Military Brass

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by Taurus357, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. I was told that reloading military brass is different in some ways. For one you must have a smaller primer then what is used on .223. I have had some offers on free 5.56 military brass and before I accept too much of it, I want to make sure I can use it.
  2. Ari

    Ari Guest

    If it is boxer primed I would take it. I do think you will have to remove the crimp on the primer so you can get the new one in. But I think they take nothing but small rifle primers... But I could be wrong :D

  3. How do you remove the primer crimp? Do you have to recrimp the new one?
  4. Sniper 995

    Sniper 995 Guest

    military cases have the primer "crimped" in to avoid the primer backing out. to remove the crimp all you need is something like the rcbs hand chamfer tool.
  5. 5.56 NATO brass uses the standard small rifle primer. However, there is usually a crimp which needs removed before attempting to reseat a new primer. One way to remove the crimp is to run your deburring tool in the opening and reaming the crimp out. Another way is to swage the primer pocket to its standard dimensions with either the tool made by RCBS or the one made by Dillon Precision. The RCBS is much cheaper than the Dillon, but both work well.

    Go ahead and collect the military brass. But be careful with the load data on military brass, too. You will reach excessive pressures sooner with the military than with commercial brass, because of the smaller internal volume of the thicker military brass. Always start your loads at the starting loads according to your load manuals and slowly work up. Chances are you won't be able to reach max loads with military brass without showing some sign of excessive pressure.

  6. Good info. Was talking to my step father and he has a bunch and said he was looking online and found a place that sells military primers supposivly have to be used. I'm going to call him back up with this information and see what we can find out.
  7. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    they may be berdan primed too. ask him and make sure they are boxer prime. If they are berdan they arent worth alot. Boxer prime military cases all use standard small rifle primers almost without exception.

  8. It's not necessary to use military primers. The main thing about military primers is that they're usually made out of a harder material. The harder primers are designed for certain military rifles which have a floating firing pin, such as the SKS rifle. Rifles with floating firing pins need the harder primers to prevent slam-fires. If you're using the brass in any American-made commercial rifle, then there's no need to use a military-spec primer. Not to say you can't use the military primers, especially if you get a good deal on them, just saying it's not a have-to thing. Just ream out the crimp on the primer pockets, and prep the cases just like commercial brass. Just remember to go easy on the load data.

  9. Sooo...when step father told me it was a slightly smaller primer, it's actually him neading to ream out the primper pocket to remove the crimp. All starting to make sense. This is why I love this place.
  10. MalcolmStone

    MalcolmStone Member

    I've got quite a bit of military brass. If it is Lake City (LC headstamp) brass, it's probably 99.9% boxer primed so no problem there.

    As far as the primer pockets go, I generally just take my dremel tool with a small drill bit and remove the 'primer band' in the pocket. Just be careful not to go crazy as you can remove too much material and be left with scrap brass.

    Small rifle primers are what you want to use after you get the pockets to the correct size.

    As a side note, you may want to look into some RCBS Small Base reloading dies. I've been having problems chambering some brass in my AR due to the base of the brass being to large. My SB dies are coming in soon and hopefully that will help the problem. If that still doesn't help, I may have to look at having the chamber reamed a bit or just tossing the brass.

  11. Good information to have, will call my step father and let him know to try it before payin that 25 hazmat fee to order the primers.
  12. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    Small base dies are a good idea in any automatic rifle. Ive used small base in all my ARs without any problems other than an occasional bad case.

  13. SW you are 100 percent on .Military has a tendency to expand a bit after resizing due to the heaver brass. A Dillion swager cost $90.00 from dillon but remember thay are lifetime warrenty.
    The small base dies resize just a tad smaller.
    A tad is slightly smaller than a freckle.
  14. Silicon Wolverine

    Silicon Wolverine Well-Known Member

    I use RCBS small base dies. they size about .003 smaller than my standard Lee .223 dies do.

  15. I think that would be the case, for any military brass. Did that come out right?
  16. Thorn 242

    Thorn 242 Well-Known Member

    dont forget also that military brass is a little more brittle than civi might want to aneall it before you use it so the neck dosent split.
  17. If you're talking about brass cases, yes. :D
  18. Thorn 242

    Thorn 242 Well-Known Member

    you talking 'bout steel?....didnt think those were reloadable
  19. Primal is out there at times, one of my best friends (former neighbor) and even I don't get him at times. No mention of steel cases, but who knows with him. Just smile and nod at him... :) :) (like that)
  20. Just get a primer pocket cleaner or use a dremel tool to mill out the crimp. I have 1000 Lake City mil-spec brass cases in the mail. It's more .223 than I'll ever shoot out 'chuck huntin...