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Old March 17, 2013, 11:35 AM   #1
5 STRING
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30.06 Military Brass Experts Please

Hello, I found 400 30.06 military cases for .13 cents apiece and I bought them. They are from four different lots, and the headstamps on them are as follows:

TW 52
TW 53
RA 57
LC 69

I threw a batch of 125 of them into my tumbler yesterday for 3 hours and they came out looking very nice. They seem to have only been fired once, and do not have any belt gouges, cracks, bulges, pits, or any other signs of head separation or weakness or abuse.

The primers were punched out of all of them before I got these cases, and that is one thing that I was relieved about that I don't have to worry with. Although I don't know very much about reloading military cases, I have loaded 30.06 in Win, Fed, PMC, Rem etc., etc. cases. I was hoping that someone could tell me more about the correct proceedures for safely loading, and using them in my bolt action Remington 30.06 700 BDL charged with IMR type powder and a 150gr Spitzer with no more than a 2,600 to 2,800 FPS or so powder charge.

I know that the primer pocket is different than a standard 30.06 case pocket, and has to be dealt with. But was Uncle Sam still using corrosive primers during the period that these particular cases that I have were in production? And if not..can someone tell me, or lead me to any kind of information that would help me to know how to prep, and size these cases correctly for usage in my personal rifle for accurate, typical shooting ie (hunting and target) with below maximum charges.

If I remember correctly, I think that I read somewhere that the US stopped using corrosives after WWII (late 40's)? and that the case capacities are different from lot to lot, or year to year, because of the difference in thicknesses in the brass and/or flash hole diameter.....which can cause pressure spikes. "not a good thing"

I would appreciate anything that some of you guys with a lot of years under your belt could help me with on this post. I would like to use this stuff if I can, it seems to be very good brass.. if I can just load them safely. Case prep time is NOT an issue for me, I have plenty of time to "mess" with them so, if that is basically the biggest issue with them, it ain't no big deal. Plus,...if they end up being corrosive, or not usable I've only lost $12.00 so it ain't no big deal, and I have learned some valuable information.

Thanks for any help
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:31 PM   #2
maggys drawers
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These are the final years Uncle Sam used corrosive primers for 30-06 ammo in these headstamps.

FA 56
LC 52
RA 51
SL 52
TW 52
WCC 51
WRA 54

Anything with headstamps newer than these dates should be non-corrosive. Looks like your TW52 might be the only corrosive ones. I would give those cases a quick soak in a little diluted windex just to make sure any remaining corrosive salts were neutralized, then rinse them in straight water, dry and load as usual.

You will have to remove the primer pocket crimp, either by swaging it out with a special tool, or cutting it out with a primer pocket reamer or a countersink on a drill. If the primers have been removed, they might have had the crimp removed, too. I would try to prime a few and see if they will accept a primer. You will know, trust me. They won't feel like a normal case when you try to seat a primer if they still have a crimp. If they are still crimped, you probably won't be able to even start a primer, let alone seat it. It doesn't take much to remove the crimp- remove a little and check...remove a little more and check...you know the drill. Shouldn't take more than 3-4 to figure out how much you have to work the cases.

As far as case capacity, I haven't had any problems with mil-surp 30-06 over a 50 year range- from the early 40's up to the 90's. I think the .223 ammo has some issues with that, but not 30-06.

Treat them like any other brass (once you get that primer crimp out). The nice thing is, you only have to remove that crimp once.

Load em up and shoot em.

Last edited by maggys drawers; March 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:08 PM   #3
chris in va
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I just buzz off the crimp with a drill/countersink. Takes all of a second. The pockets accept a LRP as normal, ie below flush.
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Old March 17, 2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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The only difference with GI cases is the crimped pockets which are easy to ream or swage away. I prefer the correct reamers in an electric drill(Lyman or Hornady); they cut right, don't remove as much metal as drill bits or counter sinks and reamers radius the pocket edges properly.

It doesn't matter if the original primer was corrosive, it's fired and gone now. I have cases similar to yours but 20 years older; they do fine.

Military cases are no more predictably variable than commercial. Develop your charges with them exactly as you would with different makes or production runs of commercial cases.
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Old March 17, 2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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OHH yeah! .. I am a happy camper now!!!..Thank you all so much for your help, and for your knowledge too. I think I'll call my man and reserve 2 or 3 hunerd more of them.

