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Posted: 1/29/2012 6:18:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2012 5:36:30 PM EDT by WI57]
After reading the thread a while back about reloading fired blanks I decided to try it, instead of just saying it couldn't be done.
I know, with how cheap surplus brass is why would I do it?  Well, I figured why not try it and see.

I have a bunch of M200 blanks around, and if they work out it will be perfect for making 3gun ammo or ammo for where I cannot recover my brass.

I started out with 5 good old USGI M200 blanks, Lake City 2004 to be exact.




Then I fired the blanks in my Remington 700 to remove the primer, the powder, and to open up the crimped mouth.
(If fired with a BFA sometimes the crimp won't open up and makes trimming difficult)



Then I slowly ran the blanks as is into my dillon trimmer, this cut off the crimp but left some ugly burrs.



So I cleaned out the burrs with a brush and now full length sized/deprimed them, then passed them under the trimmer one more time to uniform the mouth.



Then I deburred the mouths with a gracey trimmer to remove any excess brass.



Then I loaded with a CCI 41, 26.0 gr of WC844, and a M855 bullet.



Here are the pretty little things in a mag ready to go down range and find some frozen dirt.




And here is the brass, nothing abnormal.




Primers look good, its a hot load and I was barely beginning to see ejector swipes.



No split mouths on the 5 original test subjects.




Just to give this a bigger scale I loaded 30 other blank brass, only one mouth split.




These were a different bag of blank brass, but held up just fine.



Soon to be "leave it lay and not feel bad" brass...?  


ETA- to update title, again, again, again, and again.
Link Posted: 1/29/2012 6:29:41 PM EDT
That's very interesting.  Thanks for running the experiment.  Did you also compare the case length and neck length to a standard spec for .223?  It looks like there was plenty of neck to trim in your pics.  Did you compare accuracy between regular brass and converted blanks?  Was there a noticable difference?
Link Posted: 1/29/2012 6:36:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ajroyer:
That's very interesting.  Thanks for running the experiment.  Did you also compare the case length and neck length to a standard spec for .223?  It looks like there was plenty of neck to trim in your pics.  Did you compare accuracy between regular brass and converted blanks?  Was there a noticable difference?


Uh, no.  I just shot them hoping my rifle didn't blow up.

They trimmed to 1.750 just fine, but there was a little rose petal crimp that had to be sized open, then I trimmed again to remove it.

Now if it ever gets warmer and I'm not shivering I'll try for accuracy.
Link Posted: 1/29/2012 6:55:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By WI57:
Originally Posted By ajroyer:
That's very interesting.  Thanks for running the experiment.  Did you also compare the case length and neck length to a standard spec for .223?  It looks like there was plenty of neck to trim in your pics.  Did you compare accuracy between regular brass and converted blanks?  Was there a noticable difference?


Uh, no.  I just shot them hoping my rifle didn't blow up.

They trimmed to 1.750 just fine, but there was a little rose petal crimp that had to be sized open, then I trimmed again to remove it.

Now if it ever gets warmer and I'm not shivering I'll try for accuracy.


You do realize that the brass used in 'blank' cartridges is very thin compared to normal commercial and military brass?

It's designed to accomodate pressures way under what even a light 223 load exhibits.

I don't think I'd make a practice of loading 'blank' cases as rule.  Consider yourself lucky.

Chris

Link Posted: 1/29/2012 7:03:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2012 7:31:04 PM EDT by WI57]
Originally Posted By ChrisGarrett:
You do realize that the brass used in 'blank' cartridges is very thin compared to normal commercial and military brass?

It's designed to accomodate pressures way under what even a light 223 load exhibits.

I don't think I'd make a practice of loading 'blank' cases as rule.  Consider yourself lucky.

Chris



I halved one a while ago and it looked just like every other 5.56 case, except it has a rose crimp on the mouth.

I'll section one tomorrow and post pics.

ETA- where do you mean when you say thinner?

Just so I can cut these the correct way to see what they look like?
Link Posted: 1/29/2012 8:44:12 PM EDT
Cut them in half lengthwise and measure the web area, just ahead of the extractor groove, say 0-3mm .

Cut some regular Lake City lengthwise and measure the same area.  You'll know it when you see it.

