Once Fired Military Brass...paying the price

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by Ulfberht, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Ulfberht Training and mentoring the next generation.

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Message Count:
    111
    2016-02-12-12-13-51--510819518.jpeg

    I haven't had a good experience with the "orange" company's case-prep tools, but here is 1 example of a chamber checker.
    For accuracy, I'll check my notes and post the outside dimension of my suitable 5.56 &.308 brass. It was very close to the book as I recall.
    hombre243 likes this.
  2. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    Just now looking at that on the Lyman site. Amazon sells for a few bucks less. I haven't looked at any others yet but I will want one for the 3030. Who has them, do you know? Other than that sheet with the go-no go slots cut out I don't see any other checkers on the Lyman site.

    ***I found one on Amazon. (3030) It is a Wilson. Same thing as the Lyman I suppose.
  3. Ulfberht Training and mentoring the next generation.

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Message Count:
    111
    A suitable OD according to my Lee 2nd addition Reloading Book:

    .308 is .473"
    5.56 is .378"

    The brass that has been successfully-fired in my chambers:

    .308 is .475"
    5.56 is .380"

    I like Lee's dies for pistol, but have taken a liking to RCBS for rifle dies.
    0212161228.jpg
    hombre243 likes this.
  4. Ulfberht Training and mentoring the next generation.

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Message Count:
    111
    hombre243 likes this.
  5. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    Lyman and Wilson have good stuff. I probably won't look further. I did pull up the photo page. Some of those block types are out of range price wise but I have 3 centerfire rifles and don't need but one more gauge...the 30-30. Wilson's sells on Amazon and I put it on my list for next time I use Amazon.
  6. spamassassin Well-Known Member

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Message Count:
    1,129
    The closest you'll get to new military brass is Lapua which is what I use for most of my match brass. It's ferociously expensive but I usually get 20 loadings or better out of it if I keep the pressures sane.
    Ulfberht and hombre243 like this.
  7. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    Lapua is expensive no doubt but at 20 loadings it seems cheap at twice the price. I don't shoot enough to pay that much. I like to have enough loaded on hand so I don't have to wear out my brass and have to reorder all the time. I hunt, so my ammo sits during much of the off season. I make sure my guns stay sighted in and I pop off a few rounds to stay sharp. No competition for me. I am not that serious about it. But I do like to make my own ammo.
    Ulfberht likes this.
  8. Ulfberht Training and mentoring the next generation.

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2015
    Message Count:
    111
    I think I'd go with nickel cases if I could find them; some say nickle cases lasts longer.


    Ive also realized that .50 per loaded round is cheaper than hand-loading on the 7.62x39; I've had good use out of the Privy.

    The other prep for O/F mil brass is reaming or swaging out the primer crimp....I ended up with RCBS on that tool as well.
    2016-02-12-16-48-55-30967280.jpeg
    For bigger jobs, I attach it to my cordless drill.
    hombre243 likes this.
  9. Keith Moderator

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Message Count:
    1,197
    I keep forgetting about those.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. marineimaging1 New Member

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Message Count:
    2
    The same thing with the brass shot through a Saiga 7.62/308. I just spent weeks disassembling all of my loads after trading the Saiga for a MVP patrol. Half of the rounds would not chamber. In part because the die had slipped out about 1/32" that wasn't being sized and the Saiga was so sloppy that the would jam in any other 7.62 I tried. Full resizing brings them back to spec so I would keep an eye on them and separate them by weight regardless of what they say on the face. Federal Cartridges FC have proven to be the most consistent in weight of range brass for what it is worth.
    Ulfberht likes this.
  11. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    I recently got the RCBS Swage kit for large and small primer pockets. Works like a charm. I have several little screw in hand tools and I just got tired of that.
    Ulfberht likes this.
  12. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    I have been trying to figure out where to start the calculation. You say reduce the loads that you use in commercial brass by at least 5%. What if you do not have commercial brass loads worked up? I loaded mil brass with 44.0 gr of IMR 4064. That is just about what the calculation comes to for my starting point. I had no % basis to go on at the time so what I did was, I subtracted start from max. 45.2 - 40.7 = 4.5 difference. I subtracted 1.0 gr from 45.2 and got 44.2 and rounded it to 44.0 gr as my speculated max. Starting at 42.0, then up each next 10 rounds .5 gr; the sequence went: 42.0; 42.5; 43.0; 43.5; 44.0. This is 1.2 gr less than the max. 44.0 gr IMR 4064 was my most accurate load with a 180 gr Win Power Point BTSP. Win Primer and LC Brass. The calculation says start at 45.2 x .95 = 42.94. I started almost a grain less. As I test fired each string I saw noticeable improvement in the group. 42.0 and 42.5 loadings were not recorded.

