View Full Version : 7.62x51 MilSurp: Reloadable?

May 22, 2001, 12:40
Is there such a thing? Any recommendations?

[ August 10, 2001: Message edited by: EMDII ]

Blood of Tyrants
May 22, 2001, 12:57
I think Hirtenburger is boxer primed.

May 22, 2001, 18:57
Hirtenberger is boxer primed, but it's not a case of just popping out the old primer, popping in a new one and reloading the case. You have to remove the 3-point primer crimp before repriming. I consider it a good idea to drill the flash holes to .082" which is the US standard; some are so small that the decapping pin will stick in them when depriming. It would be prudent to trim them to a standard minimum length. You will notice when depriming/sizing that the amount of force it takes to pull the neck over the sizing ball varies considerably, if your lot is like mine. This indicates an uneven neck tension, which isn't good. In short, it's not match brass, nor the best choice for reloading.

Lake City brass that I've used exhibits none of these problems, but most of it has been fired in full auto weapons and is, shall we say, a "tad stretched". I'd recommend buying it in lots that have not been resized, but have had the primer pockets reamed. Careful resizing (not overdoing it) will give good servicable brass, but it still should be checked to see if it needs trimming. Hope this helps.

May 22, 2001, 20:36
Thanks, Sidl!

May 22, 2001, 22:18
I've had no problem reloading Hirtenburger. I do ream out the flash holes as mentioned above, as the holes are smaller than U.S. manufactured cases. For what it's worth, I haven't noticed any difference in performance from reamed flash holes and un-reamed. I tried both, but now ream them all out for consistency's sake.

May 22, 2001, 22:36
I may be wrong but I thought that all boxer primed NATO standard was reloadable once the pocket was reamed.

Also I have heard that because the brass is thicker than civillian stuff you have to charge with a bit less powder. Any truth to this?

May 22, 2001, 23:00
There is no reason why boxer primed brass would not be reloadable. You may have to work on it as has been outlined in this thread. For that matter, Berdan primed brass is reloadable too. It is just a little more frustrating that Boxer. Ask anyone who shoots 7.5 French. :(

You heard right about the military brass being thicker. If you are using a reloading manual, you want to start at the lightest loading and work your way up. If you are starting with a known load for comercial brass, reduce the charge by 10% and work your way up.

Originally posted by recce:
<STRONG>I may be wrong but I thought that all boxer primed NATO standard was reloadable once the pocket was reamed.

Also I have heard that because the brass is thicker than civillian stuff you have to charge with a bit less powder. Any truth to this?</STRONG>

May 22, 2001, 23:41
Thanks Phil.

June 01, 2001, 14:38
What's involved in removing the primer crimp?

June 01, 2001, 14:45
I tried to reload Hirt, but gave up after the press worked me over. My batch was HARD. It was slow going, and I decided that I'd be further along to just buy some USGI cases, or just shoot surplus non-reloadable. Every once in a while one would cycle in the resizer, and I'd think 'now that's more like it'. Every time it was a Cavim that I'd inadvertantly picked up. Hirt is decent ammo, but I don't consider it reloadable.


June 01, 2001, 20:20
But the people selling it to you do. Chasing after boxer surplus isn't worth the trouble or expense IMHO. I buy berdan by the case and leave it lie. If you need boxer, buy USGI fired, especially if you can get it from one of the matches. Even if not match brass, it's been fired thru an M1A or Garand.

June 01, 2001, 20:40
You might be suprised by what your local sheriff's department uses.

I get about 80% of my loadable military surplus from from my local sheriff. Contact the sheriff that is the designated "shooting instructor". They usually have to clean up the range, and he would probably appreciate the help in cleaning it up.

I get a ton of 45's, 308's, 223's, 9mm, and 38 specials. They're all once-fired and, where it applies, US military surplus.

Although they don't ask for it, I usually reload a couple thousand 38 specials and 308's for their once-a-month shoots.

