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Processed vs none Processed brass

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I shoot open and also minor division in USPSA, I've been told many things about brass such as processed, one head stamp is the only way to go for open.  For minor loads you can do mixed headstamps, etc etc and the list goes on.  Fully processed brass can cost anywhere to $260 for 5k pieces of brass, ouch!  Is it truly that much of a deal to get one head stamp to shoot major?  Locally, I can obtain 5k pieces of police range brass for about $100 and I've been seriosuly debating to start doing my own processing due to the fact that spending $260 etc gets pricey in the long run.  Today I was fortunate enough that my local guy that sells primers, powders, bullets, etc has brass for sale also so I picked up 5k pieces for $100 from him but he actually gave me more than 5k pieces :)  I dropped the brass off at my friends how to have it cleaned, polished, etc.  Personally, I've been given mixed reviews and information... 

 

So what's the consensus is it mandatory to use fully processed brass one head stamp to shoot major?  Or? I am new to loading so I want to make sure that I am doing the right thing for its applicable purpose, meanwhile keeping cost reasonable...  Well, if there's such a thing! 

 

Thanks for the guidance and assistance~ 

 

 

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Do you not have any free time or something? Brass sorting/ processing can easily be done while sitting in front of the tv at night. Do a couple hundred cases a night. Give your kids a couple dollars to sort brass if you have any, or reward them with a range trip or something. If I remember correctly you have a 1050? so you can do your sorting through the week while watching tv, then crank out processing everything you’ve sorted yourself in a couple hours on the press and save tons of money. It all just comes down to what your time is worth, and if you can afford to buy processed brass, or if you need to do the processing yourself in order to buy enough cases to keep up with your shooting habits.

I know personally, I would rather have 2.5x the amount of brass and sort and prep it myself. Although, I’m single, dont have kids, don’t own a house, and have a job that only requires me to work 40-45 hours a week, so I know I have a lot more free time than 95% of the others out there so my situation may be different from some others. I also totally enjoy the hobby of reloading, and don’t mind if there are a couple extra steps to get better finished rounds in the end.

I can’t comment on if a single headstamp is required for open as I don’t shoot it (yet. I’m sure I’ll venture that way eventually), but I do know that using a single headstamp does give you more consistent results.

Hopefully someone else can chime in on the open part of the question. Good luck


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11 minutes ago, looking4reloadingdeals said:

Do you not have any free time or something? Brass sorting/ processing can easily be done while sitting in front of the tv at night. Do a couple hundred cases a night. Give your kids a couple dollars to sort brass if you have any, or reward them with a range trip or something. If I remember correctly you have a 1050? so you can do your sorting through the week while watching tv, then crank out processing everything you’ve sorted yourself in a couple hours on the press and save tons of money. It all just comes down to what your time is worth, and if you can afford to buy processed brass, or if you need to do the processing yourself in order to buy enough cases to keep up with your shooting habits.

I know personally, I would rather have 2.5x the amount of brass and sort and prep it myself. Although, I’m single, dont have kids, don’t own a house, and have a job that only requires me to work 40-45 hours a week, so I know I have a lot more free time than 95% of the others out there so my situation may be different from some others. I also totally enjoy the hobby of reloading, and don’t mind if there are a couple extra steps to get better finished rounds in the end.

I can’t comment on if a single headstamp is required for open as I don’t shoot it (yet. I’m sure I’ll venture that way eventually), but I do know that using a single headstamp does give you more consistent results.

Hopefully someone else can chime in on the open part of the question. Good luck


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Thanks, I actually have "some" free time, single, no kids, own my home, work only 8 days a month but those 8 days consist of 24 hrs shifts.  I have several hobbies that I'm involved with such as mixed martial arts, pursuing another degree, traveling, riding my motorcycle, shooting, reloading ammo, etc. I guess that I don't want the hassle of doing a mundane thing but I can't truly comment since I've never truly processed brass but I've been leaning towards purchasing a few items to start processing my own brass.  Such as a tumbler, media separator, looking at the new Lee APP press to process brass.  Personally, I don't like to pick up brass so if I can get 5k to 6k for $100 from a police range than that's worth it for me.  Consistency is everything when it comes to shooting open, due the fact that 2011 are finicky but presently I haven't had any issues "knock on wood" with mixed head stamps, I've loaded about 2k rounds thus far with no known issues besides some crappy brass that I was able to remove prior to loading them.  Yes, I do have the Dillon 1050, I LOVE  that thing!  

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You are listening to the wrong people. Loading MAJOR and minor ammo is the same procedure, same attention to detail, same brass, etc. I sort brass by headstamp because it is more consistent, and it all feels the same on the press. Different case headstamps all vary to some degree in dimensions. So they tend to feel a little different during sizing, seating, crimping etc. Not enough to matter to the average Joe but I like the fact that while I’m loading XX headstamp and then something feels really hard to size, or easy to size, primer pocket is tight, etc, that means that piece of brass is probably bad.

  I load every headstamp there is except the known bad actors but I just don’t mix while loading.

  I also like to sort, clean, inspect my own brass so I only buy dirty brass. I’m not paying somebody to process it when I’ll just do it again myself.

  I also have a local source for $100 for 5k 9mm.

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Step cases IMT , Fm, ammo load, maxtech is big problem in 9 major. Just check when u case gage u get one u can over pressure your gun. I don’t even use em for minor. 

