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Old January 9, 2013, 09:09 PM   #1
cbacontracting
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head stamp question

i am new to reloading and have a question about some brass i received from a friend the head stamps on ammo are wra 66, wcc65, wra65,lc 65, and ra65 he says they are 243 casings they are very close to the factory amo casings but are alot thicker so want to know first if you guys have seen this before and is the thickness gonna affect pressures or do you load it same way as factory ,think it is military issue ammo not sure
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:22 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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That is US military 7.62x51 NATO (army version of .308) that has been necked down to .243.

If it is heavier than standard, it has less volume which will run pressures up somewhat. The NRA used to say to reduce the powder charge by one grain for every 11 grains heavier brass. I think the current recommendation is even more cautious.

If the sized down necks are so thick that they cannot expand to release the bullet, pressure will be increased a LOT.

I don't think you who are saying "i am new to reloading" should be getting that experimental. Buy some real .243 brass.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:32 AM   #3
Marco Califo
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Yes they are 7.62/308. The 243 is 308 necked down. There is a lot of variance in 7.62 brass, particularly with mil spec vrs commercial, when reloading it for 308. These variances will only multiply when used for loading 243 (same volume of expanding gas forced through a smaller bore). I concur with the previous post that you should not use it for 243 until you have experience with 243 using commercial brass. It may ultimately be usable later, but is not a safe learning component.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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I agree this could cause confusion. It takes up to two grains or so less powder in military cases than in some commercial ones in .308 loads to reach the same peak pressures. After necking down to .243, the difference could be greater. Not a good situation until you learn a bit more.
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Old January 10, 2013, 03:04 PM   #5
oldpapps
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"wra 66, wcc65, wra65,lc 65, and ra65"

Typical Military head stamps.

WRA 66 - Winchester Repeating Arms 1966 vintage.
WCC 65 - Western Cartridge Corp 1965 vintage.
WRA 65 - Winchester Repeating Arms 1965 vintage.
LC 65 - Lake City 1965 vintage.
RA 65 - Remington Arms 1965 vintage.

All are Military brass head stamps. As Uncle wasn't doing a whole lot of 30-06 in 1965 and 66 and I don't know of Uncle ever doing .243s, this brass in all likely hood began life as 7.62 NATO stuff, the military version of the .308 Winchester.

The brass was good stuff. There is no reason that it can not be used, how ever as stated above, it will required some load construction processes that may not fall within the "am new to reloading" realm.

Beginning is confusing enough, start with the 'right stuff', then with experience work with the listed brass.

Always error on the side of safety,

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Old January 10, 2013, 03:29 PM   #6
m&p45acp10+1
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I would say start at the listed starting load for the round. Then work up watching for pressure signs. If you find a load that is grouping well that is below max, and there are no pressure signs then stick with that load and call it good.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:16 PM   #7
cbacontracting
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Thanks for the in site guys have regular brass also just didn't want to trash this brass if I could use it at a later time think I will set to the side for sure until I get the in and outs of loading worked out I have no one else to talk to about loading so I joined this site the only person I know that does it is a Dick and will not tell anyone anything
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Old January 11, 2013, 03:46 PM   #8
m&p45acp10+1
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For .243 brass is not that expensive if you get Remington, or Winchester brass. A bag of 100 new unprimed cases can be had for not a whole lot.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:46 PM   #9
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
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I have made lots of .243 brass from .308 brass and would do so again if I had a good sized lot of .308 mil brass providing it was all of the same year manufacture.

HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A very important thing to do to such brass is to turn or ream the case neck to assure it is not overly thick.

This problem has been known to blow up nice rifles due to the neck being so thick that the bullet can not be released without GREALY excessive pressures.

I like to turn my case necks, as I feel it makes for a truer neck and less chance of it being off center as might happen with reaming.

I once bought a bulk batch of .308 brass from Cabala's some years back, but there was so many different head stamps/years included, it just just wasn't worth the effort and I gave it all away.

Before I found out about the neck thickness issue and before I had seen a HIGH pressure situation on a friend's rifle, I used a lot of formed brass. Frank was shooting a nice Sako .243A.I., and when he pulled the bolt back the extractor and some other bolt pieces fell out onto the ground mat.

The primer pocket expanded so much, you could take the primer - which also fell onto the ground mat, - and rattle it around in the primer pocket -. That was a close one.

LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!! It only takes one overly thick neck and you will be minus a valuable rifle if your lucky enough to get by that cheap!

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Last edited by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot; January 13, 2013 at 04:57 PM.
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:38 PM   #10
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That's an excellent caution! Thanks for posting it.
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