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Once fired .223 - overpressure? unsafe to use?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by seektruth, Nov 10, 2007.

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  1. seektruth

    seektruth Member

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    Guys, I'm new to reloading, and in fact have yet to turn out my first round. I've been buying things in preparation, and I got some once fired 223 brass from Wideners. These have FC headstamp for what its worth, crimped primers, and the primers are silver in color.

    Now, what has me concerned is that there are signs of overpressure on about 25% of those that I've gone through. On the case heads, the brass has flowed into the extractor hole of an ar15/m16 bolt (like shown in this thread: link). There is no sign of gas leakage. Are these not safe to use? Is this just to be expected when buying brass like this? Help the newbie? :)
     
  2. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    As long as there are no obvious deformities, other than the rim, they are fine. I would simply separate the overpressure cases into a separate batch of reloads to monitor more closely for head separation.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Deprime a few and ream out the primer crimp, then try repriming them.

    If the primer pockets are loose from case-head expansion, they are ruined.
    Throw them away.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  4. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    These extractor marks on military once-fired brass is common on most all brands of cases due to the brass itself and to the weapon that it was fired in.
    The FIRST thing you need to do is to file this raised mark down so the case head is flat again. This mark is usually only 1-3 thousandths high. A smooth file works well. If you don't file this high spot down you'll be pushing the shoulder back this extra 1-3 thou. plus the case will tilt slightly while sizing and seating.
    NEXT after sizing is to carefully inspect each case inside and out. Most all military surplus cases with this mild extractor mark are useable. Feel with a bent sharpened wire down the inside of the case wall for a dip or crack. You will feel a stretch mark or crack on the inside plus with a close visual inspection of the outside of the case these problems can be spotted even before the bent wire method on the inside.
    Discard any case with a loose primer pocket. FC .223 brass is bad about having more than normal loose primer pockets. I'd recommend LC or WCC milsurplus brass if you can find it. Milsurplus brass while less expensive does take more time and work.
     
  5. P-32

    P-32 Member

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    I made the mistake of ordering a 1000 pieces of "once fired GI" 223 which turned out to be once fired Federal. I will never use Federal 223 brass again for anything important. I had never lost a primer out of a pocket until I used this brass at Perry this year. All I did with it was to prep, weigh and load. So much for once fired Federal.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Agreed. I have picked up ziplock bag fulls of once fired .223 Federals. And I had about 500 once fired federal gold medal match in 308. That was older stuff.

    The case heads expand sooner than any other brass I have used. It is not long before the primers become so loose that I discard the brass sometime after four or five reloads.
     
  7. seektruth

    seektruth Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Looks like I messed up buying this brass. Lesson learned. I'd still be happy to get 4 loadings out of it because its still saving money.
     
  8. poker2112

    poker2112 Member

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    does lc brass have that problem alot? my pockets feel pretty tight and no signs of pressure over load
     
  9. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    One fire LC brass, get the 100% processed already cleaned, deprimed, primer pocket swaged, roll sized, and trimmed. It was alot cheaper in the past but given the price of new brass its a steal still.
     
  10. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    poker,
    I occasionally see extractor fill in Fed, more rarely in PMC, but never in LC. I don't know if the head is harder, of if LC just loads a bit lighter than the other two.
     
  11. peterotte

    peterotte Member

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    What rg1 says makes sense. If the primer pocket is OK and if the head is filed flat and the case fits the chamber AND and the case has been checked for insipient case head separation and cracks, all should be fine.
     
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