The FAL Files  

Go Back   The FAL Files > Weapons Discussion > Ammunition

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 13, 2018, 19:18   #1
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
.308 Reloading Issues

I've been reloading .308 to feed a SCAR and FAL for the past year using once fired
LC, CBB and WCC brass. After using the RCBS X-Die successfully for .223 and .308,
I have been have a hard time resizing .308 brass to spec using both a regular RCBS
and RCBS SB X-Die.

Using the standard .308 FL die, about 1/2 the brass would not pass the headspace
using a .308 gauge. So I bought a RCBS SB X-Die, trimmed to 0.020" under
max 2.015"., set the X-Die, and resized. No problems occurred other than
the case lube, Hornady One Shot, is crap. This stuff needs to be applied about
5 times to prevent the brass sticking in the sizing die. The Dillon lube works much better IMHO.

After firing the brass in the SCAR or FAL, I can't seem to consistently full length size
the brass, now that is fired 2 times. The stem on the X-Die has been bent a few times
from off center primer holes. When I try the standard RCBS full length die, after lowering
the die as far as possible, I still can't get some of the brass to resize to spec.

I have not had this problem with .223 and 30.06 and not sure exactly what the
issue is. The FAL beats up the brass somewhat and I am wondering if the dented
brass cannot be resized properly? The chamber on the SCAR is tight FWIW.

Which .308 dies do the Files use?

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 19:20   #2
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
took some of the out-of-spec cartridges to range. The good news is that all the rounds chambered,
fired and had decent accuracy using the FAL and SCAR.

Unfortunately, had a jam on the FAL and had to pick out a broken case and discovered a case head
separation. Hmmmmm, what's going on here? So I chambered another round, fired it and
a second case head separation occurred.

I have had a few case head separations in the FAL but I thought it was isolated to PMC brass
which stretches with each firing. I shot up all my PMC reloads and tossed the brass.



I kept shooting and didn't have any more problems in both the FAL and SCAR. Since the front
part of the case does not stay in the chamber and is actually ejected, I am guessing this
problem occurs when the case is extracted.

Since all the previous case head separations occurred in FAL and not the SCAR, and that
the extraction on the FAL is somewhat severe, tossing the brass 15 feet at a 30 degree
angle to the front, more of the same will occur in the future as the brass is fired multiple
times in the FAL

The brass in question is twice fired WCC 10.

I have seen the same problem occur in a M1-A FWIW. So I am wondering if this is a symptom
of .308 semi-autos. The powder selection may exacerbate the issue. This problem has only
occurred using BL-C2 and TAC but not with Varget.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 20:02   #3
maxaks
Registered
Contributor
 
FALaholic #: 76002
Join Date: May 2015
Location: nowhere
Posts: 1,138
I used to use a plain Jane hornady doe set. After I got a supermatch i switched to a small base Redding die set. With the hornady I was not getting 100% chambering. I've heard if you have rough machine gun brass to take out your ball and decapping pin out your 30.06 sizing die and size with it first

That all I got good luck
maxaks is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 20:12   #4
Tuscan Raider
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 19668
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 5,344
RCBS FL. Have you done the paper clip test
on some of your brass? Thought case head
separations were a headspace problem.

Make your own lube. Lanolin and 99% alcohol.
__________________
"An eye for an eye makes us all blind."

Ghandi

"We, here in America, hold in our hands the hopes of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men."

Theodore Roosevelt
Address at Carnegie Hall
March 30, 1912
Tuscan Raider is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 20:13   #5
wanneroo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 74891
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Tioga County, PA
Posts: 1,343
Was this brass first fired in a machine gun?

I've had machine gun fired brass that was stretched all to hell and I always do the paperclip test on that brass and find plenty that have case separation on their way.

A few years ago about 10 rounds into my first resizing ever of 308, I totally seized a case up in an RCBS die with Hornady One Shot. Not impressed with that stuff. Dillon spray lube or Redding wax only.

