Lake City .223 brass vs production date

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Sieg, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Sieg

    Sieg

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    Thanks, appreciate the confirmation/confidence.
     
  2. searcher

    searcher Gold $$ Contributor

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    I wouldn't go so far as recycling the "jab staked" LC brass - it is just that the round crimp is my preference. Once loaded - they all shoot with same if not similar performance. Also - while I love Lapua brass for match shooting, If you sort the LC by year and turn the necks, it is fully capable (if your rifle is) of producing sub-.10" groups - as I have fired a number of them in a factory-barreled (no less) Remington 700 Varmint which only had skim bedding and a Jewell trigger as mods. Great performance out of an M-1A in the .308 version as well. Too bad LC doesn't make brass for most target cartridges.
     
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  3. Sieg

    Sieg

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    Thanks again searcher, much appreciated.

    So in the last few days I've vibe tumbled this collection and have it roughly sorted.
    [​IMG]
    Approximately 80% is LC and 15% WCC.

    My Lab isn't overly entertained with the cleaning and sorting process.
    [​IMG]

    Now the real planning, work, and fun begins.
     
  4. rebs

    rebs Silver $$ Contributor

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    Once in a while Graf and Sons has brand new virgin LC brass for a great price. I bought 1000 pieces all the same head stamp year. LC is all I use for AR's and bolt rifles.
     
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  5. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Brass-My personal experience

    Blue* - Remanufactured LC brass, short life. Watch for neck splits. Load no more then 100 at a time. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?390230-Cracked-brass

    LC/Nato head stamp made fast and cheap. May skip 1 0r 2 annealings (Harder Brass). Made to be fired 1 time.

    Red* - New brass annealed at factory correctly. Long life. Said to be Winchester?

    Black Hills make excellent ammo. Good stuff.

    My personal experience & photo*.. Brass needs neck turned or use a bushing die & anneal. 20191108_075105.jpg

    cracked brass.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    The 100 i picked up, 98 had neck cracks after the first reload. Watched a guy fire it , using a Ruger Mini 14 .

    Very bad donut when sizing with standard die. Over worked brass?

    Normalapua.jpg


    The early PMC was better then current brass. PMC 001_zps2eniyvqh.JPG.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  7. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

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    Chambers and dies vary in size and you have no control over how far your necks expand. But you can control how much the die reduces the neck diameter and then expands it.

    You can have Forster hone the neck of the die to your desired diameter "IF" you think it over works the brass. I have not had any of my Forster dies necks honed by Forster because they did not need it.

    Are Your Sizing Dies Overworking Your Rifle Brass?

    http://www.massreloading.com/dies_overworking_brass.html

    Table 2 - Inside Diameter Measurements for 5 different sizing dies
    [​IMG]

    Below just some of the type and brands of my .223 dies and they all vary in size. Example my Lee full length die will reduce the neck and body diameter more than my RCBS small base die will.

    [​IMG]

    Lake City 5.56 cases are better than Remington, Winchester and many other brands. Look at the Lake City case weight variations and case capacity below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And Lake City cases are made of the hardest brass. And bulk once fired 5.56 brass is a fraction of the cost of new brass.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. rammac

    rammac

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    I'm a bit confused Uncle Ed.

    How is it that Lake City (LC) brass can have the thickest web AND the greatest volume?

    Also, if the web is thicker then the brass has to weigh more.

    That thicker web has to take up some of the usable volume. So if LC brass is thicker at the web, then it has to weigh more but it has to have less usable volume.
     
  9. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

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    During the 1968 Congressional hearings on the M16 jamming problem it was found that one of the problems was soft brass.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The 5.56 cases are made of a harder grade brass in the right places and not thicker brass. And using the harder brass adds to its case capacity.
     
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  10. rammac

    rammac

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    Wait a minute, I'm quoting you, you said that the web at the head was thicker on the LC brass (you even posted a picture). If it's thicker at the web then the volume has to be less than other brass.
     
