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Old July 11, 2018, 18:50   #1
Datchew
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reload recipe - use for all or sort all the brass?

I have approximately 2-300 pieces of 308 and surplus brass.
Most of it is lake city and was fired in one or the other FAL recently.
It all got bagged, de-primed, and re-sized as a lot.

I'm preparing to test a couple different loads (hoping to find good things with Varget) and here's my question:

Different brass will hold different amounts of powder and cause different pressures with the same powder and bullet.
How big a deal is this? I'm hoping for a generic load that will work on generic range brass for general use.
This would allow me to dump used range pickup brass, used 308 buddy's hunting brass, etc., into a lot and just reload it all the same way.
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Old July 11, 2018, 19:15   #2
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When loading for "regular" shooting I like to sort brass by lot if possible on rifle cartridges. That way, if something goes wrong I have one less variable.

However, the number of uses of brass on pickup brass is almost always an unknown, so it's likely effort I need not take.

As long as you're not near max load, and watch for impending issues (you should be doing this no matter where the load came from), mixed brass should all go bang and put the bullets downrange at about minute of man or better IMO.

With cheap brass and components, this makes sense. However, with components going up in price the way that they have, either buying commercial rounds or careful reloading is my order of the day. This includes weighing cases as a measure of volume and other case prep.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:50   #3
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I used to sort brass but with service rifles that will probably do 2-4 moa anywgat I've found it doesn't matter. Just back off some from your max load to give you a bit of breathing room.
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Old September 22, 2018, 11:32   #4
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Late to the party but when load a mix of milsurp if mostly Lake City I try to sort by date. Recently went through 1,200 rounds of once fired military range brass and over 900 rounds fell in the 2012 to 2015 date range. Rest were a mix of late 90's through 2011 sopackaged the mix together for busting plates, rocks and stumps with mixmaster FAL's. The sorted by year is used for when want to have a bit more confidence when shooting a more accurate rifle such as M1a's.

That said have a huge lot of mixed head stamps dating from 1960's to after Y2K from a myriad of manufacturers with unknown number of loadings. As the cases from above lot are fired the group of mixed headstamps will be rolled into the mix box and the matched year will go in buckets that are separated by year. Have 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 buckets with known low count of total loadings that as cases come out of tumbler separate for later projects where want to build a better load but not looking for match accuracy.

All the cases that land in the mix manufacture and date bucket wife probes with dental pick to feel for beginning of cracks and if pass her test they stay in rotation as do not load my range loads hot. While know some who retire after three or five loadings I keep using till case gives a sign it's ready for retirement. Honestly in real life unless shooting paper from a rest the mix manufacture/mix year range loads shoot as well as most bargain of the month import surplus ammo. All cases are prepped the same, use a proven general purpose charge of Varget and decent milspec projectiles and shoot MOA in a good rifle which is good enough.

As the buckets of low load count matched head stamp and date fill they get used for more important projects where sub MOA accuracy in appropriate rifles is more important. That said have many times run a five round sub MOA group from the total mix buckets of cases that could have three or thirty loadings. All brass is sized, trimmed to length, primer pockets uniformed and flash holes deburred first trip through the system. The bulk mix is loaded on a press using an RCBS X-Die ensuring even without trimming they never go over length and necks don't thicken either.

The matched brass is usually checked for length and handled more meticulously. In the end I find it convenient to have a mix of different standards of loads as allows me to wring out every loading from my cases as they get retired to mix bucket use then taken to ranges where picking up brass is either not allowed or troublesome and don't have to lament the loss of fresh new highly prepped cases? As to OP's question, I might match up the cases use to shoot my ladders and then groups as develop my load but once the development phase is done would prep the lot in similar fashion, drop powder and seat my bullet then let fly. Especially for use in an FAL which isn't really a match rifle from design.
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Old September 22, 2018, 12:14   #5
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Make sure the base-to-shoulder dimension is consistent from one brand to the other.

If you ran it all through the same sizing die without accounting for the different headstamps, you fugked up.

Sometimes, you can fugk-up, and get by with it. But, don't do it again.
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Old September 22, 2018, 13:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Datchew View Post
I have approximately 2-300 pieces of 308 and surplus brass.
Most of it is lake city and was fired in one or the other FAL recently.
It all got bagged, de-primed, and re-sized as a lot.

