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Reloading military surplus brass

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  • Reloading military surplus brass

    I just got a box of a new .224 bullet made by Hornady. It is only 40gr and has some kind of polymer tip that supposedly makes it fly similar to an M193 but hit like a hollow point. I was anxious to load some up and try it out but the only brass I had on hand was some military surplus by Lake City. I do not mind the Lake City brass except the US military requires them to crimp the primers in. The old primers pop out easy enough, but there is always part of the crimps left in the primer pocket that make inserting a new primer an exercise in severe frustration.

    My reloading set came with a hand reamer to remove the crimps, but using it for more than 40-50 rounds causes my hands to cramp up - especially this time of year. So I had an idea... I measured the angle of the knives on the hand reamer and found them to be 60 degrees. So, I went into my workshop and chucked up a 60 degree countersink bit in my drill press. I swung the drill press table out of the way and set the speed at about 300 RPMs. Then I just held the brass in my hand and pressed it up on the spinning countersink bit for no more than 2-3 seconds. It worked perfectly! I was able to clean up 100 casings in less than 10 minutes and they turned out more consistent than what I was getting doing them by hand.

    The only other thing I did differently was to take extra care with my pocket cleaning tool. Also, I did dump the brass back in the cleaning tumbler for 30 minutes before I seated the new primers to make sure I got any brass filings out. That was probably over-kill, but I did it anyway.

    I have always hated reloading military surplus brass the first time because of the crimped primers. I even thought about getting a die that removes the crimps. But this method seems even faster and easier than a die and costs about $6 as opposed to around $50 for the die.



  • #2
    Great post! Thanks for the info.



    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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ID:	187224really good thread...I do not reload much any more, But with the prices the way they are I may start again soon...
      Again thanks for the ideas
      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." Plato

      That Government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

      — Thomas Jefferson

      You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

      — Abraham Lincoln

      I was so embarrassed today. I got caught peeing in the pool. When the lifeguard yelled at me I jumped and damn near fell in.



      • #4
        Damn good idea I will have to try it this month. It should be an easy fix with a bench top drill press.


        • #5
          Worth a try. Thanks.


          • #6
            Works with a cordless hand drill while you are watching TV too!!


            • #7
              watch out what medium you use if you tumble deprimed cases in it. corncob and walnut hulls can get stuck in the flashhole.


              • #8
                Thanks for the post I will have to give it a shot.


                • #9
                  I actually chuck the de-burring tool in to the chuck on my lathe and let'er rip. I've done it with a drill press and a cordless and all three ways work. I've got a Dillon super swag tool and a RCBS swagging tool...none work as well or as fast as the de-burring tool!
                  Intelligence is something we are born with. Surviving is a skill that must be learned


                  • #10
                    That's interesting, I didn't know Polymer tips had such qualities...


                    • #11
                      Not to hijack the thread but all I shoot now are Nosler Ballistic Tip and Honrady V-Max bullets in my rifles. I use the Nosler 150 gr Ballistic Tip for my 30-06, the 140 gr Ballistic Tip in my B-I-L's 7mm-08 and I load 55 and 60 grain V-Max for the .223.
                      Intelligence is something we are born with. Surviving is a skill that must be learned