Honestly bro, it's your face and you can play chicken all you want, but you're not supposed to make (fire) live ammo using 'blank brass.'

Chris
Link Posted: 1/29/2012 9:49:45 PM EDT
Since the question was brought up about the blanks being able to withstand the pressure of loading live ammo I cut a few and some brass.

I sectioned large FC 223 brass, RP 223 brass, small fc 223 brass, 5.56 LC 09, Blank LC04, and Blank LC08.

The large letter FC measured .184.
The RP 223 measured .183.
The small letter fc measured .190.
The Lake City 09 5.56 measured .194.
The LC04 blank measured .191.
The LC08 blank measured .190.

Here they all are, large FC 223 brass, RP 223 brass, small fc 223 brass, 5.56 LC 09, Blank LC04, and Blank LC08.





My pin, which is a broken decapper pin, measures 3.625".



The first blank LC 08 measures .190".



The second blank LC04 measures .191".



The actual LC09 5.56 measures .194".



The large letter FC 223 measures .184.



I don't see how the blank brass can be any worse than the large letter FC brass.
On the 3rd load I had this one split, and didn't even notice until I picked up the brass.






I'll keep you guys updated as to how it goes, I'll try to upload a video later on.

If my measurments are way off let me know.

As my good friend AMUshooter10 says: "I would rather shoot and see than google and say."
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 12:37:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 12:41:59 AM EDT
I would have scoffed too if I had not seen it with my own eyes.  You should call it something like  .223 Blank-Out

I soon predict a shortage of blank ammo in our area

Nice right up guy!  And thanks for quote, LOL
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 4:22:27 AM EDT
Its interesting that the round that separated did it at the cannelure near the base.  I know .223 rounds can be reloaded more than 3 times without this issue if headspace is not excessive or too hot, so why did this one fail?  Also putting the crimp on the case mouth for blanks could possibly stress the brass to where even if you cut off this part you will end up having some split necks because the brass is still stressed from the star crimping (I think).  Its interesting and maybe worth it if you have a lot of this brass and use it once only.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 8:03:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By downrivertrash:
Its interesting that the round that separated did it at the cannelure near the base.  I know .223 rounds can be reloaded more than 3 times without this issue if headspace is not excessive or too hot, so why did this one fail?  Also putting the crimp on the case mouth for blanks could possibly stress the brass to where even if you cut off this part you will end up having some split necks because the brass is still stressed from the star crimping (I think).  Its interesting and maybe worth it if you have a lot of this brass and use it once only.


The round that tore was a large letter FC 223 brass.  

It never had a cannelure but still split in that approx area, so it will be interesting to see if the re-used blanks do that as well.

I was reloading the large letter FC brass to see how long it could go and it gave up on the 3rd firing.

But I didn't notice anything different while shooting, it wasn't until I went to recover the brass did I notice it had split.

I will continue to test 10 of these blank cases and see what happens.

If I can get past 3 loads without the mouths cracking or the heads ripping off I'll be happy loading new blank brass once for places I cannot recover my brass.

This will all be fired out of a 20" AR15 with a 5.56 chamber.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:11:43 AM EDT
That's awesome man, but don't you be taking my lake city brass and giving me blank brass instead in my reloads.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 10:23:46 AM EDT
Better then I could ever get one to turn out.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/555349_.html
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 12:55:54 PM EDT
I've done it before with no issues, but it's too much trouble.  I guess if I ever get hard up for brass, I can pull apart the SAW belt of blanks that I have and use those.  I have over 300 rounds of .50 caliber blanks as well.  I don't think I'd want to load .50 blanks into live ammo.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 6:50:39 PM EDT
I have a feeling the 50cal blanks are coming;) Can we do 762 next? I know how those come out.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 7:04:32 PM EDT
I tried this with a 7.62 LC blank a long time ago.  Didn't work too well as the 7.62 blank neck thickness was very excessive.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 7:33:05 PM EDT
Ok, so the second firing is done, stopped by the range on the way home from work and dumped the rounds into the berm.

Its too dark to get good pictures by the time I'm able to shoot so all you'll see is the AAR photos unless they survive until Friday when I can shoot in the daylight.

Here are ten of the 35 original test rounds, nothing much different.







