A casualty of the Great Circle of Brass…

The weather behaved itself this morning for once so I went out to practice with my newly-augmented pistol


…which is working out very well for me, by the way, so I moved on from slow-fire. Spread out a groundsheet and worked on holster and speed loader drills till I burned through my ration of practice ammo.

And I was planning to go right home after that. But I had a little time before lunch, and Tobie has gotten so much better at staying by himself without freaking out and wrecking my stuff…

That I decided to sneak off to the reloading shack to refill my ammo box.


When I got there, not to my surprise…


…refilling the box ran me right out of practice ammo. So I sat down to do some of the tedious part of reloading – Brass Prep. I had about 150 rounds fresh from the tumbler so I sized and deprimed it, then changed dies to flare it. About halfway through that last process I pushed down on the press handle and instead of slowly squashing brass the handle went down very easily and squashed my fingers between the die and the shell holder.

“Ow! [Redacted!]”

Didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what that was all about…


If a case is going to split during reloading, it’ll likely happen when I flare it. But I never saw one tear sideways like that. Some of my .44 brass has been with me 10 years or more and it’s gotten pretty experienced.

Fortunately I’m a hoarder: More than two years into the Great Ammo Panic of 2020 and gun stores around here still aren’t selling any revolver fodder so I’m using reloads for everyday carry. But I have almost 1000 new or once-fired .44 Magnum cases – and several hundred jacketed bullets – I kept aside should that need ever come, so I’m not forced to rely on many-times-fired .44 Special brass and lead pellets for serious purposes.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to A casualty of the Great Circle of Brass…

  1. Tree Mike says:

    I would bet money on 44 @ 800+fps with anything from 185gr or up, would definitely put the brakes on whatever is on the receiving end. 44 mag for cars, trucks, walls, things like that. Tree Mike

  2. randy says:

    Yep, a 7/16 inch hole through something tends to interfere with proper functioning. 44 Special works fine.

  3. Mike says:

    I have a lot of .45acp brass with the headstamp gone. No telling how many cycles on it. I’ve had more splits with the newer lots. I guess it was harder to start with. Sometimes I load really soft bullets with a slightly larger and longer powder through die knowing that works the brass a little more shorting the life cycle.
    Happy loading shooting rinse and repeat…..

  4. Tony says:

    Those “lead pellets” are better for most purposes in a 44 caliber revolver (if they fit the revolver) than any jacketed bullet. They will penetrate far deeper when the cows organize and invade..

To the stake with the heretic!