AR15.Com Archives
 223 case life, what's the deal?
splunkinoob  [Member]
7/1/2012 11:52:58 PM
Just prepped 500 1x-2x fired brass, mixed (lc, psd, rp, pmc, wcc, fc, etc...)

As I began to reload these I noticed I would occasionally come across a FC case missing the primer. I looked in the box where I had them stored and no primers were to be found, not sure where they disappeared to. Some PSD cases were also missing the primer, I know that the psd and FC were once fired by me. It seems that I cull a ton of the brass that I shoot whether due to dings or loose primer pockets.

What percentage of your brass are you chucking each time? It seems like at the rate I'm going, it's not going to be worth reloading 223 due to little to no case life. Unless it's something that I'm doing to cause it. Running WSR primers and max load on any fired cartridge is 26 grains of varget.

Thoughts?
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Obo2  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:06:32 AM
maybe your over swaging primer pocket crimps?
splunkinoob  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:09:42 AM
Originally Posted By Obo2:
maybe your over swaging primer pocket crimps?


I don't swage, all hand done with a lyman hand tools. Good thought though.

ChrisGarrett  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:11:19 AM
What bullets are you using where you're needing 26grs of Varget?

What weapon are you shooting?

I've had a few loose primer pockets over the years, but not many are just dropping primers.

Chris
splunkinoob  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:16:33 AM
Shooting everything from 60 v-max to 62 grain pulls on the 26 varget.

The FC's and PSD's dropping the primers have never been reloaded, that's what concerns me. Maybe it's just junk brass?

Running everything out of a 5.56 mini.
TexanInOhio4  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:22:53 AM
Are you cutting crimps out with the Lyman tools? If so, maybe the cutter is removing too much material. I've never really thought to do this, but I wonder what might be learned by (gently, in diameter only, and with safety glasses!) taking a caliper to a sampling of the primers you're using and comparing them to other primers? Hmmmm......might even be interesting to see what the primer pockets are dimensionally compared to other cases.

Mike
splunkinoob  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:32:04 AM
Originally Posted By TexanInOhio4:
Are you cutting crimps out with the Lyman tools? If so, maybe the cutter is removing too much material. As far as pressure is concerned, how do the fired primers look (in cases which were processed and fired identically to the ones with missing primers)? Any flattened primers?

Mike


No flattening of primers, I am cutting the crimps with a lyman tool, two quick, light turns and letting them roll. If I recall I think I read somewhere that WSR primers are slightly smaller in diameter, maybe that's my issue.

SaturationTech  [Team Member]
7/2/2012 8:01:53 AM
I know big letter FC has this problem. The small letter FC seems to be alot better. Also noticing quite a few Hornady cases also have loose primer pockets after 1 firing.
AssaultRifler  [Team Member]
7/2/2012 8:08:35 AM
FC brass is notorious for having soft primer pockets. Since you can't tell by headstamp which FC cases have and don't have soft primer pockets, I just scrap every one I get.

Losing a primer during storage is better than loging one during live fire. I had one pop out one time and it jammed the trigger and hammer mechanism.
243winxb  [Member]
7/2/2012 9:39:29 AM
Reduce your powder charge.
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:
Just prepped 500 1x -2x fired brass, mixed (lc, psd, rp, pmc, wcc, fc, etc...)

As I began to reload these I noticed I would occasionally come across a FC case missing the primer. I looked in the box where I had them stored and no primers were to be found, not sure where they disappeared to. Some PSD cases were also missing the primer , I know that the psd and FC were once fired by me.(are you sure not reloaded 1x?) It seems that I cull a ton of the brass that I shoot whether due to dings or loose primer pockets.

What percentage of your brass are you chucking each time? It seems like at the rate I'm going, it's not going to be worth reloading 223 due to little to no case life. Unless it's something that I'm doing to cause it. Running WSR primers and max load on any fired cartridge is 26 grains of varget.



Thoughts?
KABOOM

AeroE  [Moderator]
7/2/2012 12:33:23 PM

Your powder charge is pushing maximum pressure for those bullet weights, and mixing cases of different capacities means that you're exposed to very high pressures. Using mixed headstamps is a bad practice when loading to maximum charges without confirming the load is okay in every case.

Even good .223 Rem cases give up at the primer pockets after two or three high pressure loads, and FC cases are loose after the first firing as a factory load, but they will generally hold a primer well enough for one more shot. Removing the crimp from FC cases is too much work for one more shot, so they get scrapped. The alternative is to load them with start charge weights.



