neck down military brass to 243?


December 28, 2006, 10:06 PM
I have aprox 500 pieces of once fired 308 military brass. Being the type of person that I am, I like to use every piece of brass I can. I was wondering if it would be feasable to neck it down to 243? Since I will be going from .308 to .243 the necks will be getting a little thick and I would guess that I will have to outside neck turn the brass to make it safe to use.

I have a hornady case trimmer, but they don't make an "adapter" to outside neck turn using their trimmer. I can borrow a friends lyman trimmer and buy the adapter to neck turn. I would also need to get a set of dies to neck the brass to a caliber in between 30 and 24 (I'm figuring 7mm-08). So all told I would be into the project for ~$35.

My questions are;
1. Would I be better off in the long run to just buy once fired brass?

2. Would the necked down brass last as long as the comercial once fired 243?

3. Is there any chance the lyman neck turning adapter would work with my hornady case trimmer?

I'm not really concerned with the amount of extra work that would go into this project (its winter and I don't have much else to do).
Thanks for any input.

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December 29, 2006, 03:06 AM
I looked at once fired brass here -

So all told I would be into the project for ~$35

It looks like your 308 brass and the 243 brass are worth the same $65.00 for 500 cases. You should be able to sell your brass on Ebay and buy 243 brass there or from the brassman and come out ahead $ wise plus you save a lot of work. While I haven’t necked down brass like your thinking about doing I believe you have to fire form it too which will cost you even more.

December 29, 2006, 04:50 AM
since a 243 is a very popular round I can't imagine any reason at all to use military brass for any reason

December 29, 2006, 03:20 PM
Not only will you have to deal with the neck-turning, mil-spec brass will have smaller case capacity, so your loads will have to be worked up again. If you have no .308, I'd just sell or trade the brass.

December 29, 2006, 03:52 PM
Looking at BrassMan pricess, I doubt you're going to get top dollar for your .308 Military brass. You didn't mention if it was all decapped and polished.

Looking at completed listings on EvilBay, $.08-.10 each would be a fair price for a lot of 500 if you use USPS flat rate shipping.

We all know that .243 is based on the .308 cartridge, and it can be done... But it's just not worth it. SHTF... And that's all you've got, then yeah. And yes, I'm pretty sure you'd have to step down with another die. Trim the hell out of them, then fireform. You should put a $ amount on your time.

I can't completely answer your question on the outside neck turner from Lyman to Hornady... I highly doubt it though. The other points about case capacity n' such.. Yup.

I say sell it in batches of 250 on EvilBay and put that money toward some once fired .243 brass. You'll be money ahead, let alone time ahead.


December 29, 2006, 09:24 PM
Ditto - not worth the trouble.

December 30, 2006, 08:03 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I had considered selling my brass on fleabay and then buying once fired 243. The downside (in my mind) is that mil-spec brass goes for about half the price of comercial, most of the time. So I would end up with about half of what I started with.

I hadn't thought much about depriming, removing the primer crimp and tumbling to try to get a better price for my brass, but I think that is what I will do. Hopefully it will bring eough that I can get at least a couple hundred 243s.

December 31, 2006, 09:01 PM
For all your future endeavors should brass not be available, yes
it can be necked down. Not only will the lenght need to be trimmed,
but also the need to inside neck ream. Found this out years ago
before Remington adopted the 25-06. It was a wildcat when I had
it built. Minimum chamber added to thicker military brass= happered
bullet release and high pressure with moderate loads. Not having an
inside neck reamer, I necked up .270 once fired brass. Waala normal
operations. All cases had to made up at that time as no factory
produced them.
Working on another wildcat project. It is a necked down 308 to
25 caliber. Will probably use 7mm/08 and neck it down. Should
work for this 25 Super without much work.

December 31, 2006, 10:55 PM

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