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Old February 12, 2013, 05:15 PM   #1
Cavallino
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LC Brass Question

I got ahold of 100 pieces of what was advertised as "new" .308 brass that is supposed to be Lake City Match It has LC MATCH headstamp with manufacture year (not all the same year) Question is,,, each case has a small rippled machine mark (a set of small vertical lines, side by side, going around the case body about 3/8ths inch above the case head), and I see no indications of any annealing iris that is usually visible in once fired Lake City brass. It is supposedly new, but I thought the annealing iris would be there even in new brass, and I don;t think I've seen this set of little vertical lines that go around the whole case before.

Anyone out there have/seen any new LC Match brass,,, any experience with it? Did I get a bad buy,,, some knock-off copy?

Thanks
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Old February 12, 2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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brass

It's the real deal. I have purchased some of the same. There is history or lore of an issue w/ reloading for gas guns...seems to be a couple instances of case separation where the machine marks are. I've not had any issues reloading 3 times and running through my M1A. If I remember correctly, the machine marks are for easy identification of this match ammo due to it being hollow points... so it's not NATO legal for battle purposes.
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Old February 12, 2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

That light knurl is normal and was just used for at-a-glance Match case identification as far as I know.

If you don't have neck and shoulder oxide discoloration (annealing stain), the cases have been polished by somebody trying to make them more pretty.
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Old February 12, 2013, 05:40 PM   #4
Cavallino
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brass

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I'm new to loading and the idea of starting out with some brand new brass is appealing. I'll eventually be loading for both my bolt gun and an LR308. Was hoping the Lake City match brass would be durable for more than 3 or 4 reloads though. I also have 500 once fired Fed GMM casings as well. I know they are once only fired as I am LE and they came from our SWAT guys training. All fired once from Rem 700s. The department does not use reloads for training so I managed to get a case of brass in boxes. So which would be best for long term working up loads,, the LC or the Fed GMM Commercial stuff?

R
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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The Federal tends to be softer than most other makes. It'll last well enough with mild to moderate loads, but for maximum loads I would avoid it. It has a little more internal capacity than LC cases, so it may need a fraction more powder to hit the same pressure and velocity with it.

For life expectancy it depends on what you're going to shoot it in. An old rule of thumb John Feamster used is 4 reloads maximum for the M14 because of the tendency of the semi-auto mechanism to stretch brass more than bolt guns. The idea is to avoid a case blow-out that could injure not only yourself but the person on your right. That said, it's not written in stone. Unbending a paperclip and bending a short hook onto the end will let you probe for thinning brass at the pressure ring area inside the case back near the head. If you feel a dip there, then it's thinking of separating and that case is done for the self-loader. If more than a couple of cases of the same kind with the same loading and firing history feel that way, then the whole group should be scrapped.

But if you have a nice smooth chamber that isn't oversize, you might get a good deal more mileage out of it. In a bolt rifle getting 20 reloads is common, especially if you anneal the necks from time to time and don't over-resize.
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:25 PM   #6
89blazin
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The M1A is a brass eating monster...
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Old February 12, 2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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It's been a while since I've had any of that M852 brass, but I don't recall the annealing mark on the shoulder. The nice thing is that there's no primer crimp on them. I got 4 firings from them (M1a). Don't be afraid to toss them when it's time.

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Old February 13, 2013, 02:07 AM   #8
Cavallino
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Brass

They'll primarily be used in a bolt gun, Rem 700 5R. I also have an LR308 but I think I'll segregate brass and use one batch for teh bolt gun and another for the AR.

Thank you all for helpin' a newbie.
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Old February 13, 2013, 02:35 AM   #9
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Hey, bro...

Be very wary of that once fired Federal GM brass. As it has been mentioned, for whatever reason it is quite soft. I have a good quantity; for best results, I have loaded with the CCI #34 primers, which give a good fit in the primer pocket.

Trim to 2.00 inches case length, and (if you're using MatchKings) an OAL of 2.800-2.820.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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That knurl at the pressure ring on 7.62 NATO M852 match ammo's to indicate it's not supposed to be used in combat; Geneva Convetions regs. Too bad it's where it is, but such is life. The earlier M118 match ammo never had it 'cause it was loaded with what was the original machine gun bullet for the .30-06 developed in the 1920's but without the crimping cannelure.

Military brass was never annealed to be good for reloading. It's typically too hard. But it has to be that way to withstand rough handling and loading in semi and full auto firearms. When I first saw the M852 stuff when it came out in the early 1980's, I called Lake City Army Ammo Plant and asked them about it. The engineer I talked with said it was less safe for reloading than the M118 versions due to that knurled cannelure at the pressure ring. Not a good idea to weaken the case where incipient case head separations starts in the first place.

