Questions about what 5.56 brass to stay away from


PDA






celrod77
December 8, 2012, 09:22 PM
New to this forum. I am looking to start reloading and I am currently in the market and have been looking for brass. Is there any military head stamps I should avoid? I have heard good things about Lake City (LC) brass, but I am clueless to the rest. I have seen some WWC and some WCC on Gun Broker for sale. Any help would be appreciated. Not sure if it matters but I am loading on a Dillon 650XL.

Thanks

If you enjoyed reading about "Questions about what 5.56 brass to stay away from" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
NeuseRvrRat
December 8, 2012, 09:26 PM
any of the military headstamps should be fine. just remember that you're gonna have to deal with the primer crimps.

i use whatever i find at the range. mostly LC and WCC

celrod77
December 8, 2012, 09:56 PM
Have you ever heard of headstamp WWC? Thinking seller might be referring to WCC.

NeuseRvrRat
December 8, 2012, 10:16 PM
i have not. this is my go-to on headstamps: http://cartridgecollectors.org/?page=headstampcodes

it does not list "WWC"

W.E.G.
December 8, 2012, 11:17 PM
If you are BUYING once-fired brass, there is little reason to buy ANYTHING other than Lake City.

Its a known, affordable, consistent and reliable commodity.

You might as well buy a swaging tool for removing the primer crimp.
If you don't have any 5.56 brass with crimped primers, you will soon enough.

Avoid acquiring small lots of oddball brass. For a modest investment, you can get just about a lifetime supply of brass that won't be a "novel project" every time you pull the press arm.

parker51
December 8, 2012, 11:25 PM
WCC brass is excellent brass and if priced lower than LC, I would buy the WCC. As mentioned above, be prepared to remove primer crimp on either one.

FROGO207
December 9, 2012, 12:41 AM
The thing is to avoid brass that is Berdan primed. It can not be deprimed with conventional dies like Boxer brass can. Berdan brass has two small flash holes instead of one larger one in Boxer brass.

45lcshooter
December 9, 2012, 09:05 AM
Most ARs(assuming this is what your loading for) will chew up any brass you put in them. You can always get mixed headstamp lots and sort the stuff then try them in your rifle.

WCC and LC crimps. I have reloaded alot of them without removing crimp. Takes a bit longer, and do it by Lee hand primer too. But it is a lot easier to get a swage die and run the military stuff through

celrod77
December 9, 2012, 09:56 AM
Thanks for all the information guys. What brass or headstamps are Berden primed or where can I find such info?

helotaxi
December 9, 2012, 11:20 AM
I've yet to see Berdan primed brass cased 5.56. I've seen Berdan brass cases in many other cartridges, but not 5.56. If it's a steel case it may or may not be Berdan primed. Assume that it is.

I've never had a problem with AR's chewing up brass. They're certainly not hard on brass like M1A's or M249's.

TFL
December 9, 2012, 11:22 AM
One I have found has a 12 stamped on one side and what I think is a year date on the other.
no picture there is a 12 on one side and 83 on the other. and it berdan primed.this is what i found on http://cartridgecollectors.org/?page=headstampcodes

12 Not a manfuacturer's code, but rather a load identification code used by Pretoria Metal Pressing Ltd Pretoria, RSA on brass cases 14
12 O.J.F. (Osterreichische Jegdpatronenfabrik) Kremsach 14

helotaxi
December 9, 2012, 11:44 AM
One I have found has a 12 stamped on one side and what I think is a year date on the other.
The "12" would be the year stamp. Picture?

mcofboise
December 9, 2012, 03:00 PM
The only brass I've seen consistently warned against is any of the FC headstamps. Mostly the complaints against are that of loose primer pockets and low tolerance to multiple reloadings. I tend to agree with the loose primer pockets crowd and have been culling FCs from my inventory. The LC brass seems to have become the standard bearer for 5.56 and I sell all that I acquire to a guy that uses it exclusively to form .300 Blackout. I've got a substantial enough inventory of already processed to my own liking .223/5.56 brass to last me well into the apocalypse... y'know, here in a week and a half or so. :)
I agree with the others that, once processed for reloading, any of the military headstamps will produce good results for a very long time, and that if you're just starting out, acquiring LC almost exclusively will benefit you with consistency down the road.

mike

W.E.G.
December 9, 2012, 03:16 PM
There was some large-font FC that was quite undesirable.
Thin case web made for loose primers, and was suspected of serious case-head failures.

The small-font FC has a history of being OK.

There is some FC out now that has the date on it too, just like LC.
I scrounged some at the range recently. I may get around to using it one of these years.

EddieNFL
December 9, 2012, 05:54 PM
it does not list "WWC"

He meant WCC.

I think I still have some from the 70s. Good stuff.

Occasionally, they all will have a less than stellar lot. LC (77, I think) had lots of off-center flash holes.

Walkalong
December 9, 2012, 06:35 PM
Most ARs(assuming this is what your loading for) will chew up any brass you put in them.Hmm. Mine don't.

WCC is good brass. As posted, if you can get LC (Lake City) brass for the same price as other advertised OF .223 brass, there is no reason not to buy the LC. Not that there isn't plenty of other good .223 brass out there, because there is.

45lcshooter
December 9, 2012, 10:28 PM
Like i posted before. When i get 223 in, i go for mixed hs because then you have a good range of stuff, then you can sort it then if you dont like a headstamp you can trade it off for something you like.

