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Old December 29, 2010, 10:09 AM   #1
DarthNul
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source for once-fired 7.62x39 brass?

My brother in law married a Canadian and moved north so I got a deal on the stuff that was too much hassle for him to import, including a Chinese SKS rifle.

I bought some Hornady dies for 7.62x39 (I like that Hornady includes both .308 and .310 expander balls). Shell holders and bullets are en-route from midway, but I need brass.

I'd rather not spend the bucks on new brass just for plinking. I plan to talk to my local range owner about this but it seems there aren't a lot of folks shooting the stuff there and most of the ones who do leave steel cases behind

Anybody care to share a good source for once-fired stuff?
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Old December 29, 2010, 11:05 AM   #2
vladan
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Wideners had some imi 7.62x39 boxer primed brass in past but I didn't see anything for long time now. The best way would be to buy few boxes of cheaper brass cased ammo ( sellier&bellot, fiocchi, prvi ... around 8-9 bucks a box ) and save the brass. or try gunbroker ...
The thing about reloading this particullar cartridge is,
a) most of 7.62x39 ammo is russian made steel cased so there is not much brass going around,
b) SKS and AK type of rifles tend to bang up the ejected casings pretty bad so some of the brass might be unusable but degree of that varies with each rifle.
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Old December 29, 2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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When buying brass for 7.62x39mm there is one important thing to remember. Remington brass uses a small rifle primer, everyone else uses a large rifle primer.

Just randomly pulling up a website that sells once fired brass, and lets you pick a manufacturer, it is $40 for 100, $122.50 for 500 and $220 for 1000. That is 40 cents, 24.5 cents and 22 cents. So really you get killed on buying 100, but the difference between 500 and 1000 is small.

So comparing it to buying a box of ammo for it at $11 for 20, that is 55 cents a pop.

So the question is, if you only want a small amount of brass, is it worth 15 cents a round more to get to fire it once and then have the brass left over? Or if you are willing to make a bulk purchase is it work the extra 30.5 or 33 cents to get to shoot a round?

The brass out of my SKS gets dinged pretty bad at the mouth, but up until now has always popped out just fine.
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Old December 29, 2010, 03:08 PM   #4
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Since the early 90's, I've been searching for a source of 7.62x39 brass that is economical. I have never found one.

You can currently buy 1260 rounds of surplus Yugo Ammo for $199.92

That's 15.9 cents per loaded round.
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Old December 29, 2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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As others have already noted:
Keep in mind that SKSs are rather brutal on brass, before you start reloading for it.

I once considered reloading for mine. After running some tests with S&B brass cases and standard Wolf steel-cased ammo; I figured I would have at least a 10% loss rate due to damage, and a 30-70% loss rate (can't find the cases) due to the incredible distances the cases are ejected (depending upon where I'm shooting).

So, a good day would let me recover about 60% of my cases, and a bad day would return about 20%.
If you shoot on a gravel or concrete surface, or have any kind of overhead surfaces, the damage loss rate will increase sharply.
For example: If I shot inside my grandfather's 'shooting shack', I would be lucky to recover 5% of my cases as usable. It has a 2" wood plank ceiling, and a concrete floor. Those surfaces don't play nicely with SKS ejection speeds.


I can't help you with a good once-fired source. Any merchant I've ever seen listing 7.62x39mm had it listed as "Out of Stock", or the price was ridiculous.
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Old December 29, 2010, 04:44 PM   #6
DarthNul
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Thanks for the replies!

It looks like I'm going to have to just shoot up the MFS2000 Hungarian rounds that I got for $7 a box and use any resulting brass that's still intact.

Shoney: Do the bullets in that Yugo surplus stuff stick to a magnet? The ranges around here don't allow it if it does. I can understand why they wouldn't want anybody shooting AP rounds but I don't see why the Wolf bi-metal jacket stuff is going to be any harder on a shredded rubber backstop than regular FMJ.
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Old December 29, 2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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The bullets are FMJ (Full Metal Jacket).

The cases are Berdan Primed Brass.

