Newb question about 223 brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BillKilgore, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    D6268CD6-D0AA-4778-A887-78D4AA89B71C.jpeg DD8B9BB9-1B43-4DCB-BF2C-56E9D0EE89F8.jpeg I have a couple questions for the experienced guys. I have been cleaning and sorting 223 brass for a week. Because I am inexperienced and erring on the side of caution, I have rejected quite a few once fired 223 brass due to a small, circular pit on the shoulder of the case. The pit is remarkably uniform from case to case, but the location varies from the bottom of the case shoulder to the top of the shoulder.

    Do you agree the case above should not be reloaded?

    Are cases with small scratches or gouge marks safe to reload?

    As I sort brass, I remind myself there is 55,000 psi inside the case and the pressure will find any weakness.

    Thank you for guiding this rookie.
     
  2. Taterhead

    Taterhead

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    I would reload that. Small scratches are fine. Gouges usually are if they aren't tearing through.

    I avoid anything creased or corroded. Or split. Almost always splits appear in the neck.

    One more thing. If rejecting iffy brass, set it aside rather than tossing. You might find with experience that your unitial cull standards will loosen. Then youbcan go back and merge some of the former rejects into the reloading assortment.
     
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  3. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    Thanks, Taterhead. I have put the iffy brass in a separate container. At worst, I could use it to practice annealing.
     
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  4. Taterhead

    Taterhead

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    Also, it's useful to think of brass as a gasket rather than a pressure containment vessel -- except at the case head for handguns. The chamber contains the pressure.

    Thinking about it another way... It is not uncommon for brass to actually split vertically when fired. It is an uneventful occurence. Splits are what tells me that a 223 or handgun case is done.

    Case head separations are a different matter.
     
  5. George Kaplan

    George Kaplan emeritus

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    Inspecting that closely, you'll find flaws in anything.
     
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  6. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    Right. That is why I asked for others’ opinion. It sounds like I was over doing the inspection. Again, I am new to reloading and trying to be very careful.

    Thank you both for your advice.
     
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  7. sourdough44

    sourdough44

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    Do you have your intended load figured out yet? That is, powder & bullet? If using in a semi-auto make sure they are resized properly.
     
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  8. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    Thanks, Sourdough. I am just getting started with reloading. The load will probably depend on which bullets and powder are available when I start on the 223 batch. They will be shot through semi-autos.

    I am in the process of buying the equipment and a few supplies. My first batch of anything will probably be 45 ACP, then I will move on to rifle ammo.
     
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  9. Abrass

    Abrass

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    45 ACP is a great cartridge to start with. Are you preping new or fired cartridges for the 45? Any selections of bullets/grains you will be loading for it?
     
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  10. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    Almost all the brass is my own once-fired brass. I need to separate small and large primer if there are any small. I plan to load a basic FMJ 200-230 grain bullet. They will be used mainly for target practice.

    There is a Dillon XL-750 inbound, but it may take several weeks as some parts are on backorder. For now, I will continue cleaning brass.
    :D
     
  11. Samuel_Hoggson

    Samuel_Hoggson

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    Those .223 pieces pictured are virginal compared to the dinged, scratched, dented stuff that comes out of the fluted chamber HK91s. Briefly dry-tumble, then size and load. Just for kicks loaded some 155 SMK palmas in the ugly stuff and fired for accuracy through the RPR. Groups were indistinguishable vs that load in my LC LR. Dents never completely iron out.

    Must have cans full of .223/5.56 having about ten different headstamps. There is nowhere near the variation in weight/capacity you'll see with .308/7.62x51.

    You didn't mention source of brass. When dealing with bulk purchased or otherwise unknown source I use a LE Wilson case gauge before sizing. Repeat - before sizing. What I'm looking for are badly overstretched pieces. Brass is not all that elastic, and an incipient separation above the web will develop on first firing in a max or excessively long chamber. Each firing/sizing cycle brings you closer to a partial or full separation. I cull all such overstretched pieces. If your source of brass is your rifle(s) then you can ignore the foregoing, and use your chamber as a gauge to assess adequacy of sizing.
     
  12. Glock21sf-miami

    Glock21sf-miami

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    Starting up with 45 acp is great. That is what I got started with as well. I've done .38, 9mm and now I'm moving into 223 like you.
    FWIW, my go to load in .45 is 5.1 grs of WST pushing a 200 gr JFP. Sweet, soft and accurate.
     
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  13. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 12 Air Medals.

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    Take a paperclip and bend it out but leave the last curve in the clip so you have something to hold onto. Then bend the front of the wire to a 90degree bend, short enough that it will fit in the mouth of the case.

    Put the wire into the case and go all the way to the web area, then and touching the inside of the case wall slowly pull it towards the mouth of the case. If you fill a bump. You are on the way of having a case head separation.

    Personally I never worried about head separation in a .223/ 5.56. I used range pickup brass If the mouth was not split. Or mangled beyond repair it was good to go..
     
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  14. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    Thanks, @unclebob . That is a great idea. Do you separate 223 by manufacturer due to variation in case volume?

    I plan to reload 45, 380, 223 and 30-06. About 90-95% of the 45 and 223 are my once-fired brass, but there are a few range pick-ups mixed in.
     
  15. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 12 Air Medals.

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    I could not tell you if I did or not. After trying to set the top wood top guard on my Mini 14 on fire I sold it then in 1988 I did some horse trading with my AR for a CJ-5.Then about 20 some odd years ago I got into GSSF and basically all rifle shooting went to the wayside.
     
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  16. SARDG

    SARDG Florida's Left Coast

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    Basically... same here. GSSF is the ruination of rifle shooting. If they only made a "Legendary" PCC, it could begin to turn things around.
     
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  17. collim1

    collim1

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    I wouldn’t hesitate to reload that case.

    One thing I despise about reloading .223 is removing the crimp out of the primer pocket. Once I get 1000 cases treated I don’t want to have t do that again for a long time.

    I’m not tossing a case unless there is a split or deformity that resizing doesn’t take care of.
     
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  18. BillKilgore

    BillKilgore

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    I feel your pain. I am processing a little over 3000 223s and about 3500 45s.
     
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  19. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 12 Air Medals.

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    Okay I realize I have not loaded for an AR-15 in 30 years when I sold the gun. But when did .233 start having a crimped primer? Military 5.56 but not commercial .223. Also with the 45acp.
     
  20. Taterhead

    Taterhead

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    FC has had a mild crimp for a long while, and slowly the other commercial makes have followed suit, and the movement seems to be gaining traction. I've seen primer crimps from Norma, PMC, Magtech, etc., etc. Magtech even started crimping 10mm primers.

    Seems to be what the cool kids are doing.