Can you tell if 30-06 used in machine gun?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bbqreloader, Feb 26, 2018.

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  1. bbqreloader
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    bbqreloader Contributing Member

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    Are there any tell tale signs that military 30-06 brass, has been used in a machine gun? Heard that the “ generous” barrels can blow out the brass making it tough to resize.
    Starting to reload for Garand.
     
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  2. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    I've never heard this, but it makes sense. On the other hand, I don't think this would be a visible issue. Any dings in the rim from a belt would be indiscernible from extractor dings, as far as I can tell. The only way I can think to tell if it was fired from a bit excessive chamber would be... to resize it! Or attempt. I've yet to have a rifle cartridge case head separate while in the die, if that makes you feel better. I would think that looking for an incipient head separation would be the only big deal, which should be done every time anyway. A little lubricant, and maybe a cheater bar on your press handle ;)
     
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  3. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Haven't dealt with 30-06 MG brass. But the 7.62/308W brass will be around 0.040" too long after sizing if once fired in MG. These you do want to check for head separation. My neighbor didn't listen to me when I told him to tbuy the sniper fired brass and not the general due to MG firing. He loaded up some rounds and a few had sized lengths over 0.040" needing trimming. He thought that was excessive. After firing it separated leaving the head in the chamber. He is now checking all for incipient head separation.
     
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  4. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    The only telltale sign that 30-06 brass was used in an MG is if it is really hard to FL resize. If you find you have military brass w/ this problem, the simple solution is to send it all to me. I have no problem resizing anything on one of my Hollywoods.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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  5. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    I picked up a bunch of 1X 30-06 brass from a buddy who had fired it in his M1919. It is all from some crates of Chinese ammo he had. He was planning on reloading it, but at a casual glance at the batch of unprocessed brass sitting in a box on his bench, I noticed one had the tell-tale shiny line indicative of the incipient head separation. I used it as the opportunity to instruct him on the case inspection and what to look for. He was surprised with the fact of the case and a couple of others in the batch with the impending failure.
    So, long story, he decided to give me the entire batch. It's all boxer primed and I've already ran them through the annealer. I know I will need to watch closely and will be checking with the paper clip method after each sizing.

    Some of my 308 and 223 brass was MG fired as well. Those came from Uncle Sam and were fired in M240's, M249s and M4s.
     
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    With the exception of something like mstreddy describes... where on earth are you getting what you might suspect is MG-fired .30-06???
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Fired brass diameter may give a clue?? If larger than .473" it could be hard to size?? My guess. 30-06.JPG
     
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  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    For 30-06 machineguns you might not even see that. My 1919 links stop at the shoulder and they are pulled out of the link, not pushed through.

    E45E4CCA-57AD-4533-B5B7-891364B1643D.jpeg
     
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The “newer” machineguns that are more likely to use push through links would also be more likely to be 308 or 223 (7.62x51mm & 5.56x45mm if your going to hold my feet to the fire).

    185C5F7B-DDCF-446E-A2D3-A58147EEC51C.jpeg
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    To answer your question, if you can’t tell, it doesn’t matter. If a case is damaged beyond use, it will be obvious in a case gauge or when you try and chamber it.

    When you size it there will also be an abnormally large amount of brass that need to be trimmed to get it back to a usable case length.
     
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  11. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    I have a lot of machine gun fired SL-54 brass. Every last case is bent about 25% of the rim diameter. This is from a 5 gallon bucket full that I bought about 1970 $.02 per case.

    Yes it is hard to size and one pass through the FL die does not give a consistent shoulder location. I lower the ram and spin the case 1/2 turn and then give it another sizing stroke. This provides accurate sizing.

    Most of these cases are reformed to 8X57 and to 7.65 Mauser.
    I have never seen any indication of case stretching or separation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  12. bbqreloader
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    bbqreloader Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the info all. I ran into some issues that another member helped me with (thanks @1KPerDay ) but this was a question that came up, so thought I would use it to learn something new.
     
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  13. Mauser lover

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    Affirmative... but surely someone has manufactured a push-through design in .30-06. Where the OP has gotten brass from some sort of prototype or custom MG is beyond me, but...
     
  14. Ireload2

    Ireload2 Member

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    IMG_0313.JPG See attached photo of brass.
    The bend line is straight and is not easily visible.
    Zoom the photo to maximum and you can spot the bend on some of the rims. IMG_0313.JPG
     
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