I find the crimps will crack after 6-8 times. I load nothing but Rem Nitro's. I have also found that the AA cases crack much quicker. The brass being high or low has nothing to do with how many times you can reload them. To me the high brass cases do nothing but wear out you loader quicker trying to re size them.
I agree that the STS & Nitro hulls are the best for reloading and produce the nicest looking crimps over time after several reloads. But, I still am from the "old school" and think that 12 gauge shells should be RED!
I'm no expert on all the brands, but somebody gave me some Winchester AA-HS hulls last year. I've kept track and can tell you I've loaded them 8 times so far and never had to toss one yet. Not even close to worn out. I fully expect to go 10 or 12 reloads easily.
I am impressed with the condition they are still in. I know the current rage is Remington hulls, and I am a fan of the old AA as well as the new Remington. I've read all the bad about the HS, but as I stated, I am impressed with the HS based on my experience......
This dicussion is a lot like Ford vs. Chevy, or Champion vs. Autolite. Each person has their own opinion. I'm not knocking any brand - I'm just saying the AA-HS is working out great for me. And they were free, which puts the cost of a box of reloads for me at about $3.97 with 7/8-oz loads - but I stocked up on shot at $29.
The difference in hi brass low brass is the brass collar at the end of the shell. Most often hi brass shells are in field loadings for pheasants, ducks, geese and buckshot and slug loads for larger game. There are some medium base shells you will find around clubs and they are usually Fiochi or Federal target loads.
For my money there is no reason to load anything but Remington Nitro 27 and STS hulls. I have many that are on there 13th loading and still going. Have not pitched any yet. I am guessing they will top out around the 15th loading.
I use Remington Nitros, STSs, and Winchester AAs, reloading them 5 times before tossing. There was an article sometime back (where and when I no longer remember) that compared velocity variability vs number of times reloaded. By the time the hull was reloaded 6 times, the velocity variability was unacceptabe. It was attributed to the deteriorating quality of the crimp. This deterioration may not be visually detectable.
Segregate your hulls by brand, type, and number of times reloaded.
Many hunting loads are in high brass; but that may not necessarily mean they are made "stronger".
<blockquote><I>"There was an article sometime back (where and when I no longer remember) that compared velocity variability vs number of times reloaded. By the time the hull was reloaded 6 times, the velocity variability was unacceptabe. It was attributed to the deteriorating quality of the crimp. This deterioration may not be visually detectable."</I></blockquote>That treatise was written by Don Zutz back in the 1970s and it's old news. Tom Armbrust did some testing and wrote his findings in 1999 that indicated that there was no ballistic degradation in either AA or Remington hulls after the 10th or 12th reload. Shotshell Case Life and It Effects on Ballistics
I certainly have not noticed any loss in performance with mine other than they are not clean and new looking. I will keep loading the same 500 until they wear out then dip into my once fired stash and start over.
The dif between 'high' and 'low' brass originally [when all hulls were still paper tubes] was that the 'high' brass was normally loaded with heavier charges of both powder and shot while the 'low' brass was loaded with lesser amounts of both. Said another way, the 'high' brass cartridges tended to have lower height base wads while the 'low' brass cartridges tended to have higher base wads. Why? Because the higher brass tended to help lessen the propensity for the paper hull to 'pin hole' or burn through with it's heavier charge of slower burning powder and the base wad being lower was simply a requisite function of needing space, i.e., a lower base wad meant/means more room for both powder and/or shot.
As to the number of reloads you may get from a given hull; it depends on the hull's construction, the load, the crimp, the depth of the crimp and probably several other factors not mentioned here. Generally speaking, paper hulls can be reloaded twice with target type reloads before they 'pin hole'. Plastic hulls can go from a couple of times, sometimes, but not always, to as many as five or six before they get both dirty and ragged looking. I personally toss/discard them when they get my fingers dirty or become burned on their ends and fail to provide a 'good looking' crimp. I often mark the primed heads of hulls to be discarded with a red 'X' from a felt tip marker and use those so marked as practice rounds only. For me, it is more expedient to go on and shoot them at practice than it is to bother w/trying to dismantle them and I find that some hulls don't look that bad until you crimp them, meaning that they slipped through the culling somehow and got reloaded one more time anyway.
I know this does not answer your question in absolute terms, but there are no absolute answers either. I'd hope this assists you in some small way.
My favorite to reload is the old green Remington Premier hull, as stated by Spitter above. I have lost track of how many times I have reloaded some of these hulls, but it is over a dozen times, and the crimps are still good. The hotter they are loaded, the faster the crimp deteriorates, but for first shot on doubles and mild singles loads, they are, without a doubt, the best hull for longevity ever. They get blackened over time, but the plastic is still pliable.
I find that my Nitros are having a problem with the hull splitting lengthwise after a few reloads. Not all hulls split, but enough that I am examining every hull before it goes into the storage box, as well as before I reload them. I use them strictly for Handicap loads, so they are hotter than my singles and doubles shells, but not anywhere near maximum. I use a Cheddite primer, 20.4 grains of International, a Down Range Figure 8 wad, and 1 1/8 ounce of 7 1/2. I also find that the crimp splits after about 4 reloads.
STS hulls are a pleasure to reload, but they aren't lasting like the Premiers.
Gun Clubs seem to work well, but also aren't lasting as long as the Premiers. I think that the plastic in the newer Remington hulls is superior to Winchester, Federal, and all the other popular brands, but I wish they would go back to thr formula used in the Premier.
I pretty much get the "goodie" out of my cases as well. I think that the Remington gun clubs last longer than anything I have loaded and I have been doing this since 1965. I love the look of the STS and nitro new cases loaded up, but they seem to wear out quicker than the gun clubs. I am still loading the old style AA's too and even have a few black handicap that I bought in Independence Iowa in 1973 while shooting league. Of course they have spent most of their life loaded up in a box somewhere, but they still have been loaded several times.
Just something I've run across in my short time reloading.Yes,as stated above I prefer remingtons.With that said,as far as red hulls go,I've noticed estates load several times more than winchesters.Anyone else notice this??I use Green dot and cheddite primers,not that that matters.
Back when I shot alot more than I do now we would get 20 to 25 reloads on the Remington premier hulls. The winchesters we used would not even come close to the premier's. They would just come apart, especially at the crimp. I just went down stairs and checked my supply and still have about 3000 once fired Remington premier's left that I had bought years ago. And still have about 25 box's of unfired premier's. Strange what you have put back over time in your reloading room. IMHO nothing beats the green premier's for reloading!Charlie01
My method of Remington hulls, (Gun Clubs, STS, Nitros) is to keep reloading them until one of the lips on the crimp splits loose and makes a flap. I mark the hull with a black marker and shoot it too. Any black marked ones go in the trash. I gave up keeping track of groups of hulls to determine how many reloads, but I know I got a lot of loads out of them. I do not know if that is the right way or not, but it seems to work for me.
I think powder selection makes some difference. I never had a case side split before the crimp mouth deteriorated with TiteGroup powder. Some Alliant powders must burn hotter, becasue I had a lot of side splits with it. I do not have any scientific data on why, I just threw the split ones out and finished using up the powder. No worries.
Using Remington hulls, I just watch the folds of the crimps:<center>
</center>The one on the left is once-fired, the middle one has seen 4 reloads and the right one has seen 7. It's time to junk the one on the right; the folds won't open so the plastic is getting stiff and brittle. From this point on I'll have to check it each time for splits and holes.
Why bother? Empties are easy to get; why reload junk?