Thursday, May 05, 2011

Military brass

Some time ago, I came into a limited quantity of military brass for the 5.56X45 cartridge, affectionately known to the rest of us as the .223 Remington.

I've never used military brass as reloading fodder, and because this brass was originally fired in my rifle, I thought I'd give it a go. Now, we all know that the military crimps their primers into the brass and I'd have to deal with that crimp. However, all the literature I've read told me that it was fairly easy to remove the crimp from small quantities of brass using a standard chamfer tool.

So, after resizing and de-priming, I used that chamfer tool to work the crimp from the primer pocket. It wasn't a big chore, but if I had a thousand rounds of military brass, I'd find a better tool.

You can click on the picture to enlarge it, but the tool takes the crimp out, easy-peasy. It leaves a little angle on the edge of the primer pocket, but I don't see that's a problem.

I took out my priming tool, and in just a few minutes had new primers seated.

I don't know why I've been so bugged about using military brass?


Rich Jordan said...

I got lucky years ago and got a deal on a Dillon crimp removal tool. Works great once you get it adjusted for the particular cases. I've prepped a lot of .30-06 brass, and it does well on 5.56 also. I'd wear my wrist out using a chamfering tool on more than a few cases (done that removing burrs); the specialty tool is the way to go.

Remember to be conservative on your loads; military brass is generally thicker = possibly higher pressures for a given load than commercial brass.

mostly cajun said...

Another vote for the Dillon tool. I've processed thousands of .30-06 and 7.62x51 with it.

I used to set up a block of wood and use the Lee hammer-powered decapping pin to deprime my mil-surp cases, then when i had a bucket full, I'd set up the Dillon and run 'em through.

The dillon tool is fool-proof. If you get things out of alignment, it's got enough mechanical advantage to swage a new primer pocket off center, so a little care is needed on original set-up.


Jester said...

Military brass, particularly stuff made in the States for 5.56 generally has very high quality. If you decide to purchase high amounts of military brass either on the used market or new (I see various places selling primed brass made by LC these days) Then get yourself a tool to make life easier. If this is just a one time situation, just enjoy the brass. Its good stuff.