Also in the end bought Redding dies and much happier with the results.
wanneroo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 20:58   #6
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Was this brass first fired in a machine gun?

I've had machine gun fired brass that was stretched all to hell and I always do the paperclip test on that brass and find plenty that have case separation on their way.

A few years ago about 10 rounds into my first resizing ever of 308, I totally seized a case up in an RCBS die with Hornady One Shot. Not impressed with that stuff. Dillon spray lube or Redding wax only.

Also in the end bought Redding dies and much happier with the results.
Thanks for the info guys. The brass was once fired from a commercial vendor
so it could very well been shot in 7.62x51 belt fed MG.

Hornady 1 Shot works ok in .223 but suck balls in .308. I will only use
Dillon lube from now on.

I am guessing that I may continue to have problems if I keep using the
RCBS X-Die, but that is just a feeling.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 21:11   #7
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuscan Raider View Post
RCBS FL. Have you done the paper clip test
on some of your brass? Thought case head
separations were a headspace problem.

Make your own lube. Lanolin and 99% alcohol.
I will do the paper clip test in a day or 2 when I get some time. I am
wondering if my FAL has out of spec. headspace.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2018, 21:30   #8
meltblown
Registered
Bronze Contributor
 
FALaholic #: 34604
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: SA Tx
Posts: 13,588
Tighten the the stem on the primer pin. No way that a 308 die isn't going to bump the shoulder. You sure about the sizer caliber?
__________________
Giving people the benefit of the means itís ok to screw you over.

Expect the worst, and you'll never be disappointed.

Before trying to beat the odds, make sure you can survive the odds beating you.
meltblown is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2018, 02:18   #9
Tuscan Raider
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 19668
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 5,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_spambo View Post
Thanks for the info guys. The brass was once fired from a commercial vendor
so it could very well been shot in 7.62x51 belt fed MG.

Hornady 1 Shot works ok in .223 but suck balls in .308. I will only use
Dillon lube from now on.

I am guessing that I may continue to have problems if I keep using the
RCBS X-Die, but that is just a feeling.

Spambo
Commercial vendor.

Found the problem.
__________________
"An eye for an eye makes us all blind."

Ghandi

"We, here in America, hold in our hands the hopes of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men."

Theodore Roosevelt
Address at Carnegie Hall
March 30, 1912
Tuscan Raider is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2018, 06:26   #10
ArtBanks
Veteran Member
Platinum Contributor
 
ArtBanks's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 28761
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Preston, CT
Posts: 1,432
If you are using a standard .308 die and sizing to .308 headspace, you could be working your brass too hard. Firing in a 7.62 NATO chamber can stretch your brass. It may only be a few thou, but it can make a big difference in a short time. Try setting the shoulder back a little less. RCBS lube 2 seems to work better for me than any of the others. Are you lubing the interior of the neck? Are you removing all the lube before seating your projectiles? Also, scrub the heck out of your chamber.
After 50 plus years of reloading, I have had my share of case separations.
There is plenty of excellent new brass available. Skip the once fired crap and you will be well on the way to a more enjoyable experience.

Semper Fi
Art
ArtBanks is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2018, 12:56   #11
KoKodog
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 31665
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: on top of a wind swept ridge
Posts: 5,702
it is a sure bet the brass was run thru a full auto belt fed MG

the chamber on those is HUGE !

other than crushing and scrap weight ........

the only real option is to roll size first,

but you still might have separations depending on how bad the MG chamber was

if you shoot high volume a case pro would be a good investment


http://www.casepro100.com

video of a basic unit

you can buy different plates for different calibers


__________________
Far better it is to dare mighty things,
than to take refuge with those timid spirits
that know neither victory, nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Pray for peace, but prepare for war.
Winston Churchill
KoKodog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2018, 16:05   #12
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtBanks View Post
If you are using a standard .308 die and sizing to .308 headspace, you could be working your brass too hard. Firing in a 7.62 NATO chamber can stretch your brass. It may only be a few thou, but it can make a big difference in a short time. Try setting the shoulder back a little less. RCBS lube 2 seems to work better for me than any of the others. Are you lubing the interior of the neck? Are you removing all the lube before seating your projectiles? Also, scrub the heck out of your chamber.
After 50 plus years of reloading, I have had my share of case separations.
There is plenty of excellent new brass available. Skip the once fired crap and you will be well on the way to a more enjoyable experience.