    I eventually fired a 5 shot groups for each loading and then saved 5 shots per load for the 100 yard test. 44.0 gr came out on top at both ranges.

    Attached Files:

    Ulfberht likes this.
  13. GrocMax Active Member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Message Count:
    166
    LC *is* military brass. NATO cross and all. New LC 223 is currently being sold all over under various brand names new unprimed for 45-50 bucks per 250.

    https://www.wideners.com/reloading-supplies/brass-casings/223-rem-brass-casings

    "Federal American Eagle" - you get Lake City '15 headstamp NATO brass. There is nothing wrong with this brass, its good brass.
    Ulfberht and hombre243 like this.
  14. GrocMax Active Member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Message Count:
    166
    Go by avg case weight, heavy case- reduce load and work up. Heavier case with the same external dimensions means there's less internal volume which makes pressure go up with the same powder charge.

    Not necessarily true that military brass = heavier case. A few years back Lapua 223 was nearly 10g heavier on avg than most military cases and caused issues. LC 223 is some of the lighter brass. When in doubt sort by headstamp and weight a few samples to get an idea where they fall. If you're going to weight sort cases don't bother until they've been fully prepped and trimmed.
    hombre243 likes this.
  15. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    If I have to remove a primer crimp, it is military.

    The statement means that a vague "reduce by 5% does not say where to begin the calculation. Do I calculate from the low end or the high end? (start or max?) so I devised my own system to determine where to start. How much heavier case weight. That is as vague as reduce by 5%
  16. GrocMax Active Member

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Message Count:
    166
    The EXACT same case sold new and unprimed has no crimp. The crimp is a requirement for military contract loaded ammo. And LC 223, NATO cross, no crimp and all is cheap and plentiful at the moment. Pulldown, primed (crimped) unfired (new) LC 308 brass is around if you look, don't have to settle for machine gun brass.
    Ulfberht and hombre243 like this.
  17. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130

    I buy once fired brass. I buy by price. Whatever type brass it is I deal with it and I am satisfied. I am on a very limited income and the prices I have been shown at Wideners is double what I pay when I do buy.

    It is possible someone bought new military brass and there was no crimp and I might one day get ahold of it, but the brass I get is Lewis Machine brass. You DO know who they are do you not? I get both 5.56 and .308 from them at the range where they test. If I get once fired mil brass I always have to remove the crimp. If I buy online, the vendor says whether I will have to remove the crimp, or that the crimp has been removed, or it is commercial brass that has not been crimped. I think I got it covered, thanks.
  18. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130
    How about looking at the base? I see 2 different type crimps. One is a 4 point staked crimp. The other is a circular crimp around the edge of the primer. If it has a circled cross it is NATO. If it is LC I always see the crimp. Even if someone else has removed the crimp, which I have not run across yet, I still know if it is military without weighing. I can see where a crimp has been removed. If it was crimped any time, I swage the pocket. I mark it as swaged on the load data for that box of cartridges and I do not have to mess with it again.

    I have even gotten primed cases with the bullets pulled. Crimped. I took the decap pin out of my die and resized, then loaded em up as if i had primed them myself. Then when i reload, I swage out the crimp after I decap. Have you ever noticed the stake crimp will increase your overall length if you do not grind the bump off the face of the base? It can cause a tight fit in the shellholder too. When you pop out the primer the stake crimp is pushed out of the pocket and must be ground off at the surface as well as swaged in the pocket.

