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The trouble with buying "prepped" brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Shmackey, Sep 30, 2012.

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  1. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    I bought 1000 pieces of .223 brass that the seller advertised as "prepped." That meant it was cleaned, swaged, sized, and trimmed. The price was too good to pass up. (This wasn't Scharch, which is my go-to rifle brass seller.)

    When it arrived, I measured the length--perfect. Then I checked the neck width and tension--also perfect. Chamfer, deburr, and good to go, right? :)

    I loaded up 400 rounds a few days ago. Everything went smooth, from priming to seating, so I put them in some bags and stashed them away. (Can anyone see yet what I failed to do?)

    Yesterday, I decided to load a magazine of the stuff into my (totally reliable) AR. Hmm. The first round chambered roughly. I cycled it through, and the second round jammed the whole thing up like it was made of glue. Just from the feel of it, I suspected the problem--so I did what I should've done in the first place, and I dropped the round into my case gauge. The shoulders needed to be bumped back a few thousandths. :|

    Lesson learned: Almost no ready-to-load brass is really ready to load. Check everything.
     
  2. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    I bought about 800 rounds of "New, Primed" Winchester .45 Auto brass.. it gets resized before use..
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I just received 500 prepped .300 Blackout brass. (Too lazy to make my own right now.)

    I checked the case diameter near the base, the length, the shoulder position, and neck tension. I checked a hand full to see if they chambered freely, and then I primed them.

    I put them away to be loaded in the near future. I also bought 500 pulled 147 Gr bullets from Hi-Tech ammo for plinking rounds.
     
  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    If I buy once fired I want it ugly so I can do what I do. Nobody cares as much about the brass I'm gonna load as I do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  5. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    That`s the way I want it also ,dirty ugly corroded or what ever ,I like to see it before it`s transfermation !!!

    I like shooting & all the related activitys to go with it , I`ll admit it can get time consuming ,but I like it .

    Even sizelubing boolits !!!:D
     
  6. blarby

    blarby Member

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    The key here is to trust who you buy from.

    Especially rifle brass......
     
  7. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I don't care "where" it comes from, it gets FL sized before anything else is done with it, period! The only one I trust is me, everyone else is down that road further.
     
  8. forestdavegump

    forestdavegump Member

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    Yeah it seems "prepped" means different things to different folks.
    Sound advice. Also never skip a step even if it means double checking the works of other. Assume means what? U+Me = @$$ thing.
    Glad you found it and fixed it! :) Great!
     
  9. evan price

    evan price Member

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    There's a guy I know who sells prepped 300 Blackout brass. He claims it's fully prepped. However it's not chamfered or properly reamed, and the primer pockets are not swaged, just a light chamfer. Otherwise it's not bad, just not worth the price IMHO. I'm selling all my Lake City 223 brass, tumbled, to this other guy who I know is doing 300 BLK right.
     
  10. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    Well, think of this as a 4 hour lesson with a bullet puller in "looking before you leap".

    You could pre-screen your cases to avoid the puller if some are actually of the right headspace. That might save a little time.
     
  11. hentown

    hentown Member

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    I recently bought 1000 pcs of "processed" .223 brass from Brassman. Brass was clean and prepped as advertised. However, if, for no other reason than making sure the necks are concentric, I ran them through a f.l. sizing die. Spot-checked with my Wilson case gage, and everything's perfect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  12. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Member

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    Just ran 350 pieces of NEW LC brass through my FL die. Barely touched the case except up near the head, but it fixed a few dented case necks and I found one particularly NASTY piece of brass with a series or rings and warped knots in it (honestly looked like a big knot in a pine board). That one got chucked.

    I tried loading new brass without sizing, and had issues with shaving, so now it all gets sized.
     
  13. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    I bought a new bag of Winchester 243 brass once and found 2 7mm-08 cases in their. Only reason I found then was when I ran them all through my sizer I noticed 2 were tougher than the others, wallah I squeezed 2 cases down.

    And I shot them, worked as well as the others.
     
  14. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    At least you only need to run it through the sizer.
     
  15. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Depending on how much you loaded, it might be worth investing in a body die.
     
  16. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    Regarding the last two posts: Yes, you can indeed bump back the shoulders on loaded rounds. BUT--speaking as someone who has done this as well as most other questionable reloading things--you'd better have a damn good plan for what to do if you get a case stuck in the die.
     
  17. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    Pretty simple. Pull the bullet with a pair of pliers, it should be protruding from the top of the die. From there, dump the powder and push the primer out with a pin or long nail with the point rounded off. From there use whatever method you like to remove the case from the die...or you could just use Imperial Sizing Wax and not worry about it.
     
  18. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    The bullet doesn't protrude from a .223 Redding body die. Ask me how I know. :)
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I made a little base with room for a large primer to drop through. I just sit the case on it and tap the primer out with a small home made brass hammer and a Lee decapping pin. I even do the odd one or two live primers this way from time to time. You have to whack them pretty hard to set one off.
     

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  20. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    All brass i buy (new, used) gets the full checkout. I dont skip any process of the reloading process when someone says "primed" "ready to load". If i buy ammo from some one, if i know the powder and how old it is-it might be saved, bullet gets saved, but it gets reloaded to my specs and my tolerences of what i know my guns can handle. Im just wondering if i would use the ready to load stuff and i load it and the case is to long and it bulges and blows the gun up in my face, thats the last time ill do that. so i dont skip any process or i hate to say it, but take anyones word for the brass or ammo. I just want it done the way i do it. not really picky but more or less, safety.
     
  21. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I personally would pull the decapping assembly, lube them up and bump back the shoulders on the loaded rounds.

    This assumes that your particular set of dies is constructed with a large enough hole in the top for the bullet to protrude, but I think that's a pretty good bet for a .223 bullet diameter.
     
  22. gfanikf

    gfanikf Member

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    Yeah, but it is nice if you don't have a tumbler...I know but I spent my side money till the holidays. I need to look into those homebrew brass cleaning recipes.Still 50 bucks for 500 once fired Lake City 30-06 was to good to pass up.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
     
  23. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    I hate to play the Safety Guy card -- I'm not very good at it :) -- but this is important. The Redding Body Die will allow you to bump back the shoulders on loaded .223 rounds, but the bullet _does not_ protrude from the top. (I suspect the same holds for the standard Redding FL die.)

    Now picture a .223 round stuck in the die. You can't pull the bullet because you can't get to it. You can't drill out the primer pocket because there's a live primer in it. And the case is enclosed by the steel die. In essence, you've got a chambered round.

    There are ways to defuse this, so to speak, but they're not fun and I'm not going to post them here. Long story short, if you want to bump back the shoulders on loaded rounds: (1) Try to use a die that lets you pull the bullet if the case gets stuck, (2) lube your cases well with Imperial, and (3) have a plan for dealing with a stuck case (chambered round).
     
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