They did shrink a little, the average length was 1.748"



When full length sized they stretched to an average 1.755"









Then I trimmed to 1.750"



This is where I noticed this little guy, I will have to pay attention to this little guy.
(I think this will be the first one to go)



Loaded with 25.0gr of WC844, CCI 41, and a 62gr M855 bullet.
(I dropped the charge a grain after consulting a mod to slow down the case destruction)




These will be my ten little test subjects, each day I am going to stop on my way home and fire them off.


And now onto the sectioned brass...



Cut a bunch of different ones, all showed the same thing, blank brass is the same in the web as live ammo brass.



Originally Posted By heavy260:
I have a feeling the 50cal blanks are coming;) Can we do 762 next? I know how those come out.



And just for giggles I cut up a .50, want to guess what one is the blank case...



And wouldn't you know...
(But the rose crimp on the .50 brass would prevent loading as live since it is basically the same as a live .50 case with a rose crimp)



And here is to show how much of the case is actually supported by the chamber.



And a blank.



I plan on firing these until they start to crack or give up, I will document any failures.

Please, do not try to do this at home.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 8:06:45 PM EDT
I thought you were testing durability? Dropping a grain is like Happy Gilmore cracking the sand trap rake instead of breaking it and leaving it lie instead of throwing it in the woods! 364 more days until tryouts to toughen up.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:12:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By heavy260:
I thought you were testing durability? Dropping a grain is like Happy Gilmore cracking the sand trap rake instead of breaking it and leaving it lie instead of throwing it in the woods! 364 more days until tryouts to toughen up.


Tough crowd... . I'll see how they do with 25.0gr as that's probably close to what others would load.

Just because 27.0gr works in my rifle doesn't mean it will in other people guns.

I'll stick with 25.0 as its a good all around load that shouldn't show pressure in most other rifles.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:22:32 PM EDT
Wasn't that barrel under my 24x PST the other day?  

Thanks for cutting it so we can see in detail.  

This thread is full of interesting info.  Thanks!  

And I know where there is a good chrono if you need it.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:30:36 PM EDT
Explain to this uneducated person why the blank cases are knurled near the base?
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:37:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AMUshooter10:
Wasn't that barrel under my 24x PST the other day?  

Thanks for cutting it so we can see in detail.  

This thread is full of interesting info.  Thanks!  

And I know where there is a good chrono if you need it.


Ha, that barrel was more like the one you trashed at the trijicon shoot.

If they make it past 3 loads I'll fire until they are trashed then start accuracy/velocity testing with a new batch.

I wouldn't even feel bad if a blank-out round took out your chrono, it would make for a good video.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:40:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:
Explain to this uneducated person why the blank cases are knurled near the base?


Honestly I'm not sure, maybe to visually identify the casing if you cannot see the crimp?

I know on the old 7.62 match ammo it was to identify the round as "Not for combat use".

Because it was frowned upon back then shooting people with match bullets IIRC?

I plan on trying to call Lake City tomorrow and seeing what they say, I looked all over for their email and only found the ATK corporate ones.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:49:10 PM EDT
Interesting.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 9:59:31 PM EDT
Pretty interesting thread. I doubt I will ever do it because I dont have a supply of blanks and enough people leave good brass at my ranges that I always come home with way more than I shot. That and case prep is the bane of my reloading existance.

Most .50 blank brass I have ever picked up from my tanks have had the rose crimp completely blown out so it looked like live brass. If you just fire it all off it should blow out the crimp and be a straight case mouth like regular. At least straight enough that it will feed into a resizer die and work it self out. Ive done that with many a .308 and .223 case that someone stepped on or an HK91 gave a healthy ding to.
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 10:12:37 PM EDT
For those who are too scared to load 55,000 PSI 223 loads with blank brass, you could still cut them down to 300 Blackout length and load 220 grain bullets to sub-sonic velocity:

That load only produces about 21,000 PSI - which is less than half of what 223 loads typically produce.

And it has been done before:  http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/361422_Can_5_56_blanks_be_cut_down_and_loaded_into_300_Blackout_.html
Link Posted: 1/30/2012 10:13:58 PM EDT
For those who are too scared to load 55,000 PSI 223 loads with blank brass, you could still cut them down to 300 Blackout length and load 220 grain bullets to sub-sonic velocity:

That load only produces about 21,000 PSI - which is less than half of what 223 loads typically produce.

