October 16th, 2019
Save $$ By Utilizing Lake City five.56x45mm When-Fired GI Brass
Each and every Wednesday, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes a reloading “how-to” write-up on the USAMU Facebook web page. A current “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of as soon as-fired five.56x45mm brass. This write-up, the initially in a three-aspect series, has a lot of valuable recommendations. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or five.56x45mm, this write-up is worth reading.
This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a particular request from many competitive shooters who asked about procedures for morphing as soon as-fired GI five.56mm brass into precise match brass for NRA Higher Energy Rifle use. The USAMU has utilized virgin Lake City (LC) five.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for a lot of years. In this three-aspect series, we’ll share tactics confirmed to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.
GI brass has an exceptional attribute, worth noting — it is practically indestructible. Due to its NATO-spec hardness, the primer pockets final a lot longer than most industrial brass when utilizing loads at proper pressures.
Preparing When-Fired GI five.56 Brass for Reloading (Component 1 of three)
Assuming our readers will be having brass as soon as-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following measures can assistance course of action the low-price raw material into reliably precise elements.
1. Clean the Brass
Initial, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Based on the brass’s situation, washing it in a soap remedy followed by a thorough rinsing may well assistance. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches variety from low-tech, utilizing gallon jugs 1/two complete of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to a lot more higher-tech, high-priced and time-consuming techniques.
two. Wet-Tumbling Choices (Be Certain to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, when other people take the regular vibratory tumbler/ground media method. Degree of case shine is purely individual preference, but the important concern is very simple cleanliness to stay clear of scratching ones’ dies.
If a liquid cleaner is utilized, be Certain to dry the instances completely to preclude corrosion inside. 1 strategy is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/appropriate so the instances re-orient themselves when shifting from corner to corner. A number of repetitions, pausing at each and every corner till water stops draining, will eliminate most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a handful of minutes to speed evaporation.
Shown beneath are Lake City instances immediately after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was completed by a third celebration, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any certain cleaning strategy.
three. Inspect Every single Case
When dry, inspect each and every case for considerable deformation (i.e., an individual stepped on it), broken mouths/necks and case head/rim harm. Some rifles’ ejectors really dig smaller chunks of brass out of the case head — of course, not excellent for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be utilized for plinking, but our match brass really should have straight, undamaged rims.
Dented case mouths are prevalent, and these can quickly be rounded utilizing a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of a single headstamp, this is a fantastic time to cull out any odd instances.
four. Verify the Primers Prior to Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now prepared for complete-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have brought on some head-scratching (and vile language) amongst handloaders. Our subsequent installment will detail effective, straightforward and sensible techniques to eliminate primer crimp, plus other valuable handloading recommendations. Till subsequent week, Great Shooting!
NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired five.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our selected primer currently staked in location. Even so, our employees has substantial individual expertise reloading GI brass for competitors, which will supplement the Shop’s customary measures. In handloading, as in life, there are a lot of strategies to achieve any provided activity. Our recommendations are note presented as the “only way,” by any signifies. Time for loading/practicing is usually at a premium. Readers who have a lot more effective, option techniques that retain top rated accuracy are invited to share them right here.
Accuracy Prospective of Mil-Surp five.56×45 Brass
So, how precise can previously-fired GI surplus brass be in a fantastic National Match AR-15? Properly, here’s a information point from a lot of years ago that may possibly be of interest. A Higher Energy shooter who wrote for the late Precision Shooting magazine took a Bill Wylde-constructed AR match rifle to a registered Benchrest match. His initially five-round group ever fired in a BR match was officially measured at .231″ at 200 hundred yards. This was fired in front of witnesses, when utilizing a moving target backer that confirmed all 5 rounds have been fired.
He recounted that his ammo was loaded progressively with factory 52gr match bullets and a spherical powder utilizing mixed years of LC brass with no particular preparation whatsoever. Clearly, this was “exceptional”. Even so, he had no difficulty getting constant .five-.six MOA accuracy at 200 yards utilizing LC brass and a generic “practice” load that was not tuned to his rifle.
Saving Funds by Utilizing GI Brass
So, with fantastic industrial brass readily readily available, why would a single go to all the further measures required to course of action fired GI brass? [Editor: It’s about saving money.]
Economically, it tends to make good sense. When the author was actively practicing and competing with the service rifle, he had ~three,000 rounds of five.56mm brass, which permitted him to load through winter and devote most time in the summer season practicing. If a single have been wealthy and wanted to shoot absolutely nothing but the finest imported brass, the existing price of three,000 is ~$1920 (plus shipping.)
Dropping down to fantastic, but much less-high-priced new, U.S. industrial brass brings the cost to a a lot a lot more realistic ~$720. Even so, at existing prices, the identical quantity of surplus GI as soon as-fired brass fees among $120 — $150, leaving lots of area in the price range for other expenditures. [Editor: that’s less than 10% of the cost of the best imported brass.]
Tags: five.56×45, Brass Tumbling, Cleaning Brass, Lake City Brass, Reloading, USAMU