I am going to post a picture or two of these case examples later tonight and let you see the heads, then you all can tell me for sure if the crimp is gone or not.

Thanks again
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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I bought a RCBS primer pocket swageing tool to do a bunch of .223 brass for a friend. Very nice tool to have. Makes it fast and easy.
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:54 PM   #7
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Primer Pocket Pictures

Here are 3 examples of the primer pockets, what I am seeing in the pockets that is different (the small ring) around the inside edges is the crimp?? .. Correct??
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0481.JPG (69.1 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0485.JPG (86.4 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0486.JPG (82.9 KB, 26 views)
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Old March 17, 2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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That's it, alright.

They look like that after you ream them, too. Have you tried to seat a primer in any of those yet ?
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:26 PM   #9
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Nope Maggy, I haven't done anything with them except tumble a batch of 125 I'll try something tomorrow. I just thought about something though, when those old crimps are removed doesn't the swager cut the crimp out flush to the edge (sides) of the pocket, or am I wrong about that?

And,...should I soak and dry them with windex/water before I tumble them or tumble first? I'm thinking soak them before tumbling because of any left over corrosion that would contaminate my case media in the tumbler? Or does it matter which sequence of cleaning I use?

Thanks

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Old March 17, 2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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The swager doesn't cut it presses and it tapers the edge.

Wash, rinse and dry them before tumbling. If you tumble them wet the media will cake up inside. Don't ask how I know that.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
And,...should I soak and dry them with windex/water before I tumble them or tumble first?
I would just tumble them and call it good.

If you did want to try to dissolve any residual salt (I wouldn't) plain water will do that just fine. There's not enough to matter whether you do it before or after tumbling.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:46 PM   #12
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Thanks Jerry, "cake up" I hadn't heard that in a long time. My old Grand Dad used to use that saying when I was a boy following him and the dogs around in the swamp and the fields.

And which one of those RCBS tools do you recomend? I went to Natchez online and they say that the RCBS swager has been discontinued, and will not be replaced. Midway is also out of stock on it, but they say that they will have some more in their inventory the last of April.

If you would be so kind take a look and tell me which part number is the correct one? I read that some of them were good but some of them were not, which one is the good one?

Thanks again,.. 5 String Banjer
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:03 PM   #13
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I see now, it is the RCBS Swager II. I will see if I can find one of them in stock somewhere.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:13 PM   #14
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I was going to give you a link. Everyone seems to be out.

I've looked everywhere. The only place that doesn't say out of stock is here http://www.tactical-store.com/ts-3r-gt-9481.html price looks high but with free shipping it should work out to the same. Good luck!

Yah, it could have been me and the dogs you were following. Now you've got me think about my dogs again. Aaaaaa the good old days. $0.10 got you a cup of coffee and two buttered biscuits on the way to hunt.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:25 PM   #15
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When I have a bunch of brass to "decrimp" I chuck one of these in a drill clamped into my bench vice.

With it running at 100 rpm or so, I can ream primer pockets about as fast as I can pick cases out of one bucket and drop them into another.

400 cases qualifies as "a bunch" for me. If I only had a few I'd put the same reamer in the handle that came with the set. I've used the Lee chamfer tool with good results as well.
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:48 PM   #16
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http://www.odcmp.org/1101/USGI.pdf

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Old March 17, 2013, 11:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
I see now, it is the RCBS Swager II. I will see if I can find one of them in stock somewhere.
I have a buddy that bought an RCBS swager to remove crimps. He tore up several cases, called RCBS. They sent him some new parts, he tore up a few more, then put it in the box and bought a Dillon. He's fairly mechanically inclined, but never did get that RCBS swager to work. The Dillon was quite a bit more money, but he could use it. YMMV.

I cut mine out by hand with a Hornady primer pocket reamer from Midway. Cost was under $15. Works for me.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/176...mer-tool-large
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:55 AM   #18
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I've never heard of anyone having problems with RCBS tools that RCBS didn't resolve. I did hear that there was some problem with the original swager but not the II. I followed the directions and swaged over 2000 .223. It worked flawlessly.