And it has been done before:  http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/361422_Can_5_56_blanks_be_cut_down_and_loaded_into_300_Blackout_.html
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 7:53:40 PM EDT
Ok, so this is the third firing of these converted blank cases after loading with live components.

They were loaded with 25.0gr of WC844, a CCI 41, and a 62gr M855 bullet. (26.0gr of WC844 for the first two)

Overall I am 100% satisfied with how they turned out so far.

Here are the pictures of them after today's firing.




They all survived for the most part, except one that has started to develop a split in the neck.





Case length shrunk after firing to an average of 1.748" again.





After sizing and trimming, the crack is barely visible.



The ring is still on the base, and another is starting to develop a very slight ring too.



But have no fear, I just got my handy separation gage back from calibration and none of the cases show separation yet.



Loaded up again.



So to recap, I have one case with a starting to split neck, and two cases developing a weird ring at their base.



And since the subject was brought up of brass changing over the years I cut one of each of all I had.



They look just like the others, these are LC02, LC04, LC05, LC06, LC07, LC08, and LC09.



Somebody mentioned 7.62/308 brass, I'm not ready to try that yet, but here is two cut open.



And now onto the documentation...  Has anybody actually ever called ATK, Olin, Lake City, or anybody with any technical knowledge on this subject?

Well I tried today.  It started out with me calling Sierra Bulletsmiths, I figured if anybody had heard of any wild things it might be them.

I had a nice conversation with Rich about the 5.56 blank brass.  He didn't know about 5.56 brass, but he shot with a guy who would make wildcat rounds out of the 7.62 blank brass and the guy loved it.

Rich said that working up slow and watching for problems would be the prefect way to test it out. He also sent me in the direction of Olin Brass.

I called Olin Brass Mill and spoke with Jim, he admitted to not knowing anything about the metallurgy or construction of the brass cases they made, but gave me the name of a guy named Mark.

I called Mark at Olin as well, and spoke briefly with him about the M200 blank brass and its construction.  He couldn't say for sure about if its the same as standard brass, but gave me another name and number to call.

So then I called Dave, he is the director of sales for Olin Brass Mill.  We talked for a little bit and he said that all the brass cups they supply to LC is exactly the same.

Its all made of Alloy 260, a 70% copper 30% zinc blend.  He said they produce all the brass cups for everyone that makes .223/5.56 brass in the country.

Basically each mfg buys their cups and finishes them in their own way, hornady does this, Remington that, ect.

He was interested in my idea to make live ammo from blank brass, and didn't see a problem if I stayed within the specification for regular rifle brass and worked up a load.

He said I should call Lake City and ask to talk to a technician and ask if the production of blank brass is any different than regular rifle brass, since they put out 5 million rounds a day, they should know.

I then tried to call Lake City, and got the operator three times and every time I was transferred I got disconnected.

But I did get an email address and was able to email my question to one of the technicians, if I get a reply I'll post it.

So basically, everything I have been finding is that blank brass is exactly the same material as rifle brass, it just sounds like its left long to add the crimp and the knurl is added to the casing.




Funny thing about the knurl or cannelure, people say that's where its going to tear apart.



If that's the case I doubt the military would have put one on their 50,000 PSI match rounds.



I'll update tomorrow with the 4th firing on these converted blank cases.
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 8:32:04 PM EDT
Nice
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 8:34:06 PM EDT
great thread and great work. this should put some of the nay sayers to rest.
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 8:34:47 PM EDT
Crickets? Laffin! Funny how quiet things are when the proof is right there.

Will a small base die take the bulge away that has developed?
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 9:25:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2012 9:26:15 PM EDT by garyd]
But How can that be. "everybody" knows that blank brass is made from different material.  I read that right hear on this very board.  As a matter of fact I believe this very thread.  It is completely irrelevant what information the OP has found.  Because guys on the internet heard there cousins uncle best friends sisters nephew who reloads say that the brass is different, and I believe them.

Sarcasm off.

OP excellent work up and research.  I love it when someone actually proves that some people will believe anything they hear someone say.  But will continue to believe it even  with contrary proof looking them right between the eyes.
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 9:25:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 9:36:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By boomfab:
I tried this with a 7.62 LC blank a long time ago.  Didn't work too well as the 7.62 blank neck thickness was very excessive.


