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What to do with once-fired Federal "FC" .223 brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TX Archer, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. TX Archer

    TX Archer

    Jun 4, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I have acquired over 1,000 pieces of .223 Federal FC brass. I know that, in general, FC brass isn't highly thought of but I haven't had any problem with it in .40 or 9mm. Here, I'm interested specifically in .223. I've seen scattered comments where some say they only reload it once, some say they won't reload it, and some seem happy with it. My impression is that the most common issue is primer pockets becoming loose.

    So I could use your guidance. What do you with this brass in this caliber? Right now, mine is sorted and kept separate from what I'm currently using.
  2. squirreld


    Jan 15, 2006
    US of A
    FC 40 brass is the baddy.
    They redesigned the case and that was a big no no.

    All other FC brass is good.

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012

  3. Deployment Solu

    Deployment Solu Kydex Crafter

    Jul 18, 2007
    If you want to sell it, PM me with a price shipped.
  4. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Inspect it then reload it.
  5. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I haven't had any issues with FC brass for my .223 range / Tac rifle match ammo.
  6. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    At least in the past, I have found Federal brass @ any level, even the vaunted GMM, is crap. IT's been too soft, you'll see pressure signs when other cases show none. Maybe that has changed, but I always look suspect @ ANY Federal brass. It doesn't mean I won't load it, I just watch it more carefully. I've seen "normal" loads blow out at the head or grossly enlarge primer pockets after only 2-3 firings, not right w/ any caliber. Just keep an eye on primer pockets, if they start to enlarge, toss the em sooner than later.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  7. ColoCG


    Mar 18, 2011

    This^^^^ you also should inspect for crimped primer pockets that will need to be removed by reaming or swaging. Other wise it should be good to go.
  8. TX Archer

    TX Archer

    Jun 4, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Thanks a lot, fellas. I'm still learning the ins and outs of .223 so I appreciate the input. I have quite a bit of more respected headstamps that I'm working through and learning on, so it will be a long time before I have a need for the FC stuff. But now that I'm reassured it's not complete garbage, I can have a game plan.
  9. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    The commercial Federal 223 cases are very thin in the case head. There are government Federal cases that are better and these usually have the last two digits of the year they were made in the headstamp. Usually, but not always, commercial cases are stamped, "Federal" and government cases are stamped, "FC" with the year. If you cut the cases in half, down their centers through the flash holes, you can compare the thicknesses of the case heads. A headstamp with "FC" and no numbers for the years are likely the weak cases. The ones with the year usually are stamped, "FC" and not, "Federal" but they might be. Look for a year code, not, "FC" or, "Federal."
  10. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    Pay attention to the condition of the brass (after each loading), but, process the brass and shoot the snot out of it.

    Some don't like Federal brass, but, like anything else, if you pay attention to the pressure signs and load 'less than max', it's decent brass.