View Full Version : 223 brass very 'sooty'

April 24, 2007, 21:00
I bought a whole bunch of Federal X193 55gr 'factory' mil surp with the expectation of reloading the fired brass. When picking it up off the floor of the range I was surprised to see how dirty the brass cases were. Not mud or anything like that, but 'soot' kinda dirt. If this was a pistol case I would be thinking that there wasn't enough pressure in the round to fully seal the brass in the chamber at the moment of ignition. Wondering if it was just a Federal 'thing' I bought some American Eagle and UMC 223. Same thing.

Is this normal ? If not, what would be the cause ?

The gun in question is a brand new Stag Arms AR15. Its the first 223 I have owned, so this might be a well known thing, but I couldn't find any other discussion about it on the web.

Thanks !


[edited for spelling]

April 24, 2007, 23:08
It does should like the brass is not fully sealing the chamber at the neck/shoulder intersection. How does the primer look? Is it backed out a little? If its backed out a little that is a sign of low pressure. Get a box something else and see if you have the same issue (not steel cased either!).

April 26, 2007, 10:16
I agree with trying another brand, Winchester preferred, white box if available.
I'd be interested in Chronometer readings if one were available. Might be a batch of brass "a bit stiff in the neck".

April 27, 2007, 20:55
Thanks Gary.

When the same thing happens with Federal, American Eagle and Remington UMC then it's a gun thing, not an ammo thing. I was wondering if the chamber had a fault, but if you have seen it on other guns, then it's no longer something to wonder about...

April 27, 2007, 22:18
Gary's right. Its not that uncommon. A lot of M1 carbines smoke the brass as well as AR15's

Bubba FAL
April 30, 2007, 17:23
I assume you are describing soot along the case body and not localized to the neck. If so, don't worry - it's the normal result of the AR sh*tting where it eats. With a clean rifle/chamber, the first dozen or so cases will come out reasonably clean. Fired cases come out progressively dirtier after that. This phenomenon varies based upon the propellant used, as well as other factors.

No problem, cases clean up just fine in the tumbler, ready for the next round.

May 01, 2007, 08:28
My G3 soot's the sh*t out of the cases--friggin soot stripes.

Made the mistake of getting the far rightmost lane at the range saturday. My cases eject forward and to the right----into short brush and tall weeds and shiz....only recovered a couple out of 60.....won't do that again.:redface:

Dave Dude

May 01, 2007, 15:59
Check up on cautions with reloading the federal cases. Some people have had problems with the cases rupturing at the bases because of them being softer or thinner brass than other brands. This is more of an issue with auto loaders than bolt rifles because there is more stretching of the cases when the action opens still under slight pressure to cycle.

May 01, 2007, 19:53
Bubba FAL said: "I assume you are describing soot along the case body and not localized to the neck."

Not so. The 'soot' is localized to the neck and shoulder area. Like I said, if it wasn't factory ammo I would be suspecting that the powder wasn't generating enough pressure to expand the brass enough to seal the neck.


May 02, 2007, 09:06
Was it moly coated ammo? Any brass I shoot with moly coated bullets tends to be real sooty and will not tumble off very well. Still shoots and loads well though.

May 02, 2007, 15:45
Nope, just regular ammo. I would show a photo, but I tumbled it all off.. Maybe next time.