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Discussion Starter #1
Happy friday folks,

Well, today was a good day as a friend of mine and former competitive marksman here near wimberly was gracious enough to bless me with about 300 rounds of once fired LC and "Match" brass. All ive got to say is "heck yeah!"

Questions though. About half of this is your standard headstamped LC, year and nato symbol. This is from the Special Ball brass, roger got it.

The other half is stamed LC "Match" and year, and some of this stuff ranges between 71' all the way to 93'. Furthermore, it has etchings around the circumfrence near the back of the case, ive honestly never seen this before.

My question is, can expect reasonable consistency from all of this mixed brass? should i separate it by year and make?



The top row is the SB brass, the bottom rows are the LC "Match" brass. Id like to load all of this up with the same 175 gr. SBHP and my standard 44 grains + or - a grain, but im not sure if ill get the same results from the different lots. All comments welcome GI6


DS K.
 

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Excellent questions . . . looking forward to the responses from guys smarter than me!!
 

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I'd tumble them, clean the primer pocket, run them through the sizing die, trim to length, check thickness of the neck, and sort them by weight.
 

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The more you separate and segregate, the better the consistency you will get. The LC Match should be good stuff, but you want to separate by year minimum if that's all you are going to do. I work in batches of 50 rounds. I weight sort my brass (in +/- .5 gr groups) as well as keep the number of firings the same. If you dont have enough to do that, weight sort by +/- 1 gr, etc..., If the weights range is just too large to get 50 a batch. Then try and get 10, and use that 10 for a single course of fire. So you might have one weight group for offhand and one for sitting rapid, one for prone rapid, etc...

It really comes down to how far you want to take it. Remember, since this is once fired, it could have been fired in a chamber dimensionally larger than your rifle's. You will need to size appropriately. You dont want to take a piece of brass that was fired in a chamber headspaced at 1.635, like a milspec chamber, and load it up and pop it into a chamber that the bolt wont close on a 1.634 commercial .308 NO-GO gauge. Brass stretches out to the chamber it was fired in. You dont need any out of battery explosions. A Wilson case gauge is a quick and easy (and safe) way to check this. Sizing should fix that problem, but not all sizing dies are equal. You need (well should) to check...


Ultimately, this is just food for thought and theres alot more to it, but I mention these things to get your mind "humming"....
 

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BTW: If you are loading for a 14, 44 grs of your standard "whatever" with 175 grain bullets is pushing it for port pressure, and possibly chamber pressure. Please dont say its Varget! Way too hot. And honestly too much for the staple, 4895. THIS IS NOT A BOLT GUN....! And LC Brass has far less volume than commercial brass, in general... Yikes! Scary....

44 grs of powder and 175 grs of bullet for the M14 is not a good combo, regardless of the powder make and model, and especially with LC brass...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh im definatly going to reduce loads for the LC and 175s, thats just what ive been using in commercial brass. Rule of thumb is reduce by 2 grains from commercial to service brass, right? Maybe ill go lower just to be double sure. I use nothing but varget for this rifle.

varget is what ive got, that or BL-C(2)


BTW- how many firings do you think is safe for Federal brass?
 

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Whatsinaname181,

Do all the preparation practices prior to separating by weight. I finally separate by 0.1-0.2 grains for match loads and for SHTF loads I lump (a bunch of various cases) together. However, my SHFT cases are prepped just like match load cases.

I prep my cases as follow:

clean brass with hot water/vinegar/baking soda mix
rinse in hot water and dry with blow dryer
tumble clean.
separate by LC, year
resize (3x for LC brass) per glen zediker recommendations. my brass was LC machine gun brass.
trim to case length 2.005"
chamfer case inside/outside
remove military crimp
clean primer pocket
uniform primer pocket
debur flashhole from inside
oversize flashhole from 0.080" to 0.081 - uniform ignition
turn neck
anneal neck and shoulder
tumble,
repeat hot water cleaning
dry - thoroughly
separate cases by weight.