As most folks resizing that brass set the fired case shoulder back too far, when the reloaded round was fired and drove the case hard against the chamber shoulder, the back end of the case stretched back until its head stopped against the bolt face. That knurl point was/is the weakest part of the case near the head so that's where folks would typically see case head separation fractures. Case life for reloading these first fired in semiautos is short.

Regarding those "soft" Federal .308 Win. brass cases, I full length sized one 46 times; a friend reloaded one 57 times. We both used maximum loads and quit after running out of powder used for these tests sessions. No neck annealing whatsoever. Excellent accuracy and muzzle velocity spread, too.

So, I think the Federal stuff is much better than the LC stuff.
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Old February 13, 2013, 09:01 AM   #11
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"be loading for both my bolt gun and an LR308."

Cav, if I was you (new reloader), I say stick with the fed brass until you really get the hang of it. Load it a couple of times and toss it. Don't worry about extending the life of your cases - there is risk involved. Save your LC for a while.

For maximum case life, you really need to understand all the headspace issues ( what is HS of rifle ? what is HS of sized brass? what is HS of fired brass? how do I verify incipient head separation?, etc) - and I guarantee those 2 rifles have different headspace measurements which will tend to shorten brass life if you shoot the same brass thru both rifles.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:10 AM   #12
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Knurls? On a case, above the case head? And then the part about being new, can you feel the knurl? Is the knurl raised above the case?

Not long ago there were a few micro managers describing what happen to the case when chambered, the extractor pushed the case head to one side then the case was canted and the case was not centered etc., etc.. About the same time one of them could not find the three rings of steel advertised by Remington. I was not much help, I kept insist he look in his hand, “the bolt, it’s in your hand, the third ring is on the face of the bolt?” Point? If the case did not center in the rear of the chamber someone outside of reloading could knurl the case above the case head to take-up slack, if they really thought it was necessary to overcome all the evils presented by the micro managers.

Match, after the match the case with the match or NM head stamp is an additional variation of a head stamp that allows me to sort cases, the year stamp is an additional aid. Back to the knurl, after firing and sizing the knurl will no longer be raised (if it was a knurl to raise the metal), back to sorting after tumbling, with different head stamps I manage to return fired cases back in the same 20 case holder they started in. again, sorting, the knurl helps to identify the case when sorting, not necessary to look and sort by looking at the head stamp.

Head space of the case, head space in the chamber??? Pick one. SAAMI does, SAAMI identifies the chamber as having head space, easy to find, little circle ‘O’ with a + captured inside of it, head space minimum/maximum. The case diagram/illustration/drawing does not identify head space as it relates to the case. Case length? Yes, the case has a length.

Head space? The length of the chamber when measured from “the datum” to the face of the bolt. Length of the case when measured from the “the datum” to the head of the case.

Bart B. is this the same case we were discussing when I asked you the weight of the case after firing 47 times? I ask you if you weighed the case before you started"? I asked you if you saved one case for comparison as in the effect 47 firings had on the case.

Then, back to the knurl. There are are two cases stamped Match or National match, or NM , One is a 30/06, the other is the 308 W. 308W ammo has been chambered in a 30/06 chamber at matches and fired, shooters claimed their rifle handled like a doll buggy and they were unaware of the mess-up, until they noticed the cute little cases that were absent of a neck and only a hint of a shoulder/case body juncture, those that still believe the 308W is a small version of the 30/06 were amazed the case did not separate because of the difference in length between the chamber and case. The 308W case was crammed into and sized down when the bolt closed. Meaning? the case could not take off and run to the front of the chamber to brace itself when the firing pin struck, the fact the case did not run to the front of the chamber by what ever means prevented the case from locking onto the chamber in the front and then forcing the rear of the case to move back to the bolt face causing case head separation. Point?? Were the knurls placed on the case to identify it as 308W ammo.

Military brass was never annealed to be good for reloading. It's typically too hard. But it has to be that way to withstand rough handling and loading in semi and full auto firearms. When I first saw the M852 stuff when it came out in the early 1980's, I called Lake City Army Ammo Plant and asked them about it. The engineer I talked with said it was less safe for reloading than the M118 versions due to that knurled cannelure at the pressure ring. Not a good idea to weaken the case where incipient case head separations starts in the first place.

In the process of manufacturing brass there are no shortcuts, in the process annealing a case requires as many as 6 annealing's, FA in about 1957-58 took a short cut with their match ammo (they say), the cases were sold as scrap, I have 57 and 58 Match FA cases, before I was aware their was a problem I was on the 3 firing. Now the cases are in the back of the FA drawer.

