The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 20, 2011, 12:32 AM   #1
Servant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 116
.223 rem brass

Hello, I am sorry if this horse has been beat to death, but I searched & couldn't find an answer to my question. So here goes:

I am new to reloading, haven't pulled the handle the first time yet, but have been reading much (ABC's to reloading, forums, talking to anyone I come across who reloads, & manuals). I have been buying tools & components and I hope I haven't jumped the gun but I bought some .223 brass, on the headstamp it reads: "FC 10 .223 REM" I have seen where the "FC" brass has a thinner web and am wondering if this "FC 10" has the same issue. Yesterday I bought some cheap .223 and the headstamp on it is "223 Rem F C", so it is marked differently. The fc10 I am asking about has the crimp primer. Is there anyone here who is familiar with the issue I'm having? Tomorrow I will do the measurement with the 2" welding rod and digital caliper to see just how thin it is. I sure hope it'll be GTG, but if not I'd rather trash it than my weapon or face/fingers!! Thank you for any help.
Servant is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 05:27 AM   #2
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,527
You're fine, resize and go.

The crimp may have to be buzzed off with a chamfer bit, no biggie.
chris in va is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 05:46 AM   #3
Servant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 116
I was at the shop today getting some primers, and the reloading salesman made the comment that I should "leave the crimp in place and use winchester primers" or else I'd be setting myself up for a headache. When I began to press him for info he acted agitated so I let it go, anyone know what he was talking about?

thnx for responding so quick Chris.
Servant is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 08:38 AM   #4
PA-Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: NEPA
Posts: 729
As a new reloader you should not start off with military crimped primers. There is a learning curve to removing military primers and then swaging or cutting the military crimp to remove it. You also have to buy the crimp removal tools.

See if you can get some cheap commercial brass or ammo and start with that.
PA-Joe is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 09:19 AM   #5
Shootest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Just outside Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 623
Quote:
I was at the shop today getting some primers, and the reloading salesman made the comment that I should "leave the crimp in place and use winchester primers" or else I'd be setting myself up for a headache. When I began to press him for info he acted agitated so I let it go, anyone know what he was talking about?
I don't think he knows what he is talking about. Winchester primers will not seat beter than the CCI if the cases are crimped.
__________________
The private ownership of firearms is an American Heritage. Anyone who disputes that is Anti-American and unpatriotic.
NRA Life Member
http://s1096.photobucket.com/albums/g327/Wynn3/
Shootest is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 09:20 AM   #6
Servant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 116
I am in no hurry to reload those, I'm starting with .45 ACP's, but in the meantime I am trying to find information(which is what this post is for). Could you point me in a direction to do some reading about what you just said? In the ABC book it just barely mentioned the crimped primers. Was the fella telling me correct, that you can leave the crimps & use a certain primer that will fit them? What kind of tools are needed? (I have a million questions, but will stop with those for now, and thank you for responding).
Servant is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 09:27 AM   #7
mjm
Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Posts: 69
Quote:
Was the fella telling me correct, that you can leave the crimps & use a certain primer that will fit them?
The clerk was not correct. You may need to carefully review (against what you read in the manuals) all that the clerk told you. There might be other inaccuracies.

Starting off with .45 is a good idea. They are much easier to learn the basics...and you can easily check to make sure everythin is correct before going to the next reloading step.

Swages are most commonly used to remove crimps. Using pressure, they remold the brass to form a rounded edge on the primer pocket. RCBS makes one that will work. It must be carefully adjusted for each maufacturer and possibly year of brass. Dillon makes a better one, but it is expensive. Lyman makes a cheap tool that reams the primer pocket.

Keep asking questions.

Last edited by mjm; December 20, 2011 at 09:39 AM.
mjm is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 10:03 AM   #8
PawPaw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,112
The crimp around military primers should be removed before handloading. I've never heard of leaving a crimp in military cases and it's fairly easy to remove the crimp.

Some folks like to use a swage tool. This RCBS primer pocket swage is one example.

Or, you can use something like this chamfer tool from Forster

For myself, I've had good service from this little Lee chamfer tool. If I were doing large quantities, I might use something different, but this little tool has been on my bench for two decades.