Now Dillon is top notch and stands behind their stuff. I can't/wouldn't knock it. I have a 550, scale and other miscellaneous tools but I also have RCBS and it's darn good stuff too. And as you say much less expensive than the Dillon. How off does one have to swage brass. I did it for my friend and the swager has been sitting on the shelf since. But it's there if I need it.
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Old March 18, 2013, 07:50 AM   #19
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You don't need to worry about the cases having been corrosive primed. I wouldn't even bother rinsing them. The trip through the tumbler is going to remove virtually all of the residual salts.

Corrosive primers do not attack the brass like the old mercuric ones did, and those were eliminated from military rifle ammo around 1900.

As for soaking in Windex, NEVER soak your brass in Windex. It contains ammonia, and ammonia is a known brass antagonist.

There will always be differences in case capacities from manufacturer to manufacturer, lot to lot, and year to year. That's why many reloaders sort their military cases by make and year and batch reload.
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:33 AM   #20
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Again, what does a reloader need to know?? When using the RCBS primer pocket swage????

One thing, they need to pay attention, it does not cost the reloader to ignore instructions, instructions not read become destructions, many times I have said the case head thickness is not the same for all case heads, ever reloader can quote, without thinking, “military cases are thicker because they are heavier”, that is a brilliant piece of memory work, at best that quote is half correct, it is the half part that is not correct that causes RCBS to pay for the mistakes. The primer pocket swage must be adjusted for different case head thickness, I am the fan of measuring the difference in cases, some case heads that are lighter have a case head thickness of .260”, some of the heavier cases have a case head thickness of .200”.

A suggestion, sort cases by head stamp, weight etc., etc.. or case head thickness, or---------------------. Then there is that part where the powder column is different for cases with thick case heads and thin case heads, some powder columns are larger in diameter and but shorter, some powder columns are small in diameter and longer because of the thick and or thin case head. The reloader could acquire/develop a feel for primer pocket swaging instead of insisting the job is not done until the handle is is placed into a 9 line bind.

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Old March 18, 2013, 12:55 PM   #21
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Regarding Guffey's good link on ammo with the following statement:
Quote:
Note: All 7.62 mm NATO manufactured in this country is NON Corrosive – EXCEPT 1956 "International Match Ammunition" manufactured by Frankford Arsenal (produced at the same time as the FA .30-’06, 1956 International Match Ammunition)! This ammunition is usually found in Arsenal White Boxes marked "International Match" with FA and the appropriate lot
number.
There was also one, maybe two, lots of Western Cartridge Company .308 Win. white box match ammo headstamped WCC58 loaded with 200-gr. FMJBT match bullets over some ball powder ignited by a very corrosive primer in a thin-walled light-weight (151 grain) case.

Several primer making folks had learned that it was possible to make more uniform lots of primers using the old corrosive formulations. It wasn't until a couple years later that non-corrosive primers were as good as these.
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Old March 18, 2013, 01:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Guffy
The reloader could acquire/develop a feel for
I believe that is one of the problems many reloaders have. They have problems developing "the feel". I sat next to the friends I swaged all the brass for, before the brass was swaged and watched him crush new primers in my Dillon 550. I asked... didn't you feel that. No! He's not new to reloading. And I didn't know he was loading crimped brass. (My bad for believing he knew better and not checking the brass myself) After I had swaged the brass I started loading some for him with him sitting next to me. I stopped mid-stroke and pulled a case out with a prime turned sideways. He asked how I knew there was a problem. I said.. "It didn't feel right". Sure I've crushed a few primers and crumpled a case or three. But I finally got "a feel for it".
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Old March 18, 2013, 03:30 PM   #23
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5 String,

If you clean your cases in some dissolved citric acid (an old Frankford Arsenal brass cleaning formula is 5% by weight, but it's more than is necessary for one cleaning), it will remove both salt traces and oxides without harming the brass. Absent that, a few drops of dishwashing liquid in water is likely to do about as much for the salt. Either way, rinse off afterward and set it on an old towel for three days or so to dry.

I don't know how much of the TW52 you have, but I'm at least slightly concerned about contaminating tumbler media with salt, though it would be awfully dilute. It's probably not going to be an issue, but I don't see the value in conducting the experiment if you don't have to, and the soapy water or citric acid solution will remove all doubt.
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Old March 18, 2013, 03:48 PM   #24
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Jerry,

You quoted Frank Guffy, but attributed it to me.
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Old March 18, 2013, 04:14 PM   #25
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My bad on the windex recommendation. Forgot it contained ammonia.

Hope you held off a little while and didn't ruin any cases due to my bad advice.
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