If you are going to converse with the proper terms, the Official Website of SAAMI has a Glossary which lists in alphabetical order: SNIPER COUNTRY Official Website has a Compendium of Terminology, Abbreviations and Acronyms list is a bit shorter. this is only a little bit of the "c" definitions.
SAAMI Glossary
CARTRIDGES, POWER DEVICE - Cartridges designed to accomplish mechanical actions. The cartridges consist of a shellcase and propellant that when ignited produces gases for inflation, linear or rotary motion, activate diaphragms, or project fastening devices. See also, Cartridge, Industrial
CASE - Refers to cartridge case or shotshell case. Shortened through common usage to simply “case.” There is no definition for CASING in shooting terminology. Casings for what sausages aer stuffed into
CASE BELTED – A cartridge case design having an enlarged band ahead of the extractor groove. This type construction is generally used on large capacity magnum-type cartridges.
CASE CAPACITY - The volume available for the propellant in a cartridge case with a fully seated bullet.
CASE EXTRACTOR GROOVE - An annular groove cut in rimless, semi-rimmed cartridge or belted cases, forward of the head, for the purpose of providing a surface that the gun extractor may grip to remove the case from the chamber. Also called Cannelure.
CASE FIRE-FORMING - A procedure used by handloaders to change the external shape of a cartridge case somewhat by firing in a gun having a chamber of the desired configuration. The case to be fireformed must be dimensionally similar to the desired configuration, especially in the case head area.
CASE GAGE - A fixture used to inspect cartridge case dimensions (i.e. length, diameters, thickness, etc.) to insure conformance to established tolerances.
CASE HEAD EXPANSION - An enlargement of the cartridge case head diameter on firing.
CASE HEAD SEPARATION -See Rupture.
CASE LENGTH -See Cartridge Case Length.
CASE LIFE -An expression of the number of times a case can be reloaded and fired.
CASE MOUTH -The opening in the case into which the projectile or shot is inserted.
CASE MOUTH CHAMFERING -A manual operation performed on cartridge cases prior to reloading to ease insertion of projectiles or chambering. Can be internal and/or external.
CASE NECK -See Cartridge, Neck Of.
CASE RIMMED -See Cartridge, Rimmed.
CASE RUPTURE -Also called Case Separation. See Rupture.
CASE SEPARATION -Also called Case Rupture. See Rupture.
CASE SHOULDER -The angled or tapered section of a bottleneck cartridge case connecting the main body of the case to the smaller diameter neck.
CASE SPLIT -A longitudinal rupture in the wall of a cartridge case or shotshell.
CASE STRETCHING -The elongation in the body of a cartridge case during firing.
CASE TAPER -The gradual reduction in diameter of a cartridge case from head to shoulder or mouth.
CASE TRIMMER -A device used to shorten the length of centerfire cartridge cases to proper length. The necks may stretch and lengthen as a result of repeated reloading and firing.
CASE, BOTTLENECK -See Cartridge, Bottleneck.
CASE, LAMINATED -A scaly appearing area indicative of lamination caused by contamination of cartridge case brass.
CASE, REBATED -See Cartridge, Rebated.
CASE, RIMLESS -See Cartridge, Rimless.
CASE, SEMI-RIMMED -See Cartridge, Self-Rimmed.
CASELESS AMMUNITION-Ammunition that has the propellant charge attached to the bullet and not enclosed in any type of cartridge case.
CAST - 1. See Cast-Off and Cast-On.
2. See Stock Dimensions.
CAST BULLETS

SNIPER COUNTRY - Compendium of Terminology, Abbreviations and Acronyms
Cartridge Conversion - Converting cartridge cases of one calibre or design to another. See annealing
Case - Hollow brass container housing the propellant of a cartridge, the neck of which grips the bullet, and the head of which accepts the primer. ( Click here for picture. )
Case Forming - See Cartridge Conversion.
Case Neck Brush - The metal brush and handle used to clean the inside of case necks.
Case Trimmer - A device used to remove excess material from a case mouth. Metallic cases stretch after extensive reloading a
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Old December 30, 2010, 12:33 AM   #8
DarthNul
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Sorry, but I'm not clear about what terminology I misused.

I suppose I could have been clearer when I referred to "regular FMJ" and meant "FMJ with a copper jacket" but I didn't think that was necessary since copper is the most common jacket material.

"Bi-metal jacket" is how Wolf refers to their proprietary steel and copper jacketed bullets. I didn't coin the phrase.
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Old December 30, 2010, 11:21 AM   #9
res45
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DarthNul the MFS brass is very good reloadable brass I have some form a few boxes I bough at Cabala's back during the summer when it was on sale for $6 a box most of mine is either Win. or Prvi Partizan,I've reload the 7.62 x 39 for over five years with excellent results.