The 762 brass I sectioned and measured showed no difference in thickness. If you want to go to .0001 of an inch you could say there was, but in the brass I measured there was no difference.

This is a good thread. I hope it keeps rolling for a while.

Link Posted: 1/31/2012 9:40:12 PM EDT
As my earlier posts and my subsequent PMs to you indicate, it's not something that you want to do lightly.

The case head area isn't the main consern, it's the radiused part blending into the side of the body where you want to measure.

Another issue that I came across in the .gov TM is the weight of the brass cases, when trimmed to equal lengths.

The M200 weighs 107grs as per the TM, there are 7 grains of propellant and then the primer...so 107-7 minus the weight of the primer and any sealant on that primer.

Trim the blanks, remove any primer crimps and then compare them to your LC brass that you have, which has been prepped in the exact manner and see what weight differences you find.

You can also do a water test and fill them with water (leave in a fired primer to make things equal) and then measure the weight of the water for case capacity.  If they're equal, then there's your answer.

Chris
Link Posted: 1/31/2012 11:38:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2012 11:38:31 PM EDT by WI57]
Originally Posted By ChrisGarrett:
As my earlier posts and my subsequent PMs to you indicate, it's not something that you want to do lightly.

The case head area isn't the main consern, it's the radiused part blending into the side of the body where you want to measure.

Another issue that I came across in the .gov TM is the weight of the brass cases, when trimmed to equal lengths.

The M200 weighs 107grs as per the TM, there are 7 grains of propellant and then the primer...so 107-7 minus the weight of the primer and any sealant on that primer.

Trim the blanks, remove any primer crimps and then compare them to your LC brass that you have, which has been prepped in the exact manner and see what weight differences you find.

You can also do a water test and fill them with water (leave in a fired primer to make things equal) and then measure the weight of the water for case capacity.  If they're equal, then there's your answer.

Chris


This is what I need, a respectful direction on where to go next.  Thank You.

I fired these new blanks, and trimmed off the crimp, then I mixed them up with a few assorted other brass, sized/deprimed them all, and ran them through my trimmer.
(Of course I don't have any LC04 actual 5.56 brass to test)
 

Here are the results...


My lucky 175gr SMK.



Blank LC04.



Blank LC04.



Blank LC04.



5.56 LC07.



5.56 LC10.



5.56 LC09.



223 RP.



223 Large FC. (and I was starting to think heavier was better...)



223 PMC.



223 small fc.



Chris, when you say the "radiused part blending into the side of the body" is where I want to measure, do you mean the sides of the case above the web?

If so I'm not sure how to do that accurately and does it matter that much since there is the chamber on each side of the brass when its fired.

Its getting too late to do the water test, and I'm busy tomorrow night, so Thursday evening is the earliest I can check their capacity.
Link Posted: 2/1/2012 12:04:44 AM EDT
OUTSTANDING!  Many thanks to you shivering for science.

Why does everyone know that blanks have less metal than regular cartridges?  B/c our grandpas told us that.  Why did they tell us that?  Why, they believed it was true.  Why MIGHT it have been true in our grandpas' day?  The 2nd WW & brass shortages, perhaps.  Why didn't anyone notice the change?  B/c folks like WI57 are few & far between, and without a forum to post in, they become gunwriters.  And gunwriters are paid by industry to praise the products of industry.  And industry doesn't like it when you buy the cheap stuff & make the expensive good stuff - so the gunwriters never reported it...

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 2/1/2012 5:14:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2012 5:50:44 PM EDT
To sum things up, they seem to weigh 'the same' as regular old LC and/or RP/commercial, so one can assume that if the outside dimensions are constant, the insides should be close, but your case heads (part surrounding the primer pocket) are pretty beefy in your initial photos, so that might account for some weight that isn't found (stregthening) in the web area, but now I'm picking nits.

Follow the case body down from the neck, as it starts to round into the head, that's the web area.  It can be a week spot.

Here's a chart I snatched from someplace:



Good job and an informative post to say the least.

Chris
Link Posted: 2/1/2012 7:33:38 PM EDT
Ok, Just fired them again.  Here they are after 4 firings loaded as live ammunition.

