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Lake City Match Brass 308

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 243man, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. 243man

    243man Member

    I have acquired some LC Match brass for 308. This is some "stout" brass! I have sorted by year and have 67, 65 and 63. The brass has been cleaned and appears to be in great condition. Primer pockets are nice and tight. Are there any years that need to be avoided when using this brass? After cleaning and polishing, some of the lots actually have a different hue than others. Were they made with different amounts of this or that. Does that make them better/worse.
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    From gray beards in the gun club, I was given a bunch of 308 LC match from the early 60's.

    And I shot the heck out of the stuff. It is my opinion that the LC brass from that era is some of the finest 308 brass ever made.

    Quality control went down after the Government Arsenals were shut down or converted into " Government owned, Contractor Operated" (GOCO)

    In order to increase profits to the max, the corporations who won the bids to run the ammunition plants, simply ran the equipment into the ground, and got rid of experienced people who cost too much.

    In order to keep the contractors happy, the Government Managers just rubber stamped any deviation or waiver the contractor needed to sell substandard product to the military.
  3. 243man

    243man Member

    Great Info!

  4. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    Lake City Match cases are all that I shoot in my NM M1A. That says it all! :)
  5. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    The older ones with the knurled case head were the best brass I ever had. I keep it locked away and only get it out for my Rem 700PSS, and I'm on my hands and knees making sure I find every last one if I shoot.
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    No 5.56 LC Brass for me

    The Photos tell it all. [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] Another, different gun ammo lot. [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] Old brittle brass [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] Is the loss of an eye worth it to save a few $$$ :confused: 500 new brass is not that expensive. CLICK PHOTOS FOR LARGER VIEWS
  7. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    While there may be some years production of Lake City Match brass that may be better than others, it is all quality brass. Be sure to reduce any loads developed in commercial brass by atleast 1.5 grains of powder.

  8. Swede

    Swede Active Member

    Hey 243winxb, the cases that the necks came off, were the necks turned down?
  9. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Well-Known Member

    I got some very crappy TW69 223 brass, that was pulled down....it had case head seperations and split necks....talk about brittle!
  10. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Well-Known Member

    Hey 243winxb, i'm jist curious. Are you firing yer reloads in an auto and did you resize 'em with a short base die ?
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    The necks were not outside neck turned. The brass became brittle for an unknown reason. Old age i guess. Was in storage maybe 20 years.
    Fired in a Colt auto, 5.56 chamber, (neck seperations only, other brass not mine.) FLRS standard RCBS dies.There was a problem with a Dillon shell plate/pushing the shoulder back to far on flrs. More here> http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=417310 The nice shiny brass is from a bolt action, more info here>http://www.benchrest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59722 Over all, you should know the history of your brass, how many times reloaded. As for the shiny brass, i still say it was high pressure. But if you follow the benchrest link, Hornady said brass failed, not high pressure.
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    US military ammunition is subject to stockpile inspection. Powder is checked for nitric gas release. If detected the powder is analyzed for the amount of stabilizers left in the powder. The military has on file lot acceptance data. if the percent of stabilizers is below a certain percentage of original, the powder (and ammunition) is scrapped.

    When powder deteriorates it releases nitric acid gas. Nitric acid gas will weaken brass. I have had pull down powder go bad in the case. It caused case neck splits. In time, as the powder deteriorated further, I have no doubt the stronger case sections would have failed.

    Your cases were probably good in 1969. Forty years later, well the powder went bad and attacked the brass, the lot was scrapped, and you got ruined cases.

    That is my guess.
  13. 243man

    243man Member

    Let me get this straight...

    First, If I have unfired reloads from 1971, then the powder could have deteriorated the brass and these could be unsafe to fire?

    Secondly, does this only happen when it is loaded (reaction with brass) or does it also happen when it is stored in its container?
  14. FredT

    FredT Well-Known Member

    243man your brass is once fired, not scrap. I see the subject is for .308 brass. I did 32 years active in the service, ended up a WO of weapons. I never saw LC Match brass that was not good stuff.
  15. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member


    And you might get struck by lightning while crossing the street. About the same odds.

  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    Go shoot the stuff. If you get a lot of cracked case necks after firing it, then pull a few bullets.

    If you have green corrosion around the base of the bullet and inside the case, I would pull all bullets and inspect all the remaining unfired cases. Cases that showed corrosion on the inside I would toss.

    I had 3000 rounds of WWII military ammo. It came back from China in the 80's. The stuff had been stored in poor conditions, the powder was made in wartime, and the powder had gone bad in a large number of the cases.

    Experiences like this are rare. About as likely as getting hit by lighting. But it happens, as likely evidenced by the guy who had problems with 1969 vintage .223 brass.

    Just go out and use the stuff.
  17. Bart B.

    Bart B. Well-Known Member

    In wearing out a few barrels shooting on military rifle teams, I never picked up any LC match brass. I let the civilians have it. Why? Read on.....

    Military 'smiths building match grade M1 and M14 rifles for competition never squared their bolt face perpendicular to the chamber axis. Which meant fired cases from them had fairly unsquare heads. A couple of these teams tried reloading these fired cases to save a few bucks, but none of them shot as accurate as new cases. Even in bolt action rifles with squared bolt faces, it took 3 to 4 max loads per case to get the head squared up again and shoot as good as new ones.

    M1 and M14 rifles that would hold 4 inches at 600 yards with new commercial .308 Win. match ammo and 5 inches with a good lot of LC M118 match doubled (and sometimes tripled) their group sizes with reloaded once fired cases from these rifles.

    In talking with an engineer at Lake City Arsenal regarding one very bad lot of LC M118 match (lot LC12064 would occasionally shoot 7's out the bottom at 600 yards), the subject of reloading LC match brass came up. He said that their match brass metalurgy and annealing was such that it was not intended to be reloaded. Just durable to withstand the rigors of use in combat situations. Besides he mentioned the out of square bolt faces M1's and M14's had that made reloads less accurate than new cases.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  18. Borg

    Borg Well-Known Member

    The shiny brass and the other head split looks to be a Scarch roll sized brass from about 2000-01. Over did it on roll sizing.
    It says under the heading that it was listed as case separation,, it is not,, it's a head failure,, not the same.
    The separated necks look like they were cleaned somewhere in the past with an ammonia based cleaned.
    I've had brass come apart like that, because in my uneducated youth, I used Brasso in my media.
  19. The91Bravo

    The91Bravo Active Member


    I know this is an old thread, but if you are at all unsure, and still have some of the brass, I am looking to get all I can.

    Anyone else with M118LR or MATCH, but not SB I am interested. Please feel free to PM me, or email to steve_d_collins@charter.net

    I am indebted to anyone for their help

  20. The91Bravo

    The91Bravo Active Member

    Just a Mother's day bump to remind everyone I am still buying LC LR, and LC MATCH brass.

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