Bullets
measure and separate by ogive
trim (match bthp) to 1.228" - for 168 gr.
separate bullets by weight 0.1-2 grain (I have yet to find an actual 168 grain bullet).

load to 2.800"

I gave three cartridges a few weeks ago to a friend to test in his remington model 7 bolt action. I called me one day at work and said that he and another guy had went shooting and he took the three cases along to test for me. They setup a target at 200+ yards and he fired my three cartridges first. He said that when they went down to the target he couldn't believe what he saw. He said that they could touch all three bullet holes with one dime. Either the second or third bullet tore through the first hole - he is retired SF.

My loads were:

Hornady 168 grain bthp
LC or comparible Military Spec brass
CCI BR primers ( I am thinking about wolf primers in the future).
41.5 grains of IMR 4895.

However, for my M1A I will reduce that load a little. If you have the time and take the time you can produce loads that exceed the quality control for M852 and M118LR.

just my opinion.

KS Shooter
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ok, awesome advice so far, and its much appreciated.

Just got done sorting through all of this brass and ive got a few questions. One thing during my reloading adventures that ive noticed is huge POI changes during firing when not using the same type of brass, this especially seems true when different manufacturers are involved. Im working, all in all, with about 5 types of LC brass here. LC w/ nato head stamp years 87, 88, 89 and 91, and even some stamped WCC 61' !

Trouble is, like James said, I dont even know what gun this came from. They could have been fired out of just about anything, but considering the source I suspect M14. I think the gentleman shot at Perry. They def havent been fired out of an M60 or any other belt fed weapon. All my samples actually measure under 2.015 for case length. Maybe they were fired out of a bolt gun, lol.

If i do like Buds and KShooter says and weigh them, if i take cartrages from different years that fall within weight spec, would be safe to assume I will maintain reasonable accuracy between them if i lumped them together? Im not a bench shooter, and my rifle is a 1.5 MOA weapon.

Logic would have me believe, yes. even if manufacutured in different years, but they still weigh the same then the case volume should be the same, and i will maintain accuracy. BUT there could be some things I dont know, which is why i come here and ask you feller's these kinds of questions :D

still cant believe theres some year 61' brass in there. I was born in 1982, haha.
 

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Whatsinaname181,

Do all the preparation practices prior to separating by weight. I finally separate by 0.1-0.2 grains for match loads and for SHTF loads I lump (a bunch of various cases) together. However, my SHFT cases are prepped just like match load cases.

I prep my cases as follow:

clean brass with hot water/vinegar/baking soda mix
rinse in hot water and dry with blow dryer
tumble clean.
separate by LC, year
resize (3x for LC brass) per glen zediker recommendations. my brass was LC machine gun brass.
trim to case length 2.005"
chamfer case inside/outside
remove military crimp
clean primer pocket
uniform primer pocket
debur flashhole from inside
oversize flashhole from 0.080" to 0.081 - uniform ignition
turn neck
anneal neck and shoulder
tumble,
repeat hot water cleaning
dry - thoroughly
separate cases by weight.

Bullets
measure and separate by ogive
trim (match bthp) to 1.228" - for 168 gr.
separate bullets by weight 0.1-2 grain (I have yet to find an actual 168 grain bullet).

load to 2.800"

I gave three cartridges a few weeks ago to a friend to test in his remington model 7 bolt action. I called me one day at work and said that he and another guy had went shooting and he took the three cases along to test for me. They setup a target at 200+ yards and he fired my three cartridges first. He said that when they went down to the target he couldn't believe what he saw. He said that they could touch all three bullet holes with one dime. Either the second or third bullet tore through the first hole - he is retired SF.

My loads were:

Hornady 168 grain bthp
LC or comparible Military Spec brass
CCI BR primers ( I am thinking about wolf primers in the future).
41.5 grains of IMR 4895.

However, for my M1A I will reduce that load a little. If you have the time and take the time you can produce loads that exceed the quality control for M852 and M118LR.

just my opinion.

KS Shooter
He's got 300 pieces of brass. The chances of finding enough pieces to get a bunch (like 40-50) for the range, within a +/- .1 gr weight range is slim. If you can do that go for it, but most likely you'd need a lot more that 300...

