Are these reloads or am I just paranoid?


May 8, 2013, 09:07 PM
So i recently did a trade with someone local. I gave him some mags and he gave me some ammo. He told me the ammo was factory M855. It was loose ammo and not in boxes. It was only 100 rounds so I figured I'd inspect them all. I never usually inspect ammo when purchased from the store or through a reputable online dealer but being that these were acquired through a local trade I'd figure I would inspect them.

I don't know if this is how these rounds usually come or if these are reloads but I found some inconsistencies and a few other issues. Below are some photos. Could someone who reloads or knows this ammo pretty well let me know exactly what I have.

Picture of most of them lined up (

Picture of one of the brass cases (

Picture of the other brass case. Most of them were in this brass. (

Primers that look like they were already striked. Do you think so? (

Dent on one of the cases (

Bullet seating appears to be at different depths (

More bullet seating at varying depths (

The jacket on the bullets looks a little funky (

Last but certainly not least. A popped primer. (

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May 8, 2013, 09:11 PM
My guess those are reloads. The bullets look like they have mechanical pull marks. I have not seen that much variation in bullet case mouth/cannelure interface on the stuff I shoot.

I could be all wet but that is my opinion.


May 8, 2013, 09:18 PM
Okay cool. Thanks for your opinion. I'll wait on some more opinions before I jump the gun and contact the person I got them from.

Sweet Agony
May 8, 2013, 09:30 PM
If those are 'factory new' round, I would never buy from that manufacturer!! Far too many inconsistencies in the rounds, if these were not in boxes the primer dents could be from tip of the bullet head hitting the primer. I think I would pay him a visit.

May 8, 2013, 09:36 PM
I also think they are reloads.

May 8, 2013, 09:38 PM
I'll vote handloads.

May 8, 2013, 09:40 PM
My vote is that those are reloads.. I suspect the brass was not trimmed, hence the variation in seating depth... Just my .02....

ole farmerbuck
May 8, 2013, 09:41 PM
It looks like they over beveled the primer crimp ring.

May 8, 2013, 10:09 PM
Yep, not seeing a crimp...M855 would have one.

May 8, 2013, 10:34 PM
The first looks like factory. The rest are definitely reloads. The primer pockets on some were way over reamed. The cannelures being in different spots may be OK. Some 55 Gr FMJ bullets have cannelures all over the place, like these Winchesters.

May 8, 2013, 10:57 PM
mixed brass, no military crimp, poor reloads is what I vote for

May 8, 2013, 11:06 PM
I wouldn't shoot them and would get my money back.

Jesse Heywood
May 8, 2013, 11:31 PM
My initial thoughts were the same as Walkalong. First I saw factory loads, some dings from handling. Then the quality went south. If you got a good deal on the trade consider pulling some of the ones that are visually defective and compare the powder charges. If there is too much deviation go back and renegotiate. If the charges are consistent, try shooting a few and go from there.

May 8, 2013, 11:41 PM
Absolutely reloads. Mine look a whole lot better. Ejection marks on the cases, no annealing on the case necks, bullet cannelure inconsistencies (GI is very consistent i"ve found), definitely pulled bullets, cases look like Lee FCD crimps, primer seated sideways (!!) need I go on? I'd return them and ask for my money back. I sure wouldn't shoot them.

May 9, 2013, 12:00 AM
Reloads for sure and poor ones at that! Either loaded by an amateur or someone not knowing the basics of reloading.
I would pull the entire lot and then reload them with a known good powder load. If they look that bad, who knows what's on the inside? Scares me!

May 9, 2013, 12:08 AM
Any factory M855 will have a painted green tip. You can buy the bullets without paint on them but not loaded ammo. The tips aren't painted until after they're loaded at the factory. They could be remanufactured ammo using unpainted 855 bullets but if those were factory remanufactured, someone needs to get a refund. I've seen flipped primers before, 1 or 2 that I loaded, but never a sideways primer...... that's irresponsible.

May 9, 2013, 12:30 AM
That stuff, reloaded or not, is terrible quality ammo.

Different lots for sure.

And the primers with the dimples look a lot like how primers look when they are seated with a little bit of gunk or bit of powder that has gotten onto the primer seating stem.

ole farmerbuck
May 9, 2013, 12:51 AM
Have the guy you got them from shoot some (with his gun) to show you that they're safe.

May 9, 2013, 02:32 AM
Have the guy you got them from shoot some (with his gun) to show you that they're safe.
Yeah, especially the one with the primer in sideways. :eek: Go get your mags back.

May 9, 2013, 02:52 AM
The chamfered primer pockets....definitely a sign of reloads. I just about guarantee that any commercial ammo remanufacturer swages primer pockets. Swaging gives better and more consistent results and also tends to be faster, especially when reloaded on a press like a Dillon 1050 where it can be done on the press rather than as a seperate step. As higgite said, get your mags back, unless you like taking a chance that the person that reloaded them knew what they were doing. Which from the photos, it doesn't look like they did.

May 9, 2013, 03:46 AM
I wouldn't personally shoot those. Even if the guy who you acquired them from were to shoot several out of his gun first, no way. In general I won't shoot someones reloads, and definitely not loads that look as poorly built as those do.
Go back to that guy and insist he make things right, as in swap back, or provide factory replacement rounds from a known reliable source.


May 9, 2013, 03:52 AM
If it were just the dinged brass, I would think factory. But different seating depths and mixed headstamps are usually a big clue of reloads. And a popped primer is like getting hit the face with a book titled "Reloads."