It's fairly easy to remove the crimp from military brass. Indeed, it's just another step in case preparation.
__________________
Dennis Dezendorf

http://pawpawshouse.blogspot.com
PawPaw is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 01:13 PM   #9
PA-Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: NEPA
Posts: 729
With the 45 ACPs remember to check your cases carefully as there are now cases that use small pistol primers. Normally they use large pistol primers. You will have to sort them so that you do not try putting a large pistol primer into the smaller hole.
PA-Joe is offline  
Old December 20, 2011, 03:17 PM   #10
Prof Young
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2007
Posts: 643
Loading 223 and case lube

Good luck as you start out. My word of caution for loading 223 is to heed the advice in the loading manual to use a good case lube when you size the 223. I got to learn how to remove a very stuck case cause I didn't follow that advice.

Live well, be safe
Prof Young

Last edited by Prof Young; December 22, 2011 at 12:07 AM.
Prof Young is offline  
Old December 21, 2011, 12:50 AM   #11
medalguy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 31, 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,017
Smart guy, asking questions. Congratulations.

The primer crimp does indeed need to come out. What the crimp does is "stake" a ring around the old primer so it will not blow out of the case during firing, possibly causing a jam during combat. Only military ammo normally has a crimp. It has to be removed or reduced in order to get a new primer into the pocket. If you try to insert a new primer without removing the crimp, it most likely won't fit, and it will be crushed. You can use the RCBS or other tools, or if you're careful you can use a chamfering reamer to just remove a little brass from the edge of the primer pocket. The problem with using reamers is that it's all too easy to remove too much brass. Hard to replace that brass.

You also said you're starting with .45 which is indeed a good cartridge to learn on. It's low pressure and is more forgiving than .223. For your pistol cases I would absolutely, positively, certainly recommend using a carbide sizer, and that way you don't really need to use any case lube. Doesn't hurt to use it, and makes sizing easier, but not at all necessary. If you need case lube, and you sure will for rifle cases, try Imperial Sizing Wax. It comes in a little tin, and all it takes is a little smear on your fingers wiped across the case. Very economical. I've been reloading 45 years and Imperial is the very best lube I've found. I have stuck cases with other lubes but never with Imperial. Take that for what it's worth.

Take your time, learn as much as you can, and be safe.
medalguy is offline  
Old December 24, 2011, 12:20 PM   #12
Servant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 116
Thank you all for speaking up. I am taking my time, have read, read and read, lurked on reloading forums, reading anything and everything that sounded remotely related, have purchased most of the tools, and components, and haven't pulled the handle the first time as of today. I believe in the old saying "measure twice and cut once."

With the .223 brass, the ABC book says to lube the inside of the mouth with graphite lube (so there wont be any to mix in with the powder. Do you do this, and if so, brand/type? BTW, I do have the carbide dies.

I plan on doing some case prep today. I have sorted the brass by headstamp (all the .45 brass I have does use the large primers), will tumble and de-prime, measure case length and trim as necessary. I got the Frankford arsenal tumbler, any tips?
Servant is offline  
Old December 24, 2011, 10:54 PM   #13
hoffbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 240
I have a about 1500 once fired Lake Cities military brass I bought at auction. They are heavy duty brass in 556. Converting to reloadable .223 takes a little work but it is a 1 time deal and they then can be reloaded many times. I do it as follows
1. Lube, I lube the inside of the necks with Hornady hot shot spray lube and an old barrel swab, then spritz the cases with the spray lube and roll them on a pad. Quick, easy, works great.

2. decap and full length resize

3. trim to .223 trim length and then campher the necks

4. ream or swage the crimp from the primer pockets. This is not optional

5. clean and polish in media tumbler, this removes all lube and cleans and polishes the cases

6. clean and debur the flash holes inside and out, I use the Lyman hand tool made for that purpose

You now have a strong durable .223 case. Mine have the LC head stamp, which is Lake Cities (Federal I think) . They are a little thicker than most commercial .223 brass so I started at minimum loads. Medium loads of several .223 powders all are producing right at 3300 fps using 50gr V Max.

