Military Once fired brass

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GP Idaho posted this 27 April 2017

Hello All: I hope some of you military class shooters can help me out here. I have a lot of military 7.62X51mm once fired brass, Lake City 08 and 09.  I full length ressized some of the brass and fired it once (light jacketed loads) The cases are now 2.012 in length .003 short of needing their first trim. On resizing the brass for the second time (using a Redding bushing FL sizer) there is now a bright ring around the cases just forward of the case head. Now usually I would think case head separation coming up here if I saw this but the cases haven't yet stretched enough to need their first trim. Using my Harbor Freight shop saw I opened up a couple of cases and the inside looks like new, no rut on the inside wall at all.  My thought is this brass must have been fired in a S.A.W. or such and is showing the rifle equivalent of the “Glock Bulge&rdquofrom an oversized automatic weapon chamber. Should I take the hit and send these cases to the scrapper or can they be safely loaded with cast bullet loads?  Thanks  Gp

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R. Dupraz posted this 28 April 2017

I have used LC ;military brass from the sixties for quite a few years in my Israelie 7.62x51 Mauser. All cast loads for the military matches. This was match brass though. And I also use a Redding FL sizer bushing die. Those cases had been reloaded countless times before finally being replaced after seeing some cracks beginning to form in the web area of some of them.. These had all been once fired in a match M-14.. Don't know what the difference would be. But from what I understand, some years were better that others.

Normally, the indication of a case head failure is a definite hair line crack starting to form in the web area, just ahead of the case head on the outside. Plainly visible. If it's not a crack but just a shinny ring around and there is no indication of anything inside the case, I wouldn't worry about it. But would continue to inspect the cases each reload. Especially the inside if some cases are suspect. Which should be done anyway.

An easy way to check the inside of cases for separation is to use a paper clip with a little hook bent on one end. You will be able to feel if the inside is completely smooth or not.

 

 

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GP Idaho posted this 28 April 2017

Thanks for the reply R.D.  I don't know where the extra rdqo letters came from in the question. Computers and their operators do strange things sometimes. lol  Gp

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onondaga posted this 28 April 2017

GP,

Don't  load a bunch of them till you see if your sizing die gets them to chamber easily. They may be usable no matter how bad they look and they will also fire form as you use them. Any that will not chamber easily are recycle fodder.  A size check drop in die after sizing is a good choice of tool to diagnose what you have and decide what is not suitable for reloading..

 

Gary

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GP Idaho posted this 28 April 2017

Well, I'll keep an eye on the cases. I had the ten I fireformed to my Savage Model ten. Two I cut open to have a close look inside I reloaded the eight tonight and they chamber just fine using the Redding bushing FL resize die I'll keep loading these cases and opening one each firing until they are used up. I have 500 so I don't mind losing a few testing.  Thanks for the replies. Gp

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RicinYakima posted this 28 April 2017

The bright ring on the outside can also just mean that the chamber they were shot in is max or a little oversize. The bright ring is just the die working the brass back to SAMMI specs.

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Ed Harris posted this 29 April 2017

Much of the LC 7.62mm brass on the surplus market has been fired in the M240 machinegun.  Very little fired 7.62mm military brass will be found surplus these days which has been fired in rifles, unless you are lucky enough to find M118LR sniper brass.

I've stuck to .30'06 boltguns for my cast bullet work because I have multiple 5-gallon buckets full of range brass which was fired in M1 rifles, alot of it being M72 Match brass.  Drooling pic of one of my golden horde cans in which the brass has not been turned into empties yet:

”

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Larry Gibson posted this 29 April 2017

Ed is correct; 99.9999999% of milsurp LC 7.62 NATO once fired brass will have been fired in M240s or even M60s (there are a few still in service)  machineguns.  Full length sizing in regular dies will cause the cases to stretch and lead to incipient case head separations in as little as 1 or 2 additional firings. That can be avoided with the use of an RCBS .308W X-die.  I suggest the regular X-die and not the SB or AR dies. 

 

If you get the die I suggest adjusting it in the press so the cartridge headspace is set to your chambers headspace.  That will size the case minimally.  Then tighten the mandrel down against the case mouth tight as per the instructions.  You should not have to trim the cases at all as per the instructions, I don't.  With use of the X-die I have had LC cases fired in MGs last 15+ firings with full service loads in M14 spec chambers. 

 

I also suggest decaping before sizing with a Lee (or other) decaping die 1st as those dies have a sturdier pin that is unlikely to bread on the crimped in primers. 

 

LMG 

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 29 April 2017

FYI for those who are interested in loading for the "Pogo Stick."  Recently obtained an evaluation sample of Starline .308 Win. brass.  Cases appear similar in construction to old LC before 1976.  No longer have access to a lab to mount, section and do Knoop or Vickers DPH hardness gradient, but from empirical testing, repeatedly reloading with 39 grs. IMR3031, 168 Sierra MK and Federal 210M primer, which is FULL CHARGE load, primer pockets are staying tight in 5 reloads, which is a good data point. Cases weigh like old LC and appear to be able to be used interchangibly.  MUCH better than current Federal, Lapua, Remington, which all seem SOFT and must be pitched and smashed upon second firing, being "destroyed to prevent enemy use."