May 9, 2013, 04:01 AM
They are obvious reloads by the primer pocket and the primer issue. Stepping over to the cannelure issue easy way is just pull out a caliper and measure the OAL of the loaded round. Of all the .mil pills I have loaded the cannelures vary in all the batch's since they all come from the lowest bidder and varying mfgs

May 9, 2013, 05:46 AM
I agree the first one looks factory but the rest, they are reloads and they are extremely poorly made reloads at that. Way too much brass remover from the primer pockets for sure. Those reloads are so poorly made I would not trust them at all. If they were sold as factory new take them back and demand a refund and an apology.

BTW, in the last picture that is a sideways seated primer, not a "popped" primer. Terrible work...

May 9, 2013, 07:36 AM
I really appreciate all of the responses. Thank you for confirming my suspicion. I contacted the person who gave these to me and he is meeting with me tomorrow to give me my mags back.

He told me that he didn't know they were reloads and was told they weren't reloads however, after I showed him a few pictures and explained to him what was going on, he now understands he has reloads and not factory ammo. He said he will call the person who he bought them from. Hopefully he can get his money back. I told him that there's no way I'd shoot this stuff nor would I recommend anyone shoot them.

Thanks again guys

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2

May 9, 2013, 07:47 AM
I'm glad you were smart enough to ask before you shot that ammo. Well done Sir!

Arkansas Paul
May 9, 2013, 11:05 AM
Primers that look like they were already striked. Do you think so?

I have no doubt that they are reloads, but I don't think the primers were struck. It looks to me like they were seated with a hand primer with the small primer rod installed and dented them. I've done that on accident myself when I forgot to change it.

May 9, 2013, 11:21 AM
For me the biggest giveaway is the primer pockets. Those are without a doubt reloads.

May 9, 2013, 11:59 AM
Jeez, what a bunch of shenanigans.. now he has to contact who he got them from.. yadda yadda, if that's true. Good thing you caught that though.. probably a lot of people wouldn't or couldn't or wouldn't care. The main thing is the primer crimp on that military case has been removed.. also, never buy "once fired" military brass that's been deprimed and the primer crimp removed.. there's no way to prove that that brass is once fired.. the only proof is the crimp.

May 9, 2013, 12:27 PM
Get your magazines back and tell the soul you traded to that you do not appreciate being lied to.

I am in agreement with the board here. These are reloads. They have the NATO cross on the cases, but no crimps?????? Pull marks on bullets? Sideways primer?
Ejection dents?

Good luck and your post was a most appropriate query.


Hondo 60
May 9, 2013, 01:21 PM
I say they're reloads.
The sideways primer is something I've never seen in factory ammo.
And the different brass is is also something you're not gonna see.

May 9, 2013, 06:07 PM
The first big give away for me was the brass has obviously been polished to remove the annealing color. I have never seen a piece of new m855 that did not have darker brass where it was annealed.

May 9, 2013, 08:09 PM
Hope that guy didn't skip town with your mags. To me those are reloads, pretty sure of it. If I buy ammo from some one, I tear them apart anyway unless they are sealed factory boxes. But since I've reloaded most of my gun buying days. And if I buy someones ammo that they claim is factory, I tear it apart and use for components. Never shoot anyone else's reloads, I buy them all the time at auction. Dump the powder.

May 9, 2013, 08:18 PM
Like everyone else, I have to agree there reloads.
So many signs.

May 9, 2013, 08:26 PM
absolutely reloads. :cuss: I don't shoot other peoples reloads and I certainly wouldn't break that rule for those rounds!...they are shiny though! :evil:

May 9, 2013, 09:33 PM
I would thank reloads but i am new to this. I have just been reloading for 1 year

May 9, 2013, 09:56 PM
as said, reloads

May 9, 2013, 10:02 PM
No way they at m855. No green tip or annealing.

May 9, 2013, 10:09 PM
Hey those loads remind of my first day trying to reload.

May 9, 2013, 10:34 PM
Hey those loads remind of my first day trying to reload.

Oh, come on. I can't imagine anyone building ammo like this even the first time.

May 10, 2013, 09:31 AM
It's military headstamped brass without a crimp on top of everything else mentioned.

May 11, 2013, 12:32 AM
I was just kidding.

May 11, 2013, 01:59 AM
Reloads. Very bad quality.

May 11, 2013, 02:57 AM
I think reloads would be a real dis-service to the reloading community. I would vote for junk. Those are sorry and ugly. If there was as much care put in the inside as the out, you would be really foolish to try them.

May 11, 2013, 10:17 AM
^^^^ I agree they look like someone that just started reloading threw together a bunch of stuff with little care to get some money back. Not on my life would I trust those as reloads let alone call them "factory".

john wall
May 12, 2013, 12:13 AM
Reloads for sure and poor ones at that!

May 12, 2013, 12:16 AM
Reloads. M855 factory have green tips and crimped primer pockets.

They saw you coming...

May 12, 2013, 02:47 AM
Definitely reloads.
---Primer crimps removed (hogged out would be a more accurate description)
---No sign of annealing (Cases are also polished up like a diamond in a goats butt)
---They don't have Amerc headstamps (The only factory ammo that looks near that bad)

If you've still got any of the ammo, try testing the bullets with a strong magnet.
If they're not attracted to it, they're not even M855.

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