June 01, 2001, 22:34
RufasG: There are several ways to remove the primer crimp; a hand held deburring tool (it's intended for deburring case mouths inside and out after trimming) will do, but it's time consuming and tedious. Dillon sells a unit for about $80 that some claim is the best of those that remove the crimp by swaging instead of actually removing metal; don't know, haven't used one. RCBS also has a swaging tool that works on their smaller presses that sells for about $20. If you happen to have the RCBS "Trim Mate Case Prep Center" they offer a "military crimp remover" (one for large, one for small)that is fast and simple. You could just buy the tool (about $12) and chuck it in a power screwdriver or drill. It's the least expensive and most efficient I've found to date.

BTW, I've found that LC surplus brass doesn't raise pressures when using the same charge weights of H335, Re12, Accurate 2200 and Accurate 2520 used in Federal brass. Check it out in your rifle; you may be surprised. Start low, of course. Also, my batch of Hirtenberger apparently doesn't meet NATO specs; no little "+" on it... Velocity is about 2705 fps, which may be a tad low...

June 01, 2001, 23:34
My thinking on reloading, check your head space, it should be SAMMI, if it's NATO fix it. I don't reload import shit, but I have saved some Veneslanian. Some quality of brass is better than others. Quality of brass is mixed 60/40, we can check later if necessary. Brass is a commodity for third world countries - they use as little as possible to make it pliable; ie: one step up from steel. Lake City Brass is very good, it's mil-spec NATO, WOW wooop de do, but the only time you would need it is for a NATO spec chamber, different book. Yes mil-spec brass is thicker, outer dimension is the same, but the internal dimension is smaller, you need to reduce the charge. Now the primer pocket - don't ream or cut it, I went through that shit - I cut a bunch of 223 brass and the cut left a burr; now and again I would get a crunch when I tried to seat the primer - that would leave the anvil displaced. I had alot of misfires. Once they were reloaded it was fine, the burr was removed. Anyway, if anybodies got any particular questions or anything I could get into this one in depth.

June 02, 2001, 02:32
I use the RCBS primer pocket swaging set on a Rock Chucker bolted to a fairly heavy work bench. It has removed the primer pocket crimp from thousands of .223/5.56, .45 ACP, a few thousand .308/7.62 and maybe 2,000 Lake City and other U.S. military .30-06 cases. No problems, no burr around the pocket. Slightly tedious, but so is case trimming. I definitely got my $20.00 worth from them. Thanks for the suggestion, SidL, I will motorize my crimp removing post haste!

Some of us poor folks would never have gotten to go shooting very much if it wasn't for reloading. I never knew about milsurp ammo until five years ago. A few years back, you had to have an FFL to buy ammo or reloading components through the mail.

This is indeed the golden age for military rifle shooters. The rifles and the ammo, in absolute dollar terms adjusted for inflation, have never been as cheap or as plentiful as they are now, let alone as good.


June 03, 2001, 20:10
I've reloaded 400 rounds of hirtenberger cases with good results.It takes patience as the other post describe.I used 38.4 grains IMR4895 and FN surplus 147 FMJBT from Wideners.These are "powder puff" loads compared to military loadings but are sure fun to shoot.They have run flawlessly thru the first 250 and the gas setting was 6.Accuracy is less then full power,but 3 inches at 100 yards in my austrian is more than adequate for my purposes,I shot 5 shots today offhand in slightly less than 5 seconds inside 6 inches at 50 yards.I LOVE THE FAL. :D

Master Blaster
June 08, 2001, 10:04
CAVIM is boxer primed and reloadable. It is a little dirty as issued, but the brass is fine to work with once prepared. I've used the same cases several times with good results. :D

booger hooker
June 08, 2001, 18:55
I have a case of the French Giat ammo that is machine gun linked and on the outside of the boxes it says that it's boxer primed. I was surprised that this ammo sent to Uganda for Idi Amin's army would be boxer primed. This ammo is hot and really makes the cans/bottles to fly into the air...practically runs to a magnet as well. He-He! This is the ammo that J & G was selling cheap 5 years ago and the wooden crates marked for the Ugandan Army are fun novelty items to show others.