IF I were loading for for an M14 /M1A I would look at buying a bunch of that. 

Weighing cases, it does appear that they are mixing lots off different machine lines, and for 600 yards you would want to outside turn necks to 0.012 to clean up high spots, but flash holes are clean and uniform and primer pockets good.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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GP Idaho posted this 29 April 2017

First, I'd like to thank you all for your responses. I don't know where I could find a more qualified group of guys willing to share their thoughts.  As I suspected in the original post, it seems that this brass has most likely been fired in the generous chamber of an automatic weapon.  I'm not feeling too beat up on the deal as 600 pieces came to just $62.50 shipping included.  The X-die is a thought to be considered, thank you Larry.  I managed to remove all of the crimped in primers with my RCBS decaping tool with out breaking a pin using slow steady pressure and have swaged the pockets on the lot.  I'm glad to see Starline moving into the bottleneck brass business as I've always had good luck with their brass and we need domestic suppliers for our components.  Enjoy the day.  Gp

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BigMan54 posted this 30 April 2017

As I read through these posts I'm reminded of the days here in California  before Feb 1989 & the "assault-gun" ban of April 1989. Prior to those days a friend & I shared a H&K 91 in 7.62Nato/.308 & a SIG PE-57 in 7.5 SWISS. 

Both had fluted chamber's & were REALLY TOUGH on brass. We had 1000 rds of LC '81 (?) In 7.62  & 300 rds of NORMA 7.5 SWISS. 

The chamber's of both rifles were military generous & we used standard RCBS dies to reload both. The 7.62 decapped in the RCBS sizer die without a problem. Pushed the primers out through the G.I. crimp with ease. NORMA 7.5 SWISS  had no primer crimp, being standard loaded Hunting ammo.

We had no reloading problems with either cartridge.  We actually didn't even completely full-length sized either cartridge. But rather barely touched the shoulder.  We lost cases to splits in the body of 7.62 & neck splits in the 7.5 SWISS. Due to striking the ejector/action port. Or maybe the other way around. It's been too long to remember every detail. We sectioned a case every loading cycle. Never found one that showed signs of case stretching.

But for us maybe having to make the trek to Arizona to sell them & a BARRETT Light 50 came at an opportune moment. It took A LOT OF WORK to load for those guns. But one added plus of the fluted chamber of the H&K. It was easy to keep the brass for our M1A'S seperate.    

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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papertrl posted this 01 May 2017

Ed Harris shared: 

Drooling pic of one of my golden horde cans in which the brass has not been turned into empties yet:

”

 And here's it's kissing cousin, also from 1961. One box only, unopened.

””

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Ed Harris posted this 02 May 2017

Gee, maybe we should breed them!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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papertrl posted this 02 May 2017

Gee, maybe we should breed them!

First Born: Frank Lakeford

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GP Idaho posted this 02 May 2017

I'll take the runt of the litter. I'm working with my 223s  lol  Gp

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Duke M posted this 2 weeks ago

 Risking a bit of thread drift, but here goes. I really like military surplus brass but occasionally some has minor imperfections/damage on the rim that cause difficulty when trying to insert it into a shell holder. Is anyone aware of a uniforming tool that can "clean up" the dings, burrs, etc. that brass gets from being fired in semi auto rifles?

 

Duke

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RicinYakima posted this 2 weeks ago

 Is anyone aware of a uniforming tool that can "clean up" the dings, burrs, etc. that brass gets from being fired in semi auto rifles?

 When I was shooting High-Power, I would tap the case into a Wilson trimmer shellholder. Chucked an RCBS shellholder into the headstock of the lathe, put the base into the RCBS shellholder and turned the lathe on. Just light pressure would burnish the dings back in line while I held the Wilson shellholder. HTH, Ric

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Duke M posted this 2 weeks ago

Well Ric, since I do have the Wilson trimmer shell holder, I think that is a viable solution. I think I'll start setting the offending samples aside until I accumulate a pile, then plan a session of fixing them. Thanks.

 

Duke

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Starmetal posted this 2 weeks ago

Ed Harris, I have a group of friends that are serious benchrest shooters. They talk often about preparing cases to get the most consistent alike cases.   They have found out by actual testing that sorting cases to case volume far exceeds sorting cases by weight for consistancy.  Makes sense to me because after all the intenal volume of the case is the boiler room and if all cases are the same internal volume, that they would give the same pressures.  What do you think?

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 2 weeks ago

The common easy first sort is by brand.  I wonder though, even though it is a 'given' that uniformity in brass is mandatory for high accuracy, I've not seen comparisons of targets.  Like 10 shots from brand 'a' vs ten shots from brand 'b'.

Yes, I sort.

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R. Dupraz posted this 2 weeks ago

I have seen a weight variation as much as 12-14 grains between different brands or rifle brass of the same cal.

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