.223 does not seem to be very picky about which powder you load. All the .223 appropriate powders I have used worked equally well, none really stand out as producing better groups. Hope this info is useful. Praire dogs will be appalled.
hoffbill is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 01:30 AM   #14
bluetopper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2005
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 1,102
Servant, life is too short to trim pistol brass.
bluetopper is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 02:47 AM   #15
Jim243
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Location: Just off Route 66
Posts: 4,506
Quote:
Was the fella telling me correct, that you can leave the crimps & use a certain primer that will fit them?
No, he was not. Standard CCI, Winchester, Federal or any other primer will not fit in the primer pocket without the crimp being taken out. The trick is to not over swedge them that the new primers are lose and fall out.

Most swedging tools come with two size hubs, small rifle for 223 or 38 spl for pistol and large rifle for 308 or 45 ACP for pistol. (all military cases have crimped primers) You also need to decap the cases (remove the old primers) before swedging them and more force is required to remove the old primers since they are crimped.

You will only need to do this once to each case when you take the crimped primer out.

Even though you have carbide dies for the 223 you will need to lube the case to prevent it from getting stuck (bottle neck cases like to get stuck in the resizing dies, I know).

Jim
__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Last edited by Jim243; December 25, 2011 at 02:58 AM.
Jim243 is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 02:48 AM   #16
Servant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 116
"Trimming pistol brass"???
Servant is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 03:08 AM   #17
Jim243
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Location: Just off Route 66
Posts: 4,506
Quote:
and trim as necessary
You will only have to trim pistol brass that will be used in a revolver, 38 spl, 357 Mag, 41 spl, 41 mag, 44 spl, 44 mag, 45 Colt, 464 and 500 S&W. Those cases index on the rim of the case and will usually be crimped at the bullet.

All brass for Auto-Loaders (refered to as pistols instead of revolvers) will most likely never need to be trimmed. All cases for rifles will 95% of the time need to be trimmed.

Jim
__________________
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Jim243 is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 08:54 AM   #18
Elkins45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2010
Posts: 372
Quote:
"Trimming pistol brass"???
Pistol brass, no. Most of it is already too short.

Revolver brass, yes. If you want them all to crimp in the bullet's crimp grove they all need to be the same length.
Elkins45 is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 09:43 AM   #19
243winxb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 974
FC Brass- a Problem-Never was for me.

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=34912.0 And another link> http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/276154_.html&page=1 Remove the crimp on the primer pocket before seating a new primer.
243winxb is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 11:00 AM   #20
Orochimaru
Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2011
Posts: 47
I have found that rifle reloading isn't any more difficult than reloading for other weapons, it is just more time consuming and involves more steps. There are some subtleties with rifle reloading, but nothing that can't be learned if you are comfortable with the basic process and have clean, repeatable processes for your reloading.

Rifle generally doesn't allow skipping steps, whereas handgun reloading may (depending, of course).

You really can't skip dealing with a crimped primer pocket. You either have to swage it out or remove material to open the pocket. Either way, the step is necessary to seat a primer properly. However, the good news is that once done IS done. You'll not have to do it to a given piece of brass again.

Same for measuring web thickness. (I've tested some of my Federal/AE brass and found acceptable web thickness, FWIW. It may be only certain years' production that was thin.)

If you full-length size, you'll need to use case lube. If you use case lube, you'll have to clean the cases after resizing them...

You may be able to skip trimming on rare occasions. Not very often, though. And if you trim, you have to deburr and chamfer.

Not much opportunity (or, honestly, reason or desire) to skip a step. Rifle reloading simply has more steps and fewer opportunities to safely skip a step. That said, it is still a LOT of fun and very rewarding to reload rifle calibers -- and in some situations, the only way to affordably fire some calibers. If you have safe, repeatable processes and attention to detail, you'll be fine.
Orochimaru is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 01:28 PM   #21
bluetopper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2005
Location: Paris, TX
Posts: 1,102
I've never trimmed any pistol brass whether semi auto or revolver and my revolver loads seat at the bullet crimp groove every time. The older gentlemen I shoot with that have been reloading for 35 years haven't either.
bluetopper is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 02:09 PM   #22
sundog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 1999
Location: Green Country, OK
Posts: 730
'Parasite' from Paris, Tejas. Very good! +1 on never having to trim pissola brass.

