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Old November 1, 1999, 09:25 PM   #1
Join Date: October 20, 1999
Location: Bakersfield, Ca,
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Can someone please explain to me why if I use military brass that I must reduce my hand loads. This for 5.56 with LC Brass with 55 grain PSP bullets and AA2200 powder. I know it has to do with the weight of the brass but, 10% reduction for that little bit of extra weight.
Thanks Scratch
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Old November 1, 1999, 11:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: October 16, 1999
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Load up to normal reloading standards. Some people wring their hands because the military brass is slightly thicher thn the commercial brass. It is, therefore, also stronger!!

Believe "Old Wives" tales only when you read them in a major reloading manual.

Relax, Mikey
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Old November 2, 1999, 12:38 AM   #3
Long Path
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Actually, Sierra and Hornady *do* say to back off about 5%.

With the reduced powder capacity, there is bound to be some attending increase in pressure if you leave the charges the same. Question is, how much? I never have been one to load my non-magnum calibers up to Romp'em Stomp'em, so this isn't a big deal to me. I've killed at least one deer with reloaded military '06 brass and a standard charge of 4350 with a 165 Remington. (2750? There abouts...) It's just a good thing to keep in mind when you start turning up the volume; you don't have quite the case capacity, and if you were already at higher pressures with commercial brass loads... pressure's a funny thing, the way it buids geometrically.

But on the whole, I'm with Mikey. If you're loading a load that's actually published in a modern manual, you're not loading something hot enough to worry your head about it.

Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?


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Old November 2, 1999, 12:49 AM   #4
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
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It's not total bullwackey, but it might be close. When handloading, you should always reduce your loads whenever you change any component and work back up to a safe load.

The problem with military brass, real or imaginary, is the case capacity which can be appreciably less than with a commercial variety of case. Whenever you load the same amount of powder into a smaller container, the pressure will be higher - pure chemistry and physics. So if you are currently loading a max load in a commercial case, that load might be too much for a military case. Also, the strength of the case is not the limiting factor for high pressure it is the strength of your rifle's chamber/barrel. At those pressures, brass at the neck and body of a case flows freely.
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Old November 2, 1999, 03:14 AM   #5
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Yup, fore shore, yubecha, dawgone right you better reduce max loads when using US military .30-06 and .308 brass. It's measureably heavier/less internal capacity than *most* commercial of those calibers.

Less difference in .223/5.56mm.

Read your load data. MUCH has actually been worked up using the military brass. Derrick Martin of Accuracy Speaks has found that the Lot 95B batch of surplus 4895 powder cannot be crammed into the .223 case with a heavy enough charge to get best-accuracy launch velocities with certain heavy Sierra Molycoated bullets. It's too "fluffy" and you run into compressed loads before the pressure and velocity get up very high.

Do NOT translate this info to the standardized blend of 4895!!!!!
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Old November 2, 1999, 03:14 PM   #6
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I stand by my statement! Bullwackey!!
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