Can I reload my own blanks from .223 brass?


January 5, 2010, 12:57 PM
Don't laugh but I just bought the AR15 golf ball launcher from cheaperthandirt. Only problem is the blanks that are needed to fire the balls are selling for $50 per 100 on cheaperthandirt. Ive seen better deals on blanks but they are still expensive.

Question... Can I reload regular .223 brass with powder and primer minus the bullet and crimp the top to have a blank? What would be the best way to crimp the top? Is there more to it?

I would really like to not blow myself up so all help is appreciated very much.

If you enjoyed reading about "Can I reload my own blanks from .223 brass?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 5, 2010, 01:16 PM
Factory GI M200 blanks are loaded with 7.0 grains HPC-13 powder.

There is no commercially available powder with a burn rate that fast that I know of.

Normal brass is shorter to start with then the M200 blank case.
It is star crimped on the end to simulate a bullet and feed from the magazine correctly.

I don't know of anyone making a star-crimp die for .223 blanks.

In all, I think you would be better served to just by factory loaded blanks for shooting golf balls.
I mean, how many golf balls can you possibly want to launch?.

There are probably cheaper sources for blanks then the Cheaper Then Dirt Rip-Off guys!!!


January 5, 2010, 01:42 PM
While I have not tried loading .223 blanks, I have done this with great results.

I was given a pretty good quantity of .223 blanks which I had no desire to try to shoot in my AR-15. Instead, I opened up the crimp and salvaged the powder, as I wanted to make some revolver blanks. I used .38 Spl. cartridges, used standard primers, and filled the case up to the brim with this yellow stuff that looks like baby poop. I used a styroform wad in the case mouth, and dabbed a bit of finger nail polish over the wad. I let it set over night, and tried them out. Very loud!!! Works great. A lesser amount of powder could be used, if that would make anyone feel safer. I don't know if the report would be any less, or not.

A good way to make the wads, is to use an old worn out 38 or 357 case. Find a roofing nail that has a head about the same I.D. of the case. Drill out the primer pocket so the nail shaft will easily fit through the primer pocket. Use your Deburring tool to work on the case mouth until the mouth is very near razor sharp. Now get some styrofoam plates, and use the revamped case with the nail inside as a cookie cutter. The wads will pile up inside the case, and you can push them out with the roofing nail. They can be used for over powder wads too, if you're into experimenting.

I'll bet I get some flak over this one, too.:)

January 5, 2010, 01:47 PM
A .38 Spl case full of blank powder sounds like a bomb just looking for something to blow up!!!

I noted they only use 7.0 grains in a 5.56 blank.
That right there is a big enough bang to cycle a blank adopter equipped M-16.

I would suggest you back off, or at least post a disclamer in Bold stating that your "case full" load is very likely over-pressure & dangerous!!!

BTW: I saw a guy completely blow up an M-14 rifle in the serviice by combining the powder out of several 7.62 blanks into one case.


January 5, 2010, 01:50 PM
How about using blackpowder? ==(8-O

I think Norma R1 powder was originally used for blanks; it might be fast enough.

I would probably start with Red Dot powder, no crimp, and a wax wad.

January 5, 2010, 01:57 PM
Who wants an AR-15 full of black powder fouling??

It would stop up the gas system big time I betcha!


January 5, 2010, 04:41 PM
Oh the great memories of firing cleaning rod sections out of my M16A2 w/blanks. Still can't figure out why we did it.

January 5, 2010, 07:38 PM
Quote from Rc Model
In all, I think you would be better served to just by factory loaded blanks for shooting golf balls.
I mean, how many golf balls can you possibly want to launch?. I would think that after about 25 golf balls that'd get pretty boring?

Jacka L Ope
January 5, 2010, 08:32 PM
Hehe. Coulda just built himself a 'tater gun and had just as much, if not more, fun. :D:neener::D

January 5, 2010, 09:40 PM
Who wants an AR-15 full of black powder fouling?? It would stop up the gas system big time I betcha!
That's why I added the "Oh no" smilie ;)

January 5, 2010, 11:23 PM
about half way down the page they talk about the .223.

January 5, 2010, 11:25 PM
Another: " In doing 223 blanks I size and prime case as normal. I use between 7 and 8 grains of Red Dot. That gives it a good loud noise and is consistent. I use a C H crimp die to finish it off. Occasionally the shoulder will buckle a bit so I size it a little so it will feed in all semi-auto 223 weapons. Of course you can adjust the powder charge for noise level. I had a client that has an attachment on his 223 that allows him to launch golf balls about a half mile with strong blanks. I am not sure what he got out of it but evidently he enjoys that activity and it is harmless. I have had others who want to launch dummy grenades which require strong blanks using powder similar to live ammo loads. People like that make the world interesting. "

January 5, 2010, 11:27 PM
Crimp Dies :

January 5, 2010, 11:28 PM
CTD had to find some way to get rid of about a zillion blanks I bet. just like Radio Shack giving away those 5 cell flashlights.:D

January 5, 2010, 11:31 PM
More Info: blank

"Q. How can I make blank ammunition for my rifle.

