How much brass to gear up for new caliber?
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How much brass to gear up for new caliber?

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Old 01-06-2013, 02:39 AM   #1
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Default How much brass to gear up for new caliber?

I found about 150 rounds of brass in .223 that I forgot I had picked up at the range over the summer. This will go with about 200 rounds of what I have picked up from shooting the new AR.

What do most of you consider to be the minimum that you'll buy for a new caliber? I'm just getting started on .45ACP and had thought 9mm was going to be next. I'll have to get a trimmer but that was in my future anyway.

Also found about 50 rounds of .308 but I don't have a firearm in that caliber.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:14 AM   #2
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Personally, I want to eventually reload for every caliber I use, but just going by how much brass I have, a couple hundred rounds would get me started.

Brass can be reloaded multiple times, and it can last awhile depending how what you load it with, and how you load it. I think .223 will last through 5-10 loading. (Maybe more, maybe less). So 350 pieces of brass will make a lot of rounds.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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200 pieces if .223 brass, you will go through pretty quickly. Personally, I like to have at minimum 1000 pieces of brass that I am going to be reloading unless its a big caliber like 7mm Rem Mag.

Another big thing with rifle reloads, is you want to sort by headstamp and load in lots for consistency. I think I have around 4k pieces of .223 and 4k pieces of 9mm, while only having around 500 pieces of 7mm Rem Mag, because I won't be shooting my 7mm RM all that often.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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High volume calibers like .223 and .45 would require at least 500 pieces to justify getting set up (IMHO). Low volume calibers like .45-70 and .500 S&W? Probably 50-100
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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I like about 500 for any given one as that would not only let me break-in the gun/work out any problems and also get me the brass for reloading.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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I could get started with about 200 of anything I want to shoot. .223 is a very common caliber. I would load up what you have and pick up more when you see it at the range. That is what I did. I have only bought new brass for stuff that is harder to find. .45 Colt, 44 Mag...stuff like that.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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I like to load in lots of 1000.

MilSurp brass is cheap, and IMHO superior to commercial brass.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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I bought 30 lbs of once fired mil surp last year, I forget how many is in it, a lot lol. a couple hundred is fine to get started and acquire more as time passes, spend your money on consumables, powder, primers bullets, and equipment needed, brass can be reused multiple times and you will find more laying around if you can get to the ranges before guys like me, LOL.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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'Depends', a copyrighted brand name for a product to catch all.

And for me, well, it still depends on what.

I'm at a point that most of my loading is for a new/new to me specific weapon, usually a rifle. I haven't owned a small caliber handgun scene the early 80s. Most hand guns have been .44s and 45s, I did slip in a .40 at one point. I don't find much of a challenge building a load for this type of weapon. There for I will not go further with pistols and pistol brass.

I like to play with rifles. To find the 'just right' loading and work to verify it at the best I can get out of that weapon. This requires a statistically suitable number of fired rounds to give a valid report. I don't run less than 15 rounds of a given loading as a good test. Building and testing will loose some cases and the intensity of that round may extend or diminish the life span for the brass. A long or loose chamber is compensated for in the early stages but will take some toll. The rifle's action comes in to the mix.

So, a questamation:
Bolt action .222/.223 - not less than 30 cases, start to finish.
Auto loader .223/5.56 - maybe 45 cases.
Bolt 308/7.62 or 30.06 - 50 to 60 cases.
Auto loader .308/7.62 or 30.06 - 100 or more.
Other bolt action rifles will run from 50 to maybe 200, the load spectrum makes the difference. A 45.70 is big but not intense. A 7MM RM is intense.

I have a habit of including my on hand ammunition for a given rifle in any trade. So I have relatively few loaded rounds at any one time.

How many cases for a new caliber? 30ish and up. New to a caliber/weapon type, that number will go up. Hot/over boar rounds drive the number up even more.

I don't think there is a good answer for this question as presented.

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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I guess it would depend on how much you plan on shooting. If your going to make a target rifle you might be able to get by with 50 to start. If you want to shoot a couple hundred a range trip more would be better.

If you are going to be shooting a lot of 223 in the future I don't see a reason to hold off on getting dies for it though
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