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Problem with 5.56 LC brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SlowFuse, Mar 10, 2012.

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  1. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I'm working my way through 1000 pcs of Lake City 5.56 brass that I bought last year. The headstamp shows 2011 as the year. I'm coming across a disappointing amount of pieces with split mouths. Anyone else having this problem? Do they have 2nds on these or am I just unlucky?!
     
  2. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    If you bought them from an established source like Scharach's or another online retailer I would contact them and see if they will do anything for you, like replace them. It's not normal, and in the 4000 pieces of 100% processed I have from around 2000-2005 time frame I have to seen a single split neck.
     
  3. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Most suppliers of once fired brass includes extras to cover bad brass that may have slipped through. May want to call the supplier as suggested.
     
  4. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    Are these new or once-fired? There is a lot of new LC 2011 on the market right now, and it should not have this problem.
     
  5. RedHeadHunter

    RedHeadHunter Member

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    I have found LC brass (along with most others) to have some cases with huge differences in neck thicknesses from one side to the other. Sometimes the thin side is quite thin. Since I neck turn and cull any cases that don't measure up, I expect to loose some.

    All is not lost with cases with split necks or bad kinks. I use a tubing cutter and size them to 7.62x25 and load them on the mild side because of the case thickness.

    Still I would be upset about buying brass with split necks.
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Member

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    I see a fair amount that isn't split but has what looks like a small notch in the neck. I've gotten it from my own factory XM193 after its first firing.

    It's tiny and usually gone with a 1.750 trim length. If not, I trash it. I'll see if there's an example handy.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    unlucky. Lube the inside of the necks.
     
  8. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    This is new uncrimped brass that I got from midway. The splits go halfway down the neck on most cases so trimming it out isn't really an option.
     
  9. A-FIXER

    A-FIXER Member

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    Call Midway and they should replace them and get with their distrib, and correct the lot of that brass being sold.... do it Monday.
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Does it look annealed?
     
  11. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    Ordered 1K of new LC 11 from Midway in January, received 1002 cases in the lot, not a single cracked/split neck, less than a dozen case mouths visually out of round - they were pretty well-packed for shipment. I've reamed/deburred all the pockets and flash holes and was pleasantly surprised at the quality.

    I'd have to guess at "just unlucky" but they should make it good.
    /Bryan
     
  12. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Yes it is annealed.
     
  13. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Well... Following up on this...

    I shot around 120 rounds of this brass today. More splits occured after being shot. I culled out at least another 20 cases that had severe splits that were discovered by just a quick once over! I've bought factory loaded rounds that used lc brass and have never had a problem! All of these are reloads (obviously) using a near minimum load of h335 with 62 grain fmj so I don't think pressure should be a problem. I see some of the other pcs of brass have light (bright) lines on the neck. Do you guys think I should avoid shooting these? I'm shooting them out of a ~$1000 sabre defence AR that I'd rather not damage. I'm going to email Midway tonight to see what they'll do...
     
  14. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Clean you FL die & expander. Look for build up of brass or rough expander. Use a copper removing solvent. I had some PMC brass, did the same thing, split necks. All scrap on the 3th firing. Brass was from factory new ammo. Still dont know why it split. Other brands, same dies, no problems.
     
  15. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    Anything over maybe 10 bad necks in an order of 1000 would tick me off. Further, they certainly shouldn't be splitting on first use with any sensible load.

    I'd definitely talk with Midway ... perhaps you're not alone in having received part of a bad batch. They should make it good - be sure they pick up the return shipping or give you a store credit for roughly what it's costs. They sent me a "close but no cigar" bullet order once and when I called, offered to replace it BUT, expected me to ship the bad ones back. I asked for a supervisor and 2 seconds later, all was OK.
    /B
     
  16. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    New LC brass--I've gone through about 3000 I bought from Natchez without any split necks and only a very few dented/bent cases. I'd say you were sold a lot of culls that made it past QC @ LC. They SURELY should not be split new off the line, and I'd be surprised if I didn't get at least 5 loadings from LC brass that I bought new.
    I am assuming that you have not re-sized any rounds, just received them this way. Plus after shooting a few that you loaded you discovered more splits after firing and before sizing. That would rule out the expander ball, dirty dies etc. You have faulty brass and the supplier needs to make it good.
     
  17. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    You're right mtrmn. I usually dont size new brass. I check dimensions and if all measures up it gets loaded. That's how I've always done it if it is new. I'm a fairly new reloader and this has been pretty discouraging! Not enough to give up though. I'm pretty much hooked.
     
