.223 brass too short?

Messages
344
Reactions
148
I'm fussy about my reloads, I'm sure we all are.
My question is about my recent purchase of several thousand spent rounds of .223/5.56 brass.
About a third of the .223 stuff seems short, below my normal "throw out" of 1.749" and below.
I just don't reload anything under 1.750", my trim-to length. Do I really toss out a thousand short cases?
Can you load short cases? I never have in 20 years. Sickening.

Thanks for any suggestions
 
Messages
3,841
Reactions
3,718
No you don't need to throw it out. Lots of my once fired federal .223 brass is 1.740 or less before sizing.

The "trim to" length is not necessarily the "minimum" acceptable length. Size it, fire it, process it again. It WILL grow.

If after reading this you still want to throw it out, I'll PM you my address to send it to for disposal. :D
 

arakboss

Messages
6,331
Reactions
10,373
I'm fussy about my reloads, I'm sure we all are.
My question is about my recent purchase of several thousand spent rounds of .223/5.56 brass.
About a third of the .223 stuff seems short, below my normal "throw out" of 1.749" and below.
I just don't reload anything under 1.750", my trim-to length. Do I really toss out a thousand short cases?
Can you load short cases? I never have in 20 years. Sickening.

Thanks for any suggestions
Where or who did you purchase the cases from?
 
OP
fstdraw
Messages
344
Reactions
148
These have all been sized, full length.
I bought from a fellow forum member and it's not his fault or doing in any way.
Just the way it goes if I can't use them. Sometimes a homerun, sometimes you
trip on the way to first.
 

arakboss

Messages
6,331
Reactions
10,373
How short is too short? I'm particular too, but it depends somewhat on what kind of ammo I'm loading.

I use the Lee factory crimp die on ammo that gets a crimp. I also trim to 1.750", but 1.740" wouldn't bother me a bit. 1.720" or shorter would probably get turned into .300 Blackout.
I would second that advice.
 
Messages
3,841
Reactions
3,718
How short is too short? I'm particular too, but it depends somewhat on what kind of ammo I'm loading.

I use the Lee factory crimp die on ammo that gets a crimp. I also trim to 1.750", but 1.740" wouldn't bother me a bit. 1.720" or shorter would probably get turned into .300 Blackout.
Agreed.

To the OP, exactly how short are we talking here?
 
OP
fstdraw
Messages
344
Reactions
148
I too use the Lee FCD in a separate step of course, maybe I could reload down to 1.740 brass length.
Hmm, might take some getting used to though. Most of the shorty's are between 1.748 and 1.740.
A few in the 1.73 something range.

Strangely enough nearly all of the short brass is marked "F C .223 Rem".
 
Messages
81
Reactions
83
I may be to lax but I'd say since the ammo manufacturer used them at that length I wouldn't worry about it. I trim my cases when they are too long down to 1.75 but don't throw out once fired that are shorter, that is for plinking rounds. I doubt there's any danger, just a bit bigger SD. If you shoot for accuracy, segregate out the shorter ones to use for plinking.

All this goes out the window if they were trimmed excessively short after firing. Lots of factory brass is shorter than 1 75.

As others have mentioned we need some numbers to give good solid info.

Just my thoughts.
 

arakboss

Messages
6,331
Reactions
10,373
Seriously, I don't see it as any kind of issue.

What's your reasoning for thinking you can't use them?
+1
I too use the Lee FCD in a separate step of course, maybe I could reload down to 1.740 brass length.
Hmm, might take some getting used to though. Most of the shorty's are between 1.748 and 1.740.
A few in the 1.73 something range.

Strangely enough nearly all of the short brass is marked "F C .223 Rem".
That is federal head stamp, they evidently have a tendency to come up short. Personally I would reload anything over 1.74. Recycle or convert anything under that.
 

ron

Messages
2,145
Reactions
4,394
I have separated out the 'short' (~1.740 to 1.749) cases and used them in a lot. They produced the same sub MOA groups.
FYI Federal 223 brass is soft. You will probably get a couple reloads out of them until the primer pockets get loose. Don't
push them to Max load. Federal brass is the lease desirable brass for 223 reloads.o_O IMHO
 
Messages
106
Reactions
204
Ok, with .223 and 5.56 there is a difference.
Whilst the chamber dimensions are the same, the free-bore is not.
5.56 has a greater length for the neck of the case, and ahead of the case before the rifling starts, (a greater leade).
I took some randomly selected ammo from Winchester, Federal, and Frontier, all using the same 55gr FMJ-BT bullets.
All was new un-fired ammo.
For each of those companies I had ammo that was head stamped .223, and some that was head stamped 5.56,, AND THEY ARE DIFFERENT, both in case length and OAL.
I used 10 rounds from each brand of .223, and 10 rounds from each brand of 5.56.
Checking-out the dimensions, here is what I found;
All of the 5.56 head-stamped ammo ran ~1.749>1.752 case length, and ~2.256 OAL.
The .223 head-stamped ammo ran ~ 1.738>1.743 case length, and ~2. 210 OAL.
This is consistent with the longer "leade", or free-bore of a 5.56 chamber.
In checking fired cases, the LC mil-spec cases were running ~1.758>1.762
The commercial fired 5.56 were running ~1.746>1.753
The commercial fired .223 were running ~1.742>1.746
With a few outliers all the cases that were inside/outside a thou or two.
GI ammo, like LC, has a longer case NECK length and OAL,, it is also is tempered to a different hardness.
Up-shot, don't worry about trimming brass to 1.740,, anywhere from 1.740 to 1.750 is ok.
Hope some of this helps,, my sampling was small, and I'm sure that different brands and different lot #s would give different results.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Free Firearms Safety Course (I-1639 Compliant)
Virtual Webinar (Zoom). Registration Link in the course description.
Seattle, WA, USA
Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • Sportsman's Warehouse - Albany
    5.00 star(s)
    Good products at good prices with friendly and knowledgeable staff!
    We like to visit the Albany location as it's closer but have been to several others and they have all been great!:D
  • Umpqua Survival
    4.00 star(s)
    Easy NFA transfer
    I had a silencer transferred through their shop. The paperwork was quick and the staff helpful and friendly. Whilst waiting, I did see a nice...
  • MK Tactical
    5.00 star(s)
    Awesome staff
    Being new to the area and having just made an online purchase of an AR lower, I opted to use MK Tactical as my FFL, without knowing anything about...
  • J&B Firearm Sales
    5.00 star(s)
    Good local shop
    Picked up a rifle yesterday from J&B. This was the second or third gun purchase over the last few years from them. I always enjoy stopping by...
  • H&K Gun Shop
    5.00 star(s)
    The only place I have found 9mm in stock
    I’ll admit I didn’t even know this place existed, as I don’t tend to go into Forest Grove often. But it’s a giant (looks bigger from the...
Top Bottom