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Military brass

Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
Not the officers ... the brass cases for reloading cartridges ... making ammunition!

Which are considered the highest quality or even up to the nth level?

The match -06 and .308 are just checked to a higher level, is that correct?

For the "Lake City" or LC is the year of manufacture of significance (this side of corrosive)???


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    MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,978 ******
    edited November -1
    from a study I did a bunch of years ago; any commercial brass is better than all miltiray brass
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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,240 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Loved the line about officers, Alan.

    I'd consider military match brass to be better than other military brass, but probably not as good as good commercial match brass. Mil match may be as good as regular commercial brass, though.

    Almost any US mil brass is good enough for most shooting. If I were competing, I'd want good commercial match brass, though. LC brass is churned out in such vast quantities that there are bound to be some lesser-quality pieces in there, but I'm not aware of any particularly bad year as a whole.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,928 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Alan Rushing,

    'Match' is one of those terms now so over-used that it becomes a chore to investigate which items are truly Match or just named that way to confuse the general public into believing it. It gets real hard with chamber reamers which get marked Match because they deviate dimensionally from SAAMI or CIP specifications, not because they are a true MATCH reamer.

    Lake City Match brass is a result of sorting at the point of manufacturing.

    Lake City manufacturers so much ammunition that it is nearly impossible to discern which is 'best' or even 'better' than the standard offerings from the commercial side. Loaded ammunition is often discussed as being better by year of manufacturer than are the brass cases as components. LC brass is usually consistent because of the sourcing, manufacturing and requirements as laid down by the Federal Gubmint.

    I have bought and used several thousand pieces of LC 5.56 and 7.62 brass for general use in several rifles. But, when it comes down to shooting a competition, I generally rely on Lapua or stringently weighed, sorted and fireformed other brands. The other brands have to be gone through thoroughly to eliminate the lesser quality pieces and then be subjected to additional work to make them usable for competition. Some of this reliance on Lapua can be attributed to being unwilling to take a chance on other manufacturers. But there are instances where a nationally ranked top shooter is using one of the basic commercially manufactured names and is still winning. Just goes to show that everything is not based on the hardware and the driver still has final control.

    For the average reloader wanting to craft ammunition for pleasure and less costly shooting, LC and finding their brass on sale can be a boon.

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    jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Until you get to a really good gun and a really good shooter shooting at 300 yards plus, selection of cases is much less important than a good bullet and consistent powder charge. You should weigh each case if for a match, and military cases WILL show some variation, but if you stick with a specific arsenal and year they will be fairly close.

    I did an experiment once where I weighed each military case, neck turned them all, uniformed primer pockets, and then hand weighed each powder charge- this out of a .223 Savage. Using Lapua brass and the right load, this gun will shoot about 1.5" at 300 yards from a bench. Using the segregated military brass I was still right at that mark.

    Without weighing or neck turning it shot an average of 1.9".

    For the experiment I fired 5 groups of 5 with each type of case and took the average. So you can get military brass up to nearly match spec if you are careful, and as it sits it is somewhat inferior; but seeing these results, I reached the following conclusion.

    I never shoot at over 300 yards, as my range doesn't go that far.

    1.9" still keeps them all in the 10 ring in our club's 300 yard match target.

    Ergo I don't worry about it.

    I suspect that larger cases such as 308 and 30-06 would show more variation and have more impact, but lacking a good scoped rifle in those calibers I can't really analyze it beyond this suspicion. I have conducted tests with a 30-06 in a 1903 Springfield with open sights at 100 yards that indicates segregating surplus projectiles by weight can tighten groups significantly; however I didn't see any statistical variation in segregating cases beyond same year, same arsenal. Whether there was none or it was just impossible to determine with iron sights, I can't comment; but it does show that if there was an impact, it is the least important of the steps in good reloading if not using a match grade (or at least Varmint grade) rifle.
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    Alan RushingAlan Rushing Member Posts: 9,002 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Gentlemen, thanks for a lot of very good information and food for thought. It definitely cuts through a lot of mist and makes sense.

    Near every time that I think I "know", I am soon confronted with the reality of needing to stay open to information, and learn from others with more experience and knowledge of some of these areas.

    Seems that care, uniformity and consistentcy are very big parts of reloading and the shotting sports. Go out on a thorough search and come back full circle to the same point. Thanks.
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    JustCJustC Member Posts: 16,056 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    brass should be fireformed first, then all sized to match, trimmed, deburred, chamfored, primer pockets uniformed, etc. I fireform all brass for longer range shooting FIRST, then uniform each case.

    Now, you can sort them by weight.[;)]
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    FrancFFrancF Member Posts: 35,278 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Same as the others have said. I do like to use the LC brass for my Std. M1A. All my bolt guns, (now that I have seen the light[:D]) Get dedicated Lapua brass per gun. Kind of a pain and * but it pays off on predictability and consistency.

    Nice part of paying for high end brass is the reward at the end when you find a load your gun likes and use proven great reload methods.
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