Hornady brass you can get more powder in but i dont get the accuracy like Nosler but it could be me.
     

    Suasponte

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: elksniper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Anybody had experience with Hornady or nosler 308 brass? Is it worth the extra money? </div></div>

    I picked up a ton of 1x fired Hornady brass and that is all I shoot in my 308 bolt guns! Brass is just a good as the Lapua IMO. It is very good brass. I have a set that is up to 28 loads with 6 annealings.

    Nosler Brass I do not have any idea about. I have never even seen any of the guys at the club shooting it! However, I do see Lapua and Hornady.

    Terry
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    Brass fails because of base expansion and work hardening in the neck area. How quickly and how extensively depends on too many variables to allow easy predictions; but handloading strategies that minimize and/or restore the consequences of these processes will add to case life.

    Annealing and primer pocket restoration methods, combined with conservative loading strategies (neck-only vs f/l resizing, moderate charge levels, etc.) can be pretty effective in stretching brass life.

    Greg
     

    armada

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    I have 49 loadings on 100 winchester cases. None have split yet. Some, 12, do have loose primer pockets, but still do a good job. When new, I full size, trim, and fire. After that, I only neck size them half of the neck length and full size around the 10th firing. It's worked this long for me but I should/will replace them after the 50th loading. My loads have always been 41 grains of something, blc-2,n-150,RE-15,Varget in this set of 100. My bullets ranged from 155 to 175 grainers.
     

    MitchAlsup

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rafael</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have run them over 50 reloads without annealing and never had a neck split with them. </div></div>

    I am expecting the cases to last up near 50 reload cycles--it's just I'm not there yet.
     

    Bongos

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    Sorry to bring this back from the Dead, most of the comment on this thread, I think is for Bolt guns. That said, your thought on the timed the brass casing cna be used in a Semi, like the LMT MWS (AR10 style rifles). Just pick up on and am curious.
     

    dmg308

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    My 308 semi brass starts to be pretty bad after7-8 reloads.It depends on your chamber and how your rifle treats brass on ejection.I think a good rule of thunmb is half what you see with a bolt gun.
     

    Hummer

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    The name of the game for long brass life is when you resize it, that it moves the absolute minimum amount to allow it to go back in and bolt close easily.

    There are several ways to achieve this and this is how I do it. I will be addressing 30.06 primarily with the dimensions but the same theory works for 308 etc.

    But first off one needs to understand that all brass is not the same. Everyone pretty well knows some brass weighs more than other brass and as a rule of thumb military brass is the heaviest. What is not widely realized is the military brass is also much harder than commercial and thus tougher. Also on military brass it is made to conform to a specification. For 7.62 it conforms to the NATO STANAG or Standardization Agreement.

    The NATO cases must be able to function in all NATO weapons and some are much worse on brass than others. Typically the weapon that gave the most problem was the French 52 MG which was a copy of the MG42 and extraction forces were so violent the rims were ripped off the cases. Thusly cases were fabricated in accordance with what was needed and there are five hardness ranges on a NATO case. With 1 being the softest and 5 the hardest, it goes like this. Case neck/shoulder 1, case body just below shoulder 2, case body in middle 3, case at the web area 5 and the rim is 4.
    Commercial cases are not made for MGs thusly one cannot expect them to last like NATO cases.

    There are some commercial cases that are really tough. Those known to be such are DWM and IMI. There are some that will work for maybe 3 rounds, some 6 and maybe 10 but most will never touch the life of military brass.

    The life of commercial cases is also shortened by the jumbo chambers commercial rifles come with. For instance a new 30.06 case measures .465" and 30.06 chambers run .over .471 and I have seen fired cases measure .475". You are at the mercy of some jerk doing the chambering who doesn't care or know.
    Why big chambers? Well reamers are expensive so they start life at maximum dimension and then re-sharpened until they cut chambers in the .471 range and discarded. It is a matter of money, the more they save the more they make and you already bought the rifle so...............

    If you want long brass life you can approach it from two directions, first of which is have multiple sets of dies as dies are cut like chambers and some are looser some are tighter. For 30.06 I have FL dies that size to .465, .466, .468 and .470. The last one I polished out to size this dimension for the big chambers. No I didn't order four new sets of dies. I just find them here and there at flea markets, gun shows etc for as little as five bucks. For instance yesterday I went to a flea market and a guy had a set of what appear to be new 6.5X55 RCBS dies and he was asking ten bucks. He also had a 19 round box of 300 Win Mag 150 Winchester ammo he wanted fifteen bucks for. I offered him twenty and he took it. I already have a set of these dies but they don't eat anything so I got them and while I did not need the 300 Win Mag ammo I have a nice match reamer for 300 Win mag so this ammo will be added to the rest.

    Next approach is to rebarrel your rifles with your own personal reamer cut to min dimensions so you get the same thing every time. On my personal reamers I use the 2222 rule. Which is reamer cuts chamber .002" larger than new factory round at the base and the shoulder and the neck. The headspace I try to maintain at min so the shoulder doesn't go forward on firing over .002" and generally .001 if possible. Some come out at zero movement.

    I have a 30.06 reamer that cuts a .467 base dimension. LC MATCH Fired in this chamber is remarkable. I have one case I have loaded 157 times and still waiting for more. On 308 I have no problem getting 100 reloads but I care for my brass.