Wildcatting and forming: Someone somewhere answers the phone, it is human nature to feel compelled to give an answer, I am under no obligation to take them seriously, I question some of the answers. Given the opportunity, I purchases pull down ammo, cases? A case former can not have enough new cases, nothing like starting with a new case. Expanding the neck from 30 cal to 35 Whelen or 338, is the first step when forming and wildcatting. If what the technical adviser claimed at LC was true I would have found a problem with his theory/rational about annealing. Second step, sizing the case neck back down to 30 cal or smaller.

Point? I have green and orange boxes of new unprimed Remington cases, they are old, still I reach for the LC cases when forming and necking up, I paid from .07cents to .11 cents each for the LC pull down, for the rest of my reloading and forming a case will never cost me more than .11 cents each.

“Not a good idea to weaken the case where incipient case head separations starts in the first place” again, a reloader should learn to limit case travel. Determining the length of the chamber and off setting the length of the chamber is very manageable, the reloader must learn to control the length of the case when sizing. Once the case shoulder is formed to the shoulder of the chamber apply the leaver policy, once it is there leaver there.

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Old February 13, 2013, 11:52 AM   #13
Bart B.
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Quote:
Knurls? On a case, above the case head? And then the part about being new, can you feel the knurl? Is the knurl raised above the case?
Yes, and you can both feel and measure it. Most of it's below the normal surface but a thousandth or two is above it. Depends on the knurling tool's dimensions and how hard it's pressed into the case.

Quote:
Bart B. is this the same case we were discussing when I asked you the weight of the case after firing 47 times? I ask you if you weighed the case before you started"? I asked you if you saved one case for comparison as in the effect 47 firings had on the case.
Yes it was. And after 8 or so firings and full length sizings, it had to be trimmed back about .007 inch to 2.000 inch. Never weighed at all but after 7 or 8 sets of .007" trimmed off and neck wall thickness of about .013 inch, you could calculate about how much weight was removed using the mass of a cubic inch of cartridge brass.

Quote:
Point?? Were the knurls placed on the case to identify it as 308W ammo.
No. The military designation "M852" on its packaging identified it as to its type and the "7.62 NATO MATCH AMMUNITION" identified its cartridge. No arsenals ever made ammo labeled or stamped "308 WIN" as far as I know. I'll repeat what mentioned before; the knurling was to identify the round as ". . .NOT FOR COMBAT USE" and that was also on the containers as shown in the picture of a 20-round box of it.




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Old February 13, 2013, 11:58 AM   #14
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just as an FYI... the lined knurl "may" indicate match, but a dotted knurl indicates a blank case... ( at least in 223 ) I have several blank 223's, that my buddy resized into 222 cases ( which work great BTW )
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:22 PM   #15
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Mag Wheel Man, that knurled ring aroung M852 ammo's to indicate it's not for combat as its hollow point Sierra match bullet in it wasn't allowed by the Geneva Conventions at the time. The military had thousands of rounds of M118 match ammo with a FMJBT match bullet in stock that was used in sniper rifles as well as competition. Match 7.62 NATO and .30 caliber ammo has the word MATCH or NM (National Match special lots) indicating it was match ammo.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:27 PM   #16
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cool... just didn't want someone to get corn fused about the dotted knurling
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Old February 14, 2013, 12:11 PM   #17
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Yes. I think it was 1984 that the Adjutant General's office ruled that the little hollow points in match bullets are non-expanding hollow points and therefore not disallowed under the Hague Accords. The M852 box labels predated that.

I've got about 1000 of those cases left that are new. The CMP was selling boxes of 2000 at one time (over a decade back). As Bart suggests, don't over-resize them. Use the paperclip probe to check them.


Bart,

Didn't you describe the load you had in that Federal case as being around 42 grains of 4064 under a 168 grain match bullet? If so, it should be around 48,000 psi and 2500 fps from a 22" barrel, but not up at 60,000 psi, where the Federals keep being reported to have their primer pockets get loose in three or four loads or so. Maybe I'm remembering wrong.

Unfortunately the same primer pocket loosening issue has been reported about some recent production Winchester .223 brass, which used to be very durable. So this is apparently something that can change over time. Federal pistol brass has always been very durable for me, though. About like Starline.
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:39 PM   #18
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Unclenick, my load used 46 some odd times in that .308 Federal brass case was a Fed 210 primer under 42 grains of IMR4895 topped by a Sierra 165-gr. SBT hunting bullet miced at .3081" and shot in a barrel with a .3078" groove diameter in front of a SAAMI spec chamber. My guess was/is the peak pressure was about 51 to 52 thousand cup, 60 thousand psi
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:04 PM   #19
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I use the Fed Brass nad never had a problem

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Old February 14, 2013, 04:45 PM   #20
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There are three variations of Fed Match 308.

The factory stuff sold to snuffies is loaded with ball propellant.
The Marine Corps contract called for 3031.
The Army MTU contracted called for 4895.

Per my source at Federal.
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