I'm preparing to test a couple different loads (hoping to find good things with Varget) and here's my question:

Different brass will hold different amounts of powder and cause different pressures with the same powder and bullet.
How big a deal is this? I'm hoping for a generic load that will work on generic range brass for general use.
This would allow me to dump used range pickup brass, used 308 buddy's hunting brass, etc., into a lot and just reload it all the same way.

I'm interested in this GP load too, although I would group military brass and commercial brass separately.

I also have Varget but also specifically a bunch of 145g FMJBT's to use up and I can't find a starting load. There seems to be a hole in load data between 150g and 130g. Some 147g load data out there but nothing for 145g and I swear I have some TZ80 pulls that are one grain lighter....

Would use this in the STG58 and Izzy mouser, just need a starting point.
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Old September 22, 2018, 14:03   #7
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Originally Posted by davedude View Post
I'm interested in this GP load too, although I would group military brass and commercial brass separately.

I also have Varget but also specifically a bunch of 145g FMJBT's to use up and I can't find a starting load. There seems to be a hole in load data between 150g and 130g. Some 147g load data out there but nothing for 145g and I swear I have some TZ80 pulls that are one grain lighter....

Would use this in the STG58 and Izzy mouser, just need a starting point.
I would use the starting load for the 147g in loading your 145g. and then work up. -2 grains of weight won't matter in a start up load....and your on the lower pressure side any way. You will have to up the powder charge to get it to cycle your STG58 from that starting range most likely.
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Old September 26, 2018, 07:31   #8
762gunr
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Brass: Once fired SB sized LC
Rifle: 22" Savage Axis
Bullet: 148 grain FMJBT
-----------------------------
-----------------------------
Using S&B LR:
----------------------
44.5 TAC/S&B LR
Series, 6, Shots:, 5
Min,2788, Max,2812
Avg,2803 ,S-D, 9.3
ES , 24
--------------------
44.0 H4895/S&B LR
Series,11, Shots:, 5
Min,2803, Max,2836
Avg,2825 ,S-D,13.0
ES , 33
-------------------
45.5 Varget(light compression)/S&B LR
Series,28, Shots:, 5
Min,2787, Max,2816
Avg,2802 ,S-D,11.7
ES , 29
-------------------
47.5 BLC/S&B
Series,33, Shots:, 5
Min,2788, Max,2811
Avg,2799 ,S-D, 8.7
ES , 23
-------------------
46.5 Reloader 15/S&B
Series,46, Shots:, 5
Min,2784, Max,2815
Avg,2800 ,S-D,12.7
ES , 31
-------------------
45.5 IMR4166/S&B
Series,54, Shots:, 5
Min,2808, Max,2817
Avg,2813 ,S-D, 3.3
ES , 9
-------------------
46.0 WC748/S&B
Series,63, Shots:, 5
Min,2785, Max,2828
Avg,2810 ,S-D,15.8
ES , 43
-------------------
46.8 CFE/S&B
Series,68, Shots:, 5
Min,2788, Max,2826
Avg,2804 ,S-D,16.0
ES , 38
-------------------
44.4 IMR4064/S&B
Series,72, Shots:, 5
Min,2784, Max,2806
Avg,2794 ,S-D, 9.6
ES , 22
-------------------
43.5 H335/S&B
Series,73, Shots:, 5
Min,2802, Max,2836
Avg,2816 ,S-D,12.4
ES , 34
-------------------
44.5 IMR4895(light compression)/S&B
Avg,2776 ,S-D,11.8
ES , 26
-------------------
Norma 202 43.6(book max)/S&B
Series,48, Shots:, 5
Avg,2698 ,S-D,12.4
ES , 31
--------------------
43.0 Benchmark(book max)/S&B
Avg,2784 ,S-D,13.0
ES , 33
-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
Using CCI #34's:


44.5 TAC
Min,2790, Max,2824
Avg,2805 ,S-D,13.3
ES , 34
--------------------
44.0 H4895
Series,18, Shots:, 5
Min,2774, Max,2811
Avg,2799 ,S-D,14.9
ES , 37
---------------------
47.5 BLC/#34
Series,35, Shots:, 3
Min,2801, Max,2808
Avg,2804 ,S-D, 3.6
ES , 7
----------------------
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Datchew View Post
I have approximately 2-300 pieces of 308 and surplus brass.
Most of it is lake city and was fired in one or the other FAL recently.
It all got bagged, de-primed, and re-sized as a lot.