Yes, do weight sort after prepping....
 

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Even if you find weights that are the same, it doesn't mean the volumes are the same, its just the easiest method we have to work with. Weight and Volume are 2 different things and in the case of brass cases, not necessarily directly related. We assume, with some good chances that they are, that weight helps us separate and segregate by volume, but without water weighting the cases its still not perfect science. Its just one of the better methods we have. Any high school or college level Chemistry class goes into good detail on this.

This is why there is always an ongoing debate about throwing vs. weighing charges. Even if 2 charge weights that were thrown are a different weight, they still may take up the same volume in a vessel. Of course, for consistency, the vessels have to have the same volumes for the 2 thrown charges of different weights to begin with... Get it? Got it? Good! :)
 

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jameslawson71,

Water weighing them, while I have never done it, I assume would require that a primer be intact. That would then assume that the primers are all the same consistency. Maybe with match cases but not mg brass like I am using. Your also right that with 300 cases its hard to find 40-50 the same weight category. I typically would separate into lots of 20-24 (by LC and year), even within the same weight. Then I would give this box of cases a specific lot number and have additional proof cartridges if I wanted. My goal is/was to be able to shoot 1000 + yards. That is what my range is.

KS Shooter
 

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Discussion Starter #14
jameslawson71,

Water weighing them, while I have never done it, I assume would require that a primer be intact. That would then assume that the primers are all the same consistency. Maybe with match cases but not mg brass like I am using. Your also right that with 300 cases its hard to find 40-50 the same weight category. I typically would separate into lots of 20-24 (by LC and year), even within the same weight. Then I would give this box of cases a specific lot number and have additional proof cartridges if I wanted. My goal is/was to be able to shoot 1000 + yards. That is what my range is.

KS Shooter
Ill do it by year, and what happens happens lol. I rather enjoy shooting my ammo than reloading it, heres my process-

Lube
Full length Resize/deprime
Trim to length (2.005)
Chamfer
Tumble and polish/also removes case lube

Prime
Charge
Seat
Shoot

With a new lot of brass I always make a couple of dummy rounds and see how they fit in the M1A chamber. I like taking an empty, prepped case without charge or projectile and letting the bolt fly home on it over and over again just to check for slamfires. Ive actually tested this (i use remington 9 1/2) and done it 30 times in a row with a purposly high seated primer and it actually seated the primer and did not detonate. Just a little something to make me feel better, lol. Heck of a dimple though.


only time I do any sort of primer pocket or flashhole work is if its excessivly dirty or hard to seat. This has been my rule of thumb and so far (God willing) it has served me well.

I read an article on handloading once that stated that there is no benifit to turning necks or a few other minute steps people take when loading for a non-bench rifle. The chamber is not tight enough, as for a bench gun, to make use of such things.

Now this may be a can of worms, but I believe there is some truth to it. Your experience may vary and Id be curious to hear some different opinions on this. So far it has served me well.

My main concerns are- case length, primer depth, bullet seat depth and powder charge. I try not to get excessivly wrapped up in the microdetails, especially if it will not benifit me with the type of rifle i am shooting. This may sound like heiresy to some, but its just my philosophy.

Like I said, ill go by what was said earlier and sort by year and see how it turns out. As long as im printing 1.5 or better, Im alright with that. Hunting season is here GI6

Once again, great advice! Goes much appreciated. Still looking forward to hearing more on this.


DS K.
 

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jameslawson71,

Water weighing them, while I have never done it, I assume would require that a primer be intact. That would then assume that the primers are all the same consistency. Maybe with match cases but not mg brass like I am using. Your also right that with 300 cases its hard to find 40-50 the same weight category. I typically would separate into lots of 20-24 (by LC and year), even within the same weight. Then I would give this box of cases a specific lot number and have additional proof cartridges if I wanted. My goal is/was to be able to shoot 1000 + yards. That is what my range is.

