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Used Brass VERY hard to reload

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Goosebrown, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I bought 500 rounds of Lake City .308 brass a few years ago and just got round to reloading them and I am stumped here, they just will not go through the sizing die unless I take 5-6 passes and screw the die in progressively.

    It is like the chamber on the weapon they were fired in was way out of spec.

    Any experience with this?

    I have a redding single stage press. I was thinking that I lube the cases and maybe heat them in the oven (oven then lube...) and then run them through with a cheater bar on the handle of the press to get more leverage, it might work better.

    I have been reloading for 30 years and not had this problem ever.
     
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  2. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I bought a thousand rounds of lake city 308 brass. Having the same issue.
     
  3. Lowpower

    Lowpower Spokane Valley Member

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    In my years of reloading I've found that the brass itself can harden over time, even stuff that's just sitting around. Annealing the brass can soften it back up but you need to know what you're doing with it because if you get it too soft it changes the properties of the brass and ruins it. That also means putting it in the oven will probably ruin it.

    You don't have to go out and buy a three or four hundred dollar annealing machine. You can buy a $10 propane torch, use a small pan of water and anneal them. Take a look on the internet or youtube and you will see all the cheap ways to do it or I can tell you how I do it.

    I just got home from a hard day at work and I'm going to bed. :)

    Lp
     
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  4. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    +1 with Lowpower. It's not that difficult.
     
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  5. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Machine gun chamber could account for larger expansion
    Could try extreme pressure EP grease
    Super Lube
    Pennzoil 302
    DuPont
    Can be found in most car parts stores.
     
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  6. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    Will they chamber?
    If they do so easily, you might try a cornmeal load and fire them in your rifle then try neck sizing them after that and see how they function. Also do they need annealing ?? Do they look like they have been fired many times? Any separation rings visible... things like that. Are you using a lube pad when you try to resize them ?
    So many variables can affect them it is hard to second guess your issue and its cause. Is your die of correct tolerances ?.
     
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  7. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Nope they don't come close to chambering. This is an FAL and the bolt doesn't start to close on them. Once sized it does just fine. I tried that.

    The annealing is good. I was thinking oven at 200* not really hot. I have a torch and will check the interweb for video.

    Good to see I am not the only one.

    Machine gun chamber was my thought too. Not that I have any way to know.
     
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  8. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    I won't attempt to advise you, but it is just a starting point to figure what is wrong. Do the shoulders and neck shape match the standard factory rounds. Are you sure they are not modified rounds like some slightly changed wildcat rounds ? Look at all options, and talk to folks that have done a lot of reloading on that cartridge. Many things could cause that. If they were made into some "improved" round that could also explain it. Many times the shoulder will be far less tapered than a factory round.
    Look at some of the Ackley Improved rounds to get the idea of what I am saying. Sometimes only the shoulder angle is changet to make a more efficient loading.
    I have done that to a couple rifles and then made custom dies for them. Someone could have done that to those cases. Did they all come from the same place ?
     
  9. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The problem that I am seeing is that the cases have been fired in a more open chamber. LC brass is thicket or more dense than commercial brass. I like it for that fact in my M1A and FAL's. It is simply trying to get them down to the proper size. No Wildcats involved. I picked up some case guages and some small based dies. I will also be buying a heavier press. Case lube is your freind. Annealing might help but in a military action you really dont want soft brass.
     
  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    While I may not be accurate here, this is what I learned:

    DO NOT attempt to anneal the whole case. Anneal the neck and shoulders
    200 degrees will not be hot enough. The temperature needs to be > 875 but not above 1100 (dull red in dim light).
    You don't need water to quench. Air cooling will work just fine.

    You may still be relegated to doing multiple passess with the die screwed down.
    In this case, a liberal application of the lanolin/alcohol blend would be great lube. Set the die, do 'em all, screw the die in some more, do 'em all again, and so on.

    Good luck . I feel your pain. The problem I ran into with the 1000 or so LC MG brass I bought is that the primer holes are loose.
     
