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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all I'm about to start reloading for a 45 1911. and was wondering if the cheap once fired range brass you might see online is worth buying.

I don't have a range to pick up brass at myself as I shoot on my own land.

if it matters I will mostly be shooting light target loads and will be casting my own bullets.


Thanks for any replies.

Nick




Hope this is the right spot to post this sorry if it isn't
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Buying decent once fired brass is a smart move. 45 Auto is fairly easy on brass, so you can load it pretty much until you lose it.
Alright thanks for the reply. any problem with mixed headstamps? I see mixed or sorted with all Remington-Peters or federal. Honestly i'd never even heard of Remington-Peters before.
 

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Hello Nick,
I personally would not buy once fired brass unless I knew where exactly it came from. The problem is that if it is from a commercial range, it is probably an assortment of various brands and head stamps and there is no real guarantee that it is really ONCE fired. It may be from some garbage Range Reloads with all kinds of assorted brands and when they end up on the floor, there is no way to tell any more. There is also the problem that dimensionally some brands are quite different which makes consistent velocities and crimping not so easy.

If I find someone who is shooting new ammunition and not picking up their brass, I don't mind taking it.

There are also some calibers I have never had much luck in getting good looking reloads with brass from other guns such as with 9 mm. If I size the brass to guarantee a fit, then the round looks like a Coke bottle and the the front of the case is sized too much. If I size it to look like a factory round, it may not fit a gun it did not come out of.

With .30-06, I use pretty much anything that is even remotely close. Since I don't own a .270 and probably never will, I will reform .270 brass as well.

- Ivan.
 

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I've purchased once-fired from several places, but not since early in the Covid Kabuki. I picked up enough pistol brass to last about a decade - or maybe a civil war.

I'd recommend just shopping around, although some places may be listed somewhere on this forum. Others here certainly have more - and more recent, too I suspect - experiences.

As far as "mixed brass" - I don't care. Never have.. If they reload and shoot, they get shot. Only reason to worry about the Federal, WW, etc headstamps is if you are some form of competitive shooter that keeps such segregated. In fact, I think the only reason my 06 is "uniform" is I got it all at the same time - midway, maybe - decades ago. All my 9mm and 45acp brass is variant. I shoot 'em until they die or I lose them.

I would shop for "clean, tumbled brass" (often deprimed, too). Note, my local indoor range allows us to retreive our brass - so I come home with more than I shot, every time.. Hell, I'm even slowly collecting 10mm and 380 and 40s&w ;-)
 

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Nothing wrong with it at all, especially 45. A bunch of junk 9mm with Glock bulge is a different story. For light target practice with your own cast bullets, it’s perfect, even mixed headstamps. Be careful though with mixed primer sizes. Usually they will specify.
Now, if you want exceptional accuracy, you could buy a bunch of new Starline! Of course, your loading practices will determine the rest......
 

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The vast majority of my brass is just range pick up. I have never bought virgin brass and once did buy some .45 “once fired brass”. Never have had any issues. I’m sure I have well over 10,000 9mm cases and 99% of it is range pick up. I throw a little into the brass recycling container after it is cleaned and inspected but most is just fine.
 

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Never a problem. I even reload steel cases that I use in my single action cowboy guns, another story. If I want to load a carry load, or a hunting load like in 44 mag, or a Plus P load, I use new brass or once fired that I bought as new ammo, otherwise just inspect them, size them, and shoot them.
 

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Once fired brass is fine but you MUST inspect each piece before loading and shooting. If you can find a seller that's selling "Once fired Law Enforcement Brass" you know if was fired only once, but before buying check with the agency to see if they sell brass and to whom. Some will say LE Range Brass only to find out it came from a public range where the LE might shoot a couple times per year... Buyer Beware..
 

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Gentlemen,

I believe a lot of it depends on what your expectations are. If I am running ammunition through a AK or SKS or old beat up military Mauser or perhaps a rack grade Garand, assorted brass isn't going to make much difference in accuracy.
With rifles, however, I am usually going for best accuracy and doing a lot of case prep anyway. The extra inspection and sorting needed for assorted brass just isn't worth the time to me.

With pistols, especially the 1911, I figure if you are shooting a untuned standard commercial Colt or a military surplus gun, you will probably also never see the difference assorted cases can make. If you have spent the time to install a match grade barrel and bushing or had a good gunsmith do an accuracy job, what is the point of using ammunition that makes it shoot no better than an un tuned gun?

There is also the possibility that the brass you find on the range isn't what you think it is. I have never owned a .270 or a .35 Whelen and for many years did not own a .25-06, so when I found a batch of that kind of brass, I would reform it into .30-06. You can resize it back down to the original caliber, but it is going to be pretty difficult putting back the brass I trimmed off.
I figure brass going through a semi auto is good for about 6-8 firing and full length sizing cycles at most. Sometimes if it is going through an extra long NATO chamber life will be a lot shorter. Keep in mind there has likely been a couplee trips through the case trimmer as well. Sometimes I might notice that primer pockets are not quite as tight as they should be but are still serviceable,
Stuff like that often gets left on the range where it fell. The brass looks perfect but isn't nearly so.

I also use range pickup brass, but I understand there is a risk involved. Most of the time, I used assorted range pickups to set up sizing or seating dies or to make up dummies for function testing or to keep with the die set. Those won't have powder or primer but will have a few air gun BBs to make the round weigh what it should and to let it be easily identified with a slight shake.

Everyone's Mileage varies of course.

- Ivan.
 

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Nothing wrong with once fired brass. If you are looking to load accurate rounds, you can invest time in sorting cases by headstamp, weighing, and inspecting each case carefully. Doing this allows me to develop some very consistent ammunition that is more accurate than any factory made ammo. It works as well for pistol calibers as it does for rifle calibers.

I keep some loaded in every caliber that I shoot and find them especially useful when sighting in a new acquisition.

I also load batches of mixed headstamps, but this is after the brass has been fired for the second and subsequent times. These are my general purpose range rounds and nearly as accurate as my once fired loads.
 

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For a .45, I would be less concerned with "once fired" brass than I would for something like a 9mm or 40 S&W, .357, etc. A .45 is a low pressure round.

That said, I buy "once fired" brass all of the time and reload it for my 9mm Major Open gun, and so far so good. Occasionally a .380 case slips in, but I have 2 chances to weed those out before they get loaded.

1)When I load the brass in the feeder.
2) When it drops from the feeder, I can compare the height to the case that just got de-primed in station 1.

Occasionally you'll get one with a crimped primer pocket, and those either won't de-prime, (either push the de-primer pin up, or break it), or the new primer won't seat.

For the .45, I would be double-checking for large vs small primer cases. You don't want to be loading large primers and let a small-primer case sneak in. The primer MAY go off.
 
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