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Old February 12, 2013, 06:12 PM   #5
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,648
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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