Servant, even if you are new to reloading, try a couple different ways to take that crimp out. For a long time, all I ever used was a chamferring tool and then the specifically made crimp reamers, and while those methods worked fine, I eventually got a Dillon crimp swage. Take a few cases and give a twist or two with the chamferring tool, and then try to seat a primer. Remove only enough so that the primer will seat properly. You'll get the hang of it in no time.
__________________
safety first
sundog is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 04:21 PM   #23
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,247
Servant,

You did add a layer of complexity by buying once-fired brass.

The .223 Rem FC headstamp is commercial brass made by the Federal Cartridge Company. It will not have crimped primers. Federal commercial brass is often softer than some other brands and is therefore not a good match for reloading for semi-autos or for maximum loads in any gun. It will work fine with moderate pressure target loads in bolt guns. Some folks, like Dan Newberry don't consider it reloadable at all, but I don't find an issue if you just don't run it hot or extract it hard.

FC 10 .223, is also made by the Federal Cartridge Company, but is made to U.S. military specifications, so it is tougher to withstand use in machineguns. The numeral 10 is an abbreviation for 2010, the year it was manufactured. In theory it should be fine for all loads, but often is surplus brass from ammunition fired originally in machineguns. That means you may find a number that are heavily stretched (measure the length) or have bent rims (stand them up and see if they lean to the side). Stretched and bent cases typically do not last through many reloads. They may require a small base resizing die to be used for at least their initial resizing. This sizes them a little narrower and a couple thousandths shorter at the shoulder than usual to overcome the tendency of heavily stretched brass to spring back out too far to let the case fit your chamber freely.

Use of the small base die with this brass will be especially helpful if you are going to fire it in a semi-auto gun. A standard sizing die may or may not be tight enough after the first sizing and firing in your gun, but using the small base all the time won't hurt because the reloading life of stretched brass is usually not long enough for the difference to matter. Perhaps two to four reloads, though it depends how warm you load it and what you fire it in.

Another factor with the military brass is it does have the crimp the military started putting in all of its ammunition between the World Wars to prevent primer back out when the case is extracted before muzzle pressure has fully dropped, as can happen in fast machinegun fire in particular.

I always hate to suggest a beginner should spend more money (seems to defeat part of the early motivation for reloading), but sometimes trying to save money proves expensive. You may be in for special tooling costs (small base die, crimp removing tools) and will certainly be in for extra effort with the fired brass. Like Pa-joe, I think you'll make your life easier not starting out messing with learning to judge brass that may need special treatment and extra conditioning operations right at the beginning. If it's within your budget, right now you can still order brand new military Lake City Army Ammunition Plant brass that has never been loaded or fired from Natchez for about half the usual price you usually see for new brass these days. They have it at $120/1000 and $220/2000. Because it has never been loaded it has never been crimped. So you get tough brass that is new, no crimp, no stretching or other premature aging. It will make learning and load development easier. Once you are comfortable with what you are doing with it, tackling the limitations and special operations needed with the brass you already have will have a context and you'll know the feel of it and how to judge pressure signs without learning in potentially weak brass first.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 07:18 PM   #24
Servant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 116
UncleNick, That makes allot of sense.
Servant is offline  
Old December 25, 2011, 08:01 PM   #25
jepp2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 1,340
Quote:
You now have a strong durable .223 case. Mine have the LC head stamp, which is Lake Cities (Federal I think) . They are a little thicker than most commercial .223 brass so I started at minimum loads.
Maybe, but probably not. LC is great brass, and it is never wrong to "assume" it is thicker and to reduce your starting load, but checking the water capacity of a fired case is a sure way to tell. Most LC is actually lighter, thus thinner.

jepp2 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12770 seconds with 7 queries