Is it worth reloading M855 brass?


July 19, 2007, 02:15 AM
I've been using Winchester .223 brass for a number of years but my supply of free brass is gone. I've got access to free M855 brass. Is it worth trying to reload with this brass or should I buy some once fired brass online?? If I try how difficult is it to deal with the crimped primers?

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July 19, 2007, 02:38 AM
Besides removing the crimp from the primer pockets it's no different than loading any other brass. Some say military brass is heavier and you might want to back off on your load a bit. I've never found any difference but my loads are not designed to kill rhinos either. To remove the crimp from the primer pocket you can do it cheap with a small knife but I suggest you get a tool designed to do so. I have a Wilson chamfer tool I bought over 30 years ago. 2-3 spins removes the crimp and 2-3 spins more chamfers the case neck. You can get primer pocket uniform tools if you want to spend the money. Some people think removing the primer pocket crimp a pain but you only have to do it once. Look at a big supplier like midway for the various tools to do this with.

July 19, 2007, 06:48 AM
If you've got access to free brass I'd grab it . . .the primer pocket crimp removal is only a PITA once and it's not much of a pain (IMHO). If it really bugs you buy the dillon super swage and then sell it on ebay when you're done. If you lost more than $10 on the transaction I'd be VERY surprised.


Send all that nasty brass to me and I'll deprime and swage the pockets for you for a % of the brass. :)

I don't know where you're located, but if you're in the central illinois area you're welcome to come over and use my swager.

Have a good one,

July 19, 2007, 08:01 AM
You can never go wrong with free brass. even if you do not need it, someone will always buy it.

As for the crimps, I use a RCBS chamfer tool to remove them. A quick twist and the crimp is gone. If you are going through the steps of processing rifle brass anyway it does not add more than 5 seconds per round.

July 19, 2007, 10:11 AM
Free M855 brass is great, provided it wasn't fired thru some machine guns with extra-large chambers and super strong extractors. If your case rims look torn or pulled I would cull them out. But generally M855 brass is very high quality if it's Lake City or WCC headstamp.

If it is M855 of other origin I cannot with absolute certainty say that it's always good but more than likely it is.

I use this tool to cut the military primer crimp out of my once-fired cases since I already had it on hand. It works fine for my needs. Takes all of three seconds to do.

July 19, 2007, 11:03 AM
Just get this swagging die. It does large ands small primer pockets and is only $25. Assuming you have a bench mounted press, this RCBS tool is just to damn easy and cheap to pass up on.
I've removed thousands of crimps and it works and looks like new.
I've done it with the reaming tool like the post above, it sucks. I've even tried the crimp remover tool RCBS sells for their Powered Case Prep Station thingy - forget it. What a pain in the a$$. Then I found RCBS Swagging Die, life is now good once more.

July 19, 2007, 12:26 PM
I agree with the above post. I only mentioned the reaming tool as a temporary method that works okay for the short term. If you're going to prep a lot of military brass you will get better more uniform results with a swager.

July 19, 2007, 12:54 PM
I have a RCBS swaging die and us it on military 7.62 brass. The swager works great and so does the brass.

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