Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
User Panel

Posted: 8/19/2017 8:56:48 AM EDT

I have a lot of nickel Federal .308 once-fired cases.  All of it was shot from SCARs and, although I don't know the exact spec or model of the ammo, i am 100% sure it was a high-end premium Federal load, and most likely a law enforcement load, should that make a difference.

I have run 100 of these cases through three different sizing dies, and cannot get any of them to properly fit either a Lyman or a Wilson drop-in case gauge.

Federal, Winchester, PMC, Lapua, BH, and a half dozen other "actual brass" cases fit both gauges just fine, after sizing in the same dies.

The nickel Federals do not protrude from the case gauge at the case mouth, but rather at the base.  The rim protrudes not only beyond the cut, but also beyond the edge of the gauge.  Holding one up to another brand and using my very inaccurate eyeball, the extractor groove on the Federal nickel sits a hair higher than other brands (and other brass Federals).

In my factory Rem 700, some empty cases will not allow the bolt to close at all (I can't even begin the downward stroke), while others will chamber, but with a lot of pressure required to close the bolt handle.

I have checked, re-checked, and re-checked again my seating dies (a standard Lee, a Lee collet, and an RCBS competition) and can't for the life of me figure out if its something I'm doing, or the case itself.

Again, it *appears* as though the rims/bases of the nickels are slightly thicker than everything else.

Has anyone else ever experienced this?
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 8:58:47 AM EDT
Have you used a small body die?
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 9:05:04 AM EDT
Probably a stupid question, but have you tried adjusting your die(s) down a bit for the plated cases? Might just be they need a bit more bump and the die set up for brass ain't doing it.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 11:42:29 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Might just be they need a bit more bump and the die set up for brass ain't doing it.
View Quote
This, I believe is your problem. You don't need or want a small base die, just screw the die you already own down a little more. Nickel plated brass resizes easily with less lube needed than brass alone.

Who's dies are you using and do you have it turned down a little past just touching the shell holder? Sometimes using different brand shell holders than the dies can cause tolerance stacking issues.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 11:54:50 AM EDT
I like the nickel brass for my hunting ammo. It holds up well (doesn't tarnish) in typical hunting conditions.

I'm speaking specifically .308 Win (plus a couple others).

I'm using standard RCBS dies on a Rockchucker II press adjusted for full cam over, as usual and I never have any problems.

Link Posted: 8/19/2017 12:05:17 PM EDT
#1 Clean your dies really good!  
#2 It is quite possible if the brass was not fired by you rather inherited....that the gun it came from has an oversized chamber?
#3 Nickel brass while pretty....is not a reloaders friend.  It is brittle.
#4 With a clean die screw the die down to contact with your shell holder and then lower ram.  Screw the die down 1/8 of turn more. Lock in place.  
#5 Lube a case with a good lube.
#6 Size the case.  Wipe lube off and test in gage and in your rifle the brass will be used for.

Personally, nickel plate brass in small lots ought just go in the scap bucket.

Today Federal rifle brass sucks in any form.  

Back in the middle 80's the Marine Corps rifle team from Camp Pendleton was working their way to Camp Perry.
I had Marine on my target, at the time they shot Federal Match Ammo (Federal Match Ammo at the time and Match brass was nickel plate) out of their M14's.  The Marine said I could have his brass, if I gave him some scrap brass.  By the end of the weekend, my shooting buddy and I had a haul of brass.  I gave mine to my shooting buddyl so he would have larger lot to work from.  He used that to make up match rifle ammo for his M70.
Link Posted: 8/19/2017 10:32:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:08:31 PM EDT
I bought some once fired 7.62 NATO machine gun brass. Some were stretched pretty good and others resized smoothly. I did turn down the die further in so the brass was worked a bit more but would now fit in my Lyman .308 gauge.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 6:17:49 PM EDT
Turn the case around backwards, can the head enter the case gauge backwards?  

I had a lot of brass that wouldn't enter the gauge because of a bad extractor, had very slightly deformed the rims, leaving a little bur.

I ran one over a file, removing the bur, and validated that the sizing did was set up properly. Then I loaded them up as practice ammo, and shoot that lot when I go to the indoor,  "if it hits the floor it's ours" range
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 11:14:57 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History

Today Federal rifle brass sucks in any form.  
View Quote
I will be the first to admit it would seem you have much more knowledge and experience with reloading and precision shooting than myself. However, FC brass, particularly in .308 has been my go to for a while. It has given me great consistency and accuracy. Plus I can go to any range and stock up for free. Sure it's no Lapua but, I am curious as to why you say it sucks?
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 1:16:00 PM EDT
Close Join Our Mail List to Stay Up To Date! Win a FREE Membership!

Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!

You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement. *Must have a registered ARFCOM account to win.
Top Top