They all survived, and most of them look good still.  
(When I say survived it means they "can" be reloaded, even though I'd toss the split neck ones normally)




However I now have three with split necks, two are split pretty good.



All the heads look normal, the all black ones have the rings, and the left three are the split ones.



The rings haven't gotten any worse so I'm not sure to make of it.



They all still average 1.748" after firing again, when sized they stretch to around 1.753".



So to recap, I have two with badly cracked necks, two with odd rings, one with a minor split at the mouth, and 5 that are good.



Case heads all look good, nothing abnormal.



And ready for their fifth firing, loaded with 25.0gr of WC844, a CCI 41, and a 62gr M855 bullet.



However the split necks ones might be getting a bit out of hand, they still have neck tension, but barely.



––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––­–––––––––––-

OK, now onto last nights project continued tonight.


All the brass from the brass weigh in have been primed.



I used CCI 41's, its pretty much the only primer I use in 223/5.56 loads anymore.



They weigh an average of 3.7gr.







The first blank with a primer, 96.3gr.



Filling these with water sucks...



Filled with good old WI water it weighs 126.1gr, so it held 29.8gr of water.



The next one I didn't take a pic of with the primer, but it weighed 95.9gr primed, and filled with water weighed 125.4gr, so it held 29.5gr of water.



The third blank case with primer, 95.4gr.



And it weighs 125.3gr filled with water.



I don't think we need all the pictures of the cases primed AND water filled so I skipped the primed case pics.

The LC07 5.56 brass weighed 95.4gr with primer, 125.9gr with water, and held 30.5gr of water.



The LC10 5.56 brass weighed 96.3gr with primer, 126.4gr with water, and held 30.1gr of water.



The LC09 5.56 brass weighed 96.7gr with primer, 126.6gr with water, and held 29.9gr of water.



And honestly, if anybody else wants to see how much water a blank case hold let me know.

I'll mail you some cases, filling cases with water and weighing them sucks.




I'll fire the ten loaded blank round  off again tomorrow night.

All that survive will be fired during the daylight Friday and hopefully I can get some good pictures from the range.
 

Link Posted: 2/1/2012 8:22:58 PM EDT
I guess I don't have to wonder why you were late tonight...

The blanks have taken over your life!!!  

Sounds like you have yourself some 3 gun leave-it-lay ammo to me.  Very nice job and write up

Link Posted: 2/1/2012 8:40:55 PM EDT
Not being a gambling man I'd still bet you can double the life of your (former blank) brass by annealing it before first firing and maybe after the third firing.

Sizing work-hardening the case mouths will be very similar with your former blanks as with commercial brass.

A small base die might help with the bulges/ring above the extractor groove.
Link Posted: 2/1/2012 8:44:15 PM EDT
I'd say the research is done. Myth BUSTED!

Now go buy a BB gun but don't shoot your eye out.
Link Posted: 2/1/2012 9:30:27 PM EDT
I'll nominate making 7.62x25 out of the brass as well as 300 BLK.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 2/2/2012 12:28:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By R2point0:
I'll nominate making 7.62x25 out of the brass as well as 300 BLK.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


That would be cool

Link Posted: 2/2/2012 6:17:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:
Explain to this uneducated person why the blank cases are knurled near the base?


The documentation (mainly the operator's TM) states that the knurling is for tactile identification - you should be able to feel the knurling even if you can't see the case, though I don't know why that is more effective than feeling the rosette crimp at the mouth.

I am impressed at the durability of those former blank cases.  My points earlier were not about the material, but about how the cases are treated during the manufacturing process.  Blanks don't need the same elasticity at the shoulder and neck as live rounds do, so there is no real reason to anneal the cases the same way as live cases.  This may explain the neck splits you have experienced.  If you're going to the trouble of cutting down and reforming these cases, you might want to anneal the next batch and see how the necks behave.
Link Posted: 2/2/2012 7:19:44 PM EDT
If you're going to the trouble of cutting down and reforming these cases, you might want to anneal the next batch and see how the necks behave.


His goal was to make "shoot it and leave it brass".
All the reloading in this thread was to prove the internet commandos wrong.
Annealing the brass would be a waste of time.
Not mad, just saying.

