non brass cartridges??

This is a discussion on non brass cartridges?? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Just wondering if you can reload non-brass cartridges? I didn't know if you could re-load these or not? I found steel(i think) cartridges in .380, ...

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Thread: non brass cartridges??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    Question non brass cartridges??

    Just wondering if you can reload non-brass cartridges? I didn't know if you could re-load these or not? I found steel(i think) cartridges in .380, 9x18, 9mm Luger, .38spl, .40, .45, .44mag. can you reload these? Also i pick up a bunch of .380's that look like copper(probably not but the same color)... Can you re-load these? Also what about the green coated wolf ammo? I have not started re-loading yet I'm just stock piling brass until I have the money for the equipment.
    Thanks for the info!
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    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    Check to see what type of primer they have. If the primer uses more than one flash hole they aren't reloadable as far as I know.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Steel yes, but I don't know if you would want to. As I understand it the process is a little more involved than working brass and is harder on your equipment. Another question is are the cases Boxer or Berdan primed? If you look into the case and see two flash holes instead of one it is Berdan. That means you now need special tools to remove the primer, and you need to find a source of Berdan primers. Best bet for those (from what I understand) would be someone in Europe.
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    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Are those cases stamped CCI or Blazer? If so they're aluminum and not reloadable. I've heard of steel cased rifle ammo but never steel cased pistol ammo. Blazer aluminum pistol rounds are quite common and most likely what you have there. Just toss them in your recycling bin with the aluminum cans. Your oddly colored .380 brass is probably just discolored brass. I have some .380 brass that looks really dark too.
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    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    so if the primer is a box primer i should be able to do it? but it could cause more wear on my dies?

    what about the copper ones and the green ones?
    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."-Einstein

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Use a magnet to determine steel cases..

    The following video shows more about reloading steel cases.
    YouTube - Reloading Steel Case ammo

    I have several thousand steel cased Wolf pistol cartridges in .45 ACP.

    I also have enough brass that I wouldn't bother with steel cases. But if TSHTF who knows.

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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigo5552000 View Post
    so if the primer is a box primer i should be able to do it? but it could cause more wear on my dies?

    what about the copper ones and the green ones?
    This is very simple, LOOK in the case. If you see one hole, and the case is brass,, reload them.

    If you have anything other than whats described above, throw them away.

    If the cases look like copper, throw them in a tumbler for a couple of days and let them polish up. If they are brass, keep them and load them, anything else I would trash.

    BTW: I use crushed walnut in my tumbler, and I have let it run for a couple of days (literally, 48 to 72 hours straight) the cases come out really shiny

    If you have questions about ammo, go to ammo guide dot com, they got LOADS (hehehehe, pun intended) of information
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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    ooh ya, one more thing. Some brass cases are nickle (or Chrome) plated, you can reload them also.
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    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't mean to steal the thread, but what's the advantage of nickle or chrome plating brass?
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1C Lickey View Post
    Sorry, I don't mean to steal the thread, but what's the advantage of nickle or chrome plating brass?
    More reliable cycling for defensive ammo. I have hear that reloading the plated casings is a no-no too.
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    Senior Member Array bigo5552000's Avatar
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    ok so there seems to be a mixed opinion on reloading non-brass casings!
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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    More reliable cycling for defensive ammo. I have hear that reloading the plated casings is a no-no too.
    There is nothing wrong with reloading nickel plated brass cases though in my experience, they don't have as long a life as straight brass. The nickel plating makes the case "harder" and the cases tend to split at the mouth after just a few loadings. When I first started CAS, I bought 1000 nickel plated cases from Starline (45 Colt). After only two loadings and firings, several of them were starting to split at the mouth. I gave them all away.

    I would never attempt to load anything other than a brass case (or nickel plated brass case). Messing with the steel cases isn't worth the hassle and aluminum, IMO, is just flat dangerous.

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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    I've reloaded Berdan primed cases using boxer primers when I couldn't get ammo for a particular gun. As for nickeled cases , they are no good for repeated Loading due to the cases split at the rim.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    If they are truely steel, use a magnet to see if they are, you might as well just throw them away. The same goes for aluminium, these would be CCI Blazer ammo as stated earlier, just toss them as well.

    If they are discolored brass, the ones you refer to as copper, they should polish up just fine in a tumbler. The nickel plated, shiny silver ones, are reloadable until they start to split like cvhoss refered to. Depending how much the case is worked will determine how long these or any brass for that matter will last you.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    I have reloaded nickel plated cases. They tend to be a little more brittle and more prone to splitting. I have also read that they must be very clean when working them or you have a chance of scratching your dies. I have not scratched a die yet, so either I am cleaning my stuff adequately or that warning may be a bit of an exaggeration.
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