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Old March 5, 2011, 10:13 AM   #1
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.308 brass questions

About 20 years ago I bought 2000 rounds of "once fired" .308 brass that was culled from a military range.

Early on I sorted out the Lake City brass and have been using that ever since. Over the past two weeks I've been sorting the rest of the mixed brass. I had a bunch of WCC, R-P, a very little Winchester, some FC, a bunch of RA, and some Frontier.

The RA brass I tend to think is really once fired b/c it all had gold-colored primers and they were all staked. This brass has the typical NATO headstamp with the cross-in-a-circle, the RA and the date 68. That makes it Viet Nam-era brass (h*ll, I may have toted some from the same lot). Quite a bit of it was machine gun brass with the typical dented mouth and shoulders and quite a bit of stretch. Obviously I'm going to have work it to get it into shape to fire out of my bolt-actions.

My question is that given the age of the brass (it did not sit out in the weather - almost no oxidation) are there any special considerations I should take in the prep?

My second question has to do with the Frontier brass. What is it? What quality or consistency is it likely to have? I'm assuming it is commercial brass but don't really know. Any information would be appreciated.

I'll weigh it and check case volume before loading it.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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Frontier is now Hornady. It was the original company started by Joyce Hornady to reload spent military brass with Hornady bullets. They had to start making their own brass when the Vietnam war came about.

As far as the brass you have, I don't know but I would guess that it should be fine since it's been indoors this whole time. I agree that it's going to take a lot of work to get it back to the correct length and size.

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Old March 6, 2011, 12:07 AM   #3
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It'll be fine. I'm STILL working through about 1200 pounds of WRA68/LC67 brass that was fired in miniguns (4:1 ball and tracer ammo) that I've had for many, many years. All I do is resize it, swage the primer pockets, trim, and load it up.
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Old March 6, 2011, 08:02 AM   #4
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I sort brass by headstamp. LC is very consistant by year. Of course the military stuff I remove the crimp.

If you are shooting mid range loads, then you can just load and shoot all the brass. However, for long range I have gone to weighing the commercial brass to sort the stuff out.

I was recently sorting out Federal 308. The weight varies as much as 20 grains between Federal cases. I had Federal brass of 155 grain and Federal brass at 177 to 180 grain. For long range loads which are maximum loads, I have found that I will blow primers in the 180 grain brass, so I use the lighter stuff.

Frontier brass is likely purchased from the low bidder. So anyone could have made it. Weigh it and use it. I have used Frontier brass and it is good stuff.
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Old March 6, 2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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Brass does lose its elasticity with time,,it's the nature of the beast. Only if you are an annealer,,,do it. If not,clean it up, load it up ,,shoot it.
I ran across some Frontier brass for my swift. I investigated it's existance and learned from several sources that it is excellent, reloadable brass. I will learn for sure if our winter ever ends, where as I can test it.
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Old March 6, 2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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My question is that given the age of the brass (it did not sit out in the weather - almost no oxidation) are there any special considerations I should take in the prep?
As with most military brass I have used it would be good to FL size it and make sure there is no berdan primed primers if you look into the case it will have 2 holes you can see and if you do your decapper pin will not take it and break just throw them in recycle brass to sell. Once you remove the primer care must be taken to remove the ''Crimp'' on the primer pocket. Then trim to recommended length and trim, chamfer/deburr the neck. And Happy reloading I use mixed brass only for plinking and on my more serious targeting I use only the same type of cases for accurracy needs.

Last edited by NESHOOTER; March 6, 2011 at 11:25 PM. Reason: spe
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