Link Posted: 2/2/2012 7:48:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2012 8:03:20 PM EDT by WI57]
Ok, this was the 5th firing, and the brass is starting to look nasty.

I'm resisting the urge to wet SS tumble the brass for the sake of science.
 

Here they all are, the sharpie is so I can ID the ones with problems.



I have 6 with splitting necks now, the 4 from before are really bad, and two new ones.



All the heads look fine, no leaking or warping.



The two with the shiny ring at their base never got any worse.



I have 4 remaining brass that I would consider good enough to load, but I'm shooting all 10 tomorrow to finish them off.



I have inspected every case with my separation tool, I'll cut them all up and see what they look like inside anyways.



Again, they average 1.748" after firing.



After sizing and trimming the cracks are barely noticeable.



Primer pockets look normal, dirty but normal.



Loaded up for their final show, now the cracked necks stand out.







I guess they have enough web at the base to prevent a blowout.  They haven't shown any signs of failing yet.



Tomorrow I am going to try to hit the range with some accuracy loads made from blank brass.

Going to try some 69gr and 77gr SMK's over varget and see what I can get for groups.

I'll try to get AMUshooter10's chronograph so I can do so chrono testing.

Stand by for Friday nights final testing of the original 10 and the accuracy test results.


Oh, and as a disclaimer, if you try this please load at your own risk, start low and work up like any new brass.



ETA- I forgot to add, I called all over trying to find anybody that knows anything about the 5.56mm M200 blank cartridge and how its made.

First I called Lake City again, they guy running the phones must hate me because I was disconnected twice after asking to talk to someone in Small Arms Munitions or a technician.

Then I figured I'd try Picatinny Arsenal, that was a swing and a miss.  The lady I spoke with had no clue what I was asking about.

She transferred me to some guy I couldn't understand who gave me a 4 digit code to talk to some Small Arms guys and those guys didn't have a clue about the blank either.

Then I tried Radford Army Ammunition Plant, left two messages with a guy who will probably never call me back.

As a last ditch effort I emailed TACOM Warrens and hopefully they can point me in the right direction of where to look for info about how the blank is made.

Whew...
Link Posted: 2/2/2012 7:53:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GHPorter:
The documentation (mainly the operator's TM) states that the knurling is for tactile identification - you should be able to feel the knurling even if you can't see the case, though I don't know why that is more effective than feeling the rosette crimp at the mouth.

I am impressed at the durability of those former blank cases.  My points earlier were not about the material, but about how the cases are treated during the manufacturing process.  Blanks don't need the same elasticity at the shoulder and neck as live rounds do, so there is no real reason to anneal the cases the same way as live cases.  This may explain the neck splits you have experienced.  If you're going to the trouble of cutting down and reforming these cases, you might want to anneal the next batch and see how the necks behave.


I believe you are right, there is annealing marks on the blank brass, but it appears to be just near the top and I think its just for the rose petal crimp.

I am trying to track down a guy with an annealer locally and have a line on one to use.

I'm going to try to anneal a few and see if that makes them last longer.

But my whole intention of this was if I could make 3gun brass I could just leave lay at the stages and not worry about having to try to get my "good" brass back.
Link Posted: 2/2/2012 8:31:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2012 8:32:35 PM EDT by Meche_03]
I would not expect any difference in brass alloy or cartridge shape between normal and blank because of the huge safety problem a difference would make.

From the outside they look exactly the same when they come to the line in rolls, and they looked exactly the same when they came off the rotary presses.  One person dropping/ixing an ID card, batch card......would result in hundreds/thousands? of rounds out of spec, either with too thin and weak or too thick and stiff for the next stage of manufacturing and final pressures expected.

Much easier to make all the brass exactly the same off the initial presses.   Wash and anneal, finish pressing to shape all the same until the final trim.  Leave those designated for blank production get trimmed to a different length.  Then they can be more easily differentiated.  I would guess the blanks and normal rounds get a different  neck anneal due to their different final form.  One must be correctly sized for slight press fit for bullet retention with crimp while the blank requires the rosette press to pinch shut.  

Link Posted: 2/2/2012 8:55:01 PM EDT
I just want to chime in and say thanks to the OP for his efforts in producing this thread of quality input to this website.









Thanks.




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