Tracking Reloading Brass

manitou

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Mar 14, 2018
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459
Location
Missouri
I struggle with keeping track of the number of times each piece of brass is reloaded. Many times I will work up loads of varying powder, charge, seating depth etc. I may end up pulling half of them as I quit shooting when dissatisfied with the results of that round. Over time, I lose track. What is your system?
Or... do you just shoot until you see brass failure signs during inspection?
Thanks.
 

dok7mm

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Apr 13, 2015
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west texas
I sort brass by weight (depending on lot spread). Then they go in a box, with a label I can update. I record all data: times fired, annealing, what primers used, bullet weight, velocities, sd & es. Each lot of brass stays in it's box until the primer pockets get loose.

I will move out any pieces that don't track with that lot (either on target or with the chronograph). They become foulers or go into another lot.

I know weight sorting does not track with H2O sorting, but by watching the target and chrono, I get the outliers out of my lots. I use a LabRadar for every shot, so it's easy to spot a case where capacity is different, as I weigh each charge weight to .02 gr. and sort bullets by wt. and bto ( a royal pita, but I have the time).
 

mechengr

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Jan 7, 2014
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135
Labels and containers. I use the small stickers like you might see used at a garage sale, can get large quantities of them for cheap. They also peel off easily if needed. Mainly, keep brass with different firings in separate closed containers.

Also, I'm maybe OCD about it but I started a datasheet/SN# system for my reloads. Each batch of reloads has it's info entered into a datasheet with a unique serial number and info like how many previous firings that brass had, which bullet used, charge weights etc, and a space for any notes like how the load performed or if I pulled any bullets. Anything that gets pulled is given a new serial number when it's reworked. I feel this system helps me to track everything pretty nicely.

I use more stickers to identify each batch as it goes into my ammo box. I may want to test more than one bullet or powder on a single trip to the range, so the serial numbers help me keep everything straight even after it's all fired.
 

cdherman

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Aug 9, 2008
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316
Location
Kansas City
I think a lot of guys just anneal more often to even up all the neck tension and fix the 3 versus 5 question that happens to me all the time too.

I've taken to just banging off remaining rounds on a bad day, just so my brass is consistent. Sound and feels wasteful at times....

Problem I have with frequent annealing: You have to clean the brass afterwards, typically stainless pins, and then the necks are squeaky clean. And there are lots of threads where those squeaky clean necks are less accurate than the fouled 1x, 2x, 3x etc brass. So its like starting over.

What dok7mm said has merit too. I do similarly. I also write down in my reloading log everything I know about the brass. Typically it will be like "2x fired after annealed, neck size .293" And when I bag the spent brass it will be stuffed with a label "3x fired after anneal".

I have toyed with filing a notch in my "fouler" brass, so that I can clean and anneal it as part of the rest of the lot. Anyone have opinions or experience with a marking system that would work to track brass?????
 

gohring3006

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Mar 17, 2014
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4,051
Location
Ohio
I have lots of 50 brass, I don’t reload that lot until all 50 have been fired. I have a large notebook with all data regarding a certain cartridge recorded, even how many times the lot has been fired.
If I happen to pull some loads, the primer is left in the case, and it’s turned with the primer up in the box. It’s the easiest way for me to keep track.
 

dok7mm

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Apr 13, 2015
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west texas
Problem I have with frequent annealing: You have to clean the brass afterwards, typically stainless pins, and then the necks are squeaky clean. And there are lots of threads where those squeaky clean necks are less accurate than the fouled 1x, 2x, 3x etc brass. So its like starting over.
I never use pins, old school walnut media only, then brush necks after annealing and dry Imperial on a Q-tip prior to charging. Carbon is your friend.
 

cdherman

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Aug 9, 2008
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316
Location
Kansas City
I never use pins, old school walnut media only, then brush necks after annealing and dry Imperial on a Q-tip prior to charging. Carbon is your friend.

But even then, you have put in a variable. With 1x, 2x, 3x, you just had carbon fouling. Now, you have all that anealing heat that might had flaked off some carbon, then the brushing, and some Imperial Dry lube.... Dunno. BTW, I use Imperial dry too. Like it very much. Variables are the killer. I try to lube with Imperial Dry with ALL loads, regardless. Its just part of the process. The ceramic bead jar they sell works pretty well IMHO....
 

jreagle

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Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
137
Location
Connecticut
mostly shoot 3 shot and 5 shot groups; pick out 30 (multiple of 3, 5 and 10) weight sorted cases out of the box of 100 and put them into the reloading tray for each caliber. pencil, paper and notes for each tray recording times fired, and which firing cases were annealed and trimmed. accompanying notes on a seperate note paper are also in the load box with load data added to brass data, update the notes after each firing on each tray when cases are reloaded etc. cases that fail inspection; squeeze neck with pliers and toss.
Targets that are kept for records have the same recorded info about the case as well as the load data and weather data for the day.
use coldbore 1.0 for tracking each rifle and # of shots fired down barrel as well as ballistics info for the pet loads and muzzle velocities for each caliber.
keeping the process as simple as possible helps keeping accurate data.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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10,723
Location
Texas
All good advice !!!

Everyone has there way of keeping track of their brass and the goal of accurate number of firings.

Like many, After case prep and weight/volume sorting I seperate my brass in 50 or 100 round batches in plastic containers with lids that seal.

I mark the cartridge, the count, the weight (For future reference in case one volume shoots better than another) and insert a dry pack in with each of them for storage. Then I mark the number of firings on that batch as i go and never mix the batches. This allows me to anneal after a certain number of firings. If i see signs of failure on any one of these cases, I discard the whole batch rather than having a failure in the field when it is most inconvenient and possibly dangerous.

There are 50 and 100 round case holders and I highly recommend their use with matching batch numbers and any other information on them.

You should also have a good load book with "ALL" the information in it, and assign a load number to each load and cartridge and never use that number twice.

There is no downside to keeping cases separate and good loading records, Just Time spent.

J E CUSTOM
 

jimbires

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Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
1,943
Location
clearfield county , Pa
I use a sharpie marker for keeping track of some of this . I write on the brass case . the numbers on the sides is the number of firings . the line across the primer , in this instance , means these are the end of that lot of powder . the one case I have the primer circled , I wrote on the side , it got skipped in annealing last load . when I notice a loose primer pocket I'll put an "X" a crossed the old primer , this means throw it away . this works well for me .
 

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tankgijohn72

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Feb 11, 2014
Messages
353
Mine is pretty simple. Buy brass in bags of 50 or 100. Buy multiple plastic flip-top 50 round ammo boxes. Note cards fit perfectly inside them perfectly. Use one line for each firing of the brass. Mark down if you FL size, trim, or whatever. Its a range book for your brass. Always return the brass to the same box. If you crack a neck or get a loose primer pocket throw that piece away but don't backfill its place in the box. If you tumble brass, resist the urge to dump in more than that box of the same caliber. I reload a lot of calibers, so I may have .270, 300 WM, and 6.5creedmoor all in the tumbler at the same time. When you remove the brass put it back in the same box. Works perfectly as long as you don't lose the card.
 

BS Shooter

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Dec 4, 2015
Messages
423
For my gas guns I just keep shooting them until they fail. When loading in bulk it's to hard for me to keep them straight especially when shooting at the range there are always strays that seem to end up in my brass piles. It seems to make life simpler that way.
 

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