Semper Fi
Art
Thanks Art. I think the SB X-Die which squeezes the OAL back into spec.
my be overworking the brass.

Lube is removed after the brass is resized. The chamber is scrubbed after
each range session.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2018, 16:45   #13
meltblown
Registered
Bronze Contributor
 
FALaholic #: 34604
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: SA Tx
Posts: 13,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtBanks View Post
If you are using a standard .308 die and sizing to .308 headspace, you could be working your brass too hard. Firing in a 7.62 NATO chamber can stretch your brass. It may only be a few thou, but it can make a big difference in a short time. Try setting the shoulder back a little less. RCBS lube 2 seems to work better for me than any of the others. Are you lubing the interior of the neck? Are you removing all the lube before seating your projectiles? Also, scrub the heck out of your chamber.
After 50 plus years of reloading, I have had my share of case separations.
There is plenty of excellent new brass available. Skip the once fired crap and you will be well on the way to a more enjoyable experience.

Semper Fi
Art
That's a good point. But I'm not an aficionado of sniper accuracy as my only 308s are FALs. I've pretty much limited myself to LC and some bulk WCC. I highly suspect the the LC is MG brass. I've never had an issue with it. WEG told me you are wasting your time with a paper clip as a divining rod

My only issues I've had with separations was CBC. I bought a couple of 1000 rounds during the shortage back in 2013 and shot it up 1st and kept the brass. Had one case separate midway and the other snatched the rim at the extractor.

Point being if I'm going to reload for my fals with new brass, it's going to be cheaper to buy milsurp. Sort of like buy a bottle of Dom champagne for a street corner girl
__________________
Giving people the benefit of the means itís ok to screw you over.

Expect the worst, and you'll never be disappointed.

Before trying to beat the odds, make sure you can survive the odds beating you.
meltblown is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2018, 20:40   #14
TerryN
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 55
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 1,834
Many people do not know how to correctly adjust a sizing die. The old 'screw the die down until it hits the shell holder' instructions that accompany the die are the main culprit.

As others have stated, machine gun-fired brass has long been used by many people with startling success for many years. Initial sizing with a .30-06 die body does seem to help, and although it requires an extra step may well be worthwhile. The critical first step that many don't take is determining just how long the chamber(s) of their rifle(s) is/are, and adjusting their .308 FL die accordingly. Excessive sizing (shoulder setback) causes a lot of problems. You DO need to set the shoulder back ever-so-slightly farther to insure smooth functioning in a gas gun than you do a bolt gun. That doesn't mean that you need to set it back an excessive amount. Add multiple rifles with different chamber dimensions into the mix, and you may not have a one-size-fits-all situation.

Measure the chamber(s) in your rifle(s). Adjust your sizing die accordingly. That should minimize the cartridge headspace problem, and ensure that you get normal brass life. I allow for .003" shoulder setback, as an absolute minimum in my gas guns. On that note - it has been demonstrated that a properly adjusted X-Die can allow more than the normal 4-5 loads (normal for gas guns) with a piece of brass. Some have reported up to 20 loads in M14-type rifles. I'm not saying that you will automatically get 20 loads out of your brass in your rifle(s) - simply that is has been done.
__________________
#Boycott YouTube
TerryN is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 15, 2018, 22:10   #15
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I've been checking all the brass I fired at my last range session. In all, I found 3 more
cases with cracks on the outside or inside. All were from the same lot, WCC 10, that had
been fired 3 times total. No cracks were observed on twice fired WCC 10 brass. I am assuming that
when I shoot up the rest of this lot, I am going to see more case head separations.

