depends on the round and the reloader..........
I've reloaded target 38's to the point i forgot how many times---i know ts over +20 times. These were not +p loads just target range loads. The 1st problem to usually develop is split necks. Same goes for the 45 acp......
Things that affect the case life are how heavy of a crimp is applied, how hot the loads are, and also case stretch.
This has ben argued and debated for a while, but when it comes to case stretch, i fall into the camp that stretch is not caused by hot rounds but is caused by the sizing die working the brass. To that end, even though i use carbide dies, i apply a bit of lubricant (hornady case lube spray) to the cases and also to the inside of the case mouth. Just a small added step but also makes resizin' easier and in my opinion helps reduce case stretch so less frequent trimmin'.
I personally have about eighteen hundred W.W. .38 Spl. cases that I bought from the Game Comission at least 25 Years ago. I couldn't even begin to guess how many times they've been re-cycled, possibly hundreds. I load for Myself, & two Sons-in-law, so they've been around. Like has been said, I use'm till they crack.
I much prefer W.W. cases for the pistols & revolvers, but for the rifles, Remington cases seem to hold up a lot better, at least for Me. Especially in the smaller bores, like 6mm, .243, & .22/250. In rifle cases, You also want to watch for a dis-colored ring around the case, just forward of the base. It may be a sign of impending case separation.
I also have a small amount of Federal brass, in .357. Never tried "off brands".
I don't reload much for rifles, but far as pistols go I load'm till they spilt or rupture. I just look for good deals on .45colt & .44mag (One of the ranges I go to sometimes sells range brass for 2 cents a piece you can't beat $2.00 per 100rds). The other range I go to just leaves it on the ground, so thats my source of .45acp. One day I sat & watched these two guys burn up a 250rd. brick of UMC .45acp, I just walked over & picked it up. Well ok that beats 2 cents a piece! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Brass will last longer nickle is harder and will split sooner than brass, also a tamper crimp will help extend case life less working the brass than roll crimp. I figure a tamper crimping dies paya for its self in a year or two for most reloaders as for me I think I am down to weeks lol. Lee makes a great factory crimp die and for the money ya can'tr go wrong pard.