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One suggestion to consider - Todd, owner of APlusBrass (who is listed in the classified section of this forum) can help you...Todd can provide you sorted and cleaned brass and/or he can sort your brass for you, separating the military and stepped brass...If you have brass or just want to buy brass at a certain level of cleaned/processed send Todd a message....Todd is currently about half way thru the 30,000 pieces of 9mm brass he is sorting for me..I send him about 5k rounds at a time and he is sorts my cleaned brass for $35.00 per box of 5k.. plus shipping (large flat rate for $20.00)...I clean my own brass before sending but Todd can also clean your brass and sort, if that is what you want and will price based upon what you want him to do or provide.....

 

Todd has built and created programs for a sorting brass that uses computers a photo imaging to sort by head stamp....Might want to send him a message...He has been a HUGE help for me.....Mark

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2 hours ago, Sigarmsp226 said:

One suggestion to consider - Todd, owner of APlusBrass (who is listed in the classified section of this forum) can help you...Todd can provide you sorted and cleaned brass and/or he can sort your brass for you, separating the military and stepped brass...If you have brass or just want to buy brass at a certain level of cleaned/processed send Todd a message....Todd is currently about half way thru the 30,000 pieces of 9mm brass he is sorting for me..I send him about 5k rounds at a time and he is sorts my cleaned brass for $35.00 per box of 5k.. plus shipping (large flat rate for $20.00)...I clean my own brass before sending but Todd can also clean your brass and sort, if that is what you want and will price based upon what you want him to do or provide.....

 

Todd has built and created programs for a sorting brass that uses computers a photo imaging to sort by head stamp....Might want to send him a message...He has been a HUGE help for me.....Mark

Accurate for the most part probably but he will NOT sell dirty unsorted brass. I asked and told him I prefer to do my own thing but it was a hard no.

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When I first started reloading ~10-12 years ago, I had plenty of time to spend with the reloading hobby and price at that time was a big factor for me.  As I have continued to grow in my career, time has become very precious and the cost of brass has become less of a factor.  Generally, I have gotten to the point where I will not pickup range brass and only buy processed or at least cleaned brass.  Most of the brass I have bought has been from your average Joe shooter here on BENOS and typically I see ~3-5% quality rejects of my final loaded rounds.  I am ok with that, I save them for days when I am going to the range to plink.  I figure if I were to purchase them from a dedicated processing dealer such as A Plus Brass the quality rejects would reduce to ~0-2%.  As mentioned above, it is your decision to make, there is no wrong answer.

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9 minutes ago, Butterpuc said:

When I first started reloading ~10-12 years ago, I had plenty of time to spend with the reloading hobby and price at that time was a big factor for me.  As I have continued to grow in my career, time has become very precious and the cost of brass has become less of a factor.  Generally, I have gotten to the point where I will not pickup range brass and only buy processed or at least cleaned brass.  Most of the brass I have bought has been from your average Joe shooter here on BENOS and typically I see ~3-5% quality rejects of my final loaded rounds.  I am ok with that, I save them for days when I am going to the range to plink.  I figure if I were to purchase them from a dedicated processing dealer such as A Plus Brass the quality rejects would reduce to ~0-2%.  As mentioned above, it is your decision to make, there is no wrong answer.

I'm much in the same situation as you.  Used to be that I would do all the work and take the time.  Half of my matches were spent scrounging brass.  Then I got buckets of brass ahead but time became an issue so I started buying brass.  Shipped in 5k at a time or 1k bags cleaned and ready to load from a local gun store.  The buying brass did not start until after the 2013-2015 reloading supply drought.  Now brass is so plentiful and cheap it is easier to just buy it.  I don't pickup brass at matches anymore unless it is in a nice pile at a shooting area.  

 

I got a wet tumbler for Christmas so I am now working my way through the 5 gallon buckets that I have accumulated from working majors or stuff that never go in the mix before.  I'll start loading some of this and some will go back into buckets for storage in case another reloading supply drought happens.

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12 hours ago, Sigarmsp226 said:

One suggestion to consider - Todd, owner of APlusBrass (who is listed in the classified section of this forum) can help you...Todd can provide you sorted and cleaned brass and/or he can sort your brass for you, separating the military and stepped brass...If you have brass or just want to buy brass at a certain level of cleaned/processed send Todd a message....Todd is currently about half way thru the 30,000 pieces of 9mm brass he is sorting for me..I send him about 5k rounds at a time and he is sorts my cleaned brass for $35.00 per box of 5k.. plus shipping (large flat rate for $20.00)...I clean my own brass before sending but Todd can also clean your brass and sort, if that is what you want and will price based upon what you want him to do or provide.....

 

Todd has built and created programs for a sorting brass that uses computers a photo imaging to sort by head stamp....Might want to send him a message...He has been a HUGE help for me.....Mark

 

 

Good stuff, thanks Mark! 

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9mm brass is harder to clean than 40 or 45.  Also, a lot of it has been shot in guns with unsupported chambers.  The Glock bulge cannot be fully corrected in 9mm, again unlike 40 or 45.  Then there is the crimped primer problem, because I don't have a 1050.  So I buy fully processed brass from AmmoBrass LLC.  It is mixed headstamp, but all stepped brass has been removed.  It is deprimed, sized, primer pocket swaged, roll sized, polished in wet SS media, dried and lightly waxed.  It sails through my press and all of the loaded ammo drops into my Shockbottle with no rejects.

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Maybe I'm looking at it differently but processed brass and sorted brass are two different things for me. Processed brass, whether mixed or sorted gives me less problems while loading and shooting. Sorted brass is better if you don't want to process the brass yourself. If you have a 1050 just invest in an ammobot. With the right accessories you can process mixed brass at a rate of 3000 cph or better. I never tried justifying it financially but my time is worth a lot to me and I don't like spending it processing brass. For me, automation was the way to go. I get way more accomplished in an hour with it and can spend the saved time shooting or riding. YMMV

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