  11. Sieg

    Sieg

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    I have over 4k pieces of custom head stamped brass from a company in Central Oregon that produced very good shooting 55g Vmax .223. Decided to perform an autopsy on it today and the web looks promising.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Uncle Ed

    Uncle Ed

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    I stated the flash hole web was thicker as you can see in the photo of that make case. This adds radial strength to the base of the case and longer primer pocket life. And since the brass is harder the case side wall do not need to be as thick.

    Bottom line, just because the flash hole web is thicker doesn't mean the total case weight increases. Simple solution, pick up some different brands of .223/5.56 brass and weigh them yourself.

    I could have told you the military mixes Viagra into the brass to make it harder but I didn't know how gullible you are or how hard headed.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    LC Brass -

    NO. Not with mixed head stamps, even marked with the same year. If ammo is of the same lot, from same box, then it may be ok. Range brass thats sorted by year and weight is a waste of time. Imo. :)

    Scamp markings
    Some US GI cartridge cases are run on SCAMP (Small Caliber Ammunition Modernization Program) lines. This is HIGH speed cartridge case making equipment. Several lines of SCAMP machinery may be used to run cases thru out the year, or on the same lot/year of ammo. Those dots identify which SCAMP line. 24 stations are used on the SCAMP machines, Shoot the LC brass till the necks split, then recycle it. Its not match grade brass. Screenshot_20170211-205501.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  14. gilream

    gilream

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    Uncle Ed, thanks for the great information. I have bought a couple thousand once fired LC military cases in my time and for my money it is far and away the best. Cal Van Zant in his excellent PrecisionRifleBlog pointed out that his experience with Lapua .223 Match brass was like mine, far from consistent in weight. My weight variance was in the range of 2.4 %. Very disappointing considering the cost. I have a 124 piece lot of LC ’14 that runs .7% variance. The Lapua necks are thicker (.013) vs. LC ’14 (.011). I shoot a Cooper Varminter Model 21. My last two 5 shot groups with N133 and Sierra 52 gr. HPBTs were sub 1/4 inch at 100 yards. So much fun.


    The LC brass is a pain to clean and prep but once it’s done it is superior in my opinion.

    Mike
     
  15. Sieg

    Sieg

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    Thanks for the SCAMP education.

    The majority of Lake City brass I have is from Black Hills Blue Box I purchased for varmint hunting over the years, of that most is from '80-'02.

    Is the LC brass from the 70's (non-SCAMP head stamp) considered higher quality? Guessing I'll have 1K+ of '70's brass when the sorting is done.

    Either way, between the LC and Rim Rock brass it looks like I have a lifetime supply of 'decent' brass. :)
     
  16. Sieg

    Sieg

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    Fear the competitor with a Cooper 21 ;) My shooting buddy has one of the first 25 Model 21's produced and he loads a 52g Berger FB's over Varget in Lapua brass and typically shoots dime sized holes at 100y. He recently developed a trigger issue and Cooper's support and service has been beyond exceptional. Maybe I should give him some Lake City brass. :D

    Regarding cleaning...… my vibratory tumbler has been running 12 hours a day since Sunday. The once new corn media is now dark charcoal but still working. I picked up 25lbs of fine walnut media for $25 at Harbor Freight yesterday, one of the few Made in USA products you'll find at HF. :)
     
  17. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    I dont know. But how its stored seems to have an effect on case life/quality.

    Brass is close to 70/30 copper/zinc for the most part. The annealing makes the differents.

    One lot of Win Nato 5.56 ammo had case head separations in an Steyr AUG , but run fine in our M16s. The action timing made the difference. The problem was solved by doing an additional annealing. This also stress relieved the area near the case head at 400 degrees.
     
  18. Sieg

    Sieg

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    All the brass I've hoarded over 25+ years has been store inside the house so it hasn't seen extreme variables FWIW.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019

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