  11. Charliehorse

    Charliehorse Cascade Mts - State of Jefferson USA Well-Known Member

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    Just read this on 300 BLK forum:

    Lake City is and also has the hardest brass in the base web area. Along with commercial contract 5.56 ammunition made for the military. And this is why when swaging the spring back rate of the brass varies and also why processed brass uses the minimalist approach when swaging the primer pockets.
    So again Lake City is harder in the base and also has the most case capacity than any other brand/make of .223/5.56 case.

    The reason for the higher military standards for brass hardness dates back to the Congressional hearings on the jamming problems of the early M16 rifles in Viet Nam. The cases at that time were made to .223 commercial standards and were too soft and expanded too much in the base when fired.

    Below Lake City and commercial contract military 5.56 cases, the brass is harder and the web at the flash hole is thicker. Meaning the brass will withstand higher pressures (more reloads) and larger diameter military chambers.
    0027_zpsxd5ysevv.jpg
    http://www.300blktalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=141&t=95721&p=919623#p919623
     
  12. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    OK, I use to buy 1x fired 7.62 x51 mm Nato brass from the recycle place. They probably got it from the base. Back then, M60s were what most of the ammo was shot out of.

    Anyway, the brass was difficult to re-size. I believe that the M60's chambers were "generous." Hey, it's a machine gun.

    FF today.....the surplus LC brass is probably coming from a M240.

    Anyway, I still use a F/L re-sizer and got into the habit of using a gauge to test my re-sized brass.

    STORY:

    My ammo fit my M1a easily. But, when I tried the same ammo in my bolt action Rem 700....well, it didn't chamber. Humm.....ok, so I screwed down the re-sizing die down a bit more. The new ammo is just passing, in the gauge test. Remember, there is a high and a low cut, to test for re-sized brass to still be acceptable. Now, the ammo would work in both rifles.

    Bottom line: chambers vary and a little bit could be all the difference.

    And.......cam over, while re-sizing. I hope you're doing that...RIGHT?

    Aloha, Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  13. twowheels

    twowheels portland, OR Active Member

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    I haven't bought any once fired LC 308 brass for a year or so but what I found was that I couldn't effectively resize the brass in a single pass on my dillon 650 with redding die using regular case lube. The brass got stuck. But it worked fine using motor oil as lube.
     
  14. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Good info here. I am personally finding that reloading for a semi is much touchier / more precise than loading for a bolt gun
    I think my step is to invest in a better press like a rock chucker. I like my pacific but I need a stronger one for resting this LCD brass.

    P.s. I hate auto correct
     
  15. ConcreteJungle

    ConcreteJungle Eugene Well-Known Member

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    I won't load LC brass. I have some, but just set it aside for decoration. :)
    You end up having to swage the primer pockets most of the time because of the crimp they put on there for the military. Too much effort IMO for making plinking ammo.
     
  16. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on the rifle you are using. There in my mind is a safety issue in military auto loaders I would not use it in a bolt gun if commercial brass was available.
     
  17. Tikkakoski

    Tikkakoski Member

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    I agree. A lot of surplus once fired brass has been run through machine guns with crazy large chambers. I would bet that's your issue.
     
  18. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    I run into the same even with 9mm cases I get from the range.

    Some I swear are a .40 trying to be resized. I know it's because they were shot in a really large chamber compared to the others. Typically they are from a full auto.

    It happens, lube and give them hell.
     
  19. twowheels

    twowheels portland, OR Active Member

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    I use LC in my autoloader and I use lapua in my precision bolt gun. The LC is a bit of a PIA bc I lube with oil and swage the primer pocket but it makes real nice autoloader rounds. Its just an intensive process to prep it the first time.
     
  20. Rockys

    Rockys Clark county Member

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    Lake City 7.62 has most likely been shot out of a machine gun with a large chamber like others have said. Most likely will have to size it incrementally otherwise it will stick in the die. Probably should final size in a small base die to get it back in spec.

    I've found that even lake city lr (supposedly fired from a bolt gun) brass has been fired in some pretty generous chambers.