    I give every case I work with a thorough going over. I had some hellacious problems until I learned how to process military cases. I figured out how to make the cases work that were so oversize they needed extra grease in order to resize. Now no matter what I get, I work out the problems.

    "Go by avg case weight, heavy case- reduce load and work up..." Now, going back to the previous problem...reduce and work up...where do I start? What do I use as the weight to calculate where to start. Max, or start? Start is way below the 5% recommended weight from max. But it is close to the weight charge I will eventually use as I work up toward max. Do I reduce the start and go from there?

    Never mind! I figured out my own system. But thanks anyway.
    Ulfberht likes this.
  19. Tommie Martin Guest

    Member Since:
    Message Count:
    0
    I am going to throw my hat in the ring and see where I get burned. First and foremost there is a significant difference between .308 Winchester and 7.62 X 51 NATO. I have most of the recent reloading manuals and for now since the Nosler manual is in front of me..that's what I will go with using the 165/168 grain bullets for reloading.

    First the manual lists the .308 Win with a water grain capacity at 48.3 whereas the 7.62 round has a water capacity of 47.1 grains in the 165/168 grain bullet scale.

    Trying to compare base powders can be a bit problematic. Both manuals cal for a load of Varget powder. The 7.62 shows 41.0 gr to 45.0 grains or 94% to 103% capacity load. The same Varget in the .308 Win shows 42.0 to 46.0 grains and again the same 94% to 103% case volume again.

    This in itself can be VERY confusing to the reloader. The relative speeds for these two rounds from Nosler information shoes 7.62 at or near 2600 fps whereas the .308 Win has a speed near or at 2800 fps. The speed difference probably comes from the fact that the 7.62 is tested form a 18" barrel whereas the .308 Win was tested out of a 24" barrel. If you apply the often argued idea of about 25 fps drop per inch of barrel loss, this comes out to be about 2750 fps vs the posted 2800 fps for the 24' barrel. Once again very special attention has to be paid when comparing some forms of information/reloading data. Not very many things in reloading are apples to apples comparisons.

    When a reduction is called for when working up a reload, the reduction should be started from the base or lower powder charge amount. In the above reload data, the 7.62 starting load should be at or near 38.8-39 grains. Yes, if you read enough someone is going to advise you of a "lite load" danger and "flashover". I am not going to cover that as the minimal reduction of 5% vs case size gets you no where near this possible problem. Looking at the data supplied by Nosler on the case capacities of the two in question, you will see their reduction is about a 3% reduction instead of the recommended 5%. Using the 5% reduction is just a safety factor many in the business of reloading found out a long time before most of us arrived on the scene. Weighting your cases gives a approximate value to their respective interior capacity..but again..nothing certain.

    I will close with this..you are usually allowed ONE mistake in reloading...unfortunately is may be the ONLY one you get..or it will forever teach you to be careful in your reloading endeavors. Checking every thing you do..and then rechecking it and then getting someone else to check things (IMHO) is never a bad thing. Just my 2 cents worth and it is EXACTLY worth what you paid for it.
  20. hombre243 Member

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Message Count:
    130

    It seems to me a fair assumption that if a loading manual lists load data for 7.62x51/.308, or .223/5.56 the load data for a 7.62x51 would be specific for a 7.62x51 case and 5.56 data specific for a 5.56 case.

    5.56x45 load data would assume one would know to use the military case. But if one uses a commercial case there should be no over pressure problems because the case has a larger capacity than the military case. (Using civilian cases for either the commercial or the military would be safe for either data, because the commercial case has a higher case capacity.)

    I see data that recommends lowering the charge weight if using the military 5.56 case because of the reduced case volume which increases pressures, when using charges meant for the civilian .223 round. BUT, if I am reading load data for 7.62 or 5.56 specific and am using military cases I will assume the publisher of those loads knows the difference between the civilian case and the military case and publishes data specific to the case type. If I use commercial data in a military case I start at the low end and work up.

Share This Page