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Old September 6, 2012, 02:34 AM   #1
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Are LC cases really less volume in .30-06?

Every reloading manual warns for .30-06 and .308 that military cases such as LC brass hold less volume than commercial brass, and there for be loaded with 1-2 gr less powder.

I don't see this when I weigh cases of various head stamps. My brass is sorted by headstamp and within LC by decade as well. Not by lots.

Winchester and WCC is lightest at 186 gr avg.
All LC brass weigh 193-194 gr avg.
Remington is 195 gr avg.
Federal is 198 gr avg.

All of the brass is FL sized and trimmed to 2.475". I would think that given the same external dimension through sizing and trimming that the lighter cases would have more interior volume and the heaviest ones the least. According to this logic the Winchester cases should have the most volume and the FC and R-P the least volume, with the military LC cases being in the middle. Am I missing some other factor or is that military brass warning incorrect?

The LC brass us from the 1950s-1970s, and the commercial brass is from the 1990-2005.

BTW, I find the same thing true in 5.56x45/.223. FC cases are much heavier than LC, R-P is slightly heavier to LC and Winchester is the lightest.
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Old September 6, 2012, 07:34 AM   #2
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I've heard about loading down military 7.62x51 brass, but as far as I know the '06 and .223 brass is loaded just like civilian stuff.

At least I don't take any extra precautions with military .223 or '06 brass other than removing primer crimps.
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Last edited by Sport45; September 6, 2012 at 08:35 PM.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:16 AM   #3
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The old military brass is thicker than commercial. Consequently they hold less powder.
Of the commercial brands, I found Winchester to be the thinnest and would hold the most powder.
I have loaded truck loads of 30-06 with all kinds of brass. My military brass was used for casual competition. It's life was almost limitless and as a result the most fun to load and use.
Most of the commercial brass was for hunting loads.
Except Winchester. It was reserved for my most demanding target shooting and also for my max-max hunting loads. I consider it the best brass on the market. I'll qualify by saying I haven't used them all. e.g. Norma, never tried.
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Old September 6, 2012, 10:08 AM   #4
F. Guffey
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NWPilgrim, it is more about reloaders with short memories, or worst they have a bad habit of repeating fast responses they read on the Internet, and some are just lazy, others are waiting for an opportunity to discover ‘it’.

In the big inning, there was commercial brass and Military brass, no one measured the difference (another bad habit), they assumed there was a difference because the military case was heavier (with the exception, anything Winchester) and deductive reasoning said to them “if it is heavier it is thicker”. Bad habit, the military 30/06 cases I have measured and weighed do not fit the thicker assumption, the assumption is a half truth. The 30/06 military case head is thicker, most IO have measured are .200” thick when measured from the case head to the top of the cup above the web. When compared to the commercial R-P 30/06 case head thickness the military case head is .060” thinner. Not easy to keep up with more than one thought at a time but logic says the R-P case head is thicker, when compared to the statement “The old military brass is thicker than commercial” most should be able to see there is a conflict with ‘thicker, again, the case head is thinner'.

At about the time someone is made aware of the conflict in the statement “The old military brass is thicker than commercial” that someone should ask themselves “Self?” if the case has a thinner case head and weighs more, Where is the weight? Half truth: The military case head is thinner, the case body is thicker, the commercial R-P case head is thicker and the case body is thinner.

For those that understand measuring before and again after and spent a few minutes practicing deductive reasoning it is easy to determine the difference in the commercial and military case is in the length and diameter of the powder column, if there is any truth in what I have stated the military powder column is smaller in diameter and longer than the powder column of the commercial case, the powder column on the commercial R-P case is shorter in length and larger in diameter.

Think about it: the 308 Winchester case is shorter than the 30/06, the 308 W case body is larger in diameter than the 30/06, meaning the 308 W has a shorter powder column that is larger than the 30/06 powder column.

It means nothing to a reloader, the commercial R-P case head is thicker than the military case head by .060”, No thought given: Unsupported case head is not a factor but if it was there would be added safety built into the thick case head. I acquired 10 barrels yesterday, 2 Japanese, one 6.5, the other 7.7, one Springfield 03A3 and the rest Mausers, all the Mausers had case head protrusion of .110, with military cases that have a case head thickness of .200 wgen chambered the cases would have .100” unsupported case head less .005+, less the radius. At that rate I would be down .120 unsupported case head, still means nothing BUT! if I made a mistake and created excessive pressure there is a possibility the case head could crush to the point the case body could be exposed to a unsupported condition. at that time all the hot high pressure metal cutting gas could escape between the chamber and bolt face.

I like the ideal of the thicker case head, I like the ideal I will never in my life time need another 30/06 case because there is not shortage of 30/06 military cases with thin case heads.

Again, from the beginning I have felt when the bolt closses the light goes out and the chamber becomes a dark place.

F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; September 6, 2012 at 01:06 PM. Reason: change o to i, forgive.
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