Approximately how many times can I safely reload my .45 brass? I use mild loads, that are approx 800 fps, PSI is unknown. I use Winchester at the moment, and was considering switching to Starline when my current brass is no longer usable.
With mild loads it lasts a looooong time. I use mine until the case mouth splits or until the rim is so dinged up by the ejector/ejector that it fights going into the shell plate. The headstamp is usually long gone before the brass is thrown out. Btw, badly dinged rims are a good sign that your recoil spring needs replacing IMO.
I'll just add that i've seen cases shot so much that the headstamp was illegible from being fired so much and they hand't cracked. I've had WWII cases pop up frequently in my range pickup brass (usually with nearly illegible headstamps) from having been used so much. As has already been said, use it until it cracks. The best part is, when it cracks, you'll hear the difference when your pouring the cases out of your tumbler. Its amazing that a little crack in one case could be so noticable, but that's how I usually find my cracks if I don't spot it when picking up the case at the range.
The indicator I use beside cracks is the extractor failing to extract the case (rim so dinged that the extractor cannot grasp it correctly). This obviously causes a FTE. I keep my brass separated by number of reloads. When I have an FTE due to this problem into the trash it goes. If becomes prevalent within a batch of brass (number of times loaded) I ditch the whole lot to reduce frustration at the range.
I know I've loaded some cases more than 20 times and am still using them,some of the plated case have the plating almost completely worn off,I probably should scrap a lot of them,but if I did I wouldn't be a "reloader",we all find it hard to throw away a case that has "just one more load" in it.As for loosing brass at the outdoor range,II bought one of those cheap plastic tarps from my local home center,I spread that out and I very seldom loose any brass,when done shooting just roll up that 9x12 tarp and throw it in the truck,sort them out when I get home,keeps a lot of dirt,etc; out them also as they never touch the ground.