I'm preparing to test a couple different loads (hoping to find good things with Varget) and here's my question:

Different brass will hold different amounts of powder and cause different pressures with the same powder and bullet.
How big a deal is this? I'm hoping for a generic load that will work on generic range brass for general use.
This would allow me to dump used range pickup brass, used 308 buddy's hunting brass, etc., into a lot and just reload it all the same way.
Use the winchester 748 powder and listed loads. Been doing it this way for 20+ years. No issues regardless of what brass I use & I never sort brass.
Pick it up, prep it for reload, use 748 & go on. No issues.
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Old September 28, 2018, 16:27   #10
meltblown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 762gunr View Post
Brass: Once fired SB sized LC
Rifle: 22" Savage Axis
Bullet: 148 grain FMJBT
-----------------------------
-----------------------------
Using S&B LR:
----------------------
44.5 TAC/S&B LR
Series, 6, Shots:, 5
Min,2788, Max,2812
Avg,2803 ,S-D, 9.3
ES , 24
--------------------
44.0 H4895/S&B LR
Series,11, Shots:, 5
Min,2803, Max,2836
Avg,2825 ,S-D,13.0
ES , 33
-------------------
45.5 Varget(light compression)/S&B LR
Series,28, Shots:, 5
Min,2787, Max,2816
Avg,2802 ,S-D,11.7
ES , 29
-------------------
47.5 BLC/S&B
Series,33, Shots:, 5
Min,2788, Max,2811
Avg,2799 ,S-D, 8.7
ES , 23
-------------------
46.5 Reloader 15/S&B
Series,46, Shots:, 5
Min,2784, Max,2815
Avg,2800 ,S-D,12.7
ES , 31
-------------------
45.5 IMR4166/S&B
Series,54, Shots:, 5
Min,2808, Max,2817
Avg,2813 ,S-D, 3.3
ES , 9
-------------------
46.0 WC748/S&B
Series,63, Shots:, 5
Min,2785, Max,2828
Avg,2810 ,S-D,15.8
ES , 43
-------------------
46.8 CFE/S&B
Series,68, Shots:, 5
Min,2788, Max,2826
Avg,2804 ,S-D,16.0
ES , 38
-------------------
44.4 IMR4064/S&B
Series,72, Shots:, 5
Min,2784, Max,2806
Avg,2794 ,S-D, 9.6
ES , 22
-------------------
43.5 H335/S&B
Series,73, Shots:, 5
Min,2802, Max,2836
Avg,2816 ,S-D,12.4
ES , 34
-------------------
44.5 IMR4895(light compression)/S&B
Avg,2776 ,S-D,11.8
ES , 26
-------------------
Norma 202 43.6(book max)/S&B
Series,48, Shots:, 5
Avg,2698 ,S-D,12.4
ES , 31
--------------------
43.0 Benchmark(book max)/S&B
Avg,2784 ,S-D,13.0
ES , 33
-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------
Using CCI #34's:


44.5 TAC
Min,2790, Max,2824
Avg,2805 ,S-D,13.3
ES , 34
--------------------
44.0 H4895
Series,18, Shots:, 5
Min,2774, Max,2811
Avg,2799 ,S-D,14.9
ES , 37
---------------------
47.5 BLC/#34
Series,35, Shots:, 3
Min,2801, Max,2808
Avg,2804 ,S-D, 3.6
ES , 7
----------------------
Pretty hot ass loads for an FAL I’ve got a cheapie Chrony I’ve never used. I may try it out this weekend. I’ve built a 748 load that sure seems hot. Had to dial off a lot of gas
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Old September 29, 2018, 01:26   #11
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I load a factory duplication load and check it over a crony in everything I shoot jacketed bullets in. That has all changed now that they dicontinued so many really good powders. Now it's start over and find a new load until they discontinue more powders.
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Old August 10, 2019, 15:55   #12
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here this thread comes back from the DEAD!!!!
I have not blown myself up yet. Always a good thing.

Have been using a RCBS micrometer and I now have a firm understanding of how mixing brass through a preset re-sizing die gets all kinds of variation in shoulder height. Cuz metallurgy.
So I got some of the redding bases with variable heights and can size a mixed bag of brass pretty uniformly to a target of 1.628-1.629.


All in all, it's become clear that using a larger lot of 1 type of brass makes this MUCH easier and that's where I'll be going in the future as I start looking at some events or competitions.

