Once fired military vs. virgin commercial 308 brass

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  1. #1
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    Once fired military vs. virgin commercial 308 brass

    Title explains it all, I want some ideas on which way I should go. I'm not looking for supreme accuracy, but need somthing that will last 3-4 times through my 17s. All opinions are welcome.

    note:Im aware of the crimped primers in the military stuff.

    Thanks in advance


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    As hard as .308 brass is to find, I'd say go with whatever you can get cheap. I would seperate the military and commercial however. As an
    RSO on a public range, we see a huge amount of .223 left but very little .308.

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    I am just curious to know the pros and cons of either. I can get the military stuff the cheapest, but want to know what problems it can give me. Ex: military brass is thicker thus you cant put as large a charge as commercial brass.

    If you can give me some insight on stuff like that I would appreciate it. I can read all the articles online that I want, but it means more to me if I get input from someone with experience in the matter.

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    I think you hit the biggest difference, the military brass is thicker ( at the web and to a certain amount the walls of the case)and can limit your powder charge but also the smaller volume int he military brass came run you pressures up some and is why most say to start low with your charge to avoid any issues.

    I use a lot of once fired military 7.62x51 brass and one thing you can run into is that if it was fired in a MG the brass is a lot of the time way over sized from the MGs chamber. I have also found batches of once fired LC brass that was very hard, resizing and trimming to length required a noticeable more amount of effort. With that I do still get four to five reloads from it but I would say the amount of reloads you might get from it would depend on how hot you were to load it.

    I use most of the 7.62 LC brass for my semi-autos practice, plinking ammo since I feel they beat the brass up more.
    Last edited by Talhoffer; 06-29-2012 at 01:31 PM.




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    Senior Member KIRK'S AWAY TEAM (RED SHIRT)
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    Military brass is generally heavier and more durable for use in auto loaders (but HK's destroy anything).
    I have several buckets of LC brass that I case prep for my automatic rifles. For my SPR bolt gun I prefer Federal or Black Hills cases. They are VERY uniform and thin walled which gives good volume and easy to neck size and load.
    I had some nice Federal brass I fired in one of my FAL's and M1A and it looked like crap. The LC brass holds up better especially the rims.

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    You will also find the primer pockets crimped on most military brass especially NATO brass, and they need to be swagged prior to primer seating.

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    Case prep is the biggest delta asfar as actually reloading military brass but once you get it prepped the firsttime it stays pretty consistent out of my scar. I always have to take somebrass off to get them sized the first time and you already mentioned the primerpocket. Once initially prepped the only difference is it's a little stiffer tosize. I do a lot of 308/7.62 and went with the carbide Dillon dies. You will definitelyget at least 4-5 loads out of LC brass. The 17 puts a little vertical....”scar”on the neck of the casing and I keep a close eye on those but have not yetthrown a piece of brass away because of it. I have a bunch of commercial brass also. I load it and shoot it but I do keep it seperated.
    If you read the forums you get alot of guys that seperate the military brass by lots, weights etc. I don't worry too much about driving tacks with the scar at 400 yards and I don't think a couple grains difference in brass keeps me from dinging that 10 inch gong all day long.

    I figure the longer it takes to shoot it up the more time I spend making it a percision load. The faster I shoot it up the less effort I put into it and the SCAR can empty a magazine pretty quick.
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    So based on everyone's reactions here, its's a go for the military stuff based on my needs?

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    I would say it would




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    The Mil brass is thicker just like in the 5.45. The primers are crimped and the pockets will need to be swaged. Pressures will build "differently" from published data because of the lesser case volume, minute as it may be.

    The best .308 is probably the Lapua match brass - if you were looking for "supreme" accuracy. But you are not so the Mil brass is better for you.

    You can eliminate some variables by swaging the brass instead of cutting away the brass using a primer pocket reamer, and making sure that the brass is properly sized then trimmed. Don't underestimate the need for consistent bullets. Crappy bullets can screw up your load and thus affect your pressures resulting in poor performance in POI

    Just use your common reloading practices.

    Now, if you want supreme accuracy - it's a whole new ballgame.
    "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop

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