  18. blarby

    blarby Member

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    From lc's disclaimer on midway :

    This is true 5.56x45mm mil-spec, new, unfired, heavy duty brass with that is recent production with a Lake City headstamp. It is the same brass supplied to our fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and offers outstanding performance in AR-15 type rifles. We made a special buy on a limited supply and it will not last long. Cases should be sized, chamfered and deburred before loading. With this brass, there is no primer crimp to remove.

    This is pretty common on brass , in the disclaimer department.

    Your neck spiltting is unusual....but if they are just used " out of the box" you may be having a ton of other issues that could cause this.
     
  19. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    There's a LOT of 2011 5.56 ammo and brass for sale right now. It's been discussed many times about the source of this ammo and brass with some people feeling like it might be rejected or second ammo that Federal is selling.

    After hearing about the split necks on the brass, I tend to believe this theory. :scrutiny:
     
  20. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    How would failing to FL size/chamfer/deburr cause or contribute to split necks?

    For the record, I just neck size and trim/chamfer/deburr, no FL sizing. The only reason I trim is to take them down to 1.740 as I use an X-die for resizing and basically never have to trim again in the life of the case.

    Personally I think it's just a bad batch ... too many guys have had good success with the LC 11 from Natchez and Midway in the last 6 months for these issues to be common.

    /B
     
  21. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Well, crunching incorrectly sized brass into your chamber could lead to some weak points and pressure spots.... so i've heard around the way.

    I'm not saying thats the definitive cause.

    However, if you can't/dont rule out the easy stuff first, you're just making assumptions with the rest.

    I know no one likes to follow instructions....or even read them most of the time... but when the manufacturer is telling you what you are receiving isn't ready to fire without " some assembly required" mayhaps that should be advice you listen to.

    I'm fairly certain ( even though it may not effect the outcome) that LC and or Midway would ask if you had done so ( followed the instructions) as part of the return/exchange process...if nothing else than for their own reference.

    At the very least, it wouldn't hurt to try....
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  22. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    Re "crunching cases" - while the OP said he did not prep the brass, I presume he did check it before loading it up. On mine, I checked a random 100 while doing the primer pockets (I'm quasi-anal about rifle brass) and they were all at SAAMI min or .001 over min and that's been my previous experience with new LC brass as well.

    If they weren't checked in any way, then I agree it's time to do that before calling Midway.

    /B
     
  23. blarby

    blarby Member

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    I suppose its back to Fuse then....

    He stated he checked the dimensions, so I guess we'll go with that.

    A bright ring encircling the case neck is to me not something that would indicate an imminent vertical failure, but a separation of the neck at that ring.

    This could be caused by poor headspace on the shoulder, which is a sizing or bolt, or chamber issue.

    It could also be a pressure issue, but given its repetitive uniformity and the charge used, I doubt that. Something mechanically is happening here. I know that its easy to just blame the brass....but I'd hate to rule everything else out, return the brass, and have him find some other issue.

    This is where I was headed with the "ton of other issues" portion of my original comment.

    So we do have a host of potential problems....faulty brass being amongst them, but this could also be indicative of other issues as well. I'd say lets address the easy ones first.... but we'd need a little more information.

    So, OP :

    Have you used any other brass other than this lot in this rifle ? If so, what were the cases like ?

    What were the conditions of factory loaded brass ejected from the rifle if any ?

    Whats the spec of the pills you are using ?
     
  24. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I understand bright rings can be a sign of a risk of case seperation, but these are not rings. Instead they are in similar areas on the neck as the currently split cases. Onto blarbys questions...

    As far as other brass: Yes I've used a good bit of factory federal american eagle in the black box. Also have ran quite a few federal branded loads using penetrators.

    Also, I run a little steel through my ars. Mostly monarch and tula, little bit of wolf. Never had any problems, I've reloaded brass from all kinds of factory ammo I've shot with no problems so far (win, rem etc.) I'd say the round count of this particular rifle is around 1,100 to 1,200 with say roughly 300 being steel cased. Mostly new factory loaded brass ammo and maybe 3-400 of my own handloads make up the rest of this equation. Never a problem with stress marks or cracks on the brass. Steel, I couldn't tell you. I don't pick it up.

    This particular lot of reloads were using speer 62g fmjs.
     
  25. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    To erase whatever lingering doubts there may be, FL size 50 of the new cases and shoot the same load in them. At the current failure rate, you should get 8 or so splits. That would seem to me to be sufficient evidence to have a chat with Midway.
    /B
     
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