My weapons like wcc, FC, LC, REM, WIN etc. Anything i put it in it will shoot and love it. Except for steel, no way no how am i going to put steel cased shells in it.

medalguy
December 9, 2012, 10:29 PM
Military brass comes with LC, WCC, and FC headstamps that I'm aware of, and there may be more. The only one I have had problems with is FC: softer brass than the others and the result is loose primers. I usually toss any FC that comes my way.

If you get GI brass, it's generally about the best out there. And yes the primer pockets will be crimped, but once the crimp is removed, and that's easy to do, the brass is good forever. If you use light to moderate loads, I see no reason you shouldn't get 10 - 15 loadings out of it.

One more thing about crimped primers-- you KNOW that's once fired brass when you get it. That alone makes it premium for me.

FROGO207
December 9, 2012, 10:39 PM
I do not have any presently but have in the past found 3 head stamps that were Berdan primed brass. One was easy to ID as it had a primer sealer that was a wide orange band that you could see at arms length. The other two I do not recall the head stamps but think that they were surplus of some type. They were all scrapped a while ago so no pictures. IIRC they made some 7.62X39 brass with the same color primer band that was also Berdan primed.

zxcvbob
December 9, 2012, 10:56 PM
Most ARs(assuming this is what your loading for) will chew up any brass you put in them.
Hmm. Mine don't.

Yours must be defective :neener:

;)

Baryngyl
December 10, 2012, 07:50 AM
I've yet to see Berdan primed brass cased 5.56. I've seen Berdan brass cases in many other cartridges, but not 5.56. If it's a steel case it may or may not be Berdan primed. Assume that it is.

I've never had a problem with AR's chewing up brass. They're certainly not hard on brass like M1A's or M249's.

I ran into 5 of these that are berdan primed out of a batch of 1,500 once fired, I broke 2 decapping pins and bent a 3rd before I figured out what the problem was, I thought they were just crimped in so tight that they would not come out, I had never run into a berdan primer before.
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/zz263/Baryngyl/IMG_20121210_042846.jpg



Michael Grace

guntech59
December 10, 2012, 08:12 AM
I ran into 5 of these that are berdan primed out of a batch of 1,500 once fired, I broke 2 decapping pins and bent a 3rd before I figured out what the problem was, I thought they were just crimped in so tight that they would not come out, I had never run into a berdan primer before.
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/zz263/Baryngyl/IMG_20121210_042846.jpg



Michael Grace
South African Manufacture.

helotaxi
December 10, 2012, 08:20 AM
^^^That's some kind of foreign surplus; South African if I had to guess. Haven't run into any of it personally. Thanks for the pic. BTW, the give away on those is the larger than normal primer cup. Small Berdan primers are larger than small Boxer primers.

I usually sort my one-fired prior to decapping looking for culls and segregating the LC brass for "special use" such as 6x45 or .300BLK as well as segregating out those with crimped primers. Unknown headstamps get set aside for further examination. Those would have fallen into my latter category and I probably would have caught the larger primer at that point.

kelbro
December 10, 2012, 09:52 AM
Speer law enforcement brass seems pretty soft. Not many loads on it before the primer pockets go.

There was a Taiwan headstamp that was also pretty soft. Tossed that lot and don't recall the initials.

ranger335v
December 10, 2012, 12:05 PM
So far as I know, no US made cases have ever had Berdan caps.

Federal (FCC) cases are great and live a longer time than others IF the loads aren't too hot. Given that most 5.56/.223 ammo seems to be used for immitation GI Joe 'spray and pray' at paper targets there's no valid reason to load them hot.

Drue
December 10, 2012, 12:05 PM
When loading new-to-me .223 brass I always decap them first with a Lee decapper die to knock out the crimped primers in order to prepare for removing the crimp and to filter out any Berdan cases in the mix. Of course it is easy to spot and cull the Russian steel Berdan cases but some of the foreign surplus sold here used brass cases with Berdan primers. Form personal experience, I know that British and Spanish .223 brass is Berdan primed while Portuguese, Austrian and Israeli are Boxer primed. I don't know about the others.

If normal pressure on the press handle does not budge the primer, put the case into a seperate container and move on to the next one.

Drue

evan price
December 11, 2012, 06:18 AM
Any NATO spec brass will be Boxer primed. Look for the cross-in-a-circle marking.
Otherwise look for three-jaw crimps like in the pictures above, those are always automatically suspect. Take a bright light and look in the case. If you see one hole in the bottom in the middle, it's Boxer primed and good. If you see two tiny holes off center, it's Berdan primed and scrap.

IROCZ
December 12, 2012, 11:36 AM
Years ago alot of South African .223 was berdan primed. PMP produced it, Pretoria Metal Pressing I believe. The military stuff was berdan, but they also made a commercial version headstamped "PMP" that was boxer primed. It is good brass. Another SA ammo company was Denel corp, headstamp "DNL" very good brass also and Boxer primed. I have a bunch of "FC 10" and "11". I have only one load on them, the primers are crimped but it seems like good brass, nice tight pockets.

Hondo 60
December 12, 2012, 12:08 PM
Berdan vs Boxer
Berdan is on the left
Stolen pic - thanks to whomever originally posted it! ;)

http://www.jbabcock.net/guns/berdan_boxer.jpg

If you enjoyed reading about "Questions about what 5.56 brass to stay away from" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!