Cartridge Disassembly and Reloading Questions


Mikee Loxxer
June 16, 2006, 10:36 AM
A year or so ago I purchased 300 rounds of .308 Win most of which appeared to be Lake City Match at a gun show. I was told that this ammuntion came from an estate sale (I assume the original owner was deceased). I took some of it to the range to feed my DSA SA 58 and found that the overall case length was too great to be loaded into the SA 58's magazine. I then decided to try it with my Enfield 2A1(the cartridges would fit in this rifles magazine). Upon extraction I noticed that the primers seemed to be pushed out of the primer pocket about one third of the way and there was a black residue around it. Also it appeared as though the primer cup itself may have ruptured. I fired four more rounds whose cases all seemed to exhibit these characteristics. The fifth round was fired and I had a case head seperation. Judging by drawings the ABC's of reloading I have determined that my Enfield 2A1 has excessive headspace. I have since not fired the Enfield 2A1. I also decided that this ammuniton was the original owners handloads and should now be considered components as I do not know to what specifications it was loaded to.

Fast forward to now. I am in the process of pulling bullets from these cartridges with the intent of reloading them. I am discarding the powder as I am not willing to guess what it is. The questions I have are "do I need to resize these cases after using an inertial bullet puller to remove the bullets?" "Does the case shape change when having the bullets pulled from them this way?"

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June 16, 2006, 10:58 AM
i definitely would. partially because seating the bullet does expand the neck slightly, but mostly because some knucklehead reloaded these and you don't know for sure if HE resized them so the shoulder might not be where it's supposed to be, for instance.

June 16, 2006, 11:16 AM
Put them through the full reloading cycle... even dump the primer (he may be using magnum primers, the primer hole may be to loose etc.

Other than keeping the brass and the bullet dump everything else, fully resize and reprime/charge/seat bullet to your OAL.

The powder should go on the lawn... lots of fertilizer in that stuff.

The Bushmaster
June 16, 2006, 11:33 AM
Absolutely agree with Taliv and YellowLab. Pull the bullets. Resize and deprime. Measure and trim as necessary. Inspect each case very carefully. Inspect your Enfield 2A1 or have a gun smith inspect it. You may have nothing wrong with it. Over pressure loads may be the cause of backed out and blown primers.

June 16, 2006, 11:53 AM
I must respectfully disagree with Yellowlab, the powder will be better served to fertilize the tomatoes and let the lawn fend for itself.

50 Shooter
June 16, 2006, 11:54 AM
Another thing to think about was the fact that those rounds could've been neck sized for the persons rifle. While they may fit into your rifles chamber, they won't exactly fit. If you see blow primers or case haed seperations it could be from the case getting blown out to your chambers specs. If the barss can't handle this much stretching it's going to fail.

If you're seeing primer flow or blow by be sure to check your boltface for flame cutting. If it's bad you might have to buy a new one or an entire bolt to be safe. Also check the firing pin and spring to be sure they haven't been ruined.

Mikee Loxxer
June 16, 2006, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the replies. I was pretty sure I was going to have to decap and resize but I wanted to be sure. And yes all of that powder is on the lawn behind my house. I think I will also apply some to the volunteer tomato plant that showed up where last years garden was.

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