We-rBorg  [Member]
7/2/2012 12:50:29 PM
I use FC 1X brass for my turtle loads.
Load once, leave lay when I shoot the turtles.
'Borg
another_shooter  [Member]
7/2/2012 4:50:32 PM
Measure the amount you bump back the shoulders when you resize the cases
axl  [Team Member]
7/2/2012 6:24:57 PM
FC brass is notorious for having soft primer pockets. Since you can't tell by headstamp which FC cases have and don't have soft primer pockets, I just scrap every one I get.

Losing a primer during storage is better than loging one during live fire. I had one pop out one time and it jammed the trigger and hammer mechanism.


Same with me except the primer caused mine to go full auto. I sort all Federal .223 and reload them for my Galil. They are worthless after that anyway.
ReefRaider  [Team Member]
7/2/2012 6:29:28 PM
Easy fix. Just get ALL Lake City or WCC brass. Works for me.
splunkinoob  [Member]
7/2/2012 6:55:12 PM
Originally Posted By AeroE:

Your powder charge is pushing maximum pressure for those bullet weights, and mixing cases of different capacities means that you're exposed to very high pressures. Using mixed headstamps is a bad practice when loading to maximum charges without confirming the load is okay in every case.

Even good .223 Rem cases give up at the primer pockets after two or three high pressure loads, and FC cases are loose after the first firing as a factory load, but they will generally hold a primer well enough for one more shot. Removing the crimp from FC cases is too much work for one more shot, so they get scrapped. The alternative is to load them with start charge weights.





Yea I don't run mixed head stamps, I was just processing them all at once. As far as max charge, when I said that I meant that's the highest I've loaded any of the cases. I have LC cases that I've ran 26.5 varget out of with 60 v-max.

sssfjet  [Member]
7/2/2012 7:52:59 PM
Why you throwing away dings and dents? Load em up, I guarantee when you shoot that brass/ammo that ding or dent will come out. As always if it looks unsafe to shoot, toss it. If your causing the dents when you size the brass your doing something wrong.
splunkinoob  [Member]
7/2/2012 9:00:20 PM
Originally Posted By sssfjet:
Why you throwing away dings and dents? Load em up, I guarantee when you shoot that brass/ammo that ding or dent will come out. As always if it looks unsafe to shoot, toss it. If your causing the dents when you size the brass your doing something wrong.


These are coming out a mini 14, provided I can find them 30' away, most of them are pretty rough.
a37b  [Member]
7/2/2012 9:07:52 PM
I have found that after 2 firings, the large and small FC brass have loose primer pockets.
Also they tend to be too short.
dcat  [Member]
7/2/2012 9:12:11 PM
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
FC brass is notorious for having soft primer pockets. Since you can't tell by headstamp which FC cases have and don't have soft primer pockets, I just scrap every one I get.

Losing a primer during storage is better than loging one during live fire. I had one pop out one time and it jammed the trigger and hammer mechanism.


The large letter FC brass is no good. Agreed.

However, the small letter FC brass is mil-spec and every bit as good as LC or WCC. In fact the small letter FC is better than the 2010 and 2011 LC SCAMP brass that is running about 8% neck splits on first firing in the brass I have seen. That is first firing NOT first reload. I got that brass from a friend of mine who is the range master at a police range.
gee223  [Member]
7/2/2012 9:55:37 PM
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:
Originally Posted By sssfjet:
Why you throwing away dings and dents? Load em up, I guarantee when you shoot that brass/ammo that ding or dent will come out. As always if it looks unsafe to shoot, toss it. If your causing the dents when you size the brass your doing something wrong.


These are coming out a mini 14, provided I can find them 30' away, most of them are pretty rough.


Federal brass sucks, but I've never had that issue before. I wonder if there could be another issue there, perhaps something with the rifle.

I would try some other primers, or a different method if seating them. I really like the Wolf 223rem primers. I just wish I would have bought more. How are you seating them?
ReefRaider  [Team Member]
7/2/2012 10:00:51 PM
Originally Posted By dcat:
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
FC brass is notorious for having soft primer pockets. Since you can't tell by headstamp which FC cases have and don't have soft primer pockets, I just scrap every one I get.

Losing a primer during storage is better than loging one during live fire. I had one pop out one time and it jammed the trigger and hammer mechanism.


The large letter FC brass is no good. Agreed.

However, the small letter FC brass is mil-spec and every bit as good as LC or WCC. In fact the small letter FC is better than the 2010 and 2011 LC SCAMP brass that is running about 8% neck splits on first firing in the brass I have seen. That is first firing NOT first reload. I got that brass from a friend of mine who is the range master at a police range.