Other lots of brass, LC and CBB Nato brass I bought from a different vendor
appear to be fine after
6 firings. So I am guessing the WCC10 lot may be the culprit.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16, 2018, 08:48   #16
W.E.G.
FAL Files Administrator
Silver Contributor
 
W.E.G.'s Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 1211
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 39,682
Use a case gage to set up your sizing die.

Set shoulder to match dimension of factory ammo.

Discard brass after firing 3 times in semiautomatic.

That is all.
__________________
.
.
.

Ask me about the Mason-Dixon FAL Collectors Association.
W.E.G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16, 2018, 11:09   #17
Tuscan Raider
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 19668
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 5,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Use a case gage to set up your sizing die.

Set shoulder to match dimension of factory ammo.

Discard brass after firing 3 times in semiautomatic.

That is all.
3 times? I can get 7-8 out of an AR before primer
pockets are done.

Or is that a recommendation for .308?
__________________
"An eye for an eye makes us all blind."

Ghandi

"We, here in America, hold in our hands the hopes of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men."

Theodore Roosevelt
Address at Carnegie Hall
March 30, 1912
Tuscan Raider is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 17, 2018, 10:14   #18
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuscan Raider View Post
3 times? I can get 7-8 out of an AR before primer
pockets are done.

Or is that a recommendation for .308?
This is my experience with .223. The primer pockets will loosen up before
the cases will split.

Lots of variables at play, but I think the lot of *once fired* WCC Nato brass
I got was not the best.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17, 2018, 22:04   #19
Mebsuta
Khemi, Stygia
Contributor
 
Mebsuta's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 4143
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Khemi, Stygia
Posts: 10,396
Last time I had an FAL at teh range, I used 43 gr BL-C2, 150 grain Hornady SP, whatever primer, and mixed commercial range pickup brass. Dies I use are Lee RGB, RCBS FL, or once in a while RCBS small base, whichever I feel like using at the time. No functional issues.

I also banged a bunch of that same garbage load though an Israeli 98k Mauser. The only thing here is with NNY brass, that load just starts to get a sticky bolt in an Israeli 98k, but that is something that I knew about already.
__________________
Hai

Last edited by Mebsuta; June 17, 2018 at 23:21.
Mebsuta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17, 2018, 23:54   #20
Right Side Up
Old Fart
Silver Contributor
 
Right Side Up's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 43
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuscan Raider View Post
3 times? I can get 7-8 out of an AR before primer
pockets are done.

Or is that a recommendation for .308?
For an FAL, yeas, 3 firings are about it. I start having separations on firing number 4.

This does not apply to my AR10, or any other .308/7.62 NATO rifle i've ever had.

I set my headspace on reloaded cases about .004". That's enough for reliability, but not as much as SAAMI, which can get as high as .010".
Right Side Up is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018, 00:43   #21
Tuscan Raider
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 19668
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 5,344
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right Side Up View Post
For an FAL, yeas, 3 firings are about it. I start having separations on firing number 4.

This does not apply to my AR10, or any other .308/7.62 NATO rifle i've ever had.

I set my headspace on reloaded cases about .004". That's enough for reliability, but not as much as SAAMI, which can get as high as .010".
Thanks for clarification.

Found one more reason.
__________________
"An eye for an eye makes us all blind."

Ghandi

"We, here in America, hold in our hands the hopes of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men."

Theodore Roosevelt
Address at Carnegie Hall
March 30, 1912
Tuscan Raider is online now   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018, 00:43   #22
old_spambo
Registered
 
FALaholic #: 75387
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Nowhere/OR
Posts: 216
Seems that I discovered the initial problem. Started from scratch, de-primed,
sized and trimmed some once fired brass to 1.995" or 0.020 below max. Since I
am using the Dillon trimmer, brass is FL sized and trimmed at one station.

