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Posted: 7/21/2008 10:01:02 AM EDT
I've been searching about for some LC brass and all I could find says it has "some" SAW brass mixed in. As I understand it, SAW brass may be expanded more due to the looser chambers on the machine guns and so it's harder to resize.

I use a small base die set for the first processing of once fired, and everything gets the case gauge anyway.

So what are the downsides of reloading SAW brass?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:03:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 10:16:49 AM EDT by ma96782]
Perhaps........shorter case life. YMWV.

Aloha, Mark

PS...........try thinking of it this way.

The military fires a lot of ammo at their practice range. The collected brass is dumped into a large hopper for later resale. So, it gets all mixed up.

So, the hopper gets sold at auction.

The seller can't guarantee that it's all only "rifle" brass. So, he says that there may be some "MG" brass in there. Legally, he is correct and can't be accused of FRAUD.

It's usually the same for 7.62mm brass. But, the probable percentage would be with the MGs side for 7.62 brass.


Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:41:11 AM EDT
I've always heard to full length size MG cases and get down the road. Just look for all the usual signs of case failure. SS
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 1:14:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 1:18:14 PM EDT by rg1]
With the SAW brass you'll mainly have bent rims. I found no extra effort needed to size but most every SAW case had a bent rim and dings and raised marks on the edge of the rims. I had to file the case heads flat on every SAW case and clean up dings on the edge of the rim before sizing each case. I didn't find any structural defects, just bent rims and my batch of cases with "some" SAW brass had about half and half M16 and SAW. Your lot may have a different mix.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 2:19:00 PM EDT
Dang, I don't mind the extra work resizing, but bent rims don't get it. And having to file each one? I ain't so sure about this. I was planning on ordering 3-5K but I don't much like those odds.
90% I could stand but not a 50% mix.
Guess I should call and find out what the mix is; it was at GI brass for 60/k.
Maybe I need to try brassman at 70/k.
Any other recommendations?

I keep my eye on gunbroker regularly and forgot, yes forgot to bid on 5k that was 90% lake city, the remainder being RORG and commercial. BIL and I went to the range early, I got excited and lost the big picture. It sold for $205 which I thought was a deal.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:07:49 PM EDT
Lots of "gun shop" stories about "all machine gun brass is trash" have floated around for years and years. When the Army's M60s were being shot to death without replacement barrels in the pipeline, that may have been true. This is not the case today, and hasn't been for a long time. Today, the standard belt-fed machine guns are the M240 in 7.62X51 and the M249 (SAW) in 5.56X45. Both were designed and built by FN, both are VERY WELL supported in today's military, and neither should damage the brass more than any other self-loading weapon of the same caliber due to firing.

Sometimes you'll see rim damage, and sometimes you'll see deep scratches from burs on links, but you will NOT see enormously expanded cases like the gun shop stories suggest. It's possible that you'll see cases that are a little hard to size, but that's true of any case. And it's possible that the higher chamber temperatures encountered in machine guns could affect the toughness of the brass, but all that will do is impact neck tension.

If it's a good price, go for it! I certainly would.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:13:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 10:46:21 AM EDT by ma96782]
Just because, Military "once fired" brass comes out of those large hoppers (sold at auction) and shot by various firearms in whatever condition.........it won't scare ME.

And, it's un-likely that you'll find any major brass seller who will guarantee that their brass was only shot out of Match Grade Rifles.

IF the seller was right there, that's one thing. You could check it, for the "bad rims" and whatever else.

But, most of us buy mail order (Internet) brass. We go by reputation of the seller.

So, IF you want it, buy it.

IF you don't want it, leave it.

Besides...........YMWV.

Aloha, Mark

PS.........BTW, I'd use a regular F/L sizer die, NOT a SB sizer die. That's ME.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:48:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 6:54:00 PM EDT by rg1]
I agree with the above and stated that the brass was "sound" and the dealer of the brass is reliable and reputable but the lot of "some SAW brass mixed in" that I got was at least half SAW brass and each an every SAW case had bent rims from extraction in the SAW. I wouldn't reload it without repairing the case head bent rim. A friend ordered from the same lot a few weeks later and his mix was about the same as mine with bent rims.. Just wanted a fellow reloader to know what he MIGHT be getting.
While SAW weapons may not damage brass at all, this lot of brass was fired from one or some that did bend the rims on extraction.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 4:34:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rg1:
I agree with the above and stated that the brass was "sound" and the dealer of the brass is reliable and reputable but the lot of "some SAW brass mixed in" that I got was at least half SAW brass and each an every SAW case had bent rims from extraction in the SAW. I wouldn't reload it without repairing the case head bent rim. A friend ordered from the same lot a few weeks later and his mix was about the same as mine with bent rims.. Just wanted a fellow reloader to know what he MIGHT be getting.
While SAW weapons may not damage brass at all, this lot of brass was fired from one or some that did bend the rims on extraction.
It sounds very much like this particular source gets his brass from a unit that isn't too keen on cleaning and maintenance. A SAW shouldn't "normally" screw up rims. If it does, it's because it's not adjusted properly or the chamber is dirty, or some other "out of the ordinary" situation.
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