That's odd I did a run of processing 25 K in LC 2010 5.56 once fired brass last year. I didn't find one that had a split neck. I think one of the carbines had a lose chamber though. As about 2000 of them had a bulge at the web. I got to keep those . Loaded the whole 2000 and shot them. Not one of them had a case seperation either. I didn't get to recover the brass though they were lost shooting 3 Gun.

Cycline3  [Member]
7/2/2012 11:13:21 PM
I think primer pocket swage is a bad idea. You say you dont do this. Next that load is getting to the top of 223 pressure, but it's not hurting 5.56 once fired brass. I'd bet you have zero pressure signs. So my next question is what primer? Ive used federal 205s and wolf 223 primers in the thousands. I have so much 223 brass that the count doest get high on them, at least not yet, but i have one batch on 5-6 and they are all still going strong with no real problems with having to toss them. Anything you can think of to help us track your problem down? Are you using chemicals when you clean or tumble??
glorifiedG  [Team Member]
7/2/2012 11:24:26 PM
The only brass I have had that " where did that primer go " moment with was FC. It's not total crap, it can be loaded once Sorta hot, or more times tame. To say it is junk may not be entirely true, it was not made to be reloaded in the first place, as with all Mil. Brass, its just a happy coincidence. LC just happens to be great for it.
pcsutton  [Team Member]
7/3/2012 11:38:06 AM

Originally Posted By ReefRaider:
Easy fix. Just get ALL Lake City or WCC brass. Works for me.

Yup....I stick to Lake City exclusively. I cull everything else if I accidentally get some other brass mixed in.
dcat  [Member]
7/3/2012 1:01:00 PM
Originally Posted By ReefRaider:
Originally Posted By dcat:
Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
FC brass is notorious for having soft primer pockets. Since you can't tell by headstamp which FC cases have and don't have soft primer pockets, I just scrap every one I get.

Losing a primer during storage is better than loging one during live fire. I had one pop out one time and it jammed the trigger and hammer mechanism.


The large letter FC brass is no good. Agreed.

However, the small letter FC brass is mil-spec and every bit as good as LC or WCC. In fact the small letter FC is better than the 2010 and 2011 LC SCAMP brass that is running about 8% neck splits on first firing in the brass I have seen. That is first firing NOT first reload. I got that brass from a friend of mine who is the range master at a police range.


That's odd I did a run of processing 25 K in LC 2010 5.56 once fired brass last year. I didn't find one that had a split neck. I think one of the carbines had a lose chamber though. As about 2000 of them had a bulge at the web. I got to keep those . Loaded the whole 2000 and shot them. Not one of them had a case seperation either. I didn't get to recover the brass though they were lost shooting 3 Gun.



Thanks for the feedback. I thought it was odd to have a high rate of case splits with LC. Hopefully it was due to incorrect storage (by the litter box??) or something similar.

Regarding comments by others about primers popping out, I have seen that with LC, Winchester, and Remington brass as well as FC brass. It used to happen all the time in the summer with folks loading greater than 24.5 gr of Varget. It happened a bunch around 2004 and 2005 with folks shooting RL-15 because that powder varied from batch to batch. IIRC, the RL-15 got faster and folks on the edge got burned.

bigedp51  [Member]
7/3/2012 1:19:09 PM
If your primers are falling out it is a sign of high pressure, your Mini14 chamber might be on the large size of chamber limits and some of your cases can be on the small side of manufacturing limits. If the base of the case expands more than .001 after firing it is a sign of excess pressure and each brand of cartridge case will have different pressure limits. Stick with one brand of cartridge case, make work up loads and find the sweet spot where the case isn't abused and can be reloaded many times.

The .222 Remington has a rated chamber pressure of 46,000 cup, and the .223 Remington has a rated chamber pressure of 52,000 cup. Guess which cartridge is known for lasting longer by reloaders.



Reloading manuals are guesstimates and each and every firearm will have its own pressure limits with a specific brand of cartridge case. At Accurate Shooter.com you will see competitive shooters who keep increasing their load until the rear of the case starts to flow into the ejector hole in the bolt face and then they back off 1 or 2 grains of powder. They are testing the elastic limits of their cases and the chamber pressure these cases can withstand in their individual rifle and no two rifles are alike.

Below a normal pressure load and stress points and NO case expansion in the base web area.

Garandboy  [Team Member]
7/3/2012 3:03:14 PM
I had this issue with FC brass in the past. I reload them once for outdoor plinking rounds and leave them for the brass goblins at the range.

I also never load near max load in mixed cases.
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