Then I set the X-Die and Mandrel. Everything seems OK. So I check some of
recently trimmed brass. Gauges good. So I try some brass previously processed
for the X-Die. Doesn't fit in the case gauge. Screw the die down a 3/4 turn more, the case gauges properly.

So I put a newly trimmed brass in the die and reset the mandrel. Then I size the previously fired brass and it gauges fine.

So the moral of story, I didn't have the X-Die set properly to cam over the presslike it said in the instructions. Live and learn.

Seems like the Case Head separations my be *feature* of the FAL since others have reported the same
problem after 3 or 4 firings.

Spambo
old_spambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018, 19:59   #23
hueyville
Registered
Bronze Contributor
 
hueyville's Avatar
 
FALaholic #: 74557
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Foothills of the Blueridge Mountains
Posts: 5,702
I use RCBS X Die's for 22 Hornet and 223/5.56 but not tried with 308/7.62. They are the Bees Knees for loading Hornets and work well with 5.56 if first time through my process they are trimmed to length. All of my 308/7.62 brass make sure to use a dental pick to feel for beginning signs of case head separation and can feel it before it happens. That said have Lake City 5.56 brass with six loadings and no issues all the time. In fact have gone over ten loadings when I was young and poor but made sure at some point to anneal cases so didn't get work hardened.

Now I load them four times then fifth loading cycle use for long term storage/end of world ammo use or for shooting at ranges where recovering brass is not allowed. Thus after six firings cases will be scrapped unless fail the dental tool test and may be retired sooner but not often. Recently loaded some cases that have four cycles through G3's and CETME's. Don't know how many times have been told can't reload cases fired in fluted chambers but been doing it for years. I check my 308/7.62 brass for internal cracks, load four times and and fifth time is loaded for disposable brass or long term end of world use.

As with 5.56 was a time 30 years ago where milked every cycle possibe out of 308/7.62 brass and loaded brass up to ten times for use in my M1a's. Have 45 acp cases with over three dozen load cycles but it's so low pressure will take a lot and when finally splits my 1911's send bullet where needs to go and chunks the split case out just fine. Odd thing is with as many loadings do with rifle brass until year before last never had to use a stuck case remover in a rifle. I trim my 308/7.62 every load cycle and am very careful not to overwork my brass by setting back shoulders too much.

I don't shoot FAL's as much as M1a's and other 308's and may be why my brass lasts longer. But at fourth loading they go through annealing machine. If I shoot full power ammo through an FAL with suppressor I scrap it as even after turning down gas unless swap gas plugs it flings it into next week and bends the rims but seldom do this as know it's beating up the rifle too. Usually use subsonic ammo with full gass when run cans with my FAL's and it's fine for loading. Glad you worked out the X Die with your loads as been considering a 308 X Die or Dillon press mounted electric trimmer.

Had a deal worked on another forum for a Dillon 650 with case feed and plan was to set it up for 308 with electric case trimmer, case feed, bullet feed and taper crimp die. Guy had it new in box with case feeder and set up for pistol caliber never unboxed. I posted "will take", sent PM and started working on shipping price so could pay when suddenly seller stopped responding to my messages and a little lurking figured out he sold it to someone local he didn't have to ship to. Could have at least told me, bought a 650 before Sandy Hook and had not unboxed when Dillon went to a two month wait on presses and sold my 650 set up in 5.56 for $390 more than paid for it and all accessories.

Now building a new bench to put both my 550b's, three Square Deal B's and a 450. Building with enough room for a 650 and consolidate all my progressives on one bench, then get all my single stage presses mounted back on there bench and bullet lube/sizers on their bench. Currently have a Rock Chucker pulled to fit a 550 two bullet sizes pulled to fit a Square Deal and 450 plus have my shot shell press on casting table and ture press on case prep bench. Amazing how much equipment piles up over the years especially when don't like to swap calibers on progressive presses.
__________________
A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 G.W.T.
"If it is worth doing once...it's worth doing it a few more times to get it right." Stimpsonjcat
hueyville is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 23:47.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
©1998-2018 The FAL Files