I've been reading the old threads and it seems a lot of folks choose a standard/favorite load with IMR4895 or similar and 168 grains SMK's or they use M80 pulls.

M80 pulls don't seem to be available and SMK's are more $ than I expected.
Any tips on where to find these at a good price or do I just watch for deals and sales?
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Old August 10, 2019, 16:11   #13
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What price are you wanting to pay for M80 pull downs? I quit screwing with them. I use those IMI (I think it's those letters) or the General Dynamics for plinking and killing paper. I think you can get the for about $125/1000 when they are on sale. I haven't bought any in the last 2 years so YMMV. Have about 4000 k of Hornady 145s. I can't tell the difference in an FAL
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Old August 10, 2019, 16:31   #14
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you know... great question.

I'm not doing it for the money so i guess i'm just looking to avoid lots of tinkering and skip to the end on a good general FAL load. Plenty of threads for that and I think i'm getting close.
I'll save all the tinkering for my ruger no 1 when i'm really hunting.

Still, trying to be frugal and sensible and what not since i'm relatively new to this and most of you guys know the markets better than I do at this point.
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Old August 10, 2019, 16:49   #15
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Basically 43.5 grains of Varget, Lake City brass, and a decent etc. I'm done with mixed commercial brass as well.

Here's GD at .$14 each if you buy 1K. These go on sale along with the IMI.

https://www.wideners.com/reloading-s...ts/308-bullets
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Old August 10, 2019, 17:06   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Make sure the base-to-shoulder dimension is consistent from one brand to the other.

If you ran it all through the same sizing die without accounting for the different headstamps, you fugked up.

Sometimes, you can fugk-up, and get by with it. But, don't do it again.
Please elaborate.
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Old August 10, 2019, 18:48   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltblown View Post
Basically 43.5 grains of Varget, Lake City brass, and a decent etc. I'm done with mixed commercial brass as well.

Here's GD at .$14 each if you buy 1K. These go on sale along with the IMI.

https://www.wideners.com/reloading-s...ts/308-bullets
Poifect.
I'll try some of those and some SMK's and settle on a balance between performance and price. My shooting abilities are usually the limiting factor.
Thanks.
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Old August 10, 2019, 18:58   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exit308 View Post
Please elaborate.
I'll take a stab. WEG can correct if i'm off.

Recently I had a motley batch of SSI, lake city, nosler, remington, and a few other headstamps from collecting 308 range brass and donations from buddies that saved brass for me.

After tumbling, etc., I used a RCBS full length resizing die on several of them and measured base to shoulder length immediately afterward as i went along.

Lake city ended up at around 1.629 +/- a little - which is my target.
Nosler was very soft and i was getting numbers as low as 1.623!
A piece with a headstamp that i don't recognize was resisting at 1.634
You get the idea.
Basically the different lots/manufacturers have obvious differences in metallurgy which I believe people refer to as "springback" in my reading.

Softer ones "over-resize" and harder ones "under-resize" and you end up with brass that's all over the place.

I had to iteratively swap out the redding base holders and keep pulling the lever to get them all to the preferred size i want.
Some just got thrown out if they ended up way too short because I don't want to bother with incipient case separation.

I learned a lot but don't want to be spending so much time on individual pieces of brass to make sure it will be in spec for loading.
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Old August 13, 2019, 11:01   #19
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My wife sorts all brass by manufacturer and date if so stamped. Then just size each group to spec and check one out of about twenty to be sure they are staying in tolerance. For premium loads wife weighs all cases after processing is done and usually separates into three batches, light, medium and heavy. Then as load she wipes down finished rounds boxes the light, medium and heavy cases in boxes together with their matching brothers and marks the boxes.

After a large run usually have enough to stuff military ammo boxes full with matched weight cases then the few extra boxes of each that don't fit in theor box go to the range. Seldom see significant point of aim differences from light to heavy cases and can even mix them up and still get decent groups. I still use so much Berdan primed have to sort or leads to all types of other issues. For first decade of loading as a kid loaded tons of 5.56 from mix batches that would have range pick up, miltary surplus, commercial and any case that was not split and some would be once fired while others may have been loaded over ten times and never had any issues. Started loading as a preteen and money was my biggest issue and was either lucky or there is more latitude from safety perspective than I expect 40+ years later and have a few more dollars to spend.
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