You can get some once fired Rem. here http://www.bluestarbrass.com/catalog/ofrbrass.htm I don't know if it uses SR or LR primers,I would suspect the majority of it is SR although Rem. now produces there X39 ammo with LR primers. You can get new Prvi brass for $31 per 100 here http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,7814.html it use LR primers. If you going to load X39 read these two post.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=56422.0

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=30961.0

Evidently some SKS rifle are rougher on brass than other,I have yet to have to toss a case that has been shot in my Yugo or Chinese I have anywhere from five to seven loading on most of a couple hundred pieces and a few hundred pieces of new Lapua & Prvi brass in reserve.


One way you can reduce brass loss is to shoot reduced charge cast bullet loads I use 12.5 grs. of Alliant 2400 behind a Lee 160 gr. tumble lube gas check cast bullet,muzzled velocity is around 1500 fps. and brass drops right at your feet. 50 yds . groups in the Yugo run 3/4" and under on the Chinese same load shoot five shot groups you can cover with a nickel. The cast load run me around 10 cents each.



You can also take an extra gas tube and modify it by drilling three extra small holes to vent of excess pressure in the gas tube before it even starts affecting the gas piston which in turn will slow down the cycling speed of the SKS bolt and drop your brass within a few feet of your shooting position. It want affect the MV of your loaded rd. and you can tune the cycling action by the size of the holes you drill.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=41391.0

Last edited by res45; December 30, 2010 at 11:55 AM.
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Old December 30, 2010, 01:11 PM   #10
Shoney
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DarthNul
Sorry! Didn't mean to offend. I should have read your post more carefully.

I responded as if you were a novice and asking about bullets, bullets meaning the entire cartridge, where the case is steel.
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Old December 30, 2010, 09:16 PM   #11
DarthNul
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Thanks for all the replies!

I'm going to give this a shot even though I can buy factory ammo cheaper than I can reload, partly because the cheap (magnetic bullet) factory ammo isn't allowed at my favorite range, and partly because I already bought the dies and shell holders.

I'm going to have to find an outdoor range to use up the 300 rounds of Wolf ammo my bro in law included with the rifle, but first I have to make the trip to Fargo to pick it up.

Shoney: No offense taken. I sometimes throw people off because I tend to be more precise in my language than they are expecting. In my line of work, things quickly become incomprehensible when people start using different terms as if they are interchangeable. But then again, nobody at work understands what I do anyway, not even my boss (that's why they pay me the medium bucks).
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Old January 6, 2011, 01:12 PM   #12
savage1r
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Another way to save your brass if you have a Yugo SKS is to simply turn the gas tube off. There's a valve at the connection point that if you turn it straight up turns your Yugo into a straight pull bolt action. No dings on the brass then.
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Old January 7, 2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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I second the Yugo gas switch for saving brass. The only problem is that if your using iron sights the switch may get in the way of the sights.

Check other ranges if you find your range does not have it, you might just be surprised as there isn't many people who reload it. I was shooting at my local outdoor range with my SKS and got to talking to the range officer about reloading for the SKS and he ask if I needed some brass. Of course I did. He came out with a box of 658 (did not know the count at the time), mostly Federal, Winchester, a few Remingtons. After looking through it and drooling a bit he stated a price of $22.
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Old January 7, 2011, 11:02 PM   #14
Jim243
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As hash as it may sound, 7.62x39 once fired brass has all but dried up. What I do is buy Walmart 40 packs of new winchester ammo and save the brass after the first use. Fastes way to get brass for reloading.


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Old January 8, 2011, 02:52 PM   #15
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
As hash as it may sound, 7.62x39 once fired brass has all but dried up. What I do is buy Walmart 40 packs of new winchester ammo and save the brass after the first use. Fastes way to get brass for reloading.
I have found S&B and PPU ammo to be more affordable, and higher quality. If you make a bulk purchase of 200-1000 rounds, the pricing even better (including shipping).

That being said...
S&B brass is at the bottom of my preferred head stamps list. They don't know how to keep flash holes centered, or properly sized. So, Prvi Partizan (PPU) is what I would look for.
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