A. Blank ammunition for manually operated rifles (not semi autos) is not difficult to make. Before going any further on this topic two warnings.

First, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take the powder from GI .30-06 blanks to use in other calibers. The EC powder used in those blanks was also used as a grenade filler and pressures can get out of hand VERY quickly.

Second, do not attempt to use these home made blanks with blank firing adapters on self loading firearms. Such blanks require a very careful tuning of the load and you can get in trouble very fast if the hole in the blank adapter is not correct.

Third, please review the the question on the dangers of blank ammunition on Page 1 of these Q&A pages before using blank ammunition.

The smokeless powders used for military blank ammunition such as EC, SR4990, HPC-13, WC-814, WC-818 and similar are not available on the commercial market.

For 308 / .30-06 and other similar capacity cartridges try 12-20 gr of either RED DOT or SR 4759, (the GI M82 long neck 7.62 mm blank has been loaded with 17.5 gr of SR4759 and the "short neck" rosette crimp M192 blank with 21.5 gr of SR4759) or 9 to 10 gr Unique (work up from the lower charge to get the desired results). You can close the case mouth with a small piece of kapock or quilters batting and a drop of shellac or you can use a special rosette crimp die available on special order from RCBS, Hornady (#544590), and CH Tool & Die/4D (under their "specialty dies" heading--they have a wide assortment of blank making dies). Use a drop of shellac to seal the hole. The rosette crimp helps with feeding.

For .223 blanks try 5 to 8 gr of Red Dot, with a rosette crimp sealed with a little varnish.

If you want "big" blanks you can make .50 BMG blanks by using 44.5 gr of Hi-Skor 700X, and close the mouth with a rosette crimp or use a card wad glued in place. 12 gauge blanks are easily made using 50 gr of FFG black powder or Pyrodex topped with a 1/2" Styrofoam wad (cut using a brass 10 gauge case) that is seated firmly. Crimp the case as normally done.

Some folks have reported getting good results by using a sharpened case to punch out pieces of 1/8" felt as a closure wad which are then sealed in place with a drop of shellac and a light roll crimp. (You can also try using a mild roll crimp or even using a small caliber die of the same basic case size (such as a .243 for the .308 or .270 for the .30-06) to provide a reduction in case mouth size.) Never use any hard material for the closure wad as you will have a projectile capable of inflecting a serious wound.

Pistol caliber blanks can be made using a very fast powder like Norma R-1, Vihta Vuori N310, or Hodgdon Titewad, or Red Dot. Start with about 2 gr with a card or foam wad cut from a sheet of thin craft foam and work up to the desired noise level, but don't exceed the maximum charge listed for a light bullet. You may have to enlarge the flash hole to prevent primer setback.

If you need specialized blank cartridges in quantity for organizational or theatrical use try contacting one of the surplus ammunition distributors or one of the major commercial blank ammo producers such as the following


If you need reliable .30-06 blanks for honor guard use in the M1 Garand using the GI issue blank firing adapter you can safely use 8.5 gr to 10 gr of Unique with the CCI #34 (military hard cup) primer. Use the charge that gives the desired noise level and functions the rifle. Use a rosette crimp die to close the case mouth and seal with a drop of lacquer. DO NOT USE ANY WADDING!!!!! Note that the rifles need to be clean and lubricated and the gas port in the barrel needs to be centered in the opening of the gas cylinder for things to function."

August 17, 2010, 10:09 PM
(I can't believe that no one caught this...)

<<Factory GI M200 blanks are loaded with 7.0 grains HPC-13 powder>>
NO! The OP was looking for launching blanks for his golf ball "driver".

Red tipped, rosette-crimped, M195 blanks are the correct round for launching ______ from an AR-15/M16. M200 blanks, used with a blank adapter (to cycle the action), are training rounds.

Oh, and the post about the power of EC powder was 100% correct! Through the forces of nitrocellulose magic, EC blank (shotgun) powder was a good filler for bad weather use and subbed-in for TNT in Mk II grenades... I have yet to find the exact receipe...sigh:(

I have seen EC powder in WWII-era .50BMG blanks with rosette crimps; I would assume the same to be true for .30-06 (and M-1 carbine) launching blanks... wonder if EC was used in the .45 blanks used in naval line launchers?

August 18, 2010, 01:10 AM
And if you REALLY want to load your own, here's the powder from Pat's:

Powder 223 Blank Powder WC814 for 223 M200 Blank 7 lb $89.99


If you enjoyed reading about "Can I reload my own blanks from .223 brass?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!