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Here are the questions we are most frequently being asked.
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Frequently asked questions
What is once fired military brass?
Once fired military brass is obtained from military sources. Typically, the brass/nickel products are casings of shells and ammunition that has been fired one time. The military will only use new brass. They do not reuse their brass.
Although many of the casings shipped out are in-fact truly fired only once, "once fired brass" is more of an industry term for a more broad definition of reloadable brass. Truly the only way to know if a casing is once fired is if you took it out of a new box and fired it yourself, regardless of what a source claims.
Also worth mentioning, fired brass is not new brass. If you are expecting a perfect casing to arrive in the mail, then we suggest you order new brass and not once fired - for we do not guarantee all pieces will meet the definition of perfection.
What are the different levels/grades of brass available?
As Is - Is brass as we get it. It is also commonly called "In the Rough" or "Dirty." We attempt to remove mangled cases as well as extraneously debris that might be with the brass. We have done absolutely no processing on these cases. Brass is sold as-is.
Cleaned & Initial Polishing - These cases have been cleaned and a small amount of polish has been applied, but it has not been deprimed. These cases may have minor dings, dents, or slight imperfections, but most flaws can be easily removed upon resizing or will be shot out upon your first firing. This brass is sold as-is. These cases have been sorted by caliber, but sometimes a different caliber may be in your shipment.
Reamed & Polished - These cases are ready to be sized and trimmed. These cases have been processed using a Scharch Range Master. First, defects are checked for defects (splits or cracks). The primers are removed. The military crimp is reamed out, making the insertion of a new primer an ease. We then ultrasonically clean the brass and polish for several hours. These case may still have some minor dings, dents, or slight imperfections, most of these flaws will be removed upon resizing or will be shot out upon firing. The process cases are clean and shiny.
Why should you size and trim your once fired brass?
When ammo is fired the case expands and needs to be resized in order to properly hold a bullet and chamber easily. To size you put the sizing die in the press and screw down until it touches the shellholder with the ram in the up position. That setting will full length size the brass. If you are doing straight case handgun cases and have a tungsten die, lubing generally isn’t necessary.
When you are sizing the feel should be the same for each case. If it is too hard or easy you probably have an issue. If too easy a case may have split brass and too hard may indicate something inside the case or lack of lube on a rifle round. In any event stop and see what the problem is before proceeding.
After sizing you can do a quick inspection looking for splits which occasionally occur during the sizing operation.
After sizing, I would advise you to chamfer the cases especially rifle brass. Chamfering removes excess brass from the mouth and makes seating bullets more consistent. Various companies make Chamfering Tools and it is an inexpensive tool to buy. With the rifle cases now is a good time to wipe off the lube. Also when sizing rifle cases the neck will drag over the expander plug which helps size the neck. You can get a brush with dry lube and brush the inside of the neck which will make that operation easier. Most companies that sell reloading equipment have those brushes and lube available.
With bottleneck rifle cases you need to check the length before loading. They can stretch during firing requiring them to be trimmed. Failure to trim can cause several problems. What happens is the excess brass is shoved into the rifling, which constricts the bullet, making it harder to start.
That can cause inconsistent and inaccurate ammo. In some instances high pressure can result, making the ammo dangerous to shoot. That is especially true with small calibers such as 22 centerfires. All manuals give the proper trim length.
What causes a bulge on belted cases, such as the 300 Win Mag, when reloading?
The main problem with handloading the 300 Win Mag is case expansion that occurs at the pressure ring "just above" the belt. Conventional resizing dies can't properly resize any belted magnum case in this area. These cases soon develop a slight "bulge" around the case (usually after just 2 or 3 firings). When that happens, these cases will begin to stick in your chamber or they will fail to chamber at all. This is a very common symptom when reloading belted magnum calibers.
This ONE die and collet is universal and works on ALL of the popular belted magnum calibers including: .257 Weatherby Magnum, 6.5 Remington Magnum, .264 Winchester Magnum, .270 Weatherby Magnum, 7 x 61 Sharpe & Hart, 7mm Remington Magnum, 7mm Weatherby Magnum, 7mm STW, .300 H & H Magnum, .300 Win Mag, .300 Weatherby Magnum, . 308 Norma Magnum, 8mm Remington Magnum, .338 Winchester Magnum, .340 Weatherby Magnum, .350 Remington Magnum, .358 Norma Magnum, .375 H & H Magnum, .416 Remington Magnum, . 458 Winchester magnum and several wildcat cartridges. There are no extra collets to buy when resizing any of these calibers. This unique Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die is made only by Innovative Technologies, and it can be purchased on the home page of their website (www.larrywillis.com).