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Old September 2, 2005, 07:30 PM   #20
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,820

The military brass is harder than commercial brass. As a result, it can't be reloaded as many times before the case necks start to split. That said, if you are willing to go to the trouble, you can re-anneal the case necks to get a little more life out of them. Evans Manufacturing LC, of Waterloo, Iowa makes neck annealing fixtures for both .308 and .224 size case necks.

Since you intend to use a bolt gun, you can also choose to reload by sizing only the neck of the case and not the whole body. Such cases go in tight, and don't feed from a magazine very easily, but they shoot more accurately and don't wear out the brass as quickly. If you are on a budget, consider the Lee collet crimp die for this purpose. Otherwise, the Redding neck size-only dies have sizing inserts you can buy to choose your neck tension.

Military brass sometimes has less powder capacity than commercial equivalents. Get in the habit of taking a new case from each lot you buy and putting tape over the flashhole, then weighing it on your powder scale, filling it with water to overflow and weighing it again. Subtract the weight of the empty case and you have the water weight capacity of the case in grains. Use this information to match loads. If you have more water capacity in a new group of cases it will likely take more powder to get to the same pressure in them. If you have less water capacity in a case you will need to reduce your load.

It is a good idea to back loads off 10% and work back up again whenever you change any component. Things can fool you. A case might have more water capacity but also have a thicker neck wall, resulting in higher start pressure and the need to back the load off rather than increase it. Just remember, you will get to go to the range and shoot when you work up a load. It's all good.

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