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Thread: Reconditioned 223 Military Brass

  1. #1

    Default Reconditioned 223 Military Brass

    Being new to reloading, I have a question about once fired military brass.

    A friend has some 223 military brass that has been 100% processed ie reamed, cleaned, sized, trimmed and roll sized to meet SAAMI specifications; they have also been liquid washed.

    From what I have described, is military brass that has been processed in the above manner is it acceptable to reload.

    Thanks for your help, Robert

  2. #2
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    Default Military Brass

    I loaded a lot of military brass when I first started out. The only issue I found was that since the case walls are thicker the case capacity is lower. This causes increased pressure. I usually found the mid-range loads in manuals to be near max when loading surplus cases instead of commercial brands.

  3. #3

    Default 223 military?

    I would like to raise a point needing clarification. We only use 5.56x45NATO brass/rounds in the military, which is slightly different in metal strength, OAL min/max measurements (chamber dimensions), and max SAAMI pressures than .223Rem.

    The result is that 5.56x45 brass/rounds will operate at higher max pressures than a .223Rem chamber is designed for and are therefore unsafe. 5.56x45 chambered rifles can handle the dimensions and max pressures of the .223Rem round. There may be exceptions that I am not aware of, depending on the manufacturer, but that is the general rule.

    Assuming the brass is in good shape, meets the appropriate measurements, and is loaded properly, I don't see why you couldn't reload it, but I think it's important to first clarify what type of brass it is and what firearm chambering you will be firing it in.

    Someone with more experience can confirm or correct me on this and elaborate further. Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martialcanine.45 View Post
    I would like to raise a point needing clarification. We only use 5.56x45NATO brass/rounds in the military, which is slightly different in metal strength, OAL min/max measurements (chamber dimensions), and max SAAMI pressures than .223Rem.
    Correction: max pressure differences are not slightly different...hence why 5.56x45 in .223Rem chambers is unsafe.

  5. #5
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Reclaimed GI Brass

    Have used it for decades, and still do, in .223, .308, and .30-06. Don't know how I would've been able to load as much as I did if it hadn't been for the excellent, and dirt cheap once fired GI brass we used to get.
    Adjust your load for the reduced capacity, and have a ball, reclaimed GI brass is GOOD STUFF!!!
    Now, to the warnings about using LOADED 5.56 GI AMMUNITION in SAAMI commercial chambers....the boosted pressure that can approach what appears to be an overloaded condition has to do with the GI bullet being long enough that it jams into the rifling of the commercial chambers, which raises the pressure to sometimes dangerous levels. Battle rifles have the throat lengthened to accomodate the bullet profiles in use by NATO, and if you use commercial ammo in a GI chamber, you'll encounter a bit of freebore, much like what Weatherby does to their rifles. Many makers offer what is called a "Wylde" chamber that accomodates either commercial or GI loads.
    If the chamber and bore of your commercial rifle are not chrome lined, the throat can be lengthened easily by any competent gunsmith and your sporter will handle the GI loads just fine, IF it has the proper twist rate to handle the heavier military bullets. Think 1-8 twist to handle the widest range of .224 bullet weights.

  6. #6
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    Default

    The reason military brass is thicker is so it will not "cook off" while setting in the chamber of a rifle thats super hot from being fired constantly.
    To answer your question it is great brass to use. Just work up a different load for it than you would commerical stuff.
    I have seen the occassional berdan primed case in .223 and many times in .308. When you find these toss em into the junkpile.
    Tennessee

  7. #7
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    Default

    I managed to shoot about 2000 rounds of mil loaded 5.56x45 through my Rem 700 varmit special without signs of pressure or any other problems. I haven't shot much of the newer 62gr stuff as mine is a 1-12 twist and doesn't like the heavier bullets much. The mil brass is good for reloading also. Although, I don't much care for the crimped primer pockets. But as always, check for pressure signs, even with factory ammo. I have a 270 that shows pressure signs with factory ammo and have found range pick up that appears to be once fired with pressure signs. So trust nothing and check for your self.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Once GI brass has been processed as you describe it works great! Crimped primer pockets are a pain to ream properly unless you have the right tool. But it is great brass.

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