Reloading Range Brass.

Share techniques for reloading, where to get the best reloading equipment, and share tips with fellow hunters.

Moderator: Ironknees

Reloading Range Brass.

Postby Woody Mortensen » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:10 am

Reloading Range Brass / Brass Head Stamp Codes:

I'm a member of our local range and we have a wealth of brass on the ground at our range. As a member we are allowed to take what we need for our own reloading purposes. The rest of the brass is collected and cashed (recycled) and used in supporting our junior shooting programs. We have the CHP (California Highway Patrol) which comes two times a week for qualifying and the Sherriff Deputies that qualify twice a month. Also many of our members are retired military so we get quite a mix of brass on the ground.

These are some of the things I have learned to be aware of at our range: Say your looking for something in the 30 caliber range. I recall seeing some 8mm Mauser case's on the ground. Judging by it's head stamp code, it was a good quality European brass, but it had a Berdan primer. If I tried to resize (de-prime) this case I would have broken my die.
Berdan - Boxer primer explamation; http://www.recguns.com/Sources/VIIF3.html

Some of the .223 brass at our range has been fired by (example) the Ruger Mini 14 and is not ideally suitable for reloading. You can take the time to adjust your sizer and bump the shoulder down a little, but in time there will be .223 brass on the ground fired from bolt action rifles.

It's not a bad idea to aquaint yourself with headstamp codes if your picking up range brass. Your usually safe in reloading Winchester, Remington, Federal, LC (Lake City), etc. And the Korean brass, PMC was pretty soft to reload. As you may know, Winchester use's different head stamp codes such as; Winchester, WW Super Speed,WCC and 88. At our range we also have the Law Enforcement brass. This comes from company's that specialize in contracting with law enforcement in providing them ammunition. The law enforcement brass at our range will usually come from Winchester, LC, Frontier, HSM (Hunting Shack), to name a few.

I keep away from reloading mil-surp, Chinese and brass I can't identify, and any bi-metals such as Wolf which is not reloadable. Keep in mind there are other reloaders at the range and any brass they intentionally leave behind will probably not be worth reloading as it's been reloaded to it's maximum case life.

If your a collector of brass, you will probably find the mil-surp the most interesting to collect, and especially brass from com-bloc nations. Some of the com-bloc brass is unidentifable. It's as though the maker and the nation intentionally didn't want their presence disclosed as be the aggressor in combat or providing ammunition to an aggressive country.

You will find that some manufacturers use a letter system, others use a number system, while others use both.

Brass Head Stamp Codes:
http://cartridgecollectors.org/headstampcodes.htm

"Be Blessed and Stay Prayed-up".
Woody Mortensen
Senior Scout
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:19 pm
Location: High Desert, California

Postby Mike Brooks » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:33 pm

Woody, I have lots of brass I have picked up at the range, sounds like I better dump it, may have some problems, thanks for your info. Good job! :cool:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not into your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5
User avatar
Mike Brooks
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2785
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Aspen Park, Colorado

Postby PJGunner » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:26 pm

Mike Brooks wrote:Woody, I have lots of brass I have picked up at the range, sounds like I better dump it, may have some problems, thanks for your info. Good job! :cool:


If it's good old American commercial brass, don't throw it out, use it. Usually, careful inspection will allow you to determine if it's once fired or somebody's reloaded case. A proper ezoing to fit your rifle and you're good to go.
I'll be honest here, but I have not bought a single round of brass for the .270 Win., 30-30, .308 Win. or 30-06 in over 30 years. I usually help out on the sighting in days at my club's range and I can get quite a few positively identified once fired cases that way. The first resizing is with a die set to bring the brass down enough that it will chamber in any one of my rifles chambered to that particular round. The first load is a fireforming load for the rifl which the brass is intended and will be used exclusively with that rifle. About the only time I buy factory ammo or new brass is if it's for a new rifle that I don't already load for.
I don't even mess with milsurp brass much, except for Korean 30-06 which so far has proved to be decent brass. I use it to make cases for one of my .35 Whelens. I also have no problem will American milsurp brass, it's all good.
Almost all, if not all foreign 7.62 NATO (.308) brass is Berdan primed and gets thrown into the recycle bin to go to my scrap dealer.
Paul B.
PJGunner
Junior Scout
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:36 pm
Location: Tucson Arizona

Postby Mike Brooks » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:53 pm

PJgunner: Do you think reloading 223 brass is worth it? I was wondering if just buying lots of 223 ammo is cheaper, what do you think? Seems like it would be lots of work to reload.. :cool:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not into your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5
User avatar
Mike Brooks
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2785
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Aspen Park, Colorado

Postby PJGunner » Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:46 pm

Mike Brooks wrote:PJgunner: Do you think reloading 223 brass is worth it? I was wondering if just buying lots of 223 ammo is cheaper, what do you think? Seems like it would be lots of work to reload.. :cool:


Absolutely! I'm getting ready to load up about 2,000 rounds of .223 Rem. for my Kimber coyote rifle. I still have a goodly amount of American made milsurp that I might load up if I get another AR-15 sometime down the road. I sold the one I had several years back. Right now O only shoot the Kimber in .223 and a custom Ruger #1 "walkabout" rifle I had made up with a custom stock and using a .223 barrel from a Remington Model 7.
I like to wander about the desert and the Ruger is a bit lighter in weight than the Kimber. I'll sit on a hill some place and try and glass up a coyote, then try to pull a stalk on "Old Wiley". So far, Wiley has been the winner, but I have fun and my day will come. I figure that if I can ever do a spot and stalk successfully on a coyote, that that will be a troph well worth mounting.
Frankly, I handload for very rifle and handgun I won. The only time I've bought factory ammo in the last 30 years is if I bought a new gun. If it's one I already load for, it's to get a sample of head and pressure ring expansion plus the chronograph data for the round in the new gun.
Even at somewhat discounted gun show prices, .223 ammo is starting to get awfully pricey. It's best to have a back up plan.
Paul B.
PJGunner
Junior Scout
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:36 pm
Location: Tucson Arizona

Postby Mike Brooks » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:30 pm

Paul, I have a 7.62 is there a good place to get brass for that? Sounds like you can save tons by reloading the ammo yourself. Any thoughts on that?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not into your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5
User avatar
Mike Brooks
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2785
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 7:53 am
Location: Aspen Park, Colorado

Postby PJGunner » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:27 am

Mike Brooks wrote:Paul, I have a 7.62 is there a good place to get brass for that? Sounds like you can save tons by reloading the ammo yourself. Any thoughts on that?


I have to ask, 7.62 what? 7.62x39? 7.62x52 NATO?
I've seen bulk brass for the 7.62x39 and in fact I have a small pile of the stuff. I'd give it to you if you needed it but unfortunately I've already promised it to someone. All he has to do is come by and pick it up. You can use .308 Win. brass in the 7.62x51 NATO chamber. I use 7.62 NATO pick up for my cast bullet shooting. You have to be careful and inspect the inside of the case to be sure it is Boxer primed and not Berdan primed.
One hole good, snake eyes bad. :lol: You'll have to pardon my slow answer. I don't come to this site all that often. I'm on so many that some kind of left behind. Feel free to E-mali me though if you have any more questions on this.
Paul B.
PJGunner
Junior Scout
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:36 pm
Location: Tucson Arizona


Return to Reloading

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron