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Discussion Starter #1
I can't recall where I read that the reloading of steel cases is not recommended. Did I read it wrong? Is it because of the excess wear on the dies? Does it apply to rifle cases only? There might be 5 or 10 total steel cases in my 2,000 round inventory. I reload .45 ACP and .38 special on a Dillon 550B.
Thanks In Advance,
Chico
 

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you cant reload steel cases, that would be not such a good idea
i reload 23 differnt calibor's. and i havent heard of anyone, ever using steel casings. it would damage your dies. im trying to gear up for 7.5 french calibor. now that's becoming a challange
 

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In one word NO!!!Throw'em in the trash, they were never intended to be reloaded, So, don't waste your time trying,Stick one of those in your sizing die, and I don't know if you'll be able to get it out without damaging the die.
 

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Before the advent of carbide pistol dies, conventional wisdom said that steel cases would wear out reloading dies too fast. I have not heard any reliable information to suggest that would be true with carbide dies. Does anyone know that for a fact, from experience, or is this the old conventional wisdom being passed on?
 

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About 30 years ago my dad and I shot local NRA bullseye 2700 pistol almost every week. Had one guy who always shot next to my dad every match and he would pick up about 90% of my dad's 45 brass. My dad, being the perfect gentleman, never said a thing. After he could not stand it any longer he loaded several boxes of WWII USGI steel 45 cases on his Star reloader (with carbide dies). After the next match the brass grabber found someone else to shoot next to. To get back to the topic, the steel cases did no harm to the carbide die, but did scratch the expander plug on the station that belled the case mouth. We never again loaded steel cases.
 

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I've seen it done with both .45 acp and 9 mm.
I've never tried to and I don't recommend it. Just stating I've seen others do it. Nothing blew up and the firearms seemed to function fine. Go figure
markmcj
 

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Like KLN stated, the biggest concern is damaging the dies. It'd be interesting to know whether you can load steel cases with carbide dies. If so, there's a bazillion steel cases at the range.

"Suddenly, everybody fights for Wolf ammo cases lol"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I spoke with John in the Technical Assistance area of Dillon. Reloading steel cases are not recommended for a couple of reasons:

1: Steel does not have sufficient "elastic spring" to be belled and then crimped. There may be insufficient crimp upon completion of the reloading steps.

2: Stell cases are harder on extractors than brass.

Excessive die wear was not a factor.

He said the coated steel on Russian ammo, especially rifle ammo is a definite one-time use-only case.

Conclusion: Do NOT reload steel cases.
 

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I agree it's probably a bad thing to reload steel, but back when my department had Thompsons, there was so much surplus ammo available that we used to shoot trap with the Thompsons! Most of the ammo was RA-whatever, but a lot of it was steel, too. Being frugal, I decided to use the steel cases, if they were reloadable, as throwaway ammo. In other words, I decimated the jackrabbit population and never worried about reloading, or even picking up, the case a second time. It's hard to feel great about making a great shot when you're mourning the loss of good brass!

All this loading was done with steel dies, simply because carbide was not available. I just wiped the cases off (no tumblers, either) and loaded it with cast bullets. Never had any loading problems, didn't ruin my dies, hit a lot of bunnies, and never had any extractor problems. Now that I'm a little more flush, and have better guns, I probably wouldn't use them any more, but they filled a need then, and did it well.
 
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