KS Shooter
As far as water weighting them, not many do. I sure as heck dont, but it is really the only way to know for sure what a case volume is. Im just stating that it is done, and yes you need to make some sort of removable plug to fit in the primer pocket... LOL, too much fun for me, no thanks.. LC is good brass, pure and simple, just sort how you see fit, but just make sure they fit the chamber, since you dont know what they were fired in before....

Also, you can shoot 1000 yards without pushing the limits of chamber and port pressure (ie. 44 grs of Varget and 175 gr bullets in a 14). That will eventually destroy your rifle, either by wear and tear or flat out breaking something. Hopefully does not injure you either...

308 makes it to 1000 just fine, without having to push the danger zone. Is it the best cartridge for 1000 yard shooting? No, but neither is using an M14. If your idea is to use it for 1000 yard service rifle, you can get by with a 175 at 2550 fps m.v. to reach 1000. If you want a tack-driving 1000 yard sniping machine, you are working with the wrong platform to begin with. Thats bolt gun territory..

Anyway, just be safe with the loads. Id hate to hear about any "blown-ups"!
 

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jameslawson71,

thanks for the information. I hope I didn't come across as flaming what you were saying I just don't want to do the water volume test either. All my brass is mg brass that I purchased earlier this year. Also, from what Glen Zediker has stated there really isn't any difference between standard LC and match LC (metal urgy wise), except the match brass not having the primer crimp. I have a few thousand so I can do a lot of separations based on year and weight. I originally started reloading 308 for bolt actions, however, when I saw the M1a, everything else became second fiddle. I am setting up for long range shooting for both. I am limiting to no larger than 175 or 176 gr so I can shoot out of either rifles.

That's why I put a lot of time into case and bullet preparation. I haven't even got into bullet pointing yet.

KS Shooter
 

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jameslawson71,

thanks for the information. I hope I didn't come across as flaming what you were saying I just don't want to do the water volume test either. All my brass is mg brass that I purchased earlier this year. Also, from what Glen Zediker has stated there really isn't any difference between standard LC and match LC (metal urgy wise), except the match brass not having the primer crimp. I have a few thousand so I can do a lot of separations based on year and weight. I originally started reloading 308 for bolt actions, however, when I saw the M1a, everything else became second fiddle. I am setting up for long range shooting for both. I am limiting to no larger than 175 or 176 gr so I can shoot out of either rifles.

That's why I put a lot of time into case and bullet preparation. I haven't even got into bullet pointing yet.

KS Shooter
The primer crimp is the only difference as far as I know. As far as everything else, sounds good....

Not flaming at all, I was just really concerned with the 44 grs Varget and 175s AND an M1A/M14. Its too much, which Ive already stated to death....DI5 Have fun...!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Good healthy exchange of opinions! I just learned a few things too.

Ok, so theres no difference between LC and LC Match, thats good news.

I fired my first test batch today, all with reduced loads. Starting for the 175 SBHP was 40 (varget), max was 45. Minus two grains for the LC and i ended up with

LC Brass
42.0 Gr Varget
175gr Sierra BTHP
Remington 9 1/2 primers

averaged about 1.15 MOA today @ 100 M.

I also finally confirmed my CCB, which is about 2 MOA high and about 1 MOA right which leaves it at about 1 o clock at 2 inches.

was a good day at the range.

PS- Oh yeah, and it was a mixed lot of brass too, lol. Thats hopeful.

:D


DS K.
 

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I agree with the recent comment allowing the ranging of the M1A. My guess is 700 meters with 168's. Past that it indeed bolt-gun territory. I also hope that some of my bro M14'ers don't mind if I submit that micro-managing leads to a sort of an unlimited list of variable list and some version of chaos theory. I mean no offence.

I'm unequal to the task of doing all the other moves by lack of resources. So what i do twice year is I'll buy four or five match grade off the shelf boxes of ammo, try to verify lot numbers, usually Fed FM, fire-form at the range, full length resize, clean primer pockets if crudd if cruddy. I like the overall length if 2.800", but unless there're feeding problems, I'm liable to tweak that.
 

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Do all the preparation practices prior to separating by separate bullets by weight 0.1-2 grain (I have yet to find an actual 168 grain bullet).
Neither have I.
 
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