    Care of brass: They are decapped and FL sized (WITHOUT AN EXPANDER BALL) and tumbled in stainless media. Next the neck is expanded to my desired dimension with a custom expander ball so I can control exactly how much neck tension I get. Rapid fire cases give about .002 grip and others about .0003" grip on the bullet. It all depends on the feed system and whether the cases will be single loaded or into a mag well.

    I neck turn cases to take off the high spots on the above reamer. Note: Anyone that has turned case necks finds out quickly that the necks are not the same thickness all the way around and if the cutter is advanced slowly the neck will show bright spots as the high spots are taken off first. Then small adjustments will take off more. I set my neck trimmer so I will clean up about half the case necks.
    Think about it this way, the factory chamber is two sizes above JUMBO because of all the variations in all the brass made. The ammo has to be smaller than the smallest chamber made so this gives you about a .010” range between min brass dimension and max neck dimension. Now you chamber this loose as a goose case in a chamber with a headspace range which can also be as much as .010” over a min case and it is kind of like putting a 20 gal drum inside a 55 gal drum insofar as fit. Obviously there is no way a bullet is going to be presented to the throat anywhere near straight which is guaranteed to increase group size.
    I have other reamers with very tight necks. I turn the case neck so that loaded round neck is .001" smaller than the neck. This is restricted to those rifles I know will never see a round of factory spec ammo. For instance on my 308 reamer I had it cut to give a .336 neck dimension and loaded rounds are neck turned to give .335".
    7.62 LC Match brass ( has thicker necks than commercial) and will just go in a .339 neck (as loaded) but not come anywhere close to going in the smaller .336 neck. Winchester cases fired in this chamber are cleaned up very lightly and go right in. So it is a trade off. These rifles either go through life as course guns or long range guns but in the event I want to shoot Winchester in the .339 neck I am not nearly at the mercy of a factory chamber which will measure .344/.345”.
    Bottom line is I have some 30.06 brass(about 500 pieces) I have been using since 1982 that has been run through two different barrels with no sign of insipient separation. 80 of which are reserved for 600 yard only. Both chambers were cut with same reamer and this particular one is .469 base and cases are sized with the .468 FL die and close easily. The neck is .339" which will take care of all MATCH ammo as loaded. I suspect these cases have at least forty loadings and now all have been stainless steel cleaned, neck/shoulders stress relieved and are awaiting expander button prior to loading.

    Oh yes there are a couple US military lots that will not give long life in 30.06. One is FA57 MATCH which had soft heads like commercial brass. This was corrected quickly and FA58 on till FA closed is fine brass. Then about 1985 time frame the DCM was selling unprimed brass made by LC. It had soft heads. I suspect that LC knew they had a run of out of spec cases and "donated" them to DCM for sale at Perry.

    You can increase your brass life tremendously but you have to plan ahead to do so. With the cost of brass these days it is cost effective to get a custom reamer so you know where you are at all times.

    I figure the reamer is paid for in the brass savings at about the tenth reload and you know where you are all the time.

    Then again if you never plan on having a rifle rebarreled you are destined to spend lots of bucks and not achieving the full potential of your rifle.

    There is one thing you can depend on. The boys that make them operate on the principle is if you bought it, that is all they need to worry about and they are looking for the next guy as they know the average guy is never going to even think beyond shooting factory ammo in their rifles so they go for the mass market with a cheaper rifle.

    I try and guide guys from early on into this thinking and some folks get it right off and some never get it. If you want to achieve your full potential in shooting especially long range you need to be looking at the finer details. You can bet the benchrest boys do and this is why they shoot the small groups at long range.
     

    Fuzzball

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    Shoot it 'till it splits, then tell us.

    You really don't need a custom barrel and die cut with the same reamers to achieve a good die-to-chamber fit; some makers will make custom sizers from your fired cases. Neil Jones is one.
     

    308isgreat

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    I've documented 47 reloads on my bench 308 win brass. As long as you don't try to get 300 Win Mag velocities and neck size correctly, 308 win brass will last a long time. Oh, and btw--- that was on Federal Gold Match brass if anyone on here can believe it.
     

    Hummer

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    Wow, never heard that kind of case life on Fed cases. How old are they? Maybe they changed and added in another draw to make them tougher after reading a few million complaints about short life????
    Whatever you are doing, keep on keeping on as it is definitely working well.
     

    Fuzzball

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    "Wow, never heard that kind of case life on Fed cases."

    Fed. cases are a bit soft so their life is quite good IF it's loaded properly. Those who load it too hot get surprized when the pockets get sloppy; duh!
     

    Bongos

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    Guys, I've wonderful useage for bolt guns, but in a Semi Auto with larger chambers, you have FL each time... Anyways thanks for the replys, I have a better understanding.
     

    ArcticLight

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    I have 1200 Black Hills Winchester brass, it was reloaded 7 times. I FL sized them each time - maybe overkill for a bolt gun.

    Of 1200 only one separated at the base.
     

    308isgreat

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    Re: How many times can .308 brass be reloaded?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Hummer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Wow, never heard that kind of case life on Fed cases. How old are they? Maybe they changed and added in another draw to make them tougher after reading a few million complaints about short life????
    Whatever you are doing, keep on keeping on as it is definitely working well. </div></div>

    Nope, these cases are from the era of people complaining that they are too soft. I use Redding competition neck sizers with bushings that give .0015-.002 of neck tension. I only size half way down the neck. I keep velocity to around 2700 fps with Berger 168 VLD's. The Federal cases hold up remarkably well when worked like this.